Wednesday, 27 July 2011

History was made

We took to the stage on Sat 23 July and in doing so became the first theatre production to use the BBC Big Screen as an integral part of the theatrical experience. This was only made possible by the fantastic support and creativity of Chris Nriapia at BBC Big Screen Leeds. I will be posting images and video of the event very soon but I wanted to let everybody involved know that not only was this a fantastic project but also a creatively historic one.

Friday, 8 July 2011

a few words from Jess 'Virgil' Heritage about DANTE: Inferno

I have always loved mythology...

So when an opportunity to be a part of the performance of Dante’s Inferno arose, I was incredibly excited. Through rehearsals, the Dante team has worked hard to create an explosive performance, trying our best to capture the hellish nature of the inferno whilst also addressing the issues of modern day society. Creating the show really has been an unforgettable experience.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

A Guided Tour of Hell by Matthew Johnson

"Midway upon the road of our life
I found myself in a dark wood,
For the clear path had been lost..."

The words of Dante Alighieri in the fourteenth century. The midlife crisis; the eternal student travelling on forever, lost and without purpose; the nomad who sees nothing in society but degradation. Those times the demons make uncertain the paths we all travel. Dante's story is as relevant now - in these ever-changing, uncertain times in which the majority of us face an uncertain and unsecured future: job losses, education cuts, unemployment rising - as in the violent world of the 1300s.

The story is well transported to a modern setting. Finding a place, finding a path, is hacking a trail in the dark wood; and so Dante's journey is every man's journey, through life. As someone facing the prospect of entering the 'adult' world and the jungle of taxation, higher education, finding a career, I can sympathise with those aspects of the tale.

The actors from the NEW College and around Leeds have created a vibrant, and colourful experience that will entertain and challenge in equal measure. It's certainly been enjoyable to work with them. It's been, as it always is working with Steve, a blast to tell this tale of hell, resplendent with other-worldly characters and beings that resonate unerringly well with all-too-real characters from our own. They'll make you think, and they'll make you laugh.

So, what more is to be said? Come along and experience it for yourself. July. 23rd. Saturday. 8.30pm. Free. Join us on this event-filled voyage, have a taste of hell, and face down the demons with Dante in... Inferno.

Monday, 20 June 2011


We are looking for 30 teenagers to join the cast of Dante’s Inferno in Millennium Square, Leeds on Sat 23 July

The literary classic, which follows the teenage Dante’s journey into hell, is being given a contemporary multi-media treatment – and young people are being urgently sought to join the cast. The play is being staged as part of the 2011 Open Weekend.

We are looking for 30 people aged between 13 and 19 who are free to attend all-day rehearsals at the University of Leeds on Saturday and Sunday, July 16-17, an evening rehearsal on Friday July 22 – and then be available from 10am-10pm on July 23, the day of the performance at Millennium Square.

Individuals, groups of friends or members of drama groups/youth organisations are all welcome to apply.

Steve Ansell has more than 25 years of experience working with young people. He is an associate artist at Dean Clough, former Associate director at Harrogate Theatre and currently manages stage@leeds, a new theatre in the heart of the University campus.

If you are interested in taking part in DANTE: Inferno, please email Steve at for an application form.