What’s in store at Friargate Theatre’s autumn return? Comedy, theatre, music, film, story-telling and family shows

Friargate Theatre’s brochure cover for the Autumn 2024 season

THE poster boxes have gone, the windows are clear, the entrance hallway has new seating, all signs of the revival of activities at the Friargate Theatre in York.

Most significantly of all, brochures for the autumn season of comedy, theatre, storytelling, music, film and family shows at the home of Riding Lights Theatre Company are being distributed around the city.

In the wake of the death of Riding Lights founder and director and Friargate Theatre artistic programmer Paul Burbridge last year, the Christian theatre company is in the process of recruiting a new executive director and artistic director.

As the search goes on, the task of overseeing the Lower Friargate theatre and the autumn season falls to associate director Ollie Brown. “This season is all about rebuilding our audience,” he says. “Maybe some people have forgotten us as York’s hidden theatre by the river; we want to be come better known again with a programme that really supports York’s arts scene with shows York wants to see.”

Comedy will be to the fore, led off by the return of Right Here, Right Now, York’s improv comedy night on September 20, October 18, November 15 and December 6, when the merry band of improvisers will turn audience suggestions into chaotic comedy, music, mayhem and joy-filled nonsense.

September 26 marks the launch of Get Up Stand Up, York’s new monthly comedy club, featuring stand-ups from the British comedy circuit, each bill comprising a compere introducing two acts.

Check online at friargatetheatre.co.uk for updates on the 8pm line-ups for the last Thursday of each month, including October 31 and November 28. Steffen Peddie will host the first two shows, Tony Vino, the next two, and Patrick Monahan and Lost Voice Guy (Lee Ridley) will be among the acts heading for Lower Friargate.

Frankenstein (On A Budget), on October 5, combines one man, one monster, one glorious dream to singlehandedly tell the most famous cult horror story of all time on no budget whatsoever. What could possibly go wrong in this comedy musical Hammer Horror homage, replete with new music, cardboard creations and characters inspired by Mary Shelley and Boris Karloff.

Súper Chefs: Interactive musical exploring family, food and gender roles at Friargate Theatre on November 17

Still on the comedy front, ever witty York sketch writer and playwright Paul Birch will be holding workshops at his Improv Gym, some at Friargate Theatre, others at York Theatre Royal.

The autumn season will open on September 7 with the first family show, Welcome To The World, Little Wild Theatre’s interactive entertainment for nought to five-year-olds that takes a journey with Mother Earth’s children, Tide, Ariel and Blaze as they take their first steps in the world. 

On September 28, Rhubarb Theatre’s Finding Chester follows the story of Edith Tiddles’ missing moggie when she needs the help of her delivery team to orchestrate the search.

Murray Lachlan Young’s epic fairytale for six-year-olds and upwards, The Chronicles Of Atom And Luna, will be performed by Funnelwick Limb on October 29 and October 30, with its story of special twins, one who can talk to the birds, the other who can control the moon.

Further family entertainment follows with Jam Jar Theatre’s puppetry musical How A Jellyfish Saved The World on November 3; Maya Productions’ Súper Chefs, a bi-lingual, interactive Latin American family musical by Betsy Picart,  on November 17, and York company Next Door But One’s The Firework-Maker’s Daughter, a magical voyage across lakes and over mountains based on Philip Pullman’s novel, on November 30.

A season of thought-provoking and dynamic plays will start in a hurry on October 12 when Crew Of Patches present The Shakespeare Jukebox. The rules are simple: “give us the name of a Shakespeare play and we’ll do it…well, a bit of it at least”.  History, comedy and tragedy combine chaotically, faced with 37 plays to slay.

Climate change will be the topic on October 12 in Decommissioned, a heart-warming, comical play inspired by the true story of Fairbourne in Wales, with its story of caring for children, falling in love and staying sane while tackling the climate catastrophe.

Frankenstein (On A Budget): Comedy musical Hammer Horror homage with gore & flashing lights on October 5

On October 25, Adverse Camber presents storyteller Phil Okwedy in The Gods Are All Here, a personal story sparked by the discovery of letters from his father in Nigeria to his mother in Wales. Myths, folk tales and legends of the African diaspora feature.

On November 29, Andrew Harrison performs The Beloved Son, a new play written and directed by Riding Lights luminary Murray Watts for Wayfarer Productions that explores hope and longing, family dynamics, sexual and emotional crises and the profound insights of priest and psychologist Henri Nouwen.

Mat Jones brings Charles Dickens’s Victorian story of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge to life in his solo performance of A Christmas Carol on December 13.

The autumn’s season’s storytelling sessions promise a busy day for Gav Cross on November 2, presenting Ghastly Stories For Gruesome Gremlins at 2pm and After Supper Ghost Stories, a portmanteau of ghostly tales told by an unreliable narrator, at 7.30pm.

On the music front, on October 19, Saturday Night With The Shakers showcases the hits, misses, B-sides and lost classics from the golden age of Merseybeat. On November 1, Joseph O’Brien pays homage to Frank Sinatra in A Man And His Music.

The Aesthetica Short Film Festival will be in residence from November 6 to 10 and a Christmas film double bill of The Muppet Christmas Carol (2.30pm) and Die Hard (8pm) is booked in for December 7.

Riding Lights return home for A Christmas Cracker, Paul Birch’s festive family show bursting with seasonal stories, told by world famous but lost storyteller Ebenezer Sneezer, from December 21 to 24.  Comedy, puppetry and storytelling, strange ideas and a dog called Cracker combine in this magical glimpse of Christmas.

To book tickets, head to friargatetheatre.co.uk or ring 01904 613000.

What’s On in Ryedale, York and beyond as classical festival opens. Here’s Hutch’s List No. 24, from Gazette & Herald

Mezzo-soprano Fleur Barron: Residency at Ryedale Festival. Picture: Victoria Cadisch

RYEDALE Festival tops the bill for Charles Hutchinson’s recommendations. A tribute to tribute acts, Grimm tales, Roman emperors, Brazilian sambas and theatrical Fools look promising too.

Festival of the week: Ryedale Festival, July 12 to 28

THIS summer’s Ryedale Festival features 58 performances in 35 beautiful and historic locations, with performers ranging from Felix Klieser, a horn player born without arms, to trail-blazing Chinese guitarist Xuefei Yang, mezz-soprano Fleur Barron to violinist Stella Chen, the Van Baerle Piano Trio to Troubadour Trail host Rachel Podger.

Taking part too will be Royal Wedding cellistSheku Kanneh-Mason, Georgian pianist Giorgi Gigashvili, Brazilian guitar pioneer Plinio Fernandes, choral groups The Marian Consort and Tenebrae, actress and classical music enthusiast Dame Sheila Hancock, jazz singer Claire Martin and Northumbrian folk group The Unthanks. For the full programme and ticket details, head to: ryedalefestival.com. 

Re-Bjorn each show: Sarah-Louise Young in I Am Your Tribute at Theatre@41, Monkgate, York

Fringe show of the week: Sarah-Louise Young, I Am Your Tribute, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, tomorrow, 7.30pm

AFTER An Evening Without Kate Bush, the Julie Andrews-focused Julie Madly Deeply and The Silent Treatment, Sarah-Louise Young returns to Theatre@41 with her Edinburgh Fringe-bound new show, I Am Your Tribute.

In her “most ambitiously interactive performance yet”, she invites you to help her create the ultimate tribute to an act of your choosing. Along the way she will teach you the tricks of the trade, share her greatest hits and uncover the occasionally darker side of living in someone’s else’s shadow. Expect music, wigs and wonderment. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.

Happily ever after: Rowntree Players cast members in Grimm Tales

Fairy tales of the week: Rowntree Players in Grimm Tales, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, tomorrow to Saturday, 7.30pm

AMI Carter directs Rowntree Players in Carol Ann Duffy’s adaptation of Grimm Tales, dramatised by Tim Supple, with Chris Meadley in the role of the Narrator.

The cast of 15 takes a journey through a selection of delightfully bizarre stories from the Brothers Grimm collection to reveal their true origins and to discover that the path to a happy ending can, indeed, be a little grim. Box office: 01904 501395 or josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.

Mary Beard: Roman emperors, the truth and the lies, at Grand Opera House, York

History lesson of the week: Mary Beard: Emperor Of Rome, Grand Opera House, York, Saturday, 7.30pm

CLASSICIST scholar, debunking historian and television presenter Mary Beard shines the spotlight on Roman emperors, from the well-known Julius Caesar (assassinated 44 BCE) to the almost-unknown Alexander Severus (assassinated 235 CE).

Venturing beyond the hype of politics, power and succession and into the heart of the palace corridors, she will uncover the facts and fiction of these rulers, asking what they did and why, and how we came to have such a lurid view of them. Themes of autocracy, corruption and conspiracy will be explored and audience questions will be taken. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.

Andrew Methven: Playing a Lazy Sunday Session at Milton Rooms, Malton

Afternoon entertainment: Lazy Sunday Sessions, Andrew Methven & Joseph Wing, Milton Rooms, Malton, Sunday, 3pm

HEADLINER Andrew Metheven, from Bradford, pens lo-fi folk songs about births, hills, decay and daydreams and too many about birds, as heard on his June 2024 debut album, Sister Winter, available via Bandcamp. Singer and guitarist Joseph Wing, from Malton band Penny Fleck, will be the support act. Box office: 01653 696240 or themiltonrooms.com.

Madness: Welcome to the House Of Fun at Scarborough Open Air Theatre

Coastal gig of the week: Madness, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, Friday, gates 6pm

MADNESS, the Nutty Boys of Camden Town, return to the North Yorkshire great outdoors for Suggs and co to roll out such ska-flavoured music-hall hits as Our House, One Step Beyond, Baggy Trousers, It Must Be Love, House Of Fun, Michael Caine, Wings Of A Dove, Night Boat To Cairo, My Girl, Driving In My Car, Tomorrow’s Just Another Day and Embarrassment. Standing tickets are still available at scarboroughopenairtheatre.com/madness.

Fernando Maynart: Showcasing new album at Helmsley Arts Centre

Brazilian sambas of the week: Fernando Maynart, Helmsley Arts Centre, Saturday, 7.30pm

BRAZILIAN singer, composer, guitarist and percussionist Fernando Maynart introduces his new album, TranSambas, showcasing the different rhythmic nuances of samba rooted in Africa via the West African slave trade and the Afro-Brazilian religion. 

Maynart, whose set also features songs by Brazilian maestro Dorival Caymmi, will be accompanied by Brazilian flautist Daniel Allain and drummer/percussionist Denilson Oliveira, plus Ryedale multi-instrumentalist David Key. Box office: 01439 771700 or helmsleyarts.co.uk.

Four go into three: James Aldred, Peter Long, Lucy Chamberlain and Charlotte Horner of The Three Inch Fools

Open-air theatre at the double: The Three Inch Fools in The Secret Diary Of Henry VIII, Scampston Hall, Scampston, near Malton, July 20; Merchant Adventurers’ Hall, York, July 23 and Helmsley Walled Garden, August 6; The Comedy Of Errors, Helmsley Walled Garden, July 19, all at 7pm

THE Three Inch Fools, brothers James and Stephen Hyde’s specialists in fast-paced storytelling and uproarious music-making, head to Scampston, York and Helmsley with their rowdy reimagining of the story of the troublesome Tudor king in The Secret Diary Of Henry VIII as he strives to navigate his way through courtly life, while fighting the French again, re-writing religious law and clocking up six wives.

The Play That Goes Wrong’s Sean Turner directs the Fools’ innovative take on Shakespeare’s shortest, wildest farce The Comedy Of Errors, with its tale of long-lost twins, misunderstandings and messy mishaps. Box office: eventbrite.co.uk.

More Things To Do in York & beyond when art goes wall to wall and opera takes a love potion. Hutch’s List No. 27, from The Press

One of James Jessop’s works on show in Rise Of The Vandals in the disused office block at 2, Low Ousegate, York

GRAFFITI writ large, an American rock musical, G&S and afternoon tea, a theatre festival and a football play find Charles Hutchinson in tune with the joys of June.

Exhibition/installation of the week: Bombsquad, Rise Of The Vandals, 2, Low Ousegate, York, today, tomorrow, then July 5 to 7, 11am to 6pm.

SPREAD over four floors in a disused Low Ousegate office block, York art collective Bombsquad showcases retrospective and contemporary spray paint culture, graffiti, street art and public art in three galleries, a cinema room, a Wendy house and art shop, in aid of SASH (Safe and Sound Homes).

Taking part in Rise Of The Vandals are York graffiti archivist Keith Hopewell, James Jessop, Bristol legend Inkie, Chu, Rowdy, Kid Acne, Remi Rough, Prefab77, SODA, Replete, Jo Peel, Sharon McDonagh, Lincoln Lightfoot, Anonymouse, Boxxhead and live DJs in SODA’s booth. Free entry; donations are encouraged. Dog friendly.

Johnny Marr: Playing songs from The Smiths to Electronic to his solo career (compiled on his Spirit Power collection) at Scarborough Open Air Theatre

Coastal gigs of the week: Johnny Marr and The Charlatans, tonight; Gregory Porter, Monday, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, gates 6pm

JOHNNY Marr, The Smiths and Electronic guitarist, superstar collaborator and solo artist, cherry-picks from all eras of his career, right up to his November 2023 compilation Spirit Power in his headline set. First up on this north-western double bill on the East Coast will be The Charlatans, as full of indie rock swagger as ever after 22 Top 40 hits.

Grammy Award-winning Californian jazz vocalist and songwriter Gregory Porter performs songs from Liquid Spirit, Take To The Alley, Nat King Cole & Me, All Rise and more besides on Monday night. Box office: scarboroughopenairtheatre.com.

Hamish Brown’s Alexis, left, Alexandra Mather’s Miss Aline Sangazure and Anthony Gardner’s John Wellington Wells in York Opera’s The Sorcerer. Picture: John Saunders

Everything stops for tea:  York Opera in The Sorcerer, York Theatre Royal, July 3 to 6, 7.30pm and 2.30pm Saturday matinee

JOHN Soper directs York Opera in The Sorcerer, Gilbert and Sullivan’s first full-length comic opera, wherein Sir Marmaduke Pointdextre (Ian Thomson-Smith) hosts a tea party in the Ploverleigh Hall gardens to celebrate the betrothal of his only son, Alexis (Hamish Brown) to Miss Aline Sangazure (Alexandra Mather), daughter of Lady Annabella Sangazure (Rebecca Smith).

When a love-at-first-sight elixir is mixed into the celebration tea by a sorcerer, John Wellington Wells (Anthony Gardner, in the role played by Soper for York Opera in 2001), mayhem follows as the assembled guests fall under his magic spell. What could possibly go wrong? Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

Julia Bullock’s Geraldine Granger, Oliver Clive’s Hugo Horton and Grahame Sammons’s David Horton in 1812 Theatre Company’s The Vicar Of Dibley

Religious conversion of the week: 1812 Theatre Company in The Vicar Of Dibley, Helmsley Arts Centre, July 3 to 6, 7.30pm plus 2.30pm Saturday matinee

JULIE Lomas directs Helmsley Arts Centre’s resident company in a stage play adapted from the original BBC television series by Richard Curtis and Paul Mayhew-Archer. When Reverend Pottle dies, much to the surprise of the Dibley Parish Council, his replacement is Geraldine Granger, a vicar who is also a chocoholic sex kitten.

Follow the antics of David Horton, his son Hugo, Jim, Owen, Frank and Mrs Cropley as they adjust to working with the witty and wonderful Geraldine, assisted by her verger, Alice Tinker. Box office: 01439 771700 or helmsleyarts.co.uk.

Bright Light Musical Productions in Green Day’s American Idiot: York premiere at Joseph Rowntree Theatre. Picture: Dan Crawfurd-Porter

Musical of the week: Bright Light Musical Productions in Green Day’s American Idiot, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, July 4 to 6, 7.30pm and 2.30pm Saturday matinee

NORTH Yorkshire company Bright Light Musical Productions make their JoRo debut in the York premiere of punk rock opera Green Day’s American Idiot with a cast of 14 directed by Dan Crawfurd-Porter and a seven-piece band under Matthew Peter Clare’s musical direction.  

Inspired by the Californian band’s 2004 album, American Idiot tells the story of Johnny (Iain Harvey), “Jesus of Suburbia”, and his friends Will (William Thirlaway) and Tunny (Dan Poppitt) as they attempt to break out of their mind-numbing, aimless suburban existence. Box office: 01904 501935 or josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.

The bootiful game: Long Lane Theatre Club in The Giant Killers at the Milton Rooms, Malton

Football alternative to England at the Euros: Long Lane Theatre Club in The Giant Killers, Milton Rooms, Malton, July 4, kick-off at 7.30pm

THE Giant Killers tells the story of how Darwen FC came to the public’s attention in 1870s’ Lancashire to proclaim Association Football as the people’s game and not only the preserve of the upper classes.

Andrew Pearson-Wright & Eve Pearson-Wright’s play recounts how a ragtag bunch of mill workers in Darwen took on the amateur gentlemen’s club of the Old Etonians in the FA Cup quarter-final in 1879, rising up against prevailing social prejudice and the might of the Football Association to earn a place in history as the first real ‘‘giant killers’’ in English football. Box office: 01653 696240 or themiltonrooms.com.

For those about to rock: Live/Wire take the highway to hell with AC/DC classics at The Crescent

Tribute show of the week: Live/Wire, The AC/DC Show, The Crescent, York, July 5 and 6 (sold out), doors 7.30pm

LIVE/WIRE, The AC/DC Show pays tribute to the Aussie heavy rock band, replete with a wall of Marshall amps for two hours of high voltage rock’n’roll. Podge Blacksmith, a double take for frontman Brian Johnson, revels in a set taking in everything from Highway To Hell and Whole Lotta Rosie to Back In Black and latest album Rock Or Bust. Box office for July 5 only: thecrescentyork.com.

In Focus: Shepherd Group Brass Bands, Best Of Brass, York Theatre Royal, tonight, 7.30pm

The poster for Shepherd Group Brass Bands’ Best Of Brass at York Theatre Royal

TONIGHT’S Shepherd Group Brass Bands concert features all of the Shepherd bands playing individually and then a mighty ensemble piece, when all 170 players perform a specially composed piece by Liz Lane to mark 20 years of the bands’ sponsorship by the Shepherd Group.

Liz’s celebratory work represents the bands – Brass Roots, Academy Brass, Youth Band, Concert Band and Shepherd Group Brass Band – and the company support that provides first-class rehearsal facilities and has enabled the band organisation to grow.

Liz has led  several workshops, where she has worked with each band, “ storyboarding players’ feelings about the band, what we get from it as players and as a band family as a whole”.

She has been allowed to visit the Portakabin production site too, where she drew inspiration from the machinery used in the production of product lines.

On May 21, players from each band gathered in the band room for the first full run-through in Liz’s presence.  Afterwards she went away with a couple of ideas for final tweaks. Now comes the premiere performance with “a few real surprises in store for the audience”. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

In Focus too: Festival of the week: Ripon Theatre Festival, July 2 to 7

Barrie Rutter: Presenting Shakespeare’s Royals in Ripon Cathedral on July 4 at 7.30pm

PUPPETS, stories, dance, drama, circus and street entertainment pop up in new and surprising places alongside more familiar venues, such as Newby Hall, The Old Deanery, Ripon Cathedral, Ripon Arts Hub and Fountains Abbey, as Ripon Theatre Festival returns.

In all, 109 events and activities will be crammed into five days and six nights. Among the highlights will be Barrie Rutter’s Shakespeare’s Royals, The Adventures Of Doctor Dolittle, Red Ladder’s Miners’ Strike musical comedy We’re Not Going Back, the Family Day on July 7 and Folksy Theatre’s open-air As You Like It.

Opening the festival on Tuesday at 11am and 2pm, Andrew Bates’s Brother Aidan brings heritage crafts, history and storytelling to his new home at Fountains Abbey. In Hazelsong Theatre’s interactive event for adults, he creates an Anglo-Saxon book, interwoven with stories of his life as a monk, with his demonstration including parchment and ink making, bookbinding and calligraphy.

On the first night, the Hilarity Bites Festival Special comedy bill will be hosted by Ripon favourite Lee Kyle at Ripon Arts Club on Tuesday at 8pm. Taking part will be sketch supergroup Tarot, musical comedy duo Black Liver and 2023 BBC New Comedian of the Year Joe Kent-Walters in the guise of his outrageous comic creation, Frankie Monroe, the MC of a working men’s club that provides a portal to hell.

York company Pilot Theatre and One To One Development Trust present daily screenings of Monoliths, an immersive, digital theatre experience that interweaves three northern landscapes – a moor, a city and a coast – with sweeping soundscapes and poetic monologues at Ripon Cathedral.

Written by Hannah Davies, from York, Carmen Marcus, from Saltburn-by-the-Sea, and Asma Elbadawi, from Leeds, the stories are an arresting testament to the inextricable link between person and place. Directed by Lucy Hammond, each performance lasts 11 minutes and can be experienced by three visitors at a time, wearing XR headsets. Times: 1.30pm to 3.30pm, July 2 to 5; 10.30am to 3.30pm, July 6.

Nicola Mills is joined by pianist Maria King for A Spoonful Of Julie, an hour-long tribute to Julie Andrews, full of charming stories of her life, songs, singalongs, medleys and favourite things, at Holy Trinity Church on Wednesday from 1pm to 2pm.

In Look After Your Eyes, at Ripon Arts Club at 8pm that night, Yorkshire theatre-maker, performer and physical comedian Natalie Bellingham reflects on the pain and beauty of love: what it is to both connect and unravel.  

Performed by a clown “delving into the space inside us left behind by loss”, her show celebrates being human in all its banality, sprinkled with joy and ridiculousness.

Natalie Bellingham in Look After Your Eyes

Thursday opens with Stand Up Stories, presented by Ripon Theatre Festival storyteller in residence Ilaria Passeri at the Storehouse Bar. Describing herself as the product of a bold Scottish mother, an errant Italian father and a little sister with the vocabulary of a truck driver, Ilaria has found herself in more than a few scrapes, situations and silly scenes.

In a whistlestop twilight tour through the confusing comedy of errors of her life, her tales introduce her family, friends, pets and one very peculiar clown.

From 7.15pm, Ripon Museum Trust guides lead the Ripon Heritage Ghost Walk from the Market Place. At 7.30pm, Northern Broadsides founder Barrie Rutter OBE celebrates the Bard’s Kings and Queens, their achievements, conquests and foibles, in Shakespeare’s Royals at Ripon Cathedral. Cue anecdotes and memories from a globe-spanning career of playing and directing Shakespeare.

Ilaria Passeri returns on Friday morning from 10.30am to 11am for Storytime for pre-schoolers at Ripon Library, featuring Derek the Dragon, Rita the skateboarding Mouse and Brian the Chicken’s messy bedroom. A short-story writing workshop for adults follows from 11.30am to 1pm; bring a pen and notepad.

At 2pm at Ripon Cathedral, Redheart Theatre presents Rupert Mason in Mr Owen’s Notebook, an exploration of Wilfred Owen’s experience of war through his poetry and the works of his contemporaries.

Written and directed by Justin Butcher, Mason’s one-man performance recalls how Owen lived his last summer in Ripon, where he spent his last birthday in the cathedral, now the backdrop to this sold-out show.

Mason charts how an officer travels from the Allied HQ to the Western Front one week before the Armistice and discovers the pocketbook of a young lieutenant killed that day: Wilfred Owen.

In a marquee at The Ripon Inn, in Park Street, Tell Tale Hearts serve up the teatime entertainment Trunk Tales, wherein a well-travelled lady arrives with her trunk of tales that tell of boastful toads, magical fish and fearsome beasts.

Using only the contents of her magical luggage, she creates Arabic seas, epic mountains, fields of turnips and the tallest trees in her interactive stories from around the world for four-year-olds and upwards.

Paulus the Cabaret Geek in Looking For Me Friend

Paulus the Cabaret Geek’s tour of Looking For Me Friend, The Music Of Victoria Wood arrives at Ripon Arts Hub on Friday at 8pm, accompanied by Fascinating Aida pianist Michael Roulston for an hour of songs and stories.

In telling Wood’s story, Paulus unfolds his own in a relatable account of a 1970s’ childhood and what it really means to find your tribe.

Saturday keeps festivalgoers on the move in a day of Pop-Up Events at various locations from 9.30am to 6pm. Ilaria Passeri hosts a morning of adventures for four-year-olds and upwards in Tales From Honeypot Village, featuring Rita the Mouse and the Tidy Trolls in the front room of The Unicorn Hotel at 9.30am and the back room of The Little Ripon Bookshop at 11.30am.

Puppeteers Eye Of Newt open their magical miniature suitcase for Ayla’s Dream, a captivating tale of night skies, light and counting sheep for three to ten-year-olds at Ripon Library at 10.30am (accompanied by a puppet workshop) and Ripon Cathedral from 12 noon to 12.30pm (performance every ten minutes).

York performer Tempest Wisdom takes a journey down the rabbit hole in the family-friendly Curiouser & Curiouser, a show for age five + packed with Lewis Carroll’s whimsical writings, inspired by Ripon Cathedral’s nooks and crannies. Free performances take place at Ripon Cathedral at 11am, 12.30pm and The Little Ripon Bookshop at 2.30pm.

Join the Master and Matron on the front lawn for an interactive game of giant Snakes And Ladders At The Workhouse Museum. Learn how life then, as now, is as precarious as a shake of the dice; slither down the snake to a shaven head and defumigation or ascent to a life out of the ashes from 11am to 12.30pm or 1pm to 3pm.

Festival favourites Lempen Puppet Theatre return with the free show Theatre For One in Ripon Cathedral from 10.45am to 11.30pm and Kirkgate from 1.30pm to 2.30pm and 3pm to 4pm. In a micro-theatre experience for one at a time, plus curious onlookers, a mini-performance of The Belly Bug or Dr Frankenstein will be staged every five minutes.

Members of the Workhouse Theatre Group invite you to experience justice 1871 style in The Trial Of John Sinkler in a case of poaching and threatening behaviour from 2pm to 3pm at The Courthouse Museum.

Ensure justice is seen to be done or perhaps take a more active role in a lively scripted re-enactment led by Mark Cronfield, formerly of Nobby Dimon’s North Country Theatre company.

The festival fun continues in Kirkgate with buskers, bands and more from 3pm to 6pm.

For full festival details and tickets, head to: ripontheatrefestival.org. A preview of further events at Ripon Theatre Festival on July 6 and 7 will follow.

More Things To Do in York and beyond light nights. Plenty of stuff and Nunsense in Hutch’s List No. 26, from The Press, York

Sing something wimple: Emily Rockliff’s Sister Robert Anne to the fore in a rehearsal for York Light Opera Company’s Nunsense: The Mega-Musical

FROM nuns in a riotous revue to a celebration of Caribbean culture, The Fonz’s memoirs to Ballet Black’s heroes of dance, Charles Hutchinson’s arts diary matches the June sunshine.  

York musical of the week: York Light Opera Company in Nunsense: The Mega-Musical!, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, 7.30pm, June 26 to 28, July 2 to 5; 3pm; June 29 and 30, July 6

AFTER the unfortunate passing of four beloved sisters in a “culinary catastrophe”, the remaining Little Sisters of Hoboken find themselves in a sticky situation. To raise funds for a proper burial (and perhaps a new cook), the nuns take centre stage for a riotous revue unlike any other.

Director Neil Wood brings Dan Goggin’s musical to mega-sized life in a version that boasts an expanded cast, new characters and even more musical mayhem. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.

Lynda Burrell, left, and Catherine Ross, founders of exhibition curators Museumand, at the launch of 70 Objeks & Tings at York Castle Museum. Picture: Gareth Buddo

Exhibition of the week: 70 Objeks & Tings, York Castle Museum, until November 4; Mondays, 11am to 5pm, Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm

70 OBJEKS & Tings, a celebration of 75 years of Caribbean culture, showcases 70 items that connect us to the Windrush Generation in an “extraordinary exhibition of the ordinary”.

Curated by mother and daughter Catherine Ross and Lynda Barrett, founders of Museumand, the National Caribbean Heritage Museum, it features objects that combine familiarity and practicality and have been passed down the generations. On show are cooking and household goods, food packaging and beauty supplies, funeral items, music, games, books and newspapers. Tickets: yorkcastlemuseum.org.uk. 

Alexandra Kidgell: Soprano soloist for Haydn’s The Creation at York Minster

Classical concert of the week: York Musical Society, Haydn’s The Creation, York Minster, tonight, 7.30pm

FOUR years later than first planned – blame Covid – York Musical Society performs Haydn’s oratorio The Creation under the baton of musical director David Pipe. The choir and orchestra will be joined by soloists Alexandra Kidgell, soprano, Nathan Vale, tenor, and Thomas Humphreys, baritone.

The Creation was composed in 1797, following Haydn’s visits to London, when he was inspired by hearing Handel’s great oratorios, such as the Messiah, sung by huge choral gatherings.

“Haydn’s oratorio is one of the most upbeat and enjoyable works in the repertoire, with plenty of drama for the chorus to bring to life,” says Pipe. “We are excited to have the chance to perform The Creation in York Minster’s inspiring surroundings.” Box office: 01904 623568, at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk or on the door.

Mostly Autumn: Highly summer concert at The Crescent tonight

York band of the week: Mostly Autumn, The Crescent, York, tonight, 7.30pm

MOSTLY Autumn may have been called “the best band you have never heard”, but that is a misnomer in their home city of York, where Bryan Josh and Olivia Sparnenn-Josh’s classic rock combo play tonight.  

Twenty years of gigging, whether headlining or supporting Blackmore’s Night, Uriah Heep, Jethro Tull and Bryan Adams, goes into performing their combination of Seventies’ rock and prog-rock, peppered with a sense of the future. Box office: thecrescentyork.com.

Henry Winkler: American actor discusses The Fonz and more on Sunday

Coolest show of the week: Henry Winkler, The Fonz & Beyond, Grand Opera House, York, tomorrow, 7.30pm

HEY, Happy Days star HenryWinkler shares stories of his life on the 50th anniversary of his time in Hollywood after being told he would “never achieve”.

The Emmy award-winning actor, author, director and producer, now 78, is promoting his Being Henry memoir as he reflects on his sitcom days as The Fonz, the Happy Days role that defined a generation of cool, as well as subsequent appearances in Arrested Development, Parks And Recreation and Barry. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.

Tom Jones: Returning to Scarborough Open Air Theatre for the first time since July 2022

Coastal gig of the week: Tom Jones, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, June 26, gates open at 6pm

SEATED tickets have sold out for Welsh whirlwind Tom Jones’s outdoor gig in Scarborough but that still leaves room for standing. Sixty years since releasing his first single, Chills And Fever, in 1964, he is still blowing those bellows as powerfully as ever at 84, having made history as the oldest man to notch up a number one with an album of new material in the UK Official Album Charts in 2021 with Surrounded By Time, overtaking Bob Dylan.

Expect It’s Not Unusual, What’s New Pussycat?, Delilah, She’s A Lady, Green, Green Grass Of Home, Kiss, You Can Leave Your Hat On, Sex Bomb et al from Sir Tom. Box office: scarboroughopenairtheatre.com. Box office: scarboroughopenairtheatre.com.

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats: Introducing new album South Of Here at York Barbican

Rhythm & blues gig of the week: Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, York Barbican, June 27, doors 7pm

NATHANIEL Rateliff & The Night Sweats play York Barbican as the only Yorkshire venue on their six-date South Of Here summer tour.

Noted for supplying the zeal of a whisky-chugging Pentecostal preacher to songs of shared woes, old-fashioned rhythm & blues singer and songwriter Rateliff will be showcasing his Missouri band’s fourth studio album on the eve of its Friday release. William The Conqueror support. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.

Crowning glory: Ballet Black in If At First, on tour at York Theatre Royal

Dance show of the week: Ballet Black: Heroes, York Theatre Royal, June 28, 7.30pm

CASSA Pancho’s dance company returns to York with the double bill Ballet Black: Heroes. Choreographer Mthuthuzeli November contemplates the meaning of life in The Waiting Game, a 2020 work infused with a dynamic soundtrack featuring the voices of Ballet Black artists.

Franco-British artist Sophie Laplane, choreographer-in-residence at Scottish Ballet, follows up her 2019 Ballet Black debut, Click!, with If At First, her exploration of “a more subtle heroism, a quieter triumph over adversity, in a struggle that unites us all”. Humanity, heroism and self-acceptance combine in this celebratory piece. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

Eliza Carthy: Performing solo at the NCEM, York, and Fylingdales Village Hall

Folk gigs of the week: Eliza Carthy, National Centre for Early Music, Walmgate, York, June 28, 7.30pm; Fylingdales Village Hall, Station Road, Robin Hood’s Bay, June 30, 7.30pm

ELIZA Carthy, innovative fiddler and vocalist from the First Family of Folk, heads from Robin Hood’s Bay to York for a solo gig at the NCEM. At once a folk traditionalist and iconoclast, she revels in centuries-old ballads and Carthy compositions alike.

In her 32-year career, Carthy has performed with The Imagined Village, The Wayward Band and The Restitution, collaborated with Paul Weller, Jarvis Cocker, Pere Ubu, Rufus & Martha Wainwright, Jools Holland, Patrick Wolf and Kae Tempest, served as president of the English Folk Dance & Song Society and artist in residence in Antarctica and been described by comedian Stewart Lee as “not the Messiah, but a very naughty girl”. Broadside balladeer Jennifer Reid supports at the York gig. Box office: York, for returns only, 01904 658338 or ncem.co.uk; Robin Hood’s Bay, trybooking.com/uk/events/landing/57434.

David Ward Maclean, centre, and musical friends Sarah Dean and Steve Kendra

Retirement concert of the week: David Ward Maclean and Friends, with special guest Edwina Hayes, Friargate Theatre, York, June 29, 6.30pm

YORK music scene stalwart and busker supreme David Ward Maclean plays his retirement gig with friends on the eve of his 66th birthday (June 30). “I’m retiring from all public performance, except the occasional open mic when I fancy it, maybe the odd charity appearance if requested, and will be focusing on finishing recording some 40 unreleased songs of mine,” he says.

Joining David will be The Howl & The Hum’s Sam Griffiths, Bradley Blackwell, Sarah Dean, Steve Kendra, Emily Lawler, Dan Webster, Paul Heaney, Al Hamilton, Robert Loxley Hughes, Amy Greene, Sarah Jennifer and special guest Edwina Hayes. Box office: wegottickets.com.

What’s On in Ryedale, York and beyond as concerts return to Dalby Forest. Here’s Hutch’s List No. 21 from Gazette & Herald

Stuart Vincent’s Amir in The Kite Runner at York Theatre Royal. Picture: Barry Rivett

THE return of The Kite Runner and Forest Live, a mega-musical full of nuns and a new case for Holmes & Watson add intrigue and woodland joys to Charles Hutchinson’s week ahead.  

Play of the week: The Kite Runner, York Theatre Royal, running until Saturday, 7.30pm plus 2pm Thursday and 2.30pm Saturday matinees

DIRECTED by Giles Croft, Matthew Spangler’s adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s novel presents a haunting tale of friendship that spans cultures and continents as it follows Amir’s journey to confront his past and find redemption.

In his childhood recollection, Afghanistan is on the verge of war and best friends Amir (Stuart Vincent) and Hassan (Yazdan Qafouri) are about to be torn apart. Amid the excitement of a Kabul kite-flying tournament, no-one can foresee the terrible incident that will shatter their lives forever. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk. 

Murder mystery to solve: Calf 2 Cow in Sherlock & Watson – A Murder In The Garden at Helmsley Walled Garden

Immersive murder mystery experience of the week: Calf 2 Cow, Sherlock & Watson – A Murder In The Garden, Helmsley Walled Garden, tomorrow, 7pm (gates, 6pm)

WHEN a body is mysteriously found lying in the middle of Landsdown Manor Gardens, the police have no option but to persuade Sherlock Holmes to take on his toughest case to date.

Assisted by the loyal Watson, the detective duo must battle through villains to discover who is behind the murder in Bath comedy troupe Calf 2 Cow’s new adaption, full of slapstick, multi-role playing and rock’n’roll, penned by artistic director Matthew Emeny. Bring chairs, blankets and picnics. Box office: 01439 771700 or helmsleyarts.co.uk.

Richard Hawley: Made in Sheffield, performing in Scarborough

Yorkshireman of the week: Richard Hawley, Scarbrough Spa, tomorrow (20/6/2024), 7.30pm

ON the heels of his Olivier Award-winning Sheffield musical Standing At The Sky’s Edge opening a six-month West End run at the Gillian Lynne Theatre, Richard Hawley showcases his ninth studio album In This City They Call You Love on his late-spring tour. Scarborough hosts the closing night. Box office: scarboroughspa.co.uk.

Nile Rodgers: Turning Dalby Forest into a disco floor with CHIC on Saturday, when Sophie Ellis-Bextor & Deco will be on the bill too

Welcome return of the week: Forest Live at Dalby Forest, near Pickering, Bryan Adams, Friday; Nile Rodgers & CHIC, Saturday; Richard Ashcroft, Sunday; gates 5pm

FORESTRY England revives Forest Live at Dalby Forest for the first time since 2019 for three nights of open-air concerts in aid of woodland conservation. Canadian rocker Bryan Adams, he of forest fame from (Everything I Do) I Do It For You for Robin Hood Prince Of Thieves, on Friday night will be followed by disco icons Nile Rodgers & CHIC on Saturday and the Wigan singer, songwriter and The Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft on Sunday. Box office: forestlive.com.

Jessa Liversidge: Two Bards And A Songbird, one concert and a workshop in Helmsley. Picture: David K Newton

English and Scottish union of the week: Jessa Liversidge, Two Bards And A Songbird, Helmsley Arts Centre, Saturday, 7.30pm

EASINGWOLD singer and choir leader Jessa Liversidge presents her celebration of song inspired by two bards: William Shakespeare and Robert Burns, from her native Scotland. Her heartfelt performance spans traditional folk, pop and musical theatre, sung to her piano accompaniment plus a loop pedal to layer melodies and sounds.

Audience suggestions are invited to enable Jessa to improvise a new song around a Shakespeare/Burns quotation. From 4pm to 6pm, she will host a harmony-singing workshop for participants to sing in the evening show, with a combined ticket available for the workshop and concert. Box office: 01439 771700 or helmsleyarts.co.uk.

York Light Opera Company cast members in rehearsal for Nunsense: The Mega-Musical

York musical of the week: York Light Opera Company in Nunsense: The Mega-Musical!, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, 7.30pm, June 26 to 28, July 2 to 5; 3pm; June 29 and 30, July 6

AFTER the unfortunate passing of four beloved sisters in a “culinary catastrophe”, the remaining Little Sisters of Hoboken find themselves in a sticky situation. To raise funds for a proper burial (and perhaps a new cook), the nuns take centre stage for a riotous revue unlike any other.

Director Neil Wood brings Dan Goggin’s musical to mega-sized life in a version that boasts an expanded cast, new characters and even more musical mayhem. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk

Tom Jones: Returning to Scarborough Open Air Theatre, where he last performed in July 2022

Coastal gig of the week: Tom Jones, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, June 26, gates open at 6pm

SEATED tickets have sold out for Welsh whirlwind Tom Jones’s outdoor gig in Scarborough but that still leaves room for standing. Sixty years since releasing his first single, Chills And Fever, in 1964, he is still blowing those bellows as powerfully as ever at 84, having made history as the oldest man to notch up a number one with an album of new material in the UK Official Album Charts in 2021 with Surrounded By Time, overtaking Bob Dylan.

Expect It’s Not Unusual, What’s New Pussycat?, Delilah, She’s A Lady, Green, Green Grass Of Home, Kiss, You Can Leave Your Hat On, Sex Bomb et al from Sir Tom. Box office: scarboroughopenairtheatre.com.

Sully O’Sullivan: Putting the comedy boot in on June 28 in Malton. Picture: Andy Hollingworth

Comedy gig of the week: Hilarity Bites Comedy Club, Sully O’Sullivan, Don Biswas and host Danny Deegan, Milton Rooms, Malton, June 28, 8pm

SULLY O’Sullivan has played New Zealand, Australia, Croatia, Canada and all over Great Britain, now adding Malton to that list. Politically charged Don Biswas covers such subjects his Asian upbringing, his neuro-diversity as someone with dyspraxia, ADHD and ASD [Autism Spectrum Disorder], topped off with conspiracy theories.

Northern comedian, writer and actor Danny Deegan hosts the show with tales of mischief and multiple characters. Box office: 01653 696240 or themiltonrooms.com.

Alison Moyet: 40th anniversary album and 2025 tour, visiting York Barbican next February. Picture: Naomi Davison

Gig announcement of the week: Alison Moyet, York Barbican, February 20 2025

MARKING 40 years since she left Yazoo to launch her solo career, Essex soul singer Alison Moyet will play York Barbican on her 25-date 2025 itinerary, her first headline tour since 2017.  

After graduating from Brighton University in 2023 with a first-class degree in fine art printmaking, Moyet will combine art and music on her 18-track October 4 album, Key, creating the artwork as well as reworking singles, fan favourites and deep cuts, complemented by two new songs. Box office from 10am on Friday: yorkbarbican.co.uk/whats-on/alison-moyet-2025/.

Northern Aldborough Festival marks 30th anniversary with music, comedy and a talk. Here’s the full programme, June 13 to 22

Sir Tony Robinson: Guest speaker at Northern Aldborough Festival. Picture: Paul Marc Mitchell

THE 30th anniversary Northern Aldborough Festival, in Aldborough, near Boroughbridge, opens tonight.

Sir Tony Robinson, Leeds Piano Competition winner Alim Beisembayev and one of the world’s great violin virtuosos, Viktoria Mullova, will be among the headline acts

Half an hour’s journey from York or Harrogate, opera singers, pianists and jazz ensembles will mingle among the village’s Roman history.

Festival director Robert Ogden says: “Each year we invite a headline speaker. It’s fitting Sir Tony Robinson is this year’s guest, given the setting of our festival and its rich historic and archaeological significance. It promises to be a very special evening.”

Run as a charity, the annual festival’s mission is to bring high-end live music to its rural location, making the “sleepy village” that was once a prosperous Roman capital an unlikely epicentre for classical music.

Mikeleiz-Zucchi Duo: Playing The Chapel, Rudding Park, Harrogate, on June 20

This year, its music programme has a focus on championing young classical talent. The opening night sees 25-year-old Tom Fetherstonehaugh conducting the young musicians of the Fantasia Orchestra, performing Tchaikovsky and Chopin alongside pianist Alim Beisembayev, who at 23 won the last Leeds International Piano Competition.

Further highlights include Armonico Consort with a semi-staged production of Purcell’s The Fairy Queen and the rising star of classical guitar, Jack Hancher.

The festival also welcomes an award-winning comedian with an opera degree, Amy Webber, as heard on BBC Radio 4, and the British jazz pianist Julian Joseph, who performs with his trio.

Pan-flute player Adriana Babin, already a bona-fide star at 22 in her home country of Moldova, will head for Aldborough, as will the Mikeleiz-Zucchi Duo, featuring Canadia saxophonist David Zucchi and Spanish accordionist Iñigo Mikeleiz-Berrade.

The festival’s nationwide hunt for the best vocal talent returns in the annual New Voices Singing Competition, with cash prizes of £7,000 and a live semi-final and grand final.

Adriana Babin: Pan flute concert at St Andrew’s Church, Aldborough, on June 15

The competition was launched in 2023 by festival director Robert Ogden, supported by longstanding sponsors, in response to the funding cuts faced by the classical music sector, to provide a platform for emerging vocal talent.

Robert, who began his career as a countertenor, adds: “We’ll have some world-class musicians once more in Aldborough. It doesn’t matter if you are an aficionado of classical music, or you’re a complete novice, we hope audiences will come and experience these very special performances. 

“The rewards of a live concert are so huge, there’s nothing like it; it’s an emotional, visceral experience that you can’t replicate on a screen. It’s a chance to hear remarkable sounds in an intimate and gorgeous countryside setting.”

Aldborough’s late-night venue The Shed also returns for concert-goers who want to continue festivities in a relaxed environment with a variety of live entertainment and refreshments.

The ever-popular Last Night Outdoor Concert will see Queen tribute band Majesty perform to circa 1,000 festival-goers in the grounds of Aldborough Manor. Those attending are invited to bring a picnic and dance the night away, ending with an orchestrated firework display.

Pianist Alim Beisembayev: Performing with Fantasia Orchestra at St Andrew’s Church, Aldborough, on June 13. Picture: Nabin Maharjan

Northern Aldborough Festival 2024 programme

June 13, 6.30pm

Alim Beisembayev (piano) with Fantasia Orchestra, conducted by Tom Fetherstonehaugh, St Andrew’s Church, Aldborough

Winner of the Leeds International Piano Competition at 23, Kazakstan-born Alim Beisembayev performs the opening concert with the young musicians of Fantasia Orchestra, conducted by Tom Fetherstonehaugh, 25. Programme includes Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings and Chopin’s 1st Piano Concerto.

June 13, 9pm

After the Show in The Shed

Light musical entertainment and something to eat and drink.

Guitarist Jack Hancher: Morning concert at Brockfield Hall, Warthil, on June 14. Picture: Manny Sowicz

June 14, 11am

Jack Hancher, guitar, Brockfield Hall, Warthill, York

ELEGANT, expressive, fiery and passionate, Jack Hancher is a rising star of the classical guitar, whose debut album will be released this year on the Deux-Elles label.

Last year he became one of only three guitarists to win the Gold Medal of the Royal Overseas League Competition.

June 14, 8pm

Amy Webber, The Old Hall, North Deighton     

Wry comedian Amy Webber performs her job-hunting one-woman show, No Previous Experience, equipped with a mini electric piano and an opera degree that has never been useful. Winner of Audience Choice Award at Musical Comedy Awards.

June 15, 11am

Adriana Babin, St Andrew’s Church, Aldborough             

At the age of 22, Moldovan musician Adriana Babin already has won major prizes and performed all over the world. The warm, rich, and haunting pan flute is rarely heard in classical music, but she has collaborated with European orchestras, starred on German television and received an award from Moldova’s Minister of Culture.

Comedian Amy Webber: No Previous Experience gig at The Old Hall, North Deighton, on June 14

June 15, 7pm

Julian Joseph Trio, St Andrew’s Church, Aldborough

Bandleader, pianist, composer, educator and broadcaster Julian Joseph OBE has championed jazz home and abroad for 35 years. He presents originals and classics with his hard-swinging trio.

June 15, 9pm

After the Show in The Shed

Light musical entertainment and something to eat and drink.

June 16, 3pm

Young Artist Showcase, St Andrew’s Church, Aldborough            

Chance to catch upcoming stars as four of Yorkshire’s most talented young musicians perform.

June 17, 12 noon

The New Voices Singing Competition: Semi-final 1, St Andrew’s Church, Aldborough

After launching national New Voices competition in 2023, the hunt for the year’s best classical vocal talent returns. The first group of semi-finalists battles for a place in the Grand Final. Judging panel includes conductor Edward Gardner OBE and English bass Sir John Tomlinson CBE.

Jazz pianist Julian Joseph: Playing with his trio on June 15 at St Andrew’s Church, Aldborough

June 17, 3.30pm

The New Voices Singing Competition: Semi-final 2, St Andrew’s Church, Aldborough

Second group of semi-finalists.

June 18, 11am

Lea Shaw, mezzo soprano, with Kristina Yorgova, piano

Before the Grand Final of 2024’s New Voices Singing Competition, last year’s victors, Lea Shaw and Kristina Yorgova, return to perform their winners’ recital. 

Shaw is a Scottish Opera Emerging Artist and Scottish Opera’s Associate Artist; Bulgarian pianist Kristina Yorgova is a master’s student at Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

June 18, 7pm

Grand Final of the New Voices Singing Competition, St Andrew’s Church, Aldborough            

Hundreds of young singers graduate each year with aspirations to become professionals. This competition is a nationwide hunt with four finalists chasing cash prizes of £7,000 in a springboard for UK classical vocal talent.

June 18, 10pm

After the Show in the Shed

Musical entertainment and something to eat and drink.

Violinist Viktoria Mullova: Playing with pianist Alasdair Beatson at St Andrew’s Church, Aldborough, on June 19. Picture: Benjamin Ealovega

June 19, 7.30pm

Viktoria Mullova, violin, with Alasdair Beatson, piano, St Andrew’s Church, Aldborough

Moscow Conservatoire graduate Viktoria Mullova’s extraordinary violin talent captured the world in the 1980s before her much-publicised defection to the West. She will perform Beethoven and Schubert works with Scotsman Alasdair Beatson, her piano accompanist in a three-year collaboration of concerts and recordings.

June 20, 11am

Mikeleiz-Zucchi Duo, The Chapel, Rudding Park, Harrogate 

Forging a partnership in the spirit of curiosity and open-mindedness, Canadia saxophonist David Zucchi and Spanish accordionist Iñigo Mikeleiz-Berrade sound like an unusual pairing, but this dynamic duo won the Royal Overseas League Annual Music Competition’s Mixed Ensemble Prize. Rooted in jazz and folk, both instruments occupy the fringes of classical music in a dance-themed programme of Praetorius, Ravel and Piazzolla works.

June 20, 7.30pm 

An Evening with Sir Tony Robinson, St Andrew’s Church, Aldborough

ACTOR, author, broadcaster, comedian, presenter and political activist Sir Tony Robinson promises a behind-the-scenes insight into his life and career, from playing Baldrick in the BBC comedy Blackadder (1983-1989) to hosting Channel 4’s Time Team, presenting history and archaeology series and writing books on the subject and being active on many charity and political campaigns.

Festival director Robert Ogden by the Aldborough maypole

June 20, 9.30pm

After the Show in the Shed

Light musical entertainment and something to eat and drink.

June 21, 7.30pm

Armonico Consort presents Henry Purcell’s The Fairy Queen, directed by Christopher Monks, St Andrew’s Church, Aldborough. Grounds of Aldborough Manor open for picnics at 5pm.

The Fairy Queen is a musical adaption of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, given an inventive, magical  performance on a beautiful midsummer evening.

June 22, gates open at 5.30pm

Majesty – A Tribute to Queen, grounds of Aldborough Manor

Majesty close the festival with their latest Queen show, The Break Free Tour. Bring a picnic; let the orchestrated fireworks begin.  

Robert Ogden: the back story

Artistic director of Northern Aldborough Festival.

Runs his family’s flagship jewellery store in James Street, Harrogate, founded by James Robert (JR) Ogden in 1893.

Before taking on Ogden of Harrogate, operatic countertenor Robert sang all over the world. As a boy, he was a chorister at Westminster Cathedral, before training at King’s College, Cambridge, the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, and  Netherlands Opera Studio.

Box office: 01423 900979 or aldboroughfestival.co.uk

More Things To Do in York and beyond as Pride comes out to play. Here’s Hutch’s List No. 23 for 2024, from The Press, York

Angels Of The North: Headlline drag act at York Pride today

PRIDE pageantry and wartime memoirs, open studios and open-air Status Quo lead off Charles Hutchinson’s recommendations.

Celebration of the week: York Pride, Knavesmire, York, today

NORTH Yorkshire’s biggest LGBT+ celebration opens with the Parade March for equality and human rights from Duncombe Place, outside York Minster, at 12 noon, processing through the city-centre streets, up Bishopthorpe Road to the festival’s Knavesmire site.

Pride events will be spread between the main stage, Queer Arts’ cabaret tent, Polymath’s dance tent and a funfair, complemented by a licensed bar and marketplace. Among the main stage acts will be headliners Angels Of The North, alias winner Ginger Johnson, Tomara Thomas and Michael Marouli, from RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Season 5, plus Max George, Big Brovaz & Booty Luv, Jaymi Hensley, Janice D and Eric Spike.  Full details: yorkpride.org.uk.

Into the woods: George Stagnell as Dennis “Hank” Haydock in the short film In The Footsteps of Hank Haydock, premiered at Helmsley Arts Centre tonight

D-Day landmark of the week: Everwitch Theatre, Bomb Happy D-Day 80, In The Footsteps Of Hank Haydock (film premiere) and Sleep/Re-live/Wake Repeat (live performance), Helmsley Arts Centre, tonight, 7.30pm

TO commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day, Bomb Happy playwright Helena Fox has created two poignant, lyrical new works telling the stories of two Yorkshire Normandy veterans from conversations and interviews she held with them in 2016.

Featuring York actor George Stagnell, the short film In the Footsteps of Hank Haydock: A Walk In The Park was shot on location in the Duncombe Park woodland with its lyrical account of Coldstream Guardsman Dennis “Hank” Haydock’s experiences in his own words. In Sleep/Re-Live/Wake/Repeat, playwright Helena Fox and vocalist Natasha Jones bring to life the first-hand experiences of D-Day veteran Ken “Smudger” Smith and the lifelong impact of PTSD and sleep trauma through spoken word and a cappella vocals. Box office: 01439 771700 or helmsleyarts.co.uk.

York artist Adele Karmazyn: Taking part in North Yorkshire Open Studios

Art event of the week: North Yorkshire Open Studios 2024, today and tomorrow, June 8 and 9, 10am to 5pm

STRETCHING from the coast to the moors, dales and beyond, 169 artists and makers from North Yorkshire’s artistic community invite you to look inside their studios over the next two weekends.

Taking part in and around York will be Robin Grover-Jacques, Adele Karmazyn, Anna Cook, Boxxhead, Simon Palmour, Duncan McEvoy, Evie Leach, Jane Atkin, Jane Dignum, Jen Dring, Parkington Hatter, Jo Walton, Kitty Pennybacker, Lu Mason, Robert Burton, Lincoln Lightfoot, Sharon McDonagh, Claire Castle, Rosie Bramley, Emma Welsh, Lesley Peatfield, Gonzalo Blanco and Freya Horsley. For full details, go to: nyos.org.uk. A full brochure is available.

Isobel Staton: Directing Cain and Abel for A Creation For York, today’s York Mystery Plays Supporters Trust promenade production

York community play of the week: York Mystery Plays Supporters Trust in A Creation For York, around Micklegate, York, today, from 2pm and 3.30pm

YORK Mystery Plays Supporters Trust stages a trilogy of 20-minute plays from the Creation cycle, directed by Katie Smith, Dan Norman and Isobel Staton under Dr Tom Straszewski’s mentorship.

The promenade procession starts with Smith’s The Creation Of Man at St Columba’s, Priory Street, at 2pm and 3.30pm, and progresses to Holy Trinity, Micklegate, for Norman’s The Fall Of Man at 3pm and 4.30pm, then onwards to St Martin’s Stained Glass Centre, Micklegate, for Staton’s Cain And Abel at 4pm and 5.30pm. Tickets: ympst.co.uk/creation.

The poster artwork for Navigators Art & Performance’s night of live music, spoken word and comedy, The Basement Sessions #4, at City Screen Picturehouse

Navigators Art & Performance at York Festival of Ideas (festival running from today until June 14)

YORK arts collective Navigators Art & Performance presents the Micklegate Art Trail, a collaboration between shops, restaurants, artists, makers and community groups, from today until June 23, 10am to 4pm, including a special exhibition at Blossom Street Gallery. Tomorrow is the “official” launch day with activities in participating venues from 11 am.

Tomorrow comes As I Walked Out One Evening, An Exploration of W H Auden’s Poetry in Words, Music and Performance with York musicians, poets and performers at Museum Street Tavern, York, from 7.30pm to 9.30pm. On June 8, The Basement Sessions #4 offers a night of music, spoken word and comedy at The Basement, City Screen Picturehouse at 7pm with Percy, Amy Albright, Cai Moriarty, Danae, Suzy Bradley, Kane Bruce, Rose Drew and John Pease. Tickets and full festival details: yorkfestivalofideas.com.

Rain or shine: Francis Rossi, left, leads veteran band Status Quo at Scarborough Open Air Theatre tomorrow

Coastal gig of the week: Status Quo, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, Sunday, gates 6pm

DENIM rock legends Status Quo open the 2024 season at Scarborough Open Air Theatre, where they played previously in 2013, 2014 and 2016. Led as ever by founder Francis Rossi, who turned 75 on Wednesday, they must pick their set from 64 British hit singles, more than any other band. The support act will be The Alarm. Box office: scarboroughopenairtheatre.com/statusquo.

Georgia Lennon, as Paula Pofriki and Luke Baker as Zack Mayo in An Officer And A Gentleman, on tour at Grand Opera House, York

Musical of the week: An Officer And A Gentleman The Musical, Grand Opera House, York, June 4 to 8, 8pm, Tuesday, 7.30pm, Wednesday to Saturday, plus 2.30pm, Wednesday and Saturday matinees

NORTH Yorkshireman Nikolai Foster directs Leeds-born actor Luke Baker as fearless young officer candidate Zack Mayor in the Curve, Leicester touring production of An Officer And A Gentleman.

Once an award-winning 1982 Taylor Hackford film, now Douglas Day Stewart’s story of love, courage and redemption comes re-booted with George Dyer’s musical theatre arrangements and orchestrations of pop bangers by Bon Jovi, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Blondie and the signature song (Love Lift Us) Up Where We Belong. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.

Guy Rhys, centre, as Captain Ahab in Simple8’s Moby Dick, setting sail at York Theatre Royal next week

Touring play of the week: Simple8 in Moby Dick, York Theatre Royal, June 6 to 8, 7.30pm plus 2.30pm Saturday matinee

SEBASTIAN Armesto’s stage adaptation captures the spirit of Herman Melville’s novel – romantic, ambiguous and rich with allegory – for Simple8, specialists in creating worlds out of nothing in bold new plays that tackle big ideas with large casts.

Armed with sea shanties played live on stage, planks of wood, tattered sheets and a battered assortment of musical instruments, the ensemble of actors and actor-musicians, led by Guy Rhys’s whale-seeking Captain Ahab, brings Moby Dick ingeniously to life. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

In Focus: Northern Silents presents G W Pabst’s film Diary Of A Lost Girl, starring Louise Brooks, at NCEM, York, June 11

“From the pit of despair to the moment of personal awakening”: Louise Brooks’s

TRAILBLAZING New York raga pianist Utsav Lal will provide the live score for Diary Of A Lost Girl, a rarely shown gem of German silent cinema starring Louise Brooks, at the National Centre for Early Music, York, on June 11 at 7.30pm.

Premiered in Vienna, Austria, on September 12 1929, and now screened by Northern Silents, G W Pabst’s film traces the journey of a young woman from the pit of despair to the moment of personal awakening.

Directed with virtuoso flair by Pabst, Diary Of A Lost Girl (PG, 104 minutes) represents the final pairing of the Czechia-born Austrian filmmaker with American silent screen icon Louise Brooks, mere months after their first collaboration in the now-legendary Pandora’s Box, for which Brooks had arrived in Berlin on October 14 1928 to play alluring temptress Lulu.

In Diary Of A Lost Girl, she is pharmacist Robert Henning’s innocent daughter Thymian, who is traumatised by the suicide of housekeeper Elisabeth after her father expels her from the house.

Even more so when Henning’s assistant rapes Thymian. Pregnant, she refuses to marry her assailant, prompting her outraged father to sendher to a reformatory for “wayward women”, where a cruel regime prevails. Henning, meanwhile, makes advances towards new housekeeper, Meta, who insists Thymian should not be allowed to return home.

Thymian escapes with her friend Erika but discovers that her child has passed away. She joins Erika in working at a brothel, then marries a count, but can she ever escape her past?

Pianist Utsav Lal, noted for his innovative performances at Carnegie Hall, Southbank Centre and around the world, will improvise a unique live score at the 7.30pm screening.

Huddersfield-based Northern Silents will return to the NCEM with another fusion of new music and vintage film on October 15. Watch this space for more details.

Tickets for Diary Of A Lost Girl are on sale on 01904 658338 and at ncem.co.uk.

In Focus too: Anita Klein, 30 Years In York, exhibition launch at Pyramid Gallery, York, today at 12 noon

Poster artwork for Anita Klein’s 30 Years In York exhibition at Pyramid Gallery, York

ARTIST Anita Klein will attend today’s opening of her Thirty Years In York exhibition of paintings, linocuts and etchings at Pyramid Gallery, York.

“Anita was one of the first artist printmakers to be shown here and has shown her work in York constantly since June 1994,” says Terry Brett, owner and curator of the gallery in Stonegate.

That first exhibition marked a dramatic change in both the look of the gallery and its fortunes under the new ownership of Terry, who took the keys to Pyramid Gallery on May 31 1994 with his then partner and wife Elaine.

“As soon as Elaine and I had taken over the gallery, I contacted the Greenwich Printmaking co-operative who ran a shop in Greenwich market,” Terry recalls. “They agreed to do a show and I collected work by 15 artists in my car.

“Several of those artists have supplied Pyramid Gallery regularly for 30 years. The first print that sold was a small drypoint print by Anita Klein, which I had put in the window one evening, before the show had opened.”

Terry continues: “Anita was not a big name in the art world in 1994, but she certainly had a following and has since had a very successful career as an artist with features on BBC Radio and national newspapers and magazines.

Pyramid Gallery curator Terry Brett with Anita Klein works and a copy of her 2022 book Out Of The Ordinary, charting her career since 1982

“‘From working with Anita and other former Greenwich artists, such as Mychael Barratt, Trevor Price and Louise Davies, I have come to realise that the relationship between artist and gallery is something that is really worth nurturing. I place great importance on visiting the South East London-based artists, personally collecting the work for each show.”

To mark the start of Terry Brett’s 30th year as a gallerist, Anita Klein is travelling up from London to attend today’s opening from 12 noon to 2pm, when she will sign copies of her 2022 book, Out Of The Ordinary, too.

Australian-born Anita began her career by studying painting on degree and post-graduate courses at the Slade School of Art, where she was influenced by Paula Rego, who encouraged her to “draw what she wanted to draw”.

In response, she started to capture scenes depicting ordinary moments of her own life. Given expert guidance at the school, she learnt to reproduce those sketches using the various techniques of printmaking.

She met her future husband and artist Nigel Swift at the Slade. From the outset, Anita’s artistic diary of her life has often featured amusing or romantic scenes of the two of them or sometimes only  ‘Nige’ in the throes of some activity that Anita has observed and captured in a sketch.

In 1984 she was awarded the Joseph Webb Memorial prize by the Royal Society of Painter Printmakers to spend the summer drawing from the Italian masters. Anita and Nigel stayed in a flat in Arezzo, Tuscany, and filled sketch books with sketches of Italian frescoes.

Casserole, linocut, by Anita Klein

Soon after, they married and had two children, Maia and Leia, Anita recording it all in many small prints using techniques that included woodcuts, etching, lithograph, aquatint and drypoint. When their daughters were small, she made small sketches while they were asleep and developed them into drypoint prints at a printmaking evening class.

For her first solo show in 1986, she had a year to prepare enough images to fill a gallery in London, which led her to simplify the way she worked. Fortunately for all her followers and collectors, the first show was successful and led to another solo show elsewhere.

Many years later, after she supplied her work to as many as 60 galleries, the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers elected Anita to the prestigious position as president. During those 38 years, her work and life has been profiled in national newspapers and magazines and on BBC Radio 4’s Home Truths, presented by John Peel.

In 2007, Anita and Nigel bought a flat in a medieval hilltop town in Tuscany. After painting large oils from her studio in London for many years, she started to paint in acrylics on canvas when staying in Italy.

By using acrylics, she was able to roll up the paintings and carry them back to London, which in turn enabled Pyramid Gallery to show a few of her paintings, along with a larger exhibition of the prints.

For Terry, the choice of Anita Klein to begin a year of anniversary celebratory shows, is apt. “My own family life corresponds quite closely with Anita’s in that I got married about the same time and had two daughters, Elinor and Suzy, just two years prior to the births of Maia and Leia,” he says.

Artist Anita Klein: 30 years of exhibiting at Pyramid Gallery, York

“I could relate to almost every image that Anita created about her family life. When I was helping my two daughters learn to drive, Anita produced a print that could easily have been about us. We even had a similar car. ‘Picking Maia and Leia up from School’ or ‘Driving to Ballet’ could also easily have been about my own family.”

When asked how she came to start documenting her own life, Anita says: “There was no plan to start with. Drawing my everyday life was at first a continuation of the kind of drawings I did as a child. And as I spent the first 20 or so years of my career bringing up my two children with no extra childcare help, it was really the only subject matter I knew.

“Looking back, I can see that I have always wanted to hold onto and celebrate the ordinary. The small repetitive joys that can so easily go unnoticed and unappreciated.”

 Knowing how fortunate he is still to be able to represent an eminent London artist with such a large following, Terry asked Anita: “What does Pyramid Gallery and York mean to you?”.

“Pyramid Gallery has been very good to me over the years, showing and selling my work from the very early days of my career while other galleries have come and gone,” she says. “At one point I had prints in over 60 galleries worldwide.

“These days I have cut this down substantially – the Internet and social media enables me to reach a wide audience, and Pyramid is one of only a small handful of galleries that has a large selection of my work.” 

Eating Pizza, linocut, by Anita Klein

Mounting this exhibition has enabled Terry to pause a while and “take a long look at the gallery more as a pleasurable activity than as a business”.

“Sometimes I can become a bit too focused on the sales figures and the marketing, but in recent weeks I’ve been looking forward to celebrating the landmark of having been nurturing the gallery for three decades, as if it were a part of me that I have to ease through challenges and crises,” he says.

“Pyramid Gallery has become a meeting point for those that need to create and those that need the joy of feeling moved or inspired. It really is more about people than it is about art.

“It gives me a glowing feeling of warmth that I am able to connect a great artist like Anita, who is a storyteller and recorder of social history and of human emotions, with those who visit the gallery for exactly the same experience that inspired the creation of the images.”

For Terry’s 30th anniversary show, Anita will be showing two or three acrylic paintings alongside coloured linocut prints and many black-and-white images of various sizes with a price range from £96 for a small etching up to £7,000 for a large painting.

Here Terry Brett puts questions to Anita Klein

Pyramid Gallery owner Terry Brett with works by Anita Klein

You first supplied Pyramid Gallery as part of a show by Greenwich Printmakers in 1994. How important was that co-operative to you and was it an easy decision to be part of that show?

“Greenwich Printmakers was a vital first step to exhibiting and selling my work, both through their gallery in Greenwich Market and through their ‘outside exhibitions’. Those exhibitions introduced my work to a number of regional galleries, including Pyramid.

“In the days before social media it was crucial to get your work seen as much as possible in galleries, so that first show was a great opportunity for me. 

In those days you were bringing up two small daughters and doing your art on the floor when they were napping. Many of your drypoints were quite small – was this by choice or a necessity?

“I did some painting when my children were small, but without a studio in the early days I was limited to small-scale work. I drew my drypoints while the children slept and printed them once a week at a printmaking evening class.” 

Do you enjoy being ‘dragged out’ of London to open a show in York?

“It’s wonderful to have exposure of my work in York, and it’s always a pleasure to visit such a fascinating and vibrant city.” 

When did you realise that other people would very quickly find parallels in their own lives and connect so easily with your work?

“It came as a surprise at first that other people saw themselves in my work. I thought my life was unique! Now I know that we are all much more alike than we think, especially in the most private parts of our lives.” 

Cold water wild swimming has become an important activity to you. Does the need for a new image in your art ever drive you to do find new places to swim?

“Not really. I can always make up the backgrounds! But I’m always on the lookout for beautiful places to swim, so just as with all other parts of my life this feeds into my work.”

June Flowers, linocut, by Anita Klein

What’s On in Ryedale, York and beyond when artists open studios. Here’s Hutch’s List No 18, from Gazette & Herald

Into the woods: George Stagnell as Dennis “Hank” Haydock in In The Footsteps of Hank Haydock, premiered at Helmsley Arts Centre on Saturday

WARTIME memoirs and Catholic women trailblazers, open studios and open-air Status Quo lead off Charles Hutchinson’s recommendations.

Double bill of the week: Everwitch Theatre, Bomb Happy D-Day 80, In The Footsteps Of Hank Haydock (film premiere) and Sleep/Re-live/Wake/Repeat (theatre), Helmsley Arts Centre, June 1, 7.30pm

TO commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day, Bomb Happy playwright Helena Fox has created two poignant, lyrical new works telling the stories of two Yorkshire Normandy veterans from conversations and interviews she held with them in 2016.

Featuring York actor George Stagnell, the short film In the Footsteps of Hank Haydock: A Walk In The Park was shot on location in the Duncombe Park woodland with its lyrical account of Coldstream Guardsman Dennis “Hank” Haydock’s experiences in his own words. In Sleep/Re-Live/Wake/Repeat, playwright Helena Fox and vocalist Natasha Jones bring to life the first-hand experiences of D-Day veteran Ken “Smudger” Smith and the lifelong impact of PTSD and sleep trauma through spoken word and a cappella vocals. Box office: 01439 771700 or helmsleyarts.co.uk.

Mary Ward (Augsberg portrait): Foundress of the Bar Convent, as featured in the Trailblazers audio trail

York exhibition of the week; Trailblazers of the Bar Convent, Bar Convent Living Heritage Centre, Blossom Street, York, until September 30, 10am to 5pm; last entry 4pm

AS part of the citywide York Trailblazers sculpture trail, the Trailblazers of the Bar Convent audio trail uncovers tories behind key characters down the years at the oldest surviving Catholic convent in Great Britain.

Using QR codes, visitors will discover more about the trailblazing women whose bravery and determination made history locally, nationally and around the world. Among them are foundress Mary Ward, who believed that girls deserved an equal education to boys; Mother Superior Ann Aspinal, who determined to build a secret chapel totally hidden from the outside world, and Sister Gregory Kirkus, who set up the convent’s first ever museum. Tickets: barconvent.co.uk.

Kathyrn Williams & Withered Hand: Heading to Selby Town Hall tonight

Duo of the week: Kathryn Williams & Withered Hand, Selby Town Hall, tonight, 8pm

KATHRYN Williams is the Liverpool-born, Newcastle-based, Mercury Music Prize-nominated singer-songwriter with 16 albums to her name. Withered Hand is singer-songwriter Dan Willson (CORRECT), from the Scottish underground scene.

They first met in 2019 in an Edinburgh Book Festival spiegeltent, prompting Williams to tweet Willson: “What kind of songs would we write together and what would they sound like?” The results can be heard on the album Willson Williams, released on One Little Independent Records, and in concert in Selby. Box office: selbytownhall.co.uk.

The poster for the three-day Drawsome! 2024 festival in York

York festival of the week: Drawsome! 2024, Young Thugs Studio, May 31; The Crescent, June 1; Arts Barge, Foss Basin, York, June 2

DRAWSOME! combines exhibitions and workshops with live music each evening. Things Found and Made is exhibiting at The Golden Ball, Cromwell Road, from May 31 and Greek-Australian graphic novel artist Con Chrisoulis for one night only at Young Thugs Studio, Ovington Terrace, on May 31 from 7pm, when Ichigo Evil, Plantfood, Mickey Nomimono and Drooligan will be performing.

On June 1, Bonneville, Lou Terry, Captain Starlet and Leafcutter John play at The Crescent community venue, where workshops run from 1 to 4pm, featuring Bits and Bots Recycled Robot, with Tom Brader, and Creative Visible Mending, with Anna Pownall, complemented by Zine Stalls hosted by Things Found and Made, Adam Keay and Teresa Stenson. 

On June 2, the Arts Barge presents Dana Gavanski, Kindelan, Moongate and We Are Hannah, after three 11am to 2pm workshops: Poem Fishing with Becca Drake and Jessie Summerhayes, Adana Letterpress and lino printing, and Screenprinting with Kai West. 

Sarah Sharpe: Opening her studio at Viriditas Nook, Mill Beck House, 2 Pinewood, Norton, Malton, for North Yorkshire Open Studios

North Yorkshire Open Studios 2024, June 1 and 2, 8 and 9, 10am to 5pm

STRETCHING from the coast to the moors, dales and beyond, 169 artists and makers from North Yorkshire’s artistic community invite you to look inside their studios over the next two weekends.

The event is organised by the artist-run collective North Yorkshire Open Studios, which supports painters, sculptors, printmakers, jewellers, ceramicists and photographers. Taking part in the Malton area will be Angela Cole (Westow), Catriona Stewart (Norton), Sandra Oakins (Norton), Jo Naden (Scagglethorpe), Sarah Sharpe (Norton) and Jonathan Moss (Malton). For full details, go to: nyos.org.uk. A full brochure is available.

Status Quo: Francis Rossi, left, leads his legendary band at Scarborough Open Air Theatre

Coastal gig of the week: Status Quo, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, June 2, gates 6pm

DENIM rock legends Status Quo open the 2024 season at Scarborough Open Air Theatre, where they played previously in 2013, 2014 and 2016. Led as ever by founder Francis Rossi, who turns 75 today, they must pick their set from 64 British hit singles, more than an any other band. The support act will be The Alarm. Box office: scarboroughopenairtheatre.com/statusquo.

Georgia Lennon as Paula Pokrifki and Luke Baker as Zack Mayo in An Officer And A Gentleman The Musical. Picture: Marc Brenner

Musical of the week: An Officer And A Gentleman The Musical, Grand Opera House, York, June 4 to 8, 8pm, Tuesday, 7.30pm, Wednesday to Saturday, plus 2.30pm Wednesday and Saturday matinees

NORTH Yorkshireman Nikolai Foster directs Leeds-born actor Luke Baker as fearless young officer candidate Zack Mayor in the Curve, Leicester touring production of An Officer And A Gentleman.

Once an award-winning 1982 Taylor Hackford film, now Douglas Day Stewart’s story of love, courage and redemption comes re-booted with George Dyer’s musical theatre arrangements and orchestrations of pop bangers by Bon Jovi, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Blondie and the signature song (Love Lift Us) Up Where We Belong. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.

Graffiti Classics!: “Making classical music wickedly funny and fantastically exhilarating” at Milton Rooms, Malton

Breaking boundaries: Graffiti Classics!, Milton Rooms, Malton, June 14, 8pm

GRAFFITI Classics! is not only a classical concert but also a gypsy-folk romp, an opera, a stand-up comedy set and dance show rolled into one uplifting, virtuosic experience.

Bursting the “elitist boundaries of the traditional string quartet”, Graffiti Classics! embraces Beethoven to bluegrass, baroque to pop, Mozart to Elvis, Strauss to Saturday Night Fever, as 16 strings, eight dancing feet and four voices combine with one aim: “to make classical music wickedly funny and fantastically exhilarating for everyone, young and old”. Box office: 01653 696240 or themiltonrooms.com.

Folk singer Grace Petrie suits comedy in switch to stand-up for Butch Ado About Nothing at Pocklington Arts Centre

Grace Petrie: Converting to comedy

FOLK singer, lesbian humorist and checked-shirt collector Grace Petrie has been incorrectly called Sir every day of her adult life.

After finally running out of subjects for whiny songs, she is putting down her guitar to work out why in her debut stand-up show, Butch Ado About Nothing, bound for Pocklington Arts Centre on June 6.

In a bold departure from her musical roots, Grace is venturing into new territory on the comedy circuit. Finding herself in an age of incessantly and increasingly fraught gender politics, the Norwich-based Leicester native feels “both more exposed and less seen than ever” at 35.

“I wanted to see what happens if there’s no safety net of a guitar,” she told DIVA magazine. “It’s just me with nothing to hide behind.”

Despite Butch Ado About Nothing being her first stand-up show, Grace is no stranger to making people laugh. She has made regular appearances on BBC Radio 4’s The Now Show and The Guilty Feminist podcast, performed alongside comedians Hannah Gadsby, Josie Long and Robin Ince and “long since earned a reputation as the folk scene’s funniest lesbian”.

Tickets for Grace’s 8pm show are on sale at 01759 301547 or pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk.

What’s On in Ryedale, York and beyond food, glorious food. Here’s Hutch’s List No 17 for 2024, from Gazette & Herald

Jeanette Hunter’s Wicked Witch, right, in rehearsal for York Musical Theatre Company’s The Wizard Of Oz with Daan Janssen’s Lion, left, Rachel Higgs’s Scarecrow, Zander Fick’s Tin Man, Sadie Sorensen’s Dorothy and Toto puppeteer Adam Gill

FOOD for thought for the cultural week ahead, from the Yellow Brick Road to Heaven revisited, a foodie festival to Laurie Lee, seascapes to coastal Dexys, as Charles Hutchinson reports.

Musical of the week: York Musical Theatre Company in The Wizard Of Oz, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, until Saturday, 7.30pm plus 2.30pm Saturday matinee

YORK stage stalwart Jeanette Hunter will play a villain for the first time next week, starring as the Wicked Witch in York Musical Theatre Company’s The Wizard Of Oz.

Following the Yellow Brick Road will be Sadie Sorensen’s Dorothy, Rachel Higgs’s Scarecrow, Zander Fick’s Tin Man and Daan Janssen’s Lion, while further principal roles will go to Liz Gardner as Glinda, Marlena Kellie as Auntie Em and Martin Hunter as the Wizard. Box office: 01904 501935 or josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk. 

Velma Celli’s Show Queen: Celebrating the best of London’s West End and Broadway musical theatre hits at York Theatre Royal

Cabaret celebration of the week: Velma Celli’s Show Queen, York Theatre Royal, tomorrow (23/5/2024), 7.30pm

DRAG diva Velma Celli, the alter ego of York actor Ian Stroughair, goes back to Ian’s roots in Cats, Chicago, Fame and Rent for a new celebration of the best of London’s West End and Broadway musical theatre hits.

The show “takes us to every corner of the fabulous genre, from Kander & Ebb and Lloyd Webber to Stephen Schwartz’s Wicked and Schönberg’s Les Miserables and many more,” says Velma. “Like, more than Six!”. Special guests will be burlesque star Miss Betsy Rose and belting York singer Jessica Steel. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

Rebecca Ferguson: Liverpool soul singer’s last album and tour at 37

Soul gig of the week: Rebecca Ferguson, Heaven Part II Tour, York Barbican, Friday, 7.30pm

LIVERPOOL soul singer and The X Factor alumna Rebecca Ferguson is touring her fifth and final album, Heaven Part II, released last December 12 years to the day since her debut, Heaven.

Working with new contributors and original Heaven writers and producers, Ferguson sings of love, family, joy, liberation and her journey to happiness over the past seven years. She is, however, calling time on recording and touring to “find a way to have a relationship with music which is positive”. Friday’s support acts will be York country singer Twinnie and Eloise Viola. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.

Malton Spring Food Lovers Festival: Look out for the festival guide and map on site

Festival of the week: Malton Spring Food Lovers Festival, Saturday, from 9am; Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday, from 10am

ON the streets of “Yorkshire’s Food Capital”, Malton Food Lovers Festival celebrates Yorkshire’s supreme produce and cooking over three days of 120 artisan stalls and street food vendors, talks, tastings, chef demonstrations, brass bands and buskers, festival bar, food shops, sculpture trail, entertainment, blacksmith workshops, vintage funfair and family fun with Be Amazing Arts’ Creativitent, Environmental Art’s Creative Chaos and Magical Quests North.

The live musicians will be: Saturday, Malton White Star Band, 11am to 1pm, The Rackateers, 1pm to 3pm, and Oz Ward, 6pm to 8pm; Sunday, White Star Training Band, 11.30am to 12.30pm, and The Rackateers, 1pm to 3pm, and Monday, The Acoustic Buddies, 11am to 12pm and 2pm to 3pm. Festival entry is free.

Kirkby Soul: Playing outdoors at Hemsley Walled Garden on Saturday

Fundraiser of the week: Kirkby Soul, Helmsley Walled Garden, Helmsley, Saturday, 7.30pm

RYEDALE eight-piece band Kirkby Soul present an evening of soul music in aid of Helmsley Arts Centre and Helmsley Walled Garden. Bring chairs, cushions, blankets, dancing shoes and picnics. A paying bar will be operation in the orchid house. Come prepared for the British weather! A marquee will be erected just in case. Box office: 01439 771700 or helmsleyarts.co.uk.

Anton Lesser: Performing in Red Sky At Sunrise, Laurie Lee in Words and Music at Grand Opera House, York

Literary event of the week: Red Sky At Sunrise, Laurie Lee in Words and Music, Grand Opera House, York, May 26, 7.30pm

AUTHOR Laurie Lee’s extraordinary story is told in a captivating weave of music and his own words in Red Sky At Sunrise, performed by actors Anton Lesser and Charlie Hamblett, accompanied by David Le Page’s musical programme for Orchestra Of The Swan.

Together they celebrate Lee’s engaging humour, as well as portraying his darker side, in a performance that has startling resonance with modern events, tracing Lee’s path through Cider With Rosie, As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning and A Moment Of War as he ended up fighting with the International Brigades against General Franco’s forces in the Spanish Civil War. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.

Jo’s Place, seascape, by Carolyn Coles, from her Home Is Where The Heart Is exhibition at Bluebird Bakery, Acomb

Exhibition launch: Carolyn Coles, Home Is Where The Heart Is, Bluebird Bakery, Acomb, York, May 30 to August 1

CREATING atmospheric, impressionistic and abstract seascapes, South Bank Studios artist Carolyn Coles paints mostly with acrylics on stretched canvasses, using an array of techniques and implements.

Known for evoking emotional responses, Carolyn reflects her love for the Yorkshire landscape, offering a direct response to the feelings and connections to places that feel like home. Everyone is welcome at the 6pm to 9pm launch on May 30, when Carolyn will be happy to answer questions.

Dirty Ruby: Ryedale Blues’ headliners at Milton Rooms, Malton

Blues gig of the week: Ryedale Blues presents Dirty Ruby, Milton Rooms, Malton, May 30, 8pm

NOTTINGHAMSHIRE five-piece Dirty Ruby have drawn comparisons with Seventies’ bands Stone The Crows and Vinegar Joe in their energetic, sharp-edged blues rock, combining Hammond organ and bluesy guitar with soulful lead vocals. Box office: 01653 696240 or themiltonrooms.com.

Dexys: Showcasing The Feminine Divine at Scarborough Spa

Coastal trip of the week: Dexys, Scarborough Spa Grand Hall, May 30, doors 7pm

AFTER playing York for the first time in their 45-year career last September, Dexys return to North Yorkshire on the latest leg of The Feminine Divine Live!

Led as ever by Kevin Rowland, Dexys open with a theatrical presentation of last year’s album, The Feminine Divine, to be followed by a second soulful set of beloved hits, from Come On Eileen and Jackie Wilson Said to The Celtic Soul Brothers and Geno. Box office: 01723 376774 or scarboroughspa.co.uk.

In Focus: The 1879 FA Cup clash of Darwen FC and the Old Etonians in The Giant Killers at Milton Rooms, Malton

The tour poster for Long Lane Theatre Club’s The Giant Killers

MANCHESTER United meet “noisy neighbours” Manchester City in the 143rd FA Cup final on Saturday, coinciding with the tour launch of a fitting theatrical tribute to the competition’s early days.

Staged by Long Lane Theatre Club, The Giant Killers tells the story of how Darwen FC came to the public’s attention in 1870s’ Lancashire to proclaim Association Football as a people’s game and not only the preserve of the upper classes.

Good news for Malton, the story of Darwen’s FA Cup clashes with the toffs of the Old Etonians is booked to appear at the Milton Rooms on July 4 (now confirmed as the date for another battle, the 2024 General Election).

The Giant Killers recounts how a ragtag bunch of mill workers in Darwen took on the amateur gentlemen’s club of the Old Etonians in the FA Cup quarter-final in 1879. The Old Etonians were winning 5-1 but Darwen rallied to force a replay after a 5-5 draw. 

One replay turned into three, with one abandoned through bad light. Forced to travel to London a very expensive three times and with team members losing a day’s work, Darwen eventually succumbed 6-2, but their story of working-class men inspiring a nation enabled the top hats in football crowds to turn into ‘’a sea of flat caps’’.

Kick-off – or kick-toff! – will be at 7.30pm for Andrew Pearson-Wright & Eve Pearson-Wright’s story of how Darwen FC rose up against prevailing social prejudice and the might of the Football Association to earn a place in history as the first real ‘‘giant killers’’ in English football. Box office: 01653 696240 or themiltonrooms.com.