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 - Book 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