Slung Low Community College announces its second term

After a hugely successful first term at their Cultural Community College, the acclaimed Leeds theatre company Slung Low have unveiled an exciting new programme of Pay What You Decide cultural classes for their second term.

The new term, which will start on Sunday 17 February at Slung Low’s new location The Holbeck in South Leeds, will offer an array of cultural activities including Woodwork, Podcasting, Asian cookery, T’ai Chi and Mental Health First Aid. Free at the point of use, all the courses and classes will be Pay What You Decide.

The first term of Cultural Community College was a major success with over 350 people attending  and half of the courses being sold out within the first 24hrs of the term’s announcement.

The courses will be led by artists from the region, of the highest standard who will share their skills, experience and passions with the students. These will include the poet and broadcaster Ian McMillan, author Adelle Stripe and the team from the award winning Leeds based Manjit’s Kitchen.

For the college’s second term, the curriculum has been chosen by the participants from the first term themselves who have automatically become a member of the Cultural Community College.

Slung Low’s Artistic Director Alan Lane said:

“We were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm for the first college term. The enjoyment and confidence that people found in that first lot of subjects was more than we could have hoped for.  With this second term we’ve listened to what people told us they wanted to learn, we’re developing the curriculum even wider. We’re committed to growing the college community as wide as possible and excited to welcome new friends and old friends.”

Slung Low are a company that make adventures for audiences outside of conventional theatre spaces. The company’s aim is to make unlikely, ambitious and original adventures for audiences, each with powerful, moving story at its heart. Shows that re-examine how audiences go and see a piece of theatre. The company are based in their new home of The Holbeck. Recently the company produced the award-winning Flood by James Phillips as part of Hull UK City of Culture 2017.

The Cultural Community College is a major part of the company’s long- term ambition to create Leeds People’s Theatre: a major new citizen theatre producer of epic, outdoor political theatre for the city combining Slung Low’s trademark staging style with a permanent programme of participation and citizen training.

Slung Low’s Cultural Community College is supported by Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Arts Council England. An advisory board made up of educators from across the education spectrum including universities, theatre education departments and the private sector will support the team throughout the new term.

For further information on the new term at the Cultural Community College please visit


Second Term Programme

All courses will take place at The Holbeck, Jenkinson Lawn, Holbeck, Leeds, LS11 9QX


The Holbeck Choir

Sing for your supper Each Tuesday evening we come together to chat and eat some home-cooked food before singing together as a group. Tessa Smith will lead you through a selection of songs skilfully arranged into three or four part harmonies. Her focus is always that singing is enjoyed, no matter what musical style is explored or the experience of the singers. So, if you’ve ever felt like joining a choir then now’s the time to give it a go! Weekly Tuesday evening sessions Course Format

Dates: Tuesday 19 February to Tuesday 26 March.  Times: Dinner from 6:30pm; Singing 7–8:30pm


Manjit’s Kitchen

Discover how to cook delicious vegetarian street food based on traditional south Indian dishes with Leeds’ very own Manjit’s Kitchen. Manjit and her team, who recently won a BBC Food and Farming Award, will guide you step-by-step through the recipes as you learn how to make tasty curries, chutneys and more. All equipment and ingredients are provided.

Course Format: Each workshop is stand-alone. Take part in one or both sessions to learn different recipes.

Dates: Saturday 23 February, Saturday 23 March and Sunday 12 May.  Times: 11am–1pm


BIG IDEAS Inspirational artists discuss their passion projects – Kannan Arunasalam

Conflict Documentary Kannan Arunasalam is an award winning documentary filmmaker. Specialising in working in conflict and post conflict environments, Kannan is also a human rights lawyer. Kannan will share some of his work and talk through his experience with an emphasis on gaining the trust of characters, the challenges of working in difficult political environments and getting your work seen in today’s busy media landscape.

Dates: Sunday 17 February. Times: 5pm


Waling on Air – An Introduction to T’ai Chi

T’ai Chi is a sequence of slow motion, flowing steps, which originated in China. It is movement for health. The soft steps and gestures of T’ai Chi, and its companion Chi Kung (“breathing skill”), are designed to stimulate a healthy flow of blood and energy around the body – keeping the joints lubricated, the muscles elastic, and the mind refreshed and uplifted. Because the movements are so gentle, they can be performed by adults of all ages. T’ai Chi is good for the breath, for balance, and for a general feeling of calm and wellbeing. Come and try it: it’s a peaceful and lovely thing!

Course Format: Short course of 3 Saturdays sessions. Take part in one, two or all three sessions to learn different techniques.

Dates: Saturday 2, 9 & 16 March.  Times: 11am–1pm


Fire Eating and Body Burning

Learn to touch, taste and eat fire in this extraordinary one-off session with The Fire School’s Sarah Harman. Perfect for anyone seeking a thrilling new experience, you will explore Fire Eating and Body Burning techniques, and learn to manipulate fire safely. This workshop is designed for complete beginners.

Course Format: One-off session

Dates: Saturday 2 March.  Times: 3–5pm


BIG IDEAS Inspirational artists discuss their passion projects – Ian McMillan

Sir Alec Clegg’s book The Excitement Of Writing Ian McMillan, one of the great contemporary Northern poets. Sir Alec was instrumental in the founding of Bretton Hall College – a hot house of Northern creative radicalism. You don’t need to know anything about Clegg or his book to enjoy this – come along and hear a brilliant Northern artist talk with passion about a work that made him the artist he is today.

Dates: Sunday 3 March.  Times: 5pm


Make a Podcast

Tell the world about it. Do you enjoy having a chat? Have you ever fancied yourself as a bit of a radio presenter? Would you like to learn how to make a podcast? Then this is the course for you! Join Claire Irving for a five-week course to make a radio programme on a subject decided by you. No previous experience necessary, just an interest in people and place. Come along, and let’s start the conversation.

Course Format: Short course made up of 5 Wednesday evening sessions

Dates: Wednesday 6 March to Wednesday 3 April.  Times: 6:30–8:30pm


Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health issues are a normal part of life.

In any year, one in four of us experience at least one diagnosable mental health issue.

Join accredited Mental Health First Aider Caroline Dunn to explore common symptoms, reduce stigma, know when to get help, and share positive strategies to keep yourself and others well.

Course format: One-off session.

Date: Sunday 10 March.  Times: 2:30–4:30pm


Junkheap Challenge – Unleash Your Practical Creativity

One box of recycled materials . One challenge. Four hours. Go!

Under the supervision of Alex Halfpenny from #alshackshack, create something that will solve a particular challenge where the limit is simply your imagination.  Learn how to use new tools, new techniques and communication skills to create something unique, useful and beautiful.

Instruments, tools and safety equipment will be provided.

Course Format: One-off session

Dates: Saturday 16 March.  Times: 2-6pm


The Asian Vegan with Rani Moorthy 

A day long practical exploration of vegan Asian cooking Rani Moorthy. There’ll be some Tamil recipes, some Malaysian and Thai. Discover how to master Tempeh, Tofu and Seitan with Rani Moorthy, actor, director and writer, Artistic Director of the acclaimed Rasa Theatre, star of the much-loved show Curry tales and one of the finest cooks we’ve ever met. Try new cuisines, new flavours and enjoy some good chat along the way. No experience necessary. All equipment and ingredients are provided.

Course Format: One-off session

Dates: Sunday 17 March.  Times: 11am–4pm


BIG IDEAS Inspirational artists discuss their passion projects – Adelle Stripe

Andrea Dunbar was the celebrated, brilliant playwright from the Buttershaw estate in Bradford. Adelle is a poet and novelist. Adelle wants to share the genius of Andrea Dunbar with us, through an exploration of archive material and reading scenes from her plays. You don’t need to know anything about Andrea already to enjoy this, come along and hear about her life and work from one of the region’s most interesting writers.

Dates: Sunday 24 March. Times: 5pm



Join us for a practical session in CPR and basic first aid to gain the knowledge and confidence to respond to a range of common emergencies and practise CPR. This course is designed for complete beginners looking to have a go and learn basic lifesaving skills with our experienced instructor firefighter Gary McCurdy.

Course format: One-off session  which is repeated so you can choose your prefer time slot.

Date: Saturday 30 March.  Times: 11:30am-1:30pm or  2:30–4:30pm


Introduction to Green Woodwork

Discover the basic skills and techniques used in green woodwork. You will use carving axes, drawknives, shave horses and carving knives to turn a log into spatulas and spreaders. No woodworking experience is needed. By the end of the day you will have developed new skills and have your own handmade green wood items to take home with you. All tools and materials are provided.

Course Format: One-off session which is repeated over two days, so you can choose your preferred time slot.

Dates: Friday 5 April or Saturday 6 April.  Times: 11am–4pm


This post is based on a press release issued on behalf of Slung Low

Photo: Simon K Allen