Leeds International Festival of Ideas 2023

Carmel Smickersgill, Tours & Activities Editor
LIFI23

Leeds International Festival of Ideas 2023 at Leeds Playhouse, Leeds 27 — 30 September 2023 Tickets from £12.00 — Book now

Leeds International Festival of Ideas has been bringing extraordinary people to the metropolis of Yorkshire to share their life experience, insight, knowledge and perspective for years. This September, their lineup of speakers includes Christopher Eccleston, Bimini, Ruby Wax and Stephen Bartlett. Aside from the big names, Leeds Playhouse will also be hosting panel discussions of specialists on topics ranging from how we talk about grief to the systemic trivialisation of women’s health to who the beneficiaries of our current UK political system are, there is something to spark intrigue in everyone. The topics covered are wide ranging and diverse but have the unifying property of being directly relevant to all of us in some way.

This year’s headliner, Christopher Eccleston, will be speaking on the importance of working class representation, voices and figures in the arts. His talk is titled Arts and Culture – For the many; or the few? Conversations about who is creating art and who has access to it are vital in our country’s current financial state. Access to creativity, self expression and culture shouldn’t be seen as an additional privilege for those who can pay for it. Christopher’s own story of his journey and career as an actor is both inspirational whilst illuminating some of the invisible barriers to culture.

Joining him is Yorkshire’s home grown drag superstar Divina De Campo will be in conversation with fellow Queen Bimini. Join them for what promises to be a fascinating look into identity, image and breaking down the boundaries of gender binary as a vehicle for self expression.

Journalist Lotty Leaming will be in conversation with Rob (judge) Rinder. Their discussion explores the unseen influence of the rule of law. Sharing personal experience and alternative perspectives on our judicial system, the talk is bound to leave you asking some difficult questions and engaging in meaningful conversations about what ‘justice’ really means.

These are just a snapshot of some of the highlights over the course of the weekend. Just a couple of the other names on the line up include Matt Baker, Ruby Wax, Steven Bartlett and Krishnan Guru-Murthy. To see the full range of topics being covered and read the full lineup check out the LIFI23 website.

Leeds International Festival of Ideas 2023 at Leeds Playhouse, Leeds 27 — 30 September 2023 Tickets from £12.00 Book now

Accessibility

  • Audio Described
  • British Sign Language
  • Captioned
  • Dementia-friendly
  • Relaxed

What's on at Leeds Playhouse

Look After Your Knees at Leeds Playhouse
TheatreLeeds
Look After Your Knees at Leeds Playhouse

Natalie Bellingham’s new show, tackling the pain and beauty of growing older, will preview at Leeds Playhouse ahead of its month-long run at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

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Where to go near Leeds International Festival of Ideas 2023

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The Wardrobe

Located in the city centre’s eastern Art Quarter, The Wardrobe features a bar and kitchen on its ground floor plus a cosy dedicated event space in the basement. Dance, jazz and world music regularly feature on The Wardrobe’s gig calendar, while the venue hosts popular club nights and comedy too.

Yorkshire Dance
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With three well-equipped studios, Yorkshire Dance HQ is a super performance venue for dance, theatre and spoken-word events.

Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre building
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Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre

The Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre is located in Leeds’ thriving cultural quarter on Quarry Hill, offering an exciting programme of dance, theatre and family-friendly shows.

Colours May Vary Leeds
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Colours May Vary

You can spend hours browsing in Colours May Vary for unique and hard-to-find greetings cards, stationary, homeware and magazines. Of especial interest are the one of a kind ceramic ornaments.

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Restaurant
Sarto Leeds

Sarto, Leeds’s long-awaited pasta restaurant is a joint project between Laynes Espresso and The Brunswick.

Leeds Kirkgate Market
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Leeds Kirkgate Market

Leeds Kirkgate Market is Europe’s biggest covered markets, featuring over 800 stalls, with goods ranging from clothing to fresh produce.

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Leeds College of Music

Leeds College of Music (LCoM) is the largest specialist conservatoire in the UK, delivering expert music and performing arts education to a community of over 1200 students.

The Gallery at 164, Leeds
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The Gallery at 164 is an independent gallery in Leeds City Centre, exhibiting an eclectic mix of styles and media from both established and emerging talents.

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Event venue
Outlaws Yacht Club

A European style café/bar, exhibition space, record shop, hair salon and creative hangout tucked away on New York Street in Leeds…

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Crowd of Favours is a relaxed, welcoming restaurant and pub serving a great range of beers, spirits and locally sourced food.

Asian Bazaar Leeds
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Asian Bazaar

In the heart of Leeds is also an Asian market held every Wednesday, featuring a vast array of fabrics and spices from the Indian subcontinent and beyond.

What's on: Activity

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