Monday 11 June 2018

Companion Josh set for Playhouse performance

Josh outside West Yorkshire Playhouse

A member of the Emmaus Leeds community is set to perform on stage in an upcoming production at West Yorkshire Playhouse.

21 year-old Josh is a companion at Emmaus Leeds, a charity which provides a home and meaningful work to people who have experienced homelessness. Earlier this year Josh was offered the opportunity to audition for a part in ‘Searching for the Heart of Leeds’, as part of the Playhouse’s Community Company.

Being a Leeds lad born and bred, Josh headed over to the audition with no previous experience of theatre other than a play he’d seen as a kid which wasn’t really his cup of tea.

“I went to the audition because this year I decided I needed to say yes to new opportunities and do some new things in life. The first audition just clicked, I really liked it and when I was chosen to be part of the cast, out of nearly 200 people, I was so pleased. It was a huge boost to my confidence.”

“I’m used to speaking to people that are like me, but I am talking to all different types of people and I’m really enjoying it. You can never see where this could take me, but I’d love to do more projects like this in the future.”

Josh, companion at Emmaus Leeds

Josh has been learning to dance and move on stage, work alongside other performers and read scripts. The experience has helped him to build his confidence and meet new people.

In a celebration of the people of Leeds, West Yorkshire Playhouse will present Searching for the Heart of Leeds as the final production in the Quarry Theatre ahead of the capital redevelopment.

Over 70 talented individuals from the community will take part in the production performing in roles both offstage and on, alongside six community choirs and a band of eight talented musicians recruited from across the city.

“We are so proud of Josh. It was brave of him to step out of his comfort zone and do something he’d never experienced before. I hope this is the start of many more new and positive experiences for him. He is attending rehearsals every week and we are all so excited to go and watch the show in June.”

Joanne Stafford, Projects & Events Leader at Emmaus Leeds 

Searching for the Heart of Leeds runs from Tuesday 19 June to Saturday 23 June at West Yorkshire Playhouse. For more information and tickets visit

To find out more about the work of Emmaus Leeds head to