with response pieces from

Allison Davies, Claire Tustin, Degna Stone & Beccy Owen

and podcast radio plays by Draycott & Trimm

18 – 29 June 2019 (Not Sundays or Mondays) at Alphabetti
Pay what you feel – Ages 14+

Down to Zero is an emotionally explosive,  darkly funny new play by Lizi Patch about two people, furiously in love, struggling to stay afloat as the past threatens to sink their future. 

“In the eyes of evolution I am now a pointless person.” 

As Steph hits the menopause, she feels she is becoming a bystander in her own bewildering decline.  Her partner Sam plans a surprise weekend away for her 50th birthday, but their determined idyll is ripped away by the arrival of a surprise visitor…

“I’m slipping away and I don’t know what to do…”


Tuesday – Friday performances of Down to Zero are followed by the response pieces, which are included in the same ticket.

Production Notes: Women in Theatre

​For this production Coracle have chosen to produce a selection of work by women over the age of 40 – a group underrepresented in the world of theatre.

“Writing plays is, on the whole, a young person’s art, and the young are mostly interested in themselves”

 Lynn Gardener, 2009  (link).  

Work by women playwrights made up only 8% of staged productions in 2014 (research by Tonic Theatre) – and the first play written by a woman to appear on stage at the National Theatre was in 2008.  And the National have come under fire in 2019 for their announcement of a season which has only male writers and directors, despite a ‘commitment’ to changing the balance (you can follow the twitter thread here)

“It is somehow harder for people to embrace a play written by a woman, whatever its quality. There is something slightly unseemly about filling stages with our voices, whereas men have a sense of filling Chekhov’s or Ibsen’s shoes. The woman who raises her voice becomes shrill and hectoring; the man becomes authoritative”

(Zinnie Harris) (link)

“I think older women are regarded as not valuable, they’ve always been thought of in that way, as something to laugh at.”

(Marianne Elliott). (link)

As an underrepresented demographic both on & off stage we feel this will be an important challenge to people’s perceptions. Not just in terms of the visibility of ‘older’ female characters on stage, but also in terms of writers and creatives in this demographic having their work produced.


I’m hosting a series of writing workshops for up to ten writers to create a short piece of theatre in response to DOWN TO ZERO.

  Thurs 20 June (early eve), Sat 29 June (day), Tues 9 July (early eve)

 Cost £20 incl all workshops

 Followed by a showcase / rehearsed reading of all the pieces on


I’ll mentor you through a series of 3 x 2 hour workshops using Down to Zero as the springboard for you to write a 5-10 minute drama. Expect discussion, exploration of style, story, structure, character and dialogue, and focused writing exercises with deadlines both in the room and between workshops. You will be given the opportunity to hear each other’s work, giving and receiving feedback over the course of the 3 workshops which will culminate in a rehearsed reading of each short play by professional actors on 12 July.   Some of the sessions may include opportunities for Q&A with other creatives and writers involved in the production of Down to Zero.

Down To You is for writers at any stage who are excited by the prospect of sharing and honing ideas from the page to performance. You need to welcome the opportunity to work in a vibrant and collaborative atmosphere with time alone to develop work between the sessions.  

The cost of the workshops is £20 in total, covering the three sessions and the showcase.  Tickets for the showcase are available to the public on a pay what you feel basis so you can invite anyone you’d like to hear your work.

If you are interested in attending, send us an email to with the word “WORKSHOP” in the title.


‘An Accident Of Birth’


Directed by Matt Jamie as part of an evening of new short plays celebrating the fight for women’s votes, alongside readings of Suffrage Plays written at the time of the Suffragette movement.

Two siblings try to understand human relationships and gender roles through overheard conversations from inside the womb.

Cast Jude Nelson and Adam Jordan Donaldson

When: Thursday 17th – Saturday 19th May 2018
Show Begins: 7.30pm
Tickets: Pay What You Feel
Age Recommendation: 16+




working in collaboration with musician/sound designer Aron Kyne.

Small Venue Network Scratch Night, Seven Arts, LEEDS (March ’07).

Now in development. 

‘CONSUMED’ is a new play with 2 actors and 2 musicians/sound designers creating the story together live onstage.

“Running parallel to advances in the games industry are huge advances in music technology which give such creative potential to seduce and manipulate the audiences senses and fuel their imagination. We want to make and tell stories that help us experience the world from each other’s perspectives sometimes, across the generational divide. We need to stop talking about the way the world was and understand the world that our sons and daughters are inhabiting now and are shaping every day.”

Gervais (15) is consumed with and brilliant at computer games. Sara (49), his mum, is fucked off. The all-too-familiar real life ‘screen-time’ battle between parent and child reverses when Sara creates ‘Leto’ (Oblivion/The Hidden One) and goes into direct battle with Gervais’s onscreen character ‘Yuudai’ (‘Great Hero’).

We see Sara/Leto rise from derided ‘noob’ to decorated warrior as it dawns on Gervais that this virtual arse is getting kicked by his mother who has become obsessed with ‘CONSUMED’ herself.

As the play progresses we learn that this is for real. Every death is happening and has consequences, but in another world just out of reach.

The two musician/sound designers will be live-scoring the play/creating the game with a combination of pre-composed music and interactive improvisations involving all 4 performers.

Punching The Sky


Northern Tour and Soho Theatre as part of A NATION’S THEATRE 2016

Lowry, Live Theatre, Hull Truck, Cast, The Civic (Barnsley), Square Chapel, Harrogate Theatre, Derby Studio, Carriageworks, Seven Arts, Soho Theatre.


“Being a mother is terrifying”


supported with public funding from Arts Council, England


“The trauma inherent in the subject matter is addressed with a perfectly pitched amount of humour and smart delivery. At a time when internet censorship, monitoring and surveillance are daily headline news, this vital piece of work is more relevant than ever”. 

Porl Cooper: Slunglow, Punching The Sky Partner.


The City Varieties Youth Theatre Company works with 3 groups of young people aged 8-21 yrs old. I run the youth theatre assisted by a pool of freelance industry professional dancers, choreographers, musicians, directors and writers.  CVYT explores the notion of theatre as a tool for social change and personal development for a new generation of theatre-makers and theatre goers. We give young people the skills, the time and the support to take creative and personal risks, enabling them to express themselves physically, verbally and through the written word. We produce an annual full-scale summer musical with live orchestra, plus a number of contemporary plays and devised pieces throughout the year at the beautiful City Varieties Music Hall, The Howard Assembly Rooms and the Leeds Grand Studio.


Welcome to Loserville!
The CVYT Company bring their 6th full scale musical to the beautiful City Varieties Music Hall following last year’s hugely popular production of The Addams Family.
It’s 1971. Misfit computer geek Michael Dork and his friends are about to change the world. It’s just that no one knows it yet. Michael’s also discovered a girl, Holly, a prospect (almost) as exciting as his love of computers. If only he had the courage to talk to her!
Air your flares and come and join our cast of 40 with a live pit band bringing you an electric pop-rock score that will have you rocking out in your seat. Don’t forget your air guitar!

Director: Lizi Patch
Musical Director: Sam Dunkley
Choreographer: Dawn Holgate
Designer: Scott Thompson
Assistant Musical Director: Aron Kyne/Pete Rosser
Youth Theatre Assistant: Richard Priestley

TICKETS*: Adult £12, Child £8
*Price includes 60p levy and £1 booking fee per ticket. Postage charge £1 where applicable

Book, Music and Lyrics by ELLIOT DAVIS and JAMES BOURNE 


Dawn Holgate, Choreographer, works with the cast.

The Cast.

Michael and Holly (Dan Hunt and Emily Herbert) with the gang.


Originally produced on the West End stage by T C Beech
This amateur production is presented by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) 
All authorised performance materials are also supplied by MTI Europe



Howard Assembly Room.
Wednesday November 30th


Performed at Howard Assembly Room, Leeds Grand Theatre
Moving from Benjamin Zephaniah to Morecambe and Wise through Sia the entire CVYT Company bring you an evening of theatre, original choreography, song and spoken word that shines a light on what it means to be human.
We work with some fantastic professional artists throughout the term and Safe Hands will also feature pianist/composer Aron Kyne and performance artist Akeim Toussaint Buck bringing us his beautiful work-in-progress piece ‘Windows of Displacement’.
A unique, thoughtful, joyful night to remind you that the next generation have GOT THIS.
Director: Lizi Patch
Assistant Director: Richard Priestley
Musical Director: Aron Kyne
Choreographer: Dawn Holgate
Guest Artist: Bobak Walker


City Varieties Music Hall, Leeds, July 2016.




Director: Lizi Patch, Musical Director: Sam Dunkley, Designer: Scott Thompson

Our 5th full-scale musical once again played to sell out audiences.



 City Varieties Music Hall

artist: Scott Thompson

artist: Scott Thompson

The CVYT Company performed their 4th full scale musical in the beautiful City Varieties Music Hall

Director: Lizi Patch, Musical Director: Sam Dunkley, Designer: Scott Thompson

Oliver CVYT 2015 IMG_7216Oliver CVYT 2015

Frankly Prince Charming, You’re Just Not My Type…

City Varieties Music Hall


What if Sleeping Beauty just didn’t fancy the Prince?

What if Prince Charming tried his luck with Wonder Woman?

What if the Big Bad Wolf was a vegetarian?

Join the City Varieties 11-15’s in a parallel universe where fairy tale princes meet kick-ass comic book heroines, where the rules are re-written and new characters emerge to bring those sugary endings BANG up to date.

Mwah ha ha HA!

Director: Lizi Patch, Musical Director: Aron Kyne, Designer: Scott Thompson

Daffodil Scissors

by Philip Ridley (Produced by our 8-10’s)

City Varieties Music Hall


Director: Lizi Patch, Design: The Company from an original idea from Milk Presents: Music: Aron Kyne.


Alice in the News

by Charles Way (produced by our 8-10’s).

City Varieties Music Hall


Director: Lizi Patch, Original music by Rich Huxley, Set design and construction by Leeds Art College students.

 Kaspar the Wild

by Tim Crouch

City Varieties Music Hall

2014-03-11 20.15.33-2_2

Produced by our Tuesday 11-15’s.  A scruffy, silent boy is found wandering the streets of the big city. The authorities, at a loss, send him to a sleepy small-town school to start a new life. Kaspar struggles to find his voice as deep seated prejudices are unearthed and tolerance pushed to its limits as school staff and pupils chatter noisily around him, unsure how to handle this delinquent disaster so rudely dropped into their midst.

The City Varieties Youth Theatre Company presents an updated and extended version of this deeply moving, darkly comical ensemble tale, inspired by Kaspar Hauser.

“Crouch’s plays make up one of the most important bodies of English-language playwriting to have emerged so far in the twenty-first century”…
Stephen Bottoms, Professor of Contemporary Theatre & Performance at the University of Manchester.

Director: Lizi Patch, Musical Director: Aron Kyne, Designer: Scott Thompson


Peter Pan the Musical

Adapted by Piers Chater Robinson:

City Varieties Music Hall, Leeds. July 2014

City Varieties Youth Theatre

City Varieties Youth Theatre

Musical Director: Rich Huxley, Designer: Scott Thompson, Choreography: Emma Stead and Dawn Holgate.

Produced by our Saturday 11-15’s and 16+.

Set to music, with raw stage combat and beautiful choreography, you’ll find yourself swept away by the classic tale, finding some unique twists and turns along the way. Meet Shadow Wendy and Shadow Peter as they dance what cannot be uttered. immerse yourself in the world of inept pirates, cheeky Lost Boys and fearsom Warriors. prepare to be ‘Hooked’ from the start.


Little Shop of Horrors /Summer Snowball

 City Varieties Music Hall

City Varieties Youth Theatre

Little Shop Of Horrors in rehearsal

Our two Summer shows 2013 went off a treat. The performers and audience were delighted with each other and everyone went off for the summer hols exhausted but happy.

Director: Lizi Patch, Designer: Scott Thompson, Choreographers: Emma Stead and Dawn Holgate, Pit Band: Hope & Social.


Summer Snowball

City Varieties Music Hall, Leeds.


Summer Snowball in rehearsal. 8-11’s

CVYT 8-11yrs

Written by: Lizi Patch, Dick Bonham. Musical Director: Jamie Fletcher. Director: Lizi Patch, Dick Bonham, Grace Dean.



Howard Assembly Rooms, Leeds.

A beautifully haunting ghost story for Christmas, this brand new show was created and written by the Company. Following a doomed love affair through a hundred years of history, from a turn-of-the-century Music Hall through a live 1940s radio show and beyond, it provided an evening of gentle chills and astounding adventures. Featuring stirring music, stunning puppetry, and a sinister ventriloquist’s dummy, the company stayed within the best traditions of Victorian fireside tales – with a uniquely contemporary twist.

Director: Lizi Patch, Musical Director: Aron Kyne, Designer: Scott Thompson



Our most recent production, Return to the Forbidden Planet was a sell out success, bringing all 70 members together at the very beautiful City Varieties Music Hall Theatre in Swan Lane. The response from parents and public alike was overwhelming.











The Directors creativity, positivity and enthusiasm is infectious and this is evident in the way the group responded tonight.”

“I really just wanted to say a massive thank you to the whole team for the showcase tonight, we have been totally blown away by the level of professionalism and it surpassed all of our expectations for a first showcase from a brand new group.  It really feels like everyone is having an amazing, fun time and learning a craft without even realising it”

“We are so excited about the July performance and can’t wait to see what the future holds for this super talented  group!”



Carriageworks Main House, Leeds.

A new show for and with the Carriageworks Theatre Academy in association with Theatre Company Blah Blah Blah.

Carriageworks Theatre Academy

Carriageworks Theatre Academy

“Why live in the real world when virtually everything is in the palm of your hand?”

‘Bubble’ is a new play for 35 young actors which explores how our rapidly growing obsession with documenting and sharing our lives online affects our connection with the real world – and how those in power feed the obsession.

Devised by the Academy, Writer: Lizi Patch and Directors: Lizi Patch and Rebecca Jenkins.


Yvette Huddleston, Yorkshire Press:


Leeds Town Hall

Dramaturg/Director: Holocaust Memorial Day: Written by the Company and Ruth Cooper.

“We met a woman called Amna. Amna is from Eritrea and now lives in Leeds. Amna told us her story.”

The young theatre makers of the Carriageworks Theatre Academy explored what it means to leave your home and community and come to the UK as a refugee. Echoes is the young people’s responses to Amna Idris’s story and other refugee experiences throughout time and from around the world.


in association with Leeds Museum.

Dramaturg/Director: In partnership with and performed at Leeds Museums: Written by the Company and Ruth Cooper.

Four short performances exploring the history of objects and how they came to be part of the collection at Leeds Museums and Galleries. Each group of young theatre makers chose an object which sparked their interest. The performances stay true to the history of each object as far as it’s known. The rest is imagination…

 ‘Life Turns on A Penny’


Life Turns on A Penny

(The Carriageworks Theatre Academy 10-13 years. Life Turns on A Penny)

Life Turns on A Penny  looks at those moments, micro to global where everything changes in an instant.

The story follows our reluctant protagonist, Gary Rayner as he looks back over the first 45 years of his life – re-visiting key moments where he perhaps could have made a difference but chose not to. How his actions have made him the man he is today and how the pathways we all choose to take in our lives impact on those around us.

Writer/Director: Lizi Patch from devising workshops run with the Company.

“Thank you so much for last nights performance.

We were all amazed, entertained and provoked! 

It was wonderful to see all the cast having such fun and delivering a brilliant play”

‘The Dripping Riots’

Carriageworks Main House.

“She always takes the dripping. Theft is theft”

“It’s just what cooks do”

It is 1865 and Leeds servant, Eliza Stafford, is imprisoned for stealing 2 lbs of dripping from her employer, Mr Henry Chorley.  Working class people in the city  are outraged at the “Dripping Injustice” and we witness the good humoured protest descend into a full blown riot with tragic consequences.

Based on a true story, devised by The Carriageworks Theatre Academy, written by Ruth Cooper and directed by Lizi Patch.


Various venues.

2010 – PRESENT.

The Fuse Theatre Project is aimed at young people with learning difficulties and disabilities working alongside young people from mainstream schools. I run weekly after school sessions supported by local 4Youth youth workers.  The project runs in 7 areas across the county. Fuse is a great opportunity for young people to meet, work together, form positive relationships and gain skills through participation in professional theatre making and performance.  We work towards a public performances in February and July each year.