DAME Berwick rides again, Adrian Mole surfaces, carol concerts abound and contrasting comedy cracks on, all demanding a place in Charles Hutchinson’s diary
Comeback of the week: Berwick Kaler and co in Dick Turpin Rides Again, Grand Opera House, York, December 11 to January 9
DAME Berwick Kaler last took to the pantomime stage in his 40th anniversary show, The Grand Old Dame Of York, on February 2 2019, having announced his retirement. Subsequently, he decided it was the “worst decision he had ever made”, a feeling only compounded by writing and co-directing Sleeping Beauty.
In the tradition of Clive Sullivan and Denis Law, he then switched to the other side in the same city, leaving York Theatre Royal to sign up with the Grand Opera House, along with panto teammates Martin Barrass, David Leonard, Suzy Cooper and AJ Powell.
Delayed by a year, Dame Berwick now resumes panto business at 75, writing, directing and starring in Dick Turpin Rides Again. Box office: 0844 871 7615 or at atgtickets.com/York.
Community pantomime of the week: Rowntree Players in Dick Whittington, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, today until December 11
ROWNTREE Players should have presented Dick Whittington last year, but director Howard Ella and co-writer Andy Welch have now dusted off their script written by satellite in lockdown, freshening it up for 2021.
Martyn Hunter returns to the Players’ panto ranks as King Rat, as does Bernie Calpin as Kit The Cat, joining Hannah King’s Dick Whittington, Graham Smith’s Dame Dora, Gemma McDonald’s Duncan, Marie-Louise Surgenor’s Ratatouille, Geoff Walker’s Alderman Fitzwarren and Ellie Watson’s Alice Fitzwarren. Box office: 01904 501935 or at josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.
American gig of the week in York: Native Harrow, Fulford Arms, York, Tuesday, 8pm
PENNSYLVANIAN folk/rock duo Native Harrow are on the final leg of their tour travels showcasing their beautiful fourth album, Closeness.
Now re-located to Brighton, guitarist-singer Devin Tuel and multi-instrumentalist Stephen Harms have a new single too, Do It Again, one of six songs recorded when they elected to return to the studio where they had made Closeness to continue living in that world, if only for a few more days. Box office: seetickets.com/event/native-harrow/the-fulford-arms/1471604.
Musical premiere of the week in York: Pick Me Up Theatre in The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾, The Musical, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, Wednesday to December 18
PICK Me Up Theatre are returning to the Theatre@41 Monkgate stage for the first time since Covid’s first lockdown curtailed Tom’s Midnight Garden in March 2020.
In a change from the initially announced SpongeBob The Musical, director Robert Readman has jumped at the chance to present the British amateur premiere of Jake Brunger and Pippa Cleary’s musical version of Sue Townsend’s 1982 story of teenage diarist Adrian Mole. Ignore the official poster, there will be a 2pm Sunday matinee. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.
Comedy gig of the week: Katherine Ryan, Missus, York Barbican, Thursday, 8pm
CANADIAN comedian, writer, presenter and actress Katherine Ryan, 38, previously denounced partnerships but has since married her first love, accidentally.
A lot has changed for everyone, and now the London-based creator and star of Netflix series The Duchess and host of All That Glitters will be offering new perspectives on life, love and what it means to be Missus. Box office: yorkbarbicancentre.co.uk.
Reunion of the week: Prima Vocal Ensemble and York Railway Institute Brass Band, Christmas Classics for Voices and Brass, Selby Abbey, December 11, 7.30pm
YORK choir Prima Vocal Ensemble and York Railway Institute Brass Band are uniting for a Christmas concert at Selby Abbey for the first time since 2018.
The choir will sing classical pieces by Morten Lauridsen, Gabriel Faure and John Rutter, while the band’s festive music will include Shepherd’s Song and Eric Bell’s Kingdom Triumphant.
Choir and band will join together for a finale of Gordon Langford’s joyous Christmas Fantasy. Tickets: on 07921 568826, from Selby Abbey or at primachoralartists.com.
Welcome back: York Community Carol Concert, York Barbican, December 12, 2pm
YORK’S Community Carol Concert returns after last year’s Covid-enforced cancellation, with all the participants who missed out in 2020 taking up the invitation to take part in 2021.
In the Sunday afternoon line-up will be the Shepherd Group Concert Brass Band, Dringhouses Primary School Choir, Clifton Green Primary School Choir, Stamford Bridge Community Choir and York singer Steve Cassidy, hosted by the Reverend Andrew Foster and BBC Radio York presenter Adam Tomlinson. Plenty of tickets are still available but online only at yorkbarbican.co.uk.
Carol concert with a difference: Kate Rusby At Christmas, Harrogate Royal Hall, December 12, and York Barbican, December 20, 7.30pm
BARNSLEY folk singer Kate Rusby, her regular band and “the brass boys” have created a Christmas tradition of their own, celebrating South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire pub carols, punctuated by her own winter songs.
For more than 200 years, from late-November to New Year’s Day, these carols have been sung on Sunday lunchtimes in pubs, having been frowned on in Victorian times for being too happy. Not for the first time, the Victorians were wrong. Box office: Harrogate, 01423 502116 or at harrogatetheatre.co.uk; York, yorkbarbican.co.uk.
Looking ahead to a “terrible” 2022: Jimmy Carr, Terribly Funny, York Barbican, April 15, doors, 7pm
CYNICAL comedian 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”.
Carr will be discussing terrible things that might have affected you or people you know and love. “But they’re just jokes,” he says. “Political correctness at a comedy show is like having health and safety at a rodeo.” Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk