Monday, 17 October 2011

Half-term family fun on offer at The Carriageworks

Caption: Luisa Guerreiro and Barnaby Southgate star in 'The Hare and the Tortoise' coming to The Carriageworks next week (photo by Peter Byrne)

The Carriageworks theatre in Leeds will be the place to be this half-term with a series of exciting shows to entertain all the family.

The fun begins at the theatre off Millennium Square on Tuesday 25 October with a telling of the classic Aesop’s Fable ‘The Hare and the Tortoise’. Performed by renowned Leeds production company tutti frutti, this new adaptation uses live music and physical theatre to tell the much-loved story of two competitive friends who decide to race each other and how the race affects their friendship.

Anyone wishing to be inspired before seeing the show by observing live giant tortoises can do so by paying a visit to Tropical World in Roundhay, with entry tickets able to be used to qualify for a 15 per cent discount to the show at The Carriageworks.

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The cast of the 'The Hare and the Tortoise' will be at Tropical World at 4:30pm on Wednesday 19 October in costume visiting the giant tortoises.
All media are welcome to attend. Tropical World is located on Princes' Avenue, Roundhay Park, Leeds LS8 1DF.
Please note camera equipment will need time to acclimatise due to high humidity levels in the attraction.
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Children will also be able to take part in a competition to win a copy of ‘The Hare and the Tortoise’ book signed by the cast by taking their own pictures of a hare and tortoise to the theatre to enter a special prize draw.

The following day, Wednesday 26 October, sees a performance of Australian fairytale ‘How the Koala Leant to Hug’ by the People’s Theatre Company. Written especially for parents to enjoy with their children, the show is a charming new musical about the role of family and a strong focus on the importance of hugging.

Featuring in the feelgood story by Steven Lee are host of wild characters including Natascha the witch, the reggae beavers and Karen the koala bringing to life their stories with interactive singalongs, superb games and regular hugging.

Children will also be able to enter a prize draw to win a copy of the book signed by the cast by taking their own pictures of koalas with them to The Carriageworks when they see the show.

Thursday 27 October features a performance of children’s favourite ‘Stig of the Dump’ by the award-winning theatre company Mind the Gap that works with learning disabled and non-disabled actors.

The show tells the tale of a unique friendship between a boy and the mysterious caveman living in a den near his grandmother’s house. Puppetry and performance are used to allow the audience to follow them on a magical adventure.

The week of family shows at The Carriageworks concludes on Friday 28 October with ‘Robin and the Big Freeze’ being performed by Unpacked Theatre. This festive show features puppets, live music, and birdwatching to show how the bird which is one of the most popular symbols of Christmas prepares for the big chill.

General manager of The Carriageworks Martin McInulty said:

“We delighted to be putting on these fantastic shows this half-term for all the family to enjoy. Classic stories mixed in with some wonderful new shows will leave everyone who watches them with a great feelgood feeling.”

Tickets are now available for all of the shows by calling the box office on 0113 224 3801.

For more information on The Carriageworks visit the website at

For more information on Tropical World, go to and enter Tropical World in the search box.


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Senior communications officer,
Leeds City Council, Tel 0113 247 5472

Star Matt ready to flick the switch on Leeds Christmas party

Caption: X-Factor winner Matt Cardle will perform at Leeds Lights

X-Factor winner Matt Cardle has been announced as the headline performer at this year’s Leeds Lights Switch-On.

The 28-year-old who rose to fame by winning the ITV talent show last year will be performing his new single ‘Run for Your Life’ at the free annual event which takes place at Victoria Gardens from 6:45pm on Thursday 10 November as Leeds begins the run-up to Christmas.

The song written by Take That star and X Factor judge Gary Barlow went into the UK Singles Chart top 10 in its first week yesterday and is the first single from Matt’s debut album ‘Letters’ which was released today (17 October).

Organised by Leeds City Council and Real Radio with support from the Yorkshire Evening Post, the annual family event which attracts approximately 20,000 people is seen as the start of the Christmas shopping season in Leeds, with the finale of the show seeing the switch flicked to turn on one of the largest festive illuminations in the UK – covering over 15 miles around the city centre.

The night will be presented by Real Radio presenters including Real Breakfast’s Dixie and Gayle and those joining Matt Cardle on stage across the event will include local sporting heroes, pantomime characters and Santa’s showtime while the finale will be marked with a spectactular fireworks display. Full details of the line-up will be announced in the coming weeks.

Leeds City Council executive member for leisure Councillor Adam Ogilvie said:

“We are delighted to be welcoming Matt Cardle to Leeds for our lights switch-on. He is sure to put on a great performance and along with our other guests it will make for a fantastic show to get the Christmas party started in Leeds.”

Managing Director for Real Radio Yorkshire Steve South said:

“As the biggest Christmas lights display outside of London, it is understandable why so many people flock to Leeds to join us and celebrate the launch of Christmas at this fantastic event. This is the seventh year Real Radio have been part of Leeds Lights and it just gets better and better each year. With a brilliant act such as Matt Cardle headlining, Leeds Lights is a great way to welcome the festive season!”

For more information on the event go to or call the council’s events team on 0113 395 0891.


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Senior communications officer,
Leeds City Council, Tel 0113 247 5472