New drama resource for Leeds groups

By Sallie Gregson

A drama library has been set up in Leeds, offering drama groups, theatre companies and students access to a huge range of texts.

From Ayckbourn to Priestley , the first floor of Leeds Central Library is now home to more than 12,000 play, film and TV scripts in just about any genre.

As part of the launch the library has been putting on events throughout the month celebrating playwrights and local drama groups.

Monday night saw feminist playwright Githa Sowerby’s biographer Pat Riley give an illustrated talk on the life and work of the relatively-unknown playwright.

And members of the Adel Players took the opportunity to conduct a rehearsed reading of part of Sowerby’s play Rutherford and Son, recently staged by Northern Broadsides theatre company at West Yorkshire Playhouse.

The amateur drama group based in north Leeds also gave a rehearsed reading of A Dog’s Life by Pam Valentine.

Bev Rice, head of Leeds Library and Information Service and the woman behind the introduction of the drama library, said: “What I really want is for these scripts to be used and we need suggestions from people on how to make this happen.”

A free family event is being held on Wednesday, May 29, with Rita Phillips Mitchell’s children’s book Hue Boy performed by the Tutti Frutti theatre company and the chance to get children involved, with performances at 10.30am and 1.30pm in the library’s exhibition space.

Leeds City Council Executive Member, Coun Adam Ogilvie said he supported the launch: “I’m delighted we are celebrating the launch of the drama library – the collection is a fantastic resource for the whole city and beyond, and will bring together people of all ages with a passion for drama and plays.”

Drama groups can borrow sets for up to three months for a small fee, and then renew for a further three months for free,  and scripts can be requested from any Leeds library. Visit the website on  for more details.

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