Friday, 8 May 2009

Leeds Met Gallery and Studio Theatre

It has been announced this week that the building that houses Leeds Met Gallery and Studio Theatre is to be decommissioned this autumn.  We knew it was coming, but I, at least,  had understood the schedule to mean closure in 2011.

The Gallery & Studio Theatre team are about to begin a consultation process with the University to discuss the future of the organisation.  They are asking for letters and emails of support, to express the importance of the venues to their audience, partners and artists.  If you'd like to write something, the address is: gallerytheatre [at]

The Gallery and Studio Theatre has been massively important to Third Angel throughout our career.  As well as currently exhibiting in the Gallery with Christopher Hall, I have recently completed a book with Annie Lloyd, Director of the Gallery and Studio Theatre.  Entitled The Dust Archive, the book records some of the memories of the performances Annie and I have seen, programmed and presented inside, and beyond, the Studio Theatre space itself.  At Third Angel we're hoping that the consultation and development process will forge an exciting future for the Gallery and Studio Theatre, and it seems fitting, therefore, to post my introduction to The Dust Archive here, addressing, as it does, our relationship with the Studio Theatre itself:

It’s hard to quantify just how important this space has been to Third Angel.  We have presented every piece of work we’ve made for theatre spaces here.  We’ve made work uniquely for this space and its sister gallery.  We’ve had some of our best and one of our worst ever gigs here.  We’ve seen work here - work that has moved us, inspired us, entertained us, challenged us.   And we’ve talked about work here - work we’ve made and work we’ve seen.  This space has been a constant in our planning and thinking for over thirteen years.

It has been a bittersweet joy remembering moments of performance for this project.  This space won’t be here for much longer, and compiling this book with Annie has helped me understand its significance - both to myself as an artist and to the alternative theatre sector in the UK.  It’s not that big; in fact it is one of the smallest spaces we tour to.  But boy, does it punch above its weight.  Work shown and developed here has toured across the UK, across Europe, across the world. 

In autumn 2000 we were at Leeds Met Studio Theatre with Where From Here, in many ways a coming-of-age show for Third Angel.  Rachael, Jerry, Jim and I are in the dressing room, getting ready for the second performance.  Someone is reading the paper - a story about how British Theatre is ‘in crisis’.  Again.  Well, Jerry observes dryly, it wasn’t in crisis in here last night, was it?

Not here, not last night, nor any night that I recall.

1 comment:

Jaye-bird said...

Thank you Alex.