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Spring Awakening to open at West Yorkshire Playhouse

A new imagining by Anya Reiss launches in Leeds ahead of a national tour.

WYP 2014 Spring

Ben Kidd directs Anya Reiss’s dazzling new version of Frank Wedekind’s definitive play Spring Awakening, in a co-production with West Yorkshire Playhouse, Headlong and Nuffield. Spring Awakening will tour the UK, opening in Leeds for its world premiere. This production marks the beginning of a three year partnership for West Yorkshire Playhouse with Headlong, the renowned company behind the recent critically acclaimed 1984, as it continues its successful emerging director scheme.

In a society where we are constantly bombarded by overt messages and images, Reiss’s startlingly modern adaptation piquantly evokes the sexual precocity and confused raw tension of teenage life today. Frank Wedekind’s Spring Awakening was first performed in Germany in 1906 and is notorious for causing riots due to its provocative content of adolescent sexuality, suicide, abortion and rape. Brought bang up to date and shockingly relevant, this new version, commissioned by Headlong, filters the restless urgency and erotic energy of the original and questions how young people are shaped for their future by a generation that doesn’t understand them.

The cast includes Aoife Duffin, Claudia Grant, Bradley Hall, Oliver Johnstone, Ekow Quartey, Ruby Thomas, Adam Welsh and Daisy Whalley.

Headlong is continuing its emerging director scheme with Spring Awakening, in a new three-year partnership with the Playhouse.  Few up-and-coming directors have the chance to direct in different spaces to different audiences supported by an experienced creative and technical team.  This hugely successful model, now in its fifth year, allows a director in the early stages of their career the opportunity to present work on main stages across the country.

Spring Awakening is at West Yorkshire Playhouse from 7th to 22nd March 2014. Tickets are now on sale, priced £12 to £28. Book online at or call the box office on 0113 213 7700.


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