Leeds today: drama, fasting, cinema, Waiuku and cauldron.

Good morning news fans! Have we got a Tuesday packed full of stuff for you or what? (It’s the ‘or what’, in case you’re wondering).

Leeds Book Club has a touching piece on the death of Maeve Binchy and her relationship with the author during her teenage years. Ms Binchy passed away yesterday at just 72 years old.

Leeds Forum has a post on Spice Yorkshire, an adventure club for adults. Their next meeting is Monday 10th September and it looks like great fun (scuba diving! Llama trekking! Fire eating!). More information is available on their website.

The Wharfedale Festival of Drama has awarded Ralphy Thorseby High School students a number of prizes for their recent production of Grease, including Best Overall Production (Youth & Schools), reports Holt Park Today. Four students also won Outstanding Performance awards, with another four achieving Certificates of Merit. Looks like a fantastic production and I’m sure the school are hoping for even more success next year!

This Wednesday (tomorrow) is National Playday and the Leeds Play Network will be hosting Leeds’ very own playday in Hunslet. Local youth clubs, including one of the biggest in the country, the Hunslet Club, will all be involved in the totally free activities. So get bouncing, skipping, hula-hooping and playing your heart out, kids! (PS Can we start a National Playday for grownups?)

This Sunday, the Leeds Makkah Masjid (the large central mosque in Hyde Park/Headingley) is inviting the local community to share a meal with them. Many Muslims are currently taking part in Ramadan, during which month they fast during the day; the meal of Iftar is served after sunset and breaks this day long fast. Check out the Makkah Masjid website for more information about the event on Sunday.

Over on the Culture Vulture, there’s a great review of the Bettakultcha show at Magic Loungeabout this past weekend from Alison Pilling. Sounds like everyone had a fab time and it’s definitely interesting to see where Bettakultcha proposes to go next. Just a suggestion: Bettakultcha in space. Just putting it out there.

On Sunday, while we were all recovering from an Olympic hangover, the Cottage Road Cinema celebrated its 100th birthday, reports the Guardian Northerner. A blue plaque was unveiled, films were shown, and everyone had a jolly good time. If you haven’t already been to Cottage Road, then make sure you pop in to this iconic Leeds landmark.

More Olympics (bloody love the Olympics) and a video from the BBC documenting how that spectacular multi-funnel cauldron was made right here in Yorkshire. I think it’s true that the iron rings ‘forged’ during the opening ceremony were also made from Sheffield (someone please confirm)? We are ALL OVER the Olympics.

Tomorrow is the best day of the year. Well, at least in this county, as we celebrate Yorkshire Day on the 1st August. The tiny town of Waiuku in New Zealand will be celebrating too, as there are a number of ex-pat Yorkshire folk in this community of just 7,000: but as the YEP reports, they’re celebrating a little earlier than the rest of us due to the time difference. So happy Yorkshire Day to Waiuku, New Zealand!

That’s it for today folks: as always, enjoy yourselves and the day, and make sure you send us your news and views. Ciao!

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