WHICH shows will draw the crowds? Charles Hutchinson prepares to join the merry throng across the summer beyond the Bank Holiday sunshine.
Crowd pleaser: Rob Auton, The Crowd Show, Pocklington Arts Centre, tonight, 8pm; Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds, June 5, 7.30pm
CHARMINGLY offbeat Pocklington-raised poet, stand-up comedian, actor, author, artist and podcaster Rob Auton heads back north from his London abode on his 2023 leg of The Crowd Show tour to play Pock and Leeds.
After his philosophical observations on the colour yellow, the sky, faces, water, sleep, hair, talking and time, now he discusses crowds, people and connection in a night of comedy and theatre “suitable for anyone who wants to be in the crowd for this show”. Box office: Pocklington, 01759 301547 or pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk; Leeds, hydeparkbookclub.co.uk.
“Witness the stupidity” comedy gig of the week: Tim Vine: Breeeep!, Grand Opera House, York, tonight, 7.30pm
EXPECT a mountain of nonsense, one-liners, stupid things, crazy songs and wobbly props, plus utter drivel, advises punslinger Tim Vine.
“Tim’s like the manager of a sweet shop where all the sweets are replaced by jokes, and he serves them in a random order,” says the show blurb. “So it’s like a sweet shop where the manager just throws sweets at you. Enjoy the foolishness and laugh your slip-ons off.” Sold out; for returns only, check atgtickets.com/york.
Homecoming of the week: Amy May Ellis, The Crescent, York, tomorrow, 8pm
NOW moved to Bristol, singer-songwriter Amy May Ellis was raised on a remote dale on the North York Moors, playing her early gigs at The Band Room, Low Mill, Farndale.
Steeped in the culture, scenery, folklore and wildlife of the countryside that surrounded and shaped her as a child, she wrote her debut album Over Ling And Bell – named after two types of heather – in a secluded moorland farmhouse, mostly alone but sometimes with friends. Released on Lost Map Records on May 12, it is available on digital platforms and limited-edition vinyl. She will be joined by her new band for tomorrow’s gig, when North Yorkshire-London combo Wanderland support. Box office: thecrescentyork.com.
Musical of the week: York Stage in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Teen Edition, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, Monday to Saturday, 7.30pm plus 2.30pm Wednesday and Saturday matinees
JAMIE New lives on a council estate in Sheffield with his loving mum. At 16, he doesn’t quite fit in. He may be terrified about the future, but Jamie is going to be a sensation.
The Feeling’s Dan Gillespie Sells and Tom MacRae’s coming-of-age musical follows the true-life story of Sheffield schoolboy Jamie Campbell as he overcomes prejudice and bullying to step out of the darkness to become a drag queen. York Stage artistic director Nik Briggs directs. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.
City of York Roland Walls Folk Weekend, Black Swan Folk Club, Black Swan Inn, Peasholme Green, York, June 2 to 4
TOM Bliss and The Burning Bridges open the three-day folk fiesta at the Black Swan on Friday night, to be followed by afternoon and evening sessions on Saturday and Sunday.
Among the weekend’s acts will be: Stan Graham; Eddie Affleck; The Barbarellas; Blonde On Bob; Clurachan; Union Jill; White Sail; Edwina Hayes; Minster Stray Morris; Caramba; The Old Humpy Band; Tommy Coyle; Paula Ryan; Judith Haswell; Sarah Dean; Chris Euesden and Ramshackle. Full details at: blackswanfolkclub.org.uk/programme.cfm.
Purgatory awaits: University of York Choir and Symphony Orchestra, Elgar’s Dream Of Gerontius, York Minster, June 14, 7.30pm
THE University of York Choir and Symphony Orchestra perform Edward Elgar’s Dream Of Gerontius with soloists Joshua Ellicott (Gerontius), Kitty Whately and Alexander Ashworth, conducted by John Stringer.
Elgar dramatically sets to music Cardinal Newman’s poem depicting the journey of Gerontius’s soul from his deathbed to judgement before God. On his way, he encounters angels and demons, colourfully portrayed by the chorus, before settling finally in purgatory. Box office: 01904 322439 or yorkconcerts.co.uk.
Outdoor cinema: City Screen Picturehouse presents Movies In The Moonlight, York Museum Gardens, Museum Street, York, July 14 to 16, from 7.30pm
MUSEUM Gardens play host to City Screen Picturehouse for three nights of summertime open-air film action, opening with The Super Mario Bros. Movie, starring Chris Pratt and Anya Taylor-Joy on July 14. Next come Mamma Mia!, featuring Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried, on July 15 and Steven Spielberg’s 1975 shark attack classic Jaws on July 16.
All these outdoor cinema events start at 7.30pm. Films will be shown at sundown; drinks and snacks will be on offer but guests can bring picnics. Box office: picturehouses.com/outdoor.
Looking ahead: Ruby Wax: I’m Not As Well As I Thought, Grand Opera House, York, September 28, 7.30pm
AFTER four years, American-British actress, comedian, writer, television personality and mental health campaigner Ruby Wax, 70, follows up her How To Be Human show with a stage adaptation of her May 11 book, I’m Not As Well As I Thought, promising her rawest, darkest, funniest show yet.
In 2022, Wax began a search to find meaning, booking a series of potentially life-changing journeys: swimming with humpback whales in the Dominican Republic; joining a Christian monastery; working in a Greek refugee camp; undertaking a silent 30-day mindfulness retreat in California. Even greater change marked her inner journey. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.
Recommended but too late for tickets
ACERBIC comedian Tom Allen’s Completely gig at York Barbican on Sunday at 8pm has sold out. Completely.
Under discussion will be Allen’s life updates, his vegetable patch and the protocol for inviting friends with children for dinner.