The Leadmill Sheffield: Eddie Izzard announces special shows this weekend to support under-threat music venue

Stand-up star Eddie Izzard has thrown her weight behind the campaign to save The Leadmill by announcing two special shows this weekend.

By Robert Cumber
Tuesday, 5th April 2022, 2:28 pm

She will perform her stand-up show Wunderbar+, featuring new and classic material, at the famous Sheffield music venue on Leadmill Road this Saturday, April 9, at 7pm.

And on Sunday, April 10, at 3pm, the venue will stage her theatrical performance of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations.

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Eddie Izzard is performing two special shows at The Leadmill in support of the famous Sheffield venue, which faces an uncertain future after the building's owner said it plans to take over running the venue once the lease expires next year (pic: Ian West/PA)

Izzard is the latest big name to show support for The Leadmill’s #wecantloseleadmill campaign after it emerged the venue’s landlord, Electric Group, which already owns and runs a number of other music venues in other cities, plans to take over once the current management team’s 20-year lease runs out in March 2023.

Electric Group says it intends to preserve the building as a music venue and invest around £1 million improving facilities, but critics claim that by ousting the people who have spent 42 years building its reputation as a launchpad for new talent like the Arctic Monkeys the spirit which makes the venue so special will be destroyed.

The Leadmill said: “We’re delighted to announce that the iconic Eddie Izzard will be performing two very special Sheffield shows this weekend at The Leadmill in support of our #WeCantLoseLeadmill campaign.

“It is a tremendous honour to be hosting such a revered performing talent, and we can’t express our gratitude enough to Eddie and her team for organising these performances at such short notice.”

It added: “As well as being a perfect example of the world-class talent we’ve consistently showcased at The Leadmill, these two shows are also the kind of performances that would cease to happen should our landlords push ahead with their eviction plans, as their venues do not programme comedy or theatre.”

Eddie Izzard said: “Supporting #WeCantLoseLeadmill is something I really want to do as The Leadmill opened the same year I first arrived in Sheffield and I feel my own creative career started just as this iconic venue began.

“It has supported and showcased so many Sheffield, UK and International acts over its 42 years that it is a cultural treasure. It is a venue that Sheffield and South Yorkshire must not lose”.

A spokesman for The Leadmill added: “We've had support from lots of acts and are in talks with them about shows to help the campaign but nothing locked in just yet.”

Thousands of people have signed a number of unofficial petitions which have been set up in support of The Leadmill, which plans to launch its own official petition shortly.

For more information and to buy tickets for Eddie Izzard’s shows, visit: https://leadmill.co.uk.