More Things To Do in York and beyond as the diary takes shape for May 4 onwards. Hutch’s List No. 19, from The Press, York

Sculptor Tony Cragg with his bronze work Outspan in the Great Hall at Castle Howard. Picture: Charlotte Graham

FROM landscape sculptures to community cinema screenings, a circus company’s novel assignment to a soap star’s heavenly musical role, Charles Hutchinson’s week ahead is taking shape.

Exhibition of the week: Tony Cragg at Castle Howard, near York, until September 22

SCULPTOR Tony Cragg presents the first major exhibition by a leading contemporary artist in the house and grounds of Castle Howard. On show are new and recent sculptures, many being presented on British soil for the first time, including large-scale works in bronze, stainless steel, aluminium and fibreglass.

Inside the house are works in bronze and wood, glass sculptures and works on paper in the Great Hall, Garden Hall, High South, Octagon and Colonnade. Tickets: castlehoward.co.uk.

The Lapins: Celebrating travel, exploration and adventure in music at the Unitarian Chapel, St Saviourgate, York

World premieres of the week: York Late Music, Unitarian Chapel, St Saviourgate, York, Mike Sluman, oboe, and Jenny Martins, piano, Saturday (4/5/2024), 1pm; The Lapins, Saturday (4/5/2024), 7.30pm

MIKEY Sluman highlights the range of the oboe family – oboe, oboe d’amore, cor anglais and bass oboe – in his lunchtime programme of Lutoslawski, Talbot-Howard and Poulenc works and world premieres of Desmond Clarke’s Five Exploded Pastorals and Nick Williams’s A Hundred Miles Down The Road (Le Tombeau de Fred).

The Lapins examine ideas of space, place and time in an evening programme that extols the joys of travel, exploration and adventure through the music of Brian Eno, Stockhausen and Erik Satie, the world premiere of James Else’s A Tapestry In Glass and the first complete performance of Hayley Jenkins’s Gyps Fulvus. Tickets: latemusic.org or on the door.

The poster for The Groves Community Cinema festival at Theatre@41, Monkgate, York

Film event of the week: The Groves Community Cinema, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, May 5 to May 11  

THE third Groves Community Cinema film festival promises a wide variety of films, from cult classics and music to drama and animated fun. Supported by Make It York and City of York Council, the event opens with Sunday’s Arnie Schwarzenegger double bill of The Terminator at 6.30pm and T2 Judgement Day at 8.45pm.

Monday follows up Marcel The Shell With Shoes at 2.30pm with Justine Triet’s legal drama Anatomy Of A Fall at 6.30pm; Tuesday offers Ian McKellen’s Hamlet at 7.30pm; Wednesday, Yorkshire Film Archives’ Social Cinema, 6.30pm, and Friday, cult classical musical Hedwig And The Angry Inch, 8pm. To finish, next Saturday serves up the animated Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse at 2.30pm and Jonathan Demme’s concert documentary Talking Heads: Stop Making Sense at 7.30pm. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.

Steve Cassidy: Performing with his band and friends at the JoRo

Nostalgic gig of the week: Steve Cassidy Band & Friends, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, Sunday (5/5/2024), 7.30pm

VETERAN York frontman Steve Cassidy leads his band in an evening of rock, country and ballads, old and new, with songs from the 1960s to 21st century favourites in their playlist.

Cassidy, a three-time winner of New Faces, has recorded with celebrated York composer John Barry and performed in the United States and many European countries. Box office: 01904 501935 or josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.

Let us pray: Landi Oshinowo’s Deloris Van Cartier and Sue Cleaver’s Mother Superior in Sister Act, on tour at Grand Opera House, York

Musical of the week: Sister Act, Grand Opera House, York, May 6 to 11, 7.30pm plus 2.30pm, Wednesday and Saturday

SUE Cleaver takes holy orders in a break from Coronation Street to play the Mother Superior in Sister Act in her first stage role in three decades. Adding Alan Menken songs to the 1992 film’s storyline, the show testifies to the universal power of friendship, sisterhood and music in its humorous account of disco diva Deloris Van Cartier’s life taking a surprising turn when she witnesses a murder.

Placed in protective custody, in the disguise of a nun under the Mother Superior’s suspicious eye, Deloris (Landi Oshinowo) helps her fellow sisters find their voices as she unexpectedly rediscovers her own. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.

Lila Naruse’s Memory Tess in Ockham’s Razor’s circus theatre production of Tess at York Theatre Royal. Picture: Kie Cummings

“Bold new vision” of the week: Ockham’s Razor in Tess, York Theatre Royal, May 8 to 11, 7.30pm

CIRCUS theatre exponents Ockham’s Razor tackle a novel for the first time in a staging of Thomas Hardy’s  Tess Of The D’Urbervilles that combines artistic directors Charlotte Mooney and Alex Harvey’s adaptation of the original text with the physical language of circus and dance.

Exploring questions of privilege, class, consent, agency, female desire and sisterhood, Tess utilises seven performers, including Harona Kamen’s Narrator Tess and Lila Naruse’s Memory Tess, to re-tell the Victorian story of power, loss and endurance through a feminist lens. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

Jah Wobble & The Invaders Of The Heart: Night of dub, funk and world music at Pocklington Arts Centre

Funkiest gig of the week: Jah Wobble & The Invaders Of The Heart, Pocklington Arts Centre, May 9, 8pm

SUPREME bassist Jah Wobble’s two-hour show takes in material from his work with John Lydon in Public Image Ltd and collaborations with Brian Eno, Bjork, Sinead O’Connor, U2’s The Edge, Can’s Holger Czukay, Ministry’s Chris Connelly and Killing Joke’s Geordie Walker.

Born John Wardle in 1958, he was renamed by Sex Pistol Sid Vicious, who struggled to pronounce his name correctly. Wobble combines dub, funk and world music, especially Africa and the Middle East, in his songwriting. Box office: 01759 301547 or pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk.

“Charming nonsense”: Steven Lee’s There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly at the SJT, Scarborough

Half-term show announcement of the week: There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, May 28, 2.30pm

FIRST written as a song in 1953, There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly was a chart-topping hit for singer and actor Burl Ives before being adapted into a best-selling book by Pam Adams a few years later, one still found in schools, nurseries and homes across the world.  

To mark the nursery rhyme’s 50th anniversary, children’s author Steven Lee has created a magical musical stage show for little ones to enjoy with their parents that combines the charming nonsense of the rhyme with his own “suitably silly twists”. Box office: 01723 370541 or sjt.uk.com.

Friargate Creative Hub for York artists to collaborate and create holds launch event this evening at Friargate Theatre

Friargate Creative Hub: New venture for York’s arts community

THE Friargate Creative Hub will be launched at 6pm this evening (2/5/2024) at Friargate Theatre, Lower Friargate, York.

This new space for York’s creative community to connect, collaborate and create will be hosted by Riding Lights Theatre Company and fellow York theatre-makers Four Wheel Drive.

An initial two-week phase will run from May 4 to 18, when the hub will be open daily at Friargate Theatre as a free-to-access creative workspace, complemented by a programme of workshops and evening events, all tailored to emerging artists in York.

“The Creative Hub comes at a poignant time for our city, offering a much-needed space for emerging creatives to develop their craft and work,” says Four Wheel Drive’s Joly Black. “At this evening’s launch, we want your input, support and collaboration, creating spaces to develop and retain creative talent in York.”

The flexible workspace for creatives offers “space to focus on your script, find creative inspiration or get something up on its feet. All centred around collaboration.

“Enjoy the cafe space with creative break-out areas for free. Tea, coffee and snacks will be available to purchase if you’d like.” Opening hours will be Tuesday to Saturday, 11am to 6pm, and Sundays, 11am to 4pm.

Workshops run by professionals will have a Pay What You Feel charge; community workshop sessions will be held for free.

Creative Hub highlights in the fortnight ahead at Friargate Theatre include: Grab The Mic Night, Saturday, 6.30pm;  Theatre: A Setting Up Surgery, May 8, 6pm; Stand-Up Comedy Beginners Workshop, May 12, 1pm, and Vocal Workshop, May 15, 6pm.  

See the full programme and book tickets at https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/whats-on?q=friargate%20theatre

More Things To Do in York and beyond “the carriage ride of your life”. Hutch’s List No. 17 for the spring scene, from The Press

Footsbarn Theatre’s Twelfth Night: First British performances in 15 years in world premiere at York International Shakespeare Festival

BUCKLE up for Austen’s sister act, Shakespeare’s battle of the sexes and Sheridan’s scandalous comedy of manners, plus music, art and poetry in the library, advises Charles Hutchinson.  

Festival of the week: York International Shakespeare Festival, until April 28 

SHAKESPEAREAN Identity is the theme of the sixth York International Shakespeare Festival, now an annual event, run by director Philip Parr. Sponsored by York St John University, it features moving shows, lectures by internationally recognised academics, exhibitions and workshops presented by Shakespeare enthusiasts from all over the world.

Among the highlights will be Footsbarn Theatre’s first British visit in 15 years with Twelfth Night, American actress Debra Ann Byrd’s powerhouse solo show Becoming Othello and York Explore’s exhibition of 300 years of representations of Othello. Tickets and full programme details are available at yorkshakes.co.uk/programme-2024.

Katherine Lea: Making her Hotbuckle Productions debut in Pride & Prejudice at Helmsley Arts Centre

Ryedale play of the week: Hotbuckle Productions in Pride & Prejudice, Helmsley Arts Centre, tonight, 7.30pm

IN artistic director Adrian Preater’s humorous, multi role-playing adaptation of Jane Austen’s 1813 novel, Hotbuckle Productions enter the world of the Bennets.

From headstrong Elizabeth to proud Mr Darcy, rich characterisations abound as five sisters deal with marriage, morality and misconceptions. “Hotbuckle up for the carriage ride of your life” with Joanna Purslow, Tomas Mason and company newcomer Katherine Lea. Box office: 01439 771700 or helmsleyarts.co.uk.

Carl Hutchinson: Storytelling Geordie comic appearing at The Crescent, York

Comedy gig of the week: Carl Hutchinson: Today Years Old, The Crescent, York, tomorrow, 7.30pm

YORK’s Burning Duck Comedy Club presents Geordie comic Carl Hutchinson in his third consecutive back-to-back tour show, Today Years Old. Expect a night of storytelling, rich in observation and physical comedy. Box office: thecrescentyork.com.

Fiddler in the woods: Alice Atang’s Fiddler, Perri Ann Barley’s Golde and Steve Tearle’s Tevye set the scene for NE Theatre York’s Fiddler On The Roof

Musical of the week: NE Theatre York in Fiddler On The Roof, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, April 23 to 27, 7.30pm and 2.30pm Saturday matinee

STEVE Tearle directs NE Theatre York in Jerry Bock, Sheldon Harnick and Joseph Stein’s musical, taking the role of Tevye, the humble village milkman, for the third time too in this 60th anniversary production.

When three of Tevye’s five daughters rebel against the traditions of arranged marriages by taking matters into their own hands, mayhem unfolds as he strives to maintain his Jewish religious and cultural creeds, against the backdrop of the Tsar’s pogrom edict to evict all Jews from his Russian village in 1905. Box office: 01904 501935 or josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.

Lydea Perkins’ Lady Teazle and Joseph Marcell’s Sir Peter Teazle in Tilted Wig’s The School For Scandal, on tour at York Theatre Royal next week

Touring play of the week: Tilted Wig, Malvern Theatres and Theatre by the Lake, Keswick, present The School For Scandal, York Theatre Royal, April 23 to 27, 7.30pm plus 2pm Thursday and 7.30pm Saturday matinees

JOSEPH Marcell, fondly remembered as Geoffrey the butler in the American comedy series Fresh Prince of Bel Air, stars in Seán Aydon’s new production of Richard B Sheridan’s comedy of manners The School For Scandal, where gossip never goes out of fashion.

Marcell plays Sir Peter Teazle, who believes his young wife is sleeping with someone else. Not true, but if her husband believes it, maybe she should give it a go. After all, if you are going to cause a scandal, you may as well enjoy it. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

Florence Poskitt: Stepping into Kate’s shoes in York Shakespeare Project’s The Taming Of The Shrew

Seventies’ Shakespeare play of the week: York Shakespeare Project in The Taming Of The Shrew, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, April 23 to 27, 7.30pm plus 2.30pm Saturday

IN a late change of cast, actor-musician Florence Poskitt, from the York musical comedy duo Fladam, is taking over the principal role of Kate in Maggie Smales’s production of Shakespeare’s controversial battle of the sexes, now set in 1970.

A psychedelic world is opening up, promising peace, love and equality, but Kate was born to be wild and wants a voice of her own. The times they are a’changin’ and the old order is dead…or is it? Let battle commence. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.

Barrie Rutter: Shaking up Shakespeare at Northern Broadsides and beyond

Breaking down the Bard barrier: Barrie Rutter: Shakespeare’s Royals, York Theatre Royal Studio, April 26, 7.45pmRipon Theatre Festival, Ripon Cathedral, July 4, 7.30pm

BARRIE Rutter, founder and former director of Northern Broadsides, celebrates the Bard’s kings and queens – their achievements, conquests and foibles – with tales, anecdotes and memories from a career of playing and directing Shakespeare’s Royals.

Told he could never play a king on account of his Yorkshire accent, Hull-born Rutter, now 77, created his own theatre company in 1992 in Halifax to use the northern voice for Shakespeare’s kings, queens and emperors, not only the usual drunken porters, jesters or fools. Box office: York, 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.ukRipon, ripontheatrefestival.org.

Kai West’s poster for Bull’s Live At The Library day on May 19, based on the Cluedo board game design

Gig announcement of the week: Bull present Live At The Library, York Explore Library & Archive, Library Square, York, May 19, from 12 noon

YORK Explore and Please Please You team up with York band Bull for a day of music, art and poetry to celebrate Explore York’s tenth birthday and raise funds for York’s libraries. The climax will be a 6.30pm to 10pm gig by Bull, Marnie Glum, Rowan and performance poet Stu Freestone (tickets, tickettailor.com/events/exploreyorklibrariesandarchives/1216274).

Free activities include open mic-style performances run by Bull frontman Tom Beer in the Marriott Room from midday, featuring Gabbie Lord, Maggie, Gilles, She Choir, Filipe, Old Time Rags, Eve Thomas & Co and more,  plus art workshops for all ages hosted by Izzy Williamson (lino printing, 1pm) and Bull bassist and illustrator Kai West (T-shirt design and screen printing, 12 noon to 2pm) in the Garden Room, with donations welcome.

Which cult classics, music, drama and animated films will feature in The Groves Community Cinema festival at Theatre@41?

The poster for The Groves Community Cinema week

THE Groves Community Cinema returns to Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, from May 5 to 11 for its third film festival with some “pay what you feel” ticket prices.

Looking to build on last year’s success, the event is supported by an ARG (Additional Restrictions Grant) Events and Festivals grant, Make It York and City of York Council.

Next month’s festival promises a wide variety of films, from cult classics and music to drama and animated fun.

“We have nine great films in the programme,” says Theatre@41 chair Alan Park.  “Some famous titles and some less-known works…from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator to Sir Ian McKellen’s Hamlet, via Spiderman.”

The grants not only enable the festival to take place but also to keep tickets to a reasonable price, and in the case of the two children’s animated films, “pay what you feel”.

“It means families can come along and watch a great animated film on the big screen without spending a fortune,” says Alan.  “There was a wonderful buzz last time and we hope this festival will become a regular event.”

Films showing at the Groves Community Cinema festival will be:

Sunday, May 5

CATCH Arnold Schwarzenegger in action in the 40th anniversary release of his legendary sci-fi classic The Terminator at 6.30pm and stay on for T2 Judgement Day at 8.45pm.

Monday, May 6

FOLLOW the adventures of Marcel The Shell With Shoes On in a big screen debut for this internet sensation at 2.30pm. Pay what you feel.

Rather more serious matters unfold that evening in Anatomy Of A Fall, Justine Triet’s Palme d’Or-winning legal drama that investigates the death of Samuel, found in the snow beneath the secluded chalet he shared with author wife Sandra. Did he fall or was he pushed? Find out if Sandra dunnit at 6.30pm.

Tuesday, May 7

“TO be or not to be” is the question at 7.30pm when the inimitable Ian McKellen appears in Hamlet, filmed using nearly every room of the Theatre Royal, Windsor, to recreate Elsinore Castle, from the basement dungeon to the roof-top battlement.

Wednesday, May 8

IN a 6.30pm programme of Social Cinema shorts from the Yorkshire Film Archive, the films explore everything from social and political issues – including gender equality, homelessness and poverty – to isolation and climate justice. An evening of thought-provoking topics that resonate with the present and question the future.

Friday May 10

HEAR the story of Hedwig’s life through her punk anthems and power ballads and be part of the action by putting your “head in a wig” at the 8pm screening of the cult classic musical Hedwig And The Angry Inch. Free glass of fizz for the most outrageous and inventive wigs!

Saturday, May 11

HOLD tight as Brooklyn teen Miles Morales discovers his new Spidey powers, and the limitless possibilities of the Spider-Verse, where more than one can wear the mask in the animated Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse at 2.30pm. Pay what you feel.

At 7.30pm, Jonathan Demme’s documentary Talking Heads: Stop Making Sense captures David Byrne’s legendary New York band in one of the greatest concert films of all time at Hollywood’s Pantages Theater in December 1983. What’s more, the music doesn’t stop when the film does. Stay on afterwards for a drink and a dance to the hits of Talking Heads and fellow 1980s’ greats.

For more info and to book tickets visit Theatre@41 website: https://tickets.41monkgate.co.uk/venue

More Things To Do in Ryedale, York and beyond “the carriage ride of your life”. Hutch’s List No. 11, from Gazette & Herald

Katherine Lea: Making her Hotbuckle Productions debut in Pride & Prejudice

BUCKLE up for Austen’s sister act, Shakespeare’s battle of the sexes and Sheridan’s scandalous comedy of manners, plus music, art and poetry in the library, baroque and blues concerts and tragic opera, advises Charles Hutchinson.   

Ryedale play of the week: Hotbuckle Productions in Pride & Prejudice, Helmsley Arts Centre, Saturday, 7.30pm

IN artistic director Adrian Preater’s humorous, multi role-playing adaptation of Jane Austen’s 1813 novel, Hotbuckle Productions enter the world of the Bennets.

From headstrong Elizabeth to proud Mr Darcy, rich characterisations abound as five sisters deal with marriage, morality and misconceptions. “Hotbuckle up for the carriage ride of your life” with Joanna Purslow, Tomas Mason and company newcomer Katherine Lea. Box office: 01439 771700 or helmsleyarts.co.uk.

Patricia Qua: Ceramicist and graphic designer taking part in York Open Studios for the first time in Hempland Drive, York

Art around every corner: York Open Studios, Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 5pm

AS many as 156 artists and makers who live or work within a ten-mile radius of York will be welcoming visitors to 106 workspaces to show and sell their art, ranging from ceramics, collage, digital, illustration, jewellery and mixed media to painting, print, photography, sculpture, textiles, glass and wood. Among them will be 31 new participants. Full details and a map can be found at yorkopenstudios.co.uk. Look out for booklets around the city too.

Keeping an eye on things: English Touring Opera in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut at York Theatre Royal

Opera of the week: English Touring Opera in Manon Lescaut, York Theatre Royal, Friday, 7.30pm

ENGLISH Touring Opera returns to York in Jude Christian radical production of Giacomo Puccini’s heartbreaking Manon Lescaut, for which she brings incisive direction to her sharp, poetic new translation.

Puccini’s 1892 breakthrough hit presents a devastating depiction of a woman wrestling with her desire for love on her own terms and the rigid double standards imposed on her by society. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

London Obbligato Collective: Opening the York Baroque+ Day at the NCEM

Classical concert of the week: London Obbligato Collective, York Baroque+ Day, National Centre for Early Music, York Saturday, 12 noon  

FORMED by Masumi Yamamoto, the new London Obbligato Collective focuses on “accompanied harpsichord sonatas”, where the harpsichord is given the solo role within the trio sonata texture, highlighting and enriching the colours and nuances of the instrument.

Next Saturday’s programme includes 18th century music by Felice Giardini, Johann Christian Bach and Carl Friedrich. Box office: 01904 658338 or ncem.co.uk.

Lydea Perkins, as Lady Teazle, and Joseph Marcell, as Sir Peter Teazle, in Tilted Wig’s The School For Scandal. Picture: Anthony Robling

Touring play of the week: Tilted Wig, Malvern Theatres and Theatre by the Lake, Keswick, present The School For Scandal, York Theatre Royal, April 23 to 27, 7.30pm plus 2pm Thursday and 7.30pm Saturday matinees

JOSEPH Marcell, fondly remembered as Geoffrey the butler in the American comedy series Fresh Prince of Bel Air, stars in Seán Aydon’s new production of Richard B Sheridan’s comedy of manners The School For Scandal, where gossip never goes out of fashion.

Marcell plays Sir Peter Teazle, who believes his young wife is sleeping with someone else. Not true, but she is starting to think that if her husband believes it, she should give it a go. After all, if you are going to cause a scandal, you may as well enjoy it. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

Florence Poskitt: Stepping in to play Kate in York Shakespeare Project’s The Taming Of The Shrew

Seventies’ Shakespeare play of the week: York Shakespeare Project in The Taming Of The Shrew, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, April 23 to 27, 7.30pm plus 2.30pm Saturday

IN a late change of cast, actor-musician Florence Poskitt, from the York musical comedy duo Fladam, is taking over the principal role of Kate in Maggie Smales’s production of Shakespeare’s controversial battle of the sexes, now set in 1970.

A psychedelic world is opening up, promising peace, love and equality, but Kate was born to be wild and wants a voice of her own. The times they are a’changin’ and the old order is dead…or is it? Let battle commence. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.

Redfish Blues Band: Returning to Milton Rooms, Malton

Blues gig of the week: Redfish Blues Band, Ryedale Blues Club, Milton Rooms, Malton, April 25, 8pm

NOMINATED for Blues Band of the Year and Blues Album of the Year in the UK 2024 Blues Awards, Redfish Blues Band return to Malton with Christian Sharpe on vocals and guitar, Steve McGuckin on Hammond, Rod Mackay on bass and Steve Gibson on drums.

As witnessed on their Together Is Better album and Soho Rising (Girls, Girls, Girls) single, they play a delicious, bubbling gumbo of blues, soul, gospel and funk in live performances defined by energy and restraint. Box office: 01653 696240 or themiltonrooms.com.

Kai West’s poster for Bull’s Live At The Library day on May 19, based on the Cluedo board game design

Gig announcement of the week: Bull present Live At The Library, York Explore Library & Archive, Library Square, York, May 19, from 12 noon

YORK Explore and Please Please You team up with York band Bull for a day of music, art and poetry to celebrate Explore York’s tenth birthday and raise funds for York’s libraries. The climax will be a 6.30pm to 10pm gig by Bull, Marnie Glum, Rowan and performance poet Stu Freestone (tickets, tickettailor.com/events/exploreyorklibrariesandarchives/1216274).

Free activities include open mic-style performances run by Bull frontman Tom Beer in the Marriott Room from midday, featuring Gabbie Lord, Maggie, Gilles, She Choir, Filipe, Old Time Rags, Eve Thomas & Co and more,  plus art workshops for all ages hosted by Izzy Williamson (lino printing, 1pm) and Bull bassist and illustrator Kai West (T-shirt design and screen printing, 12 noon to 2pm) in the Garden Room, with donations welcome.

Joseph’s journey from the butler in The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air to aristocratic Sir Peter Teazle in The School For Scandal

Joseph Marcell’s Sir Peter Teazle in The School For Scandal. Picture: Ant Robling

THE last time Joseph Marcell played York Theatre Royal, the March 2020 visit of Alone In Britain was stopped mid-run by the imposition of Covid restrictions.

Next week, he returns in Tilted Wig’s production of Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s comedy of manners The School For Scandal in the lead role of Sir Peter Teazle, who believes his young wife is sleeping with someone else. Not true, but she starts to think that if her husband believes it, she should give it a go. After all, if you are going to cause a scandal, you may as well enjoy it.

Now 75, Saint Lucia-born actor and comedian Marcell is best known for his NBC sitcom role as Geoffrey, the snooty butler, in The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air from September 1990 to May 1996.

His other TV credits include Mammoth and I Hate You for the BBC and this year he is to appear in Candice Carty-William’s Queenie on Channel 4.

His prolific stage credits include the Young Vic’s Hamlet with Cush Jumbo; Kathy Burke’s Lady Windermere’s Fan; extensive work with Shakespeare’s Globe, such as the titular role in Bill Buckhurst’s King Lear and Derek Walcott’s Omeros, as well as seasons at the Royal Shakespeare Company.

He is taking to the road in Seán Aydon’s staging of The School For Scandal after starring in Chiwetel Ejiofor’s debut feature film, The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind.

Alex Phelps and Joseph Marcell in a scene from Seán Aydon’s production of The School For Scandal. Picture: Ant Robling

Here he discusses his latest stage role; The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air; Sir Patrick Stewart; leaving electrical engineering for theatre; Saint Lucia and Queenie.

How does Sir Peter Teazle fit into the plot of The School For Scandal?

“Sir Peter is an aristocratic, wealthy and well-respected lord. He decided to marry. A country girl was chosen after a fairly long courtship. The difference in their ages and outlook has become a constant issue.

“Lady Teazle has become a full member of the WITS, a set of gossip mongers. Sir Peter is at his wits’ end. This school for scandal is the bane of his life and the cause of the endless bickering. However, he loves and cares for Lady Teazle.

Would you agree with Sheridan’s 1777 play being called “one of the greatest comedies ever written”?

“Yes, I would agree. The language, settings, characters and themes are amusing. And at the time of the play’s first production that aspect of comedy had not been enjoyed by a British audience.”

What differentiates Tilted Wig’s staging of The School For Scandal from past productions?

“We are set in the 1950s. Although we are not in wigs and frock coats, the sentiment of those times as best as we can imagine is fully respected. The characters are of a time gone by and we are totally respectful to the language, because without that there is no play The School For Scandal.”

Lydea Perkins’s Lady Teazle and Jospeh Marcell’s Sir Peter Teazle in The School For Scandal

Will today’s audiences be scandalised by The School For Scandal?

“I am not too sure of that. But I am certain that within the world of the play a modern audience would empathise. Gossip and scandal to me is not the actual story; it’s the embellishments that happen in the retelling of the tale. We, a modern audience, really do understand the importance of ‘fact-checking’.”

What is the best bit of gossip you have heard about yourself?

“That I am an American actor. That I am married to an American woman from California and a British woman from Berkshire at the same time.”

How did a young actor born in Saint Lucia and living in London get cast in an American TV comedy, The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air? Didn’t Patrick Stewart have something to do with it?

“Ah, The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air. Well, I was touring the Universities of Southern California with an organisation called ACTER (Alliance for Creative Theatre and Research), which was created by Sir Patrick Stewart and Professor Homer Swander, of UC [University of California] Santa Barbara, under the auspices of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Tilted Wig’s poster image for The School For Scandal

“We were playing in Los Angeles in 1987 in a five-person production of Measure For Measure directed by Patrick Stewart. I played Angelo and three other roles. This flagship company was created for actors who had played leading roles in the plays of William Shakespeare, and our presence in Los Angeles, especially under the RSC banner, was a theatrical event. Anybody who was anybody came to the theatre over those days.

“Then, in 1990, Brandon Tarticoff (NBC) and Quincy Jones decided to produce the show The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air. They needed an English butler and one of Afro-Caribbean heritage. Someone remembered me as Angelo in Measure For Measure; searched and located me, and then made me an offer, which I would have been foolish to refuse. So yes, Sir Patrick Stewart created the space for me. And for that, I am very grateful.”

Are you still recognised from The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air and do you keep in touch with co-star Will Smith and the cast?

“Yes, I am very much recognised. From America to Zimbabwe. Wherever in the world I visit. We do all keep in touch and have a biannual lunch in Malibu, California. These reunions are fun.”

How much of a culture shock was it when you and your family moved from Saint Lucia in the Caribbean to Peckham in London in the mid-1950s?

“My father had been resident for a year before the family joined him. We arrived via Genoa, Italy, to Waterloo, London, in November. The fog and the cold temperature was a shock but the denuded trees with no leaves was astonishing. The paraffin heaters took a long time to get used to. Having to play cricket in the rain was boring.”

Last time at York Theatre Royal for Joseph Marcell: Playing Inspector Esherick in Alone In Berlin in March 2020

You trained as an electrical engineer, so how did the acting start?

“Purely by accident. There was a theatrical event in London at that time called The World Theatre Season, created by a man called Michael Saint-Denis. I went to a play by the American Negro Theatre.  I believe the play was called Black New World. They were later to become the lauded Negro Ensemble. That was it for me. I found my road to Damascus. I said goodbye to electrical engineering.”

Your TV break came in Empire Road, a contemporary soap with an almost completely black cast, on the BBC in 1978. How difficult has it been to get diverse roles?

“In my opinion, I believe it is more difficult in these times. The loss of the repertory theatres and the advent of streaming has not been helpful. There’s nowhere to learn and practise the craftsmanship required.”

The last time you were appearing at York Theatre Royal in Hans Fallada’sAlone In Berlin, the theatre had to close mid-run because of the Covid epidemic. How much of a disappointment was that?

Joseph Marcell: Returning to York Theatre Royal

“A great disappointment. The role of Inspector Esherick, a detective in 1930s’ Berlin, was a dream of a role for a non-white actor. The director, James Dacre, had the imagination to cast me in that role. Very brave of him too. Such a talented director. In one move the diversity aspect was vanquished, for a while.

“And yes, the Covid pandemic did cut us off in our prime. Thankfully we have all survived and are in good health. Yet Alone In Berlin was a tremendous production and should have had a much longer life.”

You will next be seen on TV in Queenie, an adaptation of Candice Carly-Williams’s bestseller, on Channel 4. Who do you play?

“Grand Pa Wilfred. Of ‘the Windrush Generation’, he’s a lovely man who has embraced the situation in which he finds himself. One of the unsung heroes of the Caribbean migration to the United Kingdom.”

Tilted Wig in tandem with Malvern Theatres and Theatre by the Lake, Keswick, present The School For Scandal, York Theatre Royal, April 23 to 27, 7.30pm plus 2pm Thursday and 2.30pm Saturday matinees. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

A quartet of questions for director Seán Aydon

Seán Aydon: Directing Tilted Wig’s production of The School For Scadal, set in 1950

Are you doing your production in period or in a modernised setting?

“We wanted to allow our audience to get to as close to the heart of the play as possible and sometimes the baggage that goes with 18th century theatre, all the wigs and ruffles, can feel like a barrier.

“The actors of the 1770s would be wearing the height of fashion and we wanted our audiences to get a sense that these people were wealthy, stylish and take great care of their personal appearances.

“However, it didn’t feel right to set it in the modern day as the world of the play has very different rules to our own, particularly with regards to marriage as a financial agreement. We felt the middle of the 20th century would be a great place aesthetically as our audience could enjoy the vibrant colours and evocative textures, appreciating its style while knowing we are not in our 21st century world. It also allows us to play with some recognisable comedy tropes from the Fifties, including some rather brightly coloured telephones.”

Would you agree that Sheridan’s play is “one of the greatest comedies ever written”?

“I think it’s absolutely one of the best comedies ever written! You can see so many hallmarks of contemporary comedies and the great plays and films of modern times. It’s a classic sitcom plot with wicked wit, alongside slapstick, farce and some very silly physical comedy.

“Working on it, it seems easy to see its influence on so many of our favourite comedies from Blackadder to Noises Off.”

What differentiates this staging of The School For Scandal from past productions?

“This production really puts the relationship between the actors and the audience first. It is truly theatrical, an experience you can’t have on your sofa. At the same time, I think our new setting will make it feel very easy to relate to and understand from the very off while celebrating everything that makes this play exceptional.”

Will today’s audiences be scandalised by The School for Scandal?

“I don’t want to spoil anything, but those ghastly scandal-makers get what they deserve. In that respect it feels very contemporary; as a nation, we’re still pretty obsessed with the gossip columns!

“But I think our audiences will leave feeling rather warm and fuzzy – and with sore sides of course.”

More Things To Do in York and beyond as art bursts out of every corner. Here’s Hutch’s List No. 16, from The Press

Impressionist oil painter Michael Hasan Reda: Making his York Open Studios debut in Prices Lane

ART from the city and out of this world, an orchestra of two, Canadian rock, Italian opera and a courtroom thriller have Charles Hutchinson reaching for the front door key.

Art event of the fortnight: York Open Studios, today and tomorrow; April 20 and 21, 10am to 5pm

AS many as 156 artists and makers who live or work within a ten-mile radius of York will be welcoming visitors to 106 workspaces to show and sell their art, ranging from ceramics, collage, digital, illustration, jewellery and mixed media to painting, print, photography, sculpture, textiles, glass and wood. Among them will be 31 new participants. Full details and a map can be found at yorkopenstudios.co.uk. Look out for booklets around the city too.

East Riding Artists: Addressing climate change in From The Earth exhibition at Nunnington Hall

Ryedale exhibition of the week: From The Earth, East Riding Artists, at Nunnington Hall, Nunnington, near Helmsley, until May 12, 10.30am to 5pm

THE climate crisis is high on the worldwide agenda; evidence of nature’s fragility can be found everywhere we turn, and few would question that our Earth is changing dramatically, in some cases irrevocably. Nature, however, is a force to be reckoned with, prompting 32 painters, potters and creatives from East Riding Artists to celebrate everything our natural world has to offer.

From the power of the North Sea and the beauty of Yorkshire’s countryside and coastline to the food we grow and the flowers we cultivate, From The Earth cherishes the best of our ever-changing world. Normal admission applies; National Trust members, free.

In Flight: Barenaked Ladies land at York Barbican on Sunday

Pinch me, look who’s coming to York: Barenaked Ladies, In Flight UK Tour 2024, York Barbican, Sunday, 7.50pm

IN the words of Barenaked Ladies drummer Tyler Stewart: “Our In Flight UK Tour 2024 will feature tasty new songs from the album and of course, a whole slew of BNL hits spanning 35 years. So come on Subjects! It’s time to ring in spring with your favourite Canadians, Barenaked Ladies. We look forward to seeing your happy faces.” Support acts will be Callum Beattie and Ferris & Sylvester.

Sold out already in the York Barbican week ahead are the Modfather Paul Weller’s return on Wednesday and arch comedian Tom Allen’s Completely gig on Thursday. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.

The Blackheart Orchestra: Two musicians, Chrissy Mostyn and Rick Pilkington, play 13 instruments between them at Helmsley Arts Centre

Prog rock for the space age: The Blackheart Orchestra, Helmsley Arts Centre, Friday (19/4/2024), doors, 7.30pm

CHRISSY Mostyn and Rick Pilkington’s two-piece “orchestra” play 13 instruments between them from their prog-rock space station on stage, from acoustic and electric guitars, bass and bowed guitar to piano, organ, vintage synthesisers, omnichord, melodica and electric percussion.

Drawing on influences as varied as Kate Bush, Portishead, Cocteau Twins, Steve Reich and Philip Glass, they combine folk and rock roots with electronica and classical music. Foxpalmer, alias London singer-songwriter Fern McNulty, supports, from 8pm. Box office: 01439 771700 or helmsleyarts.co.uk.

Patrick Draper, Tony Jameson and Alfie Joey: Comedy at the treble on Friday at the Milton Rooms, Malton

Hilarity Bites Comedy Club: Alfie Joey, Patrick Draper and Tony Jameson, Milton Rooms, Malton, Friday, 8pm

ALFIE Joey is a polymath: artist, radio presenter, podcaster, comedian, communication coach, Ted X speaker, impressionist, interviewer, charity auctioneer, motivator, children’s author, master of ceremonies, pantomime player, sitcom actor, Britain’s Got Talent participant and illustrator for York writer Ian Donaghy’s book Never Stop Drawing.

Comedy will be his focus in Malton, where he will be joined by Patrick Draper, purveyor of deadpan jokes, visual gags and songs, and host Tony Jameson. Box office: 01653 696240 or themiltonrooms.com.

Keeping an eye on things: English Touring Opera in Manon Lescaut. Picture: Richard Hubert Smith

Opera of the week: English Touring Opera in Manon Lescaut, York Theatre Royal, Friday, 7.30pm

ENGLISH Touring Opera returns to York in Jude Christian radical production of Giacomo Puccini’s heartbreaking Manon Lescaut, for which she brings incisive direction to her sharp, poetic new translation.

Puccini’s 1892 breakthrough hit presents a devastating depiction of a woman wrestling with her desire for love on her own terms and the rigid double standards imposed on her by society. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

London Obbligato Collective: Opening York Baroque+ Day at the NCEM

Classical concert of the week: London Obbligato Collective, York Baroque+ Day, April 20, 12 noon  

FORMED by Masumi Yamamoto, the new London Obbligato Collective focuses on “accompanied harpsichord sonatas”, where the harpsichord is given the solo role within the trio sonata texture, highlighting and enriching the colours and nuances of the instrument.

Next Saturday’s programme includes 18th century music by Felice Giardini, Johann Christian Bach and Carl Friedrich. Box office: 01904 658338 or  ncem.co.uk.

Jury service: Christopher Haydon’s cast for Reginald Rose’s courtroom thriller Twelve Angry Men at the Grand Opera House, York

Show announcement of the week: Twelve Angry Men, Grand Opera House, York, May 13 to 18, 7.30pm plus 2.30pm Wednesday and Saturday matinees

CHRISTOPHER Haydon’s touring production of Reginald Rose’s Twelve Angry Men for Bill Kenwright Ltd returns to York on the American courtroom thriller’s 70th anniversary tour, having last played the Grand Opera House in April 2015.

Tristan Gemmill, Michael Greco, Jason Merrells, Gray O’Brien and Gary Webster feature in the cast for this study of human nature and the art of persuasion set in the jury deliberating room, where 12 men hold the fate of a young delinquent, accused of killing his father, in their hands. What looks an open-and-shut case soon becomes a dilemma as the jurors are forced to examine their own self-image, personalities, experiences and prejudices. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.

Putting you in the picture for More Things To Do in Ryedale, York and beyond. Here’s Hutch’s List No. 10, from Gazette & Herald

Michael Hasan Reda: Impressionist oil painter of landscapes, cityscapes and gardens, making his York Open Studios debut at his studio in Prices Lane, York

ART out of this world, comedy in the news, a poetic war of words, an orchestra of two, a very colourful musical and a courtroom thriller have Charles Hutchinson reaching for the front door key.

Art event of the fortnight: York Open Studios, April 13 and 14, April 20 and 21, 10am to 5pm; preview, Friday, 6pm to 9pm

156 artists who live or work within a ten-mile radius of York will be welcoming visitors to 106 workspaces to show and sell their art, ranging from ceramics, collage, digital, illustration, jewellery and mixed media to painting, print, photography, sculpture, textiles, glass and wood. Among them will be 31 new participants. Full details and a map can be found at yorkopenstudios.co.uk. Look out for booklets around the city too.

News alert: The Drop The Dead Donkey newsroom team reunites for Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin’s new play at Leeds Grand Theatre

Breaking News of the week: Drop The Dead Donkey: The Reawakening!, Leeds Grand Theatre, until April 13

THIRTY years since the launch of the trailblazing television series Drop The Dead Donkey, the Globelink News team is back, live on stage for the first time. Original cast members Stephen Tompkinson, Neil Pearson, Susannah Doyle, Robert Duncan, Ingrid Lacey, Jeff Rawle and Victoria Wicks reunite for a new, constantly updated script by sitcom writing duo Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin, under Lindsay Posner’s direction.

“It’s going to be hugely enjoyable to watch those seven funny, flawed characters from Globelink News being plunged into the cutthroat world of modern 24-hour news-gathering and trying to navigate their way through the daily chaos of social media, fake news and interim Prime Ministers,” say the writers. Box office: 0113 243 0808 or leedsheritagetheatres.com.

Reuben Khan: Playing the lead role in York Stage’s Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Musical of the week: York Stage in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Grand Opera House, York, April 12 to 20, 7.30pm except April 14, 15 and 19; 2.30pm, April 13 and 20; 4pm, April 14; 5pm and 8pm, April 19

BE ready to paint the city in every colour of the rainbow as Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s musical dazzles the Grand Opera House in York Stage’s vibrant production, directed by Nik Briggs, with musical direction by Adam Tomlinson and choreography by Lesley Hill.

Reuben Khan leads the cast as Joseph, joined by Hannah Shaw as the Narrator, Carly Morton as Pharaoh, Martin Rowley as Jacob, Finn East as Simeon, Matthew Clarke as Potiphar, among others. Tickets are selling fast at atgtickets.com/york.

Shareefa Energy!: Guest performance poet at Friday’s Say Owt Slam clash at The Crescent, York

Spoken word clash of the week: Say Owt Slam, featuring Shareefa Energy!, The Crescent, York, Friday, 7.45pm

SAY Owt, “York’s loveable gobby gang of performance poets”, take over The Crescent for a raucous, high-energy night of verse that combine a slam war of words with a guest performer. “In a slam, poets have three minutes to wow the audience,” says host Henry Raby. “It’s fast, frantic and fun: perfect for people who love poetry, and those who think they hate poetry too.”

Special guest Shareefa Energy! is a poet, writer, activist, educator, creative campaigner, workshop facilitator and arts and wellbeing practitioner of Indian and Muslim heritage from working-class Highfields in Leicester. Box office: thecrescentyork.com or on the door.

East Riding Artists: Exhibiting at Nunnington Hall in From The Earth’s celebration of the natural world

Ryedale exhibition of the week: From The Earth, East Riding Artists, at Nunnington Hall, Nunnington, near Helmsley, until May 12, 10.30am to 5pm

THE climate crisis is high on the worldwide agenda; evidence of nature’s fragility can be found everywhere we turn, and few would question that our Earth is changing dramatically, in some cases irrevocably. Nature, however, is a force to be reckoned with, prompting 32 painters, potters and creatives from East Riding Artists to celebrate everything our natural world has to offer.

From the power of the North Sea and the beauty of Yorkshire’s countryside and coastline to the food we grow and the flowers we cultivate, From The Earth cherishes the best of our ever-changing world. Normal admission applies; National Trust members, free.

The Blackheart Orchestra’s Chrissy Mostyn and Rick Pilkington: Thirteen instruments divided between two musicians at Helmsley Arts Centre

Prog rock for the space age: The Blackheart Orchestra, Helmsley Arts Centre, April 19, doors, 7.30pm

CHRISSY Mostyn and Rick Pilkington’s two-piece “orchestra” play 13 instruments between them from their prog-rock space station on stage, from acoustic and electric guitars, bass and bowed guitar to piano, organ, vintage synthesisers, omnichord, melodica and electric percussion.

Drawing on influences as varied as Kate Bush, Portishead, Cocteau Twins, Steve Reich and Philip Glass, they combine folk and rock roots with electronica and classical music. Foxpalmer, alias London singer-songwriter Fern McNulty, supports, from 8pm. Box office: 01439 771700 or helmsleyarts.co.uk.

Patrick Draper, Tony Jameson and Alfie Joey: April 19’s comedy line-up at the Milton Rooms, Malton

Hilarity Bites Comedy Club: Alfie Joey, Patrick Draper and Tony Jameson, Milton Rooms, Malton, April 19, 8pm

ALFIE Joey is a polymath: artist, radio presenter, podcaster, comedian, communication coach, Ted X speaker, impressionist, interviewer, charity auctioneer, motivator, children’s author, master of ceremonies, pantomime player, sitcom actor, Britain’s Got Talent participant and illustrator for York writer Ian Donaghy’s book Never Stop Drawing.

Comedy will be his focus in Malton, where he will be joined by Patrick Draper, purveyor of deadpan jokes, visual gags and songs, and host Tony Jameson. Box office: 01653 696240 or themiltonrooms.com.

Jury service: Christopher Haydon’s cast for the courtroom thriller Twelve Angry Men, on tour at Grand Opera House, York

Show announcement of the week: Twelve Angry Men, Grand Opera House, York, May 13 to 18, 7.30pm plus 2.30pm Wednesday and Saturday matinees

CHRISTOPHER Haydon’s touring production of Reginald Rose’s Twelve Angry Men for Bill Kenwright Ltd returns to York on the American courtroom thriller’s 70th anniversary tour, having last played the Grand Opera House in April 2015.

Tristan Gemmill, Michael Greco, Jason Merrells, Gray O’Brien and Gary Webster feature in the cast for this study of human nature and the art of persuasion set in the jury deliberating room, where 12 men hold the fate of a young delinquent, accused of killing his father, in their hands. What looks an open-and-shut case soon becomes a dilemma as the jurors are forced to examine their own self-image, personalities, experiences and prejudices. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.

Bottom’s up for love & looning in More Things To Do in York & beyond. Here’s Hutch’s List No. 15, from The Press

The eyes have it: Love-struck Natalie Windsor’s Titania and Tweedy the clown’s Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, on tour at York Theatre Royal. Picture: Andrew Huggins/Thousand Word Media

GOTHIC Austen, a clowning Bottom, a dose of the blues, a Technicolor dreamcoat, open studios and a reactivated newsroom satire feature in Charles Hutchinson’s recommendations for a busy diary.

York play of the week: Cheltenham Everyman Theatre in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, York Theatre Royal, April 9 to 13, 7pm plus 2pm Thursday and 2.30pm Saturday matinees

EVERYMAN Theatre Company’s staging of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream puts a new twist on the familiar tale by casting comedy clown Tweedy as Bottom and making him “comedy advisor” on Paul Milton’s production to boot.

The night’s magic, mischief, and mayhem unfold in an enchanted Athenean forest, intertwining the romantic misadventures of four young lovers, the playful meddling of mischievous fairies and the comedic antics of amateur actors, culminating in a tale of love, mistaken identity and reconciliation engineered by Jeremy Stockwell’s meddlesome Puck. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

Tom Killner: Soul-drenched Southern rock and Americana at York Blues Festival

Festival of the week: York Blues Festival, The Crescent, York, today, 1pm to 11pm; doors, 12.30pm

NAME of the week? Step forward The 20ft Squid Blues Band, participants in this weekend’s York Blues Festival, curated by Paul Winn and Ben Darwin, hosts of Jorvik Radio’s Blues From The Ouse show and the Ryedale Blues Club.

Performing too will be Dirty Ruby, Bison Hip, The James Oliver Band, Hot Foot Hall, York band DC Blues, The Milk Men and Tom Killner. Tickets update: Sold out; for returns only, yorkbluesfest.co.uk.

Ceramicist Patricia Qua, who will make her York Open Studios debut in Hemplands Drive, York

Preview of the week: York Open Studios, Hospitium, York Museum Gardens, York, today and tomorrow, 10am to 4pm

YORK Open Studios 2024 hosts a taster exhibition this weekend at the Hospitium, ahead of the full event on April 13, 14, 20 and 21. More than 150 artists who live or work within a ten-mile radius of the city will be welcoming visitors to 100 workspaces to show and sell their art, ranging from ceramics, collage, digital, illustration, jewellery and mixed media to painting, print, photography, sculpture, textiles and wood. Among them will be 29 new participants. Full details can be found at yorkopenstudios.co.uk.

Back in the news: The original cast reassembles for Drop The Dead Donkey: The Reawakening! at Leeds Grand Theatre

Breaking News of the week: Drop The Dead Donkey: The Reawakening!, Leeds Grand Theatre, April 9 to 13, 7.30pm plus 2.30pm Wednesday and Saturday matinees

THIRTY years since the launch of the trailblazing television series Drop The Dead Donkey, the Globelink News team is back, live on stage for the first time. Original cast members Stephen Tompkinson, Neil Pearson, Susannah Doyle, Robert Duncan, Ingrid Lacey, Jeff Rawle and Victoria Wicks reunite for a new script by sitcom writing duo Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin.

“It’s going to be hugely enjoyable to watch those seven funny, flawed characters from Globelink News being plunged into the cutthroat world of modern 24-hour news-gathering and trying to navigate their way through the daily chaos of social media, fake news, and interim Prime Ministers,” say the writers. Box office: 0113 243 0808 or leedsheritagetheatres.com.

Go, go, Joseph: Lead actor Reuben Khan in York Stage’s poster for Joseph And The Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Grand Opera House, York

Musical of the week: York Stage in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Grand Opera House, York, April 12 to 20, 7.30pm except April 14, 15 and 19; 2.30pm, April 13 and 20; 4pm, April 14; 5pm and 8pm, April 19

BE ready to paint the city in every colour of the rainbow as Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s musical dazzles the Grand Opera House in York Stage’s vibrant production, directed by Nik Briggs, with musical direction by Adam Tomlinson and choreography by Lesley Hill.

Reuben Khan leads the cast as Joseph, joined by Hannah Shaw as the Narrator, Carly Morton as Pharaoh, Martin Rowley as Jacob, Finn East as Simeon and Matthew Clarke as Potiphar, among others. Tickets are selling fast at atgtickets.com/york.

Shareefa Energy!: Guest performance poet at April 12’s Say Owt Slam at The Crescent

Spoken word clash of the week: Say Owt Slam, featuring Shareefa Energy!, The Crescent, York, April 12, 7.45pm

SAY Owt, “York’s loveable gobby gang of performance poets”, take over The Crescent twice a year for raucous, high-energy nights of verse that combine a slam war of words with a guest performer.

“In a slam, poets have three minutes to wow the audience to become the champion,” says host Henry Raby. “It’s fast, frantic and fun: perfect for people who love poetry, and those who think they hate poetry too.”

Special guest Shareefa Energy! is a poet, writer, activist, educator, creative campaigner, workshop facilitator and arts and wellbeing practitioner of Indian and Muslim heritage from working-class Highfields in Leicester. Box office: thecrescentyork.com or on the door.

Robert Gammon: Performing with Maria Marshall and Alison Gammon at St Chad’s Church

Dementia Friendly Tea Concert: Maria Marshall, Robert Gammon and Alison Gammon, St Chad’s Church, Campleshon Road, York, April 182.30pm

CELLIST Maria Marshall opens this Dementia Friendly Tea Concert with Faure’s Elegy, accompanied by pianist Robert Gammon, who then plays two short solo Grieg piano pieces. Alison Gammon joins them for Beethoven’s trio Opus 11 for clarinet, piano and cello.

The relaxed 45-minute concert, ideal for people who may not feel comfortable at a formal classical concert, will be followed by tea and homemade cakes in the church hall. Seating is unreserved; no charge applies to attend but donations are welcome for hire costs and Alzheimer’s charities. 

Lucy Worsley: Revelations about Jane Austen at York Barbican

Show announcement of the week: An Audience with Lucy Worsley on Jane Austen, York Barbican, October 14, 7.30pm

FOLLOWING up her Agatha Christie tour, historian and presenter Lucy Worsley’s latest illustrated talk steps into the world of Jane Austen, one of English literature’s most cherished figures as the author of Pride And Prejudice, Sense And Sensibility and Persuasion. 

Through the houses, places and possessions that mattered to Austen, Worsley looks at what home meant to her and to the women like her who populate her novels. Austen lived a “life without incident”, but with new research and insights Worsley reveals a passionate woman who fought for her freedom. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.

In Focus: Exhibition launch, Makiko, Picture Imperfect, York Theatre Royal, April 8 to 28

Exhibition poster for Makiko’s Picture Imperfect at York Theatre Royal

YORK photographer Makiko has shifted her focus to the mental health of vulnerable children in her Picture Imperfect exhibition at York Theatre Royal.

After her trip to photograph scenes from Gunkanjima (Battleship Island), as well as a spiritual journey to the uninhabited island of Nozaki, Japanese-born Makiko has responded to the impact of Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic.

The result is this month’s Theatre Royal foyer exhibition featuring remote portrait photography, colour photos taken by children and a short film on the theme of the lives of vulnerable children and teenagers in the artist’s community in York, exploring their struggles with mental health and their developing identities.

Makiko’s project has received funding from Arts Council England and was conceived to work alongside The Island, a charity that offers mentorship and safeguarding for young people in the community regardless of their socio-economic circumstances or life experiences.

“The more I began to know the charity, the more I learned of a darker reality and of things such as child trafficking and sexual exploitation,” says Makiko. “All the children involved in this project have experienced early life trauma or pre-existing mental challenges or both.

“The conceptualisation of the project coincided with the lockdowns imposed by the UK government to combat Covid-19. Northern England was particularly hard hit: this in turn has had a profound impact on these children’s lives.”

The Covid strictures placed significant restrictions on how Makiko needed to approach her work, imposing the necessity of a creative solution to comply with social distancing and meeting the necessary regulations.

The artist provided the children with disposable cameras to shoot their everyday life. Much of her own photo-shooting was carried out remotely during the lockdown, to document what they were doing and thinking at home.

“Once the restrictions were lifted in early spring 2022, I visited the children during the art activity sessions and let them express themselves both in front of my viewfinder, as well as in writing,” says Makiko. “Subsequently, the work was exhibited at York Open Studios in April that year.”

The story is intertwined with the experience of Makiko and her younger son following their relocation back to the United Kingdom. “He suffered from assault and racial discrimination at school, resulting in school refusal and being housebound for several years,” she recalls. “This provided a precursor to the isolating experiences that children would go on to face during the pandemic.”

Makiko encountered direct racial abuse too, including a physical assault. “Both of us had struggled to fit into the environment,” she says. “The UK has continued to manifest deep division in the aftermath of Brexit, including rises in racism, anti-social behaviour and hate crimes in general.”

Most importantly, Makiko realised that the entire process worked as a catalyst, helping her to recover from a psychological wound she had endured over the past few years. “I began to better understand what my younger son and other children have experienced,” she says. “This included an insight into the thoughts and behaviours of Generations Z during a unique period of UK history.”

This project was carried out when Makiko was a mentee of Magnum Photos during 2021-2022. The exhibition is produced in collaboration with The Island and in association with York Theatre Royal. Its accompanying photobook version will be published in 2024. For more information on Makiko, go to: makikophoto.com.

Makiko’s Picture Imperfect runs at York Theatre Royal, St Leonard’s Place, York, from April 8 to 27; on view from 10am, Monday to Saturday

Makiko: the back story

AWARD-WINNING photographer who has lived, studied and worked in Japan, France, North America, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Studied photography at International Center of Photography in New York.

Since 2006 her work has been exhibited in Japan, North America, and Europe. Best known for her black and white photography.

At present at Royal College of Art in London.

Features among 89 award-winning professional photographers from around the world in What Does Photography Mean To You?, selected by Scott Grant (Bluecoat Press).

Particular interest in high-functioning autism. In 2014 she launched her first documentary/photography book, Beautifully Different. Re-published in Japanese in March
2016.

Bottom’s up for love & looning in More Things To Do in Ryedale, York & beyond. Hutch’s List No. 9, from Gazette & Herald

Rebecca Banatvala, back, AK Golding, middle, and Sam Newton, front, in Northanger Abbey at the SJT, Scarborough. Picture: Pamela Raith

GOTHIC Austen, a clowning Bottom, dark pop chat, vintage blues and harmonious folk feature in Charles Hutchinson’s suggestions for a busy diary.

Play of the week outside York: Northanger Abbey, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, until April 13, 7.30pm plus 1.30pm Thursday and 2.30pm Saturday matinees

ZOE Cooper adapts Jane Austen’s coming-of-age satire of Gothic novels in a co-production by the SJT, Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond, Octagon Theatre, Bolton, and Theatre by the Lake, Keswick, starring Rebecca Banatvala (Cath), AK Golding (Iz) and Sam Newton (Hen) under Tessa Walker’s direction.

In a play fizzing with imagination, humour and love, Cath Morland knows little of the world, but who needs real-life experience when you have books to guide you? Cath seizes her chance to escape her claustrophobic family life and join the smart set in Bath. Between balls and parties, she meets worldly, sophisticated Iz, and so Cath’s very own adventure begins. Box office: 01723 370541 or sjt.uk.com.

Megson: Folk duo Debs and Stu Hanna at Helmsley Arts Centre

Folk concert of the week: Megson, Helmsley Arts Centre, Saturday, 7.30pm

BRITISH folk duo Megson combines Debs Hanna’s vocals, whistle and piano accordion with Stu Hanna’s guitar, mandola and banjo on songs filled with perceptive lyrics and exquisite musicianship. An infectious mix of heavenly vocals, lush harmonies and driving rhythmic guitars mark their concerts, topped off with northern humour between numbers.

Chalking up 13 studio albums in 20 years, the four-time BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominees and two-time Spiral Earth Award winners will be showcasing their latest release, March 2023’s What Are We Trying To Say?. Box office: 01439 771700 or helmsleyarts.co.uk.

Red, a dare: Tweedy’s Bottom, clowning around and chancing his luck in love in the Everyman Theatre Company’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, on tour at York Theatre Royal. Picture: Andrew Huggins/Thousand Word Media

York play of the week: Cheltenham Everyman Theatre in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, York Theatre Royal, April 9 to 13, 7pm plus 2pm Thursday and 2.30pm Saturday matinees

THE Everyman Theatre Company staging of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream puts a new twist on the familiar tale by casting comedy clown Tweedy as Bottom and making him “comedy advisor” on Paul Milton’s production to boot.

The night’s magic, mischief, and mayhem unfold in an enchanted forest in Athens, intertwining the romantic misadventures of four young lovers, the playful meddling of mischievous fairies and the comedic antics of amateur actors, culminating in a tale of love, mistaken identity and reconciliation engineered by Jeremy Stockwell’s meddlesome Puck. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

John Robb: Rock’n’roll tales at Pocklington Arts Centre

Pop chat of the week: John Robb: Do You Believe In The Power Of Rock’n’Roll?, Pocklington Arts Centre, April 11, 8pm

JOHN Robb discusses his life in music; his pop culture book Art Of Darkness: The History Of Goth; being the first person to interview Nirvana; inventing the word Britpop and his adventures on the post-punk frontline.

Blackpool-born Robb is an author, musician, journalist, television and radio presenter and pundit, music website boss, publisher, Louder Than Words festival boss, eco-warrior and talking-head singer of The Membranes. His special guest is The Sisters Of Mercy co-founder Gary Marx. Box office: 01759 301547 or pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk.

Pianist Robert Gammon: Performing with Maria Marshall and Alison Gmmon at musical tea concert

Dementia Friendly Tea Concert: Maria Marshall, Robert Gammon and Alison Gammon, St Chad’s Church, Campleshon Road, York, April 182.30pm

CELLIST Maria Marshall opens this Dementia Friendly Tea Concert with Faure’s Elegy, accompanied by pianist Robert Gammon, who then plays two short solo Grieg piano pieces. Alison Gammon joins them for Beethoven’s trio Opus 11 for clarinet, piano and cello.

The relaxed 45-minute concert, ideal for people who may not feel comfortable at a formal classical concert, will be followed by tea and homemade cakes in the church hall. Seating is unreserved; no charge applies to attend but donations are welcome for hire costs and Alzheimer’s charities. On-street parking along Campleshon Road complements the church’s small car park.

The Nightcreatures’ Henry Botham and Tom Davies: Blues songs and stories at Milton Rooms, Malton

Blues gig of the week: The Nightcreatures, Farewell To Storyville, Songs and Stories from New Orleans, Milton Rooms, Malton, April 12, 8pm

THE Nightcreatures duo of pianist Henry Botham and guitarist and singer Tom Davies take a journey to old New Orleans for a night of songs and stories, serving up a spicy gumbo of filthy blues, funky grooves and classic tunes.

Old blues, Mardi Gras songs and vintage New Orleans material are explored, drawing on the heritage of Dr John, James Booker, Professor Longhair, Allen Toussaint and the great Louisiana bluesmen. Jenny Wren and Her Borrowed Wings, a trio led by singer and double bassist Jenny Trilsbach, support. Box office: 01653 696240 or themiltonrooms.com.

Sam Jewison: Interpreting the Great American Songbook at the SJT

Jazz gig of the month: Sam Jewison, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, April 27, 7.30pm

JAZZ singer and pianist Sam Jewison returns to the SJT after a sold-out show in 2023 to perform his interpretation of the Great American Songbook in a fusion of jazz, classical and popular music.

Expect to hear new treatments of songs from the Broadway stage, Hollywood screen and golden age of American popular music, made famous Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and Oscar Peterson, from the pens of Cole Porter, Leonard Bernstein and George Gershwin. Joining Jewison will be Fraser Smith (tenor saxophone), Harry Sankey (guitar), Harry Evans (double bass) and Joe Dessauer (drums). Box office: 01723 370541 or sjt.uk.com. 

Lucy Worsley: Revelations from the life of Jane Austen at York Barbican

Show announcement of the week: An Audience with Lucy Worsley on Jane Austen, York Barbican, October 14,

FOLLOWING up her Agatha Christie tour, historian Lucy Worsley’s latest illustrated talk steps into the world of Jane Austen, one of English literature’s most cherished figures as the author of Pride And Prejudice, Sense And Sensibility and Persuasion. 

Through the houses, places and possessions that mattered to Austen, Worsley looks at what home meant to her and to the women like her who populate her novels. Austen lived a “life without incident”, but with new research and insights Worsley reveals a passionate woman who fought for her freedom. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.