The Things We Wouldn’t Otherwise Find Review

The Leeds Library – Until Saturday 17th November 2018

Reviewed By Dawn Smallwood


Written by Emma Adams and directed by Tess Seddon, The Things We Wouldn’t Otherwise Find premieres at The Leeds Library. The Leeds Library was founded in 1768 and is one of the oldest subscription libraries in the country. This library is celebrating 250 years of its existence and what couldn’t be more fitting is for this beautiful library to host this exciting play.

Amid the uncertainty of the libraries’ future and the prominence of the internet and information technology, the play explores how libraries are a place for many, past and present, and how they can be secured in the future. The Leeds Library’s reading room is a fitting space for this two cast play to explore those purposes.

Each of the themes is structured with “chapters” of a book which explore and discuss how “libraries are the past and are the spirit of the present”. Relationships, challenged perceptions, different forms of learning and creativity, community cohesion and issues including social isolation, and value of books are explored, challenged, discussed and analysed.

Sinead Parker and David Judge put on a stellar performance that brings Adams’ unique style of writing alive and they play a multiple of roles that are a contrast to each other and alights the library’s reading room and its walled books. It is felt certainly that libraries today are very important places to many people as concluded that “libraries are a million of things to millions of people”.

Adams writes convincingly and beautifully The Things We Wouldn’t Otherwise Find which brings up multitude of emotions concerning libraries and the emphasis on no prescriptive way to view libraries. It is evident today to see how libraries are evolving, being made more accessible, community focused, and meeting the demands and needs of the 21st Century. A must see play and this production will certainly celebrate and achieve a wider audience when it tours libraries across Leeds. Library lovers will have the opportunity to celebrate such and be reassured that library will have things otherwise wouldn’t be found.


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