All quiet in the library but Explore York encourages Libraries from Home online opportunities. Here’s what you can do…

York Explore Library and Archive, the York hub of Explore York in Museum Street, York

THIS is the time to explore Explore York online, providing the Libraries from Home service during the Coronavirus lockdown.

“If you are confused or overwhelmed by the huge amount of information on offer, Explore can help,” says executive assistant Gillian Holmes, encouraging visits to the website, exploreyork.org.uk, “where it is simple to find what you need”.

This encouragement comes after all Explore York library buildings, reading cafes and the City Archives were closed to the public from 12 noon on March 21, in response to Government strictures.

“We are making it easy for people to find information and advice, as well as inspiration, as we all deal with the Coronavirus crisis.”

The Explore website has assorted useful links to help people cope during the coming weeks. “Some sites have always been part of our online offer and some are brand new,” says Gillian.

“We are also working with City of York Council and our many partners in York, so that our communities can join together and we continue to support their initiatives, just as we will when our buildings open again. 

“Organisations across the country are developing their online services in this challenging time. We are using our expertise to gather together the best offers and add them to the lists of sites we recommend.” 

Explore York will be developing online activities of its own, such as a Virtual Book Group. “We will be updating the website regularly as these new things come on stream and sharing on social media using #LibrariesFromHome,” says Gillian.

The York Explore building: Quiet in the library but still seeking to be busy online

What’s available online from Explore York:

Updates on how Explore is responding during the pandemic and updates about what’s new at https://www.exploreyork.org.uk/coronavirus/ 

Information and support during the Coronavirus crisis from official sources at exploreyork.org.uk/recommended-websites/coronavirus-resources/ 

5000 Ebooks and audio books for adults and children free to borrow from the online library at exploreyork.org.uk/digital/e-books/ 

The chance to visit the new York Images site to explore the history of the city through photographs, illustrations, maps and archival documents at exploreyork.org.uk/digital/york-images/ 

The opportunity to start your family tree using Ancestry and Find My Past. The library editions are both free to use from home at exploreyork.org.uk/digital/online-reference/

Reliable information about everything can be found on the Online Reference pages at exploreyork.org.uk/digital/online-reference/ 

“Everything is free to access,” says Gillian. “All you need is a library card. You can get a card online and start using it immediately at exploreyork.org.uk/getting-a-library-card-or-yorkcard/.” 

Nothing happening in these long lock-down days. Everything off. Here are 10 Things To Do on the home front, courtesy of The Press, York. Week two.

Nothing happening full stop. Now, with time on your frequently washed hands, home is where the art is and plenty else besides

EXIT 10 Things To See Next Week in York and beyond for the unforeseeable future. Enter home entertainment, wherever you may be, whether still together or in isolation, in the shadow of the Coronavirus pandemic. From behind his closed door, CHARLES HUTCHINSON makes these further suggestions.

Compiling lists of best songs by favourite artists

THE Beatles, The Rolling Stones, solo Beatles, Van Morrison, Velvet Underground, solo Velvets, Bob Dylan, Dusty Springfield, Aretha Franklin, The Smiths, The Fall, whoever. Make a Top Ten or even Top 20, then send to friends to ask for their suggestions for the list and why they disagree with you.

You could also set up arguments: Kylie’s Top Ten versus Madonna; The Specials versus Madness; Holland Dozier Holland versus Bacharach and David; Rod Stewart versus Elton John; Abba versus Queen; U2 versus Coldplay. Any others?

Madness: More special than The Specials or is that utter madness?

Desert Island Slipped Discs

IF past editions of the BBC Radio 4 Sunday morning staple have slipped your attention, it is never too late to discover the back catalogue at the Beeb online. You could pick a running theme, such as artists, musicians, poets, scientists, entrepreneurs, comedians, sportsmen, film stars, pioneers and church leaders.

Or, given the very necessary daily Covid-19 briefings from Number 10, how about politicians? Margaret Thatcher (1978); Edward Heath (1988); Enoch Powell (1989); Alan Clark (1995); Tony Blair (1996); Gordon Brown (1996); David Cameron (2006)…or, for a satirical variation, Spitting Image’s Peter Fluck and Roger Law (1987)?  

Picking his eight before making it to Number 10: Tony Blair on Desert Island Discs in 1996

Follow the advice of Stephen Fry

FOLLOWING up last Thursday’s 10 Things advice to make a timetable for the day, Andrew Marr’s Sunday morning interview on the Beeb with national treasure and former Cundall Manor prep school teacher Stephen Fry elicited one gem of a suggestion. Take time, take longer, to do things, whether cooking a dish from a recipe book, or even when brushing your teeth.

Fry, the president of MIND, also advocated taking up a new hobby, or re-discovering a craft, in his case, calligraphy. Further suggestions: learn a language; learn sign language; test yourself on road signs (when did you last do that?).

Meanwhile, Fry’s partner in comedy since Cambridge Footlights days, House doctor Hugh Laurie, says of Coronavirus: “We solve it together by staying apart.”  Couldn’t have put it better.

Time to take time: Stephen Fry’s philosophy for these Coronavirus clampdown days

Administer a spring clean

STUCK at home, as you really should be by now, key workers excepted, this is the chance to gut rooms; to go through files, drawers, cupboards; to work out what clothes to keep and which to donate to charity shops. Likewise, games; books; kitchen utensils. Update Christmas card lists and address books.

Make time for nostalgia

DIG out old scrapbooks (Leeds United, League Champions, 1973-1974; the Cardiff Candlewits revue show, The Rantings Of A Raw Prawn, at the 1982 Edinburgh Fringe; cookery crush Nigella Lawson’s recipes – more pictures than recipes, to be truthful – to give three Hutch examples). Ah, those were the days.

Likewise, take a look through old photo albums, sure to trigger memories and promote family discussions… and maybe even lead you to research your family ancestry in the manner of BBC One’s Who Do You Think You Are?.

Scrapbook memories: Leeds United, champions, 1973-1974

Try to find good news

GREAT Yorkshire Show off. Ryedale Festival off. York Pride off. The Olympic Games off. The list of cancellations keeps growing. Against that backdrop, however, theatres, music venues and festivals are busy re-booking acts and shows for later in the year or next year.

Keep visiting websites for updates, whether York Barbican, York Theatre Royal, the Grand Opera House, wherever.

Look out too for the streaming of past shows. More and more theatres and arts companies are doing this.

Pyramid Gallery owner Terry Brett, on Stonegate, York, with a Piers Browne painting, before the Coronavirus shutdown

Online exhibitions

GALLERIES in York are going online to keep the art (and hopefully sales) going. Step forward Pyramid Gallery, in Stonegate, where owner Terry Brett has launched Strange Days.

This service is not only a website portal for works from this season’s Full Sunlight show, featuring Askrigg artist Piers Browne and Holtby sculptor Hannah Arnup, but Terry also is inviting the 144 artists from next month’s cancelled York Open Studios to show their work on there too.

One of Tom Wood’s paintings from The Abstract Crow, Lotte Inch Gallery’s first online-only exhibition

Anywhere else?

LOTTE Inch Gallery, at Fourteen Bootham, will host its first online-only exhibition, Yorkshire artist Tom Wood’s The Abstract Crow, from April 17 to May 16.

“Known for his imaginative and allusive abstract approach to painting, Tom will pay homage to his love for the natural world in his new paintings,” says Lotte.

Venturing outdoors 

AMID the stricter Government strictures, aside from walking the dog and one burst of exercise a day, gardening looks the most fruitful way to spend time outdoors. The first mow of the season; buds coming through; plants to plant; garden furniture to varnish: ready, steady, grow. 

One to follow on Twitter: Reasons To Stay Alive author Matt Haig. Picture: MIke Tipping

And what about…

Podcasts. Books. More podcasts. More books. Season two of Liar on Monday nights on ITV. Noughts + Crosses on BBC One on Thursdays. Writing a 10 Things like this one. Reading the regular Tweets from Matt Haig, the Reasons To Stay Alive author with the York past. Drinking hot drinks, gargling regularly, and building up your zinc levels, as well as all that hand-washing.

See you later, self-isolator.

Copyright of The Press, York

No shows, no gigs, no ideas? Feeling listless? Here are 10 Things To Do At Home, courtesy of The Press, York

Nothing happening full stop. Now, with time on your frequently washed hands, home is where the art is and plenty else besides

Exit 10 Things To See Next Week in York and beyond for the unforeseeable future. Enter home entertainment, wherever you may be, whether still together or in isolation, in the shadow of the Coronavirus pandemic. From behind his closed door, CHARLES HUTCHINSON makes these suggestions.

Compiling your Desert Island Discs

CREATE your own Desert Island Discs and accompanying reasons, should you ever be called to answer Lauren Laverne’s questions on the BBC Radio 4 Sunday morning staple. Cue Eric Coates’s opening theme, By The Sleepy Lagoon, then your eight music choices, one book choice, one luxury.

Then play your list, but cutting it down to eight will be much harder than you first expect.

Make a cut-out of Lauren Laverne and do your own edition of Desert Island Discs

Desert Island Discs, suggestion number two

AND while you are about it, also take every opportunity to raid the Beeb’s Desert Island Discs back catalogue at BBC Sounds. Recommendations? Ian Wright, former footballer, turned broadcaster; Dr John Cooper Clarke, sage Salford stick insect and man of multitudinous words; Kathy Burke, Camden Town actress, comedian, writer, producer and director.

Make a timetable for the day

LIKE you would at work…though this timetable may not be possible, if indeed you are working from home.

Nevertheless, should the time need passing, allow, say, an hour for each activity, be it writing; reading; playing board games at the stipulated distances apart or card games, which can be done on your own, such as Patience; watching a movie, maybe a long-neglected DVD rescued from a dusty shelf; or whatever else is on your list.

“Puzzles are wonderfully relaxing yet keep the brain very active ,” says jigsaw enthusiast and York actor Ian Giles

Re-discover a childhood joy

PLUCKING one out of the air, how about jigsaw puzzles, a favourite of Mother Hutch and Granny Pyman before her.

“They are wonderfully relaxing yet keep the brain very active and there’s a feeling of creative satisfaction on completion,” recommends York actor Ian Giles, a devotee of such puzzle solving.

Singing

YORK singer Jessa Liversidge runs the Singing For All choir, as heard savouring I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing at Big Ian’s A Night To Remember at a packed York Barbican (remember those days?) on Leap Year Saturday.

Now, abiding by the Government’s Avoid Unnecessary Social Contact advice, to keep people singing, she is planning a range of online singing opportunities to suit not only her Singing For All and Easingwold Community Singers folks, but “any frustrated singers”. “Get in touch to find out how to join,” says Jessa, whose Twitter account is @jessaliversidge. She posts regularly.

Still on song: York singer Jessa Liversidge would like to reach the world to sing online

Lighting a candle

THE Archbishop of York, the Most Reverend Dr John Sentamu, is asking us all to place a lighted candle in our window at 7pm this coming Sunday “as a sign of solidarity and hope in the light of Christ that can never be extinguished”.

Baking

ALL those cookbooks that you bought for the nice pictures, but have never opened since, are bursting with opportunities to try out a new dish…if the supermarket shelves have not been emptied by 10 o’clock in the morning.

Why not raid the store cupboard too, check the dates (and the dried dates from last Christmas) and see if anything may come in handy. The likelihood is more and more hours will have to be spent at home; this is a chance to stretch your culinary skills.

Candlelight: The Archbishop of York, the Most Reverend Dr John Sentamu’s Sunday request

Gardening

HOPEFULLY, going for walks, maintaining a safe, previously anti-social distance, will still be a possibility, as advocated by Prime Minister Johnson, until otherwise stated.

If not, or if isolation is your way ahead, spring is in the air, gardens are turning green, the grass is growing. Gardening will surely be one of the unbroken joys of the ever-so-uncertain path that lies ahead.

Should you not have a garden, windowsills are havens for green-fingered pursuits: the seeds of much content.

And what about…

Podcasts. Books. More podcasts. More books. Box sets (yawn). Discovering a new band online, or maybe an old one you had long neglected. Writing a 10 Things like this one. Reading Bard of Barnsley Ian McMillan’s morning Tweets, or any time of day, in fact. Reading York musician and motivational speaker Big Ian Donaghy’s perennially positive thoughts for the day @trainingcarers, BIGIAN #DEMENTIAisAteamGAME. Watch Channel 4 News, especially Jon Snow, one bright-tied 72 year old who should defy the imminent Government “curfew” on the over-70s. (UPDATE: 19/3/2020. Or maybe not. Tonight he broadcast from his central London home.)

Poetry in motion: Ian McMillan’s joyous Tweets from his early-morning walks

And finally…

PLEASE stop flicking through social media at every turn…except for displays of the ever-so-British black humour in response to the new C-word.

Any suggestions for further editions of 10 Things To Do At Home And Beyond are most welcome. Please send to charles.hutchinson104@gmail.com

CORONAVIRUS: City Screen closed from today in line with all Picturehouse cinemas

Going dark: City Screen, York, is closed until further notice

CITY Screen, York, is closed from today, in response to the Coronavirus epidemic, in line with all fellow cinemas in the Picturehouse chain.

A statement from “the Picturehouse Team” says: “It’s with great sadness that Picturehouse is today announcing the closure of all its cinemas across the UK, starting from Wednesday, March 18 2020, until further notice.

“This decision was made in the light of the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and recent UK government advice, which the company has been carefully monitoring and following.

“The safety and well-being of our customers, our members and our staff is our utmost priority at Picturehouse and we are committed to providing a safe and healthy environment within our cinemas.” 

All City Screen – and Picturehouse at large – customers who pre-booked tickets online or on the phone will be emailed and then be issued a refund automatically within 14 days. 

City Screen, York: marked its 20th anniversary in January

Customers who purchased tickets in person should contact enquiries@picturehouses.co.uk, where the customer care team will be able to assist.

Picturehouse memberships, including at City Screen, will retain their value and all members will be contacted in due course with further information. 

The statement continues: “We deeply value our cinema-loving audience and staff and their health and wellbeing is our number one priority during this difficult time. We look forward to welcoming our Picturehouse customers back through our doors as soon as possible.

“We will continue to update customers via our email mailing list and please follow our social media channels.” 

Those channels are:

Twitter: @picturehouses

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/picturehouses/

Instagram:@picturehouses

CORONAVIRUS: Leeds Grand Theatre, Leeds City Varieties and Hyde Park Picture House close until further notice

The Leeds Grand Theatre auditorium. Picture: Simon Hulme

LEEDS Grand Theatre, Leeds City Varieties Music Hall and Hyde Park Picture House are closing from today “to help slow the spread of Coronavirus”.

The decision was taken with regret following official government advice issued on Monday, stipulating that people should avoid public buildings, including theatres.

The three venues under the Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House Ltd umbrella will “remain closed until further notice and will re-open as soon as possible – following government recommendations”.

Leeds City Varieties Music Hall

Chief executive Chris Blythe said: “We are extremely grateful to all of our audiences who have continued to support us for as long as they can, and to our staff who have worked tirelessly in recent weeks to ensure the safety and enjoyment of audiences. 

“These are unprecedented times – combined we have been open for over 400 years – and closing our venues is not a decision that has been taken lightly. In truth, this will have a severe impact on the future of Leeds Grand Theatre & Opera House Ltd. Our future is now uncertain, but the safety of our visitors and staff has always been our priority.”

Hyde Park Picture House, Brudenell Road, Leeds

Mr Blythe went on: “We will continue to follow advice from the Government and work closely with the touring companies and artists that are due to visit our venues over the coming months and hope that we will be able to open our doors again very soon. We thank everyone for their continued support and loyalty.” 

Audience members for a performance/screening that has been cancelled will be contacted in due course by staff. “All customers are entitled to a refund, but as Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House Ltd is a charitable enterprise, those who can afford to are encouraged to donate the cost of their ticket to show support for the future of our venues,” today’s statement said.

“Over the coming weeks, we will continue to provide regular updates. Ticket holders are asked to bear in mind that our customer service teams are extremely busy, and we would appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding at this time.”

Thought for the morning after…Was this the day the music died?

Just what exactly did happen yesterday?

HAS there ever been a more cynical, anti-arts, pro-insurance industry posh pals statement from Prime Minister Johnson than yesterday’s first Coronavirus daily briefing?

For one so notoriously careless with words, despite his love of a luxuriant lexicon, his careful avoidance of enforcing a shutdown of pubs, clubs, theatres etc, in favour of merely recommending “avoiding unnecessary social” interaction, effectively amounts to washing his and his Government’s hands of the future of one of the power houses of British life: the entertainment industry.

No formal closures means no chance of insurance pay-outs. In an already increasingly intolerant, Right-veering Britain, with its Brexit V-sign to Europe, could it be this is another way to try to suffocate and stifle our potent, provocative, influential, politically challenging, counter-thinking, all-embracing, anti-divisive, collective-spirited, often radical, always relevant, life-enriching, rather than rich-enriching, font of free expression, protest and empowerment?

Was this the day the music died?

History shows that the arts, the pubs, the theatres, the counter-culture, has always found a way to bite back, to fight back, often at times of greatest repression and depression. No Margaret Thatcher, no Specials’ Ghost Town.

We and our very necessary social interactions shall be back, hopefully after only a short break. Meanwhile, we are all in the hands of science, that equally progressive bedfellow to the arts.

City Screen to show International Women’s Day preview of Radioactive with Q&A

Rosamund Pike as pioneering Polish scientist Marie Curie in Radioactive

CITY Screen, York, will mark International Women’s Day on March 8 with an exclusive Picturehouse preview of Radioactive, the biopic of pioneering Polish scientist Marie Curie starring Rosamund Pike.

Marie discovered the radioactive elements radium and polonium. Working with her husband, Pierre Curie (played by Sam Riley), she was the first woman to receive a Nobel Prize and would become the only person to receive two.

Throughout her life, Marie showed a steely reserve in the face of xenophobia and institutional hostility, but her discoveries and legacy came at a price, not only for the woman herself but also for the world.

Next Sunday’s 1.30pm preview will be followed by a Q&A with Rosamund Pike and director Marjane Satrapi, broadcast live from the Curzon Mayfair, London.

On general release from March 20, Radioactive (12A) is based on Lauren Redniss’s book Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale Of Love And Fallout and is director Satrapi’s first film to be sourced from a graphic novel not written by herself.

The Iranian-born director is best known for Persepolis, her 2008 film about her life in pre-revolutionary and post-revolutionary Iran and then in Europe. Based on her graphic novel of the same title, it traces Satrapi’s growth from child to rebellious, punk-loving teenager.

Tickets are available in person from the City Screen box office, in Coney Street, on 0871 902 5747 or at picturehouses.com/cinema/city-screen-picturehouse. Please note, the film screening will start promptly at 1.45pm.

All you need is extra tickets and a new venue for music film-maker Tony Palmer’s Harrogate Film Festival event

Film-maker Tony Palmer with The Beatles’ John Lennon

A RUSH of ticket sales has prompted a change of venue for The Rock Goes To The Movies evening with BAFTA-winning filmmaker Tony Palmer next month in Harrogate.

This exclusive Harrogate Film Festival event on March 12 will switch from RedHouse Originals art gallery to The Clubhouse at Cold Bath Brewing Co, on Kings Road, only five minutes from the original location on Cheltenham Mount.

“The evening sold out all its stickers at £12 a pop so quickly that we’ve have had to move to a bigger location,” says Harrogate Advertiser journalist and Charm event promoter Graham Chalmers, a stalwart of the Harrogate music scene, who will be hosting the Q&A with the legendary film-maker, now 77.

“That means extra tickets have been put on sale and are available via the box office at Harrogate Theatre.”

All existing tickets are still valid for the new venue for the 7pm event that will combine a film screening with the Q&A session about Palmer’s work with The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Leonard Cohen, Rory Gallagher, Cream, Frank Zappa, The Who, Donovan and many more.

The London-born film-maker and cultural critic has more than 100 films to his name, ranging from early works with The Beatles, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Rory Gallagher (Irish Tour ’74) and Frank Zappa (200 Motels), to his classical profiles of Maria Callas, Margot Fonteyn, John Osborne, Igor Stravinsky, Richard Wagner, Benjamin Britten, Ralph Vaughan Williams and more besides.

Over the past 50 years, Palmer has received more than 40 international prizes, including 12 gold medals from the New York Film Festival, along with numerous BAFTAs and Emmy Awards.

The Beatles: rare screening of Tony Palmer’s film of the Fab Four will be a highlight of the Harrogate Film Festival event on March 12

Palmer, who served an apprenticeship with Ken Russell and Jonathan Miller, made the landmark film All My Loving, the first ever about pop music history, first broadcast in 1968.

He was responsible too for the iconic live film Cream Farewell Concert, shot at the supergroup’s last-ever show at the Royal Albert Hall: a memorable night with Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker in 1968.

Harrogate Film Festival founder Adam Chandler says: “Tony Palmer’s glittering career deserves such an event, so we can’t wait to welcome him. We’re delighted this film-making legend is so popular and are grateful to our venue partners, Cold Bath Brewing Co and RedHouse Originals, for enabling this exciting event to happen.”

Host Chalmers says: “Palmer is the greatest arts documentary filmmaker Britain has produced in the past 50 years and personally knew most of the greatest figures in the classical music world, as well as rock music.

“The fact he’s making the journey to Harrogate as a stand-alone event shows how highly regarded Harrogate Film Festival is nationally and shows that Harrogate, despite appearances, is a town with a genuine rock’n’roll pedigree.”

RedHouse Originals gallery previously has played host to Pop Art doyen Sir Peter Blake and still will be involved in next month’s event, hanging classic 1960s’ artwork and photography at The Clubhouse and curating the music playlist for the after-show party.

The sleeve artwork for All You Need Is Love, Tony Palmer’s 1977-1978 series on The Story Of Popular Music

Presented by Chalmers in conjunction with Harrogate Film Society, Rock Goes To The Movies will feature a rare screening of Palmer’s film about The Beatles that featured in his All You Need Is Love TV series, with a script by Fab Four insider Derek Taylor, plus clips from Palmer’s Cream Farewell Concert film.

Tickets available from harrogatetheatre.co.uk, on 01423 502116 or in person from the Harrogate Theatre box office. More information on the 2020 Harrogate Film Festival at harrogatefilm.co.uk.

Any profits from the evening will go to Harrogate Film Society and Harrogate Film Festival.



Tony Palmer’s ten music films
1. All You Need Is Love,1975-1976,17-part series on the history of American Popular Music from Bing Crosby to The Beatles.
2. Bird On A Wire, 1972, featuring Leonard.
3. All My Loving,1968, including The Who, The Beatles and more.
4. Cream Farewell Concert 1968.        
5. 200 Motels – Frank Zappa,1971.
6. Rory Gallagher – Irish Tour,1974.        
7. A Time There Was, 1979, profile of composer Benjamin Britten.
8. Tangerine Dream – Live In Coventry Cathedral,1975.
9. Ginger Baker In Africa,1971.
10. Wagner – By Charles Wood, music conducted by Georg Solti, photographed by Vittorio Storaro; with Richard Burton, Vanessa Redgrave and Laurence Olivier,1983.

City Screen to celebrate Federico Fellini’s films with Vintage Sundays season

Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg in Federico Fellini’s 1960 film La Dolce Vita

ITALIAN film director Federico Fellini will be the focus of a Vintage Sundays retrospective season at City Screen, York, from March 8.

Dave Taylor, City Screen’s marketing manager, says: “We’re delighted to present five films from the maestro of Italian cinema on Sundays at midday throughout March and stretching into April.”

First up, on March 8, will be Fellini’s first international success, 1953’s I Vitelloni (PG), a nakedly autobiographical film, set in his hometown of Rimini, that follows the lives of five young vitelloni, or layabouts.

1956’s Night Of Cabira (PG), on March 15, bridges the transition between Fellini’s early neo-realist period and his later more fantastical works. His bittersweet and eloquent glimpse into the life and dreams of an eternally optimistic prostitute in Rome later provided the inspiration for the musical Sweet Charity.

La Dolce Vita (12A), from 1960, is an era-defining sensation that chronicles seven nights and seven dawns in the life of gossip journalist Marcello in a vast widescreen fresco of the glitterati of Rome at the height of Italy’s post-war economic boom. Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg star.

Fellini’s 1963 film, 8½ (15), on March 29, is a semi-autobiographical portrait of creative block and one of the great films about film-making. Beleaguered auteur Guido is unable to finish the film he has planned, luxuriating in his inner conflicts.

The Fellini finale will be 1965’s Juliet Of The Spirits (15) on April 5. His first colour feature is an exercise in the neuroses and fantasies of a woman, played by Fellini’s wife, Giulietta Masina, who suspects that her husband is betraying her.

All the films will start at 12 noon. Bookings can be made on 0871 902 5747, at picturehouses.com or in person at the Coney Street Picturehouse cinema. 

What’s on the horizon at York’s National Centre for Early Music this spring?

Richard Durrant: cycling from concert to concert en route from Orkney to Sussex. York awaits on June 14

THE National Centre for Early Music’s 20th anniversary spring season in York opens not with the raising of a glass of champagne, but with a Cuppa & A Chorus.

Led by community musician Chris Bartram, the 2pm to 4pm session on February 24 is an opportunity to sing in a relaxed environment and enjoy a cup of tea, a slice of cake and a friendly chat.

Up to 50 singers attend each monthly gathering to sing “songs you know and love and explore new ones from around the world”, and further sessions of “Connecting Through Singing” will follow on March 30, April 20, May 18 and June 22. The charge is £3.50 each time; booking is recommended and more details can be found at ncem.co.uk/cuppachorus.

Helen Charlston: taking part in the University of York Song Day on February 29. Picture: Ben McKee

2020’s concert programme opens with the University of York Song Day, an afternoon and evening of three concerts under the title The Year of Song on Leap Year Saturday, February 29. The focus falls on romantic lieder in the 19th century company of Robert Schumann at 12.30pm; Robert and Clare Schumann at 3pm and their protégé Johannes Brahms, along with Robert, at 7pm.

Soprano Bethany Seympour, mezzo-soprano Helen Charlston, tenor Gwilym Bowen and fortepiano player Peter Seymour perform the first and last concerts; soprano Emily Tindall, bass Jonty Ward and fortepiano player Nicky Losseff, the middle one.

Silent Films At The NCEM return with Franz Osten’s 1928 epic Shiraz: A Romance Of India (cert U) on March 8 at 7.30pm, telling the story behind the creation of the Taj Mahal, screened in a BFI restoration with a score by Anoushka Shankar.

Acoustic Triangle: blurring the boundaries between classical, jazz music and the avant-garde on June 23

As part of the Yorkshire Silent Film Festival, running from May 5 to 17 with live music in village halls, theatres, cinemas and the NCEM, a double bill of Funny Business (U) at 4pm and The Woman  One Longs For (PG) at 7pm will be shown on May 10.

Jonny Best’s piano accompanies Laurel & Hardy and comedy’s greatest female clown, Mabel Normand, in Funny Business; Best is joined by violinist  Irine Rosnes for Curtis Bernhardt’s 1929’s German film, The Woman One Longs For, wherein Marlene Dietrich shines in her first starring role as a mysterious femme fatale in a steamy tale of erotic obsession.

Folk At The NCEM has two concerts to be presented in association with York’s Black Swan Folk Club: Urban Folk Quartet, supported by Stan Graham, on March 9 and Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman’s On Reflection show on April 22.

Jazz drummer Jeff Williams: in Bloom at the NCEM. Picture: Bob Hewson

Urban Folk Quartet’s high-energy, multi-instrumental virtuosos Joe Broughton, Paloma Trigas, Tom Chapman and Dan Walsh combine Celtic tunes and traditional song with Afrobeat, Indian classical, funk and rock.

2020 marks 25 years of husband-and-wife duo Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman making music together. To celebrate this anniversary, they take a whistle-stop tour through their past, revisiting and reinterpreting songs from the early days of folk supergroup Equation to latest album Personae, via a nod or two to their extra-curricular musical adventures.

Scottish traditional folk duo Aly Bain & Phil Cunningham, who have toured together since 1986, play on March 29 and folk guitarist, composer and ukulele player Richard Durrant returns to the NCEM on June 14 as part of his Music For Midsummer tour that will take him 860 miles by bicycle from Orkney to Sussex.

Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman: whistle-stop tour through 25 years of making folk music

On his fourth and longest Cycling Music adventure, travelling with his guitar and ukulele, he will be showcasing his new album Weald Barrows. “I’ll be cycling down from Orkney alone this year and this will, for me at least, introduce a magic and a concentration to the music,” says Durrant, whose 7.30pm concert will be featured in the York Festival of Ideas.

On May 25, the NCEM plays host to Youth Sampler Day from 11am to 4pm, a chance for 12 to 18-year-old musicians to play by ear, develop their creativity and discover more about the National Youth Folk Ensemble.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for young musicians to learn from inspiring professional musicians, with no experience of folk music necessary, and there’ll be opportunities to take part in a short audition for the ensemble too,” says NCEM director Delma Tomlin.

Antonio Forcione: return visit to the National Centre for Early Music

Jazz At The NCEM presents the returning Italian guitarist Antonio Forcione on April 26; legendary London and New York drummer Jeff Williams’ Bloom trio, featuring pianist Carmen Staaf and bass guitarist Michael Formanek, on May 17, and University of York Jazz Orchestra, directed by James Mainwaring, with composer John Low on piano,  in a May 29 programme spanning quasi-classical textures to full-on big band sounds.

The jazz line-up continues with innovative trumpet player and composer Byron Wallen’s Four Corners, with Rob Luft, on guitar, Paul Michael on bass and Rod Young on drums, on June 10, when they will be taking part in the York Music Forum Showcase too.

In a concert embraced by the York Festival of Ideas, Wallen will be putting his new album Portrait in the spotlight, conceived when sitting in the central square in Woolwich and being struck by the community around him with its mixture of ages and nationalities. Wallen last played at the NCEM last October as a member of Cleveland Watkiss’s band.

Trumpet player Byron Wallen: leading Four Corners at the NCEM. Picture: Urszula Tarasiewicz

Acoustic Triangle blur the boundaries between classical, jazz music and the avant-garde on their return to the NCEM on June 23 with their adventurous repertoire of compositions by band members Tim Garland (saxophone, bass clarinet) and Gwilym Simcock (piano), plus Kenny Wheeler, John Taylor, Bill Evans, Olivier Messiaen and Maurice Ravel. Double bassist Malcolm Creese completes their line-up.

World Sound At The NCEM welcomes more returnees, Scottish combo Moishe’s Bagel, on March 27 with their cutting-edge, intoxicating, life-affirming Eastern European and Middle Eastern folk and klezmer music.

Everything stops for tea at 7.30pm on June 9 in the second World Sound event, Manasamitra’s Tea Houses: Camellia Sinensis, a show that tells the story of tea as new live music mixes with lighting and soundscapes, participatory tea rituals and ambisonic technology that captures the audience’s emotional responses in the performance space.

Teatime at the NCEM in Manasamitra’s Tea Houses: Camellia Sinensis

Creator Supriya Nagarajan uses her experience of synaesthesia to explore the interplay between sight, sound, taste and smell in a multi-media show that directly engages the 7.30pm audience in a musical interpretation of a tea ceremony that now forms part of the York Festival of Ideas.

Early Music At The NCEM has two highlights: the Early Music Day on March 21 and the University of York Baroque Day on May 2.

Three concerts in one day make up the Early Music Day, featuring harpsichordist playing JS Bach’s 48 Preludes & Fugues Part 1 at 1pm at the NCEM; recorder ensemble Palisander, with the NCEM’s Minster Minstrels, presenting Double, Double Toil And Trouble at 3.30pm at the Unitarian Chapel, St Saviourgate, and The Brabant Ensemble’s Cloistered Voices at 6pm at the NCEM. Previously known as the European Day of Music, the Early Music Day will be streamed across Europe.

Trumpet player Crispian Steele Perkins: performing at the University of York Baroque Day

The University of York Baroque Day is likewise divided into three concerts, taking the theme of Airs and Graces: A Musical Miscellany. At 12.30pm, trumpeter Crispian Steele Perkins joins Yorkshire Baroque Soloists for theatre music by Purcell and a flamboyant arrangement of Vivaldi’s La Follia; at 3pm, harpsichordist Masumi Yamamoto plays works by Handel, Scarlatti and Aime; the University Baroque Ensemble rounds off the day at 7pm with Scottish airs arranged by James Oswald and Geminiani.

Families At The NCEM brings Leeds company Opera North to York for 11.30am and 2pm performances of Dr Seuss’s Green Ham And Eggs in an introduction to opera for four to seven-year-old children and their families.

Two opera singers and a nine-piece orchestra begin their short performance with an interactive workshop introducing families to the music, instruments and themes within the piece, before they bring to musical life Dr Seuss’s tale of the persistent Sam-I-Am’s mission to persuade a grumpy grouch to try a delicious plate of green eggs and ham.

Sam Sweeney: playing the NCEM in the autumn

Looking ahead to the autumn, concerts in the NCEM diary already are folk trio Faustus (Benji Kirkpatrick, Saul Rose, Paul Sartin) on October 13; Chiaroscuro Quartet’s Mozart String Quartets, November 18; Unearth Repeat, with Sam Sweeney, Jack Rutter, Louis Campbell and Ben Nicholls, November 23, and Lady Maisery: Awake Arise, A Christmas Show For Our Times, with Jimmy Aldridge and Sid Goldsmith, December 18.

In this 20th anniversary year, “this spring we are undertaking an essential refurbishment programme, in part to upgrade some of the facilities that are showing the strain of so much usage,” says Delma, as new loos and a kitchen take shape.

“We’ll be celebrating the anniversary fully in the autumn, especially with a commission that will engage Early music with digital technology and field recordings from Askham Bog. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust will be involved, as will gamba player Liam Byrne this autumn.”

Tickets for the NCEM spring season are on sale on 01904 658338 and at ncem.co.uk.