Jimmy Carr’s Terribly Funny show chalks up a treble in York with Barbican trip next April

New date, new material, new tour poster, for a more serious-faced Jimmy Carr’s April 2022 return to York with his Terribly Funny show

JIMMY Carr will complete a hattrick of York performances of his Terribly Funny tour show next spring.

After playing sold-out gigs at York Barbican on November 4 and the Grand Opera House five nights later, he will return to the Barbican on April 15, with the promise of “all-new material for 2022”.

The 49-year-old host of Channel 4’s The Friday Night Project, 8 Out Of 10 Cats and 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown will be discussing terrible things that might have affected you or people you know and love. “But they’re just jokes,” Carr says. “They are not the terrible things.” 

Jimmy Carr’s poster for his November 2021 performances of Terribly Funny at York Barbican and the Grand Opera House

Having political correctness at a comedy show is like having health and safety at a rodeo, he asserts. 

After recording Funny Business at the Hammersmith Apollo in 2015 andThe Best Of Ultimate Gold Greatest Hits in 2019, Carr’s third Netflix stand-up special, His Dark Material, will premiere on the streaming platform on Christmas Day.

Tickets for Terribly Funny’s third York outing are on sale at yorkbarbican.co.uk.

So…where will Dara Ó Brian be on Dec 15 2022 on his So…Where Were We tour?

Dara Ó Brian: York Barbican return in 2022

IRISH comedian and television presenter Dara Ó Briain will ask So…Where Were We? when he resumes touring next year, playing York Barbican on December 15.

By the end of his Voice Of Reason travels, Ó Briain had performed the show 180 times over two years and across 20 countries, from Auckland to Reykjavik, from Moscow to New York, and by March 2020 he was ready for a break.

“I would now like to apologise for saying that and will never wish for anything like that again,” he says, vowing never to stop again, “because that’s clearly what caused all this trouble”. Oh, and he ate a bat, he reasons.

Expect stories, one-liners, audience messing and tripping over his words in Dara Ó Briain’s So…Where Were We? tour show

In So…Where Were We?, Ó Briain will hardly mention the last year and a half, “because, Jesus, who wants to hear about that, but will instead fire out the usual mix of stories, one-liners, audience messing and tripping over his words because he is talking too quickly, because he’s so giddy to be back in front of a crowd”. 

Ó Briain, 49, has become an ultra-familiar face on British television, hosting BBC Two’s long-running panel show Mock The Week, Stargazing Live and Robot Wars, along with Dave’s Go 8 Bit and Comedy Central’s re-boot of the quiz show Blockbusters.

Add to that list Three Men In A Boat, Three Men In Another Boat, Three Men In More Than One Boat, Three Men Go To Ireland, Three Men Go To Scotland and Three Men Go To Venice; Dara Ó Briain’s Science Club;  Dara & Ed’s Great Big Adventure and Dara & Ed’s Road To Mandalay; Dara Ó Briain: School Of Hard Sums and Tomorrow’s Food.

Next, Ó Briain will host Channel 4’s daytime quiz One & Six Zeros, where contestants will compete to win a grand prize of £1,000,000.

Dara Ó Brian’s last visit to York Barbican came on the Voice Of Reason tour in 2019

Ó Briain has five stand-up DVDs with Universal Pictures to his name: Dara Ó Briain Live At The Theatre Royal (2006); Dara Ó Briain Talks Funny Live In London (2008); This Is The Show (2010); Craic Dealer (2012) and Crowd Tickler (2015). 2018’s Voice Of Reason was filmed exclusively for the BBC.

Ó Briain has put pen to paper for three non-fiction children’s books published by Scholastic UK:  Beyond The Sky: You And The Universe (2017), Secret Science: The Amazing World Beyond Your Eyes (2018) and Is There Anybody Out There? (2020).

The golden-tongued County Wicklow storyteller last played York Barbican on his Voice Of Reason tour in March 2019, following his Crowd Tickler gig there in November 2015. Tickets for his 2022 return go on sale from November 5 at yorkbarbican.co.uk.

Simon Amstell to head down Spirit Hole at Grand Opera House, York, on autumn tour

Simon Amstell: Playing York, Leeds and Sheffield on Spirit Hole tour

SIMON Amstell will play the Grand Opera House, York, on September 25 on the introspective, abjectly honest comedian, television host, actor, writer and filmmaker’s 38-date Spirit Hole autumn tour.

These shows add up to his first stand-up comedy travels since the 2019 release of his debut bittersweet comedy-drama film, Benjamin, written and directed by Amstell, and his soul-searching 2019 Netflix stand-up special, Set Free.

Agent provocateur Amstell, 41, will deliver a “blissful, spiritual, sensational exploration of love, sex, shame, mushrooms and more” on a tour with further Yorkshire gigs at The Leadmill, Sheffield, on September 12 and Leeds Town Hall on October 1. York tickets are on sale at atgtickets.com/venues/grand-opera-house-york/; York, Sheffield and Leeds at ticketmaster.com.  

Amstell, former saucy host of cult BBC2 pop quiz Never Mind The Buzzcocks, previously played the Grand Opera House in May 2008, October 2009 on his Do Nothing tour and May 2012 on his Numb tour.

Six facts about Simon Amstell

Born: Gants Hill, Ilford, Essex, November 29 1979.

Comedy breakthrough: After making stand-up debut at 13 in the wake of parents’ divorce, complicated childhood and confusion aroused by puberty, he became youngest finalist in BBC New Comedy Awards in 1998.

Presenting roles: Nickolodeon (sacked for being “sarcastic and mean to children”, he says); Popworld, Channel 4; and Never Mind The Buzzcocks, BBC2.

TV series: Grandma’s House, from 2010, playing Simon, a mildly self-obsessed, claustrophobic narcissist, trying desperately to heal his broken family in order to feel something real in his life.

Book: Help, subtitled Comedy. Tragedy. Therapy., published in January 2019, with Amstell’s aim of “telling the truth so it can’t hurt me anymore”, driven by compulsion to reveal his entire self on stage. Loneliness, anxiety, depression feature prominently, but you will “then feel happier than you have ever been”.

Film: Carnage, about veganism, written, directed and narrated by Amstell, set in utopian 2067, where animals live equally among humans. Premiered on BBC in March 2017.

What’s on at The Crescent in York tonight? Mark Watson, but his 8pm gig has sold out

Mark Watson: Instructions on How You Can Almost Win at The Crescent. Picture: Matt Crockett

COMEDIAN Mark Watson marks the return of full-capacity gigs at The Crescent community venue, York, with a sold-out 8pm show tonight.

York promoter Al Greaves’ Burning Duck Comedy Club presents Bristol-born Watson, 41, in How You Can Almost Win. Doors open at 7pm.

Watson says: “In 2017, I went on the show The Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls. It involved being abandoned on an island, starved half to death, almost struck by lightning, cut off from all loved ones and turned into a psychological wreck. I was pretty sure it was the most challenging situation I would ever be in. Then, in 2020, the entire planet basically went into survival-show mode.”

As we crawl from the wreckage of the pandemic, tonight Watson dispenses droplets of wisdom brought back from his island misadventure to suggest ways we can adapt. “But still with jokes,” he promises.

Mark Watson, in his pyjamas, sharing the screen with show host Tim FitzHigham at the first Your Place Comedy livestream in April 2020

During the first lockdown last year, Watson was part of the first double bill for Your Place Comedy, the virtual comedy club set up to support independent venues across the Yorkshire and Humber region.

On April 19 2020, a pyjama-clad Watson and Hull humorist Lucy Beaumont performed live online from their homes, in his case, in the living room, in hers, down the pub, The Dog And B**tard, that she and fellow comedian husband Jon Richardson have set up in their Hebden Bridge garden.

Watson, comedian, novelist, sports pundit, Taskmaster survivor and No More Jockeys cult leader, is noted for cramming spiritual enquiries, high-octane observational comedy and pathological overthinking into his evenings of stand-up.

Comedian Joe Lycett to play more, more, more Yorkshire gigs on 60-date 2022 tour

Joe Lycett: More, more, more Yorkshire gigs in York, Hull, Sheffield and Leeds in 2022. Picture: Matt Crockett

COMEDIAN and presenter Joe Lycett will play more, more, more shows – 60 in total – on his More, More, More! How Do You Lycett? How Do You Lycett? tour from March to September 2022.

Riffing his show title on a lyric from Andrea True Connection’s April 1976 top-five disco smash More, More, More, Lycett will head to Yorkshire for a tenth of those gigs.

April Fool’s Day and April 3 bring Lycett to York Barbican; Hull Bonus Arena comes in between on April 2, then Sheffield City Hall, on April 15 and 15, and Leeds First Direct Arena, on September 14, on the tour’s arena finale. Tickets go on general sale at 10am tomorrow (18/6/2021) from joelycett.com.

As you Lycett: Joe will be discussing art, gardening and online trolls on his 2022 tour. Picture: Matt Crockett

More, More, More! How Do You Lycett? How Do You Lycett? finds Lycett – the artist formerly known briefly as Hugo Boss – exploring his love of art and passion for gardening, how he toys with companies on Instagram and the perils of online trolls.

Lycett, 32, has kept himself busy during the global pandemic, helming his third series of BBC1’s The Great British Sewing Bee, drawing more than six million viewers each week. He is filming series three of his BAFTA-nominated Channel 4 series Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back, where he takes on the major and minor consumer injustices of this world, and soon he will take over as host of Channel 4’s long-running travel documentary series Travel Man.

More, More, More! How Do You Lycett? How Do You Lycett? is Lycett’s fifth tour with a pop culture-purloined title after Some Lycett Hot, If Joe Lycett Then You Should’ve Put A Ring On It, That’s The Way, A-Ha, A-Ha, Joe Lycett and I’m About To Lose Control And I Think Joe Lycett: his biggest tour to date with 90 British dates and many more in Australia.

Lycett contributed an artwork to Grayson Perry’s first Channel 4 lockdown series Grayson’s Art Club and hosts shows regularly on BBC Radio 2.

Joe Lycett: Comedian, presenter, artist, gardener, consumer campaigner and music video producer. Picture: Matt Crockett

Last November, he directed the music video for Litany’s Uh-huh, featuring comedy turn Katherine Ryan, RuPaul’s Drag Race star Vinegar Strokes and a cameo from Lycett himself. Earlier this year, he debuted his surreal video for Katy J Pearson’s Miracle, replete with a life-size toy cow called Muriel and some shanty singers.

Birmingham-born Lycett last played York on May 13 2018 at the Grand Opera House on his I’m About To Lose Control And I Think Joe Lycett travels.

He made earlier visits to Toby Clouston Jones’s Saturday Night Lounge comedy nights at The Duchess in January and March 2015; the Hyena Lounge Comedy Club, with If Joe Lycett Then You Should’ve Put A Ring On It, at the Basement, City Screen, in February 2014; an Edinburgh Fringe work-in-progress preview of that show in the Basement in Summer 2013 and a Hyena Lounge bill with James Acaster and Chris Stokes in January that year.

As trailered in a Lycett tweet earlier this week with the exhortation “Mummy needs you!”, he is due to be in York today, filming for Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back.

The tour poster for Joe Lycett’s More, More, More!, How Do You Lycett? How Do You Lycett?

MEANWHILE, in further diary notes at York Barbican, Wakefield cabaret singer Jane McDonald’s Let The Light In show is on the move to Summer 2022.

For so long booked in as the chance to Get The Lights Back On at the Barbican on July 4, the Government’s postponement of “Freedom Day” from June 21 to July 19 at the earliest has enforced a late-change.

First booked in for 2020, McDonald will light up York Barbican on July 22 2022; tickets remain valid for the twice-rearranged show.

Historian and television presenter Dan Snow’s History Hit show on October 20 is, alas, history itself now, hit by a “scheduling conflict”.  Snow “hopes to be back on the road again in the not-too-distant future”; tickets will be automatically refunded from the point of purchase.

In a second humorous addition, to go with Lycett, Germany’s ambassador of comedy, Henning Wehn, will “give everything a good rinse as you witness him wring sense out of the nonsensical” in It’ll All Come Out In The Wash on June 17 2022.

Wehn concedes that “an unbiased look at a certain virus might be inevitable” but he “has no agenda; he just happens to be always spot on. It’s a curse”.

Wash and learn: Henning Wehn at York Barbican

 

Grayson Perry’s Covid-crocked “lost pots” exhibition confirmed for May 28 opening in York Art Gallery’s Centre of Ceramic Art

Kinky Sex: Grayson Perry’s first ceramic plate in 1983

GRAYSON Perry’s lockdown-delayed “lost pots” exhibition at York Art Gallery, The Pre-Therapy Years, will run from May 28 to September 5.

This touring show will be held in the Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) in the first celebration of Perry’s earliest forays into the art world.

“This show has been such a joy to put together,” said Perry, when the show was first announced for a June 12 to September 20 run in York in 2020 until the pandemic intervened. “I’m really looking forward to seeing these early works again, many of which I have not seen since the Eighties.

“It’s as near as I will ever get to meeting myself as a young man, an angrier, priapic me with huge energy but a much smaller wardrobe.”

Cocktail Party, 1989, by Grayson Perry-

Developed by the Holburne Museum in Bath, The Pre-Therapy Years re-introduces the explosive and creative works the Chelmsford-born artist made between 1982 and 1994.  

Gathering the 70 works has been facilitated by crowd-sourcing through a national public appeal, resulting in the “lost pots” being put on display together for the first time since they were made. 

Dr Helen Walsh, curator of ceramics at York Art Gallery, says: “We are delighted to be showcasing the ground-breaking early works of such a renowned and influential artist. 

“It is fascinating to see how his craft has progressed and evolved since he began working as an artist. His early ceramic works show that the distinctive style, themes and characters have always been central in his decoration.”

Armageddon Feels So Very Reassuring, 1988, by Grayson Perry

Helen continues: “To be able to bring these works together for public display, many of which are usually hidden away in private collections, is absolutely thrilling.  

“We are very much looking forward to seeing Grayson Perry’s ceramic works displayed in the beautiful Centre of Ceramic Art at York Art Gallery alongside our own collection of British studio ceramics.” 

Grayson Perry: The Pre-Therapy Years will shine a light on Perry’s experimentation and exploration of the potential of pottery to address radical issues and human stories.

The exhibition “represents a unique opportunity to enjoy the artist’s clever, playful and politically-engaged perspective on the world”. Often challenging and explicit, these works reveal the early development of Perry’s distinctive voice that has established him as one of the most compelling commentators on contemporary society. 

Essex, by Grayson Perry

Explaining how The Pre-Therapy Years came together, curator Catrin Jones says: “When we proposed the exhibition, Grayson responded really positively because, he said, ‘no-one knows where those works are’.

“So, we asked the public and were absolutely overwhelmed by the response. What followed was an extraordinary process of rediscovery as we were contacted by collectors, enthusiasts and friends, who collectively held over 150 of his early works.”

The first task was to process photos of the pots, plates and drawings that arrived in the inbox, followed by asking all manner of questions about the works and from where they came.

“We logged all the pottery marks and provenance information, as well as the wonderful stories of how their owner came to have a genuine Grayson Perry,” says Catrin.

Meaningless Symbols, 1993, by Grayson Perry

She and her team next sat down with Perry to look through the extraordinary and varied selection of artworks. During this process, he remarked that seeing the works again was a powerful reminder of his “pre-therapy years”, and an exhibition title was born.

The show begins with Perry’s early collaged sketchbooks, experimental films and sculptures, capturing his move into using ceramics as his primary medium. From his first plate, Kinky Sex (1983), to his early vases made in the mid-1980s, Perry riffed on British vernacular traditions to create a language of his own.

The themes of his later work – fetishism, gender, class, his home county of Essex and the vagaries of the art world – appear in works of explosive energy. Although the majority of his output consisted of vases and plates, Perry’s early experiments with form demonstrate the variety of shapes he produced: Toby jugs, perfume bottles, porringers, funeral urns and gargoyle heads.  

Grayson Perry: The Pre-Therapy Years begins in 1982, when Perry was first working as an artist and then charts his progress to the mid-1990s, when he became established in the mainstream London art scene.

“It’s as near as I will ever get to meeting myself as a young man, an angrier, priapic me with huge energy but a much smaller wardrobe,” says Grayson Perry of his exhibition, The Pre-Therapy Years

The exhibition provides a snapshot of a very British time and place, revealing the transition of Grayson’s style, starting out with playful riffs on historic art, such as old Staffordshire pottery, along with crowns (the mixed-media Crown Of Penii, 1982) and thrones (Saint Diana, Let Them Eat S**t, 1984), inspired by his fascination with Princess Diana.

Gradually, he progressed into a style that is patently his own: plates and vases rich with detail that tell tales of our times and experiences, such as 1989’s Cocktail Party.    

Much of the iconography of Perry’s output has an angry, post-punk, deeply ironic leaning, combining cosy imagery with shocking sexual or political content.  

Many of the works displayed in The Pre-Therapy Years tell a very personal story, particularly in the evolution of Claire, who first appeared in the early 1980s, inspired by such powerful women as television newsreaders and Princess Diana, rather than the exuberant child-like figure Perry created after her “coming out” party in 2000.  

The Pre-Therapy Years will shine a light on Grayson Perry’s experimentation and exploration of the potential of pottery to address radical issues and human stories

Accompanying the rediscovery of Perry’s artworks, the Holburne Museum is illustrating the exhibition with photos and snapshots of the era, again sharing hitherto unseen glimpses of Perry as he journeyed from angry, ironic young artist to one of British art’s best-loved figures. 

After completing his art degree in Portsmouth in 1982, Perry moved to London and lived in a Camden squat with the singer Marilyn and Welsh conceptual artist Cerith Wyn Evans, collectively enjoying creative freedom while sharing limited resources.

During these early years, Perry encountered the Neo Naturists, a group of freewheeling performance artists, whose visual and creative approach would have a profound impact on him.

CoCA first exhibited a Grayson Perry ceramic, Melanie, in July 2015 as its centrepiece talking point after York Art Gallery’s £8 million transformation.

Grayson Perry’s Melanie, first exhibited at York Gallery in July 2015

Melanie is one of three women from his Three Graces work, joined by Georgina and Sarah in the Miss Plus Size Competition.

“First seen in Grayson’s Who Are You? documentary, Melanie is a voluptuous figurative piece with a strong narrative that discusses the changing view of  what constitutes feminine beauty,” said curator of ceramics Helen Walsh on its arrival.

Perry commented on his Three Graces: “In the history of sculpture, female forms such as these were often seen as fertility goddesses to be prayed to for children and plentiful harvests. Nowadays, we are more likely to see a growing health problem.”

Melanie featured subsequently in York Art Gallery’s re-opening exhibition, Your Art Gallery – Paintings Chosen By You, from August 20 last year.

In All Its Familiarity Golden, one of Grayson Perry’s Stitching The Past Together tapestries shown at Nunnington Hall, near Helmsley

In May 2014, accompanied by his childhood teddy bear Alan Measles, Perry opened the Meet The Museums Bears special event in the York Museum Gardens in full transvestite regalia as part of York Museums Trust’s contribution to the Connect 10 Museums At Night national celebration.

Last year, from February 8, Perry’s Stitching The Past Together tapestries went on show at Nunnington Hall, near Helmsley. Out went the National Trust country house’s 17th century Verdure tapestries for conservation work; in came a pair of Grayson’s typically colourful and thought-provoking Essex House Tapestries: The Life Of Julie Cope (2015).

Hanging in an historic setting for the first time, in the Nunnington Hall drawing room, this brace of large-scale, striking works tells the story of Julie Cope, a fictitious Essex “everywoman” created by the irreverent Chelmsford-born Perry.

2003 Turner Prize winner Perry kept himself busy in Lockdown 1 by launching Grayson’s Art Club, his pledge to “battle the boredom” of the lockdown through art, in a six-part series on Channel 4 from April 27 2020 that attracted a million viewers a week.

“You’ll leave safe and warm in the knowledge that nothing really matters anyway,” promises Grayson Perry, as he looks forward to his 2021 tour, Grayson Perry: A Show For Normal People

From his London workshop, the Essex transvestite artist, potter, broadcaster and writer took viewers on a journey of artistic discovery in themed shows designed to “encourage you to make your own work in the new normal of isolation”.

Grayson’s Art Club has returned for an on-going second series, presented by Perry in tandem with his wife, the author, psychotherapist and broadcaster Philippa Perry.

Looking ahead, outré artist and social commentator Perry has a York-bound live show in the late-summer.

In his own words: Despite being an award-winning artist, Bafta-winning TV presenter, Reith lecturer and best-selling author, Grayson Perry is a normal person – and just like other normal people, he is “marginally aware that we’re all going to die”.

Cue Grayson Perry: A Show For Normal People, booked into York Barbican for September 6 on night number five of this year’s 23-date tour. Sheffield City Hall awaits on September 10; Harrogate Convention Centre on November 27.

The tour poster for Grayson Perry: A Show For Normal People

What will be on Perry’s mind?  “Let Grayson take you through an enlightening and eye-watering evening in which this kind of existentialism descends from worthiness to silliness. You’ll leave safe and warm in the knowledge that nothing really matters anyway,” his show patter promises.

“Join Grayson as he asks, and possibly answers, these big questions in an evening sure to distract you from the very meaninglessness of life in the way only a man in a dress can.”

Perry, who turned 61 on March 24, has had an artistic career spanning 40 years, revealing a diverse expertise in “making lemonade out of the mundanity of life”. Such as? In 2015, he designed A House For Essex, a permanent building constructed in the North Essex countryside.

Last autumn, he presented Grayson Perry’s Big American Road Trip, a three-part documentary travelogue on Channel 4, exploring the meaning of the American Dream in today’s disunited United States of America.

Tickets for Grayson Perry: A Show For Normal People are on sale at yorkbarbican.co.uk.

That joke isn’t Terribly Funny anymore for Jimmy Carr…well, not until next May

Carr trouble: Jimmy Carr must now wait until May 2021 to play York Barbican after Coronavirus ruled out next month’s show

COVID-19 has put paid to the Jimmy Carr: Terribly Funny gig at the still-closed York Barbican on October 25.

The deadpan Isleworth comic and panel-show host’s postponed 8pm show has been moved to May 2 2021 with tickets still valid for the new date.

In Terribly Funny, Carr will discuss terrible things that might have affected you or people you know and love.

“But they’re just jokes – they are not the terrible things,” says the 48-year-old host of Channel 4’s The Friday Night Project and 8 Out Of 10 Cats. “Having political correctness at a comedy show is like having health and safety at a rodeo.” 

Tickets are on sale at yorkbarbican.co.uk.

Grayson Perry launches Art Club on Channel 4 as York Art Gallery awaits lockdown fate of Pre-Therapy Years show

Grayson Perry: Battling the boredom of lockdown, armed with art

TURNER Prize winner Grayson Perry launches Grayson’s Art Club, his pledge to “battle the boredom” of the Coronavirus lockdown through art, on Channel 4 tonight.

The Essex transvestite artist, potter, broadcaster and writer will be taking viewers on a journey of artistic discovery in a six-part series of themed shows designed to encourage you to make your own work in the new normal of isolation.

This was the year when Perry’s “lost pots” should have been the centre of attention in York from June 12 to September 20 in the Grayson Perry: The Pre-Therapy Years exhibition at York Art Gallery.

Watch this space for any update on what may yet happen. In the meantime, York Museums Trust is in discussion with its partners for The Pre-Therapy Years, an exhibition that is scheduled to move on to other venues.

Cocktail Party 1989, copyright Grayson Perry/Victoria Miro, from the Grayson Perry: The Pre-Therapy Years exhibition, whose opening at CoCA, York Art Gallery, was in the diary for June 12 2020

Back to Grayson’s Art Club. Through the magic of video call, in tonight’s first episode broadcast from his London workshop at 8pm, 60-year-old Perry will address the theme of Portrait with large-scale figurative painter Chantal Joffe and comedian and campaigning presenter Joe Lycett, who has taken to trying his hand at portraiture during lockdown.

For episode two, focusing on animal art, Grayson’s online guests will be British painter and sculptor Maggi Hambling and comedian and TV show host Harry Hill.

Ampleforth College alumnus and Angel Of The North sculptor Antony Gormley and comedian and comedy actor Jessica Hynes will pop up in episode three.

Episode four will feature artist Tacita Dean and comedian cum surrealist artist Vic Reeves, aka Jim Moir, creator and curator of the £500,000 Vic Reeves’ Wonderland for the 2012 Illuminating York festival of light and sound.

Vic Reeves, aka Jim Moir, at the opening of Vic Reeves’ Wonderland, his surrealist 2012 Illuminating York creation

Further guests will be announced later for an interactive series that will climax with an exhibition of works made by both the public and Perry’s celebrity guests as a “chronicle of Britain’s mood and creativity in isolation”.

Whenever it does run in York, Grayson Perry: The Pre-Therapy Years comprises his earliest works and “lost pots”, including 70 ceramics crowd-sourced after a national public appeal.

Presented in York Art Gallery’s Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA), this exhibition will be the first time these lost Perry creations have been assembled for display together, a cause for celebration for the Royal Academician Grayson.

“This show has been such a joy to put together, I am really looking forward to seeing these early works again, many of which I have not seen since the Eighties,” he says.

Grayson Perry’s Melanie, one of his Three Graces, exhibited at CoCA

“It is as near as I will ever get to meeting myself as a young man; an angrier, priapic me with huge energy but a much smaller wardrobe.”

CoCA first exhibited a Grayson Perry ceramic, Melanie, in July 2015 as its centrepiece talking point after York Art Gallery’s £8 million transformation.

Melanie is one of three women from his Three Graces work, joined by Georgina and Sarah in the Miss Plus Size Competition.

“First seen in Grayson’s Who Are You? documentary, Melanie is a voluptuous figurative piece with a strong narrative that discusses the changing view of  what constitutes feminine beauty,” said York Museums Trust’s curator of ceramics, Dr Helen Walsh, at the time.

Perry commented on his Three Graces: “In the history of sculpture, female forms such as these were often seen as fertility goddesses to be prayed to for children and plentiful harvests. Nowadays, we are more likely to see a growing health problem.”

In its Familiarity Golden, one of two “everywoman” tapestries from Grayson Perry’s The Essex Tapestries: The Life Of Julie Cope, on display in 2020 at Nunnington Hall

In May 2014, accompanied by his childhood teddy bear Alan Measles, Perry opened the Meet The Museums Bears special event in the York Museum Gardens in full transvestite regalia as part of York Museums Trust’s contribution to the Connect 10 Museums At Night national celebration.

Earlier this year, from February 8, Perry’s Stitching The Past Together tapestries went on show at Nunnington Hall, near Helmsley.

Out went the National Trust country house’s 17th century Verdure tapestries for conservation work; in came a pair of Grayson’s typically colourful and thought-provoking Essex House Tapestries: The Life Of Julie Cope (2015).

Hanging in an historic setting for the first time, in the Nunnington Hall drawing room, this brace of large-scale, striking works tells the story of Julie Cope, a fictitious Essex “everywoman” created by the irreverent Chelmsford-born 2003 Turner Prize winner.