We’re bringing the party to Leeds was the clear message from the LLF20 Launch at Leeds Minster featuring a showcase of world class authors from Leeds’ Peepal Tree Press. Readings and performances by Malika Booker, Khadijah Ibrahiim, Monique Roffey, Seni Seneviratne, Jacob Ross and T.S. Eliot 2020 prize winner Roger Robinson held the 300 strong audience enthralled.
At the Launch, LLF partners unveiled the LLF20 Programme which will see more than 100 events taking place at 35 venues throughout the city from Wednesday 4 March to Sunday 8 March.
LLF20’s ambitious programme has something for all ages and interests. Headline events include talks from Amanda Owen, The Yorkshire Shepherdess, Stuart Maconie, Jenny Éclair and Helen Fielding, all at Carriageworks Theatre. AC Grayling, journalist Gavin Esler and Whitbread Sports Book of the Year multiple winner, Duncan Hamilton will be at The Leeds Library whilst Dave Haslam will be talking at Hyde Park Book Club.
There are a number of literary inspired theatre performances, literature and poetry walks, immersive experiences, music, spoken word nights and storytelling events not just in the city centre but city wide. These will include a specially commissioned Leeds Lit Adventure Walk that will take participants in, around and through many of the city’s iconic buildings meeting characters and hearing writing inspired from the city of Leeds. German based Live Artist Ant Hampton will bring his unique Quiet Volume immersive experience to 3 of the city’s finest libraries including the Leeds Library, Leeds Central Library and the Brotherton Library. Mill Hill Chapel will host Long Division, a literature inspired sound installation by IOU Theatre.
Its Inspiring the City programme supported by Leeds Inspired, will take place all over the city and its districts and in a variety of venues and which will bring Leeds Lit Fest right into the heart of communities. One element of this programme will encourage people from Leeds to get into writing through a number of writing workshops led by Yorkshire based writers and authors such as Michael Stewart and Clare Fisher. Part of this is Leeds Lit Fest Podcast series commissioned to encourage writer development based on these workshops along with further podcasts by local writers released in advance of March’s Festival. Each of the latter features a writer currently working in Leeds like Malika Booker and Rommi Smith and will be recorded on location somewhere in the city. In response to their surroundings in that moment, writers will talk about the relationship between their own writing and the idea of place. The final strand of the Inspiring the City Programme will be a programme of events in a variety of venues including libraries, pubs, theatres and clubs in several Leeds districts including Guiseley, Farsley, Holbeck, Hunslet, Moor Allerton and Roundhay. These events will be Pay What You Feel so that there are no barriers to anyone attending. Appearing will be writers Chris Nickson and Frances Brody, spoken word artists Kevin P Gilday and Bróccán Tyzack-Carlin, world class storytellers from the Shaggy Dog Club and many more.
We also have a range of fantastic family friendly events for the Festival at Leeds Central Library on the weekend of the Festival. On the Saturday we have a variety of workshops from renowned authors such as Kate Pankhurst, Chris Mould, Liz Flanagan, Bethan Woollvin and more that children can take part in to either help with their writing or their drawing skills, or both. If you have a budding actor in your family they could take part in our Storybox workshop where they create a new piece of theatre in 2 hours. And to round the weekend off, you can come along to our family show on the Sunday, Mole and Gecko – an interactive rap musical.
Carl Hutton, Chair of Leeds Lit Fest said, “Leeds Lit Fest is really looking forward to exciting and inspiring the city with its 2020 Lit Fest programme. We hope as many people as possible will get involved in March in the largest literature event that the city has ever had. You can download the programme from the Festival’s website or pick up your copy from venues all around the city. We would love you to join us for Leeds Lit Fest 2020. Tickets are flying out so don’t leave it too late to book for the events you really want to see. There really is something for everyone.”
Jeremy Poynting, Managing Editor of Peepal Tree Press said, “We’re delighted to have had the opportunity to showcase some of our fantastic writers in our home city. Leeds Lit Fest offers an amazing platform celebrating Leeds’ literary identity and bringing world-class voices to the city.”