Theatres Through Time: A Talk, a Trail and Tate Wilkinson

by Antony Ramm, Local and Family History, Central Library We are pleased to announce the following event that will take place in the Local and Family History department of the Central Library on Monday the 10th of October: Theatres Through Time. This is to celebrate the launch of the city’s new Theatre Heritage Trail and will take…

Thackeen Dhu!

By Ross Horsley, Local and Family History, Leeds Central Library How’s that for a compelling image? Unlike most of the other playbills in the collection at Leeds Central Library, you won’t find this one online at Leodis, largely because, unlike the other playbills, it doesn’t really tell you very much about the show or venue….

A Visual Feast!

It’s the annual Heritage Open Days festival next week and, to celebrate, we’re bringing out some of the best prints and playbills from our archives. A large selection will be on display in Room 700 (formerly the Arts Space) in Leeds Central Library on Saturday 12 September, 1-4pm. Staff from the Local and Family History department will be on hand to offer background…

Meet Alan Peters: Playwright and Novelist

A recent enquiry brought the name ‘Alan Peters’ to our attention. While our customer knew that Peters was a pseudonym for a Leeds-based author of the 1930s and 40s, he was keen to know the writer’s real name. The only information he could provide was that the author was a doctor of some description –…

A 1950s Night on the Town

This week at the Secret Library we’re taking you on a wild night out in the company of the Three Peaks Club, a Leeds-based hiking society formed in 1944 by a small group of students. Over the years, the club grew in size, completing a walk of all three Yorkshire Peaks every March, camping out…

Presented for your entertainment…

While looking through our playbill collection we were fascinated by the range of different acts which have been presented to audiences in Leeds over the years.  Here are just a few. The Theatre, which was on Hunslet Lane, opened in 1771 with room for 600 people. Most of the plays performed were comedies, or comic operas,…

Famous Last Words

When they decided to stage a production of the historical tragedy Jane Shore in the summer of 1817, no one at the Leeds Theatre suspected that a very real tragedy was about to strike. Here’s a scan of the original playbill – now nearly 200 years old – advertising that dramatic night. It’s one of…

Early Theatre in Leeds

We have a lot of fantastic theatres and entertainment on offer in Leeds now but how did it all start? From our playbills collection you can get an idea of some of the earliest theatre entertainment. The first theatre was built in Leeds in 1771 prior to which Leeds had relied on travelling companies of…