More Things To Do in Ryedale, York and beyond when comedy bites. Here’s Hutch’s List No 3, from Gazette and Herald

Deaf comedian Steve Day: Playing on the Hilarity Bites bill at Milton Rooms, Malton

A DEAF comedian and history-charting musicians, a classic thriller and a feminist fairytale, a community choir festival and a prog-rock legend make Charles Hutchinson’s list of upcoming cultural highlights.

Ryedale comedy gig of the week: Hilarity Bites Comedy Club, Steve Day, Ashley Frieze and Carl Jones, Milton Rooms, Malton, Friday (23/02/2024), 8pm

THE first Hilarity Bites bill of 2024 will be headlined by Steve Day, who describes himself as “Britain’s only deaf comedian and if there are any others he hasn’t heard them”! Actually, a couple of others have started since he wrote that joke, but it is only a joke after all.

On the bill too are guitar-toting funny man Ashley Frieze, with his charming, daft and warm brand of music-infused stand-up, and Midlands storytelling comedian Carl Jones, a football fanatic who interviews comedy cohorts for his ​Premier League nostalgia podcast When Football Began Again. Box office: 01653 696240 or themiltonrooms.com.

Chris Green and Sophie Matthews: 600 years of music crammed into 90 minutes at Pocklington Arts Centre

Musical tour of the week: Green Matthews: A Brief History Of Music, Pocklington Arts Centre, Friday, 8pm

STRING player Chris Green and woodwind player Sophie Matthews take in 600 years of musical history in 90 minutes, spanning the Middle Ages to the 20th century in a whistle-stop tour of Western music.

Featuring long-forgotten songs, tunes and jokes too, Green and Matthews paint a vibrant and vivid picture of our musical DNA, mixing the familiar and the obscure, the raucous and the reflective and the courtly and the commonplace. Box office: 01759 301547 or pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk.

Skylights: Lighting up York Barbican in November

Gig announcement of the week: Skylights, York Barbican, November 2

YORK band Skylights will play their biggest home-city show yet this autumn, with tickets going on sale on Friday at 10am at ticketmaster.co.uk in a week when latest release Time To Let Things Go has risen to number two in the Official Vinyl Singles Chart.

Guitarist Turnbull Smith says: ‘We’re absolutely over the moon to be headlining the biggest venue in our home city of York, the Barbican. It’s always been a dream of ours to play here, so to headline will be the perfect way to finish what’s going to be a great year. Thanks to everyone for the support. It means the world and we’ll see you all there.”

Rick Wakeman: Return Of The Caped Crusader at York Barbican

Catch him while you can: Rick Wakeman, Return Of The Caped Crusader, York Barbican, Saturday, 7.30pm

PROG-ROCK icon and Yes keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman, 76, is to call time on his one-man shows to concentrate on composing, recording and collaborating, but not before playing York. “I always planned to stop touring by my 77th birthday,” he says. “For those of you who wish to send me a card, it’s 18th May!”

Saturday’s show opens with Wakeman’s new arrangements of Yes material for band and vocalists, followed after the interval by his epic work Journey To The Centre Of The Earth. Box office for returns only: yorkbarbican.co.uk.

Jessa Liversidge: Directing Easingwold Community Singers’ performance at the York Community Choir Festival

Choirs galore: York Community Choir Festival 2024, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, February 25, 6pm; February 26 to March 1, 7.30pm; March 2, 2.30pm and 7.30pm

THE 8th York Community Choir Festival spreads 31 choirs across eight concerts over six days at the JoRo. On the opening evening, Easingwold Community Singers will be premiering director Jessa Liversidge’s arrangement of The Secret Of Happiness  from the American musical Daddy Long Legs, with permission of composer and lyricist Paul Gordon.

Choirs range from York Philharmonic Male Voice Choir to The Rolling Tones, Sounds Fun Singers to York Military Wives Choir, Selby Youth Choir to Track 29 Ladies Close Harmony Chorus. Six choirs from Huntington School perform next Friday, taking up all the first-half programme. Box office: 01904 501935 or josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.

Todd Boyce, left, and Neil McDermott in Sleuth, on tour at Grand Opera House, York. Picture: Jack Merriman

Thriller of the week: Sleuth, Grand Opera House, York, Monday to Saturday, 7.30pm; 2.30pm Wednesday and Saturday

TODD Boyce, best known for playing Coronation Street’s notorious baddie Stephen Reid, will be joined by EastEnders soap star Neil McDermott in Anthony Shaffer’s dark psychological thriller about thrillers, directed by Rachel Kavanaugh.

What happens? A young man arrives at the impressive home of a famous mystery writer, only to be unwittingly drawn into a tangled web of intrigue and gamesmanship, where nothing is quite as it seems. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.

Emma Rice: Writer-director of Wise Children’s Blue Beard, playing York Theatre Royal from next Tuesday

Play of the week: Wise Children in Emma Rice’s Blue Beard, York Theatre Royal, February 27 to March 9, 7.30pm plus 2pm Thursday and 2.30pm Saturday matinees

BLUE Beard meets his match when his young bride discovers his dark and murderous secret. She summons all her rage, all her smarts and all her sisters to bring the curtain down on his tyrannous reign as writer-director Emma Rice brings her own brand of theatrical wonder to this beguiling, disturbing tale.

Applying Rice’s signature sleight of hand, Blue Beard explores curiosity and consent, violence and vengeance, all through an intoxicating lens of music, wit and tender truth. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

Rob Auton: Star of The Rob Auton Show, full of firsts, from memories to girlfriends to jobs

Comedy gig(s) of the week: Rob Auton, The Rob Auton Show, Burning Duck Comedy Club, The Crescent, York, February 28, 7.30pm; Mortimer Suite, Hull City Hall, February 29, 7.30pm; The Wardrobe, Leeds, March 1, 7.30pm

ROB Auton, Pocklington-raised stand-up comedian, writer, podcaster, actor, illustrator and former Glastonbury festival poet-in-residence, returns north from London with his self-titled tenth themed solo show.

After the colour yellow, the sky, faces, water, sleep, hair, talking, time and crowds, Auton turns the spotlight on himself, exploring the memories and feelings that create his life on a daily basis. Box office: York, thecrescentyork.seetickets.com; Hull, hulltheatres.co.uk; Leeds, brudenellsocialclub.seetickets.com.

More Things To Do in Ryedale, York & beyond as arts take to the bike & beach. Hutch’s List No. 2 from Gazette & Herald

Don (John Lister) and Carol (Kate Caute) share a cycle but not political views in Paris in 1812 Theatre Company’s production of John Godber’s Scary Bikers

BIKERS divided by Brexit, beach encounters with Orpheus, a joyful mess in art, an Eighties rom-com revisited, Ukrainian opera and a big summer signing for Scarborough brighten Charles Hutchinson’s days ahead

Ryedale play of the week: 1812 Theatre Company in Scary Bikers, Helmsley Arts Centre, February 21 to 24, 7.30pm

HELMSLEY’S 1812 Theatre Company stage their first John Godber comedy next week, his 2018 two-hander Scary Bikers. Outwardly, redundant miner Don (John Lister) and former private school teacher Carol (Kate Caute) have little in common, but beneath the surface their former spouses are buried next to each other. Soon widowed Don and Carol will bump into each other.

An innocent coffee leads to a bike ride through the Yorkshire Dales, then a bike tour across Europe to Florence. All looks promising for a budding romance, but their departure date is June 23 2016 and Don and Carol are on the opposite sides of the Brexit fence. Box office: helmsleyarts.co.uk or in person from the arts centre.

Grace Long as Ella Grey in Pilot Theatre’s A Song For Ella Grey. Picture: Topher McGrillis

York play of the week: Pilot Theatre in A Song For Ella Grey, York Theatre Royal; February 20 to 24, Hull Truck Theatre, March 5 to 9

IN Zoe Cooper’s stage adaptation of David Almond’s novel for York company Pilot Theatre, York Theatre Royal and Newcastle’s Northern Stage, Claire and her best friend, Ella Grey, are ordinary kids from ordinary families in an ordinary world where modern teenagers meet ancient forces.

They and their friends fall in and out of love, play music and dance, stare at the stars, yearn for excitement, and have parties on Northumbrian beaches. One day, a stranger, a musician called Orpheus, appears on the beach and entrances them all, especially Ella. Where has Orpheus come from and what path will Ella follow in this contemporary re-telling of the ancient Greek myth? Box office: York, 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk; Hull,  01482 323638 or hulltruck.co.uk.

Displayful artists Luke Beech, Wendy Galloway, Kate Fox and Liberty Hodes, exhibiting at Scarborough Art Gallery. Picture: Tony Bartholomew

Coastal exhibition of the season: Displayful, Scarborough Art Gallery until May 7

DISPLAYFUL celebrates happy accidents and joyful mess, aiming to brighten the winter months by inviting visitors to enjoy uplifting contemporary artistic responses to objects from the collections of Scarborough Museums and Galleries.

The show combines new work by five regional artists, Luke Beech, Kate Fox, Wendy Galloway, Liberty Hodes and Angela Knipe, alongside historical artefacts, and asks audiences to consider new possibilities for the lives of objects.  

Grant Harris: Making connections at Milton Rooms, Malton

Messages from beyond: Grant Harris: Medium, Milton Rooms, Malton, tomorrow (15/2/2024), 7pm

MEDIUM Grant Harris returns to the Milton Rooms to “connect with your loved ones to provide messages of support, reassurance and much needed clarity at times we require it most”.

“There are things we don’t fully understand about life and death but what I do is bring some peace to those who need it,” says Harris, whose shows promise humour too. Tickets: 01709 437700 or 01653 696240.

Amber Davies’s Vivian and Oliver Savile’s Edward, centre, in Pretty Woman The Musical, on tour at the Grand Opera House, York

Musical of the week: Pretty Woman The Musical, Grand Opera House, York, February 20 to 24, 7.30pm, plus 2.30pm Wednesday and Saturday matinees

BILLED as Hollywood’s ultimate rom-com, live on stage, Pretty Woman: The Musical is set once upon a time in the late 1980s, when Hollywood Boulevard hooker Vivian meets entrepreneur Edward Lewis and her life changes forever.

Amber Davies plays Vivian opposite Oliver Savile’s Edward; 2016 Strictly Come Dancing champion Ore Oduba, last seen at this theatre in fishnets in March 2022 as Brad Majors in The Rocky Horror Show, has two roles as hotel manager Barnard Thompson/Happy Man, and  Natalie Paris will be Vivian’s wisecracking roommate Kit De Luca. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.

The poster artwork for Dnipro Opera’s Madama Butterfly at York Barbican

Opera of the week: Dnipro Opera in Madama Butterfly, York Barbican, February 20, 7pm

DNIPRO Opera, the Ukrainian National Opera, returns to British shores after last year’s visit to perform Puccini’s favourite work, Madama Butterfly, sung in Italian with English surtitles.

Set in Japan in 1904, this torrid tale of innocent love crushed between two contrasting cultures charts the affair between an American naval officer and his young Japanese bride, whose self-sacrifice and defiance of her family leads to tragedy. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.

Comedian Chloe Petts heads for York with her If You Can’t Say Anything Nice show

Comedy gig of the week: Burning Duck Comedy Club presents Chloe Petts, The Crescent, York, tomorrow (15/2/2024), 7.30pm

BUOYED by her Edinburgh Fringe run and Soho Theatre sell-out debut in London, Chloe Petts serves up her follow-up hour, If You Can’t Say Anything Nice. Everyone complimented her on how polite she was with big issues in the last show, so now she is cashing in those points and plans on being really rude. “Expect routines on wedding dancefloors, the footie and calling you all a bunch of virgins,” she says. Box office: wegottickets.com/event/588889.

Look out too for Burning Duck’s 8pm show at Theatre@41 Monkgate, York, on Friday: the debut tour of northerner Paddy Young: Hungry, Horny, Scared..and “in the gutter but looking down on all of you”. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.

James: Returning to Scarborough Open Air Theatre in July. Picture: Lewis Knaggs

Gig announcement of the week: James, supported by Reverend & The Makers and Girlband!, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, July 26

MANCHESTER band James play Scarborough Open Air Theatre for the fourth time on July 26, the night when Leeds lads Kaiser Chiefs finish off the evening card at York Races.

“If you haven’t been there before, then make sure you come,” says James bassist and founder member Jim Glennie. “It’s a cracking venue and you can even have a paddle in the sea before the show!” New album Yummy arrives on April 12. Box office: James, ticketmaster.co.uk from 9am on Friday; Kaiser Chiefs, yorkracecourse.co.uk.

More Things To Do in York and beyond when you’re not only here for the beer. Hutch’s List No. 43, from The Press

Velma Celli: Vocal drag entertainment with chutzpah and cheek at Yorktoberfest, York Racecourse

BAVARIAN revelry and riotous Russian politics, Frankenstein in wartime and jazz era Joni, comedy and charity nights entice Charles Hutchinson to do battle with Storm Babet.

Festival of the week: Jamboree Entertainment presents Yorktoberfest, Clocktower Enclosure, York Racecourse, Knavesmire Road, York, today, 1pm to 5pm; Friday, 7pm to 11pm; next Saturday, 1pm to 5pm and 7pm to 11pm

YORKTOBEFEST returns for a third autumn season of beer, bratwurst, bumper cars and all things Bavarian in a giant marquee. Look out for the Bavarian Strollers, with their thigh-slapping oompah tunes and disco classics, and York’s international drag diva Velma Celli with her stellar singing and saucy humour.  

Dancing is encouraged, as is the wearing of Lederhosen, Dirndls or any other fancy dress, with nightly competitions and prizes for the best dressed. Box office: ticketsource.co.uk/yorktoberfest.

Steve Cassidy: Playing hits spanning six decades at St Peter’s School tonight

Fundraiser of the week: York Rotary presents A Song For Everyone, Memorial Hall, St Peter’s School, Clifton, York, tonight; doors 7pm, concert 7.30pm to 10.15pm

YORK singer and guitarist Steve Cassidy and his band are joined by guest vocalist Heather Findlay to perform a “huge range of popular hits covering six decades”. Expect rock, ballads and country music. Proceeds from this fundraising concert will go to St Leonard’s Hospice and York Rotary Charity Fund. Box office: yorkrotary.co.uk/a-song-for-everyone or on the door.

Heather Findlay: Guest vocalist at A Song For Everyone. Picture: Adam Kennedy

Spooks at Spark: Halloween Makers’ Market, Spark:York, Piccadilly, York, today, 12 noon to 4pm

THE Halloween edition of Spark:York’s Makers’ Market features “spooktacularly” handcrafted work by independent makers. Taking part will be Wistoragic Designs, Enthralled Yet, Gem Belle, A Forest of Shadows, Kim’s Clay Jewellery and the Mimi Shop by Amelia. Entry is free.

Hejira: Celebrating the jazz days of Joni Mitchell at the NCEM

Jazz gig of the week: Hejira: Celebrating Joni Mitchell, National Centre for Early Music, Walmgate, York, tomorrow, 6.30pm 

JAZZ seven-piece Hejira honour the works of Canadian-American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and painter Joni Mitchell, mostly from the late 1970s, in particular Mingus from her “jazz period” and the live album Shadows And Light, recorded in 1979 with a Jazz All Stars line-up featuring saxophonist Michael Brecker and guitarist Pat Metheny.

Hejira is fronted by Hattie Whitehead, who – in her own way – has assimilated the poise, power and beauty of Joni’s vocals and plays guitar with Joni’s stylistic mannerisms. Joining her will be Pete Oxley, guitar; Ollie Weston, saxophones; Chris Eldred, piano and keyboards; Dave Jones, electric basses; Rick Finlay, drums, and Marc Cecil, percussion. Box office: 01904 658338 or ncem.co.uk.

Go Your Own Way: The Rumours are true, they are playing Fleetwood Mac songs at the Grand Opera House tomorrow

Tribute show of the week: Go Your Own Way – The Fleetwood Mac Legacy, Grand Opera House, tomorrow, 7.30pm

GO Your Own Way celebrates the Fleetwood Mac era of Rumours and that 1977 line-up of Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, John McVie, Christine McVie and Mick Fleetwood in this new tribute show. Dreams, Don’t Stop Rhiannon, Gold Dust Woman, Everywhere, Little Lies and Big Love all feature. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.

Jonny Best: Piano accompaniment to Monday’s screenings of The Great Train Robbery and The General. Picture: Chris Payne

Film screening of the week: Northern Silents Film Festival presents The Great Train Robbery (1903) and The General (1926), National Centre for Early Music, York, Monday, 7.30pm

NORTHERN Silents artistic director and pianist Jonny Best brings musical commentary to a pair of silent cinema’s most famous railway chase films.

The 12-minute escapade The Great Train Robbery still packs a punch after 120 years, while Buster Keaton’s greatest achievement, the 80-minute The General, is both a brlliantly staged American Civil War epic and a comedy-thriller packed with visual humour, daring stunts and dramatic tension.

Keaton plays railroad engineer Johnny Gray, whose beloved locomotive, The General, is stolen by Yankees, stirring him to strive to get it back against the odds. Box office: 01904 658338 or ncem.co.uk.

Eleanor McLoughlin as Victoria Frankenstein and Cameron Robertson as The Creature in Tilted Wig’s Frankenstein, on tour at York Theatre Royal

One for the Halloween season: Tilted Wig in Frankenstein, York Theatre Royal, Tuesday to Saturday; 7.30pm October 24 and 26 to 28; 2pm, October 25 and 26; 2.30pm, October 28

TILTED Wig’s Frankenstein is an electrifying reimagining of Mary Shelley’s Gothic 19th century horror story, now set in 1943. While Europe tears itself apart, two women hide from their past at what feels like the very end of the world. One of them has a terrifying story to tell. 

Adapted and directed by Sean Aydon, this new thriller explores the very fabric of what makes us human and the ultimate cost of chasing “perfection” with a cast featuring Eleanor McLoughlin as Doctor Victoria Frankenstein, Basienka Blake as Captain/Richter and Cameron Robertson as The Creature. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

Burning Duck Comedy Club welcomes Tom Lawrinson, Erin Tett and Mandy McCarthy to Spark:York

Comedy bill of the week: Burning Duck Comedy Club presents Tom Lawrinson & Friends, Spark:York, Piccadilly, York, Tuesday, 7.30pm

AFTER Tom Lawrinson and Eryn Tett starred in Burning Duck’s inaugural Spark Comedy Fringe, promoter Al Greaves has invited them back to spark more laughs.

Absurdist alternative comedian Tett opens the show; Lawrinson, who made his Edinburgh Fringe debut with Hubba Hubba, is the headline act. In between come two shorter spots (wait and see who those “friends” will be), with guest host MC Mandy McCarthy holding everything together. Box office: burningduckcomedy.com.

Comedian Helen Bauer: Girl’s talk at The Crescent and Hyde Park Book Club

A word or two on women: Burning Duck Comedy Club presents Helen Bauer: Grand Supreme Darling Princess, The Crescent, York, Thursday, 7.30pm; Hyde Park Book Club, Headingley, Leeds, Friday, 8pm

HELEN Bauer, Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Newcomer nominee, Late Night Mash star and Trusty Dogs podcaster, heads to York and Leeds with a show about the women in her life, from her mother to her best friend and that one girl who was mean in 2008. Oh, and Disney princesses, obviously. Box office: York, wegottickets.com/event/581816; Leeds, wegottickets.com/event/581817.

One dalmatian, 100 more are on their way to the Grand Opera House in a new musical in November 2024. Picture: Oliver Rosser, Feast Creative

Spotted in the distance: 101 Dalmatians The Musical, Grand Opera House, York, November 5 to 9 2024, not 2023

A NEW musical tour of Dodie Smith’s canine caper 101 Dalmatians will arrive in York next autumn.  Written by Douglas Hodge (music and lyrics) and Johnny McKnight (book), from a stage adaptation by Zinnie Harris, the show is reimagined from the 2022 production at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, London. The cast and creative team are yet to be announced.

When fashionista Cruella de Vil plots to swipe all the Dalmatian puppies in town to create her fabulous new fur coat, trouble lies ahead for Pongo and Perdi and their litter of tail-wagging young pups. Smith’s story will be brought to stage life with puppetry, choreography, humorous songs and, yes, puppies. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.

In Focus: Political drama of the week: York Settlement Community Players in Government Inspector

Director Alan Park, back row, right, and his Settlement Players cast for Government Inspector at Theatre@41, Monkgate. Picture: John Saunders

IN his first time in the director’s seat for 15 years, Theatre@41 chair and actor Alan Park directs the Settlement Players in David Harrower’s adaptation of Nikolai Gogol’s Russian satirical exposé of hypocrisy and corruption in high places, prompted by a simple case of mistaken identity.

Park’s ensemble cast of eccentrics will undertake a fun, chaotic journey through 1980s’ Soviet Russia. “Communism is collapsing, it’s every man, woman and dog for themselves. What could possibly go wrong?” he asks, as the bureaucrats of a small Russian town are sent into a panic by news of the government inspector’s imminent arrival.

Harrower’s version premiered at the Warwick Arts Centre in May 2011 and transferred to the Young Vic, London, later that year. Now it provides “the perfect platform for Settlement Players’ hugely talented ensemble”, led by Mike Hickman as the town’s Major.

Andrew Roberts plays Khlestakov, accompanied by Paul French as his long-suffering servant, Osip. YSCP regulars combine with newcomers in Park’s company of Alison Taylor as the Major’s wife; Pearl Mollison, the Major’s daughter; Katie Leckey, Dobchinsky; Sonia Di Lorenzo, Bobchinksy; Maggie Smales, the Judge; Matt Pattison, Postmaster; Mark Simmonds, Head of Hospitals; Paul Osborne, School Superintendent; Adam Sowter, Police Superintendent; Florence Poskitt, Mishka, and Alexandra Mather, Dr Gibner.

Jim Paterson will lead a live band, made up of cast members, such as Pattison and Sowter, to help transport next week’s audiences to a 1980s’ provincial Soviet town full of eccentric personalities. Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, Tuesday to Saturday, 7.30pm and 2.30pm Saturday matinee. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk

More Things To Do in York & beyond, from musical mischief to hen night shenanigans. Here’s Hutch’s List No.32, from The Press

Bull: Headlining The Boatyard Festival at Bishopthorpe Marina today

SHAKESPEARE in gardens, music and magic by the riverside, an LGBTQ musical premiere and a riotous hen party on stage are among Charles Hutchinson’s eye-catchers for upcoming entertainment.

Festival of the week: The Boatyard Festival, The Boatyard, Bishopthorpe Marina, Ferry Lane, Bishopthorpe, York, today, 10am until late

THIS family-friendly music festival will be headlined by ebullient York band Bull. Look out too for Bonneville, Tymisha, London DJ Zee Hammer, Yorky Pud Street Band, The Plumber Drummer, City Snakes, Rum Doodle and Hutch.

Further attractions will be stilt walkers, a hula-hoop workshop, a giant bubble show, magic, face painting, fayre games, stalls, food and drink, with free admission for accompanied children. Box office: head to the-boatyard.co.uk/events/ for the QR code to book.

Four Wheel Drive director Alfie Howle and cast member Alison Gammon park up at the National Centre of Early Music for a garden of delights in A Midsummer Day’s Dream

Crazy chaos of the week: Four Wheel Drive presents A Midsummer Day’s Dream, National Centre for Early Music, York, today at 11am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm

FOUR Wheel Drive, producers of “off-road theatrical experiences” in York, invite children aged seven to 11 and their families to a musical, magical and mystical diurnal reimagining of William Shakespeare’s romcom in the NCEM gardens (or indoors if wet).

Four Athenians run away to the forest, only for the sylvan sprite Puck to make both the boys fall in love with the same girl while also helping his master play a trick on the fairy queen. Will all this crazy chaos have a happy ending? Anna Gallon and Alfie Howle’s interactive 45-minute adaptation will allow children to engage in the mischief-making Midsummer action, performed by Gallon, Katja Schiebeck and Esther Irving. Grab a boom-wacker and book tickets on 01904 658338 or necem.co.uk.

Three in one: Esk Valley Theatre writer, director and actor Mark Stratton

Debut of the week: Esk Valley Theatre in Deals And Deceptions, Robinson Institute, Glaisdale, Whitby, until August 26

IN artistic director Mark Stratton’s first play for Esk Valley Theatre, Danny and Jen leave London and head to an isolated cottage in the North York Moors. City clashes with country, dark forces are at work and humorous situations arise.

“We may think we know the person we are married to, but do we?” asks Stratton, who is joined in the cast by Clare Darcy and Dominic Rye. “What someone chooses to show the world is not always who they are. If they trade in deals and deceptions, then a day of reckoning will surely come.” Box office: 01947 897587 or eskvalleytheatre.co.uk.

Is this the hen party from hell? Will best friends fall out in Bridesmaids Of Britain? Find out tomorrow night

Hen party comedy heads to hen party haven: Bridesmaids Of Britain, Grand Opera House, York, tomorrow, 7pm

BILLED as “the girls’ night out to remember”, welcome to Diana Doherty’s Bridesmaids Of Britain. Becky is the overly loyal maid-of-honour whose life unravels as she leads best friend Sarah on a wild ride down the road to matrimony.

Things go awry, however, as competition between Becky and Tiffany – Sarah new BFF (best friend forever, obvs) – over who is the bride’s bestie threatens to upend the wedding planning that has been in the making since primary school. Be prepared for dance-offs, sing-offs and eventually shout-offs at the “hen do of the year”, held in a caravan. Will this wedding story have a happy ending, or will these best friends rip each other apart? Box office: atgtickets.com/york.

Dan Crawfurd-Porter’s Whizzer and Chris Mooney’s Marvin in rehearsal for Black Sheep Theatre Productions’ Falsettos, opening at the JoRo on Wednesday

York premiere of the week: Black Sheep Theatre Productions in Falsettos, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, Wednesday to Saturday, 7.30pm plus 2.30pm Saturday matinee.

YORK company Black Sheep Theatre Productions has been granted an exclusive British licence by Concord Theatricals and composer/lyricist William Finn to stage Finn and James Lapine’s “very gay, very Jewish” musical Falsettos, thanks to the persistence of director Matthew Clare.

In its late-Seventies, early-Eighties American story, set against the backdrop of the rise of Aids, Marvin has left his wife Trina and son Jason to be with his male lover Whizzer, whereupon he struggles to keep his Jewish family together in the way he has idealised. Box office: 01904 501935 or josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.

Pennine Suite: Topping Friday’s bill of York bands at The Crescent

York music bill of the week: Northern Radar presents Pennine Suite, Sun King, Everything After Midnight and The Rosemaries, The Crescent, York, Friday, 7.30pm to 11pm

PENNINE Suite play their biggest headline gig to date in an all-York line-up on a rare 2023 appearance in their home city. The five-piece draws inspiration from the alternative rock movements of the 1980s and 1990s, interlaced with shoegaze and pop melodies, typified by the singles Far and Scottish Snow. Box office: thecrescentyork.com.

Garden secrets: Which character will York Shakespeare Project veteran Frank Brogan play in Sonnets At The Bar? It’s all hush-hush until August 11

Bard convention: York Shakespeare Project in Sonnets At The Bar, Bar Convent Living Heritage Centre, Friday to August 19 (except August 14), 6pm and 7.30pm plus 4.30pm Saturday performances

YORK Shakespeare Project returns to the secret garden at Bar Convent for another season of Shakespeare sonnets, this time directed by Tony Froud. Reprising the familiar format, the show features a series of larger-than-life modern characters, each with a secret to reveal through a sonnet.

Inside writer Helen Wilson’s framework of the comings and goings of hotel staff and guests, the characters will be played by Diana Wyatt, Judith Ireland, Sarah Dixon, Frank Brogan, Maurice Crichton, Nigel Evans, Harold Mozley, Froud and Wilson. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

Ceridwen Smith in Next Door But One’s The Firework-Maker’s Daughter . Picture: James Drury

Talking elephants of the week: Next Door But One in The Firework-Maker’s Daughter, York Theatre Royal patio, August 12, 11am and 2pm

YORK theatre-makers Next Door But One’s adventurous storyteller travels to Lila’s Firework Festival in this intimate, inclusive, accessible and fun stage adaptation of Philip Pullman’s novel, replete with talking elephants, silly kings and magical creatures.

As Lila voyages across lakes and over mountains, she faces her biggest fears and learns everything she needs to know to become the person she has always wanted to be. Makaton signs and symbols, puppetry and audience participation play their part in Ceridwen Smith’s performance. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

Grace Petrie: Switching from folk musician to stand-up comedy act on tour in York, Leeds and Sheffield

Change of tack: Burning Duck Comedy Club presents Grace Petrie: Butch Ado About Nothing, The Crescent, York, September 17, 7.30pm

FOLK singer, lesbian and checked-shirt-collector Grace Petrie has been incorrectly called “Sir” every day of her adult life. Now, after finally running out of subject matter for her “whiny songs”, she is putting down the guitar to work out why in her debut stand-up show, Butch Ado About Nothing, on her return to The Crescent.

Finding herself mired in an age of incessantly and increasingly fraught gender politics, the Norwich-based Leicester native explores what butch identity means in a world moving beyond labels, pondering where both that identity and she belong in the new frontline of queer liberation. Petrie also plays Old Woollen, Leeds, on August 31 (8pm) and The Leadmill, Sheffield, on September 10 (7.30pm). Box office: gracepetrie.com; York, thecrescentyork.com; Leeds, oldwoollen.co.uk; Sheffield, leadmill.co.uk.

More Things To Do in York & beyond. Whether 7 Days or SIX, it all adds up to Hutch’s List No. 31 for ’23, from The Press

Alex Cardall’s Eeyore, left, Robbie Noonan’s Tigger, Benjamin Durham’s Winnie the Pooh and Lottie Gregan’s Tigger in Disney’s musical adventure Winnie The Pooh. Picture: Pamela Raith

GEORGIAN glories, Forties’ swing bombshells, the joy of SIX, storytelling with pizza and Pooh and Tigger adventures bring a bounce to Charles Hutchinson’s step.

Children’s show of the week: Disney’s Winnie The Pooh, Grand Opera House, York, Tuesday, 5pm; Wednesday, 11am and 2pm

DEEP in the Hundred Acre Wood, a new musical adventure unfolds for A A Milne’s beloved characters Winnie the Pooh, Christopher Robin and their best friends Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, Rabbit, Owl and Tigger.

Accompanying the modern narrative and life-size puppetry in Jonathan Rockefeller’s show will be Nate Edmondson’s score, featuring Grammy Award-winning songs by the Sherman Brothers, such as The Blustery Day, The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers and Whoop-De-Dooper Bounce, plus Milne’s The More It Snows (with music by Carly Simon) and Sing Ho in a new arrangement. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.

7 Days at the races: Craig David at York Racecourse Music Showcase weekend, today

SOUTHAMPTON soul singer Craig David, of 7 Days romancing fame, performs hits galore after today’s racing on Knavesmire. Fill Me In, Walkaway, Rise & Fall, All The Way and I Know You are likely to feature in his early evening set with a finishing time of 7.30pm.

Gates open at 11.15am for the 2.05pm start to the seven-race card. Best bet for a ticket, as the County Stand and Grandstand & Paddock are full already, will be the more informal Clocktower Enclosure. Buy on the gate.

Alexander Flanagan Wright, left, and Phil Grainger: Premiering Helios at the Stilly Fringe tomorrow night

Stilly Fringe storytelling: James Rowland in Piece Of Work, tomorrow, 7.15pm; Wright & Grainger in Helios, tomorrow, 8.45pm, At The Mill, Stillington, near York

AHEAD of his Edinburgh Fringe run, James Rowland opens the Stilly Fringe 2023 storytelling double bill with Piece Of Work, his follow-up to Learning To Fly. Combining story, comedy and music, Piece Of Work takes the form of a road trip searching for the writer of a letter that exploded Rowland’s life. Will he find a sense of home and maybe save a life too?

Edinburgh-bound Alexander Flanagan Wright and Phil Grainger introduce Helios, their latest instalment of stories and songs rooted in Greek myths, in the wake of Orpheus, Eurydice and The Gods The Gods The Gods. Any Stilly Fringe benefits? 1. Pizzas are on the menu from 6.30pm. 2. One ticket covers both shows at tickettailor.com/events/atthemill/957195.  

The poster for Spark Comedy Fringe

Funday Sunday: Burning Duck Comedy Club presents Spark Comedy Fringe, Events Space @ Spark:York, York, tomorrow, 4pm

FOUR acts in one day are on the Burning Duck bill of Edinburgh Fringe previews, kicking off at 4pm with comedian, animator and computer programmer Neil Harris’s Codebreaker show about the Enigma machine, Alan Turing and Bletchley Park, followed by Stanley Brooks’s I Can Make Me Rich, an inspirational, interactive seminar to change your life and bring you cash at 5.30pm.

In Eryn Tett Finds Her Audience at 7pm, this absurdist stand-up misfit combines surreal storytelling with odd observations and wordplay; Tom Lawrinson concludes the cornucopia of comedy with weird, wonderful and completely unexpected punchlines in Hubba Hubba at 8.30pm. Each show costs £5 in advance for guaranteed entry or you can Pay What You Want post-show. A £15 ticket gives entry to all four performances. Box office: wegottickets.com/spark-comedy-fringe.

SIX of the best: Henry VIII’s Queens hit back in song at Leeds Grand Theatre. Picture: Pamela Raith

Musical of the week: SIX The Musical, Leeds Grand Theatre, Tuesday to Sunday

TOBY Marlow and Lucy Moss’s Spouse Girls musical/pop concert wowed York in late-June. Now Leeds awaits the dancing queens with attitude who tell their story in song to decide who suffered most at Henry VIII’s hands once he put a ring on that wedding finger.

Look out for Knaresborough actress Lou Henry in the role of the apparently not-so-squeaky-clean Catherine Howard, short-lived wife number five. Box office (probably for frustration only): 0113 243 0808 or leedsheritagetheatres.com.

In the swing of things: Alice McKenna, left, and Gleanne Purcell-Brown in Alan Plater’s Blonde Bombshells Of 1943 at the SJT. Picture: Pamela Raith

Forties’ flavour of the week: Blonde Bombshells Of 1943, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, Wednesday to August 26

ZOE Waterman directs a cast of eight actor-musicians in the SJT, Bolton Octagon and Keswick Theatre by the Lake’s lavish, lively co-production of Hull playwright Alan Plater’s warm and witty musical play.

Meet The Blonde Bombshells, the most glamorous all-girl swing band in the north, whose membership goes down every time they play a GI camp. Now an important BBC job is in the offing and Betty needs to find new musicians fast. Expect Glenn Miller, George Formby, Fats Waller and Andrews Sisters classics aplenty. Box office: 01723 370541 or sjt.uk.com. 

Castle Howard, egg tempera on gesso on canvas, by Amy Dennis, on show in the Northern Prospects exhibition at Janette Ray Rare Books

Exhibition of the week: Northern Prospects, Janette Ray Rare Books, Bootham, York, Wednesday to Friday, 10am to 5pm, until August 19

LOTTE Inch Gallery’s pop-up show of York and northern paintings, prints and ceramics at Janette Ray’s bookshop is being expanded with ceramics by York artists Ben Arnup, Mark Hearld and Ruth King among the new additions.

As Lotte turns her hand once more to creating artistic showcases in non-traditional exhibition spaces, after her hiatus from curating, she presents works by Tom Wood, Marie Walker Last, David Lloyd Jones, Amy Dennis, Nicky Hirst, Kelly Jayne, Robert H Lee, Isabella Maclure, Geoff Morten and Malcolm Whittaker in “unusual corners” amid the shop’s treasure trove of books on the visual arts.

Who will be in Mad Alice’s Georgian Rogues Gallery? Find out each day at the York Georgian Festival

Festival of the week: York Georgian Festival, Thursday to Sunday

DUST off your petticoat and powder your best wig for a plethora of engagements at York Mansion House, Fairfax House, Bar Convent Living Heritage Centre and elsewhere at the inaugural York Georgian Festival.

Learn to dance the minuet; discover Georgian family life with Horrible Histories writer Terry Deary; revel in Mad Alice’s Georgian Rogues Gallery; solve the mystery of tricky Dick Turpin’s missing corpse in an immersive murder mystery night and take a peep behind-the-scenes with York’s curators. For full festival details and tickets, head to: mansionhouseyork.com/yorkgeorgianfestival.

Katie Melia: From starring in Sweet Charity to hosting the Life Is A Cabaret fundraiser at Theatre@41, Monkgate

Fundraiser of the week: Life Is A Cabaret, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, Friday, 7.30pm

KATIE Melia returns to Theatre@41 after her February lead role in York Stage’s Sweet Charity to present a concert in aid of Reflect: Pregnancy Loss Support, looking to surpass the £3,000 raised at her first fundraiser for this North Yorkshire charity.

Alexa Chaplin, Jack Hooper and Dale Vaughan sing stage and screen hits from Wicked, Spamalot, Dreamgirls and Grease; West End star and director Damien Poole goes Eurovision with Rise Like A Phoenix; Emily Ramsden and Elf The Musical leading lady Sophie Hammond perform too. Tickets update: sold out. For returns only, tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.

Chesney Hawkes: Meadowfest headliner. Picture: Axel Muench

In Focus: Meadowfest, Malton’s Boutique Midsummer Music Festival, today, 10am to 10pm

MALTON’S boutique music festival takes place within the riverside meadows and gardens of the Talbot Hotel, Yorkersgate.

Anticipate a relaxed, joyful, family festival of uplifting sunshine bands, all-day feasting and dancing like no one’s watching.

Grab a hay bale, street food and something to sip and enjoy a mix of live music over two stages with Yorkshire bands to the fore.

Be Amazing Arts hosts the pop-up venue The Creativitent, a hive of activity with creative arts workshops, performances and storytelling, arts and craft zones and facepainting!

The Creativitent gives the opportunity for children, young people and their families to “discover their inner creativity, take to the stage, get crafty”.

This House We Built: Playing the Hay Bale Stage at 5pm. Picture: Ben Audsley

Music line-up

10am, Malton School Soul Band, Meadow Stage; 10.30am, Graeme Hargreaves, Hay Bale Stage; 11am, Gary Stewart, Hay Bale Stage; 12 noon, The Caleb Murray Band, Meadow Stage; 1pm, Alchemy Live, tribute to Dire Straits, Hay Bale Stage; 2pm, The Alex Hamilton Band, Meadow Stage; 3pm, Arrival, The Hits of Abba, Hay Bale Stage; 4pm, Alistair Griffin & Band, Meadow Stage; 5pm, This House We Built, Hay Bale Stage; 6pm, Huge, York party band, Meadow Stage; 7.15pm, The Y Street Band, Hay Bale Stage; Chesney Hawkes, Meadow Stage headliner, 8.45pm.

Box office: tickettailor.com/events/visitmalton.

More Things To Do in York and beyond for optimists, walkers and nights in full swing. Here’s Hutch’s List No. 16, from The Press

Plum job: Robert Daws at the typewriter in his role as P. G. Wodehouse in Wodehouse In Wonderland at York Theatre Royal. Picture: Pamela Raith

THE Plum life of Wodehouse, Godber’s walk into the future, happy and angry comedy, Bros big band style and mountain adventures on screen jostle for a starring role in Charles Hutchinson’s week ahead.

PG tips and Wooster source of the week: Wodehouse In Wonderland, York Theatre Royal, Thursday to Saturday, 7.30pm and 2.30pm Saturday matinee

IN William Humble’s play set in the exiled English author’s New York State home in the 1950s, P. G. Wodehouse is trying to write the latest instalment of Jeeves and Wooster. However, a would-be biographer, his wife, his daughter and even his two Pekingese dogs have other ideas.

Performed by Robert Daws, Wodehouse In Wonderland presents stories of first meeting Jeeves, Wodehouse’s addiction to soap operas, and why he wrote books “like musical comedies without music”, combined with Broadway songs composed by Kern, Gershwin, Porter and Novello with lyrics by Wodehouse himself, but is there a darker story to be told too? Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

Garrett Millerick: Thumbs-up to optimism with an angry hue

Grumpy comedy gig of the week: Burning Duck Comedy Club presents Garrett Millerick: Just Trying To Help, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, Sunday, 8pm

THE world’s angriest optimist returns for another bash at sorting out life’s inexplicable complications in a night of comedy for people who like to keep things simple.

Stand-up comedian, writer and director Garrett Millerick investigates the unintended consequences of doing our best, the mayhem that ensues when people try to help, in a cathartic appeal for calm from one of the least calm people in the country. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.

On their knees: Jane Thornton and John Godber in Godber’s new comedy Living On Fresh Air, on tour at the SJT from Wednesday

State of the nation report of the week: John Godber Company in Living On Fresh Air, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, Wednesday to Saturday, 7.30pm, plus 1.30pm Thursday and 2.30pm Saturday matinees

PLAYWRIGHT John Godber and wife Jane Thornton play newly retired Yorkshire couple Caroline and Dave, who have everything they have ever wanted: a nice house, a hot tub, a small mortgage, a few savings and a new smart meter.

However, Covid and the cost-of-living crisis changes everything. Their son has moved back home, their money is disappearing, the hot tub’s gone, the lights are going out and the smart meter is stressful. Time to head for the hills for their new-found hobby of walking, but far can you go living on fresh air as Godber projects an even gloomier future ten years on in this bleak comedy? Box office: 01723 370541 or sjt.uk.com.  

Johannes Radebe: Expressing Freedom in movement at Grand Opera House

Dance show of the week: Johannes Radebe in Freedom Unleashed, Grand Opera House, York, Wednesday, 7.30pm

CONFIRMED for the 2023 series of Strictly Come Dancing, South African dancer and international champion Johannes Radebe returns to the Grand Opera House with his cast of dancers and singers.

Freedom Unleashed combines African rhythms and party anthems with a touch of ballroom magic in a jubilant celebration of culture, passion, and freedom. Completing the company will be South African singer-songwriter Ramelo, a former contestant on The Voice South Africa. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.

Millie Manders & The Shutup: Songs of loss, betrayal and political unrest at The Crescent, York

Band to discover of the week: Millie Manders & The Shutup, The Crescent, York, Wednesday, 7.30pm

NEWSFLASH 19/4/2023: Unfortunately, illness has forced this gig to be rescheduled. New date is July 7. All tickets remain valid but refunds are available from point of purchase.

NORTHERN SkaFace presents cross-genre punks Millie Manders & The Shutup, a band noted for grinding guitars and irresistible horns, topped off by Manders’ vocal dexterity. Their lyrics deliberate on themes of loss, betrayal, anger, anxiety, heartbreak and bitterness, environmental catastrophe and political unrest. Box office: thecrescentyork.com.

Matt gloss: Bros singer Matt Goss gives songs the big band and orchestral makeover at York Barbican

Hitting his swing: The Matt Goss Experience with MG Big Band and the Royal Philharmonic, York Barbican, Thursday, 7.30pm

BROS frontman and Strictly Come Dancing 2022 contestant Matt Goss had to reschedule his York gig after the recurrence of a shoulder/collar bone injury. Original tickets remain valid for the new date (20/4/2023).

“I never give less than 100 per cent on every single show I do, so I had to adhere to the medical advice,” says Goss, 54, who headlined Las Vegas for 11 years. Expect his biggest hits, new original music and a Cole Porter tribute in a night of swing, glitz and swagger. Dressing to the nines is encouraged. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.

Pulling faces:

Seriously silly: Phil Wang, Wang In There, Baby!, Leeds City Varieties, Thursday, 7.30pm, sold out; Grand Opera House, York, Friday, 7.30pm; York Barbican, September 23, 7.30pm

HOT on the heels of his Netflix special, David Letterman appearance, role in Life & Beth with Amy Schumer and debut book Sidesplitter, Phil Wang discusses race, family, nipples and everything else going on in his Philly little life in his latest stand-up show, Wang In There, Baby! Box office: atgtickets.com/york; yorkbarbican.co.uk.

Mountain high: Film feats at York Barbican

Film event of the week: BANFF Mountain Film Festival World Tour, York Barbican, Friday, 7.30pm

THE world’s most prestigious mountain film festival presents the 2023 Blue Film Programme, a new adrenaline-fuelled collection of short films by the best adventure filmmakers and explorers as they push themselves to the limits in the most remote corners of the globe. Witness epic human-powered feats, life-affirming challenges and mind-blowing cinematography on the big screen. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.

 Miles And The Chain Gang: Launching new single Charlie 

Single launch: Miles And The Chain Gang, Victoria Vaults, Nunnery Lane, York, April 29, doors 7pm; first band 8pm

MILES And The Chain Gang launch their April 21 single, Charlie, at the Vaults, where they will play their rock’n’roll the old-fashioned way in the vein of Van Morrison, The Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen.

The York band are fronted by singer, songwriter, poet, storyteller and podcaster Miles Salter, organiser of the new York Alive festival. In the support slot on this night of blues, soul and funk, The Long Shots, featuring Chain Gang rhythm section Steve Purton and Mat Watt, give their debut public performance. Box office: theyorkvaults.com.

Scouting For Girls: New album and autumn dates in York, Leeds and Sheffield

Gig announcement of the week: Scouting For Girls, York Barbican, November 10, Leeds O2 Academy, November 23, and Sheffield O2 Academy, November 24

WEST London trio Scouting For Girls will follow up the October 13 release of their seventh indie-pop album, the life-affirming The Place We Used To Meet, with a 22-date autumn tour. York, Leeds and Sheffield await. Tickets go on sale on April 21 at 10am at gigst.rs/SFG.

“As the name suggests, it’s an album about going back to our roots and starting again. Falling back in love with music,” says band leader Roy Stride. “Heartbreaking, anthemic, fun and pop, indie and serious, anything went as long as we loved it. It’s the best collection of songs we’ve ever had, and I’ve loved every minute of making it.”

In Focus: Leeds Fine Artists’ exhibition, Awakening, at Blossom Street Gallery, York

The Midnight Hour, by Kate Buckley, at the Leeds Fine Artists show in York

LEEDS Fine Artists are marking the arrival of spring with Awakening on their return to Blossom Street Gallery, York.

Among those showing new work are York artists Tim Pearce, Kate Buckley, Luisa Holden and Gail Fox.

Both Pearce and Buckley also are taking part in York Open Studios this weekend and next weekend too, 10am to 5pm each day.

Mixed-media artist Pearce’s paintings and sculptural ceramics, informed by Cubist sensitivity to form, colour and rhythm, can be found in his studio, house and garden at Brambles, Warthill, York.

Light, shadow, surface and space come into play in Buckley’s contemporary, press-moulded sculptural porcelain artworks for the wall and home at 31 Wentworth Road, York.

Leeds Fine Artists (LFA), an association of artists from across Yorkshire, was established in 1874, making it one of the oldest regional arts bodies in the UK. From its beginnings in Leeds, it has spread throughout Yorkshire and is now among the most prestigious arts organisations in the north.

Lamona For Blossom Street, by Gail Fox

LFA has more than 50 exhibiting members working in two and three dimensions in a broad span of media and seeks to encourage and promote art and artists throughout Yorkshire.

An annual exhibition is held in the Crossley Gallery at Dean Clough, Halifax, and other exhibitions are organised across the region each year, bringing together the wide range of styles and approaches of LFA’s members.

In addition to group exhibitions, many LFA artists exhibit individually, both in Yorkshire and internationally as well as promoting excellence in the visual arts through education.

Applications to join LFA are welcomed from fine artists practising in all areas of the visual and applied arts. For more details, go to: leedsfineartists.co.uk/yorkshire/leeds-fine-artists-become-a-member/.

Membership is by election, decided by a panel of members, who look for a high standard in each applicant’s work, including quality, content and consistency, as well as a professional approach to exhibiting.

Awakening is on show at Blossom Street Gallery, Blossom Street, York, until May 28.

Work by Leeds Fine Artists members on show and for sale at Blossom Street Gallery, York

More Things To Do in York & beyond when time travel and hot dancing counters the chill. Hutch’s List No. 11, from The Press

The future, here they come: Amy Revelle, Dave Hearn, centre, and Michael Dylan in Original Theatre’s The Time Machine. Picture: Manuel Harlan

THE week ahead is so crammed with clashing cultural highlights, Charles Hutchinson wishes you could climb aboard a time machine.

Find time for: Original Theatre in The Time Machine, York Theatre Royal, Tuesday to Saturday, 7.30pm plus 2pm Thursday and 2.30pm Saturday matinees  

DAVE Hearn, a fixture in Mischief Theatre’s calamitous comedies for a decade, takes time out to go time travelling in John Nicholson and Steven Canny’s re-visit of H G Wells’s epic sci-fi story for Original Theatre.

“It’s a play about three actors who run a theatre company and are trying to put on a production of The Time Machine, with fairly limited success,” says Hearn. “But then a big event happens that causes the play to spiral out of control and my character [Dave] discovers actual time travel.” Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

Curtains At Village Gallery, by Suzanne McQuade, marks the final exhibition at Simon and Helen Main’s art space in Colliergate, York

Farewell of the week: The Curtain Descends, Village Gallery, Colliergate, York, until April 15

AS the title indicates, The Curtain Descends will be the last exhibition at Village Gallery after 40 exhibitions showcasing 100-plus Yorkshire artists in five and a half years. “The end of the shop lease and old age creeping up has sadly forced the decision,” says gallery co-owner Simon Main.

Ten artists have returned for the farewell with work reduced specially to sale prices. On show are watercolours by Lynda Heaton, Jean Luce and Suzanne McQuade; oils and acrylics by Paul Blackwell, Julie Lightburn, Malcolm Ludvigsen, Anne Thornhill and Hilary Thorpe; pastels by Allen Humphries and lino and woodcut prints by Michael Atkin. Opening hours are 10am to 4pm, Tuesday to Saturday.

Singer PP Arnold: From The First Cut Is The Deepest to Soul Survivor, her autobiography is under discussion at York Literature Festival

Festival of the week: York Literature Festival, various venues, today until March 27

HIGHLIGHTS aplenty permeate this annual festival, featuring 27 events, bolstered by new sponsorship from York St John University. Among the authors will be broadcasters David Dimbleby and Steve Richards; political journalist and think tank director Sebastian Payne (on The Fall of Boris Johnson); The League Of Gentlemen’s Jeremy Dyson; Juno Dawson, thriller writer Saima Mir and York poet Hannah Davies.

On Music Memoir Day at The Crescent, on March 18, at 1.30pm American singer PP Arnold delves into her autobiography, Soul Survivor, at 1.30pm. At 4pm, writer/broadcaster Lucy O’Brien discusses her new book, Lead Sister: The Story Of Karen Carpenter, and the challenges of writing a biography. Go to yorkliteraturefestival.co.uk for the full programme.

Too hot to handle: Strictly’s Gorka Marquez and Karen Hauer in Firedance at the Grand Opera House, York

Hot moves amid the weekend chill: Gorka Marquez and Karen Hauer in Firedance, Grand Opera House, York, Sunday, 5pm

STRICTLY Come Dancing stars Gorka Marquez and Karen Hauer reignite their chemistry in Firedance, a show full of supercharged choreography, sizzling dancers and mesmerising fire specialists.

Inspired by movie blockbusters Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo & Juliet, Moulin Rouge, Carmen and West Side Story, Marquez and Hauer turn up the heat as they dance to Latin, rock and pop songs by Camilla Cabello, Jason Derulo, Gregory Porter, Gipsy Kings and Jennifer Lopez. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.

Suede: First appearance at York Barbican in a quarter of a century

Gig of the week: Suede, York Barbican, Wednesday, 7.45pm

ELEGANT London rock band Suede play York Barbican for the first time in more than 25 years on the closing night of their 2023 tour. Pretty much sold out, alas, but do check yorkbarbican.co.uk for late availability.

Last appearing there on April 23 1997, Brett Anderson and co return with a set list of Suede classics and selections from last September’s Autofiction, their ninth studio album and first since 2018. “Our punk record,” as Anderson called it. “No whistles and bells. The band exposed in all their primal mess.”

Sloane danger: Ben Weir’s psychopathic Sloane, left, playing siblings Kath (Victoria Delaney) and Ed (Chris Pomfrett) off each other in rehearsal for York Actors Collective’s Entertaining Mr Sloane

Debut of the week: York Actors Collective in Entertaining Mr Sloane, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, Wednesday to Saturday, 7.30pm plus 2.30pm Saturday matinee

DIRECTOR Angie Millard launches her new company, York Actors Collective, with Joe Orton’s controversial, ribald comedy Entertaining Mr Sloane, the one that shook up English farce with its savage humour in 1964.

Living with her father, Dada Kemp (Mick Liversidge), Kath (Victoria Delaney) brings home a lodger: the amoral and psychopathic Sloane (Ben Weir). When her brother Ed (Chris Monfrett) arrives, the siblings become involved in a sexual struggle for Sloane, who plays one off against the other as their father is caught in the crossfire. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.

Classrooom comedy: Sara Howlett, left, Laura Castle and Sophie Bullivant in rehearsal for Rowntree Players’ production of John Godber’s Teechers Leavers ’22

Education, education, education play of the week: Rowntree Players in Teechers, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, Thursday to Saturday, 7.30pm plus 2.30pm Saturday matinee

FAMILIAR to York’s streets at night as ghost-walk guide and spookologist Dr Dorian Deathly, actor Jamie McKellar is directing a play for the first time since 2008, at the helm of Rowntree Players’ production of former teacher John Godber’s state-of-the nation, state-of state-education comedy Teechers.

Updated for Hull Truck’s 50th anniversary celebrations as Teechers Leavers ’22, Godber’s class warfare play within a play features a multi role-playing, all-female cast of Laura Castle, Sophie Bullivant and Sarah Howlett as Year 11 school leavers Salty, Hobby and Gail put on a valedictory performance, inspired by their new drama teacher. Box office: 01904 501935 or josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.

David Ford: Songs and stories at The Crescent

The robots are coming: David Ford, Songs 2023, The Crescent, York, Thursday, 7.30pm

EASTBOURNE singer-songwriter David Ford might play solo stomps with loop machines and effects pedals or backed by a swish jazz trio or with a string quartet attached. Not this time.

For 2023, Ford has taken the rare decision to keep it simple, leave most of the crazy machines at home, play some of his favourite songs and share stories about where they came from. Oh, and he’ll be bringing his new DIY toy, a drum robot. Beat that. Box office: thecrescentyork.com.

Tuesday’s seated Crescent gig by The Go-Betweens’ Robert Forster, promoting his new album The Candle And The Flame, has sold out by the way.

Because he cared: Comedian Bilal Fafar reflects on working in a care home for the very wealthy in Care at Theatre@41, Monkgate

Caring comedian of the week: Burning Duck Comedy Club presents Bilal Zafar in Care, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, March 19, 8pm

WANSTEAD comedian Bilal Zafar, 31, is on his travels with a new show about how he spent a year working in a care home for very wealthy people while being on the minimum wage.

Fresh out of university with a media degree, Bilal was dropped into the real world, where he was given far too much responsibility for a 21-year-old lad who had just spent three years watching films. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk; age limit,18 and over.

In Focus: Anders Lustgarten’sThe City And The Town, at Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, March 15 to 17

Gareth Watkins as Magnus in Anders Lustgarten’s The City And The Town. Picture: Karl Andre

LONDON playwright and political activist Anders Lustgarten’s new play, The City And The Town, heads to the Yorkshire coast next week. 

This funny, eclectic drama brings a fresh perspective to the political divides and problems facing Great Britain and Europe today.

By way of contrast to those schisms, the tour involves a hands-across-the-water partnership: a co-production by Riksteatern, the national touring theatre of Sweden, and Matthew Linley Creative Projects in association with Hull Truck Theatre.

Lustgarten’s play tells the story of brothers Ben and Magnus. Ben, a successful London lawyer, returns home for his father’s funeral after 13 years away, only to be confronted not only by family and old friends, but also by uncomfortable truths about the past, present and future of the provincial community and family he grew up in and left behind for the metroplis.

Lustgarten, by the way, is the son of progressive American academics and read Chinese Studies at Oxford: in other words, he is an internationalist (and an Arsenal supporter to boot).

Directed by Riksteatern artistic director Dritero Kasapi, The City And The Town features Gareth Watkins as Magnus, Amelia Donkor as Lyndsay and Sam Collings as Ben, with set design by Hannah Sibai and lighting design by Matt Haskins.

Amelia Donkor’s Lyndsay in The City And The Town. Picture: Karl Andre

Kasapi is at the helm of his first UK production since Nina – A Story About Me And Nina Simone. “Even from the very first draft Anders sent us, I knew that this was a play I wanted to direct,” he says. “In fact, I’d go as far as saying it’s the play I’ve wanted to direct for a very long time.

“By exploring the rise of the right, Anders is looking at something that is happening all over Europe. But this is not just a political play, it’s also a humane one. It explores the question of if and how we belong to society, what can happen when we lose that connection and how we perceive our common history as a society.”

Kasapi was educated as a stage director at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Skopje, Macedonia, but since the early years of his professional life he has been engaged as a cultural organiser.

From 2015 to 2018, he was the deputy artistic director at Kulturhuset Stadstetern in Stockholm. He took up his present post in November 2018. 

The City And The Town follows such Lustgarten plays as Lampedusa (Hightide/Soho Theatre), The Seven Acts Of Mercy (Royal Shakespeare Company), The Secret Theatre(Shakespeare’s Globe) and The Damned United (Red Ladder/West Yorkshire Playhouse, 2016, turning Brian Clough’s 44 days as Leeds United manager in 1974 into a Greek tragedy).

The City And The Town began its UK tour at Hull Truck on February 10 and 11 and has since played Northern Stage, Newcastle, Wilton’s Music Hall, London, Mercury Theatre, Colchester, and Norwich Playhouse before its Scarborough finale. It will then transfer to Sweden for an autumn tour.

The City And The Town, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, March 15 to 17, 7.45pm plus 1.45pm Thursday matinee. Box office: 01723 370541 or www.sjt.uk.com

The tour poster for The City And The Town

More Things To Do in York and beyond when the ice men cometh. Here’s Hutch’s List No. 6 for 2023, from The Press, York

York Ice Trail: Taking the theme of A Journey Through Time in 2023

AS the new Ice Age dawns in the city centre, Charles Hutchinson has advice on winter warmers to discover.

Free event of the week: York Ice Trail, York city centre, today and tomorrow, from 10am

YORK Ice Trail’s theme for 2023 invites city-centre visitors to time-travel to prehistoric ages, walk through history and step into the future for A Journey Through Time.

Organised by Make It York, the free trail features ice sculptures sponsored and conceived by York businesses and designed and made by ice specialists Icebox for a second year. Look out for the National Railway Museum’s interactive sculpture in High Petergate celebrating Flying Scotsman’s centenary, one of 36 sculptures standing to attention in York’s streets this weekend. Icebox will be doing live ice carving  at St Sampson’s Square.

Free trail maps will be available from the Visitor Information Centre on Parliament Street or can be downloaded online at visityork.org/ice.

The poster for Fool(ish)’s improvised comedy show Fooling Around

Hot date of the week: Fool(ish) in Fooling Around, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, Tuesday, 7.30pm

JOIN Fool(ish) for Fooling Around, an improvised romantic comedy cum early Valentine’s evening of love, laughter and hand-crafted chaos. Taking audience stories and suggestions, the Chicago-trained York improvisers create a spontaneous series of inspired love-scenes.

From first dates to happy never afters, Fooling Around aims to sweep you off your feet in its off-the-cuff Yorkshire twist on American long-form comedy on the theme of dreams, desires and total disasters. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.

Platform for song: Joseph Rowntree Theatre Company’s Hello, Dolly! cast members Jamie Benson as Barnaby Tucker, left, Helen Spencer as Dolly Levi and Stuart Sellens as Cornelius Hackl

Musical of the week: Joseph Rowntree Theatre Company in Hello, Dolly!, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, February 8 to 11, 7.30pm and 2.30pm Saturday matinee

KATHRYN Lay makes her JRTC directorial debut alongside musical director husband Martin Lay as the Joseph Rowntree Theatre’s in-house fundraising company kicks off the Haxby Road theatre’s spring season with glitz, glamour and a troupe of tap-dancing waiters in the Broadway classic Hello, Dolly!

Featuring Put On Your Sunday Clothes, It Only Takes A Moment and the title number, Jerry Herman and Michael Stewart’s musical is the JRTC’s most ambitious production to date. NHS psychiatrist Helen Spencer plays Dolly Levi, the strong-willed widow and self-proclaimed match-making meddler, who strives to woo tight-fisted millionaire Horace Vandergelder while spreading joy and confusion among everyone she encounters in 1885 New York. Box office:01904 501935 or josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.

Reflective: Harry Baker will be feeling Unashamed at The Crescent, York

Poet of the week: Say Owt presents Harry Baker: Unashamed, The Crescent, York, Wednesday, doors, 7.30pm

WORLD poetry slam champion, poet and maths graduate Harry Baker likes to write about the “important stuff”. Hope, dinosaurs, German falafel-spoons and such like. 

His work has been shared on TED.com and viewed millions of times worldwide, as well as being translated into 21 languages. Post pandemic lockdowns, he is delighted to be back on stage with his “most heartfelt, playful, unashamedly Harry Bakery” show to date. Box office: thecrescentyork.com.

Richard Dawson: The past, present and future is here at Selby Town Hall

One for the future: Mediale presents: Richard Dawson, Selby Town Hall, February 11, doors, 8pm; on stage, 8.30pm; no support act

AUDACIOUS Northumbrian psych-folk and exploratory rock singer-songwriter Richard Dawson is welcomed to Selby Town Hall for the opening night of Selby Creates’ winter arts programme.

Dawson will be showcasing his latest album, last November’s The Ruby Cord, a grim, sinister vision of times ahead that journeys into an immersive, solipsistic metaverse 500 years from now to complete a trilogy focused on the medieval past (on Peasant), the present (on 2020) and the sci-fi future. Box office: selbytownhall.co.uk.

Steve Knightley: New one-man show in Pocklington

Solo venture of the week: Steve Knightley, Pocklington Arts Centre, February 11, 8pm

ONE half of folk/roots duo Show Of Hands since 1992, Steve Knightley will be performing material that surfaced over two years of isolation and inactivity in his new one-man show.

Insights, anecdotes and a bunch of new songs will attempt to chronicle and draw a line under an “extra episode in all our lives”, alongside Knightley’s headline-refreshed renditions of Bristol Slaver and You’ll Get By and covers of Forever Young and The Boys Of Summer. Box office: 01759 301547 or pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk.

Resol String Quartet: Stepping in for the Fitzwilliam String Quartet tonight

Late replacement of the week: Late Music presents Music On The Edge: The Lapins, today, 1pm; Resol String Quartet, tonight, 7.30pm, both at Unitarian Chapel, St Saviourgate, York

AFTER the Fitzwilliam String Quartet unavoidably had to pull out of Late Music’s February evening concert, Fitzwilliam viola player Alan George has found a replacement quartet at very short notice. Step forward the Resol String Quartet, formed at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2018.

“They came up to St Andrews for a masterclass with us – plus a concert in the town a few weeks later – and everyone was very impressed,” says Alan. “We’ve already recommended them for our university series.”

Resol String Quartet’s alternative programme of string quartet music for tonight features works by Haydn, Julian Broughton and Beethoven and Alasdair Morton-Teng’s arrangements of traditional tunes.

Late Music’s February brace of concerts opens with The Lapins ­– Susie  Hodder-Williams, flute, Chris Caldwell, saxophone, and James Boyd, guitar – performing Music On The Edge at lunchtime.

World premieres of David Lancaster’s Au Lapin Agile, Gwilym Simcock’s Suite for Solo Flute and new works by David Power and Hayley Jenkins will be complemented by the British premiere of Athena Corcoran-Tadd’s Confluence (Hope Is A Boat) and Bach and Tippett pieces. Box office: latemusic.org or on the door.

The Lapins: Performing Music On The Edge at Late Music’s afternoon concert today

Relaxing afternoon: Lillian Hetherington, Mille Mazzone and Michael Capecci, Dementia Friendly Tea Concert, St Chad’s Church, Campleshon Road, York, February 16, 2.30pm

UNIVERSITY of York music students Lillian Hetherington, Mille Mazzone and Michael Capecci play violin and piano works by Wieniawski, Schostakovich and Dvorak.

As usual, 45 minutes of music will be followed by tea and homemade cakes in the church hall in a relaxed afternoon gathering ideal for those who may not feel comfortable at a formal classical concert. No charge but donations are welcome for hire costs and Alzheimer’s charities.

Re-enchanted: Josie Long at the double at The Crescent. Picture: Matt Crockett

Longer time in York: Burning Duck Comedy Club presents Josie Long: Re-Enchantment extra matinee, The Crescent, York, February 18, 3pm

AFTER her 7.30pm gig sold out – as had her last appearance at The Crescent in Lefty Scum – comedian Josie Long has added a matinee performance of Re-Enchantment. Inspired by London feminist writer Lola Olufemi’s sentiment that “after defeat, re-enchantment is necessary”, Josie’s new stand-up set is infused with humanity, compassion and some brief political rants.

The triple Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee, underdog Fringe hero and delirious new mother returns with a show about the changes wrought by time, passion, moving to Scotland and loving the world under – let’s face it – difficult circumstances.

“Josie is one of our all-time favourite comedians, so we’re very excited to bring her new show to York and add an extra matinee show as well,” says Burning Duck promoter Al Greaves. Box office: thecrescentyork.com.

In Focus: York Ice Trail’s 36 sculptures this weekend

  1. A Journey Through Time, Parliament Street – Make It York
  2. Growing The Future, Parliament Street – Dalby Forest
  3. Cash-asaurus T-Rex, Parliament Street – YorkMix Radio
  4. York to London Skyline, Parliament Street – Grand Central
  5. Atey Ate Miles Per Hour, High Ousegate – Ate O’Clock
  6. 121 years of making magic, Spurriergate – Grand Opera House, York
  7. Every Moment Matters, North Street – Park Inn by Radisson 
  8. Where ever I lay my hat…. , Station Rise – The Grand, York
  9. 100 years of LNER, Station Road – LNER
  10. York Quest App: The Roman, Micklegate – York BID
  11. The Enchanted Unicorn, Middletons – The Hole In Wand
  12. Ginny the Dragon, Middletons – York Gin
  13. 20,000 Leagues Under the Ouse, Middletons – City Cruises
  14. The Monstrous Chimera, Middletons – Middletons
  15. York Quest App: The Butcher, Kings Staith – York BID
  16. Coppergate Viking, Coppergate Centre – Coppergate Centre
  17. E.T. Comes Home, Piccadilly – Spark: York
  18. York Quest App: Dick Turpin, Walmgate – York BID
  19. Adventure Is Out There, The Stonebow – Hiscox
  20. York’s Chocolate Story Clock, Kings Square – York’s Chocolate Story
  21. Erupted Volcano, Grape Lane – Lucia Bar
  22. The York Rose Diamond by Kay Bradley, Low Petergate – Bradley’s Jewellers
  23. Minus 200 Degrees Coffee, Low Petergate – 200 Degrees Coffee
  24. York Quest App: Anne Lister, Goodramgate – York BID
  25. Gothic Grotesque, Minster Piazza – York Minster
  26. Celebrating 100 years of Flying Scotsman, High Petergate – National Railway Museum
  27. York Quest App: Guy Fawkes, Gillygate – York BID
  28. The Pearly Cow, Clifton – No .1 Guesthouse
  29. Layers of Time, Exhibition Square, St Leonard’s Place – North York Moors National Park
  30. York Quest App: Wally Herbert, Museum Street – York BID
  31. Ryedale Roman Hoard, Museum Gardens – Yorkshire Museums Trust
  32. Greek Minotaur, Lendal – The Judge’s Lodging
  33. Busloads To Love!, St Helen’s Square – York Park & Ride
  34. The Bettys Express Train, Davygate – Bettys
  35. Fire Breathing Dinosaur, St Sampson’s Square – Cut and Craft
  36. Live Carving by Icebox, St Sampson’s Square – York Ice Trail

Fact File

THE last York Ice Trail took place in March 2022 after a pandemic-enforced one-year hiatus. More than 40 ice sculptures lined the city streets, with 25,000 people participating in the trail.

Post-pandemic, York Ice Trail appealed to more residents than pre-pandemic in 2020, increasing from 23 per cent to 39 per cent.

Highlights

THE grounds of Middletons Hotel will be transformed into a mystical world of mythology, including four ice sculptures and photo opportunities throughout the day. York Gin, City Cruises and The Potions Cauldron will be on site, with crafts, competitions and surprise creatures.

Sister proper The Judges Lodgings features an ice sculpture too. Check out the Thwaites Shire Horses in all their finery.

On the anniversary front, the National Railway Museum celebrates Flying Scotsman’s centenary with an interactive sculpture. The Grand Opera House marks 121 years of making musical magic and LNER highlights its 100-year milestone.

York’s chocolate heritage will be rendered in ice with York’s Chocolate Story’s working Terry’s Clock Tower with a hot chocolate twist.

Learn more about York’s history with York BID’s six sculptures, all inspired by York historical figures that can be found on the York Quest app.

Busloads To Love, by main sponsor York Park & Ride, offers the chance to be the driver and take a selfie. The sculpture, celebrating the importance of the bus in public transport, will be situated on St Helen’s Square.

Travel from York to London with Grand Central’s Skyline sculpture, or be transported into another space and dimension with Hiscox’s adventure-bound sit-on space shuttle. For those wanting to go back to the future, discover Ate O’Clock’s DeLorean-inspired Atey Ate Miles Per Hour sculpture.

Live ice carving across the weekend at St Sampson’s Square will show how Icebox’s sculptors bring the ice trail to life.

Quotes

Sarah Loftus, Make It York managing director, says: “York Ice Trail 2023 will spark imaginations, transporting visitors across time and dimension from sculpture to sculpture. Our ice partners at Icebox have done a phenomenal job at bringing the ideas to life and we can’t wait to see all 36 sculptures line the streets of York.”

Councillor Keith Aspden, City of York Council leader, says: “The York Ice Trail brings imaginative, ‘cool’ and unique sculptures to York’s streets and is much loved by residents and visitors, so it’s excellent to see the event return once again. This year’s theme and creations are paying a fitting tribute to York’s rich history and imagination of our local businesses.”

Greg Pittard, Icebox managing director, says: “It is our privilege to be returning as the sculptors for the second year for York Ice Trail 2023. From mammoths to DeLoreans, the carvers have been working non-stop since late-August to deliver A Journey Through Time. This year’s theme has inspired some incredible designs and we can’t wait to unveil all of this year’s ice creations.”

John Godfrey, of First Bus in York, says: “We would encourage everyone planning to come and enjoy the Ice Trail to think about sustainable travel to get here and consider leaving the car at home or using the Park and Ride network. This helps avoid congestion, which makes travel around York easier, especially with such an event creating a bustling and lively atmosphere.”

For more information, visit https://www.visityork.org/york-ice-trail #YorkIceTrail

More Things To Do in and around York in the jaws of a Jurassic invasion. Here’s Hutch’s List No. 4, courtesy of The Press, York

FROM giant dinosaurs to a heavyweight comedian, hardcore songs to a royal reading, Charles Hutchinson seeks to make life eventful.

Dinosaurs make a comeback: Jurassic Earth, Grand Opera House, York, January 28, 1pm and 4pm

JURASSIC Earth’s “live dinosaur show” roams York in an immersive, interactive, 75-minute, storytelling experience for all ages with state-of-the-art, animatronic, life-like creatures.

Audiences are invited to “bring your biggest roar and your fastest feet as you take Ranger Danger’s masterclass to become an Official Dinosaur Ranger – gaining the skills you need to come face-to-face with the world’s largest walking T Rex, a big-hearted Brontosaurus, tricky Triceratops, uncontrollable Carnotaurus, vicious Velociraptors and sneaky Spinosaurus”. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.

Tim Lowe: Cellist and York Chamber Music Festival director, performing Messiaen’s Quartet For The End Of Time at York Minster

 Holocaust memorial concert of the week: York Chamber Music Festival, Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet For The End Of Time, York Minster, Tuesday, 7pm

YORK Chamber Music Festival marks Holocaust Memorial Week – and the start of the festival’s tenth anniversary – with a performance of “one of the greatest pieces of music from the 20th century”, written and premiered in the German prisoner-of-war camp at Stalag VIIIa, Gorlitz, in 1941.

Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet For The End Of Time will be played by John Lenehan, piano, Sacha Rattle, clarinet, John Mills, violin, and festival director Tim Lowe, cello, in York Minster’s Lady Chapel under John Thornton’s restored 15th century Great East Window (the “Apocalypse Window”). Box office: tickets.yorkminster.org.

Lloyd Griffith: Comedy measured out as One Tonne Of Fun at The Crescent, York. Picture: Matt Crockett

Comedy gig of the week: Burning Duck Comedy Club presents Lloyd Griffith, One Tonne Of Fun, The Crescent, York, Thursday, 7.30pm

AFTER Covid stretched Lloyd Griffith’s last tour to “eight years or so”, he returns with his biggest itinerary to date, One Tonne Of Fun.

Since school, he has always been a show-off, and 20-odd years later, nothing’s changed, so expect stand-up, dubious impressions and a sprinkling of his (incredible) singing from the comic with Ted Lasso, 8 Out Of 10 Cats, Soccer AM, Question Of Sport, Not Going Out and House Of Games credits. Box office: thecrescentyork.com.

Ewa Salecka: Directing Prima Vocal Ensemble at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre

Choral concert of the week: Prima Vocal Ensemble, Lift Every Voice, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, January 29, 7.30pm

EWA Salecka directs Prima Vocal Ensemble in a life-affirming concert that weaves its way through diverse generations and genres with live accompaniment.

Living composers Lauridsen, Gjeilo, Whitacre and Jenkins sit alongside favourite numbers from Les Misérables and The Greatest Showman, complemented by songs by Annie Lennox, Elbow, the Gershwins and Cole Porter and a tribute to the people of Ukraine. Box office: 01904 501935 or josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.

Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls: Playing York Barbican at the end of January

Hardcore York gig of the month: Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls, York Barbican, January 31, 8pm

FRANK Turner, punk and folk singer-songwriter from Meonstoke, Hampshire, will be accompanied by The Sleeping Souls in York as he draws on his nine studio albums from a 17-year solo career.

Last year, the former Million Dead frontman, 41, topped the UK Official Album Chart for the first time with FTHC (his anagram for Frank Turner Hardcore) after his previous four all made the top three. Support slots go to Lottery Winners & Wilswood Buoys. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.

Rosemary Brown: Author gives an insight into the remarkable life of Nellie Bly at York Theatre Royal

Who was Nellie Bly? In Conversation With Rosemary Brown, York Theatre Royal, February 4, 5.15pm, free admission

YORK Theatre Royal and Tilted Wig’s touring adaptation of Jules Verne’s madcap adventure Around The World In 80 days features not only the fictional feats of Phileas Fogg but also the real-life story of Nellie Bly, American journalist, industrialist, inventor, charity worker and globe-crossing record breaker.

In a free talk, director and adaptor Juliet Forster will be in conversation with Rosemary Brown, author of Following Nellie Bly, Her Record-Breaking Race Around The World, a book inspired by this human rights and environmental campaigner’s aim to put female adventurers back on the map. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

Tony Froud: Directing York Shakespeare Project’s rehearsed reading of Edward II

The second coming of…York Shakespeare Project, Edward III, rehearsed reading, upstairs at Black Swan Inn, Peasholme Green, York, February 7, 7.30pm

PHASE Two of York Shakespeare Project begins with a staged rehearsed reading of Edward III, the rarely performed 1592 history play now widely accepted as a collaboration between William Shakespeare and Thomas Kyd, replete with its celebration of Edward’s victories over the French, depiction of the Black Prince and satirical digs at the Scots.

Rehearsed readings in February will be a regular part of YSP’s revamped remit to include work by the best of Shakespeare’s contemporaries. Tony Froud’s cast includes Liz Elsworth, Emma Scott and Mark Hird, best known for his work with Pick Me Up Theatre. Tickets: on the door or via eventbrite.com.

Home work: Sara Howlett, Sophie Bullivant and Laura Castle in rehearsal for Rowntree Players’ spring production of Teachers Leavers ’22

Spring term school play: Rowntree Players in Teechers Leavers ’22, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, March 16 to 18, 7.30pm and 2.30pm Saturday matinee  

REHEARSALS are underway for Rowntree Players’ production of Teechers Leavers ’22, former teacher John Godber’s update of his state-of-education play, commissioned for £100 by Hull Truck Theatre in 1984.

Actor Jamie McKeller, familiar to York ghost-walk enthusiasts as Deathly Dark Tours spookologist Doctor Dorian Deathly, is working with a cast of Sara Howlett, Sophie Bullivant and Laura Castle as they “put in the hard work needed for this very physically demanding play”. Box office: 01904 501935 or josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.

Fostekew or Pattison? The choice is yours as Burning Duck Comedy Club stages two shows in two venues on one night in York

Jessica Fostekew: Serving up comedy at The Crescent

HOW can the Burning Duck Comedy Club be in two places at once in York tonight?

Here’s how: York comedy promoter Al Greaves is staging both Jessica Fostekew: Wench at The Crescent community venue at 7.30pm and Lauren Pattison’s Edinburgh award-nominated It Is What It Is at Theatre@41, Monkgate, kicking off half an hour later at 8pm.

Co-presented with Little Wander, Fostekew’s Wench is “a show about sexy things (awkward), private things (oh no) and a woman trying to sit on the face of time to keep it still (hot, right?)”.

Fostekew has appeared on Live At The Apollo, QI and Harry Hill’s Clubnite on TV and BBC Radio 4’s News Quiz and The Now Show with Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis on the wireless. She is the regular co-host of the Guilty Feminist podcast and is the host and creator of the Hoovering podcast too.

Lauren Pattison: Girl from the north country. Picture: Matt Crockett

Pattison heads to York tonight on the back of being nominated for Best Show in this summer’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards. After a lengthy period of watching the world unravel, she follows up 2019’s Hench show with It Is What It Is, but she is reluctant to say exactly what It Is What It Is is about.

Why? “Because, if the last year has taught me anything, it’s life can change fast…it is what it is,” she says. “Let’s just say sometimes you need to fall apart to rebuild into exactly who you were meant to be.”

Stand-up, writer and performer Pattison, who graduated from Northumbria University, Newcastle, with a First Class degree and First Class masters in Drama, has performed on Stand Up For Live Comedy (BBC), Comedy Central At The Comedy Store and Roast Battle and has supported Katherine Ryan on tour.

Doors open at 7pm for Fostekew; tickets are available from wegottickets.com and on the door. Tickets for Pattison: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk and on the door.