FROM textbook theatre for GCSE studies to an original pantomime, a finally finished symphony to orchestral ABC, a silent cinema season to a night of Nashville honky-tonk country, Charles Hutchinson has all manner of recommendations.
York debut of the week: Dickens Theatre Company: Revision On Tour, Grand Opera House, York, Macbeth, Monday, 7.30pm, and Tuesday, 1pm, 7.30pm; Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, Wednesday, 1pm, 7.30pm; Romeo & Juliet, Thursday, 1pm, 7.30pm
DICKENS Theatre Company, purveyors of exciting, educational and entertaining stage adaptations of literary classics and GCSE texts since 2015, make their York debut with three productions scripted and directed by Ryan Philpott.
A cast of seven presents Shakespeare’s bloodiest tragedy, Macbeth, narrated by the Porter, as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth make their perilous descent towards Hell; Robert Louis Stevenson’s Gothic horror story Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, set in the foggy, dimly lit streets of Victorian London, where an evil predator lurks, and Romeo & Juliet, breathing new life and wit into Shakespeare’s tragic tale of star-crossed lovers. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.
Pantomime of the week: Blue Light Theatre Company in Nithered!, Acomb Working Men’s Club, York, today, 1pm; Wednesday to Friday, 7.30pm
FORMED by York Ambulance Service staff, Blue Light Theatre Company’s family-friendly tenth anniversary production features an original pantomime script by Perri Ann Barley, with additional material by the dame, Steven Clark, directed by Craig Barley and choreographed by Devon Wells.
They are joined in the cast by Glen Gears, Brenda Riley, Simon Moore, Kevin Bowes, Kristian Barley and new members Aileen Stables and Audra Bryan, among others. Proceeds go to the Motor Neurone Disease Association (York) and York Against Cancer. Box office: 07933 329654 or bluelight-theatre.co.uk.
Classical concert of the week: Academy of St Olave’s, St Olave’s Church, Marygate, York, tonight, 8pm
THE “main event” of the Academy of St Olave’s second concert of their 2023-24 season will be Schubert’s “Unfinished” Symphony No. 8 in B minor, but in a finished version! Schubert famously completed only the first two movements, before setting the symphony aside (six years before his death in 1828).
The York chamber orchestra will be adding third and fourth movements compiled and composed by Schubert scholar Professor Brian Newbould, based on material left behind by the Austrian composer. Further works in a programme of late-Classical and early Romantic music will be Mozart’s Symphony No. 25 and Luigi Cherubini’s operatic overture Anacréon. Box office: academyofstolaves.org.uk or on the door.
Miles down the road: Miles Kane, Leeds O2 Academy, Thursday, 7pm
BIRKENHEAD guitarist and singer Miles Kane, former frontman of The Rascals and Alex Turner’s cohort in The Last Shadow Puppets, opens his January and February 2024 solo tour in Leeds. Expect the focus to fall on last August’s album, One Man Band, released on Modern Sky Records.
A deeply personal record, it found Kane reflecting on his journey as he returned to Liverpool, hooking up with Blossoms’ Tom Ogden, Circa Waves’ Keiran Shudall, Andy Burrow and regular writing partner Jamie Biles to record songs with longtime collaborator James Skelly, of The Coral, on production duties. Box office: mileskane.com.
Time to rediscover: Buster Keaton season, City Screen Picturehouse, York, until February 9
CITY Screen Picturehouse is celebrating the silent cinema of Joseph Frank “Buster” Keaton, the American actor, comedian and director whose graceful physical feats of stoical comedy were marked by a deadpan expression that brought him the nickname “The Great Stone Face”.
Friday’s screening of Steamboat Bill, Jr (U), wherein the effete son of a cantankerous riverboat captain joins his father’s crew, will be followed on February 2 by Sherlock, Jr (U), in which Keaton’s hapless film projectionist longs to be a detective. The season concludes on February 9 with The General (U), with its peerless chase scenes as Keaton’s plucky railway engineer pursues Union spies doggedly across enemy lines when they steal his locomotive. Box office: picturehouses.com.
Country shindig of the week: A Country Night In Nashville, Grand Opera House, York, Friday, 7.30pm
DOMINIC Halpin And The Hurricanes take a journey down country roads, visiting the songs of American stars both past and present as they recreate the atmosphere of a buzzing honky-tonk in downtown Nashville. The music of Johnny Cash, Alan Jackson, Dolly Parton, The Chicks, Willie Nelson and Kacey Musgraves, among others, will be showcased. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.
Gig of the week: ABC, Lexicon Of Love Orchestral Tour, York Barbican, January 27, doors, 7pm
MARTIN Fry leads ABC in an orchestral performance of their June 1982 chart-topping debut album The Lexicon Of Love, here coupled with further hits and favourites.
Fusing Motown soul with a steely Sheffield post-punk attitude, the album spawned the hits Tears Are Not Enough, Poison Arrow, The Look Of Love and All of My Heart,
now performed with the Southbank Sinfonia, conducted by longtime collaborator Anne Dudley, who orchestrated the original album sessions. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk or ticketmaster.co.uk.
Miles on the doorstep: Miles And The Chain Gang, The Terrace, New Street, York, February 10, 8pm onwards, free entry
YORK band Miles And The Chain Gang precede their first gig of 2014 with the January 26 release of new single Raining Cats And Dogs, an Americana-tinged track that dates back 30 years.
“Everything takes time,” says songwriter and frontman Miles Salter. “The song started out at a jam session with my friends Dom Jukes and Syd Egan in the summer of 1994. It just came to me, as song ideas do.” Hearing the subsequent recording for the first time in years, Salter has decided to revisit the “very playful and tongue-in-cheek” country number with Egan on harmonica.