MUSEUMS, galleries and cinemas are welcoming you in, but in the summertime, when the weather is surprisingly fine, now is the chance to capitalise on the great outdoors, from pop-up patio shows to musical theatre in an amphitheatre.
In the interests of balance, Charles Hutchinson’s recommendations also take in a new exhibition indoors and a night in that drags on and on…in spectacular vocal and visual fashion.
Outdoors entertainment number one: Pop-Up On The Patio, at York Theatre Royal, August 14 to 29
TAKING part in a Covid-secure summer season of outdoor performances, on a terrace stage designed by Yorkshire theatre designer Hannah Sibai, will be “Yorkshire’s finest theatre and dance makers”.
Step forward York Dance Space’s Dance//Shorts; Mud Pie Arts; Story Craft Theatre for Crafty Tales; Paul Birch’s Fool(ish) Improv; The Flanagan Collective and Gobbledigook Theatre in Orpheus and Eurydice and puppeteer Freddie Hayes in Fred’s Microbrewery.
Look out, too, for Cosmic Collective Theatre in the cult show Heaven’s Gate; York performance poet Henry Raby in Apps & Austerity; Say Owt, the York outlet for slam poets, word-weavers and “gobheads”; magician, juggler and children’s entertainer Josh Benson in Just Josh and pop, soul and blues singer Jess Gardham.
Theatre in a summer’s garden: Engine House Theatre’s Park Bench Theatre, Friends Garden, Rowntree Park, York, until September 5
ROLL up, roll up, for Samuel Beckett’s rarely performed monologue, First Love, artistic director Matt Aston’s new play, Every Time A Bell Rings, and a family show inspired by a classic song, Teddy Bears’ Picnic.
Each production is presented in Covid-secure, carefully laid out and spacious gardens, allowing audience members to keep socially distanced from each other. Chris Hannon performs the Beckett piece; Lisa Howard, the play premiere; Aston’s co-creator, Cassie Vallance, the new children’s show.
Headphones or earphones will be required to hear the dialogue, sound effects and music in performances. All audience members will be given a receiver on entry; takeaway headphones cost £1 when booking a ticket online. Bring blankets or chairs.
Musical celebration of the month: York Stage at Rowntree Park Amphitheatre, York, August 23 to 25
YORK Stage are bringing musical theatre back to life this summer with their first ever outdoor show, taking over the Rowntree Park Amphitheatre for three nights.
Songs from Grease, Hairspray, Cats, Cabaret, The Greatest Showman, West Side Story and many more will be sung by Emily Ramsden, Ashley Standland, May Tether, Joanna Theaker and Richard Upton under the musical direction of Jessica Douglas.
“We wanted to keep it light, with singers of great quality and a band of great quality performing songs we all know so well, presented as a concert rather than as a staged performance, so it’s very much about the music,” says producer and director Nik Briggs.
Outdoor festival of the month: North York Moors Chamber Music Festival, Welburn Abbey, Ryedale, until August 22
AN evolution as a much as a Revolution, the 2020 North York Moors Chamber Music Festival has swapped the indoors for the outdoors, now taking place in an open marquee sited in the grounds of Welburn Abbey, Welburn Manor Farms (YO62 7HH), between Helmsley and Kirkbymoorside, in Ryedale.
For its theme of Revolution! in the festival’s 12th year of celebrating chamber works, the focus is on and around the music of Beethoven – the “revolutionary” – and beyond to mark the 250th anniversary of the German composer’s birth in Bonn.
Full details can be found at northyorkmoorsfestival.com. Season tickets have sold out, but do check if tickets remain available for individual concerts on 07722 038990.
York exhibition of the week: Jill Campbell, Featured Artist, Blue Tree Gallery, Bootham, York, until September 19
BLUE Tree Gallery, York, is marking the opening of North Eastern artist Jill Campbell’s exhibition of intuitive and soulful landscape paintings by introducing temporary new opening hours on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 11am to 4pm.
“Most of my work is based on an ancient mining landscape called Cockfield Fell, where I walk nearly every day,” says Jill. “I use elements of what I see and combine these with my imagination to create my paintings.
“I’m fascinated by the fell’s strange, other worldly, abstract shapes defined by the morning shadows and framed by big dramatic skies. Its pools, pathways, mounds, dips and curves are my motifs.”
Drag show of the week: Velma Celli in A Night At The Musicals, tomorrow, 8pm
YORK drag diva supreme Velma Celli has embraced the world of the live stream through lockdown and beyond.
Velma’s satellite nights from her Bishopthorpe kitchen started in quarantine, back home in York after her Australian travels, and now she has vowed to keep these glamorous, if remote, gatherings going.
“I’m thrilled to be doing another live streamed show on August 14,” says Velma, the exotic cabaret creation of Ian Stroughair. “As venues are now closing up again in London, I will be doing more of these again! Bring on the fun! Watch out for news of special guests.”
For tickets for the live stream from Case de Velma Celli, go to: ticketweb.uk/event/velma-cellis-a-live-stream-tickets/. Tickets come off sale at 5pm tomorrow (14/08/2020); the stream link arrives via email just after 5pm for the 8pm start.
Trip out of the week: Joana Vasconcelos, Beyond, Underground Gallery and open air, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, near Wakefield, on show until January 3 2021
PORTUGUESE artist Joana Vasconcelos creates vibrant, often monumental sculpture, using fabric, needlework and crochet alongside everyday objects, from saucepans to wheel hubs.
She frequently uses items associated with domestic work and craft to comment from a feminist perspective on national and collective identity, cultural tradition and women’s roles in society.
And what about…
LIGHTS out, sit back and enjoy the big-screen experience anew at City Screen, York, and Cineworld, York, now with masks compulsory.
Discovering Barnsley folk siren Kate Rusby’s new album of unexpected cover versions, from Manic Monday to Friday I’m In Love to Shake It Off, out tomorrow.
Walking among the flowers and sculptures at the Himalayan Gardens, Grewelthorpe, near Ripon, a gem of design all round.