Current Shows - Red Ladder Theatre Company

Red Ladder Theatre Company

Current Shows

Mother Courage and Her Children

A Red Ladder Theatre Company production supported by Leeds Playhouse

Peace is bad for business.

The ‘Thirty Years War’ rages on. Whether flogging leather belts, greasy pots, bullets or her children’s lives – life for Mother Courage is reduced to a series of transactions, and escape routes.

Bertolt Brecht’s timeless and epic drama about the turmoil and trauma of conflict is vividly depicted through Lee Hall’s dark and witty translation.

In this wholly immersive production audiences follow in the steps of Brecht’s fearless matriarch, as Mother Courage hauls her tinkering wagon of junk through crackling battlefields and bombed-out villages – echoing the modern-day refugee’s universal displacement.

Starring Pauline McLynn (Father Ted / Shameless / EastEnders) in this iconic title role, Mother Courage and Her Children will mark Red Ladder’s 50th anniversary; over five decades of presenting stories of human struggle and resounding spirit in times of stark adversity.

“Shockingly contemporary” ***** The Observer

“A true ensemble piece” **** The Sunday Times

“Outstanding” **** Yorkshire Post

“Pauline McLynn’s Mother Courage is stiffened by the harshness of her environment, a tough-skinned survivor who has forgotten tenderness. If her face quivers with emotion, it’s only momentary, quickly replaced with the brash charm of the eternal haggler. She’s a formidable presence…”             The Guardian

“McLynn squeezes every ounce of malice, pain and pathos from Lee Hall’s witty translation”          ***** North West End

A truly remarkable performance from Pauline McLynn”  Culture Vulture

“Darkly funny and fizzing with pointed one-liners… I was laughing aloud while bubbling with anger at the horrors of war.” On Magazine

“Outstanding” Leeds Living

“The acting has to be exceptional- director Rod Dixon has helped his cast achieve that”                 ***** Northern Soul

***** The Reviews Hub




When We Were Brothers

Lads don’t cry. But what if you have to? When you feel like you’re going to explode. When everything’s closing in. And you don’t even know if you can stand it anymore. What then?

Danny and Tommo have been friends since they were 8 years old. Played, fought, had each other’s backs. Like brothers. Now they’re grown up; Danny’s down in that London and Tommo is off work and back at his old bedroom. But Tommo’s mum, Julie, is really worried about him, and Danny may be the only one who can help…

When We Were Brothers’, produced by Freedom Studios and part of our touring circuit, is a one-hour new play by Ben Tagoe (Coronation Street, Lucky Man) about being a man, mental health, and friendship. It takes place in a bar, where you can sit and enjoy a drink while watching the show.


★★★★ Yorkshire Post

The three actors all give moving, honest and utterly authentic performances’ 

★★★★ The Stage

‘Containing echoes of Andrea Dunbar’s working class stories, this is an ultimately uplifting tale of hope’

★★★★★ Plays To See

‘a beautiful, touching, and heart-warming piece of theatre’


For full tour dates please see:


The Damned United

Down the stairs…

Along the corridor…

Round the corner…

Into the dressing room… HIS dressing room. Hateful, hateful place. Spiteful, spiteful place. Dirty, dirty Leeds.

1974. Brian Clough, the enfant terrible of British football, tries to redeem his managerial career and reputation by winning the European Cup with his new team. Leeds United. The team he has openly despised for years, the team he hates and which hates him. Don Revie’s Leeds.

Originally co-produced with the Leeds Playhouse, The Damned United takes you inside the tortured mind of a genius slamming up against his limits, and brings to life the beauty and brutality of football, the working man’s ballet.

‘a cracking piece of theatre’ 4* review from British Theatre 

‘swift, compact and bullishly to the point’ 5* review from Entertainment Focus 

‘Yes, this a play about football, but it’s so much more than that. It’s a tribute to an era-defining genius, a portrait of a man terminally wrapped-up in his own bravado, a study of loyalty and friendship under pressure…’ 4* Review in The Stage

By Anders Lustgarten
Adapted from the novel by David Peace
Directed by Red Ladder’s Artistic Director Rod Dixon
A Red Ladder and West Yorkshire Playhouse Co-Production.


Wrong ‘Un

February 1918, and 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. After years of direct action, arrest, imprisonment and force-feeding, it seems their time has come.

Wrong ‘Un tells of the adventures of Annie Wilde, a Lancashire mill-girl galvanised by a rousing mixture of injustice, conviction, self-doubt and fear on her journey from schoolroom to prison cell and beyond.

A one-woman musical written by Boff Whalley, directed by Red Ladder’s Artistic Director Rod Dixon.

Wrong ‘Un has toured for five years – the longest tour in the history of the company. The show has played a wide range of spaces: theatre studios, pubs, village halls, trade union conferences, and even a tent at Shambala Festival. It is still in demand. This one woman show is a musical with no musicians – the performer takes on five different roles and sings all the songs unaccompanied! Kathleen Yore (of Odd Doll Puppetry) has taken on the challenging role of Annie Wilde which was originally written with and for Ella Harris.

“…warm, likable and subversive… One hundred years on, the suffragette movement is still relevant.”

The Stage

“…a sharp and intelligent musical”

The Guardian

A full education pack is available to accompany this show, download it here – Wrong ‘Un Education Pack June 2013



Welcome to Glory’s Gym.

Ben, Dan and Khalid: three very different young men, driven over the ropes into the wrestling ring to face their demons. To escape. To feel something, anything. To win glory.

In the heyday of British wrestling Jim Glory was a colossus. Now he’s nothing. But in Ben, Dan and Khalid, Jim sees a final chance to restore his name.

A new play from Nick Ahad, writer of Partition and The Chef Show, Glory takes you inside the wrestling ring in a bloody, sweaty, gutsy and surprisingly funny story about what people will do to achieve glory.

“…a stroke of genius… very funny” Yorkshire Post on Nick’s previous play, The Chef Show