The Sunday Practise - Festival Edition - Leeds International Festival

5, 7, 8, 12 May
Various times

The Sunday Practise – Festival Edition

Join this festival edition of The Sunday Practise as we highlight the North’s creative gems through film, performance and workshops.

The Sunday Practise (TSP) has been running over the past 5 years now, as a creative hub for those putting pen to paper, and performing, in and around Leeds. They now run the most established spoken word and live music night in Leeds, hosted by renowned poet and playwright Khadijah Ibrahiim, alongside guests both local and international.

Join this special Leeds International Festival edition of The Sunday Practise, as we highlight the North’s prolific creative gems, through film, performance and workshops with industry practitioners.

This Festival Edition includes a variety of events for all:

The Sunday Practise at L19 Cube with Khadijah Ibrahiim, Otis Mensah and many more

To end these series of events, we present a curated live show hosted by renowned international poet, playwright and Yorkshire lass, Khadijah Ibrahiim. Aroused by the quintessential atmosphere of The Sunday Practise, this evening show will present selected spoken word and musical talent from Leeds to Lancashire, showcasing the Norths true grit – including performance from The Sunday Practise very own resident poets and house band to kick things off. Vibe to a live DJ and performance set from Sheffield’s Poet Laureate, Otis Mensah – Also joining us from Sheffield, Zongo Music, fresh from their UK tour.

Making a special appearance on the evening will be poet, author and Artistic Director of SLAMbassadors, Joelle Taylor alongside celebrated writer and multi-disciplinary artist Malika Booker.

Khadijah will present a Sound System Culture Panel featuring skanking sounds from Blacka of Jungle warriors exploring the impact sound system has had on young people today. Come and join us for one final celebration of colorful characters ‘unshakable creative spirit’.

Film Club with Zodwa Nyoni, Jamal Gerald and Alfie Barker

The Sunday Practise Film Club will also screen 5 short poetry-related films commissioned by the BBC, roundhouse and other reputable organisations. Each of the Shorts either feature, or have been directed by, Northern talent. We have invited a few of the film directors, including Zodwa Nyoni, Jamal Gerald and Alfie Barker, for a panel discussion and Q&A at Leeds Central Library with Studio 12.

Writing for Publication workshop with Rommi Smith and Peepal Tree Press

We partner with Peepal Tree Press (a wholly independent publishing company based in Leeds, part of the crucial independent sector outside London), to bring you ‘Writing for Publication’.

‘Writing for Publication’ is a workshop facilitated by international writer and performer Rommi Smith. Rommi is the inaugural British Parliamentary Writer in Residence and inaugural Poet in Residence for Keats’ House. Bring along existing work (or just a pen and paper) to this workshop, where you will explore different literary devices that work well for the page, and learn about different strategies for getting published – from someone with first-hand experience of the trials and tribulations of being, and becoming, an author.

Writing for Performance with Saju Ahmed

Slam champion and poet of award winning documentary film ‘We Are Poets’, Saju Ahmed will facilitate a ‘Writing for Performance’ workshop. This workshop will explore the different writing techniques employed by slam and performance poets that will ultimately transfer onto the stage as an explosive performance.

The Sunday Practise at the Sela Bar

Experience a true staple of the Leeds arts scene and the warm Northern hug that is The Sunday Practise by catching us at our regular Sela Bar residence. House band Purple Lychee Collective will be providing sweet, jazzy sounds in accompaniment. Live music, spoken word, open mic – #characterswelcome !

Event partners

L19 Cube with Khadijah Ibrahiim, Otis Mensah and many more

Sunday 12 May 18:00 - 20:30
L19 Cube @ The Village

Film Club & L19 Cube Joint Ticket

Sunday 12 May Various
£12 standard / £7 concession
L19 Cube @ The Village

Film Club with Zodwa Nyoni, Jamal Gerald and Alfie Baker

Wednesday 8 May 17:00 - 19:00
Leeds Central Library

Writing for Publication with Rommi Smith

Tuesday 7 May 18:00 - 20:30
Free (ticket required)
Peepal Tree Press

Writing for Performance with Saju Ahmed

Tuesday 7 May 17:00 -19:00
Free - (ticket required)
Leeds Central Library

Additional Information:

Any age restrictions: 18+ for publication workshop / 16+ for performance workshop


Khadijah Ibrahiim was born in Leeds of Jamaican parentage. Hailed as one of Yorkshire’s most prolific poets by BBC Radio, she has appeared alongside the likes of Linton Kwesi Johnson, Lemn Sissay and Benjamin Zephaniah.

She is a literary activist, researcher, educator and Artistic director of Leeds Young Authors. Educated at the University of Leeds, she has a BA Honours in Arabic and Middle Eastern studies and a MA in Theatre Studies. In 2013 she was amongst several poets invited to Buckingham palace, where the Queen and Duke honoured the work of Contemporary British poetry. Her writing has been supported through Inscribe.

A qualified secondary school teacher, with over twenty years’ experience of working in diverse educational settings, Smith curates bespoke writing experiences for a variety of groups, organisations and authorities. Rommi mentored Theatre Masters’ students at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, as well as writers developing new opera at The Royal Opera House. She runs her own writing workshop for experienced writers. A number of group members have since gone on to study creative writing at Masters’ level.

Featured in the multi-award-winning documentary film, We Are Poets, Smith was poet coach to the film’s young poets in their lead up to competing at Brave New Voices poetry slam championships, in the US. Brave New Voices is widely recognised as the biggest and most prestigious poetry slam championships in the world.

The Rain is Coming is Smith’s feminist reworking of Schubert’s Die Schone Mullerin in collaboration with British composer Emily Levy and celebrated British baritone, Roderick Williams. The piece received its world premiere on BBC Radio 3.

Awarded a prestigious Hedgebrook Fellowship in the United States, Smith is a recipient of the Elizabeth George Award.

In 2014, I won the Channel 4 Playwright’s Scheme with my play, Boi Boi is Dead; and was made Writer-in-Residence at the West Yorkshire Playhouse. I was put up for the award by Alex Chisholm, then Literary Associate at the Playhouse.

The residency allows for a writer to develop their practice with the support from the literary department. Each residency is tailored to suit the writer’s needs. At the time of my appointment I’d recently graduated from my MA in Writing for Performance and Publication at Leeds University. I had a body of work in theatre, radio and film which had been written during my course or been commissioned by Freedom Studios and WYP.

Jamal Gerald is an artist based in Leeds. His work is conversational, socially conscious, a celebration of individuality and focuses on identity and lived experiences. Mostly making the type of work that he wants to see. Trying to make sure that each piece he creates is a different form to the one he made before. He has made work for poetry slams, films, parties, cafes and theatres. Jamal started off his career with Leeds Young Authors; a creative writing and performance group for the ages of 13-19. With Leeds Young Authors, he has competed in poetry slam competitions nationally and in the USA. One of the competitions being ‘Brave New Voices’.

He has made work in many different forms, such as a solo show where he shares autobiographical stories about being black and gay, to having one-to-one conversations about privilege, to stripping down to his underwear in the city centre of Leeds in a short film, and an interactive performance where he puts words in people’s mouths. In 2016, he nationally toured his first solo show ‘FADoubleGOT’. He was also a co-deviser and performer for the critically acclaimed ‘Putting Words in Your Mouth’, which premiered at the Roundhouse in November 2016; it was devised and directed by Scottee.

In 2018, he was commissioned by Transform and Theatre in the Mill, to make a new show called ‘Idol’, which will premiere at Transform 19 in Leeds. Jamal’s work has also been shown at SPILL Festival of Performance, Leeds Playhouse, Battersea Arts Centre and the Barbican.

Alfie is a 22 year old writer and director.

He recently directed, produced and edited TV mini-series “PRESENT TENSE” that is currently in post-production.

Last year he premiered his latest short, I WAS 3 starring KATIE JARVIS (Fish Tank) at the BFI.  It was then chosen as a finalist for the Sundance Ignite Competition and won Best Film at Cinemagic Film Festival. His upcoming project was developed with Creative England’s ShortFLIX and is due to be shot in 2019.

Alfie is an alumni of the BFI Film Academy graduating from the National Film and Television School (NFTS) Talent Campus, director of short film BEEN A RIOT.