Dancing, green-bathing and The Book of Mormon

There's such a nip in the air right now that it's hard to believe May is (almost) here. 

If you're up for braving the chilly weather outdoors you can go green with a celebration of nature from Thackray Museum of Medicine or go gleefully greedy at Leeds Food and Drink Fest. Indoor activities include gigs from Emeli Sandé, shockingly funny theatre from Book of Mormon and a good ole wholesome bit of crafting.

Read on for our pick of things to do in Leeds this May.

A Macrame Plant Hanger Holding A Yello Mug With A Cactus In It
Macrame for May

The Book Of Mormon | 1-7 May

Start the month with a laugh and grab yourself a ticket to multi-award winning musical The Book Of Mormon, you’ve got until May 7th to go. The Book Of Mormon comes from writers behind the likes of South Park, Avenue Q, and Frozen, and follows an unlikely pair of missionaries on a mission that takes them far from home. If you enjoy your musicals with a healthy dose of satire, this one's for you. 2.30pm and 7.30pm slots; tickets from £15 to £75 at leedsheritagetheatres.com, limited availability remaining.

Leeds Grand Theatre, 46 New Briggate, Leeds LS1 6NU 

Macrame Plant Hanger Workshop | 3 May

Crafty bods Cut and Curve is hosting a macrame plant hanger workshop at central Leeds pub Wapentake. You’ll learn a few macrame techniques to create your own unique plant hanger, and the ticket price includes a drink from the bar. 6.30pm; tickets are £20 and are available at eventbrite.co.uk

Wapentake, 92 Kirkgate, Leeds, LS2 7DJ

Radharaman Dance Festival Will Come To Leeds In May
Radharaman International Dance Festival hits Leeds this month Image: Eventbrite

Dr Rangan Chatterjee | 5 May 

Doctor Rangan Chatterjee is co-creator and teacher of the widely acclaimed course "Prescribing Lifestyle Medicine" with the Royal College of GPs. In his new book "Happy Mind, Happy Life" he explores the science behind finding happiness and fulfilment and let’s face it, we could all do with a little joy after the last couple of years. In this evening of conversation, he’ll be sharing ways in which we can make alterations to our mindset to support our mental wellbeing. 7.30pm; tickets from £21.60 at leedsheritagetheatres.com 

City Varieties Music Hall, Swan St, Leeds LS1 6LW

Chicago | 10-14 May

Return to the razzle-dazzle of the 1920s with an all-star cast for the raunchiest musical in town. Russell Watson is Billy Flynn, Coronation Street’s Faye Brookes plays Roxie Hart, Three Degrees legend Sheila Ferguson stars as Matron "Mama" Morton, and West End star Djalenga Scott is Velma Kelly. This satirical tale of murder, corruption, greed, and adultery has become one of the best-known musicals of all time. 2.30pm and 7.30pm; tickets from £24 to £49 at leedsheritagetheatres.com, limited availability remaining.

Leeds Grand Theatre, 46 New Briggate, Leeds LS1 6NU

RadhaRaman International Dance Festival | 22 May

Ahmed Kaysher has curated a selection of dance performances from a variety of cultural heritages. Expect Indian classical dance, Flamenco fusion with Bengali wedding dance, Irish dance, Persian and Latin American dance, Afro-Colombian dance, and more. You’ll also enjoy an array of live music and spoken word. A real globetrotting experience, right here in Leeds. 4pm; tickets available at eventbrite.co.uk

Civic Hall, Calverley Street, Leeds, LS1 1UR

Emeli Sande Is Playing Leeds In May
A key gig for May: Emeli Sandé Image: Wikicommons

Fairport Convention | 24 May

British folk-rock band Fairport Convention are celebrating their 55th anniversary this year. The group will perform a selection of favourites from their back catalogue, as well as hits from Shuffle & Go, which they released just before lockdown in 2020. Renowned for their high-energy performances, this one is sure to be an uplifting evening. Support is from Luke Jackson, and the show will last roughly 3 hours including an interval. 7.30pm; tickets £29 at leedsheritgetheatres.com 

City Varieties Music Hall, Swan St, Leeds LS1 6LW

Emeli Sandé | 28 May

Emeli Sandé is set to launch new album ‘Let’s Say For Instance’ and is celebrating with a solo piano tour. This promises to be an intimate performance with some mystery special guests. Sandé describes the forthcoming album as ‘an ode to resilience, rebirth, and renewal’, featuring current hit single Brighter Days, alongside previous singles Look What You’ve Done and Family. Expect a sensational evening from this multi-award winning artist. Start time TBC; tickets £34.10 at leedsheritagetheatres.com 

City Varieties Music Hall, Swan St, Leeds LS1 6LW

Regarding Forests Chrystel Lebas At Thackray Musuem Of Medicine Leeds
A walk in the forest will do you good Image: Chrystel Lebas

Thackray Museum of Medicine: Tranquillity Season | May and beyond

Thackray Museum of Medicine is launching its new programme promoting wellness and rejuvenation. The museum has partnered with The Wellcome Collection to bring Regarding Forests to The Thackray. Regarding Forests evokes an atmosphere of tranquillity and provides visitors with a space to rest and relax. You’ll also have the opportunity to take part in On the Trail of Tranquillity, a series of themed walks in Beckett Street Cemetery hosted by Balbir Singh Dance Company. Inspired by Regarding Forests, the local dance company will flavour their walks with interpretive art, dance and poetry performances. You’ll also find a host of fun family activities during the May half term. On The Trail Of Tranquillity walks are free but must be booked. Admission to Thackray Museum of Medicine starts from £11.95 and is valid for 12 months. Booking available at thackraymuseum.co.uk.

Beckett Street, Leeds, LS9 7LN

Festivals for May

North Leeds Food Festival | 14-15 May

Head to Roundhay Park and enjoy an array of taste sensations. You’ll find a whole host of street food traders and independent bars, as well as local purveyors of artisanal delectables to enjoy at home. Entertainment includes live music, chef demos, magicians and more. This is one for the whole family, so get the gang together and make an afternoon of it. 10am onwards; tickets available at northleedsfoodfestival.co.uk

Soldiers Fields, Roundhay, Leeds, LS8 1JX

(Main image credit: Malcolm Johnson)

Read next: Whipped cream, custard apples and drag: Turner Prize shortlist revealed

Read again: I wanted to learn about French wine so I went to Leeds

Get the latest news to your inbox

Get the latest food & drink news and exclusive offers by email by signing up to our mailing list. This is one of the ways that Confidentials remains free to our readers and by signing up you help support our high quality, impartial and knowledgable writers. Thank you!