Leeds 2023: Over 60s invited to tell their tales for 1001 Stories


The search is on to find 1001 Stories that will reveal the hidden stories of Leeds people, as told by the city’s over 60s. 

From treasured memories of lost friends, the kindness of a helpful neighbour, a turning point in a working life, a significant moment in a family holiday or even simple thoughts on daily life and looking to the future – each person’s tiny yet vital story will feature as a key part of Leeds 2023, the city’s Year of Culture.

Submissions are now being sought from anyone over 60 who has ever lived or worked in Leeds, with a target of 1001 stories told by December 2022.

Inspired by Scheherazade’s 1,001 stories of ‘The Arabian Nights’, Leeds theatre company The Performance Ensemble, made up of performers aged over 60, will re-connect older people living in Leeds and challenge perceptions of what it means to be ageing today. In 2023, the gathered stories will become part of a series of high profile events.

Alan Lyddiard, Artistic Director of The Performance Ensemble, said: “We are an ageing population and that’s a fact we want to celebrate. There are 161,000 people aged over 60 living in Leeds and we know that, often, older people can feel overlooked, mis-understood and disconnected from the ever-changing city around them. Getting older can be wonderful and everyone has a story to tell. We want to hear all stories, whether they’re bold and fascinating or emotional and quiet; in sharing precious moments with others in this fresh, contemporary way, we are all connected.”

The 1001 Stories project brings a consortium of partner organisations in Leeds together, Leeds Playhouse, Leeds Older People’s Forum, Leeds Museums & Galleries and LEEDS 2023 are joining The Performance Ensemble in seeking stories from across the city.

Anyone interested in being part of 1001 Stories is encouraged to submit their story either online, over the phone or in person. Full details are available here.

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