HENRY VIII’s vengeful wives are not the only show in town. Charles Hutchinson finds alternatives aplenty.
Don’t lose your head over this but…SIX The Musical has sold out at Grand Opera House, York, October 11 to 16. 8pm, Tuesday to Thursday; 6pm and 8.30pm, Friday; 5pm and 8pm, Saturday; 3pm, Sunday
DIVORCED, beheaded, scuppered. Those without a ticket for York’s hottest theatre show of the autumn are too late. Not one seat, even with a restricted view, is still available for Toby Marlow and Lucy Marlow’s irreverent historical musical romp that began as a Cambridge University show at the Edinburgh Fringe.
Welcome to their Queendom where Tudor queens turn into pop princesses as the six wives of Henry VIII take to the mic to tell their tales, remixing 500 years of heartbreak into a 75-minute celebration of 21st-century girl power.
Take your pick at York Barbican: Uriah Heep, tomorrow, 8pm; Tom Chaplin, Tuesday, 8pm; Will Young: 20 Years Tour, Thursday, 7.30pm; Boyzlife, Friday, 7.30pm
SPOILT for choice at York Barbican in a busy, busy week. British rock titans Uriah Heep’s 50th Anniversary Tour is now taking place in their 52nd year after playing 4,000 shows in 60 countries. Keane frontman Tom Chaplin showcases September’s release of his second solo album, Midpoint, exploring a part of life that everyone goes through: midlife.
On the pop front, singer, radio presenter, actor and writer Will Young marks two decades since his Pop Idol blossoming. No sooner have Boyzlife performed to 20,000 people at the Yorkshire Balloon Fiesta on Knavesmire than their Old School Tour sends the boy band duo of Boyzone’s Keith Duffy and Westlife’s Brian McFadden back to York. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.
Toasting the trailblazers: A Celebration Of Gilbert & Sullivan, Grand Opera House, York, tonight, 7.30pm
A 26-piece orchestra and soloists perform favourites from The Mikado, The Pirates Of Penzance and HMS Pinafore, complemented by less familiar gems in a glorious night at the light opera.
Taking part will be singers from Opera North, English National Opera, Scottish Opera, Welsh National Opera, Carl Rosa and D’Oyly Carte, such as Alexander Robin Baker, Rebecca Bottone, Barry Clark, Siân Dicker, Yvonne Howard, Judith Le Breuilly, Timothy Nelson and Matthew Siveter. Box office: 0844 8717615 or atgtickets.com/York.
House music but not as you know it: Bongo’s Bingo, York Barbican, tonight; doors, 6pm; last entry, 7:30pm; first game of bingo, 8pm
MAKING its York debut only a stone’s throw from the demolished Mecca Bingo, Bongo’s Bingo “rejuvenates a quintessentially quaint British pastime with an immersive live show featuring rave rounds, nostalgia-soaked revelry, dance-offs, audience participation and crazy prizes in a night of pure and unadulterated escapism”.
Looking for a full house, promoter Jonny Bongo promises magic and music, mischief and mayhem in a bingo rave experience. Box office: bongosbingo.co.uk or yorkbarbican.co.uk.
Dance pioneers of the week: Ballet Black, Say It Loud & Black Sun, York Theatre Royal, Tuesday, 7.30pm
CELEBRATING their 20th anniversary, Black Ballet present two new works on tour. Choreographed and directed by founder and artistic director Cassa Pancho and company artists, Say It Loud charts this pioneering company’s progress, from the uncomfortable reasons behind its existence to the frenetic, creative energy that makes it such a necessary part of the British ballet industry.
South African choreographer Gregory Maqoma’s Black Sun, danced to an original score by Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante, extracts energy from the sun and the moon giving rise to descendants of ancestors. These forces only meet to blacken, allowing us to draw from their powers as we prepare for life after life. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.
Bringing death to life: Dr Richard Shepherd, Unnatural Causes theatre tour, York Theatre Royal, Thursday; Leeds City Varieties Music Hall, Friday, both 7.30pm
MEET Dr Richard Shepherd, a forensic pathologist who has solved the mystery of sudden and unexplained deaths aplenty, performed 23,000 autopsies and handled such cases the Hungerford Massacre, the Princess Diana inquiry and 9/11.
In Unnatural Causes, he not only tells the story of the cases and bodies that have haunted him the most, but also reflects on how to live a life steeped in death. Box office: York, 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk; Leeds, 0113 243 0808 or leedsheritagetheatres.co.uk
Festival of the week: Kaizen Arts Agency, United by Design and Dogeatcog unite for York Design Week 2022, Make It Work, October 13 to 17
YORK Design Week turns the spotlight on projects, organisations and people who are breaking and bending rules to create a fairer society, inviting you to explore how we can come together to “Make It Work”. “Let’s find creative and practical solutions to complex problems through collaboration, performance, and play,” say the organisers.
“The idea is to positively shift conversation and behaviour around what design means and how it can offer innovative solutions to knotty problems. Our approach is open, accessible, and seeks to provide space for participants to experience unexpected perspectives and express their own voice.” Full details can be found at: yorkdesignweek.com.
120 years and still going strong: York Musical Theatre Company in A Musical Celebration, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, Thursday and Friday, 7,30pm
YORK Musical Theatre Company’s 120th anniversary will be marked with two evenings of songs from past productions such as West Side Story, Oklahoma, Guys & Dolls, Annie, Acorn Antiques, Jekyll & Hyde, Jesus Christ Superstar and The Pirates Of Penzance, the company’s first show in April 1903.
Company members combine with guest solo artists in a celebratory production directed by John Atkin. Founded in 1902 as York Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society, York’s longest established amateur theatre company changed its name in its centenary year. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.
What did the Romans ever do for us? Badapple Theatre in The Frozen Roman, on tour until November 13
GREEN Hammerton’s theatre-on-your-doorstep proponents Badapple Theatre take to the road this autumn with three actors new to the company: Zach Atkinson, Andrew Purcell and Ellen Carnazza.
In this revival of Kate Bramley’s play, they came, they saw, they built a wall, they went away again….or did they? When hapless villagers try to prevent a housing development being built in their midst, could the discovery of a burial site throw them a lifeline? Expect twists, turns and Latin puns as the situation in the village goes “ballisticus maximus”. For tour details, go to: badappletheatre.co.uk.
Looking ahead: Billy Ocean, The Very Best Of Billy Ocean Tour, Harrogate Convention Centre, March 31 2023
BILLY Ocean will perform a hand-picked set of greatest hits and fan favourites on his 21-date tour next spring.
The Trinidad and Tobago-born British R&B singer, 72, has notched 30 million worldwide record sales and top ten singles on both sides of the Atlantic, such as Love Really Hurts Without You, Red Light Spells Danger, Caribbean Queen (No More Love On The Run), When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going, There’ll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry) and Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car. The tour also takes in Sheffield City Hall on April 6. Box office: harrogatetheatre.co.uk; sheffieldcityhall.co.uk.