Three shows in three nights at Theatre@41: Elysium Theatre’s Reiver tales, Frankie revelations in Howerd’s End and Ria Lina

Elaine MacNicol in The Widow’s Path in Elysium Theatre Company’s Reiver: Tales From The Borders, on tour at Theatre@41, Monkgate, and the Grey Village Hall, Sutton-on-the-Forest

ELYSIUM Theatre Company presents Matthew Howden, Elaine MacNicol and Steven Stobbs in artistic director Jake Murray’s touring production of Reiver: Tales From The Borders at Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, tonight at 7.30pm.

The Reivers were lawless families who terrorised the Anglo-Scottish border for 400 years from Newcastle to Edinburgh, Carlisle to Dumfries, until King James I broke their power. Living by blackmail, extortion, protection and theft, they grew to become some of the most powerful families of their time: the Nixons, the Armstrongs, the Charltons, the Maxwells and many more.

Steeped in the folklore and history of the northern borders, writer Steve Byron weaves three tales of ordinary people caught up in the Reivers’ web, a farmer, a lawman and a young woman, as they take a stand against their murderous ways in a world of violence and injustice.

In Blackmail, an innocent farmer is forced to take a stand against the bullying threats of a powerful Reiver family. In Godforsaken Place, a southern lawman exiled to the north by the corrupt London authorities tries to save a Reiver child from a terrible fate.

In The Widow’s Path, a Scottish woman sold into servitude as a child pursues the murderers of her husband. She will not rest until she has overturned the Reiver order to gain her revenge.

As law and order do battle with corruption and greed, will good triumph over evil, or will evil win the day?

Simon Cartwright’s Frankie Howerd and Mark Farrelly’s Dennis Heymer in Howerd’s End. Picture: Steve Ullathorne

Tomorrow night, at 7.30pm, Mark Farrelly’s play Howerd’s End goes to the heart of York-born comedian Frankie Howerd’s secret. A secret called Dennis Heymer, his lover, friend and anchor, with whom he had a clandestine relationship from the 1950s until Frankie’s death in 1992.

From the writer of Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope and The Silence Of Snow: The Life Of Patrick Hamilton comes a show packed with humour in a glorious opportunity to encounter Frankie in full-flight stand-up mode, but also unafraid of the truth.

Howerd’s End portrays a shared, defiant journey through closeness, love, grief and all the other things that make life worth living. Come and say farewell to a legend… and learn the art of letting go as Farrelly’s Dennis is joined by Simon Cartwright’s Frankie in a touring production directed by Joe Harmston.

Ria Lina: Riawakening makes it three nights in a row at Theatre@41 on Friday at 8pm. In the aftermath of a global pandemic, comedian and scientist Ria Lina has undergone a Riawakening and now sees the world differently.

In her debut tour show, she tackles the issues of coming out of a pandemic, the new normal, divorce, dating in a new digital world, motherhood and what it really means to be a woman today.

Fearless and provocative, Ria is the only Filipina comedian working on the British stand-up circuit and has appeared on Live At The Apollo, Have I Got News For You, House Of Games, The Last Leg and Celebrity Mastermind.

Tickets are on sale at Durham company Elysium Theatre’s Reiver: Tales From The Borders also visits the Grey Village Hall, Sutton-on-the-Forest, near York, on October 28 at 7.30pm; tickets, 01347 811428. Ria Lina plays The Wardrobe, Leeds, on October 19, 7.30pm; box office,

Ria Lina: York and Leeds gigs on Riawakening tour