Arts at the Arms returns with Farsley performing arts event

Words: Faye Dawson

A performing arts event dedicated to showcasing talented Yorkshire designers is set to hit the road again in Farsley this month.

Arts at the Arms began two years ago at the Cardigan Arms pub in Burley.

Founded by Pudsey playwright Chris O’Connor [The Trial, The Parting Glass] and actor James Underwood [The B*st#rd, Leeds Lads], Arts at the Arms was created to bring high-quality, creative work to life in small, casual venues.

Carolyn Eden in Arts to arms. Photo: Dr Martin Hendry

“James and I have been friends for over a decade, we originally met over a pint at Leeds University’s Old Union Bar,” says Chris.

“A few years later we returned to the pub with a new goal: to support the new work of Yorkshire designers with an evening of performing arts. And Arts at the Arms was born!

Two became three when the pair were joined by Leeds-based arts facilitator Lily Craig in 2020.

“Having Lily on board really strengthened our goals,” continues Chris. “She campaigns to make the arts a more open and inclusive space for all, which is at the very heart of what we want to achieve.”

Events bring together original theater, comedy, poetry, music and more in one evening that promises to energize, excite and entertain.

“We want to make room for emerging artists in our region, because the opportunities to create and share creativity must be available and accessible to all,” says Lily.

“This should not be restrictive, and we hope our support can serve as a springboard for emerging, new and developing talent in the region. We are really excited to get back on the road and show what this great county has to offer.

Chris O’Connor is a Pudsey-based writer who has produced work for stage, radio and film at a number of venues and platforms such as the Lyric Theater, Leeds Playhouse and BBC Radio. His writing focuses on inaudible voices and is motivated by a desire to reflect an evil of the modern world or to shed light on an area currently unrecognized or misunderstood.

Outside of writing, he is heavily involved with Mantality, an organization focused on men’s mental health, inspiring men to experience a more complete version of themselves and equipping them to better understand what it is to do. ‘to be a man. Beyond writing and podcasting, he also teaches and hosts writing workshops and is a huge Leeds United fan.

Look at the Arts at Arms here:

wednesday 22sd September The Constitutional, Farsley at 8 p.m. £ 8, £ 5 reduced price

Thursday 23rd September Seven Arts, Allerton Chapel at 7:30 p.m. £ 8, reduction £ 5

Friday 24e September Chapel FM, Seacroft at 8 p.m. £ 5

More information and reservation is available here.

Shows in each room:

The Rising Sun by James Underwood. Portrayed by James Underwood and Emma Leah Golding

Two teenage sweethearts are reunited in an English country pub as they are now approaching their 30s. Life has brought them back to the small village they called home and they debate what has changed, what has not changed and what will one day change.

Three Songs for a Funeral by Mitchell Vernalls. Directed by Jonathan Chadwick, performed by Joe Deverell-Smith.

Finding himself in a doctor’s waiting room, Frank tries to pick the perfect playlist for the soundtrack of his life, and possibly his death. Choosing the right song is important because music matters.

Peter Spafford (poetry)

Peter Spafford is a poet, playwright and musician. His new collection of poetry, Frisk, has been released with Yaffle. He also works at the Chapel FM Arts Center where he bears the somewhat sinister title of Director of Words.

Heart to Heart by Chloe McLaughlin. Directed by Elvi Piper, performed by Kate Barkley, Thomas Frere, Alyce Liburd and Richard Galloway.

In the near future, organs are at a premium and reality TV still rules the airways. Join us for a new game show where conquering audiences is at the heart of the matter.

Carolyn Eden (comedy) Carolyn is a multi-talented actress, screenwriter, host and comedian. She returns to Arts at the Arms with another stand-up comedy routine having performed at the inaugural event in 2019.

DREUW (music) – Thursday 23rd Sept Arts, Friday 24e FM Chapel While awaiting the release of his debut EP, singer-songwriter ‘Dreuw’ was inspired and began a connection with nature and unity where his honest and raw songs were born and nurtured.

Pete Yelland-Brown (music) – Wednesday 22sd Constitutional (only) Pete is a songwriter and music producer based at Eiger Studios in South Leeds. He will perform his original songs acoustically at The Constitutional on Wednesday evening.

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