Leeds Heritage Theatres is delighted to be partnering with LeedsBID at this year’s Leeds International Festival of Ideas as City Varieties Music Hall is chosen as one of the host venues that will see renowned names, experts in their field, and some of the world’s most exciting thinkers share thoughts and ideas through a series of compelling discussions and talks.

From Monday 13 to Monday 27 September, the festival, formerly Leeds International Festival, presents five thought-provoking panel debates running alongside four inspirational keynote speeches exploring and challenging key issues and viewpoints - all impacted on during the last extraordinary 18 months.

The Varieties presents:

13 Sept 7-8.30pm - ARE WE MORE LONELY?
Panel: Deborah Francis-White - comedian, writer & coach / Alix Fox – writer & broadcaster / Bolu Babalola – writer & columnist for Dazed / Emilia Van Hauen - cultural sociologist & author / Dr Melrose Stewart MBE - physiotherapist.

Loneliness can kill. What can we do to sustain a life full of love and companionship?

Join our panel of intimacy and relationship experts to dissect dating apps, discuss the intimacies of relationships and explore how we might grow old – together.

Panel: Grace Dent - food critic / Dr Morgaine Gaye - food futurologist / Mike Lee - founder of the Future Market / Ness Knight - explorer & conservationist / Ben Davy - culinary development chef.

What does the future hold for the production of food? How will our environment change how and what we eat? If you’ve wondered if bugs are tasty, whether pub grub will be grown in a lab, or if there are enough fish in the sea for us to continue to eat them, this event is a must-see. Will we overhaul how and what we eat through modern innovations, or should we be looking back to regenerative and traditional processes?

27 Sept 7-8.30pm - GREEN OR GROWTH?
Panel: Michaela Strachan - TV presenter / Henri Murison: Director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership / Prof. Paul Chatterton – professor, researcher & campaigner / Noga Levy-Rapapport - climate justice activist (additional panellists TBC).

Sustainability and capitalism have long been sworn enemies. But must sustainability and capitalism be opposites, or can they go hand-in-hand? What if growth can be Green? Can economic success be compatible with our planet’s ecology, and on a micro, citywide level: how can we protect and expand Leeds’ green spaces? Will HS2 allow positive ecological and economic growth? And does Leeds Bradford airport really need a new terminal?

Chris Blythe, CEO of City Varieties, said: “We are thrilled to be working alongside LeedsBID as one of several key city venues at this year’s Leeds International Festival of Ideas.

“As the longest running theatre in Leeds, The Varieties has a rich history steeped in entertaining audiences with the best of the day’s cultural entertainment, from world famous musicians and comedians to panel discussions such as the three we present this September.

“Partnering with LeedsBID, solidifies our commitment to working collaboratively with Leeds-based organisations, and participating in city-wide events that promote Leeds as a hub for new ideas and innovation.”

To buy tickets to all three events, or for more information, visit leedsheritagetheatres.com.