YORK Literature Festival’s celebration of the written and spoken word opens today.
More than 20 live events will be held at venues across the city centre, such as York St John University, St Peter’s School and York Explore Library and Archive.
Running until March 27, the festival launches this evening when two-time Booker Prize nominee Sarah Hall will be in conversation with Professor Abi Curtis at the new York St John University Creative Centre at 7pm, discussing her latest novel, Burntcoat, set in the first pandemic lockdown.
Pioneering reformer and president of the Supreme Court Lady Hale will discuss her autobiography, Spider Woman, A Life, in a free event at The Mount School, Dalton Terrace, tomorrow at 11am. Tickets are required.
Northern Film School graduate, producer of low-budget British horror film Heretic and Saber Productions director Bethany Clift will talk about her debut novel, Last One At The Party, and dystopian fiction with festival chair Dr Rob O’Connor at York Explore, Museum Street, tomorrow at 11am.
To be closer to the Brontes, Michael Stewart began walking the historic paths they trod while writing their most famous works, leading to his book Walking The Invisible: Following In The Brontes’ Footsteps. He will be appearing at York Explore tomorrow at 2pm in the wake of releasing his latest novel, Ill Will: The Untold Story Of Heathcliff.
After a long career in archaeology in York, Sarah Maine has drawn on her knowledge of the city’s vibrant past for her fifth novel, The Awakenings, set in two timeframes, the 790s and 1890s. Written when she was confined to York in the lockdowns, it now forms the subject of her In Conversation event at St Peter’s School, Clifton, tomorrow at 7pm.
Martin Figura and Helen Ivory will host the Try A Little Tenderness writing workshop at York Explore on Sunday from 2pm to 5pm, when they will explore how to write with feeling about those we care about without slipping into sentimentality.
The workshop price (£30) includes a ticket to writer-poet Figura and poet-artist Ivory’s poetry reading on Sunday at 7pm at the Hungate Reading Café, Hungate. The duo set up their Live From The Butchery online spoken-word series during lockdown.
The Yorkshire Shepherdess, Amanda Owen, from Channel 5’s Our Yorkshire Farm documentary series, will be in conversation with BBC Radio York’s Elly Fiorentini at St Peter’s School on Sunday at 7pm. The focus will be on her latest book, Celebrating The Seasons, part photography book, part recipe book and part family and farming memoir.
On Monday, at 7pm, St Peter’s School will play host to The Sunday Times’ Insight investigators Jonathan Calvert and George Arbuthnott as they discuss Failures Of State, their exposé of the Conservative Government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis: “one of the most scandalous failures of political leadership in British history”, they contend.
Female writers Jane Austin, Janet Dean Knight and Yvie Holder will explore ordinary lives against a backdrop of momentous global events, through poetry, fiction and memoir, in Encore Careers! Readings and Conversations on Tuesday at 7pm at Hungate Reading Café.
Creative writing students and staff at York St John University present Wednesday’s Beyond The Walls Student Showcase of readings at the Lord Mayor’s Walk campus in a free event at 7pm, but with tickets required via the festival website or at yorksj.ac.uk/events.
This showcase celebrates the annual Beyond The Walls anthology project , hosted and organised by students.
Further details on York Literature Festival will follow. For tickets and the full programme, go to: yorkliteraturefestival.co.uk.
MOOR, Moor, Moor and much more, more, more besides are on Charles Hutchinson’s list for the week ahead.
Surrealist stand-up theatre of the week, Ben Moor and Joanna Neary mini-season, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, today until Saturday
BEN Moor and Joanna Neary combine to deliver five offbeat comedy shows in three days in their Theatre@41 debut.
Moor contemplates performance, friendship and regret in his lecture about lectures, Pronoun Trouble, tonight at 8pm. Tomorrow, at 7.30pm, Neary’s multi-character sketch show with songs and impersonations, Wife On Earth, is followed by Moor’s Who Here’s Lost?, his dream-like tale of a road trip of the soul taken by two outsiders.
Saturday opens at 3pm with Joanna’s debut children’s puppet show, Stinky McFish And The World’s Worst Wish, and concludes at 7pm with the two-hander BookTalkBookTalkBook, a “silly author event parody show”. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.
Alternative history lesson of the week: Horrible Histories’ Barmy Britain, Grand Opera House, York, today at 1.30pm, 7pm; tomorrow, 10.30am and 7pm; Saturday, 3pm, 7pm; Sunday, 11am, 3pm
WHAT if a Viking moved in next door? Would you lose your heart or head to horrible Henry VIII? Can evil Elizabeth entertain England? Will Parliament survive Gunpowder Guy? Dare you stand and deliver to dastardly Dick Turpin?
Questions, questions, so many questions to answer, and here to answer them are the Horrible Histories team in Barmy Britain, a humorously horrible and eye-popping show trip to the past with Bogglevision 3D effects. Box office: atgtickets.com/york
Reopening of the week: York Theatre Royal Studio for Tutti Frutti’s The Princess And The Pea, today to Tuesday; no show on Sunday
YORK Theatre Royal Studio reopens today with a capacity reduced from 100 to 71 and no longer any seating to the sides.
First up, Leeds children’s theatre company Tutti Frutti revive York playwright Mike Kenny’s adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s story, set in a place where what you see is not what it seems: the Museum of Forgotten Things.
Three musical curators delve into the mystery of how a little green pea ended up there in an hour of humour, songs and a romp through every type of princess you could imagine. Box office and show times: 01904 623568 or at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.
Open Studios of the week: Anita Bowerman, Dove Tree Art Gallery and Studio, Back Granville Road, Harrogate, Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 5pm
HARROGATE paper-cut, watercolour and stainless steel artist Anita Bowerman opens her doors for refreshments and a browse around her new paintings of Yorkshire and Yorkshire Shepherdess Amanda Owen, prints and mugs.
“It’s a perfect chance for inspiration before the Christmas present-buying rush starts,” says Anita, who has been busy illustrating a new charity Christmas card for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance featuring the Yorkshire Shepherdess.
York Design Week gig of the week: Drawsome!, Mollie Coddled Talk More Pavilion, Spark:York, Saturday, from 3pm
AS part of Drawsome’s day of workshops and an Indy Makers Market to complement MarkoLooks’ print swap exhibition of illustrators and printmakers, York’s Young Thugs Records are curating a free line-up of live music.
Taking part will be The Hazy Janes, Kell Chambers and Rachel Croft, singer, songwriter and illustrator to boot.
Welcome back of the week: Breabach, Selby Town Hall, Saturday, 8pm
GLASGOW folk luminaries Breabach will be the first touring band to play Selby Town Hall for almost 20 months this weekend.
“Leading lights of the Scottish roots music scene and five-time Scots Trad Music Award winners, they’re a really phenomenally talented band,” says Chris Jones, Selby Town Council’s arts officer. “It’s an absolute thrill to have professional music back in the venue. It’s been far too long!” Box office: 01757 708449, at selbytownhall.co.uk or on the door from 7.30pm.
Eighties’ celebration of the week: Level 42, York Barbican, Sunday, doors 7pm
ISLE of Wight jazz funksters Level 42 revive those rubbery bass favourites Lessons In Love, The Sun Goes Down (Living It Up), Something About You, Running In The Family et al at York Barbican.
Here are the facts: Mark King’s band released 14 studio, seven live and six compilation albums, sold out Wembley Arena for 21 nights and chalked up 30 million album sales worldwide.
This From Eternity To Here tour gig has been rearranged from October 2020; original tickets remain valid. Box office for “limited availability”: yorkbarbican.co.uk.
Guitarist of the week: Richard Thompson, York Barbican, Monday, doors 7pm
RICHARD Thompson plays York Barbican on the back of releasing Beeswing, his April autobiography subtitled Losing My Way And Finding My Voice 1967-1975.
An intimate memoir of musical exploration, personal history and social revelation, it charts his co-founding of folk-rock pioneers Fairport Convention, survival of a car crash, formation of a duo with wife Linda and discovery of Sufism.
Move on from the back pages, here comes Richard Thompson OBE, aged 72, songwriter, singer and one of Rolling Stone magazine’s Top 20 Guitarists of All Time. Katherine Priddy supports. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.
Something wicked this way comes…at last: York Shakespeare Project in Macbeth, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, October 26 to 30, 7.30pm and 2.30pm Saturday matinee
THE curse of Macbeth combined with Lockdown 1’s imposition to put a stop to York Shakespeare Project’s Scottish Play one week before its March 2020 opening.
Rising like the ghost of Banquo, but sure to be better received, Leo Doulton’s resurrected production will run as the 37th play in the York charity’s mission to perform all Shakespeare’s known plays over 20 years.
Doulton casts Emma Scott’s Macbeth into a dystopian future, using a cyberpunk staging to bring to life this dark tale of ambition, murder and supernatural forces. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.
Dance show of the week: Cassa Pancho’s Ballet Black, York Theatre Royal, Tuesday, 7.30pm
ARTISTIC director Cassa Pancho’s Ballet Black return to York with a double bill full of lyrical contrasts and beautiful movement.
Will Tuckett blends classical ballet, poetry and music to explore ideas of home and belonging in Then Or Now; fellow Olivier Award-winning choreographer Mthuthuzeli November contemplates the purpose of life in The Waiting Game. Box office: 01904 623568 or at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.
Exhibition of the week: Fylingdales Group of Artists, Blossom Street Gallery, Blossom Street, York, until November 30
TWELVE Fylingdales Group members are contributing 31 works to this exhibition of Yorkshire works, mainly of paintings in oils, acrylics, gouache and limonite.
Two pieces by Paul Blackwell are in pastel; Angie McCall has incorporated collage in her mixed-media work and printmaker Michael Atkin features too.
Also participating are David Allen, fellow Royal Society of Marine Artist member and past president David Howell, Kane Cunningham, John Freeman, Linda Lupton, Don Micklethwaite, Bruce Mulcahy, Sue Slack and Ann Thornhill.
HAPPY49th birthday today to Julian Norton, star of Channel 5’s The Yorkshire Vet, who has a booking in the diary for January 18 2022 at Pocklington Arts Centre.
In An Evening With…show at 7.30pm, the Castleford-born author and veterinary surgeon will share amusing anecdotes from his work with animals in North Yorkshire, true stories that bring to life all the drama and humour in the daily routine of a rural vet.
Following in the footsteps of James Herriot author Alf Wight, Norton spent most of his working life at the Skeldale practice in Thirsk, before working in Boroughbridge and opening an independent vet practice in Wetherby.
This spring, he has returned to the North Yorkshire market town to open the Thirsk Veterinary Practice with his wife, fellow vet Anne, as a sister practice to Wetherby.
Pocklington Arts Centre director Janet Farmer says: “We’re delighted to be welcoming Julian Norton to PAC for what will be a fun and fascinating evening for fans of the hit TV series The Yorkshire Vet, animal lovers looking to be inspired, or simply those who want to share in Julian’s passion and commitment to his work.
“An Evening With Julian Norton follows two previous, highly popular shows at PAC by Yorkshire Shepherdess Amanda Owen, so we know ticket are likely to sell fast.”
Norton has featured prominently in The Yorkshire Vet on Channel 5, now in its 12th series of recording the day-to-day work of vets in rural North Yorkshire.
Norton has written six books about his life as a vet. His latest, All Creatures: Heart-warming Tales From A Yorkshire Vet, was published by Hodder & Stoughton in March.
Tickets for An Evening With Julian Norton go on sale at £18.50 tomorrow (4/6/2021) at pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk.
HARROGATE artist Anita Bowerman has created a new painting of The Yorkshire Shepherdess, Amanda Owen, the hill farmer and mother of nine from ITV’s The Dales and Channel 5’s Our Yorkshire Farm.
Painted in watercolour and gouache, The Hay Meadows In Summer At Ravenseat is available in a limited-edition print run of 450 and as a mug.
Each giclee print is signed by both Anita, who runs Dove Tree Art Gallery & Studio at Back Granville Road in Harrogate, and Amanda, who has featured previously in Anita’s fund-raising Christmas cards for Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
The idyllic scene captures Amanda in her shepherdess’s smock coat in the Yorkshire summertime in the ancient Hay Meadows with her nine children, animals, wildlife, insects and flowers and husband Clive on his tractor in the distance at their Ravenseat Farm in Swaledale.
“It took me a long time to create this scene using watercolour and gouache, a thick watercolour,” says Anita. “I love adding detail and telling a story in a picture. Amanda and her sheepdog Kate look adoringly at each other, the children play happily, picking flowers, chatting to each other and racing through the fields.
“There are some sheep, Tony the Pony with three girls surrounding him, a curlew, mole, hares, butterflies and lots more besides.”
Amanda enthuses: “Anita has illustrated a beautiful design featuring my family and animals at home in the hay meadows. She manages to capture all the details so intricately, from my favourite smock coat to the backdrop, animals, flowers and even my children.”
Anita then designed a fine bone china mug showing the same foreground scene, made for her by Duchess China in Stoke-on-Trent. “Amanda has served tea out of some of the mugs and sold them directly to walkers who visit her Ravenseat farm,” she says.
“Then, during one episode of Our Yorkshire Farm, the camera honed in on Raven, Amanda’s eldest child, who had just gone to university. She was holding one of the mugs as the interviewer asked her if she was missing home and her eyes welled up with tears.
“The camera held the pose for a while…. and Amanda started to get requests flooding in from viewers to buy the mug. Another order from Duchess was needed.”
Amanda, who has visited Duchess China with Anita, loves the mugs! “They are very special, they make a pretty gift and are not only collectors’ pieces but being fine bone china, they also make a jolly decent cup of tea,” says The Yorkshire Shepherdess, author, photographer and public speaker.
Although Anita’s studio and gallery in a refurbished 19th century former coach house in the French Atelier style has been closed for much of the time since the first lockdown last March, she has continued to paint throughout the pandemic.
Not only her Yorkshire Shepherdess prints and mug have been proving popular, so too have Anita’s elephants and boxing hares, all being posted out during lockdown.
The Elephant Family decorations, in hand-polished stainless steel, are inspired by the Painted Elephant Festival in Jaipur, India.
“They’ve become a symbol of families struggling to get together during the pandemic,” says Anita, who has been donating ten per cent of the proceeds to the Elephant Family Charity to protect Asian wildlife and its habitat.
Anita’s signed limited-edition giclee print of Boxing Hares at RHS Garden Harlow Carr was inspired by this enchanted Harrogate garden, depicting the willow boxing hares at the moonlit Glow event held there.
First making her name with her papercuts, Anita was the official artist of the Tour de Yorkshire and latterly an artist in residence at RHS Harlow Carr Gardens.
Last July, her commissioned Tree Of Life art installation of 191 stainless steel wellies on a Lime Walk tree at Castle Howard raised funds for Yorkshire Cancer Research’s Give Cancer The Boot appeal.
Looking ahead, Anita is planning to paint cherry blossom over the exterior of her studio in late-April to coincide with the Harrogate Stray’s cherry blossoms. “It’s an idea that seems to be catching on,” she says. “Damien Hirst is focusing on cherry blossom at the moment too!”
For more information or to acquire a print or mug, go to: anitabowerman.co.uk.