Another, BIGGER, BOLDER and Packed Programme from the Heart of Halifax!

New Patrons, Talks and In Conversations with High Profile Guests, Music to Get You Moving, Comedy for Belly Laughs, Theatre to Tell Stories & Entertainment for All the Family

What’s on at Square Chapel Arts Centre (September – December 2019)

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Francis Lee, Ian Puleston-Davies and Lucy Beaumont join the list of brilliant patrons for the arts centre that’s been packing a punch since it’s redevelopment and rebrand two years ago!

Newly appointed Patrons of Square Chapel Arts Centre:

Francis Lee

Francis was brought up on the Pennine Hills above Ripponden, Halifax, West Yorkshire. After an initial acting career and unable to afford film school, Francis self-financed three short films – ‘The Farmer’s Wife’, ‘Bradford Halifax London’, ‘The Last Smallholder’ – which he wrote and directed. All three films went onto screen at many international film festivals winning numerous awards.

Francis’ first feature film, God’s Own Country (2017), which he wrote and directed was developed and funded by BFI and Creative England and premiered at Sundance Film Festival 2017, where he won Best Director. God’s Own Country went on to theatrical distribution worldwide winning many awards including Best Film, Best Debut Screenwriter, Best Actor British Independent Film Awards 2017, Best Film, Best Actor Empire Magazine Awards 2017, Best Film Evening Standard Film Awards 2017, Michael Powell Award for Best British Film 2017, Breakthrough British Filmmaker of the Year London Critics Circle Film Awards 2017 and a nomination for the BAFTA for Outstanding British Film 2017. God’s Own Country was the most successful British debut film, both critically and box office, of 2017.

Francis’ second feature film Ammonite, stars Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan, and is due for release in 2020.

Francis was a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit 2017.

Francis Lee said: “I am thrilled to become a patron of the Square Chapel Arts Centre in Halifax. Halifax is my hometown and has offered me so much inspiration for my work, so I’m delighted to lend my support to one of my favourite places in it.”


Ian Puleston-Davies

Square Chapel welcome actor, writer and director Ian Puleston-Davies as patron. Audiences will recognise the established actor from shows such as Tin Star, Vera, Coronation Street and Being Human, to name a few. He’s also a regular to the Square Chapel stage as he’s hosted a number of season launch events and the arts centre’s very first Film and Television Festival earlier this year. Puleston-Davies also took to the Halifax stage last year for an exclusive screening of the film ‘Dirty Filthy Love’ – a film Puleston-Davies co-wrote with Jeff Pope (the British television producer and screenwriter who won a BAFTA for the drama See No Evil: The Moors Murders). –  starring Michael Sheen and Shirley Henderson. Puleston-Davies also took part in an open and frank question and answer sessions after the film to discuss how he copes living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

The film ‘Dirty Filthy Love’ was nominated and won numerous awards including a BAFTA nomination for best film and best actor for Michael Sheen, it won the Best TV Moment Award, the Silver Award at the New York Film & TV Festival and the RTS award for Best Single Drama.

Film, stage and TV actor, Ian Puleston-Davies said: “I am excited and honoured to have been invited to join the patron team. I feel I have found a new spiritual home at Square Chapel Arts Centre in Halifax. I have fallen in love with the people and the place.”


Lucy Beaumont

The award-winning Lucy Beaumont, from Yorkshire, is a hugely talented comedy actress and writer. She is the writer and star of BBC Radio 4’s To Hull and Back which aired its third series in early 2018. The radio sitcom also stars Maureen Lipman and Norman Lovett. In 2014, she was nominated for the Foster’s Newcomer Award with her debut Edinburgh show, We Can Twerk It Out, for which she was described by Chortle as “irresistibly endearing”. She was winner of The BBC New Comedy Award in 2012 and the Chortle Award for Best Newcomer in 2013. Lucy was a finalist in the Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year 2013 and in August 2011 she was also ranked joint third in the Gilded Balloon’s nationwide stand-up comedy competition So You Think You’re Funny? Square Chapel are delighted Lucy is joining the patron team.



Newly appointed patron, Lucy Beaumont will grace the Halifax stage for her debut performance as patron of the art centre with an exclusive night of comedy. Proceeds from this gig will go to Mothershare and Tuel Lane Primary’s Breakfast club, two great causes close to Lucy’s heart.

Join comedian, writer, broadcaster and all-round British institution Arthur Smith (Friday 27 September, 7.30pm), and bask in an evening of laughter and of the wall humour. Expect an evening of sublime playfulness, crammed with jokes, anecdotes, short stories, poems, songs and readings from his recently published memoir ‘My Name Is Daphne Fairfax’ which has won praise from literary critics. The evening includes a warm-up from Yorkshire’s very own broadcaster and comedian Nick Ahad.

Clinton Baptiste, played by actor Alex Lowe, is the hapless clairvoyant, medium and psychic from Peter Kay’s smash hit Channel 4 tv show Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights. Now, some eighteen years after the show aired, he returns to conjure up his extraordinary powers for a new generation. On Saturday 5 October, 7.30pm, Clinton will give readings to the audience, offering advice from beyond the grave. He will predict the future, tell people about their past and all manner of spooky stuff an’ that.



Poet, playwright, broadcaster and 2019 Pen Pinter Prize winner, Lemn Sissay (Saturday 14 September, 8pm) will be reading from his new memoir, reflecting on a childhood in care, self-expression and Britishness, and in doing so exploring the institutional care system, race, family and the meaning of home. Infused with all the lyricism and power you would expect from one of the nation’s best-loved poets, this moving, frank and timely event is the result of a life spent asking questions, and a celebration of the redemptive power of creativity. This is Lemn’s life story: is a story of neglect and determination, misfortune and hope, cruelty and triumph.


A regular on the long-running politics show ‘This Week’, Alan Johnson (Tuesday 24 September, 7.30pm) is one of the most popular politicians of recent times and now a best-selling author too. Inspired by his latest book, In My Life, in this highly entertaining show Alan tells his personal story with the help of some of the music that has been the soundtrack to his life. From growing up as an orphan in a West London slum in the 50s to becoming a postman before rising through the Labour Party ranks to hold several cabinet posts, including Home Secretary.


On Monday 23 September from 7pm, hear a new collection of stories by David Constantine, the author of the short story behind the Oscar nominated film, 45 Years. David has previously been awarded the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Prize and the BBC National Short Story Award. The Dressing-up Box is his fifth collection.



Square Chapel Arts Centre have a packed programme of live music gigs this autumn including Yorkshire’s very own Hard Times Orchestra (Friday 6 September, 8pm). Forging a sound of unrivalled rage and beauty, Hard Times Orchestra will get feet tapping and hearts thumping. Audiences can expect a mix of influences from Bessie Smith, via Cab Calloway to Tom Waits. The Orchestra played at the season launch on Tuesday 16 July giving people a taste of the what’s on offer.

Also featuring heavily in the autumn line-up is Merseyside son and hero Ian Prowse. His music features in the arts centre’s season trailer. He’s the frontman for the band Amsterdam and previously for indie cult band, Pele. Singer-songwriter, Prowse has never been to Halifax before but is keen to explore the Yorkshire town everyone is talking about. Ian Prowse will be in Halifax with his full band on Friday 8 November from 7.30pm.

Where Rock’n’Roll Was Born is The Official Sun Records Concert Show taking place at square Chapel on Thursday 26 September from 7.30pm. Gig goers can experience the label that brought us Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison. Fans can revisit the recording studio that produced Great Balls of Fire, I Walk the Line and Blue Suede Shoes with this official rock’n’roll concert.

Pioneer of the Hang (handpan), captivating musician Manu Delago has announced the forthcoming release of a unique and awe-inspiring movie and accompanying album, in which he leads an ensemble of 7 musicians on a mountaineering expedition in The Alps. Along the way, the group perform a collection of brand-new compositions in different locations, at varying altitudes. The Austrian-born composer was discovered by Björk and is now a fixture in her band. Fans can see him live in Halifax on Sunday 29 September from 7.30pm.

O’Hooley & Tidow are one of British Folk’s mightiest duos. They have played at Square chapel before and are back with their new album on Saturday 30 November, 7.45pm. Join them for an evening of beautifully performed original, contemporary, and traditional winter songs from their critically acclaimed album WinterFolk Vol 1. Nominated four times at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, their song ‘Gentleman Jack’ features as the closing theme for Square Chapel patron, Sally Wainwright’s latest BBC & HBO drama series of the same name. Belinda and Heidi’s powerful, deeply moving, and soulful performances are infused with an honesty and empathy that will disarm the hardest of hearts. They have an army of famous fans who adore them including Maxine Peake who said: “I have just listened to ‘Beryl’, with tears in my eyes! It’s beautiful and brilliant.”

Other music highlights include Chris Helme (Friday 20 December, 8pm) who was the frontman for the indie band The Seahorses, and back by popular demand after a rip-roaring performance last season is Queen tribute act – Bulsara and His Queenies (Saturday 21 December, 7.30pm).



Damsels in Distress is a trilogy of plays written by British playwright Alan Ayckbourn. Square Chapel are offering fans of the playwright the chance to see this rarely seen trilogy being performed in Halifax all in one day! GamePlan, FlatSpin and RolePlay will be performed by Dick & Lottie who work closely with Ayckbourn and his team. See all three plays for £21 on Saturday 28 September.

Trojan Horse on Thursday 17 October (8pm) follows the real-life stories of the Muslim teachers and governors who were accused of plotting extremism in Birmingham schools. Adapted from the testimonies of those at the heart of the inquiry, critically acclaimed theatre-company LUNG investigates what really happened.

The Arc Stockton presents the brilliant Alex & Eliza (Thursday 10 October, 8pm) a play about a woman who as a girl lived through the death and destruction of the 1947 partition between India and Pakistan, but now as a grandmother is like every other grandmother. Old and wrinkly, slow in speech and speed. The separation, isolation and loss of that time are a distant memory. Now she makes her own olive oil and mango pickle and butter. She had lived in the same house on the same street for 40 years of her life. Nothing out of the ordinary. Until she gets on a plane to visit Zubair seven seas afar. Watch this heart-wrenching story unfold at Square Chapel.

Other theatre highlights include Everything I See I Swallow (Friday 13 September) – set against a backdrop of shifting attitudes to empowerment, feminism and sexuality, and combining theatre and aerial work with the erotic art of Japanese rope bondage – shibari, this spectacular show is an exploration of epic themes in an intimate setting. Not one for the faint hearted!

Gracefool Collective are back at Square Chapel and this time with This is Not a Wedding (Friday 20 September, 8pm) – where theatre goers are invited to partake in recognisable rituals of well-known ceremonies to witness a generation’s experiences of conformity and expectation. The show asks what does it mean to “come of age” in a high pressure, low tolerance, zero-hour contract society?


Theatre: Pay What You Can

Pay What You Can is all about trust. It’s about the audience making a judgement call for themselves about what they can afford to pay to see a show and taking a chance on something new. This season’s choices include Jadek (Thursday 21 November, 8pm) – a show based on a true story of when a working-class woman from Yorkshire moves in with her blind, Polish 94-year-old grandad. It explores how this unexpected turnoff events affected both their lives in the most hilarious, heartbreaking and life affirming way.

Also, as part of the Pay What You Can offer is Truth to Power Café (Thursday 3 October, 7.45pm) – a show inspired by playwright Harold Pinter and his Hackney Gang, this show mixes memoir, poetry and spontaneous testimony. It asks the question ‘Who has power over you and what do you want to say to them?’ Participants are invited to respond to the question before a live audience making them part of the evening.




Film lovers can enjoy the latest big releases, classics, arthouse films and Q&A’s with special guests in Square Chapel’s intimate Copper cinema space and Grade II* listed Red Brick Georgian Chapel. This autumn look out for screenings of the following anticipated new films; Downton Abbey, Sorry We Missed You (Ken Loach) and Frozen 2.

This October marks 50 years since the death of acclaimed American novelist, poet and leader of the

Beat Movement, Jack Kerouac. His most famous book, ‘On the Road’ (published in 1957), had broad cultural influence, capturing the spirit of its time. ‘Kerouac on Screen’ commemorates his life and work with a series of films, events and panel discussions. Visit for the full programme of dates, times and prices. Kerouac on Screen: 50th Anniversary Celebration of Author & Poet, Jack Kerouac (Friday 18 – Saturday October).

Described as ‘Chopin meets Pink Floyd’, Belgian Neo- Classical rockers We Stood Like Kings mix modern instrumental rock music with the treasures of yesterday’s cinema. Audiences can see them live as they accompany a screening of the 1982 experimental American film, Koyaanisqatsi taking place on Tuesday 17 September from 8pm

To mark the 30th anniversary of the reunification of the Berlin Wall, see the 1927 classic silent film, Berlin. Director, Walter Ruttmann, shows us a day in the life of Berlin in the early 20th century. The film features a live score by three-piece ensemble, The Harmonie Band (Saturday 2 November, 7.30pm).



Using smoke and mirrors and hidden trapdoors, CBeebies Patrick Lynch meets a sure-footed feline who fools both the King and the Ogre to put his master at the top in this classic furry tale. This show is the cat’s whiskers! Puss in Boots (Sunday 22 September, 2.30pm).

Families are invited to help choose what happens in YOU CHOOSE (Sunday 20 October, 2.30pm) – a brand-new interactive musical based on the brilliant book by Pippa Goodhart and Nick Sharratt. Using a series of games and challenges, each show will come up with a unique story and different characters every time.


October Half Term

This October Half Term children are encouraged to take part in the world’s biggest drawing festival (The Big Draw – Tuesday 29 October) with an array of exciting and fun workshops and activities. Little ones can get hands on and create their own works of art using light-painting and spinning doodling robots!

Harry Potter fans will want to head to Square Chapel on Saturday 26 October from 2.30pm for Spontaneous Potter Kids. Get ready for a magical experience full of witchcraft and wizardry! This smash hit show is an improvised Harry Potter comedy play based on audience suggestions. An entirely new Potter adventure is magically improvised on the spot – with live musical accompaniment. There will be another performance for grown-ups at 7.45pm!



Families can enjoy a magical Christmas with two brilliant shows coming to Square Chapel.

Snow Play (Monday 23 – Saturday 28 December, 11am & 3pm) is a fun filled play about what happens when winter decides to stay and move into your house! This is a snowy spectacular show where you are guaranteed a white Christmas. Families can also join in by making a snowman and having a massive snowball fight!

On Sunday 15 December (3pm & 6pm) families can enjoy another magical Christmas production with Arabian Nights. Meet Sheherazade, the greatest storyteller of them all. She has a feast of adventures and fantasies to tell involving genies, villains, heroes and princesses. But she must keep her husband (the king) entertained with her stories to save her own life and the lives of all the maidens of the land. Will Ali Baba’s encounter with the 40 thieves do the trick? Can the story of Aladdin and his lamp help her live to tell more tales such as the Little Beggar or the Fisherman and the Genie? Find out in Story Pocket Theatre’s brand-new version of Arabian Nights, a show full of adventure and magic and wonder!


For more information, images, press interviews and press tickets please contact Sofia Cann, Marketing and Communications Manager, Tel 01422 353073


Notes to editor:

Calderdale: Nestled between the metropolitan hubs of Leeds and Manchester, Calderdale is home to some of Yorkshire’s most rugged and romantic landscape, and the area also lays claim to being one of the most eccentric and creative corners of England’s largest country.

Home to the weird and wonderful, the peculiar and picturesque, the soulful and historically pioneering, Calderdale is a jewel in Yorkshire’s cultural crown which is waiting to be explored.

Square Chapel Patrons:

Sally Wainwright; Reece Dinsdale; Dame Penelope Wilton; Carol Ann Duffy, Natalie Gavin; Timothy West CBE; Francis Lee, Lucy Beaumont, Ian Puleston-Davies, Glen Baxter; Sir Alan Bowness CBE, Sir Ernest Hall OBE, Robin Sutcliffe and Jessica Sutcliffe.


Square Chapel Patrons no longer with us: We will always appreciate their support and generosity.

Tim Pigott-Smith OBE, Dame Jennifer Jenkins DBE and Sir John Manduell CBE.


10 Square Rd. Halifax HX1 1QG

Tel: 01422 353073, Box Office: 01422 349422, Fax: 01422 347928

Email:  Website:


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