Yellow Leaf Theatre brings brand new drama right to your doorstep

“Yellow Leaf Theatre is becoming established as a producer of high quality, low tech small scale tours. Little wonder: the three founders – Vanessa Rosenthal, Chris Wilkinson and Alan Meadows, all in their sixties – have worked for decades as actors, writers, directors. They have an awesome combined C.V... If you want to benefit from years of theatrical experience, seek out Yellow Leaf.” (Ray Brown, writing in the British Theatre Guide)

Older and Younger Karen Gershons with suitcases


Yellow Leaf were invited by the committee of the Leeds Holocaust Memorial Day to stage ‘Karen’s Way’ (see below) to commemorate the liberation of Auschwitz. The performance was at the Seven Arts Centre in Leeds on Saturday, January 25th 2014.

A further performance also took place on Saturday, 1st February 2014 at 7.30pm at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre in York.

Vanessa Rosenthal's radio play, “Passages from Empire”, that has arisen out of her research at Kings College, London, was given a public reading in the Anatomy Lecture Theatre on 13th December 2013, prior to transmission in 2014 (see News).


Older and Younger Karen Gershons waltz lesson

In March Yellow Leaf Theatre performed ‘Karen’s Way: a kindertransport life’ at the Stage 1 Festival in the Beit Avi Chai Theatre in Jerusalem during Easter and Passover week to full houses. The cast and director were as below with one difference: the part of the Younger Karen Gershon was played by Francesca Larkin.

(Photo: Nitzan Bakshi)

The play was also performed with the same cast at the Rawdon Quaker Meeting House in Leeds as part of their Amnesty Concert Series on May 25th 2013.

2012 Premieres

Karen Gershon

Karen’s Way: A Kindertransport Life”, a play with music by Vanessa Rosenthal

Based on her autobiographies and poems, and using two actors, Vanessa Rosenthal and Lindesay Mace, playing the Older and Younger Karen Gershons – and two musicians, David Riley (violin) and Marion Raper (piano) – ‘Karen’s Way’ is an ingenious and highly original dramatisation of the life of the Kindertransport survivor and poet, Karen Gershon.

The play opened at York Theatre Royal Studio on Tuesday, April 17th 2012, continuing a relationship the company began in 2005.

“A searching and thought provoking performance… beautifully played by… two fine actors and two accomplished musicians… highly recommended.” Marc Schatzberger in the Journal of the Association of Jewish Refugees.

For full report see here.

Arts Council Lottery Logo

Two further performances followed at Seven Arts in Leeds, in July 2012, where Yellow Leaf were the first professional company to perform in their opening week in 2007.

Yellow Leaf gratefully acknowledge help from the Arts Council to launch this project.

Vanessa Rosenthal and Lindesay Mace as the Older and Younger Karen Gershons

“Karen’s Way” at the Edinburgh Fringe

In August 2012 ‘Karen’s Way’ completed a two-week run at the Edinburgh Fringe in Venue 45 at The Space – one of the most popular Fringe venues.

‘Broadway Baby’: 4-Star review: “Exudes energy and passion… compelling… pertinent and touching… ”

‘The Jewish Chronicle’: “Karen’s journey… is movingly recounted in a powerful production… Rosenthal brilliantly conveys Karen's mixture of alienation, determination and desolation as she searches for a sense of identity and the fragments of the past. While Mace is excellent as her shielded, idealistic, naive younger self forced to live through the trauma of being saved by being seemingly rejected.”

For full review see here

‘The Scotsman’: “The real-life experiences of poet Karen Gershon… touchingly played by Rosenthal and the only cast member under 60, Lindesay Mace… Karen’s journey takes her from a chorus line in Leeds to marrying a soldier in Scotland, but it’s the way she is haunted by the lost innocence of her childhood self that resonates strongest.”

For Tour Schedule see here.

Joseph & His Round-the-World Dream-Boat, a play to be performed by young people by Alan Meadows.

Sir Joseph Banks

Winner of the Flora Murray Award, 2012

Presented by the Horncastle Young Stagers, Alan Meadow’s play for children about the 18th Century naturalist Sir Joseph Banks premiered at the Lion Theatre, Horncastle on Saturday 6th October, 2012.

The production was supported by the Joseph Banks Society as part of a cultural and heritage project to celebrate the life and achievements of one of Lincolnshire’s greatest sons.

(See our News page).

The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam Meanwhile Alan Meadows has revived his one-man half-hour show ‘The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam’ for the University of the 3rd Age.

(See our News page).

Shows on the Shelf

Published texts of past productions – Modelling Spitfires, Double Dutch, Old Skool Ties and Bobbles & Bowls are now available from the Scripts page of this site.

If you want to hear more about Yellow Leaf Theatre, an article in the Times by Heather Nicholson entitled “The Rich Drama of our Later Years” describes the origin and some of the thinking behind the company.

For third party opinion on Yellow Leaf Theatre’s work see Comments from Others and Audience Response.

To send us a message see here

Yellow Leaf Theatre –