Yorkshire’s Got Talent returns for second online event for Joseph Rowntree Theatre’s Raise The Roof appeal. Entrants sought

The City of York civic party and performers at last September’s Yorkshire’s Got Talent showcase at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York

YORKSHIRE’S Got Talent is offering an open invitation for performers to take part in the online event’s second year.

The competition is the brainchild of Hannah Wakelam, Young Ambassador for the Joseph Rowntree Theatre in York, who organised last year’s contest across Yorkshire. Once more, the event will support the JoRo’s “Raise The Roof” fundraising appeal.

2022 entrants are invited to submit their audition tapes by Saturday, January 22 to be considered for the following round.  The ten most successful performers, as decided by a public vote, will be joined by three wildcards of the judges’ choosing.

Those judges will be three West End professional performers, Laura Pick and Nathan Lodge, from last year’s panel, joined by May Tether, fresh from appearing in the national tour of Heathers The Musical. 

Last year’s winner, Ed Atkin, was the headline act when the finalists’ held a showcase at the JoRo last September and has embarked on a course of vocational music study. 

Organiser Hannah Wakelam

Organiser Hannah says: “Last year’s competition was really popular and gave performers from all across our region the chance to compete for a £250 cash prize and to perform on the Joseph Rowntree Theatre’s stage. 

“We had to wait a while until we were able to put the showcase on, because of Covid restrictions, but the finalists’ show was well worth the wait. The feedback from all the audience was amazing!  One of the highlights was when the performers had the chance to meet the City of York civic party backstage once the curtain had come down.”

To enter this year’s contest, send an audition tape to hannah.wakk@gmail.com  and make a minimum donation of £5 to the Joseph Rowntree Theatre’s Just Giving page via: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ygt22. “Please add your name, age and a little bit about yourself,” requests Hannah.

Three further rounds of the competition will follow, each judged by Laura, Nathan and May. “For the final round, you will have the amazing opportunity of being mentored by one of the judges,” says Hannah. “Following the initial audition submission, each round will be based on a theme, to be announced at the beginning of each round.”

Dan Shrimpton, chair of the JoRo charity’s trustees, says: “What makes this competition exciting to us, being a hub for community theatre across the whole of the Yorkshire region, is that, as the competition gets better known, we can see what talent the wider region has to offer.”

The Judges

Laura Pick: Returnee judge

Laura Pick

Now playing Elphaba in Wicked in the West End.

Theatre: Dr Osgood and featured ensemble in Anyone Can Whistle (Union Theatre) and understudy for Maria in The Sound of Music (Regent’s Park).

Other work: Lead vocalist for Belinda King Creative Productions; So This is Christmas (UK tour) and chorus for The Songs Of My Life: An Evening With Peter Polycarpou (Garrick).

Training:  Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.

Originally hailing from Wakefield, Laura is looking forward to seeing all the new and fresh talent Yorkshire has to offer.

Nathan Lodge: Fellow returnee judge

Nathan Lodge

Vocal vocal captain on M/S Color Fantasy; Queen by Candlelight, the Monastery, Manchester; theatre roles in Aladdin (Brick Lane Music Hall); The World Of Musicals (China Tour); Equally: A New Musical (Cockpit Theatre); Christmas In New York (Palace Theatre, West End); The 8th Fold (Duchess Theatre, West End).

TV credits: The Paul O’Grady Show (ITV); The One Show (BBC)

Training: York College and Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts.

Originally from York.

May Tether: new judge for 2022

May Tether

In 2021, she understudied Veronica Sawyer and played the drama club drama queen in Heathers The Musical on tour. Played Lily/Elijah/Pip in John Godber Company’s Moby Dick, directed by John Godber at Stage@The Dock, Hull, in June.

Performed for York Stage Musicals for many years, appearing at the Grand Opera House in Hairspray, 9 To 5 The Musical, Legally Blonde and Sister Act. Also appeared as Jill in York Stage’s debut pantomime, Jack And The Beanstalk, at Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, in December 2020.

Training: Trinity Laban Conservatoire.

Originally from Goole, May is thrilled to be a judge in this year’s Yorkshire’s Got Talent.

We Will Rock You to play Grand Opera House, York, on futuristic Queen musical’s 20th anniversary tour next month

We Will Rock You: 20th anniversary tour visits Grand Opera House, York, next month. Picture: Johan Persson

WE Will Rock You’s 20th anniversary tour plays the Grand Opera House, York, from February 14 to 19 in week two of its 2022 tour, directed by the futuristic Queen musical’s writer, Ben Elton.

“I can hardly believe it’s been 20 years since We Will Rock You premiered in London, or that much of what we thought was science fiction in the script back then has turned into science fact,” says Elton, the Eighties’ godfather of political stand-up comedy, novelist and writer for stage and screen.

“I guess Queen were always ahead of the game! I’ve directed this show all over the world and I can’t wait to bring it home to the UK with a brand-new production and a fabulous cast of young Bohemians – Bohemians, most of whom were rocking in their cradles when this adventure first began.”

Since its 2002 premiere, more than 18 million theatregoers in 20-plus countries have seen the flamboyant musical hit that enjoyed 12 unbroken years at the Dominion Theatre, London, followed by multiple tours and a tenth anniversary world tour in 2013. This year’s seven-month British and Irish tour begins in Southsea, Portsmouth on February 7 before heading to York.

Powered by 24 Queen songs, We Will Rock You’s bold narrative is set in a distant, dystopian, globalised future where Earth is called Planet Mall and its inhabitants wear the same clothes, think the same thoughts and exist in a brain-dead haze.

In a system that bans musical instruments and composers, rock music is all but unknown, stirring a handful of rock rebels, the Bohemians, to fight against the all-powerful Global soft company and its boss, the Killer Queen.

Scaramouche and Galileo, two young outsiders who cannot come to terms with the bleak conformist reality, join the Bohemians to seek the unlimited power of freedom of thought, individuality and love and to set free the rebirth of rock.

“I guess Queen were always ahead of the game!” says We Will Rock You book writer Ben Elton. Picture: Trevor Leighton

Elton recalls how it became clear to him that the story needed an abstract quality “that reflected the feel of the word and music, rather than its literal content”. “This was not pop music, but rock music. Some of the most famous rock ever written, and legendary music should have a legendary context,” he says.

“I began to think of legends, both new and old, from King Arthur to The Terminator; heroic myths in which brave individuals take on the vast monolithic force of evil systems.”

The idea for We Will Rock You emerged from a meeting between Hollywood actor Robert De Niro and Queen guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor in Venice in 1996.

De Niro’s daughter was a fan of the ubiquitous British band, prompting De Niro to ask if the rock legends had ever thought of creating a musical based on their songs.

May and Taylor subsequently became musical advisors to We Will Rock You but did have early reservations about staging such a show. “We were not initially convinced, not being fans of the ‘musical theatre’ genre on the whole,” says May. “The show needed to work in a theatrical context and retain the rock, while also incorporating the spectacle, uniqueness and humour embodied by Queen.”

Taylor concurs: “We [Queen] took the music seriously, but we never took ourselves seriously. We always had the ability to laugh at ourselves. Some of the stage gear and even some of the music is quite humorous. The whole middle section of Bohemian Rhapsody was. We did a lot of daft things and a lot of experimentation.”

Doing something new was important to May. “If we were going to go into this arena, the challenge was that we would somehow try and make it our own,” he says.

“The show needed to work in a theatrical context and retain the rock, while incorporating the spectacle, uniqueness and humour embodied by Queen,” says Brian May. Picture: Rankin

“There was a point where I realised there was a whole new area of creativity opening up to us if we wanted it – a whole new canvas to paint on”.

Cue the musical’s book, scripted by Elton. “He has such a great active mind that never ever stops churning out ideas,” says Taylor.

The resulting musical is fun, light and humorous but also contains softer and, at times, heart-rending moments that allow an audience to invest emotionally. “We Will Rock You is intriguing, challenging, achingly romantic, brutally cynical and at once both sad and hilarious,” says Elton.

Taylor agrees: “It’s silly, but funny and makes quite a lot of serious points while it goes on its rather daft course,” he says.

Echoing May’s determination to create something “new in every sense”, Taylor recalls the intention was “to keep it a bit gritty and make sure it’s not a typical show”.

Roll on 20 years when today’s focus on technological advancement leaves reading and the marriage of minds looking like outdated activities, prompting May to consider the musical’s significance in 2022. “I think it’s a very good comment on the way things are going,” he says.

“Ben’s idea that individuality is being eroded every second of the day and soon it will be impossible for people to write their own music, think their own thoughts, write their own poetry, is very perceptive.”

“It’s silly, but funny and makes quite a lot of serious points while it goes on its rather daft course ,” says Roger Taylor. Picture: Rankin

To May, “Radio Ga Ga represents the malady which is taking over the world. It’s almost like that old ‘men versus machines’ thing, which we also addressed a few albums ago,” he says.

We Will Rock You explores themes relevant to those growing up in today’s world, while the 2022 tour offers younger generations the chance to discover Queen’s back catalogue.

“I had this very strange thought that it’s quite possible that this particular musical might be the thing through which people know our music in 300 years’ time,” says May, who then reflects on Queen’s relevance, 52 years on from their formation in 1970. “I’m quite shocked at how fresh this stuff still sounds and it makes me very happy, obviously.”

May says audiences should expect “a stunning state-of-the art new-look production – but of course the original story is now more relevant than ever. We’re confident We Will Rock You fans will love revisiting the world’s first true ‘Rock Theatrical’, and a whole new generation will now discover the vibe!”

The tour cast will be led Ian McIntosh as Galileo and Elena Skye as Scaramouche, with Jenny O’Leary as Killer Queen, Adam Strong as Khashoggi, Michael Mckell as Buddy, Martina Ciabatti Mennell as Oz, David Michael Johnson as Brit.

The ensemble will include Laura Bird, Kate Leiper, Joanne Harper, Anna Davey, Edward Leigh, Spin, Karen Walker, David Muscat, Damien Walsh, Laura Ava-Scott, Victoria Collins, Joseph Connor, Louis Clarke-Clare and Jacob Fearey.

We Will Rock You rocks Grand Opera Hose, York, February 14 to 19;  Sheffield City Hall, August 29 to September 3. York tickets are on sale at 0844 871 7615 or at atgtickets.com/york; Sheffield, sheffieldcityhall.co.uk.

Velma Celli marks birthday with Impossible York gig before American cruise ship shows

Velma Celli in the Wonderbar at Impossible York

YORK drag diva supreme Velma Celli is heading off to America for a month of cruise-ship shows, but not before a birthday bash at Impossible York.

Velma, the fabulous cabaret creation of West End musical actor Ian Stroughair, will mark Ian’s birthday on Thursday (13/1/2022) with an 8pm performance of The Velma Celli Show in the Wonderbar.

Then come those cruise-ship engagements for Atlantis Gay Cruises, whose publicity proclaims: “Gonna be FUN! Get on board the biggest event of 2022 for Atlantis’s 30th anniversary! 

“5,500 guys. Superstar performers. Cutting-edge productions. Legendary concerts. Mind-blowing parties. And you! All on the world’s largest and most spectacular ship.

“We’re finally turning 30 with the greatest production in Atlantis history as we sail the best of the Caribbean for the perfect start to 2022.” 

Here, CharlesHutchPress sets Velma/Ian the challenge of firing off quick answers to quick questions in a short break from packing for the travels ahead.

Velma Celli’s new show, God Save The Queens, will be premiered on the Atlantis Gay Cruises

How old will you be on Jan 13?

Twenty-one. It’s a New Year miracle!”

What would be the perfect birthday present?

“World peace.” 

What songs will you be performing at Impossible York?

“It’ll be a mixture of mine and the audience’s favourite from years gone by. A mixture of Whitney [Houston], Amy [Winehouse], Queen, Judy [Garland] and many more. Lots of impressions, banter and general camp fun! Doors at 7pm; show at 8pm.”

What show will you perform on the cruise ships and how often on each cruise?

“I’m performing two shows, A Brief History Of Drag and my new show, God Save The Queens, which is a celebration of British female recording artists. Adele. Annie Lennox. Amy. Dua Lipa. Four shows a week.”

Where will the two cruises sail to? 

“OOOOO, so many places! Miami, Bahamas, Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica, Puerta Vallarta and many more!”

Have you worked with Atlantis Gay Cruises before? 

“I’m on contract number five. There should have been so many more but bl***y ‘Rona’ entered our lives, didn’t she!”

Any update on plans to present Irreplaceable, your David Bowie show, in York? 

“YES! February 26th at Theatre@41 Monkgate, 8pm, when I’ll be celebrating Bowie and the artists he inspired.”

Velma Celli’s Aladdin Sane sash for Irreplaceable, the Bowie tribute show

What’s coming up for you in York after that?

“Me And My Divas on March 19th on my return to York Theatre Royal, where I sold out A Brief History Of Drag last May. Line-up to be announced, but you can expect ‘an overindulgent diva fest celebrating the songs and behaviour of all your favourite divas: Céline, Mariah, Whitney, Aretha, Cher, Britney (maybe not!) and many more.”

Of all those divas in that show – 2021 Best Cabaret winner at the Perth Fringeworld in Australia – who is your favourite vocalist and why? 

“Whitney Houston! Hands down the greatest singer of all time, in my humble opinion.” 

What else is in your diary for 2022?

“SO many more gigs at Impossible York, including my Drag Brunches and solo shows. We’re starting a new evening show called Back To The 80s and another brunch called Matinee Musicals Brunch! Tickets go live soon!” 

What are your hopes for this year? 

“No more ‘Rona’, lots of laughter and PEACE!” 

What are your hopes for the arts world at large this year?

“A thriving community and lots of new writing! We all love a ‘Les Mis’ etc, but ’tis time to shine a light on new writing, artists, creatives and producers. A shout-out to Lambert Jackson Productions, who have been smashing compelling and fantastic new work pre and throughout this pandemic. Proud!”

The Velma Celli Show, Impossible York, St Helen’s Square, York, Thursday, January 13; doors at 7pm; show, 8pm. Box office: ticketweb.uk/event/the-velma-celli-show-impossible-york-tickets/11662445.

Velma Celli: Irreplaceable, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, February 26, 8pm. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.

Velma Celli: Me And My Divas, York Theatre Royal, March 19, 7.30pm. Box office: 01904 623568 or at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

PS. Ian Stroughair will turn 39 on January 13.

More Things To Do in York and beyond as something wickedly funny this way comes. List No. 64, courtesy of The Press, York

When shall we three meet again? When the hurlyburly’s done in The HandleBards’ Macbeth at York Theatre Royal

AS the pantomime season draws to a close, Charles Hutchinson turns his focus to new seasons and new reasons to venture out.

The skittish play: The HandleBards in Macbeth, York Theatre Royal, January 25, 7.30pm; January 26, 2pm and 7.30pm

THE HandleBards were the first professional company to play York Theatre Royal after Lockdown 3, lifting the long gloom with a ridiculously funny Romeo And Juliet. Now the three-pronged troupe opens the Spring! Season with an all-female, bewitching, unhinged, bicycle-powered, dead funny take on Macbeth, starring Kathryn Perkins, Natalie Simone and Jenny Smith.

Expect music, mayhem, murders, unusual applications of cycling paraphernalia and more costume changes “than you can Shake a spear at” in this irreverent, skittish romp through Shakespeare’s tragic “Scottish play”. Box office: 01904 623568 or at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

Charles Court Opera in The Mikado, visiting Harrogate Royal Hall on Sunday. Picture: Bill Knight

Oh, Vienna: International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival’s New Year celebration, Harrogate Royal Hall, today and tomorrow, 7.30pm.

ENCHANTMENT awaits in the Magic Of Vienna New Year Gala Concert today when the National Festival Orchestra, conducted by Aidan Faughey, presents works by Johann Strauss, Mozart and Lehar. International opera stars James Cleverton and Rebecca Bottone will be the soloists.

Charles Court Opera’s London production of G&S’s The Mikado will be performed on Sunday night, accompanied by the National Festival Orchestra. Box office: 01422 323352 or at gsfestivals.co.uk.

One Iota: Debut album launch at the JoRo

York album launch of the month: One Iota, supported by Odin Dragonfly, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, January 21, 7.15pm

YORK band One Iota are launching their debut album, More Than You Take, recorded at the venerable Abbey Road studios, in London, and Fairview Studios, Willerby.

Adam Dawson, James Brown, Andy Bowen and Phil Everard’s alt-pop group grew out of their three-piece tribute to The Beatles – The Threetles, of course – when they acquired a taste for writing their own songs in lockdown.

One Iota’s debut live show promises a full line-up, featuring live string arrangements for the Fab Four-influenced songs marked by rich vocal harmonies, innovative melodies and “more hooks than a cloakroom”. Box office: josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.

Jacob George: Soloist for Schumann’s Violin Concerto at the Academy of St Olave’s January concert

By George, he’s back: Academy of St Olave’s Winter Concert, St Olave’s Church, Marygate, York, January 22, 8pm

THE Academy of St Olave’s Winter Concert features Jacob George, son of musical director Alan George, as soloist for Schumann’s Violin Concerto. He returns to solo duty for the York chamber orchestra after performing the Sibelius Violin Concerto in 2019.

The ASO’s first concert since last September’s sold-out resumption also includes two works inspired by Italy: Schubert’s Overture in the Italian Style, and Mendelssohn’s “Italian” Symphony No. 4. Box office: academyofstolaves.org.uk.

Nunkie Theatre Company’s artwork for the third instalment of their M R James Project, A Warning To The Curious

Ghosts at play: Nunkie Theatre Company in M R James’s A Warning To The Curious, Theatre@41 Monkgate, York, January 28, 7.30pm

NUNKIE Theatre Company bring two of M R James’s eeriest and most entertaining ghost stories back to life in Robert Lloyd Parry’s candlelit one-man show. Lost Hearts, an early work, is constructed around one of his most memorable villains, the predatory scholar Mr Abney.

Lloyd Parry pairs it with perhaps James’s most poignant and personal story, inspired by his holidays in Aldeburgh: A Warning To The Curious’s account of a young archaeologist being haunted and hunted by the guardian of an ancient treasure. Has the English seaside ever looked so menacing? Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.

Yvette Stone’s life-size puppet of The Creature, as first seen in Blackeyed Theatre’s Frankenstein in 2016. The new tour visits Scarborough next month. Picture: Alex Harvey-Brown

Monster smash: Blackeyed Theatre in Frankenstein, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, February 9 to 12

NICK Lane has reinterpreted John Ginman’s original 2016 script for Blackeyed Theatre, built around Mary Shelley’s Gothic novel, wherein nothing can prepare Victor Frankenstein for what he creates in pursuit of the elixir of life.

Eliot Giuralarocca’s highly theatrical production combines live music and ensemble storytelling with Bunraku-style puppetry to portray The Creature, in the life-size form of Yvonne Stone’s 6ft 4inch puppet, operated by up to three actors at once. Box office: 01723 370541 or at sjt.uk.com.

Four decades of topical songs and glamour: Fascinating Aida’s Liza Pulman, left, Dillie Keane and Adèle Anderson. Picture: Johnny Boylan

Never tire of satire: Fascinating Aida, York Barbican, February 12, 7.30pm

DILLIE Keane, Adèle Anderson and Liza Pulman’s latest Fascinating Aida tour show features old favourites, songs you haven’t heard before and some you wish you’d never heard in the first place.

“But the songs are mostly topical and the glamour remains unstoppable,” say the satirists, who have been capturing the political and social fixations of our times for nigh on 40 years, from 1984’s Sweet FA to 2012’s Cheap Flights and beyond. All tickets remain valid from the postponed May 5 2021 date. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.

Marc Almond fronting The Loveless, headliners at late-October’s Tomorrow’s Ghosts Festival in Whitby

Looking ahead to Halloween: Marc Almond’s The Loveless, headlining the Saturday bill at Tomorrow’s Ghosts Festival 2022, Whitby Pavilion, October 29

THE Loveless make their Tomorrow’s Ghosts debut with a headline set of their devilishly dark arts at Whitby Pavilion next Halloween.

In a project designed to take its constituent parts back to where they all began, Soft Cell singer Almond, Sigue Sigue Sputnik axeman Neal X, Iggy Pop’s touring rhythm section of Mat Hector and Ben Ellis and haunting Hammond organist James Beaumont “pledge themselves to the pulp appeal of garage rock in its rawest, most gripping guise”.

The Loveless draw material from Almond’s expansive back catalogue, Lou Reed and David Bowie’s canons, warped 1960s’ R&B staples and lost garage-rock gems. Box office: ticketweb.uk/event/tomorrows-ghosts-festival.

Artist Stephen Todd in his Sheffield studio

Weekend opening: Kentmere House Gallery, Scarcroft Hill, York, today and tomorrow

NEW year, New Beginnings and a website “going live again at last” adds up to the start of 2022 for Ann Petherick’s gallery in her home at Kentmere House, York.

Among the works on show today and tomorrow from 11am to 5pm are Allotments In Autumn paintings by featured artist Stephen Todd, from Sheffield.

Kentmere House Gallery also will be open for the York Residents Residents’ Weekend on January 29 and 30, 11am to 6pm each day.

Will Daniel Craig’s James Bond requiem feature in Two Big Egos In A Small Car’s review of the cultural year just gone?

Exit Daniel Craig’s 007

NO time like the present to discover no-nonsense arts podcasters Graham Chalmers and Charles Hutchinson’s look back to the year of No Time To Die, Ralph Fiennes in York, Grayson Perry’s Pre-Therapy Years and Emma Rice’s Wuthering Heights.

For shooting from the hip with a quip, head to: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1187561/9817663

Academy of St Olave’s to perform Schumann’s Violin Concerto with Jacob George as soloist at Winter Concert

Jacob George: Soloist for Schumann’s Violin Concerto

THE Academy of St Olave’s Winter Concert at St Olave’s Church, Marygate, York, on January 22 will feature Jacob George as soloist for Schumann’s Violin Concerto.

Jacob, the son of the York chamber orchestra’s musical director, Alan George, returns on solo duty after performing the Sibelius Violin Concerto in 2019.

As a teenager, he was principal second violin for the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, topped off by three concerts at the BBC Proms.

Jacob has appeared as a soloist with several orchestras, including performances of Dvorak’s Romance with York Guildhall Orchestra and the Kabalevsky Violin Concerto with Sheffield University Symphony Orchestra. Outside music, he works as a senior planning officer in urban development management.

The Academy’s first concert since last September’s sold-out return will feature two works inspired by Italy: Schubert’s Overture in the Italian Style and Mendelssohn’s “Italian” Symphony No. 4.

Musical director Alan George says: “We are looking forward to transporting our audience to sunnier Mediterranean climes with two Italian-inspired pieces, as well as welcoming Jacob back as soloist for the concerto.

“The Schumann Violin Concerto is a real curiosity, not performed for more than 80 years after it was composed, and still a relative rarity in the repertoire. It’s a wonderful piece, deeply affecting – dating from the end of his life, and well deserving of greater recognition: we hope to have another full house to sample its characteristic combination of sadness and joy.”

The 8pm concert is in aid of Musical Connections, a York charity that runs community choirs and weekly music groups in assorted care and community settings.

Tickets cost £15 (£5 for accompanied under-18s) at academyofstolaves.org.uk. Numbers are limited; book in advance to avoid disappointment. Check the academy website the week before the concert for any Covid-19 mitigation measures in place.

International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival marks New Year with trio of spectacular performances at Harrogate Royal Hall

The Best Of Gilbert and Sullivan at Harrogate Royal Hall on Friday

THE International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival is holding a three-day spectacular at Harrogate Royal Hall from January 7 to 9 to mark the New Year.

First up will be The Best Of Gilbert and Sullivan, Friday’s concert that asks the question: which is your favourite Gilbert and Sullivan opera? “There’s no need to decide when you can have a cavalcade of the very best of G&S, from the wonderfully familiar to the surprisingly unfamiliar, performed by the best G&S singers in the world,” says festival trustee Bernard Lockett.

The National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company (NGSOC), led by comic baritone Simon Butteriss and accompanied by the National Festival Orchestra, will be taking a whirlwind tour of the Savoy Operas, set in context by fascinating, historical, gossipy anecdotes that evoke the glitter and glamour of the 19th century Savoy Theatre.  

Joining Butteriss on stage will be NGSOC stars Matthew Siveter, David Menezes and Amy Payne; the orchestra will be conducted by David Russell Hulme.

Enchantment awaits in The Magic Of Vienna New Year Gala Concert on Saturday. “Come on a magical journey through Vienna, the musical capital of the world, and celebrate the New Year in style,” says Bernard.

“Our annual gala concert will be an absolute treat, and what a fabulous Christmas present for that special person too. Enjoy a fantastic selection of the most beautiful pieces by Johann Strauss, Mozart, Lehar and more, brought to you by the renowned National Festival Orchestra, conducted by Aidan Faughey. Our soloists include international opera stars James Cleverton and Rebecca Bottone.”

The short winter season concludes with Charles Court Opera’s London production of G&S’s  The Mikado, accompanied by the National Festival Orchestra, on Sunday night.

Behind closed doors at the British Consulate in the Japanese town of Titipu, the scheming, slippery Lord High Executioner is on the cusp of hatching one plot too far, with far-reaching, but humorous consequences for everyone involved, especially when the Mikado arrives.

“Containing such familiar songs as A Wandering Minstrel, I, Three Little Maids From School and I’ve Got A Little List, this punchy and hilarious satire promises to be a treat for operetta lovers and newcomers alike,” says Bernard.

Tickets for the 7.30pm performances are on sale on 01422 323352 or at gsfestivals.co.uk. Looking ahead, the 28th International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival will run at Harrogate Royal Hall from August 10 to 21, preceded by Buxton Opera House, Derbyshire, from July 30 to August 6. For more details, go to: gsfestivals.org.

Punslinger Tim Vine turns into tribute act Plastic Elvis with The High Noon Band

From quips to quiff: Joker Tim Vine as Plastic Elvis

TIM Vine’s “unique tribute to a legend”, Plastic Elvis, shakes his hip and quivers his lip at Doncaster Dome on March 5 on the last night of his rearranged tour.

Please note, this is NOT a stand-up comedy show by the quick-quipping cracker of one-lines and pantomime regular but Vine’s tribute act to Elvis Presley.

First booked for May and June 2020, the 19-date tour was rescheduled for September 2021 to March 2022, including an October 5 date at Harrogate Theatre.

Billed as a “total sell-out at the Edinburgh festival” – more specifically, a one-off fully booked gig at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe – Vine invites you to “feel the electricity as Plastic Elvis hits the stage backed by his incredible five-piece The High Noon Band”.

“He’ll shake, he’ll smoulder, he’ll try and control his hair and in the end, he’ll break your heart,” the show blurb promises. “Sing along with some of the King’s greatest songs on a breathless night of rock’n’roll.”

“This is it. The moment has arrived,” says Vine, who plays Doncaster the day after his 55th birthday. “This isn’t a stand-up show, but a concert dedicated to my favourite performer. When I was 11 years old, I would stand in front of my bedroom mirror and mime to the whole of 1972’s Elvis: As Recorded At Madison Square Garden album. This is a tribute act that is 40 years in the making. Well, the waiting is over. It’s time to go public.”

Be warned, Vine’s show “may contain moves that even Plastic Elvis himself isn’t expecting”. Support comes from special guests John Archer as Big Buddy Holly and song-writing legend David Martin, who wrote four songs for Elvis, A Little Bit of Green Let’s Be Friends, Sweet Angeline and This Is The Story.

Martin has sold 26 million records around the world in a career spanning more than 40 years. His songwriting and production team with Chris Arnold and Geoff Morrow has worked up with Cliff Richard, Dusty Springfield, Cilla Black and David Essex, among others.

Tickets for Tim Vine Is Plastic Elvis’s 7pm show are on sale on 01302 370777 or at dclt.co.uk.

Lotta bottle: Tim Vine in his Sunset Milk Idiot show at Grand Opera House, York, in May 2018

Tim Vine’s back story: Quips with everything

Born: Cheam, Sutton, March 4 1967.

Job description: English writer, actor, pantomime performer, comedian and presenter.

Best known for: One-liner jokes and his role from 2006 to 20212 as Lee Mack’s uptight, sensible best friend, Timothy Gladstone Adams, in 34 episodes of BBC One’s studio sitcom Not Going Out.

Stand-up DVDs: Time Vine Live, 2004; So I Said To This Bloke, 2008; Punslinger Live, 2010; Joke-amotive Live, 2011; Tim Timinee Tim Timinee Tim Tim To You, 2016; Sunset Milk Idiot, 2019.

Books: TheBiggest Ever Tim Vine Joke Book and The Tim Vine Bumper Book Of Silliness.

Awards: Winner of Best Joke at Edinburgh Fringe, twice.

TV shows: Not Going Out, BBC One; Tim Vine Travels Through Time, BBC One; hosting quiz show Football Genius, ITV; Taskmaster.

Radio: Hosts Tim Vine Chat Show on BBC Radio 4, interviewing audience members as he seeks to prove that not everyone has a story.

YouTube channel: Tim Vine Televisual (TVTV), regularly serving up nonsense.

Famous brother: Broadcaster Jeremy Vine, BBC Radio 2 and  television show presenter, Strictly Ballroom Dancing alumnus and one-man cycling video vigilante.

More Things To Do in York and beyond in 2022 as the icing man cometh. List of ingredients No. 63, courtesy of The Press

Car Park Panto’s cast dishes up a Horrible Christmas to Sunday’s drive-in audience at Elvington Airfield

AS U2 once sang, all is quiet on New Year’s Day, but Charles Hutchinson has his diary out to note down events for the months ahead.

Drive-in pantomime: Car Park Panto’s Horrible Christmas, Elvington Airfield, near York, tomorrow (Sunday,) 11am, 2pm and 5pm

BIRMINGHAM Stage Company’s Horrible Histories franchise teams up with Coalition Presents for Car Park Panto’s Horrible Christmas.

In writer-director Neal Foster’s adaptation of Terry Deary’s story, when Christmas comes under threat from a jolly man dressed in red, one young boy must save the day as a cast of eight sets off on a hair-raising adventure through the history of Christmas.

At this Covid-secure experience, children and adults can jump up and down in their car seats and make as much noise as they like, tuning in to the live show on stage and screen. Box office: carparkparty.com.

Shaparak Khorsandi: Revisiting her 1900s’ experiences in It Was The 90s! at Selby Town Hall

Looking back, but not nostalgically: Shaparak Khorsandi, It Was The 90s!, Selby Town Hall, January 22, 8pm

SHAPARAK Khorsandi, the Iranian-born British stand-up comedian and author formerly known as Shappi, tackles the celebrated but maligned 1990s in her new show, It Was The 90s!.

Back then, she flew around London with hope in her heart, a tenner in her pocket and spare knickers in her handbag. “But how does the decade of binge drinking and walks of shame look now without snakebite and black-tinted specs?” asks Shaparak, 48.

“This is a show about how we ’90s kids are looking to young people to learn how to take care of ourselves, because if you survived the car crash of being a ’90s kid, then surely Things Can Only Get Better.” Box office: 01757 708449 or selbytownhall.co.uk.

Round The Horne as re-created by Apollo Stage Company at the Grand Opera House, York

Looking back, nostalgically: Round The Horne, Grand Opera House, York, January 27, 7.30pm

FROM the producers of The Goon Show and Hancock’s Half Hour tours comes another radio comedy classic, re-created live on stage by Apollo Stage Company.

Compiled and directed by Tim Astley from Barry Took and Marty Feldman’s scripts, this meticulous show takes a step back in time to the BBC’s Paris studios to re-play the recordings of the Sunday afternoon broadcasts of Kenneth Horne and his merry crew in mischievous mood.

Expect wordplay, camp caricatures and risqué innuendos, film spoofs and such favourite characters as Rambling Sid Rumpo, Charles and Fiona, J. Peasemold Gruntfuttock and Julia and Sandy. Box office: atgtickets.com/York.

Kipps, The New Half A Sixpence Musical: Making its York debut at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre in February

Heart or head choice: Joseph Rowntree Theatre Company in Kipps, The New Half A Sixpence Musical, Joseph Theatre Company, York, February 9 to 12, 7.30pm and 2.30pm Saturday matinee

IN the coastal town of Folkestone, Arthur Kipps knows there is more to life than his demanding but unrewarding job as an apprentice draper.

When he suddenly inherits a fortune, Kipps is thrown into a world of upper-class soirées and strict rules of etiquette that he barely understands. Torn between the affections of the kind but proper Helen and childhood sweetheart Ann, Kipps must determine whether such a simple soul can find a place in high society.

Tickets for this fundraising show for the JoRo are on sale on 01904 501935 or at josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.

Giovanni Pernice: This is him in This Is Me after his Strictly Come Dancing triumph

Strictly winner comes dancing: Giovanni Pernice: This Is Me, York Barbican, March 9, 7.30pm

GLITTER ball still gleaming, Giovanni Pernice will take to the road on his rescheduled tour after winning Strictly Come Dancing as the professional partner to ground-breaking deaf EastEnders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis.

The Italian dance stallion will be joined by his cast of professional dancers for This Is Me, his homage to the music and dances that have inspired Pernice’s career, from a competition dancer to being a mainstay of the gushing BBC show.

“Expect all of your favourite Ballroom and Latin dances and more,” says Giovanni. Tickets remain valid from the original date of June 11 2020. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.

The Script: Returning to Scarborough Open Air Theatre in July

Off to the East Coast part one: The Script, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, July 14

IRISH rock band The Script topped the album charts for a sixth time in October with their greatest hits collection Tales From The Script, matching the feats of Arctic Monkeys, Pink Floyd and Radiohead.

Those songs can be heard live next summer when lead vocalist and keyboardist Danny O’Donoghue, guitarist Mark Sheehan and drummer Glen Power return to Scarborough Open Air Theatre for the first time since June 2018.

Formed in Dublin in 2007, The Script have sold more than 30 million records, chalking up hits with We Cry, The Man Who Can’t Be Moved, For The First Time, Hall Of Fame and Superheroes. Box office: scarboroughopenairtheatre.com.

Jane McDonald: Leading the line-up at Yorkshire’s Platinum Jubilee Concert at Scarborough Open Air Theatre

Off to the East Coast part two: Jane McDonald and special guests, Yorkshire’s Platinum Jubilee Concert, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, June 4

WAKEFIELD singing star Jane McDonald will top the bill at next summer’s Scarborough celebration of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. A host of special guests will be added.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be headlining this very special concert, and where better to be holding such a brilliant event than in Yorkshire,” she says. “Everyone knows I’m a proud Yorkshire lass, so it will be so thrilling to walk on to stage in Scarborough for these celebrations.” Box office: scarboroughopenairtheatre.com.

Paul Hollywood will pour some sugar on Harrogate Convention Centre in October

The Great British Baker gets cooking: Paul Hollywood Live, Harrogate Convention Centre, October 23

GREAT British Bake Off judge, celebrity chef and cookbook author Paul Hollywood promises live demonstrations, baking tasks, sugar-coated secrets and special surprises in next autumn’s tour.

Visiting 18 cities and towns, including Harrogate (October 23) and Sheffield City Hall (November 1), Wallasey-born baker’s son Hollywood, 55, will work from a fully equipped on-stage kitchen, sharing his tricks of the trade. Tickets for a slice of Hollywood action are on sale at cuffeandtaylor.com.