Transform Festival 21-22

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor
Transform 21-22
Image courtesy of The Collective/ Transform 21-22.

Transform 21-22 at Leeds Playhouse, Leeds 23 October 2021 — 8 April 2022 Entrance is free — Visit now

The latest edition of Transform, Leeds’ annual festival of international performance art and theatre has been reimagined and extended to reflect the period of uncertainty and challenge experienced by artists and theatre-makers. Running from autumn through to spring, Transform 21-22 is a powerful performative experiment to reconsider the form and representation of an international festival and, most importantly, how we can future-proof our practice.

Offering a hefty blend of performance, visual arts, dance, conversations and adventure, the final wave of Transform 21-22 has recently been announced. Bold and brave, vivid and socially conscious, the final instalment of the festival looks to the future. Featuring artists from across four continents, you’ll find epic new shows, rooftop performance, explosive dance and beautifully reflective encounters.

Igniting the city, Transform 21-22 audiences and event attendees will have the opportunity to travel to some of Leeds’ most cherished venues, as well as discover some of the city’s spaces for the first time.

Brazilian collective MEXA will present The more you rehearse, the worse it gets; an online unfiltered presentation of process and performance. Leeds Playhouse will host a visually arresting documentary theatre piece by Jaha Koo – The History or Western Korean Theatre attempts to quash age-old traditions of self-censorship and look to the future.

The UK premiere of Nadia Beugré’s dance show Quartiers Libres will showcase at The Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre and Rachel Mars’ durational installation FORGE, at Testbed, examines who memorials are for and what happens to places where traumatic events take place.

Rachel Mars at Transform 21-22
Forgery Residence/ Rachel Mars. Image courtesy of JMA Photography.

Festival attendees can also head to an extraordinary rooftop location for Frontera I Border – a Living Monument, a dance performance merging hip-hop culture, colonial tales and mysticism.

There will also be a series of special events: an early sharing of The Sound Grief Project by Lua Bairstow; featuring DJs, performance and movement, a club space will be transformed into an otherworldly experience in Sable Radio’s Soft Rapture, and popular Leeds venue The Holbeck will host A Party for Our Times – an evening of adventure, revelry, performance, artists and music.

Lowri Evans and Martha Kiss Perrone at Transform 21-22
Lowri Evans and Martha Kiss Perrone. Image courtesy of Mayra Azzi

Looking towards 2023, the festival will also host collaborations and conversations for next year’s instalment of Transform. Highlights include Lowri Evans and Martha Kiss Perone kickstarting their next project focusing on the experiences of older women living in Leeds, and Festival of the Future – Conversations – an opportunity to discuss the future of festival curation and production over drinks and snacks in the Outlaws Yacht Club.

Transform 21-22 is a truly eclectic festival. Don’t miss out.

Transform 21-22 at Leeds Playhouse, Leeds 23 October 2021 — 8 April 2022 Entrance is free Visit now

What's on at Leeds Playhouse

Where to go near Transform Festival 21-22

Music venue
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
Event venue
Yorkshire Dance

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
Event venue
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.

Duke Studios Leeds
Duke Studios

Creative space and studio complex in the heart of Leeds.

Sarto Leeds

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

Colours May Vary Leeds
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.

Leeds Kirkgate Market
Leeds Kirkgate Market

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

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
The Gallery
at 164

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.

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…

Food at Crowd of Favours Leeds
Crowd of Favours

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

What's on: Theatre

Hamilton at the Palace Theatre
Hamilton at the Palace Theatre

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