A new, large-scale, immersive Yorkshire adaptation of Beowulf comes to Huddersfield this November
- Created by Proper Job Theatre Company, especially for Kirklees Year of Music, this adaptation of Beowulf will debut an original score celebrating the creativity of the local musicians of Kirklees.
- Performances will take place between 8 to 11 November 2023 and will include a foreboding Viking procession along the streets of Kirklees, starting at the Byram Arcade and travelling to St Peter’s Church.
- Tickets are available now from Lawrence Batley Theatre https://www.thelbt.org/what-s-on/music/beowulf/
A new spectacular, site-specific Yorkshire adaptation of Beowulf comes to Huddersfield between 8 – 11 November. This immersive production created by Proper Job Theatre Company, especially for Kirklees Year of Music 2023, tells the epic tale of warriors, monsters, and dragons.
The oldest known English poem has been adapted by five Yorkshire-based poets Chris O’Connor, Franc Chamberlain, Ian McMillan, Joel Simmy and Michelle Scally-Clarke, working with composer Leighton Jones (Beware of Trains) and Supriya Nagarajan (Manasumitra), on an original score telling the story of a female Beowulf with a visually arresting, musical celebration.
The Danish Kingdom is cloaked in mourning for the legendary King Halfdane. In a display of strength his son Hrothgar, heir to the throne, is set to lead his father’s funeral procession in front of his people. Witness the rise of a new era as you march down Westgate to the haunting melodies of Viking horns and drums and a harmonious choir - comprised of the local community. Audiences are cordially invited to immerse themselves in the royal spectacle where Beowulf’s epic tale begins in Kirklees - skål!
Once the audience arrives at St Peter’s Church, they will be transported to Herot, the Great Mead Hall of King Hrothgar, where they will take their seats to the sound of a 60-strong community choir, singing original choral pieces composed by Leighton Jones and be absorbed in the tale of the mighty Beowulf and her battle with the monster, Grendel, and the final conquest of the awe-inspiring dragon in defence of Hrothgar’s kingdom.
The production brings together artists and creatives from Kirklees and Yorkshire to celebrate the richness and diversity of the district; the team includes James Beale (Artistic Director), Lara Booth (Design), Chloë Whitehead (Movement Choreography) and Howard Jacobs (lead Viking and design consultant).
Beowulf marks the latest production from theatre company Proper Job, producers of large-scale theatre events who also nurture individuals from the local community across Yorkshire and the North West. Proper Job also created The Trial (2021), Dorian (2019), Medusa (2017), Nosferatu (2015).
James Beale from Proper Job Theatre said: “We’re so excited to create our very Yorkshire adaptation of Beowulf in Huddersfield featuring a cast and creative team almost exclusively from the region. It is through the funding from Kirklees Council via Kirklees Year of Music and Arts Council England that we’re able to present Beowulf and realise it at this ambitious scale, bringing original live music into our work in a way that we haven’t done before.”
Cllr Yusra Hussain, Cabinet Member for Culture added: “Beowulf is one of the highlights of our closing few months of Kirklees Year of Music. Everyone is welcome to watch the free procession or to buy a ticket to see the whole show. This innovative production provides another opportunity for people, from the district and beyond, to come together and experience music and culture, whilst also supporting our local creative sector.”
For further information, high-res imagery and interview requests, please contact email@example.com or you can speak to the team at (0)207 313 6271.
Notes to editors
Wednesday 8 – Friday 10 November at 7.30 pm and Sat 11 November at 5.30 pm and 8.00 pm. Run time 2 hours. Suitable for all the family.
Tickets from £20. Available from the Lawrence Batley Theatre https://www.thelbt.org/what-s-on/music/beowulf/
About Proper Job Theatre Company
We are a theatre company based in the North of England creating and touring new work, producing large-scale theatre events, whilst supporting and nurturing individuals from the local community across Yorkshire and the North West through our unique LAB Project. At Proper Job we are passionate about continuously developing projects that excite us, fire our curiosity and expand our imagination.
About Kirklees Year of Music 2023 (KYOMO23)
Kirklees Year of Music in 2023, is a unique, place-based, cultural change programme initiated and led by Kirklees Council, part of the wider cultural offer in the region of West Yorkshire from 2023 to 2025. This year is designated as a Year of Music for the district and, through investment in the district’s diverse music talent, communities and businesses, the year-long programme of events and projects, will strengthen the music ecology of Kirklees from its roots.
2023 will celebrate the richness and diversity of Kirklees’ music heritage, the music created and performed today, and the ambition for the future, inclusive of all music genres, all communities and in all forms.
Kirklees is a place where everyone can hear world-class music through festivals and programming; where children and young people have access to high-quality musical experiences and education; and where the next generation of musicians and music professionals can build and sustain a high-quality career, with access to the very best industry advice, career opportunities and performance routes.
@musicinkirklees | #kyom23 |https://www.musicinkirklees.co.uk/