More Things To Do in York and beyond when saying Yes to a love of food and music. Hutch’s List No. 22, from The Press

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

FOOD for thought on the arts and culture front, from street cookery to dance, trailblazing women to Drawsome! artists and musicians, prog-rock and folk greats to coastal Dexys, as Charles Hutchinson reports.

Flavour of the week: Malton Spring Food Lovers Festival, today, from 9am; tomorrow and Bank Holiday Monday, from 10am

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

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

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

Exhibition launch of the week; Trailblazers of the Bar Convent, Bar Convent Living Heritage Centre, Blossom Street, York, opening today

THE Trailblazers of the Bar Convent audio trail focuses on uncovering the stories of key characters from the history of the oldest surviving Catholic convent in Great Britain.

Among them are foundress Mary Ward, who believed that girls deserved an equal education to boys; Mother Superior Ann Aspinal, who determined to build a secret chapel totally hidden from the outside world, and Sister Gregory Kirkus, who set up the convent’s first ever museum. Tickets: barconvent.co.uk.

What a hoot: Gemma Curry and her owl puppet in Hoglets Theatre’s Wood Owl And The Box Of Wonders

Pre-festival show of the week: Hoglets Theatre in Wood Owl And The Box Of Wonders, Fountains Mill, Fountains Abbey, near Ripon, tomorrow, 11am and 2pm

IN an Early Bird event for the 2024 Ripon Theatre Festival, York company Hoglets Theatre presents director Gemma Curry’s solo show Wood Owl And The Box Of Wonders for age three upwards.

A lonely little owl wants nothing more than to fly into the night and join his friends, but how can he when he is made from wood in Gemma’s magical half-term journey of singing owls, fantasy worlds, friendship and an age-old message about love?  The 40-minute show featuring beautiful handmade puppets and original music will be complemented by an optional puppet-making activity. Box office: ripontheatrefestival.org.

Lesley Ann Eden and her York School of Dance and Drama pupils: Presenting Pinocchio And Ponchetta at Joseph Rowntree Theatre. Picture: Nigel Holland

Dance show of the week: York School of Dance and Drama in Pinocchio And Ponchetta, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, tomorrow, 6.30pm

YORK choreographer and dance teacher Lesley Anne Eden presents her 50th anniversary York School of Dance and Drama show with a company ranging in age from six to 70.

Pinocchio And Ponchetta is Lesley’s take on the old story of Pinocchio and his sister, “full of fabulous dancing and great fun for all the family”, with the promise of her trademark quirky props. Box office: 01904 501935 or josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.

The cover artwork for York Barbican-bound Richard Thompson’s new album, Ship To Shore

Folk luminary of the week: Richard Thompson, York Barbican, May 27, doors 7pm

GUITARIST, singer and songwriter Richard Thompson showcases his 20th solo album – and first since 2018’s 13 Rivers – ahead of the May 31 release of Ship To Shore on New West Records.

Notting Hill-born Thompson, 75, who made his name with folk rock pioneers Fairport Convention before forming his Seventies’ duo with Linda Thompson, will be performing with a full band. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.

Yes: Playing York Barbican on Tuesday

Rock gig of the week: Yes, The Classic Tales Of Yes Tour 2024, York Barbican, May 28, 8pm

PROG-ROCK legends Yes perform iconic songs from more than 50 years of groundbreaking music-making, definitely including a 20-minute medley from their 1973 album Tales From Topographic Oceans and “possibly” from latest album Mirror To The Sky too.

In the line-up will be Steve Howe, guitars and vocals, Geoff Downes, keyboards, Billy Sherwood, bass guitar and vocals, Jon Davison, vocals and acoustic guitar, and Jay Schellen, drums. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk. 

Kathryn Williams and Withered Hand: Teaming up at Selby Town Hall

Duo of the week: Kathryn Williams & Withered Hand, Selby Town Hall, May 29, 8pm

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

They first met in 2019 in an Edinburgh Book Festival spiegeltent, prompting Williams to tweet Willson: “What kind of songs would we write together and what would they sound like?” The results can be heard on the album Willson Williams, released on One Little Independent Records on April 26, and in concert in Selby (and Otley Courthouse on May 30). Box office: selbytownhall.co.uk.

Dexys: Heading to the Yorkshire coast on May 30

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

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

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

Bonneville (York singer-songwriter Bonnie Milnes) promotes her debut album New Lady at Drawsome! 2024 gig at The Crescent

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

DRAWSOME! combines exhibitions and workshops with live music each evening. York multi-disciplinary artist Rowan Jackson will be exhibiting at Angel on the Green, Bishopthorpe Road, from 7pm on May 27; Things Found and Made at The Golden Ball, Cromwell Road, from May 31 and Greek-Australian graphic novel artist Con Chrisoulis for one night only at Young Thugs Studio, Ovington Terrace, on May 31 from 7pm, when Ichigo Evil, Plantfood, Mickey Nomimono and Drooligan will be performing.

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

On June 2, the Arts Barge presents Dana Gavanski, Kindelan, Moongate and We Are Hannah, after three 11am to 2pm workshops: Poem Fishing with Becca Drake and Jessie Summerhayes, Adana Letterpress and lino printing, and Screenprinting with Kai West. Drawsome! is run in aid of Bowel Cancer UK.

The poster for Drawsome! 2024

In Focus: Showstopper! The Improvised Musical, York Theatre Royal, May 29 and 30, 7,30pm; The Showstopper Kids Show, May 30, 2pm

SHOWSTOPPER! The Improvised Musical heads back to York Theatre Royal in an expanded format with a children’s version of the spontaneous musical comedy for half-term week.

The Showstoppers have 14 years behind them at the Edinburgh Fringe, to go with a BBC Radio 4 series, a West End run and an 2016 Olivier Award for their blend of comedy, musical theatre and, wait for it, spontaneity. 

Each Showstopper show is created live on the spot from audience suggestions, resulting in a new musical comedy at each performance, which is then named by the audience. 

The cast takes suggestions for the setting, genre and style to transform them into an all-singing, all-dancing production with humorous results. Anything can be expected at a Showstopper show, so if the audience fancies Hamilton in a hospital or Sondheim in the Sahara, The Showstoppers will sing it.

Thursday’s Showstopper Kids Show is for children of all ages, who will see their own ideas being turned into a fully improvised musical right in front of them. 

The children will decide where the story is set, what happens next and who the characters are. The Showstoppers will create whatever is suggested, so the characters could be anyone, such as the children’s favourite TV show characters, and the show could be set under the sea or in a doll’s house. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

REVIEW: Paul Rhodes’s verdict on Katherine Priddy, The Crescent, York

Katherine Priddy at The Crescent: “You simply believe her and that’s a key part of the magic,” says revewer Paul Rhodes. Picture: Paul Rhodes

CERTAIN artists have ‘it’, an intangible something that allows their music to escape whatever genre they inhabit and reach a wider audience. Katherine Priddy is ostensibly a folk musician but her winning voice and modern takes on timeless themes of love, kin and connection see her poised for much greater success.

Performing as a trio, Priddy benefited from having two very talented performers on her side:  George Boomsma on guitars (from Northallerton, by way of Holland and Birmingham) and Harry Fausing Smith on violin and guitar.

Boomsma teed her set up perfectly with his winning opening set. Precise in appearance, style and delivery, his mostly melancholy songs were capped off with a dry sense of humour that we readily embraced. He’d already sold his stash of Promise Of Spring albums, so his warm reception was  clearly not a one-off. Something of a whistling wizard it turns out too.

Northallerton musician George Boomsma performing his solo set. Picture: Paul Rhodes

They have all known each other and played together for years, and this rapport was obvious. Boomsma was alongside Priddy when she last played in York at the National Centre for Early Music in 2022.

All three sang, between them creating an excellent version of the soundscapes crafted on Priddy’s sophomore album, The Pendulum Swing. While note perfect (as the tour nears its end), it never felt slick or rote.

The Pendulum Swing leaves behind the classical interests of her debut, rooting itself in home and family. First House On The Left memorialises a normal home while A Boat On The River takes her dream of living on a houseboat to elegiac heights. With her travelling lifestyle, you wonder if that boat is probably always around the next bend.

Katherine Priddy: “Winning voice and modern takes on timeless themes of love, kin and connection”

Priddy is careful not to get too sentimental. A highlight was her ode to tipsy 3AM calls to an ex- partner, Anyway, Always. Played as though leaving an answerphone message, her poise was as impeccable as ever, with no hint whatsoever of any slurring!

There was enough variation to keep us on our toes. Does She Hold You Like I Did and Letters From A Travelling Man kicked up the tempo, with lovely melodies to carry them.

The beating heart of the set was of course Priddy herself, a Warwickshire native with age-old preoccupations. Like Kate Rusby, she can connect with an audience, not so much with humour but with openness and sharing just enough to draw you in. You simply believe her and that’s a key part of the magic.

Harry Fausing Smith on violin, performing in Katherine Priddy’s trio at The Crescent. Picture: Paul Rhodes

The seated, sold-out Crescent audience were in her thrall from the beginning, each song met with loud applause and more polite exhales of “lovely”and “wonderful”.

As the trio left the stage, following the well-chosen Ready To Go, like the May blossom she was gone. Fortunately, there is no need for a 12-month wait, as Priddy is playing at July’s Deer Shed Festival where she should go down a storm (probably in a storm).

Review by Paul Rhodes, 15/5/2024

Katherine Priddy plays Deer Shed Festival, Baldersby Park, Topcliffe, near Thirsk, on July 26.  Box office: deershedfestival.com

Until next time: Katherine Priddy, George Boomsma and Harry Fausing Smith take a bow at the close of their gig at The Crescent, York. Deer Shed Festival awaits in July. Picture: Paul Rhodes

News just in….

KATHERINE Priddy will play Pocklington Arts Centre on Wednesday, February 26 2025 on her final run of The Pendulum Swing Tour. Tickets for the 8pm show are on sale at pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk or on 01759 301 547.

REVIEW: York Musical Theatre Company in The Wizard Of Oz, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, until Saturday ****

Toto puppeteer Adam Gill, left, Rachel Higgs’s Scarecrow, Zander Fick’s Tin Man, Sadie Sorensen’s Dorothy and Daan Janssen’s Lion in York Musical Theatre Company’s The Wizard Of Oz. Picture: Lucy Baines, Joy Photography

BY day, Sadie Sorensen teaches A-level Biology. By night and weekend matinee this week, she is “very excited to take on the bucket list role” of Dorothy in only her second show for York Musical Theatre Company (YMTC).

She is relatively new to the York am-dram scene, having relocated here two years ago, but brings bags of experience, having performed in many shows in her Hull past.

What a good talent spot by director and choreographer Kathryn Addison, who is rewarded with a super lead performance by Sorensen.

At 26, she is ten years older than Judy Garland’s iconic Dorothy Gale in Victor Fleming’s 1939 film – much older too than Eleanor Leaper’s Dorothy, aged 13, in YMTC’s 2010 production at York Theatre Royal – but she utterly evokes the tearaway teenager. Pitch of Kansas voice, spot on. Her singing, both powerful and emotive, especially in Over The Rainbow.

Addison’s cast has plenty more hits too, not least casting York stage stalwart Jeanette Hunter into the dark side for the first time as the mean-spirited Miss Gulch and the grouchy villain, the Wicked Witch of the West. Hunter is as entertaining as ever, such a good sport as the baddie.

Fellow “veteran” Martyn Hunter is on good form too, both as the kindly Professor Marvel and the “humbug” Wizard of Oz; Ben Caswell’s Emerald City Guard is full of comic panache; Elizabeth Gardner glitters as Glinda and Marlena Kellie’s Aunty Em is suitably homely.

Full of green energy: Ben Caswell’s Emerald City Guard. Picture: Lucy Baines, Joy Photography

Addison’s cast has an international flavour too. Zander Fick, classically trained in opera and jazz singing, moved to York from South Africa in April 2023 and now follows his scene-stealing Chef Louis in York Light Opera Company’s The Little Mermaid with a Tin Man replete with squeaky, robotic movement and, ironically, plenty of heart.

Better still is Dutch-born Daan Janssen, who honed his musical theatre-inspired drag performing skills while studying for his PhD in Germany and now turns in a terrific Lion. From his arch American accent to his timid yet proud demeanour and supreme singing voice, so deep and playful, he is a roaring success.

JoRo regular Rachel Higgs is an appealing Scarecrow and the Yellow Brick Road travelling troupe is completed by canine puppeteer Adam Gill’s ever attentive Toto in a show with two Totos for the price of one. Cast member Helen Barugh’s dog Daisy takes the role in the opening and closing Kansas farmhouse scenes; Elanor Kitchen’s puppet in Oz.

Addison’s choreography makes splendid use of both the adult ensemble and young Munchkins, while Helen Barugh, Katie Crossley and Kirsty Farrow’s Trees and Rob Davies and Caswell’s Crows have their moments too.

Musical director John Atkin’s ten-piece orchestra feels at home in all those familiar Harold Arlen and E Y Harburg songs, the playing light on its feet, the energy infectious. Julie Fisher’s costumes are a delight, for principals, ensemble and children alike, combining with UK Productions’ set design, Ollie Nash’s sound and Nick Lay’s lighting to complete a high- quality production in the merry old land of Oz. Time to follow the Yellow Brick Road to the box office.  

York Musical Theatre Company in The Wiard Of Oz, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, until Saturday, 7.30pm plus 2.30pm Saturday matinee. Box office: 01904 501935 or josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.

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

Grace Petrie: Converting to comedy

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game Of Thrones actor Anton Lesser celebrates the life and work of Laurie Lee in Red Sky At Sunrise at Grand Opera House

Anton Lesser performing Red Sky At Sunrise, Laurie Lee in Words and Music, with the musicians of Orchestra of The Swan

AUTHOR Laurie Lee’s extraordinary story will be told in a weave of music and his own words in Red Sky At Sunrise at the Grand Opera House, York, on Sunday night.

Actors Anton Lesser (Endeavour’s Chief Superintendent Bright and Game Of Thrones’ villainous advisor Qyburn) and Charlie Hamblett (from Killing Eve, Ghosts and The Burning Girls) play the role of Laurie Lee, older and younger, along with a rich array of other characters.

Together, they celebrate Lee’s engaging humour, as well as portraying his darker side, in a performance that has startling resonance with modern events. 

Red Sky At Sunrise follows Stroud-born Laurie Lee through his much-loved trilogy, Cider With Rosie, As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning and A Moment Of War, when Lee famously walked out of the Slad valley one midsummer morning and ended up fighting with the International Brigades against General Franco’s forces in the Spanish Civil War.

“It has been a joy to discover more of Laurie Lee’s sublime writing,” says Anton. “In many ways, his account of what was happening in Spain in the 1930s is prescient of what is playing out now in Europe. 

“There’s a heartbreaking moment when Lee writes: ‘Did we know, as we stood there, our clenched fists raised high, and scarcely a gun between three of us, that we had ranged against us the rising military power of Europe, and the deadly cynicism of Russia? No, we didn’t. We had yet to learn that sheer idealism never stopped a tank’.”

Devised as a show by Judy Reaves, the text by Lee has been adapted by Deirdre Shields, to be accompanied by David Le Page’s musical programme for Orchestra Of The Swan.

His programme weaves around Lee’s writing, from the lush Gloucestershire countryside that Lee made famous in Cider With Rosie, to the dry landscapes of Spain, via the music of Vaughan Williams, Walton, Holst, Elgar, Britten, Grainger, Albeniz, Turina and De Falla. Guitarist Mark Ashford will be performing Asturias, Sevilla and Spanish Romance too.

Charlie Hamblett in the role of Laurie Lee, the younger

“To be asked to read great writing, and to read it aloud is a privilege,” says Anton. “To read it aloud supported by magnificent music is something more – I would call it a blessing. The words and the music combine, hopefully deepening and enriching the experience for both audience and practitioners.

“The audience can expect to be taken on a journey – which reflects Laurie’s actual travels from rural Gloucestershire to Spain, but also his inner journey from boyhood to maturity – all in the company of great musicians playing sublime music.”

Recalling Red Sky At Sunrise’s pathway to the stage, Anton says: “When Judy and Deidre were adapting the books for a performance piece, I just remember someone calling me up, saying ‘would you be interested and do you like Laurie Lee?’.

‘I had to say that to my shame I’d never read any Laurie Lee, but I then looked at Cider With Rosie and thought, ‘this is so beautiful’. I asked to be sent what Judy and Deidre had put together and then the first draft.”

Anton had already done Wolf Hall Live, a combination of words and Debbie Wiseman’s music, and events with the Trio Carducci, where he reads letters to accompany the music of composers such as Beethoven and Shostakovich.

Anton met up with producer Judy Reaves and musician David Le Page at Laurie Lee’s pub [The Woolpack Inn] in Slad, in Gloucestershire, whereupon Red Sky At Sunrise was first performed in 2022.

“The reaction has been fantastic because a lot of people, like me, assume they know Laurie Lee’s work or think, ‘I read that at school’, but then find they don’t know the full story behind the books that chart his journey to Spain to join the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War,” says Anton.

David Le Page: Leading Orchestra of The Swan in Red Sky At Sunrise. Picture: Lucy Barriball

“Red Sky At Sunrise is a really romantic, powerful record of that time, a period before motorised transport was around, where you travelled by horse in his village. So Laurie Lee goes from this bucolic, idyllic childhood to end up in this violent war and then comes back to the village, saying ‘it’s where I want to end my days’.”

Among the highlights so far for Anton have been a sold-out performance at the RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon, in May 2023 and an hour-long version at the Chelsea Arts Club, Lee’s “home from home”, attended by Lee’s daughter in April.

“We tweak it a little the more we do it, spotting things that we think will make it better, both the words and the music, and we’ve added projections too,” he says.

“We’re continually layering the evening with more dimensions, not just the words and the music, but to show Lee’s growth as a human being, such as the implications of him going to Spain as a young man, learning a little bit to play the violin, which sustains him en route and then becomes a character in the performance.”

He cherishes each chance to perform Red Sky At Sunrise, feeling a “sweet resonance” with Laurie Lee’s writing. “You just feel so privileged, so blessed, because great text forces you to come up and meet it full on and give of your best.

“As an actor I’ve worked with some great writers but some who are not so great too, where you have to make it more authentic, but with Laurie Lee, you think, ‘I must up my game’, and I just feel inspired and very lucky.”  

Red Sky At Sunrise, Laurie Lee in Words and Music, starring Anton Lesser, Charlie Hamblett and Orchestra Of The Swan, Grand Opera House, York, Sunday, May 26, 7.30pm. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kirkby Soul: Playing outdoors at Hemsley Walled Garden on Saturday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dexys: Showcasing The Feminine Divine at Scarborough Spa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beverley & East Riding Early Musical Festival: Who is taking part in concerts, workshops and talks from May 24 to 26?

Beverley & East Riding Early Music Festival director Delma Tomlin

THE 2024 Beverley & East Riding Early Music Festival opens on Friday with a 7.30pm concert by rising stars El Gran Teatro del Mundo, sponsored by the Embassy of Spain.

Based in Spain, this young instrumental group captivated audiences on their British tour last year and will be visiting Beverley for the first time to perform Life Is A Dream (La Vida Es Sueño) at St Mary’s Church.

Undertaking a magical musical journey through the night, these specialists in French music from the time of the Sun King bring to life the operas of the Grand Siècle with instrumental interpretations of scenes where darkness will be the best ally of love and sleep, death’s best friend.

The National Centre for Early Music (NCEM), the charitable York organisation behind the festival, welcomes the new sponsorship. Director Delma Tomlin said: “This is the first time we have received sponsorship from the Embassy of Spain, in London, and we are absolutely delighted to be working together to promote Spanish music through the ages.

“The Embassy’s generous financial support – supporting the travel costs from Spain – makes all the difference and we are thrilled to be able to welcome such fabulous musicians to perform here in the East Riding of Yorkshire.”

José María Robles Fraga, Minister Counsellor for Cultural and Scientific Affairs at the Embassy of Spain, said: “This newly stablished partnership provides a unique opportunity for Spanish musicians performing in the UK.

“We are very proud to support this initiative and we are confident that audiences at the Beverley Early Music Festival will enjoy the immense talent of this Spanish ensemble”.

Running from May 24 to 26, this year’s festival takes the theme of Threads of Gold, weaving together stories of Beverley’s remarkable history through music and song, combined with a distinctly Spanish twist.

El Grano Teatro del Mundo: Performing Life Is A Dream (La Vida Es Sueño) at St Mary’s Church on Friday

“This year we are threading together music, history and song – designed to entertain, to engage and to intrigue,” says Delma.  “There’s a wealth of music and drama in store and as always, there are plenty of opportunities to make music as well as enjoy it – so we hope to weave you a tapestry of delights for 2024.”

Further concerts with a Spanish theme include Nigel Short directing the award-winning choir Tenebrae in their acclaimed interpretation of Tomás Luis de Victoria’s Requiem Mass for six voices – a masterpiece of the Spanish Golden Age – at Beverley Minster on Saturday at 7.30pm.

In the festival finale on Sunday at 7.30pm at East Riding Theatre, Beverley, The Telling present their heart rend(er)ing music theatre show Into The Melting Pot.

Written by Clare Norburn and directed by Nicholas Renton, it tells the stories of the women of medieval Spain torn apart by religious intolerance, performed by actor Suzanne Ahmet as Blanca, Patience Tomlinson as Queen Isabella (offstage voice), singers Clare Norburn and Avital Raz, Emily Baines, recorders and doucaine, Giles Lewin, oud, and Jean Kelly, harp & percussion.

Music and theatre collide in this fully staged show that heads back to 1492 Spain for a story of migration, community and conflict. At twilight on her final night in Seville, a Jewish woman lights the lamps. She is being forced to leave Spain and set sail for an uncertain future.

Her tale echoes down the ages to the personal stories of people of all faiths and backgrounds affected by politics and war today, as she tunes into a community of stories told by Jewish, Christian and Muslim women, soundtracked by plaintive Sephardic songs and lively Spanish medieval music.

The newly appointed BBC Radio 3 New Generation Baroque Ensemble Augelletti make their sold-out Beverley festival debut with A Curious Mind at St Nicholas Church, Beverley, on Saturday at 10am.

Focusing their musical lens on an ever curious and well-connected York clergyman and musician, Edward Finch, Ensemble Augelletti tell his singular story and perform some of his compositions and arrangements alongside music by his friends Purcell, Handel and Geminiani.

On Saturday, harpsichordist Steven Devine returns to Beverley with virtuoso violinist Bojan Čičić in a 4pm programme of Handel Sonatas at Toll Gavel United Church, melding GF Handel’s violin sonatas with those of the Italian-born violinist and composer Giovanni Stefano Carbonelli.

Tenebrae: Performing Tomás Luis de Victoria’s Requiem Mass at Beverley Minster on Saturday. Picture: Sim Canetty-Clarke

In A World Of Inspiration at Toll Gavel United Church on Sunday, the London Handel Players present a 3pm programme of Baroque works from Baroque composers from Poland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, the Canary Islands, India and the British Isles.

The festival’s opening illustrated lecture by Dr John Jenkins at St Mary’s Church on Friday at 4pm has sold out. Under the title of “…and oil dripped from the golden tomb”, the University of York co-director of the Centre for Pilgrimage Studies and Fellow of the Royal Historical Society recalls a Medieval Pilgrimage to St John of Beverley.

From his death in 721, to the destruction of his golden shrine in Beverley Minster in 1541, John of Beverley was the most important saint in the East Riding, prompting pilgrims to flock to his golden and bejewelled shrine from near and far.

By the close of the Middle Ages, thanks to the miracles he worked for the kings of England, St John had become a saint of national importance on a par with St George. Dr Jenkins’s lecture reveals why pilgrims came, or in some cases were forced to come, to Beverley, and the unique and wonderous spectacle the Minster canons provided for medieval visitors.

In the festival’s second lecture, at Toll Gavel United Church Hall, on Sunday at 4.30pm, Professor Melanie Giles, from the University of Manchester, reveals more of the ancient history of the East Riding in Ancient Threads and Enchanted Garments: Stories of preserved textiles from Iron Age and Roman Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

Ancient textiles, made of both vegetal and wool fibres, are rarely preserved in archaeological contexts because of their organic and fragile nature. In this talk, Prof Giles shares the story of some rare examples, ranging from the edge of Iron Age cloaks, bags and containers from Arras burials in East Yorkshire to threads and garments found with bog bodies dating to the early Roman period in North Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

Instrumentalists are invited to The Birth Of The Orchestra, a day-long workshop led by members of El Gran Teatro del Mundo at Hexagan Music Centre, Beverley, on Saturday at 9.30m.

This workshop on Baroque orchestral performance practice, based on the writings of George Muffat with additional music by Corelli and Lully, will be directed by Julio Caballero in the company of fellow El Gran Teatro del Mundo musicians Miriam Jorde, oboe, Bruno Hurtadoviol, cello, and Andrés Murillo, violin.

Ensemble Augelletti: Making Beverley & East Riding Early Music Festival on Saturday morning

The workshop is open to players of Baroque oboe, traverso, bassoon, recorder and string players with Baroque instruments or modern instruments with gut strings and Baroque bows. Music will be provided and is available to download on the NCEM website, ncem.co.uk, for private practice before the event. Participants should be confident sight-readers.

Singers have two workshop options: festival debutants SongPath’s uplifting blend of walking, talking and music-making, setting off from Hengate Memorial Gardens on Saturday at 1.30pm to 3pm, followed by Tenebrae’s choral workshop, Music of the Spanish Golden Age, at Hexagan Music Centre on Sunday at 9.30am.

Contralto Jess Dandy, mezzo-soprano Joanne Harries and recorder player Olwen Foulkes lead a 90-minute singing walk around Beverley in Songpath, inviting participants to “immerse yourself in an outdoor experience that transcends conventional concerts, exploring mental well-being through the transformative power of music and nature”. Wear suitable clothing and footwear and bring a brolly, they advise.

Choral singers are invited to join Tenebrae’s experienced workshop leader Joseph Edwardsto work on some of the repertoire from Saturday’s n their programme. Music for the day includes Alfonso Lobo’s Versa est in Luctum and Tomás Luis de Victoria’s Taedet Anima and Astiterunt Reges Terrae.

The workshop is open to all voices with some sight-singing experience. The afternoon concludes with a short informal performance of music studied during the day, open to all, free of charge.

Beverley & East Riding Early Music Festival runs from May 24 to 26. Box office: 01904 658338,  ncem.co.uk or in person from Beverley Tourist Information Centre, Customer Service Centre, Cross Street, Beverley. Full programme: ncem.co.uk/whats-on/bemf.

Beverley & East Riding Early Music Festival: the back story

ESTABLISHED in 1988 to celebrate Beverley’s historic association with musicians from medieval times.

Blessed by a wealth of ecclesiastical buildings and musical carvings in stone and wood in both Beverley Minster and St Mary’s Church, making it the “perfect place for a festival of early music”.

Supported by East Riding of Yorkshire Council and administered by National Centre for Early Music, York.

Annual festival combines concerts, illustrated lectures and associated workshops.

York Musical Theatre Company ready to follow the Yellow Brick Road at the JoRo

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

Following the Yellow Brick Road at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, will be Sadie Sorensen’s Dorothy, Rachel Higgs’s Scarecrow, Zander Fick’s Tin Man and Daan Janssen’s Lion, while further principal roles will go to Liz Gardner as Glinda, Ben Caswell as the Guard, Rob Davies as Uncle Henry, Marlena Kellie as Auntie Em and Martin Hunter as the Wizard.

The production team of director and choreographer Kathryn Addison and musical director John Atkin promises a dazzling production of L Frank Baum’s story with music and lyrics by Harold Arlen and E Y Harburg.

In the ensemble will be Adam Gill, Katie Greene, Katy Barrow, Jo Gamble, Sue Coward, Katie Crossley, Helen Barugh, Kirsty Farrow and Iris Van Hout.

Jeanette Hunter’s Wicked Witch, right, in rehearsal with Daan Janssen’s Lion, left, Rachel Higgs’s Scarecrow, Zander Fick’s Tin Man, Sadie Sorensen’s Dorothy and Toto puppeteer Adam Gill

The delightful Munchkins will be played by the children’s cast of Amelia Berry, Sophie Blackmore, Anna Cook, Emilia Davenport, Olivia Dobson Lopez, Matilda Down, Erica Fletcher, Sucy Innes, Izzy Jackson, Eva Lofthouse, Lucas Macleod, Nia Mcvay, Edith Pickard, Matilda Rose and Ellena Sheader.

Adding to the enchantment will be Daisy the dog as Toto. Owned by cast member Helen Barugh, she brings alertness, friendliness, responsiveness and an affable nature to the part, along with an ability to interact with her fellow actors.

What’s more, audiences will be in for a delightful surprise as the show progresses. Once Dorothy and her companions reach the fantastical land of Oz, Daisy undergoes a magical transformation. From that point forward, Toto will be brought to life through the skilled, precise and charming puppetry of Adam Gill.

York Musical Theatre Company in The Wiard Of Oz, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, May 22 to 25, 7.30pm plus 2.30pm Saturday matinee. Box office: 01904 501935 or josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.

Toto meet Toto: Adam Gill’s puppet version with canine star Daisy

More Things To Do in York and beyond when the wonderful and the wicked await. Here’s Hutch’s List No. 21, from The Press

Mikron Theatre cast members Eddie Ahrens, left, Mark Emmon, Georgina Liley and Lauren Robinson: Presenting an outdoor performance of Common Ground at Scarcoft Allotments, York, on Sunday afternoon. Picture: Robling Photography

FROM land access tales to the Yellow Brick Road, wonderful words about wellies to a journey through isolation, show song heights to a soulful heaven, Charles Hutchinson follows the path to cultural discovery.

Touring play of the week: Mikron Theatre in Common Ground, Scarcroft Allotments, Scarcroft Road, York, May 19, 2pm

ON tour on narrow boat and canal, van and land until October 18, Marsden company Mikron Theatre present Common Ground, writer and lyricist Poppy Hollman’s hike through the history of land access in England, where only eight per cent of land is designated “open country”.

Under the direction of Gitika Buttoo, actor-musicians Eddie Ahrens, Georgina Liley, Lauren Robinson and Mark Emmon tell the tale of the fictional Pendale and District Ramblers as they look forward to celebrating their 50th anniversary walk, but the path has been blocked by the landowner. How will they find their way through? No reserved seating or tickets required; a “pay what you feel” collection will be taken post-show.

Harry Baker: Wonderful words by the slam champ at The Crescent

Spoken word gig of the week: Say Owt presents Harry Baker: Wonderful, The Crescent, York, May 20, 7.30pm

WORLD Poetry Slam champion Harry Baker is a poet, mathematician, stand-up comic and writer who reflects on “important stuff”, whether hope, dinosaurs or German falafel spoons, as found in his new poetry collection, Wonderful, published by Burning Eye this month.

On his 30-date Wonderful tour, the “maths-loving, TED-talking, German-speaking, battle-rapping, happy-crying, self-bio-writing unashamed human” brings his signature playfulness and poignancy to new poems about wellies, postcodes, sunflowers, sticky toffee pudding and his favourite German wheat beer. Box office: thecrescentyork.com.

Jeanette Hunter: Heading to the dark side as the Wicked Witch in York Musical Theatre Company’s The Wizard Of Oz

Musical of the week: York Musical Theatre Company in The Wizard Of Oz, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, May 22 to 25, 7.30pm plus 2.30pm Saturday matinee

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

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

Miranda Sykes: Songs of isolation, illness and recovery at Black Swan Folk Club

Folk gig of the week: Miranda Sykes, Out Of The Woods Tour, Black Swan Folk Club, Black Swan Inn, Peasholme Green, York, May 23, 7.30pm

SHOW Of Hands and Daphne’s Flight member Miranda Sykes promotes her pandemic-scarred March album Out Of The Woods in her debut Black Swan solo gig, showcasing songs that chart her journey through isolation, illness and recovery with the aim of bringing comfort after such turbulent years.

“Life is many faceted; like most people I’ve had good times and hard times,” says the Lincolnshire-born singer, double bass player and guitarist. “I’ve taken some forks in the road I shouldn’t have done and I’ve had some knocks, but it’s all part of who I am now.”  Box office: blackswanfolkclub.org.uk.

Velma Celli’s Show Queen: Celebrating the best of West End and Broadway musical theatre at York Theatre Royal. Picture: Sophie Eleanor

Cabaret celebration of the week: Velma Celli’s Show Queen, York Theatre Royal, May 23, 7.30pm

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

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

Rebecca Ferguson: Final album and tour at 37

Soul gig of the week: Rebecca Ferguson, Heaven Part II Tour, York Barbican, May 24, 7.30pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

York Beethoven Project to go ‘even bigger’ for No. 3, Eroica in September at Joseph Rowntree Theatre. Here’s how to apply

John Atkin directing the York Beethoven Project orchestra

YORK Beethoven Project will go “even bigger” for No. 3, Eroica when the Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, hosts the third event on Saturday, September 14 and an additional workshop two weeks later.

“After our first event last year it became apparent that we were going to be too big to fit the whole orchestra onto the Rowntree stage, so we’ve had to limit September 14 to a group of 42 musicians, which will still be the biggest orchestra the JoRo has hosted,” says organiser, conductor and White Rose Theatre director John Atkin.

“We’ll therefore be holding another one-day workshop for the Eroica, which is open to all on September 28. So far, we again have more than 50 musicians signed up to take part.”

For more information or to participate, click on the link below or email yorkbeethovenproject@gmail.com.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScZar8bgRoIfMdhbw1fhKizjureEwKjXrz5Gu7dZ5rWrTgBGA/viewform?usp=sf_link

The September 14 event will climax with a 7.30pm concert in two halves under the title of An Evening Of Revolutionary Music.

In the first half, the White Rose Singers will perform groundbreaking music from stage and screen under conductor John Atkin, including songs from West Side Story, Les Misérables, Carousel, James Robert Brown and Stephen Sondheim.

In the second,  the 42-piece York Beethoven Project orchestra will perform Beethoven’s “revolutionary masterpiece”, Symphony No. 3, Eroica. Tickets are on sale on 01904 501935 or at josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.

“York Beethoven Project is a unique series of concerts where we’ll perform all Beethoven’s Symphonies in order, featuring local musicians in local venues,” says John.

“After the huge success of Symphonies No. 1 and No. 2, we’re going even bigger for No.3: Eroica. Our future plans are now taking shape with bigger venues arranged for No. 4, 5 and 6 in 2025 and plans are well in place for a VERY big venue (or two ) in 2027 to host a performance of the 9th Symphony on what will be Beethoven’s 200th anniversary.”

Conductor John Atkin

Future events

Symphony No. 4 in Bb Major Op 60

Saturday, February 8 2025, York Music Education, Millthorpe School main hall.

Symphony No. 5 in C minor Op 67

Saturday, June 28 2025, St Mary the Virgin, Hemingbrough.

Symphony No. 6 in F Major Op 68 (Pastorale)

Saturday, September 27 2025, venue to be confirmed.These all will be one-day workshops, culminating in a performance from 4pm. 

Music will be distributed to players electronically well in advance. Registration for each event will open six months in advance. For more information, and to go on the mailing list, contact: yorkbeethovenproject@gmail.com