Red Ladder Theatre stays Connected

Regular visitors to South Leeds, Red Ladder Theatre Company is bringing drama directly to audiences in their homes during the coronavirus crisis with new audio drama, Connected.

Connected is produced in partnership with Mantality and stars Leeds Rhino’s captain Stevie Ward alongside co-writer and actor Paul Fox

Following the closure of its national tour of Smile Club, Red Ladder Theatre Company is bringing a new drama directly to audiences while theatres remain shut during the Coronavirus pandemic. Connected is a witty audio play written by Leeds playwright Chris O’Connor and Leeds actor Paul Fox which is released in short episodes via a weekly podcast on Red Ladder’s website and through Mantality. A multifaceted platform for promoting and supporting men’s mental health, Mantality was founded in 2016 by Leeds Rhinos captain Stevie Ward.

Taking a starring role in the audio play, the professional rugby player performs alongside Leeds actor and co-writer Paul Fox, a plasterer and actor whose roles for Red Ladder include Promised Land, Rabbitskin, Playing The Joker and The Thing About Psychopaths. They play Paul and Danny, two Leeds lads who meet in the pub every Wednesday for a pint after work. But 2020 is different.

Taking listeners from their carefree days enjoying banter and a beer after work through to the outbreak of the Coronavirus and beyond, Connected sees the reality of the crisis unfolding through a witty and relevant comic play which examines the effects on two working class Yorkshire blokes as the world around them falls into chaos.

Connected is directed by Red Ladder’s Artistic director Rod Dixon who has now gone on furlough. It features sound by Dom Smith and music composed by Claire-Marie Seddon.

On this new commission, Red Ladder Artistic Director Rod Dixon says,

“In response to the Coronavirus and with our national tour of Smile Club brought to a close, Red Ladder has commissioned local playwright Chris O’Connor and actor Paul Fox to write a series of short podcast plays. Connected is being recorded by our creative teams in the isolation of their own homes. In each episode of Connected we see how the lockdown and social distancing affect two characters – Paul and Danny. Chris O’Connor and Paul Fox write authentic dialogue which, through witty pub banter, reveals a funny and yet poignant view of the coronavirus pandemic.”

Connected co-writer Chris O’Connor says,

“‘Having written for Red Ladder, as well as co-hosted the Mantality podcast, it is brilliant to bring the two together on something creative. Our industries have been hit hard by the current pandemic and when we began to lose work, we thought about creating a series of audio plays which would take us week by week through these unusual times. We have an idea of the ending for Connected, but how we get there depends on what happens in the next few months.”

Connected is released as a weekly podcast, the first five episodes are already available, and can be listened to via Red Ladder and Mantality’s websites and social media channels. Please visit for more information.


This post is based on a press release issued on behalf of Red Ladder Theatre Company