REJOICE as doors to York’s grand designs ancient and modern are unlocked this weekend. Charles Hutchinson also checks out what’s on inside elsewhere.
Play of the week: Frantic Assembly in Othello, York Theatre Royal, Tuesday to Saturday, 7.30pm; 2pm, Thursday; 2.30pm, Saturday
FRANTIC Assembly’s award-winning, electrifying reimagining of Othello locates Shakespeare’s tragedy of paranoia, sex and murder in a volatile 21st century as Othello’s passionate affair with Desdemona becomes the catalyst for jealousy, betrayal, revenge and the darkest intents.
Shakespeare’s muscular yet beautiful text combines with the touring company’s own bruising physicality in a world of broken glass and broken promises, malicious manipulation and explosive violence, previously staged in 2008 and 2014 and now updated for 2022. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.
Comedy gig of the week: Olga Koch, Just Friends, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, tonight, 8pm
OLGA Koch, Russian-born, English-dwelling, story-telling stand-up and BBC Radio 4 show host, makes a return visit to Monkgate this weekend, following up last October’s Homecoming show.
Directed by Charlie Dinkin, this time she promises a “rollercoaster romcom you aren’t tall enough to ride”. “Strap in,” she advises. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.
Tours of the week: York Unlocked, 60 locations, today and tomorrow
YORK joins the European Open Door cities and 60 Open House cities this weekend to showcase its urban landscape and buildings old and new. Among them will be Cumberland House (Kings Staith), Garforth House, York Guildhall, Bar Convent, Hiscox, Castlegate House, Duncombe Place Masonic Lodge, Hudson Quarter, Brew York (Walmgate), City Screen Picturehouse, Walmgate Bar, the Phoenix Inn and a plethora of churches.
“We aim to foster public appreciation of the architecture of York by organising the opening of 60 buildings and open spaces of merit for the public to explore for free,” say the organisers. “Our goal is to educate, engage and inspire.” For full details, head to: york-unlocked.org.uk/buildings-2022.
Classical concert of the week: York Guildhall Orchestra, York Barbican, tonight, 7.30pm
THE first concert of York Guildhall Orchestra’s 42nd season also marks Simon Wright’s 30th anniversary as conductor. In a programme of popular music, local lad Will Clark is the violin soloist for Vaughan Williams’s The Lark Ascending, having earlier played with the orchestra as a youngster.
Old friends Leeds Festival Chorus join for Fauré’s Pavane and Lambert’s Rio Grande (piano soloist: Rebecca Taylor). Shostakovich’s Festive Overture will be the rousing opener; Márquez’s Danzón No. 2, the finale. In between come works by Porter, Wagner, Berlioz, Offenbach’s Can-Can; Handel, Tavener and Coleridge Taylor. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.
Gig of the week outside York: Beth Orton, Leeds Brudenell Social Club, tomorrow, doors, 7.30pm
BRIT Award winner Beth Orton concludes her autumn tour in Leeds, promoting her seventh studio album, released last month on her new label, Partisan Records.
Written on a battered old piano that singer-songwriter Orton saved from Camden Market, Weather Alive collates memories and experiences spanning a lifetime, her story-telling, sonically experimental songs addressing struggles and healing. Box office: for returns only, brudenellsocialclub.co.uk.
Nostalgia of the week: The Steptoe And Son Radio Show, Grand Opera House, York, Tuesday, 7.30pm
ADAPTED for the stage by John Hewer, The Steptoe And Son Radio Show doffs its cap to the 60th anniversary of the first broadcast of the classic BBC television comedy.
In a show based on the original TV scripts of Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, Jeremy Smith and Hewer play out the woes of warring Shepherd’s Bush rag-and-bone men Albert Steptoe and his son Harold in three episodes: Is That Your Horse Outside?, A Death In The Family and Upstairs, Downstairs, Upstairs, Downstairs. Box office: 0844 871 7615 or atgtickets.com/York.
Tuneful twins of the week: The Proclaimers, York Barbican, Wednesday, 7.30pm
SCATHING Scottish siblings Craig and Charlie Reid return to York on their 35-date autumn tour in support of their end-of-empire 12th studio album, Dentures Out, ahead of their 40th anniversary in 2023 (stage time, 830pm).
Fellow Scot David Tennant names The Proclaimers as “probably my favourite band of all time”. “They write the most spectacular songs, big-hearted, uncynical passionate songs,” says the ubiquitous actor. John Bramwell opens the gig; good news for I Am Kloot devotees after a family bereavement led to the cancellation of his September 24 concert at Ellerton Priory. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.
Leeds legend of the week in York: Marc Almond In Concert, York Barbican, Friday, 7.30pm
SOFT Cell frontman Marc Almond plays York Barbican for the third time in five years after his Hits And Pieces tour date in April 2017 and guest spot at Jools Holland and His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra’s November 2018 concert.
On his first solo tour in more than three years, Almond plays two sets, performing favourites from his extensive catalogue, his biggest hits and songs from his last album, January 2020’s Chaos And A Dancing Star, since when Soft Cell have released Happiness Not Included last year. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.