AFFIRMATIVE! Culture podcasters Graham Chalmers and Charles Hutchinson look forward to Yes’s June 22 gig, then reappraise Fontaines DC’s Skinty Fia album, Francis Ford Coppola’s influential 1983 teen movie Rumble Fish and Harold Pinter’s rather difficult play The Homecoming.
NOT only a certain platinum jubilee is cause for a party. Charles Hutchinson finds reasons aplenty to head out.
What can you say in five minutes? Green Shoots, York Theatre Royal, Tuesday and Wednesday, 7.30pm
NEW work commissioned by York Theatre Royal from 20 York and North Yorkshire professional artists will be premiered in Green Shoots.
Poets, performers, singers, dancers and digital artists will be presenting bite-sized performances focused on “rebooting post-pandemic and looking to the future of the planet”.
Among them will be Fladam; Bolshee; Alexander Flanagan-Wright; Paul Birch; Hayley Del Harrison; Butshilo Nleya; Hannah Davies and Jack Woods; Gus Gowland; Joe Feeney and Dora Rubinstein. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.
That’s all folk: City of York (Roland Walls) Folk Weekend, Black Swan Inn, Peasholme Green, York, today, 1pm to 11pm, and tomorrow, 1.30pm to 10.30pm
THE Black Swan Folk Club’s two days and nights of free music and song take in a marquee concert stage; rolling folk club; musicians’ sessions; singarounds; Japanese drumming; indoor concerts; the Poems & Pints hour and workshops.
Playing over the weekend will be Kaminari Taiko, The Ale Marys, The Duncan McFarlane Band, White Sail, Clurachan, Two Black Sheep And A Stallion, Holly Taymar, Blonde On Bob, Les Rustiques, Caramba, Miles And The Chain Gang, Tommy Coyle, Chechelele, Leather’O and more besides. Full programme: blackswanfolkclub.org.uk.
Art event of the month: North Yorkshire Open Studios 2022, today, tomorrow, then June 11 and 12, 10am to 5pm
FROM the rugged coastline near Whitby to the rolling Yorkshire Dales, 108 artists and makers invite you inside their studios and workshops.
Over four days, this is the chance to discover secret studio spaces and inspiring locations, watch artists at work, learn about their creative practices and buy contemporary art and design directly from the makers. To plan a route, visit nyos.org.uk to download a free brochure.
Coastal party of the weekend: Yorkshire’s Platinum Jubilee Concert, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, today, 6pm
NATIONAL treasure Jane McDonald will be joined by musical theatre stars The Barricade Boys and drag artiste La Voix outdoors in Scarborough this evening.
“It’s going to be amazing,” says Wakefield singer and television presenter McDonald. “A really rousing night, full of song. It will be a real sing-along event, so bring your voices. I expect it’ll be emotional too, but above all else we’ll have a good old party.” Box office: scarboroughopenairtheatre.com.
Guitar god of the week and his (in)famous friend: Jeff Beck, with Johnny Depp, York Barbican, Tuesday, 8pm, sold out
NEWS flash. Fresh from winning his US defamation lawsuit against former wife Amber Heard, Hollywood frontman Johnny Depp, 58, is doing an impromptu victory lap as the special guest of South London rock, blues and jazz guitarist and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Jeff Beck, 77, on a tour rearranged from April 2021.
Beck will take to the York stage with Rhonda Smith, bass, Vanessa Freebairn-Smith, cello, Anika Nilles, drums, Robert Adam Stevenson, keyboards, and Depp, riffing off his piratical Keith Richards vibe no doubt, on guitar. Box office for returns only: yorkbarbican.co.uk.
Political drama of the week: Shakespeare’s Globe in Julius Caesar, York Theatre Royal, June 10, 7.30pm; June 11, 2.30pm and 7.30pm
PREPARE to confront today’s political landscape as Shakespeare’s tragedy Julius Caesar takes on startlingly new relevance in Diane Page’s account of this brutal tale of ambition, incursion and revolution.
When Cassius (Charlotte Bate) and Brutus (Anna Crichton) decide Roman leader Julius Caesar (Dickson Tyrrell) poses a political threat to their beloved country, ancient Rome feels closer to home than ever amid the conspiracy to kill, the public broadcast of cunning rhetoric and a divisive fight for greatness. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.
Soul legend of the week: Dionne Warwick, She’s Back: One Last Time, York Barbican, June 10, 8pm
DON’T walk on by. Dionne Warwick’s rescheduled She’s Back: One Last Time itinerary now carries the Farewell Tour tag too, making next Friday’s concert all the more a Must See event.
Now 81, the six-time Grammy Award-winning New Jersey singer, actress, television host and former United Nations Global Ambassador for the Food and Agriculture will be performing such Bacharach/David favourites as I Say A Little Prayer, Do You Know The Way To San Jose and Walk On By, plus material from her May 2019 album, She’s Back. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.
Hottest ticket of the week: Gary Barlow: A Different Stage, Grand Opera House, York, June 9, 10 and 11, 7.30pm; June 12, 2.30pm
FIRST, Take That’s Gary Barlow announced Friday and Saturday solo shows, then he added a Sunday matinee, and, finally, Thursday too. Ticket availability is best for the opening night; barely a handful remain for the others.
“I’ve done shows where it has just been me and a keyboard,” says the Wirral singer, songwriter, composer, producer, talent show judge and author. “I’ve done shows where I sit and talk to people. I’ve done shows where I’ve performed as part of a group.
“But this one, well, it’s like all of those, but none of them. When I walk out this time, well, it’s going to be a very different stage altogether.” Box office, without delay: 0844 871 7615 or atgtickets.com/York.
Whatever the weather with you, Crowded House play Scarborough Open Air Theatre, July 11; gates open at 6pm
CROWDED House are heading out on their first European tour in more than ten years with a line-up of founding members Neil Finn and Nick Seymour, producer and keyboardist Mitchell Froom, guitarist and singer Liam Finn and drummer Elroy Finn, Neil’s sons.
Such favourites as Weather With You, Don’t Dream It’s Over, Distant Sun and Private Universe will be complemented by material from the Antipodeans’ seventh studio album, June 2021’s Dreamers Are Waiting, their first since 2010’s Intriguer. Box office: scarboroughopenairtheatre.com.
BIG beards, food and funfairs galore, Irish whimsy, postcard art, tree theatre, Moronic music, female folk and a year’s notice of camp comedy catch Charles Hutchinson’s eye.
York Spring Festival and Food Fair, Clocktower Enclosure, York Racecourse, Knavesmire, York, running until June 5
IN its second year at York Racecourse, this event takes in the Platinum Jubilee long weekend celebrations to complement the 15 vintage funfair rides, food stalls, live music and family entertainment, highlighted by the lighting of York’s Jubilee Beacon on Thursday evening.
Look forward to 6.30pm performances by York musicians Huge, The Y Street Band, Hyde Family Jam and New York Brass Band, plus Wales’s Old Time Sailors.
Busiest of all will be York children’s entertainer, “balloonologist”, juggler and magician Josh Benson, performing his high-energy Just Josh show four times a day. Tickets: ticketsource.co.uk/yorkspringfair.co.uk.
Half-term festival of the week: Jorvik Viking Festival, York, today until Wednesday
NEARLY two and a half years after hordes of Viking warriors and settlers last descended on the city, York is ready for five days of Norse-themed fun and entertainment.
Moved from February to fit into the summer half-term holiday, the 2022 festival sees the return of a living history encampment, March to Coppergate, Strongest Viking and Best Beard contests and Poo Day at DIG, as well as a new arena event this evening, The Jorvik Games. For full festival details and tickets, go to: jorvikvikingfestival.co.uk.See full preview below.
Comedy gig of the week: Dylan Moran, We Got This, Grand Opera House, York, tonight, 8pm
DROLL Irish comedian Dylan Moran promises a joyously furious romp through the frustration and folly of modern-day life in his new tour show.
“These times have not been easy,” he says. “Learn how to make breakfast not even knowing you are out of bed. Diagnose the mirror, reason with the mice and boil yoghurt blindfolded. Enjoy the fruits of hurtling cognitive decline and your neighbours’ sprawling ghastliness, absence of humanity and so, so much more.” Box office: 0844 871 7615 or atgtickets.com/York.
Art event of the weekend: PICA Postcard Show and Sale, PICA Studios, Grape Lane, York, today and tomorrow, 10am to 4pm
THE artists at the PICA Studios workshop are branching out into one-off postcard artworks for one weekend only. Each postcard will sell for £25 to raise funds towards improving the studio space and to create a gallery in the foyer.
Taking part will be Lesley Birch, Evie Leach, Emily Stubbs, Katrina Mansfield, Ealish Wilson, Sarah Jackson, Ric Liptrot, Jo Edmonds, Lisa Power, Amy Stubbs, Mick Leach, Rae George, Lesley Shaw Lu Mason and Kitty Pennybacker. Purchases also can be made online via instagram@picastudios.
Family drama of the weekend: Badapple Theatre Company in Yorkshire Kernel, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, today, 2.30pm and 7.30pm
JAMES’S Grandad is at death’s door, but he has one last mission: to find a tree. Many trees in fact, scattered around the country in memory of his Second World War comrades. So begins writer, performer and puppeteer Danny Mellor’s play for Green Hammerton company Badapple.
Divided between being haunted by his plain-speaking grandfather, his mother rekindling her romance with an old flame, and James’s pregnant partner, Rosie, thinking he is cheating on her, Mellor’s “bonkers” solo show undertakes a journey of Yorkshire wit and grit through one man’s determination to leave a long-lasting legacy. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.
Cracking gig of the week: The Lovely Eggs, supported by Arch Femmesis and Thick Richard, The Crescent, York, tomorrow, 7.30pm
PROUDLY independent northern psychedelic punk rock duo The Lovely Eggs do not give up. After re-scheduling the tour to promote April 2020’s release of their I Am Moron album seven times, they play The Crescent at last this weekend.
Iggy Pop, no less, contributed to their track I, Moron. “For him just to say nothing but ‘moron’ over and over again fitted in with the sentiment of the song perfectly,” says Lovely Egg Holly Ross. “He just got it. We are all morons. In a world of moronic things. In a world of moronic ideas. You are Moron. I am Moron. We are Moron.” OK, Morons and Eggheads, tickets are on sale at thecrescentyork.com.
Folk gigs of the week: The Unthanks, Sorrows Away Tour, York Barbican, Tuesday, 7.45pm; Katherine Priddy, supported by George Boomsma, National Centre for Early Music, York, Wednesday, 7.30pm
RETURNING to touring after two years off the road, Northumbrian folk musicians The Unthanks will be previewing their upcoming autumn album Sorrows Away in their York Barbican debut with an 11-piece ensemble. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.
The following night at the NCEM, finger-picking guitarist and haunting singer Katherine Priddy performs enchanting songs on the theme of childhood, distant memories and whatever will follow next from last June’s debut album, The Eternal Rocks Beneath. Box office: 01904 658338 or ncem.co.uk.
Gig launch of the week: Tom Allen, Completely, York Barbican, May 28 2023
YOU will have to wait 12 months for comedian, raconteur, arch television jester and radio presenter Tom Allen’s new show, Completely, to arrive in York. Tickets go on sale rather sooner, from 10am on Monday at yorkbarbican.co.uk.
At 38, Bromley-born Allen has finally moved out of his parents’ house, prompting his eagerness to share his life updates, gain audience opinions on his vegetable patch and delve into the protocol of inviting friends with children for dinner.
Jorvik Viking Festival returns with more fun and games…
TENTS for an encampment are being set up in Parliament Street and screens installed at the Eye of York. Traders are transporting their wares to the Guildhall and St Sampson’s Square and a faint smell of mead is wafting through the air. Welcome to the return of the Jorvik Viking Festival.
Nearly two and a half years after hordes of Viking warriors and settlers last descended on the city, York is preparing for five days of Norse-themed fun and entertainment, starting today (28/5/2022).
Postponed from February to fit snugly into the half-term holiday before the Jubilee bank holiday, this year’s festival will see the return of such favourite events as a living history encampment, the March To Coppergate and the Strongest Viking and Best Beard contests, alongside a new arena event at 6.45pm this evening, The Jorvik Games.
“In February, our evening spectacular is usually a dramatic presentation of a Viking story, but with the evenings being so much lighter in May, our event will also be a little more fun,” says event manager Gareth Henry.
“The Viking Games will pit the finest warriors from four teams against each other, with spectators invited to pick their champion and cheer them on to victory. Henry. Of course, being Vikings, they might not always play by the rules – and with their own horde of supporters behind them on the arena field, sparks will fly with skirmishes inevitable!”
Tickets for The Jorvik Games are still available, priced £15 for adults and £11 for concessions, with family tickets also available at jorvikvikingfestival.co.uk.
While Saturday will be the festival’s busiest day, visitors from Sunday to Wednesday will enjoy a host of events and activities too. On Sunday, at 29/31 Coney Street, visitors can meet Vikings from all over Europe, brought together under the Erasmus scheme, including fun crafting activities.
Young warriors can hone their skills in Have-A-Go Sword sessions on the Parliament Street stage and the Ting Tang re-enactors will bring theatre to the stage every day too.
The last few places remain on crafting workshops taking place Monday to Wednesday at York Medical Society, on Stonegate, including Nalebinding (Viking knitting), Trichinopoly (wire weaving) and tablet weaving.
On Wednesday, Jorvik’s sister attraction, DIG in St Saviourgate, will host the ever-popular Poo Day, a chance for children (and adults!) to try their hand at making a replica Viking poo, based on the world-famous Lloyds Bank Coprolite (fossilised poo, should you be wondering).
Jorvik Viking Centre’s exhibition of items from the Silverdale Hoard, on loan from Lancashire County Museums, is also expected to be popular, with tickets for the attraction selling out for many time slots throughout the half-term break.
“With good weather forecast for the weekend, we’re expecting York to be particularly busy, so would urge visitors to pre-book their tickets wherever possible to avoid disappointment,” says Henry.
Full details of all Jorvik Viking Festival events can be found at jorvikvikingfestival.co.uk.
IT began with a chance conversation on a Museum Gardens bench on a summer’s day.
It ended with 140 portraits by a Wigginton artist from a family of football haters who became a season ticket holder, cheering on York City at the LNER Community Stadium as promotion to the National League was clinched last Saturday.
Sue Clayton’s portraits will be revealed en masse on Saturday at the York City Football Club Fans’ Centenary Celebration at Cliffe Village Institute, near Selby, where Bubwith-born club legend Chris Topping (463 appearances,1968-1978) will perform the opening ceremony at the 10am to 4pm event.
A3 prints of the entire collection will be available for the first time at the celebration: mounted and ready to pop into a frame for £25 each or £40 for a framed version.
“This year-long project came about from having a chat last year with Michael Miles, a lifelong York City fan who creates the Y-Front fanzine,” says Sue. “The passion Michael showed for his club captured my attention: it was one of those conversations where someone’s passion for something sparks your own interest to listen to them.
“I suggested I should paint a few fan portraits. Then, when he mentioned it would be the club’s centenary this year, I realised a new art project was germinating in my mind and I was fizzing with creativity.”
At first, Sue anticipated painting maybe ten portraits from the photographs and stories sent to her. Instead, the project grew and grew, not even stopping at 100 paintings to mark 100 years.
“It was so strange really, a total perseverance on my behalf, with many 3am finishes,” she says. “In reality it may have been prudent to stop when I reached 100 but I still had images I wanted to paint; I wanted to do the fans justice.”
Each 30cm square in size, the portraits span multiple media, from watercolours to oils, acrylics to charcoal, pencil to collage. “In the collection, there are brides, babies, fans pictured in celebration sadly no longer with us, sisters, dads and sons, friendships…the full range of life in all its glorious forms,” says Sue, who is now adding former players to her portrait portfolio.
She is drawn to “painting portraits of people whose stories I want to tell”, such as her exhibition of children and young adults with Down Syndrome, entitled 21, on display in the Tent of Hope at the NHS York Vaccination Centre at Askham Bar, York, last May and June.
“I’m equally passionate about making art accessible to all and love the concept of art meeting football,” she says. “A wonderful year-long journey has led me to the fantastic warmth of the fan community. From knowing so little about football, my son James and I are now fully signed-up season ticket holders roaring with the crowds on the terraces, culminating in the amazing play-off final last weekend.”
Sue believes passion creates the best portraits. “As an artist, I was on a roll with this project and became very quickly immersed within it. The range and scope of the photos sent in could let my imagination free, and it enabled me to paint such a range of ages within the series,” she says.
“From a sitter’s perspective, I think the fan in the act of celebrating, oblivious to all, just consumed with joy, is really delicious to paint. Equally, the moment capturing a fan watching the team intensely, apprehension etched on their face tells a great story.”
Saturday’s celebration is taking place at Cliffe on account of Michael Miles living there. “There’s quite a gathering of fans in the village, who call themselves ‘The Cliffe Minstermen’,” says Sue.
“Michael was eager to create an event just for the fans. The response has been phenomenal, with offers of help, sponsorship from the fans and fabulous raffle prizes donated. It’s a perfect chance to gather and celebrate not just the centenary but last week’s victory to go up a division.”
Look out for Jack Radcliffe’s match reports from the 2021-2022 season, on full display on Saturday. “Jack, who, like my son James, has Down Syndrome, has captured the hearts of the team, in particular goalie Pete Jameson, and the fans too,” says Sue. “His match reports are superb with such honesty and integrity. He led the team on to the pitch for the final game and did the lap of honour with them.”
“Football-type” food and drink will be available; a colouring competition for children promises fabulous prizes, and the raffle prizes will range from football kits and signed footballs, to a portrait commission from Sue and signed lyrics from Shed Seven’s Rick Witter for the club’s terrace anthem, Chasing City Rainbows.
The legacy of Sue’s portraits will build. “Work will begin soon on a book about the portrait project and some of the wonderful stories behind the faces,” she says. “I believe so strongly that these stories should not be lost and want them to be part of the archives for the club’s centenary.
“The portraits will form a large art installation inside the fanzone at the LNER Community Stadium later in the year as a permanent feature, and the Give It A Go Joe drama group has expressed an interest in developing these stories further to create some community theatre. Not bad from a chat on a park bench, eh?!”
As for the future of the original portraits, “some will go on display in York Hospital, and I would dearly love to show them again in their entirety in York centre before the collection will be broken up at the end of the year. If any galleries, museums or community spaces are interested, I would love to hear from them via email@example.com.”
CharlesHutchPresshas a hatful of questions for artist Sue Clayton
Just how exciting was last Saturday’s play-off final?
“OH my!! Fab-u-lous!! I was already in bits when Jack [Radcliffe] led out the players to start the game. What a superstar Jack is and a great ambassador for the club. When that second goal went in, it was just amazing!
“The feeling of ‘we’ve got this…we’ve really got this’! Y-Front fanzine editor Michael Miles said he’d worked out he’d been supporting York for 34 years with three promotions; James and I come along and we’re promoted in our first year! Who knows what next season will bring at this rate!”
Were the stories you were sent as important as the photographs you transformed into portraits?
“Often the stories came after the photos were sent. I can’t say they directly informed my paintings but I did have a wry smile on my face with some as fans had told me some of their escapades.
“The one portrait that did affect me profoundly was the painting of Phil, the fan who was working as a teacher in Ukraine. His daily posts on Twitter, sharing the terror of the situation, haunted me. His portrait is painted in blue and yellow as a testament to this time.
“I’m hoping that more anecdotes and tales will emerge at Saturday’s event as the fans see the whole collection. There will be a book there to write down any memories and I will be interviewing fans as my next mini-project to get those stories down before they are lost.”
How did you settle on the 30cm square size and the wide range of materials for the portraits?
“I decided on the 30cm square format as I knew there would be a lot of paintings. I like a square, I feel it’s more contemporary and I always feel it works well if I want to closely crop an image and focus in on the action of the face.
“I’ve used a wide range of mediums because that’s me, I suppose! I enjoy the luscious butteryness of oils, the quick drying and layering of acrylics and the wonderful flow of watercolours. Spoilt for choice!
“I did worry that the whole collection might not adhere to one particular style: would people realise they were all by the same artist? It’s often advised to pursue a particular style so that your work is recognisable, but I’ve long decided to just do ‘me’ and try not to play to any rules.”
Last year, when announcing this project in CharlesHutchPress, you said you were “not a follower of football myself”. Earlier this month, you told the Yorkshire Post: “I grew up in a football-hating family, never watched football and we were the least sporting family going.” How come you have caught the York City bug, along with James, both becoming season ticket holders?
“Well, obviously I didn’t know what I was missing! Initially, I suppose I went for a bit of research to find out what it was all about. I soon became caught up with the match; it was a glorious day and the season had just begun. Having a season ticket meant I saw the same faces each match; a smile and a nod to other fans led on to conversations and before you know it ,you are part of a community.
“It’s not just the game of football, it’s the fans, the people who work with the team, the stadium, the traditions. It has also become a chance to share something special with James.”
Saturday’s centenary event carries the promise of “full football-type food and drink”. What represents such delights to you?!
“The warm smell of a fresh pie wafting by as the fans make their way to the seats (I have got to say, I have never tasted anything so good as the pie in Bromley!) I notice quite a few fans still like their Bovril.
“For the event on Saturday, the lads have arranged local pies, pasties, sausage rolls and peas. There’ll also be a curry or chilli and chips.”
How come Rick Witter is donating his Chasing City Rainbows lyrics to Saturday’s celebration?
“Shed Seven’s Chasing Rainbows was adopted as York City’s song when it came out in 1996 and was sung on the terraces by City fans. It can be heard at most matches. Rick has kindly supported Saturday’s raffle for the fans by sending in a hand-written, reworded version for the fans to now say ‘Chasing City Rainbows’. A lovely collector’s piece for both City fans and music fans.”
How will the portrait book project progress?
“The book is still an embryo of an idea but it will happen! I’d love for all the images to be recorded in one book alongside the fans’ stories. I kind of feel it is my duty to record this project, so that it’s not forgotten, archived away for future fans, along with the stories. My daughter Lily is a passionate reader and writer, so this will be a joint project with her.”
When will your portrait installation be in place at the LNER Community Stadium?
“No date as yet, as I have only just finished painting them. Talks will begin soon to get the ball in motion.”
What will be your next project?
“The book – a new, uncharted territory for me. I’ll also work on a range of portraits of ex- players. There’s a wonderful network out there; fans are loyal and never forget their heroes, so I think it’s time to honour them.
“But hey, who knows? I might find myself chatting to someone on a park bench again and that spark of an idea begins again. It certainly opened up a whole new exciting challenge for me last time.”
AFTER ceramics, jewellery, paintings, collage, films and textiles, now the artists at PICA Studios are branching out into one-off postcards for one weekend only.
More than 20 creatives share the workshop space, in Grape Lane, York, that is rarely open to the public, except for the annual York Open Studios.
However, on Saturday and Sunday, from 10am to 4pm, PICA Studios will play host to a special Postcard Show and Sale of original artworks made by studio members.
PICA artist Lesley Birch says: “I successfully launched a postcard project during lockdown and so we’ve decided to follow that format this weekend. A postcard is small, affordable and original, and as we only have a small space to display them, we felt this would work well for our first collaborative show in the foyer outside of York Open Studios.”
Each postcard will sell for £25 to raise funds towards improving the studio space and to create a gallery in the foyer at PICA, where the studios opened in February 2017.
For jewellery designer Evie Leach, the postcard project has helped push her creative practice. “It’s taken me in other directions to make a series of artworks on paper inspired by my jewellery designs. This is what a studio is all about: inspiring and innovating members to go beyond their comfort zone.”
Fellow founding member Emily Stubbs says: “This is the first time we have collaborated with so many of us producing work just for the studio. It’s a bonding experience and we’re looking forward to it very much.”
Joining Lesley, Evie and Emily in the postcard show will be Katrina Mansfield, Ealish Wilson, Sarah Jackson, Ric Liptrot, Jo Edmonds, Lisa Power, Amy Stubbs, Mick Leach, Rae George, Lesley Shaw Lu Mason and Kitty Pennybacker, with more still to come.
The £25 postcards can bought in person at PICA or online through Instagram, where “you can spot the one you want” at instagram@picastudios.
One final thought: in an age when a postcard dropping through the door is increasingly rare, how does such an occurrence make Lesley Birch feel? “Receiving a postcard is absolutely lovely,” she says. “All the smudges from the postmark, the date and the handwriting make it a piece of history. It’s the good old days of snail mail.”
Now comes a repurposing of a postcard with the stamp of art to each one.
POLITICS, the weather, monsters, Sixties and Eighties’ favourites, comedy songs and a north eastern tornado all are talking points for Charles Hutchinson for the week ahead.
Children’s show of the week: Tall Stories in The Gruffalo, Grand Opera House, York, today, 1pm and 3pm; tomorrow, 11am and 2pm
JOIN Mouse on a daring adventure through the deep, dark wood in Tall Stories’ magical, musical, monstrous adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s picture book, suitable for children aged three upwards.
Searching for hazelnuts, Mouse meets cunning Fox, eccentric old Owl and high-spirited Snake. Will the story of the terrifying Gruffalo save Mouse from becoming dinner for these hungry woodland creatures? After all, there is no such thing as a Gruffalo – or is there? Box office: 0844 871 7615 or atgtickets.com/York.
Eighties’ nostalgia of the week: Tony Hadley, York Barbican, Sunday, 7.30pm
I KNOW this much is true: smooth London crooner Tony Hadley is celebrating 40 years in the music business with a 2022 tour that focuses on both his Spandau Ballet and solo years.
Once at the forefront of the New Romantic pop movement, Islington-born Hadley, 61, is the velvet voice of hits such as True, Gold, Chant No. 1, Instinction and Paint Me Down and solo numbers Lost In Your Love and Tonight Belongs To Us. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.
Comedy songs of the week: Fladam & Friends, Let’s Do It Again!, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, today at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
YORK musical comedy duo Fladam, alias Florence Poskitt and piano-playing partner Adam Sowter, vowed to return after last year’s Hootenanny, and return they will this weekend. But can they really “do it again?”, they ask. Is a sequel ever as good?
Mixing comic classics from Victoria Wood with fabulous Fladam originals, plus a sneak peak of this summer’s Edinburgh Fringe debut, this new show will “either be the Empire Strikes Back of musical comedy sequels or another case of Grease 2”. Tickets to find out which one: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.
Whatever the weather, nothing stops Mikron Theatre Company in Red Sky At Night, Scarcroft Allotments, York, Sunday, 2pm
HAYLEY’S sunny, beloved dad was the nation’s favourite weatherman. Now, she is following in his footsteps, joining the ranks of the forecasting fraternity, or at least local shoestring teatime telly.
When the pressure drops and dark clouds gather, Hayley melts faster than a lonely snowflake. She may be the future’s forecast, but will anyone listen in Lindsay Rodden’s premiere, toured by Marsden company Mikron’s 50th anniversary troupe of James Mclean, Hannah Bainbridge, Alice McKenna and Thomas Cotran. No tickets are required; a Pay What You Feel collection will be taken after the show.
Sixties’ nostalgia of the week: The Hollies, 60th Anniversary Tour, York Barbican, Monday, 7.30pm
MOVED from September 2021, with tickets still valid, this 60th anniversary celebration of the Manchester band features a line-up of two original members, drummer Bobby Elliott and lead guitarist Tony Hicks, joined by lead singer Peter Howarth, bassist Ray Stiles, keyboardist Ian Parker and rhythm guitarist Steve Lauri.
Expect He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother, I Can’t Let Go, Just One Look, Bus Stop, I’m Alive, Carrie Anne, On A Carousel, Jennifer Eccles, Sorry Suzanne, The Air That I Breathe and more besides. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.
A bit of politics of the week: Northern Stage in Red Ellen, York Theatre Royal, Tuesday to Saturday, 7.30pm; 2pm, Thursday; 2.30pm, Saturday
CAROLINE Bird’s new play turns the overdue spotlight on “Mighty Atom” Ellen Wilkinson, the crusading Labour MP cast forever on the right side of history, but the wrong side of life.
Caught between revolutionary and parliamentary politics, Ellen fights with an unstoppable, reckless energy for a better world, whether battling to save Jewish refugees in Nazi Germany; leading 200 workers on the Jarrow Crusade; serving in Churchill’s war cabinet or becoming the first female Minister for Education. Yet somehow she still finds herself on the outside looking in. Box office: 01904 623568 or at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.
Musical of the week: York Musical Theatre Company in Jekyll & Hyde The Musical, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, Wednesday to Saturday, 7.30pm; 2.30pm, Saturday matinee
BE immersed in the myth and mystery of London’s fog-bound streets where love, betrayal and murder lurk at every chilling twist and turn in Matthew Clare’s production of Frank Wildhorn and Leslie Bricusse’s musical adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s epic struggle between good and evil.
Steven Jobson plays the dual role of Dr Henry Jekyll and Mr Edward Hyde in the evocative tale of two men – one, a doctor, passionate and romantic; the other, a terrifying madman – and two women – one, beautiful and trusting; the other, beautiful and trusting only herself– both women in love with the same man and both unaware of his dark secret. Box office: 01904 501935 or josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.
Award winner of the week: Sam Fender, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, May 27, gates open at 6pm
WINNER earlier this week of the Ivor Novello Award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically for his Seventeen Going Under single, North Shields singer-songwriter Sam Fender opens the 2022 Scarborough Open Air Theatre summer season next Friday.
Already Fender, 28, has the 2022 Brit Award for Best British Alternative/Rock Act in his bag as he heads down the coast to perform his frank, intensely personal, high-octane songs from 2019’s Hypersonic Missiles and 2021’s Seventeen Going Under. Box office: scarboroughopenairtheatre.com.
IS the French snow leopard documentary La Panthere Des Neiges (The Velvet Queen) the moist pretentious nature film of all time?
Two Big Egos In A Small Car culture podcasters Graham Chalmers and Charles Hutchinson pass judgement in Episode 90.
What else is on their mind? Bono and The Edge go underground in Ukraine. What happens when critics change their mind on second acquaintance? Messums Gallery closes in Harrogate. Charm’s homecoming Karl Culley gig for the Harrogate Theatre restoration appeal.
PETER Layton, London Glassblowing workshop founder and British studio glass movement grandee, will make an appearance at Pyramid Gallery on Thursday from 4.30pm to 6.15pm to herald the York art emporium’s 40th anniversary celebrations.
Gallery owner Terry Brett says: “In that period, Peter has taken part in many exhibitions of glass here and for at least 30 years he has been represented by the gallery, as have many associates of his workshop in Bermondsey Street, London.
“To mark 40 years of promoting British studio glass, we’re displaying 40 pieces of art glass that have a connection to London Glassblowing, which is itself celebrating an important anniversary: 45 years. Please join Peter for a glass of wine or a soft drink and a chat.”
Peter is presenting 18 glass works from various ranges in the 40 Pieces Of Glass anniversary show, exhibiting alongside Bruce Marks, Layne Rowe, Anthony Scala, Sila Yucel, Cathryn Shilling and Sarah Wiberley, complemented by William Watson West’s exhibition of abstract acrylic paintings, A New Normal.
Peter trained in the 1960s as a ceramicist, but while teaching at Iowa University he experimented with glass and soon adopted it as his preferred medium. On returning to Britain, he became one of the pioneers of the British studio glass movement in London, establishing the London Glassblowing workshop in Rotherhithe in 1976.
When Terry took over Pyramid Gallery in 1994, Peter was already well established with the gallery, having supplied founder Robert Feather with glass in the early 1980s.
“I recall selling a piece of Peter’s glass on my first day of opening on May 31 1994,” says Terry. “A German glass collector came into the shop and immediately went to a tall white glass bottle that was in a cabinet.
“It took no longer than five minutes for him to make a decision and purchase the object, that I now know was a Peter Layton ‘Floral’ flacon. It seemed a lot of money to me, who knew nothing about studio glass.
“I was shaking inside as I took the payment and wrapped the object in a box, but I knew it was a watershed moment for me and I have adored glass ever since.”
Since that day, at least 30 more glass artists from London Glassblowing have exhibited at Pyramid, along with 270 other glassmakers whose work has sold through the gallery in Stonegate.
40 Pieces Of Glass will run until September 24; after July, it will become part of a mixed show with other artists. Exhibition pieces can be viewed at both the gallery and online at pyramidgallery.com.
AS album number three arrives so soon, why are the Irish band being as prolific as the early Beatles? Two Big Egos In A Small Car culture podcasters Graham Chalmers and Charles Hutchinson discuss Skinty Fia in Episode 89.
Plus: what happens to the BBC when the licence fee ends? Anything else? Sheffield Leadmill update; The Divine Comedy at York Barbican review; Gary Barlow’s show with a difference, and why Mischief and Penn &Teller’s Magic Goes Wrong is wand-erful.