BRADFORD performer Kafayat Adegoke is helping to tell the story of life in Leeds in the final production before the capital redevelopment of the city’s Quarry Theatre.

For Kafayat, who honed her acting skills in her native Nigeria, it is the most ‘iconic’ performance she has participated in since she began acting at the age of 16.

“This is the most iconic, I will never forget this one,” she says proudly.

Featuring a 70 strong cast of performers from the community, ‘Searching for the Heart of Leeds’ follows the journey of lost Loiner, Ben, as she searches the landmarks, communities and histories of the city to find what makes Leeds Leeds.

Written by BAFTA-nominated writer, Mark Catley it is inspired by more than 200 different stories told by Leeds residents.

Kafayat, who lives in Bradford where she has worked with organisations such as Freedom Studios and will be performing with Wrongsemble Theatre Company as part of this year’s Bradford Literature Festival, plays the part of a refugee who she describes as feisty and inspirational.

The 32-year-old explains the part demands plenty of facial expressions. “I like my character, she is inspirational,” says Kafayat.

Her introduction to acting came through a passion for putting herself in other people’s shoes; being able to portray their feelings.

Back home Kafayat performed as a member of the Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners. Actor Adebayo Salami, also known as Oga Bello, was a pioneer member.

Study brought her to Leeds where she undertook her BA in film and television and MA in performing.

For Kafayat, performing in what will be the final production at the Quarry Theatre before the redevelopment, makes her participation in the show even more memorable.

“It is one of those shows, it is a classic one - no-one will ever forget that,” she says.

Searching for the Heart of Leeds is directed by Playhouse Director of Creative Engagement Alexander Ferris.

“The Playhouse has always been a theatre for the people. The fact that it exists is down to the people of Leeds rallying round and calling it into being. This project is the next exciting stage in the development of that central idea and we can’t wait to share what we’ve been doing with the city. We’ve got a brilliant cast and company that represents Leeds in all its diversity and it makes sense that our most democratic space of all, the Quarry Theatre, will be full of those voices immediately prior to our redevelopment."

Writer Mark Catley said: “Searching for the Heart of Leeds is a collection of short stories, some nostalgic, some contemporary, which, when knitted together, give a very real and emotional reflection of what it means to live in Leeds. Listening to my fellow Loiners has been a pleasure, and I hope audiences enjoy their stories as much as I have.”

The show runs until tomorrow (Saturday June 23). Call 0113 213 7700 or visit