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Getting Creative in Leeds This Summer

23 May 2016

Enjoy Storytelling, Live Poetry and Art Projects During Your Next Trip to Leeds

Getting creative in Leeds this summer – especially over half term – couldn’t be easier. There are several affordable and unique options available to get your creative juices flowing and try something new. From poetry performances to storytelling workshops, family art classes to ornament decorating, there are loads of options to keep everyone in the family entertained during June – grab your pen, paintbrush or glue-gun and head to one of these artistic events…

A Tale to Tell

The Carriageworks Theatre

1st June 2016, 11am & 2pm

With two opportunities to catch this enchanting show, there’s no excuse to miss out. Held at a central Leeds location, getting to The Carriageworks Theatre from 42 The Calls couldn’t be easier – it’s just a 15 minute stroll. Not only does the show incorporate English, Arabic and shadow puppetry to tell classic tales like Sinbad the Sailor and Queen Scheherazade, but both performances include an hour long workshop beforehand. This is an opportunity to show children how puppets work, where stories come from and to get them involved in what happens next in the play…

A Tale To Tell
A Tale to Tell Arabaian Nights Workshop

If they are brave enough, children can meet Queen Scheherazade herself in a tent in the palace gardens, where they will journey into the Arabian Nights and help her finish the tale to tell the king. This is interactive theatre at its best, sure to get the whole family involved and children fascinated in the theatre and storytelling process. Teaching children about culture and language is also top of the list so they’ll leave the event more knowledgeable about the rich heritage and aural traditions of Arabia.

Tickets are £6 for children, £8 for adults or family tickets are available from £24 – book your places and find out more here.

Buzz, Babble, Clamour Workshops

The Tetley

1st June and 4th June 2016, 11am-3pm

Using their current No Quiet Place exhibition as a springboard, The Tetley is hosting a series of workshops to get families interacting with the collections in their contemporary art space. With workshops running for two days, there’s double the opportunities for families to take part in this creative experience.

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The Tetley

Rather than purely visual art, the current focus at The Tetley is multisensory, in particular, playing with sound as an art form. Children are encouraged to perform their very own riotous soundscapes in the gallery spaces, under the guidance of an artistic leader. Using the artwork as inspiration, guests are encouraged to make instruments and work in groups to tell stories with the sound they produce, linking them to the paintings and sculptures around them.

Enjoy working as a team and being as loud as you want in a beautiful large space! Just a seven minute walk over the River Aire from 42 The Calls, it’s a very convenient location to get to on foot. This activity is sure to tire kids out and make for a memorable day in Leeds – spaces are limited and the event is popular so pre-booking tickets is essential. Email:

Bookends! A Make-Your-Own Bookends Workshop

University of Leeds, Parkinson Building

4th June 2016 2pm-4pm

Held at the University of Leeds and in association with the Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery, this event celebrates the Leeds Big Bookend Festival 2016. The festival is holding events throughout May and June across the city and its aim is, not only to get the inhabitants and visitors to Leeds reading, but to open discussions around geographical, ethical and moral boundaries around Leeds. As such a rich and diverse city, it’s important for Leeds to keep an open-minded outlook, always striving to embrace new literature and ideas.

Artist, Claire Evans, will run this family workshop focused on crafting your very own book ends. Guests will be invited to find inspiration in their favourite books to decorate the ornaments – whether it’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Harry Potter or The Gruffalo, families will draw on the illustrations and famous lines from their best-loved stories to create a completely personal and unique memento.

Under the guidance of Claire, even the least arty in attendance will feel rather proud of what they’ve created! This workshop is appropriate for children aged 5 and over… and their adults. If younger family members are coming along, alternative activities will be provided for them. Tickets can be booked here for an afternoon celebrating literature in an interactive and fun way.

A Poem and a Pint

Café Lux

Every Second Thursday until 14th July 2016, 7:30pm

Until 14th July, Café Lux will be holding a poetry event suited to both poetry lovers and haters alike. Every second Thursday of the month, a firm of poets try to change common misconceptions about the world of rhyme and verse. Helping guests embrace the recital – and in a very “Leeds” approach – a pint is included with your ticket to help open minds.

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Poetry and a Pint

The troupe say themselves that “Poetry is still an ugly word for most, and the combination of Poetry & A Pint isn't a particularly widespread notion. But since the opening event at the Lux in September 2014 (we) have been taking poetry cynics, critics and lovers of the world of word by storm.” Whether you’re an all-out poetry lover or you left your reading of poetry back in the classroom, why not give an updated, fun spin on the written word a go…

Poets such as Kirsty Taylor, John Hepworth, Greg White, Gav Roberts, Tony Walsh and Rosie Garland (check them out on YouTube) are slated to appear in the upcoming months. This is an exciting showcase of the region’s talent and the atmosphere at Lux is open, relaxed and nurturing – you don’t have to be part of the literati elite to come to this night. Once you really warm up, why not take to the open mic and give the audience a rendition of your own material?

 There is no pretension here, just a warm and welcoming café vibe for all – tickets are £3 on the door, find more information about the event here.

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42, The Calls, Leeds, LS2 7EW, Tel: +44 (0) 113 244 0099, Fax: +44 (0) 113 234 4100,