More Things To Do in York and beyond as something wickedly funny this way comes. List No. 64, courtesy of The Press, York

When shall we three meet again? When the hurlyburly’s done in The HandleBards’ Macbeth at York Theatre Royal

AS the pantomime season draws to a close, Charles Hutchinson turns his focus to new seasons and new reasons to venture out.

The skittish play: The HandleBards in Macbeth, York Theatre Royal, January 25, 7.30pm; January 26, 2pm and 7.30pm

THE HandleBards were the first professional company to play York Theatre Royal after Lockdown 3, lifting the long gloom with a ridiculously funny Romeo And Juliet. Now the three-pronged troupe opens the Spring! Season with an all-female, bewitching, unhinged, bicycle-powered, dead funny take on Macbeth, starring Kathryn Perkins, Natalie Simone and Jenny Smith.

Expect music, mayhem, murders, unusual applications of cycling paraphernalia and more costume changes “than you can Shake a spear at” in this irreverent, skittish romp through Shakespeare’s tragic “Scottish play”. Box office: 01904 623568 or at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

Charles Court Opera in The Mikado, visiting Harrogate Royal Hall on Sunday. Picture: Bill Knight

Oh, Vienna: International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival’s New Year celebration, Harrogate Royal Hall, today and tomorrow, 7.30pm.

ENCHANTMENT awaits in the Magic Of Vienna New Year Gala Concert today when the National Festival Orchestra, conducted by Aidan Faughey, presents works by Johann Strauss, Mozart and Lehar. International opera stars James Cleverton and Rebecca Bottone will be the soloists.

Charles Court Opera’s London production of G&S’s The Mikado will be performed on Sunday night, accompanied by the National Festival Orchestra. Box office: 01422 323352 or at gsfestivals.co.uk.

One Iota: Debut album launch at the JoRo

York album launch of the month: One Iota, supported by Odin Dragonfly, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, January 21, 7.15pm

YORK band One Iota are launching their debut album, More Than You Take, recorded at the venerable Abbey Road studios, in London, and Fairview Studios, Willerby.

Adam Dawson, James Brown, Andy Bowen and Phil Everard’s alt-pop group grew out of their three-piece tribute to The Beatles – The Threetles, of course – when they acquired a taste for writing their own songs in lockdown.

One Iota’s debut live show promises a full line-up, featuring live string arrangements for the Fab Four-influenced songs marked by rich vocal harmonies, innovative melodies and “more hooks than a cloakroom”. Box office: josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.

Jacob George: Soloist for Schumann’s Violin Concerto at the Academy of St Olave’s January concert

By George, he’s back: Academy of St Olave’s Winter Concert, St Olave’s Church, Marygate, York, January 22, 8pm

THE Academy of St Olave’s Winter Concert features Jacob George, son of musical director Alan George, as soloist for Schumann’s Violin Concerto. He returns to solo duty for the York chamber orchestra after performing the Sibelius Violin Concerto in 2019.

The ASO’s first concert since last September’s sold-out resumption also includes two works inspired by Italy: Schubert’s Overture in the Italian Style, and Mendelssohn’s “Italian” Symphony No. 4. Box office: academyofstolaves.org.uk.

Nunkie Theatre Company’s artwork for the third instalment of their M R James Project, A Warning To The Curious

Ghosts at play: Nunkie Theatre Company in M R James’s A Warning To The Curious, Theatre@41 Monkgate, York, January 28, 7.30pm

NUNKIE Theatre Company bring two of M R James’s eeriest and most entertaining ghost stories back to life in Robert Lloyd Parry’s candlelit one-man show. Lost Hearts, an early work, is constructed around one of his most memorable villains, the predatory scholar Mr Abney.

Lloyd Parry pairs it with perhaps James’s most poignant and personal story, inspired by his holidays in Aldeburgh: A Warning To The Curious’s account of a young archaeologist being haunted and hunted by the guardian of an ancient treasure. Has the English seaside ever looked so menacing? Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.

Yvette Stone’s life-size puppet of The Creature, as first seen in Blackeyed Theatre’s Frankenstein in 2016. The new tour visits Scarborough next month. Picture: Alex Harvey-Brown

Monster smash: Blackeyed Theatre in Frankenstein, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, February 9 to 12

NICK Lane has reinterpreted John Ginman’s original 2016 script for Blackeyed Theatre, built around Mary Shelley’s Gothic novel, wherein nothing can prepare Victor Frankenstein for what he creates in pursuit of the elixir of life.

Eliot Giuralarocca’s highly theatrical production combines live music and ensemble storytelling with Bunraku-style puppetry to portray The Creature, in the life-size form of Yvonne Stone’s 6ft 4inch puppet, operated by up to three actors at once. Box office: 01723 370541 or at sjt.uk.com.

Four decades of topical songs and glamour: Fascinating Aida’s Liza Pulman, left, Dillie Keane and Adèle Anderson. Picture: Johnny Boylan

Never tire of satire: Fascinating Aida, York Barbican, February 12, 7.30pm

DILLIE Keane, Adèle Anderson and Liza Pulman’s latest Fascinating Aida tour show features old favourites, songs you haven’t heard before and some you wish you’d never heard in the first place.

“But the songs are mostly topical and the glamour remains unstoppable,” say the satirists, who have been capturing the political and social fixations of our times for nigh on 40 years, from 1984’s Sweet FA to 2012’s Cheap Flights and beyond. All tickets remain valid from the postponed May 5 2021 date. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.

Marc Almond fronting The Loveless, headliners at late-October’s Tomorrow’s Ghosts Festival in Whitby

Looking ahead to Halloween: Marc Almond’s The Loveless, headlining the Saturday bill at Tomorrow’s Ghosts Festival 2022, Whitby Pavilion, October 29

THE Loveless make their Tomorrow’s Ghosts debut with a headline set of their devilishly dark arts at Whitby Pavilion next Halloween.

In a project designed to take its constituent parts back to where they all began, Soft Cell singer Almond, Sigue Sigue Sputnik axeman Neal X, Iggy Pop’s touring rhythm section of Mat Hector and Ben Ellis and haunting Hammond organist James Beaumont “pledge themselves to the pulp appeal of garage rock in its rawest, most gripping guise”.

The Loveless draw material from Almond’s expansive back catalogue, Lou Reed and David Bowie’s canons, warped 1960s’ R&B staples and lost garage-rock gems. Box office: ticketweb.uk/event/tomorrows-ghosts-festival.

Artist Stephen Todd in his Sheffield studio

Weekend opening: Kentmere House Gallery, Scarcroft Hill, York, today and tomorrow

NEW year, New Beginnings and a website “going live again at last” adds up to the start of 2022 for Ann Petherick’s gallery in her home at Kentmere House, York.

Among the works on show today and tomorrow from 11am to 5pm are Allotments In Autumn paintings by featured artist Stephen Todd, from Sheffield.

Kentmere House Gallery also will be open for the York Residents Residents’ Weekend on January 29 and 30, 11am to 6pm each day.

Academy of St Olave’s to perform Schumann’s Violin Concerto with Jacob George as soloist at Winter Concert

Jacob George: Soloist for Schumann’s Violin Concerto

THE Academy of St Olave’s Winter Concert at St Olave’s Church, Marygate, York, on January 22 will feature Jacob George as soloist for Schumann’s Violin Concerto.

Jacob, the son of the York chamber orchestra’s musical director, Alan George, returns on solo duty after performing the Sibelius Violin Concerto in 2019.

As a teenager, he was principal second violin for the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, topped off by three concerts at the BBC Proms.

Jacob has appeared as a soloist with several orchestras, including performances of Dvorak’s Romance with York Guildhall Orchestra and the Kabalevsky Violin Concerto with Sheffield University Symphony Orchestra. Outside music, he works as a senior planning officer in urban development management.

The Academy’s first concert since last September’s sold-out return will feature two works inspired by Italy: Schubert’s Overture in the Italian Style and Mendelssohn’s “Italian” Symphony No. 4.

Musical director Alan George says: “We are looking forward to transporting our audience to sunnier Mediterranean climes with two Italian-inspired pieces, as well as welcoming Jacob back as soloist for the concerto.

“The Schumann Violin Concerto is a real curiosity, not performed for more than 80 years after it was composed, and still a relative rarity in the repertoire. It’s a wonderful piece, deeply affecting – dating from the end of his life, and well deserving of greater recognition: we hope to have another full house to sample its characteristic combination of sadness and joy.”

The 8pm concert is in aid of Musical Connections, a York charity that runs community choirs and weekly music groups in assorted care and community settings.

Tickets cost £15 (£5 for accompanied under-18s) at academyofstolaves.org.uk. Numbers are limited; book in advance to avoid disappointment. Check the academy website the week before the concert for any Covid-19 mitigation measures in place.

Academy of St Olave’s returns with Mozart works for first concert since January 2020

“It’s such a pleasure to be back performing orchestral music in York,” says Academy of St Olave’s musical director Alan George

THE Academy of St Olave’s will play its first concert since January 2020 on September 25, performing Mozart works at St Olave’s Church, Marygate, York.

The York chamber orchestra’s 8pm programme will feature Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto with soloist Lesley Schatzberger, followed by his exquisite Symphony No. 40 in G minor.

A short symphony by Baroque composer William Boyce will complement the Mozart pieces, carrying special significance for the Academy, having been performed at its inaugural concert more than 40 years ago.

Lesley Schatzberger will play the Mozart concerto on her basset clarinet, an instrument that can accommodate the low notes of the phrases as Mozart composed them, unlike the smaller modern instrument.

Musical director Alan George says: “It’s such a pleasure to be back performing orchestral music in York. This will be our first time playing together since January 2020, so we really are excited to be reunited after our enforced sabbatical.

Lesley Schatzberger: Soloist for Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto

“We have selected a programme of two of Mozart’s acknowledged masterpieces – the ever-popular Clarinet Concerto and the passionate 40th Symphony – that are sure to delight our audience, and we can’t wait to perform to an audience again.”

The Academy’s chair, Christine Smith, says: “We’re thrilled to be returning with what we believe will be the first York orchestral concert for nearly two years. This has probably been the most challenging concert to organise in the Academy’s history, but we’re confident we have all the measures in place to ensure the concert is a tremendous success, and it will be such a tonic to be able to make music together again after such a long absence.”

The September 25 concert will support Jessie’s Fund, a York charity founded by director Lesley Schatzberger to help children through music therapy.

Tickets are available online only, so must be booked in advance at academyofstolaves.org.uk, priced at £15, £5 for accompanied under-18s, with no booking fee.

Please check the Academy website the week before the concert for confirmation of the Covid-19 mitigation measures being taken.