Leeds recovery community to stage Shakespeare play

People in Leeds who are in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction are to stage a one-off production of Macbeth, directed by a RADA trained former TV actress.

The Hurly-Burley Players will be staging Macbeth at the Guiseley Theatre on Wednesday, May 8th.

Everyone appearing in the performance is in recovery from problematic alcohol or drug use and attends the 5 WAYS recovery hub on Burley Road for support and advice or as a volunteer.

Director, Christabel Grasby said: “I’m looking to create a way that people can re-focus themselves and find a new direction or even a new self through drama. I wanted to work with 5 WAYS as I wanted a new challenge and I’ve been looking for a new way of offering therapy through drama.”

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She said: “As well as working towards a production of Macbeth there have been lots of opportunities for the students to build self-confidence and self-esteem on the course. Now they will experience the excitement and all the positive feelings that come with performance, when their friends and families can watch them re-born on the stage.”

5 WAYS Manager Jo Byrden said: “This has been one of the most exciting things we have done and the changes we are seeing in those undertaking the course is visible. I can’t wait to see the final performance, it’s going to be a really proud moment for everyone.

Jo continued: “They’ve put their addiction issues on one side. Their confidence have grown as the weeks go on and they’ve learned to trust each other and themselves. It’s truly inspiring so see the real them, at their best. We’re hoping we can make this a regular thing.”


Gabrielle who plays Lady Macbeth said: “Coming to 5 WAYS and being given the opportunity to perform in Macbeth is helping me to gain some of the confidence back that I lost, and also increase it. Every time I come to rehearsal I’m encouraged to get out of my comfort zone, to engage with others. Taking on the role of Lady Macbeth is giving me the opportunity to come out of a shell that addiction imposed on me.”

The ‘company’ have chosen the name ‘The Hurly-Burley Players’ as 5 WAYS is based off Burley Road in Leeds.

Tickets are available from 5 WAYS. £3 for waged and £1.50 for unwaged. You can call 5 WAYS on 0113 887 2749 or email 5ways@forwardleeds.co.uk