Compass: A world-class festival of interactive performance for the city of Leeds

Guest post by Peter Reed of Compass Live Art

A world-class festival of interactive performance for the city of Leeds

Over the weekend 25th-27th November 2011, Compass Live Art invites you, the people of Leeds, to celebrate a weekend of fantastic free and interactive performances throughout Leeds City Centre.

The programme for Compass Festival of Live Art 2011 features 10 fantastic events. Most of the programme is completely free and almost every event runs for long enough that audiences can come and go as they please throughout the weekend.

World-class theatre company forced Entertainment present the incredible And on the Thousandth Night… in the stunning surroundings of the Howard Assembly Rooms whilst Reckless Sleepers take a moment out of their critically acclaimed tour of Schrodinger to present their celebrated piece The Last Supper around a dinner table for only 40 audience members at a time at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Both of these companies are touring widely to great acclaim and it’s a real treat to see them both in Leeds at the same time!

The other Compass events take place for free in unusual spaces around the city.

Leeds artist Oliver Bray will recite famous speeches from history whilst taking requests and suggestions from the public via Twitter (#speechmaker) and an online auto-cue. Oliver will be performing non-stop at Leeds Town Hall Courtrooms for 12 hours on Saturday 26th. You can pop along and keep him company a while. Enter by the small door to the left of the Town Hall Steps main doors and discover Leeds’ fantastic old courtrooms and a brilliantly engaging and ambitious performance.

Brian Lobel will be taking up a stall at Leeds Kirkgate Markets with his gem of a piece, Carpe Minuta Prima which has previously been in residence at London’s Brixton Village Markets. Brian and his assistants will offer to buy a minute of your time for £1 which they will then record on film. You can dance, sing, tell a tale or fill 60 seconds in any way you please – better still, you’ll have the chance to buy back your minute at a special ‘sale’ in The Light shopping centre the following day at 3pm.

At Leeds City Museum, you can find Janek Schaefer and his interactive Local Radio Orchestra filling the beautiful main arena (perfect for kids) and the more intimate Inspiration Exchange by Third Angel’s Alexander Kelly tucked away in the Leeds Story exhibit upstairs.

For more information about these performances and more, you can visit the festival website at or follow the team on Twitter @compassliveart

Alternatively, look out for the distinctive Compass Festival of Live Art yellow maps in cafes, theatres and galleries in the next week, and for yellow-clad festival ushers throughout the city centre over the weekend. The map displays the locations, timings and a little more information about all the festival’s events and will help you make the best of the day.

Compass has a colourful programme of events to offer with a little something for everyone. Whether you spend a minute in the market, take a slice of cake in The Light, are enchanted late into the night with Forced Entertainment or hear the story of a death row prisoner with Reckless Sleepers, there is an experience to be had. The spirit of the programme echos the words of Festival Curator, Annie Lloyd in the brochure: “Welcome, This is for You!”

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1 Response to Compass: A world-class festival of interactive performance for the city of Leeds

  1. Pingback: Leeds today: attacks, students, police, constituencies, old men’s pubs, Summat, live art | Beyond Guardian Leeds

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