Tickets on sale for poetry performance of exclusive work by Simon Armitage and the band LYR

Tickets are on sale for a poetry performance with a difference…

Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage, and the band LYR will be premiering a performance of a new an exclusive collection of poems and lyrics titled ‘Barnsley – An Unnatural History’


This is a new collection of poems/lyrics by the Poet Laureate Simon Armitage, inspired by his residency on Eldon Street in Barnsley town centre, and performed and presented live with his band LYR.

Taking place in the Parkway Cinema on Friday, 23 September at 7pm, the event is part of the Eldon Street High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) project. It will feature the new works by Simon and LYR, inspired by animal stories from Eldon Street, with a few surprises along the way. Audience members are invited to come dressed in animal inspired clothes, accessories or just bring an animal spirit or two.

Simon Armitage has been the artist in residence with the Eldon Street Heritage Action Zone for the past year exploring Eldon Street, it’s mythologies, stories, character and using Barnsley Archives as a creative resource. Simon was particularly interested in tales of a now almost mythical Natural History Museum that used to exist until the 1960s on the top floor of today’s modern Barnsley Civic.

LYR (Land Yacht Regatta) are Poet Laureate Simon Armitage, singer-songwriter Richard Walters, and multi-instrumentalist/producer Patrick James Pearson. Formed in 2018, LYR are now a firmly established part of the contemporary music scene, with regular radio airplay across the networks, a critically acclaimed debut album, Call In The Crash Team, and over two million streams to their name.  They have appeared at several major festivals over the past three years including Green Man and Blu Dot and completed UK tours and sell-out events at venues such as the Howard Assembly Rooms in Leeds.


Councillor Robert Frost, Cabinet Spokesperson for Regeneration and Culture, said: “ The Eldon Street HSHAZ project has been a resounding success. Breathing new life into the historic area that has been at the heart of our town centre for so long.  The three year project not only connects history and communities, it’s also supporting businesses in growing and developing in the future.  Simon’s support during his time as Poet Laureate has been incredible and to see all his hard work and creativity brought together in this unique performance is a real honour.  It again shows the ambition, aspiration, and power of culture in Barnsley.”

Nicky Brown, from Historic England, said: “This fantastic collaboration with Simon Armitage has brought Eldon Street’s heritage to life in a unique, intriguing way. It’s a great example of the innovative way that the High Street Heritage Action Zones are helping to revitalise town centres, celebrating their rich history and making them more attractive to residents, businesses, tourists and investors.”

Tickets are £7 and are available online at Tickets are limited so people are encouraged to book early for this event.

More information about the project can be found at