Friargate Creative Hub for York artists to collaborate and create holds launch event this evening at Friargate Theatre

Friargate Creative Hub: New venture for York’s arts community

THE Friargate Creative Hub will be launched at 6pm this evening (2/5/2024) at Friargate Theatre, Lower Friargate, York.

This new space for York’s creative community to connect, collaborate and create will be hosted by Riding Lights Theatre Company and fellow York theatre-makers Four Wheel Drive.

An initial two-week phase will run from May 4 to 18, when the hub will be open daily at Friargate Theatre as a free-to-access creative workspace, complemented by a programme of workshops and evening events, all tailored to emerging artists in York.

“The Creative Hub comes at a poignant time for our city, offering a much-needed space for emerging creatives to develop their craft and work,” says Four Wheel Drive’s Joly Black. “At this evening’s launch, we want your input, support and collaboration, creating spaces to develop and retain creative talent in York.”

The flexible workspace for creatives offers “space to focus on your script, find creative inspiration or get something up on its feet. All centred around collaboration.

“Enjoy the cafe space with creative break-out areas for free. Tea, coffee and snacks will be available to purchase if you’d like.” Opening hours will be Tuesday to Saturday, 11am to 6pm, and Sundays, 11am to 4pm.

Workshops run by professionals will have a Pay What You Feel charge; community workshop sessions will be held for free.

Creative Hub highlights in the fortnight ahead at Friargate Theatre include: Grab The Mic Night, Saturday, 6.30pm;  Theatre: A Setting Up Surgery, May 8, 6pm; Stand-Up Comedy Beginners Workshop, May 12, 1pm, and Vocal Workshop, May 15, 6pm.  

See the full programme and book tickets at

Four Wheel Drive to explore legacy of York saint Margaret Clitherow in experimental interactive trial afternoon at Guildhall

Four Wheel Drive working on The Trial Of Margaret Clitherow in development

YORK theatre company Four Wheel Drive will host a new immersive, interactive theatre experience, focusing on Catholic saint Margaret Clitherow, on Saturday in the Guildhall York council chambers.

From 12 noon to 4pm, audiences can explore the “vibrant heritage and creative innovation within York” in a programme of afternoon activities run by artistic director Anna Gallon and her co-creators of “bespoke off-road theatrical experiences”.

These will include a first look at Four Wheel Drive’s new play in development, an historical presentation from author Tony Morgan and a study of how heritage storytelling can be presented for modern audiences.

Immerse: Heritage: Afternoon of heritage, immersive and interactive storytelling events on February 17

12 noon: Doors open for audiences to explore the council chambers.

12.15pm to 1.15pm: The Trial Of Margaret Clitherow

SCRIPT-in-hand performance of extracts from The Trial Of Margaret Clitherow, a new immersive experience in development by Four Wheel Drive that relates the story of Catholic saint Margaret Clitherow in York.

That story? In 1586, Margaret refuses to comply. In a scramble to regain control, the council decides to coerce her to a public fight, threatening her family, faith and pride.

The play invites the audience to engage in Margaret’s trial, wrestling with moral dilemmas and making choices in pursuit of justice.

Ultimately, audience members must decide whether they will abstain from cooperating with a corrupt system out of protest or try to mitigate any further damage the case might inflict on the community of York.

The Guildhall council chambers in St Martin’s Courtyard, Walmgate, York

1.15pm to 2pm: The Life and Death of Margaret Clitherow in Tudor York

AUTHOR and historian Tony Morgan uncovers the extraordinary story of Margaret Clitherow within the history of Tudor York, one that takes in family, politics, religion and tragedy.

During her life, Margaret underwent an extraordinary transformation from being an ordinary woman who lived in Tudor York to a notorious rebel who took on the state, the Church and the assizes court.

University of Leeds associate professor Morgan writes non-fiction history books and novels, including a biography and novel covering the life and death of Margaret Clitherow, and gives regular history talks to groups.

2.30pm to 3.15pm: Reviving Heritage: Making Heritage Storytelling Relevant

YORK theatre-maker and Four Wheel Drive artistic director Anna Gallon reveals the company’s process of bringing heritage storytelling to modern audiences as specialists in creating new works for non-traditional theatrical spaces.

Discover how historical narratives can serve as a powerful lens for examining contemporary issues, fostering a deeper understanding of the choices that shape our world. “Nothing is more powerful than bringing history to life to challenge our choices today,” says Anna.

3.15pm to 4pm: Interactive and Immersive Storytelling

INNOVATIVE storytellers who work with immersive and interactive forms will discuss what these words mean and how they can affect the way we tell stories, along with York innovation in this field.

The four sessions can be booked and attended separately or enjoyed as a whole afternoon. There will be chances to ask questions and offer feedback to inform the development process.

Tickets are free and can be booked at:

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 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

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

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:

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

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:

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

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

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:; York,; Leeds,; Sheffield,

Bee Scott unveils queer sci-fi travelogue at Connect Festival tonight. Are you ready to play your part in a night of choices?

Bee Scott’s poster for tonight’s Connect Festival performance of If You Find This

QUEER science fiction theatre maker and University of York researcher Bee Scott presents the premiere of her new play, If You Find This, at Theatre@41, Monkgate, tonight (20/7/2023).

Forming part of the Innovate strand at Four Wheel Drive Theatre’s Connect Festival, the 50-minute interactive sci-fi travelogue invites audiences to make choices leading them to one of three possible endings each night.

“My production plays with game mechanics that let the audience change how they explore the universe, depending on what it is they hope to find. When you imagine the future, do you hope for love, adventure, or comfort in the familiar?” asks Bee.

What happens in If You Find This? “Earth is trashed, but space is vast! And you’ve stumbled on a bunch of messages from the first human intergalactic hitchhiker telling you exactly how to chart your way to safety,” says Bee.

All the messages seem to be addressed to her girlfriend. “They’re kind of private, but it’s probably fine? This is for survival,” says Bee. “The messages are a little jumbled up. But you’re smart and you’ve played those make-a-choice Netflix episodes before. Finding your way through the cosmos along with the other remnants of humanity should be easy. If she could make it, you can too, right?”

As for Bee’s own progress, born to an English father and American mother in Sacramento, the “city of trees” in California, Bee studied theatre at Occidental College, Eagle Rock, the only small liberal arts college in Los Angeles.

Holding dual citizenship, she moved to the UK in 2014 to do an MA in music theatre at Central School of Speech and Drama. Performances at the Edinburgh Fringe, voiceover work and new writing pieces in the sci-fi sphere ensued, leading to her first full-length play, Mission Creep, being mounted by Controlled Chaos Theatre Company in London after being developed from a series of 15-minute extracts with various companies.

Bee had been working front of house at the Old Vic too and had just started afternoon shifts as a receptionist for Hospice UK when the pandemic struck. “We still kept phonelines operational, so we were very, very busy, but I never worked at their office,” she says. “I only visited it for the interview and never saw those people again! Everything went onto Zoom.”

Controlled Chaos Theatre Company in Bee Scott’s Mission Creep in 2019

During lockdown too, Bee was working on a proposal for her PhD. “I got in touch with Louise LePage at the School of Arts and Creative Technologies, who’d been a speaker at an event I’d helped with, where she looked at robot actors.”

Bee duly left “lockdown London” for York two years ago to study for her creative practice PhD on the subject of “How we imagine the future of queer people through science-fiction theatre”.

“It’s been a mixture of looking back and looking forward as science-fiction always looks to the future, but then you can look back at how it influenced what we ended up doing, as well as looking at how those predictions worked out,” says Bee.

“I would say the easiest way to consider queer sci-fi is through the characters, for example the San Junipero episode in Black Mirror. The 2010s had a lot of queer sci-fi and audiences were primed and ready for it.

“Russell T Davies planted the seeds early in Doctor Who and has had such an influence on queer sci-fi culture, and there’s a lot happening in literature too.”

Historically, Bee says, the queer character is seen as the outsider. “The default position has the heroic white man as the main character, with the colonial settler narrative of going out and conquering the world,” she says.

“Whereas now writers can explore things from more perspectives with more people coming forward to offer their view, and that’s something that If You Find This plays with.”

For her PhD, Bee’s first step has been to “dive into queer theory in theatre and contemporary literature”. “I’ve refracted that theory through theatre and then, since last term, I’ve been able to mess around was able to mess around with interactive theatre, working with another practitioner, Anna Gallon, when she did a VR [virtual reality] musical in March,” she says.

Writer and performer Bee Scott

“This interactive element is new for me, and If You Find This is my chance to get my feet wet with this form of theatre.”

If You Find This is a solo piece but with more than one central character. “There are two main characters and depending on the ending we arrive at, there could be a third character. Those alternative endings depend on how the audience on how the audience chooses to interact with other life forms,” says Bee.

“The way the play ends with all those different endings possible tells you there is a very definite sense that this exploration of where one is in the universe never finishes. There’s a lot in the play about finding home, finding a place of safety, and that’s not only for humans.”

Expect minimalism in Bee’s performance. “I’m a big fan of it, and it’s one of the most powerful things about sci-fi theatre,” she reasons.

Expect unpredictability too. “Tonight will be its first outing, and I want to see how it plays with an audience. I want to see how the audience vote works,” says Bee.

“There’s a ‘Game Master’ element to the show, the mechanism for choice that facilitates the options available to the audience and then guides them through each option they choose.

“But the interactive element is quite gentle. I’m not putting anyone on the spot. It’s a group effort. No spotlights!”

As for sci-fi’s desire to head into space, to expand our reach beyond Earth, Bee says: “It’s been interesting to watch certain people with all their money explore that vision of space travel, but I don’t think we’ll quite get there in my lifetime. Maybe in another generation after that. It feels like we need to clean up our own mess first.”

Meanwhile, back on Planet Earth, Bee is working on another project: making audio dramas. Watch this space…and watch Space too.  

Natasha Stanic Mann in The Return, tonight’s 8.45pm performance at the Connect Festival

IF You Find This forms part of Connect Festival’s Non-Linear Narratives night at Theatre@41, Monkgate, York. At 8.45pm, Natasha Stanic Mann performs her devised one-woman show, The Return, an immersive insight into the hidden consequences of war, directed by Andres Velasquez.

“The beaches are lovely. Remembering is crass, embarrassing and in poor taste. But to remember is to return,” says Natasha. “If we cannot return, where do we start from? Come to laugh, to cry and to feel awkward. Whatever it is, we will survive it – survival being an art. Or an embarrassment?”

The story, based on the experience of living in Croatia during the break-up of former Yugoslavia, is fragmented and collaged. “It unveils an aspect of family history and explores the surreal circumstances around a conflict building up and what goes into surviving it,” says Natasha.

Combining movement, storytelling and poetry, her piece explores how living through war has affected where Natasha is now.

Bee Scott: If You Find This, 7.30pm tonight; Natasha Stanic Mann: The Return, 8.45pm tonight, Connect Festival, Theatre@41 Monkgate, York. Box office:

Connect Festival: “Enabling audiences to connect with one another and with new work”

Four Wheel Drive’s Connect Festival: the 2023 back story

“TO us, enabling audiences to connect with one another and with new work is invigorating,” say Connect Festival organisers Four Wheel Drive.

Running from July 19 to 23 at Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, the festival aims to connect York-based creatives with one another and the next stage in their career. 

This week’s event not only connects York creatives with like-minded individuals and industry experts, but also enables networking across disciplines, as live arts, digital media and innovative technology connect to celebrate this city’s creative communities.

Connect Festival offers York creatives the chance to broaden their horizons and network with others

Connect Festival offers opportunities for people in York to connect with York’s creative and cultural scene. Festival guests include: Ben Porter, founder of NODE and York Creatives; Mary Stewart David, of Imminent XR; freelance York playwright and comedy sketch writer Paul Birch; Joe Rees-Jones, of XR Stories, and award-winning audio drama producer Kate Valentine.

Masterclasses, workshops, networking events and panels during the day and early evening offer York creatives the chance to broaden their horizons and network with others who share the same passions. 

The evenings present theatrical performances, followed by late-night entertainment on selected days. After Friday evening’s two comedies, Joe Maddalena and Gianluca Scatto’s Self Help and Aidan Loft’s On The Rail, Freida Nipples Burlesque hosts burlesque performances of glitz and glamour in A Night With York’s Stars.

In the frame: Joly Black and Anna Gallon, Four Wheel Drive’s co-producers for the Connect Festival, in the doorway of Theatre@41, Monkgate, York

Following Saturday’s LGBTQ+ performances, Josh Maughan’s Nice Jewish Boy and Aidan Thompson-Coates in the collaborative work Contradicktion, the Family Shambles Drag troupe will be in action. Both evenings have limited tickets and are predicted to sell out fast.

Connect co-producer Anna Gallon is passionate about welcoming everyone to the festival, be they from a theatrical background or not: “If you want to pursue your creativity, then my question would be: why not? This is a positive and inspiring space where we want to know what you are creating and what you are interested in,” she says.

The programme for the 2023 Connect Festival

For co-producer Joly Black, this ties in with accessibility: “The success of Connect is all about opportunity; I want to create as many opportunities for people to learn, exploring their creativity in a low-risk environment, and build their network to step up their career,” he says.

“But in the end, if you want to be connected with the next stage of your career – theatrical or otherwise – to experiment with new technologies while meeting new people, or simply have a great time watching vibrant performances, come on down to the Connect Festival. We’ve got something for everyone!

“You can browse tickets at with free events available. Book now to avoid disappointment as tickets are very limited.”

More Things To Do in York and beyond when Connecting with culture. Here Hutch’s List No. 29 for 2023, from The Press

Shed Seven, 2023: Vocalist Rick Witter, left, guitarist Paul Banks, second from right, and bassist Tom Gladwin,right, are joined by drummer Rob ‘Maxi’ Maxfield and keyboardist Tim Willis at Millennium Square,Leeds, tonight. Picture: Barnaby Fairley

GOING for gold, whether with the Sheds or down at the maze, Charles Hutchinson heads outdoors but is drawn back indoors too.

Outdoor gig of the weekend: Shed Seven, Sounds In The City 2023, Millennium Square, Leeds, today, from 6pm

FRESH from announcing next January’s release of their sixth studio album, A Matter Of Time, York’s Shed Seven head to Leeds city centre for a sold-out, 6,00-capacity Millennium Square show.

Performing alongside regular vocalist Rick Witter, guitarist Paul Banks and bassist Tom Gladwin will be Tim Willis on keyboards and Rob ‘Maxi’ Maxfield on drums. Support slots go to fellow Britpop veterans Cast and rising York band Skylights.

Be amazed: York Maze reopens for a new season today

Opening of the weekend: York Maze, Elvington Lane, Elvington, near York, today until September 4

THE Cobsleigh Run race and Crowmania ride are among the new attractions when York Maze opens for its 21st season today with a new show marquee too – and the giant image of Tutankhamun cut by farmer Tom Pearcy into a 15-acre field of maize.

Created from one million living, growing maize plants, Britain’s largest maze has more than 20 rides, attractions and shows for a fun-filled family day out. Where else would you find a Corntroller of Entertainment, corny pun intended? Step forward Josh Benson, York magician, pantomime star and, yes, corntroller. Tickets: 01904 608000 or

Gary Stewart: Celebrating the songs of Paul Simon at Helmsley Arts Centre

Show title of the week: Gary Stewart, The Only Living Boy In (New) York – An Evening of Paul Simon Songs, Helmsley Arts Centre, tonight, 7.30pm

GARY Stewart, singer, songwriter, guitarist, Hope & Social drummer and programmer for At The Mill’s folk bills, turns the spotlight on the songs of New Yorker Paul Simon, his chief folk/pop influence.

Born in Perthshire, Stewart cut his Yorkshire teeth on the Leeds music scene for 15 years before moving to York (and now Easingwold, to be precise). He is sometimes to be found fronting his Graceland show, another vessel for Paul Simon songs. Tonight, his focus is on The Boxer, Mrs Robinson, Me & Julio Down By The Schoolyard, Kodachrome et al.  Box office: 01439 771700 or

The Young’uns: Playing Ryedale Festival on July 20 at 7pm at the Milton Rooms, Malton. Picture: Pamela Raith

Festival of the week outside York: Ryedale Festival, running until July 30

DIRECTED once more by Christopher Glynn, Ryedale Festival returns with 55 concerts, celebrating everything from Tchaikovsky to troubadours in beautiful North Yorkshire locations. Artists in residence include Anna Lapwood, Nicky Spence, Korean violinist Bomsori Kim and pianist Mishka Rushdie Momen.

Taking part too will be Boris Giltburg, the Dudok Quartet, Jess Gillam, Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective, guitarist Plínio Fernandes,trumpeter Aaron Akugbo, pianist George Xiaoyuan Fu, the National Youth Choir of Scotland, jazz singer Clare Teal and north eastern folk musicians The Young’uns, among others. For the full programme and tickets, go to:

Mark Thomas: Performing one-man play England And Son at Selby Town Hall on Sunday. Picture: Tony Pletts

Work in Progress of the week: Mark Thomas in England And Son, Selby Town Hall, Sunday, 7.30pm

POLITICAL comedian Mark Thomas stars in this one-man play, set when The Great Devouring comes home: the first he has performed not written by the polemicist himself but by award-winning playwright Ed Edwards.

Directed by Cressida Brown, England And Son has emerged from characters Thomas knew in his childhood and from Edwards’s lived experience in jail. Promising deep, dark laughs and deep, dark love, Thomas undertakes a kaleidoscopic odyssey where disaster capitalism, Thatcherite politics and stolen wealth merge into the simple tale of a working-class boy who just wants his dad to smile at him. Box office: 01757 708449 or

Bee Scott: Presenting her queer sci-fi interactive travelogue If You Find This at Connect Festival on Thursday

Festival of the week in York: Four Wheel Drive presents Connect Festival, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, Wednesday to Sunday

FOUR Wheel Drive’s Connect Festival opens with Women’s Voices on Wednesday, staging two new shows, Giorgia Test’s Behind My Scars and Rhia Burston’s Woebegone. Thursday’s Non-Linear Narratives features Bee Scott’s queer sci-fi interactive travelogue If You Find This and Natasha Stanic Mann’s immersive insight into hidden consequences of war, The Return.

Friday’s Comedy and Burlesque bill presents Joe Maddalena in Gianluca Scatto and Maddalena’s dark comedy about male mental health, Self Help, Aidan Loft’s night-train drama On The Rail and A Night With York’s Stars burlesque show, fronted by Freida Nipples. More details next weekend. Box office:

Four Forty Theatre’s cast for the Macbeth and Romeo & Juliet comedy doube bill: Amy Roberts, Luke Thornton, Dom Gee-Burch and Amy Merivale

Unhinged comedy of the week: Four Forty Theatre in Macbeth and Romeo & Juliet, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, Thursday, 7.30pm

MACBETH in 40 minutes? Romeo & Juliet in 40 minutes? Both shows performed by only four actors on one raucous night? Yes, welcome back Four Forty Theatre, returning to the JoRo with a brace of Shakespeare’s tragedies transformed into an outrageous, flat-out comedy double bill.

In the line-up will be actress and primary school teacher Alice Merivale; Liverpool actress, musician, director, vocal coach and piano teacher Amy Roberts; company debutant actor-musician Luke Thornton and company director and pantomime dame Dom Gee-Burch. Box office: 01904 501935 or

The poster for Legend – The Music Of Bob Marley

Tribute show of the week: Legend – The Music of Bob Marley, York Barbican, Thursday, 7.30pm

LEGEND celebrates the reggae music of Jamaican icon Bob Marley in a two-hour Rasta spectacular. “Don’t worry about a thing, ’cause every little thing is gonna be alright” when the cast re-creates No Woman No Cry,  Could You Be Loved, Is This Love, One Love, Three Little Birds, Jammin’, Buffalo Soldier, Get Up Stand Up and I Shot The Sheriff. Box office:

Jorgie Willingham’s Referee and Jim Carnall’s boxer Paul Stokes in rehearsal for The Sweet Science Of Bruising at York Theatre Royal. Picture: James Harvey

Knock-out show of the week: York College BA (Hons) Acting for Stage and Screen Graduating Students in The Sweet Science Of Bruising, York Theatre Royal, Thursday and Friday, 7.30pm

JOY Wilkinson’s The Sweet Science Of Bruising is an epic tale of passion, politics and pugilism in the world of 19th-century women’s boxing, staged by York College students.

In London, 1869, four very different Victorian women are drawn into the dark underground of female boxing by the eccentric Professor Sharp. Controlled by men and constrained by corsets, each finds an unexpected freedom in the boxing ring as they fight inequality as well as each other. Box office: 01904 623568 or