CHRISTMAS is on the way, in whatever form the Government allows you to wrap it up, but tiers will not be shed in the world of entertainment.
Charles Hutchinson picks his way through what’s on in the days ahead and in 2021 too.
Nostalgic concert of the week: Jessa Liversidge, Songbirds, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, Sunday, 7.30pm
YORK’S unstoppable force for the joy of singing, Jessa Liversidge, will present her celebration of female icons at the reopened JoRo this weekend, accompanied by pianist Malcolm Maddock.
Expect an eclectic mix of vintage pop, musical theatre and comedy from the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. “One minute I may be in full, high-energy Victoria Wood flow,” she says. “Moments later, I could be totally still, lost in a Kate Bush or Karen Carpenter song, and then I’ll go straight into theatrical mode for Sondheim’s Send In The Clowns.”
Home comfort and joy: York Guildhall Orchestra’s Lockdown Christmas Medley, on YouTube
PERFORMED by more than 50 amateur York musicians, all playing in their own home, then seamlessly stitched together for YouTube by John Guy’s technical wizardry, here comes York Guildhall Orchestra’s Christmas Medley.
Arranged by conductor Simon Wright, they keep to the Wright time as they “play together” for the first time since February’s York Barbican concert, medleying their way through Hark!, The Herald Angels Sing, Ding Dong!, Silent Night And We Wish You A Merry Christmas. View their four-minute smile at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuoW6gvkGxk.
Drive-in home for Christmas: Daisy Dukes Winter Wonderland, Elvington Airfield, near York, December 18 to 20
NOT only have Vue York at Clifton Moor and Everyman York, in Blossom Street, reopened but 2020’s socially distanced, car-contained drive-in boom hits the Christmas movie market from tomorrow too.
The apostrophe-shy Daisy Dukes Drive-in Cinema takes over Elvington Airfield for three days to show: December 18, from 12 noon, Frozen 2, Home Alone, Edward Scissorhands and Die Hard; December 19, from 12 noon, Elf, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Gremlins and Bad Santa; December 20, from 11am, The Polar Express, Home Alone 2, Batman Returns and Love Actually.
Children’s virtual show of the week outside York: Pocklington Arts Centre presents Magic Carpet Theatre in Magic Circus, from Saturday
POCKLINGTON Arts Centre is to stream Magic Carpet Theatre’s show Magic Circus from 2.30pm on December 19, available on YouTube for up to seven days.
Directed by Jon Marshall with music by Geoff Hardisty and effects by Theatrical Pyrotechnics, this fast-moving hour-long show, full of magical illusions, comedy, circus skills and puppets, tells the humorous tale of what happens to the ringmaster’s extravaganza after the artistes and elephants fail to arrive and everything has to be left in the hands of the clowns. Disaster!
Who should have been in York this week? Alan Carr: Not Again, Alan!, York Barbican, now re-scheduled
ALAN Carr, comic son of former York City footballer Graham Carr, had been booked in to perform Not Again, Alan! at York Barbican again and again this week, four nights in fact, from Wednesday to Saturday, on his first tour in four years.
Covid kicked all that into touch, but all tickets remain valid for the new dates. December 16 2020 is now in the diary for January 14 2022; December 17 for January 15 2022; December 18 for December 18 2021, and December 19 for the same day next year.
TV and radio presenter Carr will muse on the things that make his life weird and wonderful, from his star-studded wedding day to becoming an accidental anarchist; from fearing for his life at border control to becoming a reluctant farmer. “Three words spring to mind,” he says. “Not again, Alan!”
Exhibition for the winter: A Season For Giving, Fairfax House, York, running until February 7
THE Christmas installation at the Georgian home of the Terry family, Fairfax House, ironically will not be open from December 21 to January 5, so catch it before then or afterwards (Tuesdays to Sundays, 11am to 4pm).
On a festive journey through the townhouse collections, room by room, magical scene by magical scene, meet Noel Terry for a 1940s’ family Christmas, join a raucous Georgian Christmas dinner party, and much more besides. Visits must be pre-booked.
Opera North at Christmas: Whistle Stop Opera: Cinderella, ONDemand from today
OPERA North’s Whistle Stop Opera version of Cinderella was booked into the NCEM in York and Pocklington Arts Centre but Covid ruled No Show. Instead, parents and children aged five upwards can enjoy it online at home over the school holidays.
Filmed at Leeds City Varieties Music Hall, John Savournin’s magical musical production stars Marie Claire Breen as Cinderella, Amy J Payne as Prince/Stepmother and Julia Mariko Smith as Fairy Godmother, drawing on various versions of the rags-to-riches tale, such as Rossini’s La Cenerentola, Massenet’s Cendrillon, Pauline Viardot’s operetta Cendrillon and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical Cinderella. For more details on how to watch, go to operanorth.co.uk
Big-name Irish signings for York Barbican in 2021: Van Morrison, May 25 and 26, and Chris De Burgh and Band, October 15
NORTHERN Irishman Van Morrison, 75, has booked a brace of Barbican gigs for the spring; Southern Irishman Chris De Burgh, will follow him to York next autumn.
In September, Morrison launched three protest songs, one every two weeks, railing against safety measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19: Born To Be Free, As I Walked Out and No More Lockdown. Will he unmask any of them next May? Wait and see.
De Burgh & Band’s only Yorkshire date of The Legend Of Robin Hood & Other Hits tour will support his upcoming album of the same name (except for the Other Hits part, obviously).
And what about?
JUST a reminder, York has two pantomimes on the go: York Theatre Royal’s newly extended Travelling Pantomime tour of the city and York Stage’s “musical with pantomime braces on”, Jack And The Beanstalk, at Theatre @41 Monkgate.