Leeds theatre company The Performance Ensemble are on a mission to gather 1000 stories from the city’s older population to create a piece for the Leeds Cultural Festival in 2023.
The only criteria to be part of the ensemble is performers have to be over the age of 60 and be game to be in high quality contemporary performances based on their rich life experiences.
They are recruiting new members and collecting more stories to develop unique performance events, with the added ingredient of experience and wisdom of lives well lived.
“We are actively looking for new members to join The Performance Ensemble,” explains Artistic Director Alan Lyddiard. “There is no prerequisite – you don’t have to have experience in theatre or the arts, but you must be over 60 years old.
“I want to work with people in what I call 'the space between professional, amateur and community arts practice’, concentrating on shared knowledge and experience; when you are older you have many things to contribute and each of us will learn from the other.”
Some of the company members already work as actors, writers, and dancers but others joined the company for a first-time performance experience.
Alan was a theatre and film director for 40 years forming The Performance Ensemble in 2014 when he was 65. It now has a core company of 35 people and a wider membership of over 100.