COMEDY aplenty, musical collaborations, dental mystery adventures and soul seekers make a convincing case for inclusion in Charles Hutchinson’s list.
Children’s show of the week: David Walliams’ Demon Dentist, Grand Opera House, York, Thursday, 1.30pm, 6.30pm; Friday, 10.30am, 6.30pm; Saturday, 11am, 3pm
CHILDREN’S author David Walliams has teamed up with Birmingham Stage Company for Demon Dentist, their third collaboration after Gangsta Granny and Billionaire Boy, aapted and directed by Neal Foster.
Join Alfie and Gabz as they investigate the strange events happening in their hometown, where children are leaving their teeth for the tooth fairy and waking up to find odd things under their pillows. No-one could have dreamed what Alfie and Gabz would discover on coming face to face with the demon dentist herself in this thrilling adventure story. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.
Therapy session of the week: Isabelle Farah: Ellipsis, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, tonight, 7.45pm
STAND-UP is the outlet that keeps you sane, where the nature of the game is to turn everything into punchlines. But can you do it if you feel all-consuming sadness, ponders comedian/actor/writer/nightmare Isabelle Farah in Ellipsis.
“I wanted my therapist to come and watch me to see how hilarious I am, but I thought how odd it would be performing to someone who’s seen so far behind my mask,” she says. “Would he even find it funny or just sit there knowing what I was hiding?” Cue her exploration of grief, authenticity and being funny.
Classical concert of the week: Vaughan Williams: A Sea Symphony, York Minster, tonight, 7.30pm
YORK Musical Society and Philharmonischer Chor Münster from York’s twin city in Germany mark 30 years of concert collaborations with Vaughan Williams’s A Sea Symphony, using text from Walt Whitman poems.
Toward The Unknown Region, another Whitman setting, takes a journey from darkness to light, followed by the beautiful orchestral work Serenade in A minor. Tonight’s soloists are soprano Elinor Rolfe Johnson and bass Julian Tovey. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk; on the door from 6.45pm.
Great Scot of the week: Frankie Boyle, Lap Of Shame, Grand Opera House, York, Sunday, 7.30pm
SCATHING Scottish comedian, surrealist, presenter and writer Frankie Boyle, 50, is on tour. “Buy a ticket, because by the time I arrive, the currency will be worthless and you and your neighbours part of a struggling militia that could probably use a few laughs,” advises the often-controversial Glaswegian.
Only a handful of tickets are still available at atgtickets.com/york. Please note: no latecomers, no readmittance.
Great Scott of the week: Scott Bennett, Selby Town Hall, Sunday, 7.30pm
SCOTT Bennett has been blazing a trail through the stand-up circuit for the best part of a decade, writing for Chris Ramsey and Jason Manford too.
After regular appearances on BBC Radio 4’s The News Quiz and The Now Show and his debut on BBC One’s Live At The Apollo, he presents Great Scott! in Selby. Box office: selbytownhall.co.uk.
Rescheduled gig of the week: Kiki Dee & Carmelo Luggeri, Helmsley Arts Centre, Sunday, 7.30pm
MOVED from March 3, Bradford soul singer Kiki Dee and guitarist Carmelo Luggeri head to Helmsley for an acoustic journey through stories and songs, from Kate Bush and Frank Sinatra covers to Kiki’s hits Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, I Got The Music In Me, Loving And Free and Amoureuse. Songs from 2022’s The Long Ride Home should feature too. Box office: 01439 771700 or helmsleyarts.co.uk.
Re-arranged show announcement: Neil Warnock, Are You With Me?, York Barbican, moving from June 15 to May 31 2024
ARE you with Neil Warnock on Thursday? Not any more, after “unforeseen circumstances” forced the former York City captain and Scarborough manager (and town chiropodist) to postpone his talk tour until next spring. Tickets remain valid.
After guiding Huddersfield Town to safety from the threat of relegation in the 2022-2023 season, Warnock, 74, was to have gone on the road to discuss his record number of games as a manager, 16 clubs and 8 promotions, from non-league to Premier League, and a thousand stories along the way that have never been told. Now those tales must wait…and whose season might he rescue in 2023-24 before then?! Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.
Discovery of the week: Kyshona, Pocklington Arts Centre, Thursday, 8pm
UNRELENTING in her pursuit of the healing power of song, community connector Kyshona Armstrong has the background of a licensed music therapist, the curiosity of a writer, the resolve of an activist and the voice of a protest singer.
As witnessed on her 2020 album Listen, she blends roots, rock, R&B and folk with her lyrical clout. Past collaborators include Margo Price and Adia Victoria. Now comes her Pocklington debut. Box office: 01759 301547 or pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk.
Tribute show of the week: The Illegal Eagles, York Barbican, Friday, 8pm
THE Illegal Eagles celebrate the golden music of the legendary West Coast country rock band with musical prowess, attention to detail and showmanship. Expect to hear Hotel California, Desperado, Take It Easy, New Kid In Town, Life In The Fast Lane and many more. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.
Soul show of the week: Shalamar Friends 40th Anniversary Tour, York Barbican, June 17, 7.30pm
SHALAMAR mark the 40th anniversary of Friends, the platinum-selling album that housed four Top 20 singles, A Night To Remember, Friends, There It Is and I Can Make You Feel Good, outsold Abba, Queen, The Rolling Stones, Culture Club and Meat Loaf that year and spawned Jeffrey Daniels’ dance moves on Top of The Pops.
Further Shalamar hits Take That To The Bank, I Owe You One, Make That Move, Dead Giveaway and Disappearing Act feature too. Special guests are Jaki Graham and Cool Notes’ Lauraine McIntosh. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.
Celebrating England’s musical legacy: Academy of St Olave’s, St Olave’s Church, Marygate, York, June 17, 8pm
THE Academy of St Olave’s chamber orchestra rounds off its 2022-23 season with a summer concert centred on England’s musical legacy, from symphonies written for
London audiences by the great Austrian composers Mozart and Haydn, to works by
English composers Frederick Delius, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Paul Patterson.
The concert is book-ended by Mozart’s first symphony and Haydn’s hundredth, known as “The Military”. Mozart composed his work in London during his family’s Grand Tour of
Europe in 1764, when the boy wonder was eight. Likewise, Haydn’s work was one of his 12 “London symphonies”, to be performed during his second visit to England in 1794-95. Box office: academyofstolaves.org.uk or on the door.
In Focus: Who are the York community chorus in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Julius Caesar at York Theatre Royal?
SIX women – all inspirational leaders within the York and North Yorkshire community – will form the Chorus when the Royal Shakespeare Company’s touring production of Julius Caesar visits York Theatre Royal from June 13 to 17.
Step forward Hilary Conroy, Astrid Hanlon, Elaine Harvey, Stephanie Hesp, Anna Johnston and Frances Simon, under the musical direction of community choir leader Jessa Liversidge, from Easingwold, with Zoe Colven-Davies as chorus coordinator.
The women in next week’s chorus have roles in the community spanning activism and campaigning to charity and social work, lecturing, teaching and coaching. In their day-to-day lives they each make an impact on the York community, whether through fighting for social change, championing community voices, supporting vulnerable groups or encouraging engagement in the creative arts.
Between them, they lead and support a diverse range of groups and community causes, including supporting disabled and neurodivergent people, those impacted by dementia and mental health issues, people affected by loneliness and those suffering from domestic abuse. They empower others through the creative arts and performance and champion wellbeing in marginalised groups.
Leading the York group is music director Jessa Liversidge, calling on her wealth of experience with community choirs, inclusive singing groups and working with people of all ages to inspire them through music.
Juliet Forster, York Theatre Royal’s creative director, says: “It’s a huge privilege for us to have these voices heard alongside the RSC’s actors, and we are so thankful for their input and commitment to the project.
“This production explores what makes a leader and asks questions about gender and power. Who better to take part than women who are already leaders in our community and in their workplace?
“The opportunity is exciting and empowering and is strong evidence of how committed the RSC is to meaningful collaboration with its regional theatre partners. We are incredibly proud to be able to contribute a local perspective into this nationwide conversation, and I can’t wait to see what our York women do.”
Explaining the role that the York community chorus will play, RSC director Atri Banerjee says: “Julius Caesar is a play about a nation in crisis, a play about the gulf between politicians and the people they are trying to rule.
“It just makes so much sense to me that this production would include ‘real’ people from where we are touring. So, alongside the professional acting company, we have found a way of integrating the communities from all the areas the show is playing.
“Community work has always been important to me, making work with non-professionals, whether that’s young people or non-professional adults.
“It’s not unusual for productions of Julius Caesar to have a chorus who come on to be the citizens of Rome and say ‘Read The Will’ and then you never see them again. But I wanted to include them to amplify the supernatural, apocalyptic terror within the play. They’ll be singing, using their voices, and will be present on stage for significant parts of the play. They will be something akin to the chorus you’d see in a Greek tragedy watching the action.
“Premonitions of death really. Premotions of figures who embody death in ways that go beyond these characters.”
Royal Shakespeare Company in Julius Caesar, York Theatre Royal, June 13 to 17, 7.30pm plus 2pm Thursday and Saturday matinees. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk