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The Club on the Edge of town

Alan Lane

Alan Lane is Artistic Director of Slung Low directing most of their work over the last decade including projects with the Barbican, the RSC, the Almeida, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Liverpool Everyman, Sheffield Theatres, Singapore Arts Festival and The Lowry. Slung Low make large scale people’s theatre work on stages, trains, castles, swimming pools, fishing boats and in town centres.

In 2017, Slung Low headlined Hull UK City of Culture 2017 with Flood by James Phillips: a four-part epic performed online, live and on the BBC. Over half a million people saw a part of Flood. It won a Royal Television Society Award Yorkshire for innovation in drama.

Alan has directed in places as wide ranging as the National Theatre of Croatia, a sari shop in Manchester, Buckingham Palace and in a village in Purulia, Southern India: he was a creative consultant for British Army Expo 2022.

He was the Artistic Director for the National Commemoration of the Centenary of the Battle of the Somme on 1st July 2016: a ceremony with a people’s theatre company of 450.

In 2019, Slung Low took over management of the oldest working men’s club in Britain, The Holbeck in South Leeds: running the venue as a Pay What You Decide creative and community space. In December 2022, the company created three new stages in two new homes in Holbeck.

During the Covid crisis of 2020 the company was the ward lead for Holbeck and Beeston for social care referrals with responsibility for 7,500 homes. They ran a non-means tested self-referral foodbank from March 2020 to June 2021: delivering 15,202 food parcels.

In 2023 Alan co-directed the Opening Ceremony of Leeds Year of Culture; a concert of words and music at Headingley Stadium that concluded with the popstar Corrine Bailey Rae arguing with a giant light-god about cultural value in front of an audience of thousands.

Alan was awarded a British Empire Medal for services to South Leeds during the crisis.

Alan told the story of Slung Low’s work at The Holbeck in The Club on the Edge of Town published in 2022 by Salamander Street press (a Wordville imprint).

Alan Lane
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