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Kes takes flight at Leeds Playhouse

Barry Hines’ Yorkshire favourite is restaged in same year the film turns 50.

Kes at Leeds Playhouse

50 years on from the iconic Ken Loach film,  Leeds Playhouse is to restage the much-loved Yorkshire story Kes as part of the theatre’s Spring 2019 season.

The stage adaptation by Robert Alan Evans received rave reviews from audiences and critics alike when first performed at Leeds Playhouse in 2016.

Based on the 1968 novel A Kestrel For A Knave by the late Yorkshire author Barry Hines, the story tells of the unique and unlikely friendship between boy and bird as 15-year-old schoolboy Billy Casper adopts, cares for and trains a Kestrel, Kes. Contending with a bullying older brother and tyrannical schoolmaster, Kes opens up young Billy’s life, allowing him to fly.

Jack Lord in Kes from 2016 production. Photography by Anthony Robling.

Jack Lord reprises his role from the production from 2016.  Making his Leeds Playhouse debut is Lucas Button as young Billy Casper. Both Jack and Lucas have just finished working together on the War Horse UK tour.

Leeds Playhouse Associate Director Amy Leach said: “This is such a momentous year in Leeds Playhouse’s history, and the perfect opportunity to restage this much-loved Yorkshire tale. The story of young schoolboy Billy and his unlikely friendship in challenging circumstances is so impactful, we’re thrilled to remount this adored story in our Pop-Up theatre.”

Kes is at Leeds Playhouse from 25th January to 16th February. Book online at or call the Box office on 0113 213 7700.


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