Leeds Rhinos’ Jamie Jones-Buchanan joins the board of Red Ladder – and is set to tread the boards in Playing The Joker
Leeds Rhinos’ Jamie Jones-Buchanan is joining the board of Red Ladder Theatre Company as it begins its 50th year. He’s also performing as Doorman Dave in Playing The Joker, a comic play by Anthony Clavane about rugby league commentator Eddie Waring, which Red Ladder will be touring from February. Tickets are on sale NOW.
What will you be bringing to Red Ladder as a board member?
I want to bring ideas and enthusiasm to Red Ladder. As a professional sportsman I have met many people both in and out of Leeds and I hope to join dots and bring people together. I want to inspire people in Leeds with the narratives that are closest to them.
You’re also performing in Playing The Joker. What are you most looking forward to in this?
Playing the Joker is a part of Rugby League history, Rugby league has been the vehicle on which I have lived my life. Bringing the two together is exciting. It also helps me to be involved and better understand Red Ladder and those people connected to Red Ladder. Playing The Joker references the “Watersplash Final” which coincidently also celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.
Was performing something you’ve always wanted to do or did it come as a new experience through Red Ladder?
Its less about “performing” and more about storytelling. I love stories and I enjoy telling them. I have been public speaking and acting the goat for rugby league media for a while but I’d never performed in a formal context with a theatre company.
Red Ladder does a lot of work in breaking down barriers about ‘who theatre is for’ and making it accessible to everyone. Is this something that is important to you?
The fact that Red ladder makes theatre accessible to everyone is fantastic because it becomes a hub for people to fulfil their individual potential whilst being a part of the Red Ladder community.
Making the performing arts accessible not only invites talent that not been seen before, the togetherness brings about community and a sense of well-being.
I love stories and I am passionate about telling them so being linked to a company who gives Leeds a voice makes lots of sense.
Tell us a bit about your professional debut in Leeds Lads. How was the experience?
The experience was exciting, emotional and energy sapping – it was very much like playing a Super league game as far as concentration goes and working with a team focused on precision. It brought about as many / if not more nerves, but the gratification at the end of a good performance was like winning an important game.
I told the members during the Leeds Lads period that the completion of rehearsals and the performances was comparable to going on a challenge cup run and winning at Wembley.
Playing The Joker will be touring from February.
21 February, Belle Isle Working Men’s Club.
4 March, Stanningley Amateur Rugby League Club.
9 March, Hunslet Hawks Rugby League Club.
Further dates TBC, please visit here>>
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