Red Ladder Theatre Company


Red Ladder will re-enter Arts Council England’s National Portfolio

We are delighted to announce that Red Ladder Theatre Company will re-enter Arts Council England’s National Portfolio.

Artistic director, Rod Dixon, says,

“This is fantastic news; the best possible outcome as Red Ladder heads into our 50th year. We see this as a great vote of confidence from Arts Council England in what we’ve achieved through a challenging time – but one in which we’ve thrived; through passion and dedication for what we do, and with the overwhelming support of our fans and peers.

Through project grants, creative partnerships and the backing of donors and creative collaborators, we’ve realised our ambitions and delivered a really successful body of work. We now have the funding to build on this with a bold and exciting new programme of work, taking us into our 50th year as a radical arts company that is committed to making theatre for the many, not the few.

We intend to further our touring work, taking new writing into communities where there traditionally is low engagement with the arts; and we have a number of productions in the pipeline as we commission and produce relevant plays that highlight injustice and drive social change. We remain committed to nurturing diverse artistic voices by removing barriers that far too often prevent new talent from developing in the arts. With this four-year funding and with the continued support of our fans, collaborators and Ladderistas - who are so vital to what we do – we’re looking forward to putting these plans into action for our milestone year, and our future.”

Red Ladder looks forward to delivering its artistic programme as a National Portfolio organisation once more, and to announce plans for its 50th anniversary in 2018.

Ladderista Membership Scheme Launch!

Come and join us as we launch our new fundraising membership scheme: the Ladderistas!

The Ladderistas initiative is looking to build upon the success of our 2014 Save Red Ladder Campaign and help us reach our 50th year in 2018. So, Thursday 2nd March from 7.30pm we will be at the Black Swan on Call Lane, Leeds to tell you all about the scheme and what we’re planning leading up to our birthday and how you can get involved! There will be refreshments plus, you will be able to catch a performance of Wrong ‘Un!

In 2015 we very nearly ceased to exist, so by becoming a Ladderista, you would be helping us to reach our 50th year and to continue to make great, necessary theatre long beyond it.

Entry is free but to help us gauge refreshment requirements it would be great if you could let us know if you were coming via the Eventbrite link but it will be possible just to turn  so come and join us to find out more. But places are strictly limited, so please click here to reserve your place!

We look forward to seeing you there!

Book Here>>

2014-08-04 12.50.22

We’re Hiring!

Freelance Marketing Coordinator

In order to help deliver our upcoming programme of work we are seeking a highly motivated person to join us as a freelance marketing coordinator.

Job Description  

The role will include working on all areas within marketing including:

  • Design
  • Print
  • Distribution
  • Photography
  • Advertising
  • Additional promotional material
  • Sales Reporting
  • Website, newsletters and social media (working with the Digital Coordinator)
  • Data
  • Budgeting
  • Press & PR (working with the Press & PR Manager)
  • Strategic Touring Project Management

For a full breakdown of the Roles and Responsibilities please download the full job description below.

Marketing Coordinator Job Description>>

Person Specification  

Essential Qualities:

  • Motivated, hard working and diligent
  • Ability to work to tight deadlines
  • Ability to work as part of a small, dedicated team but also be able to be a self starter
  • Ability to schedule and prioritise work loads
  • Ability to delegate

Desirable Qualities:

  • Two years experience in a relevant field
  • A Degree or relevant qualification/s
  • Passion for live work especially theatre
  • Full driving licence
  • Access to a vehicle


The post will be based on two and a half days a week and will be remunerated on a scale between £26,000 and £32,500 depending on experience


How to apply:

Please submit an up to date CV and a covering letter expressing why you feel you are suitable for the role. Could you please also indicate your general availability given the post is based on a 2 and a half days a week i.e. provisional start date and preferred working days.

The role will be predominantly based within the Red Ladder offices in central Leeds but some remote working is certainly possible by agreement. Unfortunately travel expenses cannot be covered for commuting to and from Leeds.

Please also supply the names, roles and contact details for two relevant referees.

Send your documentation to Chris Lloyd by post to Chris Lloyd, Red Ladder Theatre Company, 3, St Peter’s Buildings, York Street, Leeds LS9 8AJ

If you would like any further information on the post please do not hesitate to contact Chris ( ) or telephone on 0113 245 5311 during normal working hours.



Please ensure your application reaches Chris by 5pm on Thursday 13 April 2017

Interviews Friday 21 April 2017

Red Ladder receives 2016 BAC Cataloguing Grant!

We are delighted to have been announced as winners of The Business Archives Council cataloguing grant for business archives related to the Arts, 2016. The Arts grant was launched in 2013 to support an under-represented area of business archives and to complement wider initiatives for archiving the arts by The National Archives and the Campaign for Voluntary Sector Archives.

The judges were very impressed with the high standard of the applications that were received from across the country, but ultimately decided to present the award to Special Collections, Leeds University Library & Red Ladder Theatre Company for the cataloguing of our company archives.

The grant will fund the cataloguing of our records, dating from 1971 to 2014.  These contain board minutes, tour plans, articles, scripts, set drawings and publicity materials. Currently, the lack of hand or box lists means that the collection is inaccessible and so the project to catalogue it in-depth will make a clear difference.

 ‘The judges recognised that the Archives of Red Ladder Theatre Company could be not only a strong research resource for theatre and performance (a subject strength within special collections at Leeds University Library), but also in the under-represented area of radical theatre. As the company has focused on disadvantaged communities and multiculturalism, and working with living playwrights, it also has the potential to open new avenues of research into the arts and performance in West Yorkshire and beyond. “Red Ladder were and remain absolutely pivotal…, being, now, the longest lasting of all the groups that came out of 1968. Their history is also the history of alternative and community theatre over the past 40 years, and so it offers a unique and irreplaceable perspective.” (Dr Bill McDonnell, Senior Lecturer at Sheffield University).’

After a vigorous recruitment campaign by the University of Leeds we are delighted to announce that Fiona Gell, Special Collections Team Assistant and Coordinator of the Leeds Big Bookend Festival was successful in her application to work on the Red Ladder Archive. 

More Info>>

Wrong ‘Un is Back!

Wrong ‘Un continues its amazing never ending tour with a couple of new bookings in the diary at The Square Chapel in Halifax on Saturday the 26th of November and at The Queen’s Hall in Hexham on Friday 9th of December. It will be part of a double bill, called Convicts and Lunatics, exploring one hundred years of wayward woman with dangerous ideas! As part of the double bill we are delighted to be showcasing a fantastic new piece from Gracefool Collective about what it means to be a woman today.


Wrong ‘Un


Set in February 1918, after several decades of protest and four years of bloody war, Parliament is poised to grant what the suffragettes have demanded and fought for – votes for all women.  Join the brilliantly talented performer Ella Harris as she tells Annie Wilde’s fascinating story through acappella song, words and music.

Part of the ‘clog and shawl’ brigade, Annie is just one of the thousands of unseen working-class women who dedicated themselves to the suffrage movement. As humourous and uplifting as it is thought-provoking, ‘Wrong ‘Un’ explores class, privilege and hope in wartime England and honours the many women who dedicated themselves to transforming the political landscape for the generations who followed.


This really is too much


Outlandish, theatrical and highly entertaining, ‘This really is too much’ delves into a world of farcical stereotypes and preposterous power struggles. With irreverent physicality, four characters wrestle with restriction, gender and performance of identity, trying desperately to work out which box they fit into.

Amusing and thought provoking in equal measure, this dance theatre performance reveals the downright absurd realities of what it means to be a 3-dimensional, high definition, water-drinking, salad-eating, moisturizing WO-man in modern society.


Halifax Tickets>>

Hexham Tickets>>

Leeds Lads Screening Event

Relive Leeds Lads on the big screen at Carriageworks Theatre, Millennium Square, Leeds as we invite you to a cinematic version of the stage show – a kind of Red Ladder Live!

The film screening of our latest production Leeds Lads, will take place at The Carriageworks Theatre on 12 October at 7.30pm.

If you are interested in coming along to this free screening event book online here >>

Thank you to all of the funders and supporters who made Leeds Lads possible including; Leeds InspiredLeeds City CouncilArts Council EnglandThe Carriageworks Theatre and Leeds Civic Arts Guild.

Strategic Tour Funding

Red Ladder Theatre Company has been awarded £186,463 by Arts Council England to deliver a programme of work in clubs and pubs across Yorkshire.

We will work with West Yorkshire Playhouse, The Civic Barnsley and Cast Doncaster to tour eight  exciting, challenging and relevant productions to fifteen non-traditional venues such as pubs, rugby league and sports & social clubs to maintain and develop new audiences across the region over the next two years.

Shows include Rabbitskin, The Life and Soul, Playing The Joker, Wrong ‘Un and We’re Not Going Back together with some brand new work.

Jamie Jones-Buchanan visits Carr Manor School Drama Group

Leeds Rhino’s Jamie Jones-Buchanan recently visited the Carr Manor School Drama Group, who are creating work inspired by our upcoming community project Leeds Lads.

A group of 14 students from Carr Manor Community School have been working on a devising project alongside Leeds Lads and examining the themes of the play. Their 15-minute piece called 104 Questions, will be performed before Leeds Lads on the Carriageworks stage on Monday 20 June at 7pm, press night for the show.

Jamie visited the school to talk to them about the challenges of acting, the character he will be playing and some information about the production. Students were then given the chance to ask Jamie anything they wanted to know about his acting experiences before Jamie himself led them in a warm-up exercise.

Speaking about preparations for the play Jones-Buchanan said: “Rehearsals for Leeds Lads are fantastic. Each cast member moves through the rehearsal with a real focus, like playing rugby, there’s a physical projection in acting and the communication is every bit as important as in a big game.  Every member works hard as an individual for the purpose of serving the team as a whole. The Director, Rod Dixon, like my coach Brian McDermott, has a huge amount of emotional awareness and knows how to produce an environment in which we can thrive as a group…  I am fortunate to be working with an extremely talented and diverse group of men and women.”

Leeds Lads Open Rehearsal at Central Library, Leeds

We recently did an open rehearsal at the Leeds Big Bookend Festival 2016 for our upcoming production, Leeds Lads. The rehearsal finished with a Q&A with our artistic director Rod Dixon and co-writer Anthony Clavane and gave people an opportunity to find out more about the show and the inspiration behind the play.

Breathing life into the characters of Leeds’s past, this vibrant production transports you from the turmoil and tensions of war, to the rich and multi-cultural city we know today. Leeds Lads is a new play about the people of Leeds past and present – their fears, their love and their friendships, performed by the people of Leeds today for the people of Leeds.

A community cast of 40 local performers and musicians will be joined by Leeds Rhinos and Great Britain international Rugby League player Jamie Jones-Buchanan for his debut appearance on stage.





Wanted! Musicians for Leeds Lads

As part of our new community production Leeds Lads we are looking for the below musicians to take part.

Line up tbc but probably:

  • a guitar player
  • bass player (electric/acoustic)
  • drummer/percussionist
  • trumpet player
  • (instrumentation is fairly open/undecided at the moment so all instrumentalists welcome to apply)

Show: Leeds Lads 

Theatre: Carriageworks, Leeds

Dates required (with some flexibility):

  • Three band calls throughout May
  • Two all-day Sunday rehearsals (in May/June)
  • 14th, 16th June for technical/dress rehearsal
  • Shows run from Friday 17th June to Saturday 25th June

Information on show:
It’s 2016. Tara stands on the steps of Leeds Town Hall on the day the city commemorates the Leeds Pals at the Battle of the Somme. She holds in her hand her great grandfather’s medal for bravery. Why should Tara care about the past when the present seems so bleak?

Celebrate Tara’s story as she discovers the sacrifice of her forefathers and how these have moulded the community that surrounds her today. Breathing life into the characters of Leeds’s past, this vibrant production transports you from the turmoil and tensions of war, to the rich and multi-cultural city we know today.

Leeds Lads is a new play about the people of Leeds past and present – their fears, their love and their friendships, performed by the people of Leeds today for the people of Leeds. A community cast of 40 local performers and musicians will be joined by Leeds Rhinos and Great Britain international Rugby League player Jamie Jones-Buchanan for his debut appearance on stage.

This is a community project so, as such, this is not a paid engagement but generous porterage and instrument packages are available by arrangement. It is a tremendous opportunity to work with an experienced and talented creative team and be part of a vibrant and exciting project.

Apply / Contact:
If interested please send your CV/portfolio with a video/recording of you playing to producer Chris Lloyd ( and musical director Sam Sommerfeld (

The deadline is 5pm on Friday 13th May.