What’s On in Ryedale, York and beyond as classical festival opens. Here’s Hutch’s List No. 24, from Gazette & Herald

Mezzo-soprano Fleur Barron: Residency at Ryedale Festival. Picture: Victoria Cadisch

RYEDALE Festival tops the bill for Charles Hutchinson’s recommendations. A tribute to tribute acts, Grimm tales, Roman emperors, Brazilian sambas and theatrical Fools look promising too.

Festival of the week: Ryedale Festival, July 12 to 28

THIS summer’s Ryedale Festival features 58 performances in 35 beautiful and historic locations, with performers ranging from Felix Klieser, a horn player born without arms, to trail-blazing Chinese guitarist Xuefei Yang, mezz-soprano Fleur Barron to violinist Stella Chen, the Van Baerle Piano Trio to Troubadour Trail host Rachel Podger.

Taking part too will be Royal Wedding cellistSheku Kanneh-Mason, Georgian pianist Giorgi Gigashvili, Brazilian guitar pioneer Plinio Fernandes, choral groups The Marian Consort and Tenebrae, actress and classical music enthusiast Dame Sheila Hancock, jazz singer Claire Martin and Northumbrian folk group The Unthanks. For the full programme and ticket details, head to: ryedalefestival.com. 

Re-Bjorn each show: Sarah-Louise Young in I Am Your Tribute at Theatre@41, Monkgate, York

Fringe show of the week: Sarah-Louise Young, I Am Your Tribute, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, tomorrow, 7.30pm

AFTER An Evening Without Kate Bush, the Julie Andrews-focused Julie Madly Deeply and The Silent Treatment, Sarah-Louise Young returns to Theatre@41 with her Edinburgh Fringe-bound new show, I Am Your Tribute.

In her “most ambitiously interactive performance yet”, she invites you to help her create the ultimate tribute to an act of your choosing. Along the way she will teach you the tricks of the trade, share her greatest hits and uncover the occasionally darker side of living in someone’s else’s shadow. Expect music, wigs and wonderment. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.

Happily ever after: Rowntree Players cast members in Grimm Tales

Fairy tales of the week: Rowntree Players in Grimm Tales, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, tomorrow to Saturday, 7.30pm

AMY Carter directs Rowntree Players in Carol Ann Duffy’s adaptation of Grimm Tales, dramatised by Tim Supple, with Chris Meadley in the role of the Narrator.

The cast of 15 takes a journey through a selection of delightfully bizarre stories from the Brothers Grimm collection to reveal their true origins and to discover that the path to a happy ending can, indeed, be a little grim. Box office: 01904 501395 or josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.

Mary Beard: Roman emperors, the truth and the lies, at Grand Opera House, York

History lesson of the week: Mary Beard: Emperor Of Rome, Grand Opera House, York, Saturday, 7.30pm

CLASSICIST scholar, debunking historian and television presenter Mary Beard shines the spotlight on Roman emperors, from the well-known Julius Caesar (assassinated 44 BCE) to the almost-unknown Alexander Severus (assassinated 235 CE).

Venturing beyond the hype of politics, power and succession and into the heart of the palace corridors, she will uncover the facts and fiction of these rulers, asking what they did and why, and how we came to have such a lurid view of them. Themes of autocracy, corruption and conspiracy will be explored and audience questions will be taken. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.

Andrew Methven: Playing a Lazy Sunday Session at Milton Rooms, Malton

Afternoon entertainment: Lazy Sunday Sessions, Andrew Methven & Joseph Wing, Milton Rooms, Malton, Sunday, 3pm

HEADLINER Andrew Metheven, from Bradford, pens lo-fi folk songs about births, hills, decay and daydreams and too many about birds, as heard on his June 2024 debut album, Sister Winter, available via Bandcamp. Singer and guitarist Joseph Wing, from Malton band Penny Fleck, will be the support act. Box office: 01653 696240 or themiltonrooms.com.

Madness: Welcome to the House Of Fun at Scarborough Open Air Theatre

Coastal gig of the week: Madness, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, Friday, gates 6pm

MADNESS, the Nutty Boys of Camden Town, return to the North Yorkshire great outdoors for Suggs and co to roll out such ska-flavoured music-hall hits as Our House, One Step Beyond, Baggy Trousers, It Must Be Love, House Of Fun, Michael Caine, Wings Of A Dove, Night Boat To Cairo, My Girl, Driving In My Car, Tomorrow’s Just Another Day and Embarrassment. Standing tickets are still available at scarboroughopenairtheatre.com/madness.

Fernando Maynart: Showcasing new album at Helmsley Arts Centre

Brazilian sambas of the week: Fernando Maynart, Helmsley Arts Centre, Saturday, 7.30pm

BRAZILIAN singer, composer, guitarist and percussionist Fernando Maynart introduces his new album, TranSambas, showcasing the different rhythmic nuances of samba rooted in Africa via the West African slave trade and the Afro-Brazilian religion. 

Maynart, whose set also features songs by Brazilian maestro Dorival Caymmi, will be accompanied by Brazilian flautist Daniel Allain and drummer/percussionist Denilson Oliveira, plus Ryedale multi-instrumentalist David Key. Box office: 01439 771700 or helmsleyarts.co.uk.

Four go into three: James Aldred, Peter Long, Lucy Chamberlain and Charlotte Horner of The Three Inch Fools

Open-air theatre at the double: The Three Inch Fools in The Secret Diary Of Henry VIII, Scampston Hall, Scampston, near Malton, July 20; Merchant Adventurers’ Hall, York, July 23 and Helmsley Walled Garden, August 6; The Comedy Of Errors, Helmsley Walled Garden, July 19, all at 7pm

THE Three Inch Fools, brothers James and Stephen Hyde’s specialists in fast-paced storytelling and uproarious music-making, head to Scampston, York and Helmsley with their rowdy reimagining of the story of the troublesome Tudor king in The Secret Diary Of Henry VIII as he strives to navigate his way through courtly life, while fighting the French again, re-writing religious law and clocking up six wives.

The Play That Goes Wrong’s Sean Turner directs the Fools’ innovative take on Shakespeare’s shortest, wildest farce The Comedy Of Errors, with its tale of long-lost twins, misunderstandings and messy mishaps. Box office: eventbrite.co.uk.

REVIEW: 1812 Theatre Company in The Vicar of Dibley, Helmsley Arts Centre, until Saturday ****

Julia Bullock’s Geraldine Granger receives a frosty reception from Grahame Sammons’s parish council chairman David Horton on introducing herself as the new vicar. Oliver Clive’s Hugo Horton looks on rather more admiringly. Picture: Joe Coughlan

WHEN The Vicar Of Dibley was suggested for 1812 Theatre Company’s summer show, director Julie Lomas “had some reservations”. Who could follow comedy icon Dawn French and the rest from Richard Curtis and Paul Mayhew- Archer’s beloved BBC series, she wondered.

Allaying those concerns, she found all her players in her first round of auditions, combining company debutants with familiar faces from Helmsley Arts Centre’s resident company, including Richard Noakes in his 51st appearance “in some way or other” at the Old Meeting House.

Two new members feature, led by Julia Bullock, from the Harrogate theatre scene, making “chocoholic sex kitten” Reverend Geraldine Granger her own, albeit with the Dawn French bob.

Beaj Johnson is stepping up for his stage debut at 60 as no, no, no, yes, Jim Trott, after many years as a photographer in the theatre world, taking portraits of Rik Mayall, Julian Clary, Celia Imrie, Imelda Staunton and…Dawn French (as featured with a flower in the 1812 programme). Not so much no, as yes, yes, yes, such is the comic joy of his terpsichorean turn as the dithering, rumbustious Jim.

Julie Lomas not only directs but also has credits for sound design (with John Lomas), set and lighting design, set decoration (with Pauline Noakes and Becca Magson), wardrobe (with Bullock and Magson) and programme design.

All in favour: Mike Martin’s Owen Newitt, left, Julia Bullock’s Geraldine Granger, Oliver Clive’s Hugo Horton, Grahame Sammons’s David Horton, Richard Noakes’s Frank Pickle, Sue Smith’s Sue Cropley and Beaj Johnson’s Jim Trott at a Dibley Parish Council

Hats off to such a hands-on contribution, but that’s not all. She has adapted the original Curtis & Mayhew-Archer script too, retaining the 1990s’ setting, with references to William Hague, Norma Major and Anne Robinson, but ostensibly moving the location from the south to Yorkshire, although only the vicar of Dibley dabbles in pronounced northern vowels, enhancing Bullock’s distancing from the French style.

The rest mirror the accents of the TV originals, adding to the mist of nostalgia that had seen this week’s evening performances all but sell out in advance. (N.B. Two tickets are still available for Saturday night, more for the matinee).

The play starts where else but at the Dibley Parish Council meeting where misogynistic, autocratic chairman David Horton (Grahame [CORRECT] Sammons, stuffed of shirt, acid of mouth) announces the need to replace the departed Reverend Pottle.

All the favourites are there: the pedantic/fastidious parish clerk Frank Pickle (a steadfast Richard Noakes); Mrs Cropley (stoical Sue Smith), with her waste-not but not-wanted nibbles; geeky, quirky Hugo Horton (Oliver Clive); the aforementioned Jim (Johnson, as much a nod to Wilfrid Brambell and Ade Edmondson as to Roger Lloyd Pack ) and the late-arriving Owen Newitt, (a bucolic, West Country, hangdog Mike Martin), struggling with his latest bowel affliction.

Lomas quickly establishes economy of scene and speed of scene change with an open plan set that combines the Horton mansion with the village hall and the vicarage, topped off by a stained-glass window that will come into play late on as Barry Whitaker’s Bishop of Mulberry makes his mark.

At last! Julia Bullock’s Geraldine Granger celebrates as Oliver Clive’s Hugo Horton and Jeanette Hambidge’s Alice Tinker finally have their Rodin sculpture moment. Picture: Joe Coughlan

All gather at Horton HQ for the arrival of the new vicar, Horton handing out the cheap sherry. Not a woman, he prays. Enter Bullock’s Geraldine Granger, the answer to the village’s prayers as it turns out. Immediately drawing attention to her bust, and instantly demanding whisky, she is frank, fearless, forthright, funny. She loves Sean Bean, she loves a naughty joke, she loves chocolate, she loves love, what’s not to love?

Crucial too is the vicar’s relationship with Alice Tinker, the verger, so maddening, unpredictable, pedantic, sometimes as thick as clotted cream, yet as lovable too. Here Lomas has cast superbly in Jeanette Hambidge for a role that demands a multi-faceted performance, and Bullock and Hambidge duly bring out the best in each other.

In her programme notes, Lomas had highlighted not only nostalgia but poignancy too, a characteristic that applies to both the slow-to-blossom romance of Hugo and Alice – beautifully, tentatively, tenderly played by Clive and Hambidge – and to the emotionally parched Horton developing feelings for Geraldine. Sammons plays these scenes particularly well, full of delusion, then the drain of reality and sudden generosity of spirit, bringing a lump to the throat.

Lomas wrote too of the “comedy still being fresh”, despite the period setting, the absence of mobile phones, and it is to her cast’s huge credit that they have all made it fresh anew, episodic in structure, but complete in a way that a sitcom episode cannot be. How else could it finish but with Geraldine and Alice on different wavelengths in a kitchen conversation.

1812 Theatre Company in The Vicar Of Dibley, Helmsley Arts Centre, 7.30pm tonight and tomorrow; 2.30pm and 7.30pm tomorrow. Box office: 01439 771700 or helmsleyarts.co.uk.

What’s On in Ryedale, York and beyond when the vampire hunters strikes back. Hutch’s List No. 23, from Gazette & Herald

Killian Macardle, left, Annie Kirkman and Chris Hannon in Dracula: The Bloody Truth at the SJT. Picture: Pamela Raith

THE truth behind Dracula, wall-to-wall graffiti, vicar irreverence and a blast of brass bring variety to Charles Hutchinson’s tips for jaunty July trips.

Comedy drama of the week: Dracula: The Bloody Truth, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, tonight to July 27

THE Stephen Joseph Theatre teams up with Bolton’s Octagon Theatre to stage physical theatre comedy exponents La Navet Bete & John Nicholson’s Dracula: The Bloody Truth, based very loosely on Bram Stoker’s story.

SJT artistic director Paul Robinson directs Chris Hannon, Annie Kirkman, Alyce Liburd and Killian Macardle as vampire hunter Professor Abraham Van Helsing reveals the real story behind the legend of Dracula, the one with the Whitby connection. Box office: 01723 370541 or sjt.uk.com.

Hamish Brown’s Alexis, left, Alexandra Mather’s Miss Aline Sangazure and Anthony Gardner’s John Wellington Wells in York Opera’s The Sorcerer. Picture: John Saunders

Everything stops for tea:  York Opera in The Sorcerer, York Theatre Royal, until Saturday, 7.30pm and 2.30pm Saturday matinee

JOHN Soper directs York Opera in The Sorcerer, Gilbert and Sullivan’s first full-length comic opera, wherein Sir Marmaduke Pointdextre (Ian Thomson-Smith) hosts a tea party in the Ploverleigh Hall gardens to celebrate the betrothal of his only son, Alexis (Hamish Brown) to Miss Aline Sangazure (Alexandra Mather), daughter of Lady Annabella Sangazure (Rebecca Smith).

When a love-at-first-sight elixir is mixed into the celebration tea by a sorcerer, John Wellington Wells (Anthony Gardner, in the role played by Soper for York Opera in 2001), mayhem follows as the assembled guests fall under his magic spell. What could possibly go wrong? Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

Julia Bullock’s Geraldine Granger, Oliver Clive’s Hugo Horton, centre, and Grahame Sammons’s David Horton in 1812 Theatre Company’s The Vicar Of Dibley

Religious conversion of the week: 1812 Theatre Company in The Vicar Of Dibley, Helmsley Arts Centre, untilSaturday, 7.30pm plus 2.30pm Saturday matinee

JULIE Lomas directs Helmsley Arts Centre’s resident company in a stage play adapted from the original BBC television series by Richard Curtis and Paul Mayhew-Archer. When Reverend Pottle dies, much to the surprise of the Dibley Parish Council, his replacement is Geraldine Granger, a vicar who is also a chocoholic sex kitten.

Follow the antics of David Horton, his son Hugo, Jim, Owen, Frank and Mrs Cropley as they adjust to working with the witty and wonderful Geraldine, assisted by her verger, Alice Tinker. Box office: 01439 771700 or helmsleyarts.co.uk.

Bright Light Musical Productions in Green Day’s American Idiot: York premiere at Joseph Rowntree Theatre. Picture: Dan Crawfurd-Porter

York musical of the week: Bright Light Musical Productions in Green Day’s American Idiot, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, tomorrow to Saturday, 7.30pm and 2.30pm Saturday matinee

NORTH Yorkshire company Bright Light Musical Productions make their JoRo debut in the York premiere of punk rock opera Green Day’s American Idiot with a cast of 14 directed by Dan Crawfurd-Porter and a seven-piece band under Matthew Peter Clare’s musical direction.  

Inspired by the Californian band’s 2004 album, American Idiot tells the story of Johnny (Iain Harvey), “Jesus of Suburbia”, and his friends Will (William Thirlaway) and Tunny (Dan Poppitt) as they attempt to break out of their mind-numbing, aimless suburban existence. Box office: 01904 501935 or josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.

For those about to rock: Live/Wire take the highway to hell with AC/DC classics at The Crescent

Tribute show of the week: Live/Wire, The AC/DC Show, The Crescent, York, Friday and Saturday (sold out), doors 7.30pm

LIVE/WIRE, The AC/DC Show pays tribute to the Aussie heavy rock band, replete with a wall of Marshall amps for two hours of high voltage rock’n’roll. Podge Blacksmith, a double take for frontman Brian Johnson, revels in a set taking in everything from Highway To Hell and Whole Lotta Rosie to Back In Black and latest album Rock Or Bust. Box office for Friday only: thecrescentyork.com.

One of James Jessop’s works on show in Rise Of The Vandals at the disused office block at 2, Low Ousegate, York

Exhibition/installation of the week: Bombsquad, Rise Of The Vandals, 2, Low Ousegate, York, Friday to Sunday, 11am to 6pm.

SPREAD over four floors in a disused Low Ousegate office block, York art collective Bombsquad showcases retrospective and contemporary spray paint culture, graffiti, street art and public art in three galleries, a cinema room, a Wendy house and art shop, in aid of SASH (Safe and Sound Homes).

Taking part in Rise Of The Vandals are York graffiti archivist Keith Hopewell, James Jessop, Bristol legend Inkie, Chu, Rowdy, Kid Acne, Remi Rough, Prefab77, SODA, Replete, Jo Peel, Sharon McDonagh, Lincoln Lightfoot, Anonymouse, Boxxhead and live DJs in SODA’s booth. Free entry; donations are encouraged. Dog friendly.

Fatboy Slim: Cooking up the beats at Scarborough Open Air Theatre. Picture: fatboyslim.net

Coastal gigs of the week: Fatboy Slim, Saturday; Paul Weller, Sunday, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, gates open at 6pm

NORMAN Cook has come a long way, baby, since he played bass in Hull band The Housemartins. Now the BRIT award-winning, Brighton-based DJ, aka Fatboy Slim, heads back north to fill Scarborough with big beats and huge hooks in Rockafeller Skank, Gangster Trippin, Praise You and Right Here Right Now et al on Saturday night.

The Modfather Paul Weller showcases his 17th studio album, 66, full of ruminations on ageing, in Sunday’s set of songs from The Jam, Style Council and his solo years. Box office: scarboroughopenairtheatre.com.

Paul Weller: Reflections on hitting 66 at Scarborough Open Air Theatre

Brass Band Summer Showcase of the week: Swinton & District Excelsior Brass Band, Milton Rooms, Malton, Sunday, 2pm

AS part of Brass Band Week, the Summer Showcase features the Swinton & District Excelsior Brass Band with trumpet and cornet soloist Sean Chandler. Taking part too will be the Swinton Training Band and The Workshop Band, including members from Swinton, Stape, Malton and Kirkbymoorside Brass Bands. Entry is free; tickets are available from 01653 696240, themiltonrooms.com or ticketsource.co.uk.

More Things To Do in York & beyond when art goes wall to wall and opera takes a love potion. Hutch’s List No. 27, from The Press

One of James Jessop’s works on show in Rise Of The Vandals in the disused office block at 2, Low Ousegate, York

GRAFFITI writ large, an American rock musical, G&S and afternoon tea, a theatre festival and a football play find Charles Hutchinson in tune with the joys of June.

Exhibition/installation of the week: Bombsquad, Rise Of The Vandals, 2, Low Ousegate, York, today, tomorrow, then July 5 to 7, 11am to 6pm.

SPREAD over four floors in a disused Low Ousegate office block, York art collective Bombsquad showcases retrospective and contemporary spray paint culture, graffiti, street art and public art in three galleries, a cinema room, a Wendy house and art shop, in aid of SASH (Safe and Sound Homes).

Taking part in Rise Of The Vandals are York graffiti archivist Keith Hopewell, James Jessop, Bristol legend Inkie, Chu, Rowdy, Kid Acne, Remi Rough, Prefab77, SODA, Replete, Jo Peel, Sharon McDonagh, Lincoln Lightfoot, Anonymouse, Boxxhead and live DJs in SODA’s booth. Free entry; donations are encouraged. Dog friendly.

Johnny Marr: Playing songs from The Smiths to Electronic to his solo career (compiled on his Spirit Power collection) at Scarborough Open Air Theatre

Coastal gigs of the week: Johnny Marr and The Charlatans, tonight; Gregory Porter, Monday, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, gates 6pm

JOHNNY Marr, The Smiths and Electronic guitarist, superstar collaborator and solo artist, cherry-picks from all eras of his career, right up to his November 2023 compilation Spirit Power in his headline set. First up on this north-western double bill on the East Coast will be The Charlatans, as full of indie rock swagger as ever after 22 Top 40 hits.

Grammy Award-winning Californian jazz vocalist and songwriter Gregory Porter performs songs from Liquid Spirit, Take To The Alley, Nat King Cole & Me, All Rise and more besides on Monday night. Box office: scarboroughopenairtheatre.com.

Hamish Brown’s Alexis, left, Alexandra Mather’s Miss Aline Sangazure and Anthony Gardner’s John Wellington Wells in York Opera’s The Sorcerer. Picture: John Saunders

Everything stops for tea:  York Opera in The Sorcerer, York Theatre Royal, July 3 to 6, 7.30pm and 2.30pm Saturday matinee

JOHN Soper directs York Opera in The Sorcerer, Gilbert and Sullivan’s first full-length comic opera, wherein Sir Marmaduke Pointdextre (Ian Thomson-Smith) hosts a tea party in the Ploverleigh Hall gardens to celebrate the betrothal of his only son, Alexis (Hamish Brown) to Miss Aline Sangazure (Alexandra Mather), daughter of Lady Annabella Sangazure (Rebecca Smith).

When a love-at-first-sight elixir is mixed into the celebration tea by a sorcerer, John Wellington Wells (Anthony Gardner, in the role played by Soper for York Opera in 2001), mayhem follows as the assembled guests fall under his magic spell. What could possibly go wrong? Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

Julia Bullock’s Geraldine Granger, Oliver Clive’s Hugo Horton and Grahame Sammons’s David Horton in 1812 Theatre Company’s The Vicar Of Dibley

Religious conversion of the week: 1812 Theatre Company in The Vicar Of Dibley, Helmsley Arts Centre, July 3 to 6, 7.30pm plus 2.30pm Saturday matinee

JULIE Lomas directs Helmsley Arts Centre’s resident company in a stage play adapted from the original BBC television series by Richard Curtis and Paul Mayhew-Archer. When Reverend Pottle dies, much to the surprise of the Dibley Parish Council, his replacement is Geraldine Granger, a vicar who is also a chocoholic sex kitten.

Follow the antics of David Horton, his son Hugo, Jim, Owen, Frank and Mrs Cropley as they adjust to working with the witty and wonderful Geraldine, assisted by her verger, Alice Tinker. Box office: 01439 771700 or helmsleyarts.co.uk.

Bright Light Musical Productions in Green Day’s American Idiot: York premiere at Joseph Rowntree Theatre. Picture: Dan Crawfurd-Porter

Musical of the week: Bright Light Musical Productions in Green Day’s American Idiot, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, July 4 to 6, 7.30pm and 2.30pm Saturday matinee

NORTH Yorkshire company Bright Light Musical Productions make their JoRo debut in the York premiere of punk rock opera Green Day’s American Idiot with a cast of 14 directed by Dan Crawfurd-Porter and a seven-piece band under Matthew Peter Clare’s musical direction.  

Inspired by the Californian band’s 2004 album, American Idiot tells the story of Johnny (Iain Harvey), “Jesus of Suburbia”, and his friends Will (William Thirlaway) and Tunny (Dan Poppitt) as they attempt to break out of their mind-numbing, aimless suburban existence. Box office: 01904 501935 or josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.

The bootiful game: Long Lane Theatre Club in The Giant Killers at the Milton Rooms, Malton

Football alternative to England at the Euros: Long Lane Theatre Club in The Giant Killers, Milton Rooms, Malton, July 4, kick-off at 7.30pm

THE Giant Killers tells the story of how Darwen FC came to the public’s attention in 1870s’ Lancashire to proclaim Association Football as the people’s game and not only the preserve of the upper classes.

Andrew Pearson-Wright & Eve Pearson-Wright’s play recounts how a ragtag bunch of mill workers in Darwen took on the amateur gentlemen’s club of the Old Etonians in the FA Cup quarter-final in 1879, rising up against prevailing social prejudice and the might of the Football Association to earn a place in history as the first real ‘‘giant killers’’ in English football. Box office: 01653 696240 or themiltonrooms.com.

For those about to rock: Live/Wire take the highway to hell with AC/DC classics at The Crescent

Tribute show of the week: Live/Wire, The AC/DC Show, The Crescent, York, July 5 and 6 (sold out), doors 7.30pm

LIVE/WIRE, The AC/DC Show pays tribute to the Aussie heavy rock band, replete with a wall of Marshall amps for two hours of high voltage rock’n’roll. Podge Blacksmith, a double take for frontman Brian Johnson, revels in a set taking in everything from Highway To Hell and Whole Lotta Rosie to Back In Black and latest album Rock Or Bust. Box office for July 5 only: thecrescentyork.com.

In Focus: Shepherd Group Brass Bands, Best Of Brass, York Theatre Royal, tonight, 7.30pm

The poster for Shepherd Group Brass Bands’ Best Of Brass at York Theatre Royal

TONIGHT’S Shepherd Group Brass Bands concert features all of the Shepherd bands playing individually and then a mighty ensemble piece, when all 170 players perform a specially composed piece by Liz Lane to mark 20 years of the bands’ sponsorship by the Shepherd Group.

Liz’s celebratory work represents the bands – Brass Roots, Academy Brass, Youth Band, Concert Band and Shepherd Group Brass Band – and the company support that provides first-class rehearsal facilities and has enabled the band organisation to grow.

Liz has led  several workshops, where she has worked with each band, “ storyboarding players’ feelings about the band, what we get from it as players and as a band family as a whole”.

She has been allowed to visit the Portakabin production site too, where she drew inspiration from the machinery used in the production of product lines.

On May 21, players from each band gathered in the band room for the first full run-through in Liz’s presence.  Afterwards she went away with a couple of ideas for final tweaks. Now comes the premiere performance with “a few real surprises in store for the audience”. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

In Focus too: Festival of the week: Ripon Theatre Festival, July 2 to 7

Barrie Rutter: Presenting Shakespeare’s Royals in Ripon Cathedral on July 4 at 7.30pm

PUPPETS, stories, dance, drama, circus and street entertainment pop up in new and surprising places alongside more familiar venues, such as Newby Hall, The Old Deanery, Ripon Cathedral, Ripon Arts Hub and Fountains Abbey, as Ripon Theatre Festival returns.

In all, 109 events and activities will be crammed into five days and six nights. Among the highlights will be Barrie Rutter’s Shakespeare’s Royals, The Adventures Of Doctor Dolittle, Red Ladder’s Miners’ Strike musical comedy We’re Not Going Back, the Family Day on July 7 and Folksy Theatre’s open-air As You Like It.

Opening the festival on Tuesday at 11am and 2pm, Andrew Bates’s Brother Aidan brings heritage crafts, history and storytelling to his new home at Fountains Abbey. In Hazelsong Theatre’s interactive event for adults, he creates an Anglo-Saxon book, interwoven with stories of his life as a monk, with his demonstration including parchment and ink making, bookbinding and calligraphy.

On the first night, the Hilarity Bites Festival Special comedy bill will be hosted by Ripon favourite Lee Kyle at Ripon Arts Club on Tuesday at 8pm. Taking part will be sketch supergroup Tarot, musical comedy duo Black Liver and 2023 BBC New Comedian of the Year Joe Kent-Walters in the guise of his outrageous comic creation, Frankie Monroe, the MC of a working men’s club that provides a portal to hell.

York company Pilot Theatre and One To One Development Trust present daily screenings of Monoliths, an immersive, digital theatre experience that interweaves three northern landscapes – a moor, a city and a coast – with sweeping soundscapes and poetic monologues at Ripon Cathedral.

Written by Hannah Davies, from York, Carmen Marcus, from Saltburn-by-the-Sea, and Asma Elbadawi, from Leeds, the stories are an arresting testament to the inextricable link between person and place. Directed by Lucy Hammond, each performance lasts 11 minutes and can be experienced by three visitors at a time, wearing XR headsets. Times: 1.30pm to 3.30pm, July 2 to 5; 10.30am to 3.30pm, July 6.

Nicola Mills is joined by pianist Maria King for A Spoonful Of Julie, an hour-long tribute to Julie Andrews, full of charming stories of her life, songs, singalongs, medleys and favourite things, at Holy Trinity Church on Wednesday from 1pm to 2pm.

In Look After Your Eyes, at Ripon Arts Club at 8pm that night, Yorkshire theatre-maker, performer and physical comedian Natalie Bellingham reflects on the pain and beauty of love: what it is to both connect and unravel.  

Performed by a clown “delving into the space inside us left behind by loss”, her show celebrates being human in all its banality, sprinkled with joy and ridiculousness.

Natalie Bellingham in Look After Your Eyes

Thursday opens with Stand Up Stories, presented by Ripon Theatre Festival storyteller in residence Ilaria Passeri at the Storehouse Bar. Describing herself as the product of a bold Scottish mother, an errant Italian father and a little sister with the vocabulary of a truck driver, Ilaria has found herself in more than a few scrapes, situations and silly scenes.

In a whistlestop twilight tour through the confusing comedy of errors of her life, her tales introduce her family, friends, pets and one very peculiar clown.

From 7.15pm, Ripon Museum Trust guides lead the Ripon Heritage Ghost Walk from the Market Place. At 7.30pm, Northern Broadsides founder Barrie Rutter OBE celebrates the Bard’s Kings and Queens, their achievements, conquests and foibles, in Shakespeare’s Royals at Ripon Cathedral. Cue anecdotes and memories from a globe-spanning career of playing and directing Shakespeare.

Ilaria Passeri returns on Friday morning from 10.30am to 11am for Storytime for pre-schoolers at Ripon Library, featuring Derek the Dragon, Rita the skateboarding Mouse and Brian the Chicken’s messy bedroom. A short-story writing workshop for adults follows from 11.30am to 1pm; bring a pen and notepad.

At 2pm at Ripon Cathedral, Redheart Theatre presents Rupert Mason in Mr Owen’s Notebook, an exploration of Wilfred Owen’s experience of war through his poetry and the works of his contemporaries.

Written and directed by Justin Butcher, Mason’s one-man performance recalls how Owen lived his last summer in Ripon, where he spent his last birthday in the cathedral, now the backdrop to this sold-out show.

Mason charts how an officer travels from the Allied HQ to the Western Front one week before the Armistice and discovers the pocketbook of a young lieutenant killed that day: Wilfred Owen.

In a marquee at The Ripon Inn, in Park Street, Tell Tale Hearts serve up the teatime entertainment Trunk Tales, wherein a well-travelled lady arrives with her trunk of tales that tell of boastful toads, magical fish and fearsome beasts.

Using only the contents of her magical luggage, she creates Arabic seas, epic mountains, fields of turnips and the tallest trees in her interactive stories from around the world for four-year-olds and upwards.

Paulus the Cabaret Geek in Looking For Me Friend

Paulus the Cabaret Geek’s tour of Looking For Me Friend, The Music Of Victoria Wood arrives at Ripon Arts Hub on Friday at 8pm, accompanied by Fascinating Aida pianist Michael Roulston for an hour of songs and stories.

In telling Wood’s story, Paulus unfolds his own in a relatable account of a 1970s’ childhood and what it really means to find your tribe.

Saturday keeps festivalgoers on the move in a day of Pop-Up Events at various locations from 9.30am to 6pm. Ilaria Passeri hosts a morning of adventures for four-year-olds and upwards in Tales From Honeypot Village, featuring Rita the Mouse and the Tidy Trolls in the front room of The Unicorn Hotel at 9.30am and the back room of The Little Ripon Bookshop at 11.30am.

Puppeteers Eye Of Newt open their magical miniature suitcase for Ayla’s Dream, a captivating tale of night skies, light and counting sheep for three to ten-year-olds at Ripon Library at 10.30am (accompanied by a puppet workshop) and Ripon Cathedral from 12 noon to 12.30pm (performance every ten minutes).

York performer Tempest Wisdom takes a journey down the rabbit hole in the family-friendly Curiouser & Curiouser, a show for age five + packed with Lewis Carroll’s whimsical writings, inspired by Ripon Cathedral’s nooks and crannies. Free performances take place at Ripon Cathedral at 11am, 12.30pm and The Little Ripon Bookshop at 2.30pm.

Join the Master and Matron on the front lawn for an interactive game of giant Snakes And Ladders At The Workhouse Museum. Learn how life then, as now, is as precarious as a shake of the dice; slither down the snake to a shaven head and defumigation or ascent to a life out of the ashes from 11am to 12.30pm or 1pm to 3pm.

Festival favourites Lempen Puppet Theatre return with the free show Theatre For One in Ripon Cathedral from 10.45am to 11.30pm and Kirkgate from 1.30pm to 2.30pm and 3pm to 4pm. In a micro-theatre experience for one at a time, plus curious onlookers, a mini-performance of The Belly Bug or Dr Frankenstein will be staged every five minutes.

Members of the Workhouse Theatre Group invite you to experience justice 1871 style in The Trial Of John Sinkler in a case of poaching and threatening behaviour from 2pm to 3pm at The Courthouse Museum.

Ensure justice is seen to be done or perhaps take a more active role in a lively scripted re-enactment led by Mark Cronfield, formerly of Nobby Dimon’s North Country Theatre company.

The festival fun continues in Kirkgate with buskers, bands and more from 3pm to 6pm.

For full festival details and tickets, head to: ripontheatrefestival.org. A preview of further events at Ripon Theatre Festival on July 6 and 7 will follow.

Everwitch Theatre present Bomb Happy D-Day 80, Hank & Smudger’s Stories at Shepherds Hall, Lealholm, tonight

George Stagnell, playing D-Day veteran Dennis “Hank” Haydock, in a scene from In The Footsteps Of Hank Haydock: A Walk In The Park, filmed in Duncombe Park woodland

EVERWITCH Theatre will stage Bomb Happy D-Day 80: Hank & Smudger’s Stories, an evening of film and wartime spoken word, for a second time tonight.

First presented at Helmsley Arts Centre on June 1 in the lead-up to the 80th anniversary commemorations in Normandy, France, on June 6, In The Footsteps Of Hank Haydock: A Walk In The Park and Sleep/Re-live/Wake/Repeat will be presented at Shepherds Hall, Lealholm, near Whitby, at 7pm when a full house will attend.  

Looking ahead, Everwitch writer and director Helena Fox says: “After putting on the Helmsley and Shepherds Hall performances as our preview showings, we’re in the process of planning a tour next year to venues in the North to commemorate VE Day 80.

“We anticipate from the interest shown so far for these to include atmospheric non-arts venues, for example, historic Bamburgh Castle and the Second World War-themed  Eden Camp Modern History Museum. The film is being entered into international festivals too.”

The premiere at Helmsley Arts Centre drew a full house too, including York actor George Stagnell, making a quiet entrance after travelling up from his London home to watch his film role.

He had first appeared in the 2017 tour of Helena Fox’s Bomb Happy, a play inspired by the playwright’s conversations in 2016 with Yorkshire Normandy veterans. She had since returned to those conversations to create two new pieces for the 80th anniversary, opening the Helmsley show with Sleep/Re-live/Wake/Repeat, a live performance of verbatim spoken word and nostalgic a cappella song, presented by Fox in tandem with singer Natasha Jones.

They brought to life anew the first-hand accounts of D-Day veteran Private Ken “Smudger” Smith, from Armley, Leeds, those words echoing down the years as they charted the lifelong impact of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and sleep trauma.  

The first showing of black-and-white images from Ken Smith’s personal photo collection that followed his journey during an equally traumatic time in the Middle East after victory in Europe made Smith’s observations all the more resonant. Can a soldier ever find peace after the atrocities of war?

There followed, for that one night only, a new short story of an act of reconciliation for the 80th anniversary of D-Day: Our Mum, Our Dad, And A Door Handle, written and performed by Dorothy Bilton, daughter of Bomb Happy D-Day veteran Bert Barritt, whose experiences had featured in Bomb Happy.

Helena Fox, left, and Natasha Jones

George Stagnell had played Private Ken “Cookey” Cooke, from York, in Fox’s play. Cookey, the last of the Bomb Happy veterans still alive, had hoped to make the Helmsley performance, but in the end his energies were poured into attending the D-Day commemorations, where his television interviews were as poignant and lucid as ever.

For In the Footsteps Of Hank Haydock: A Walk In The Park, he switched to Guardsman Dennis “Hank” Haydock, conscripted at 18 from Sheffield to serve as a Sherman tank gunner in the 2nd Battalion of the Coldstream Guards.

Written and directed by Fox, her debut 30-minute film was shot by Jay Sillence of York company InkBlot Films on location in the woodland of Duncombe Park, near Helmsley, in July 2022. On the hottest day of the year. Pretty much in one continuous take, re-takes kept to a minimum with film stock running low.

Stagnell has previous form for wartime memoir, performing a remarkable one-man adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful at the John Cooper Studio, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York in March 2017 and later at the Edinburgh Fringe.  Next came Bomb Happy and later, in 2021, a performance piece about Hank Haydock at Duncombe Park, where the young conscript had trained.

Stagnell is not an experienced film actor, but he has the attributes of stillness, presence, focus, in his understated yet weighted performance, allied to a mellifluous voice and mesmeric eyes, made for the big screen.

He looks the period part too, and he serves the words of Hank Haydock wonderfully well, especially when filmed in close up, as well as when striding through the woodland, looking skywards, as rueful as truthful in his demeanour.  

As Robert Laurence Binyan wrote in his poem For The Fallen, published in The Times on September 21 1914, “At the going down of the sun and in the morning/We will remember them.” Now, the archivist works of Helena Fox, the profound performance of George Stagnell, will do likewise in honouring those that served, ensuring their words, their foreboding, yet their camaraderie too, shall live on.  

Everwitch Theatre, Bomb Happy D-Day 80, Hank & Smudger’s Stories, Shepherds Hall, Lealholm, near Whitby, 7pm. For returns only: 01947 897011. All the Shepherds Hall hosting fee will be donated to the Royal British Legion.

What’s On in Ryedale, York & beyond when a football play is more fun than England. Hutch’s List No. 22, from Gazette & Herald

Lynda Burrell, left, and Catherine Ross, curators of Museumand’s exhibition of Caribbean culture, 70 Objeks & Tings, at York Castle Museum. Picture: Gareth Buddo

CARIBBEAN culture and football cup history, sublime saxophone and peerless guitars, riverside poetry and balletic heroes stand out in Charles Hutchinson’s cultural week ahead.

Exhibition of the week: 70 Objeks & Tings, York Castle Museum, until November 4; Mondays, 11am to 5pm, Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm

70 OBJEKS & Tings, a celebration of 75 years of Caribbean culture, showcases 70 items that connect us to the Windrush Generation in an “extraordinary exhibition of the ordinary”.

Curated by mother and daughter Catherine Ross and Lynda Barrett, founders of Museumand, the National Caribbean Heritage Museum, it features objects that combine familiarity and practicality and have been passed down the generations. On show are cooking and household goods, food packaging and beauty supplies, funeral items, music, games, books and newspapers. Tickets: yorkcastlemuseum.org.uk. 

Johnny Marr: Playing songs from his 2023 compilation album, Spirit Power, and his back catalogue of The Smiths and Electronic gems at Scarborough Open Air Theatre

Coastal gig of the week: Johnny Marr and The Charlatans, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, Saturday, gates 6pm

JOHNNY Marr, The Smiths and Electronic guitarist, superstar collaborator and solo artist, cherry-picks from all eras of his career, right up to his November 2023 compilation Spirit Power in his headline set.

First up on this north-western double bill on the East Coast will be Tim Burgess’s band, The Charlatans, as full of indie rock swagger as ever after 22 Top 40 hits, from The Only One I Know to North Country Boy. Box office: scarboroughopenairtheatre.com.

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats: Heading for York Barbican

Rhythm & blues gig of the week: Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, York Barbican, tomorrow (27/6/2025), doors 7pm

NATHANIEL Rateliff & The Night Sweats play York Barbican as the only Yorkshire venue on their six-date South Of Here summer tour.

Noted for supplying the zeal of a whisky-chugging Pentecostal preacher to songs of shared woes, old-fashioned rhythm & blues singer and songwriter Rateliff will be showcasing his Missouri band’s fourth studio album on the eve of its Friday release. William The Conqueror support. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.

Crowning glory: Ballet Black in If At First, part of the Heroes double bill at York Theatre Royal

Dance show of the week: Ballet Black: Heroes, York Theatre Royal, Friday, 7.30pm

CASSA Pancho’s dance company returns to York with the double bill Ballet Black: Heroes. Choreographer Mthuthuzeli November contemplates the meaning of life in The Waiting Game, a 2020 work infused with a dynamic soundtrack featuring the voices of Ballet Black artists.

Franco-British artist Sophie Laplane, choreographer-in-residence at Scottish Ballet, follows up her 2019 Ballet Black debut, Click!, with If At First, her exploration of “a more subtle heroism, a quieter triumph over adversity, in a struggle that unites us all”. Humanity, heroism and self-acceptance combine in this celebratory piece. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

Adderstone’s Cath Heinemeyer and Gemma McDermott: Organisers of Open Swim on The Arts Barge

All aboard but no swimming allowed: Open Swim, The Arts Barge, Foss Basin, York, Friday, 7pm to 11pm

YORK’S floating venue, The Arts Barge, will be flowing with music and words in a river-themed gig on Friday with proceeds going to Right to Roam, a charity that campaigns for better access to wild spaces.

On the bill will be alt-folk duo Adderstone; multi-instrumentalists White Sail Band; storyteller Lara McClure’s strange tale of aquatic beasts, York slam champ Hannah Davies’s riverside poems; Navigators Art co-founder Richard Kitchen’s poem invoking York’s rivers and Amy-Jane Beer’s stories of paddling along Britain’s rivers. Tickets: artsbargecom/events or on the door.

Eliza Carthy: Solo concerts at the NCEM, York, and Fylingdales Village Hall

Folk gigs of the week: Eliza Carthy, National Centre for Early Music, Walmgate, York, Friday, 7.30pm; Fylingdales Village Hall, Station Road, Robin Hood’s Bay, Sunday, 7.30pm

ELIZA Carthy, innovative fiddler and vocalist from the First Family of Folk, heads from Robin Hood’s Bay to York for a solo gig at the NCEM. At once a folk traditionalist and iconoclast, she revels in centuries-old ballads and Carthy compositions alike.

In her 32-year career, Carthy has performed with The Imagined Village, The Wayward Band and The Restitution, collaborated with Paul Weller, Jarvis Cocker, Pere Ubu, Rufus & Martha Wainwright, Jools Holland, Patrick Wolf and Kae (CORRECT) Tempest, served as president of the English Folk Dance & Song Society and artist in residence in Antarctica and been described by comedian Stewart Lee as “not the Messiah, but a very naughty girl”. Broadside balladeer Jennifer Reid supports at the York gig. Box office: York, for returns only, 01904 658338 or ncem.co.uk; Robin Hood’s Bay, trybooking.com/uk/events/landing/57434.

Saxophonist Snake Davis: Leading his band at Helmsley Arts Centre

Ryedale gig of the week: Snake Davis Band: Summer 24, Helmsley Arts Centre, Saturday, 7.30pm

SAXOPHONIST to the stars Snake Davis brings his four-piece band to Helmsley, promising “something for everybody, from floaty to danceable, from soul to pop, jazz to world music” in an uplifting set of original material and sax classics, such as Baker Street and Night Train. Box office: 01439 771700 or helmsleyarts.co.uk.

Football alternative to plod-along England at the Euros: Long Lane Theatre Club in The Giant Killers

Ryedale play of the week: Long Lane Theatre Club in The Giant Killers, Milton Rooms, Malton, July 4, kick-off at 7.30pm; East Riding Theatre, Beverley, July 16 and 17, 7.30pm

THE Giant Killers tells the story of how Darwen FC came to the public’s attention in 1870s’ Lancashire to proclaim Association Football as the people’s game and not only the preserve of the upper classes.

Andrew Pearson-Wright & Eve Pearson-Wright’s play recounts how a ragtag bunch of mill workers in Darwen took on the amateur gentlemen’s club of the Old Etonians in the FA Cup quarter-final in 1879, rising up against prevailing social prejudice and the might of the Football Association to earn a place in history as the first real ‘‘giant killers’’ in English football. Box office: Malton, 01653 696240 or themiltonrooms.com, Beverley, eastridingtheatre.co.uk

What’s On in Ryedale, York and beyond as concerts return to Dalby Forest. Here’s Hutch’s List No. 21 from Gazette & Herald

Stuart Vincent’s Amir in The Kite Runner at York Theatre Royal. Picture: Barry Rivett

THE return of The Kite Runner and Forest Live, a mega-musical full of nuns and a new case for Holmes & Watson add intrigue and woodland joys to Charles Hutchinson’s week ahead.  

Play of the week: The Kite Runner, York Theatre Royal, running until Saturday, 7.30pm plus 2pm Thursday and 2.30pm Saturday matinees

DIRECTED by Giles Croft, Matthew Spangler’s adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s novel presents a haunting tale of friendship that spans cultures and continents as it follows Amir’s journey to confront his past and find redemption.

In his childhood recollection, Afghanistan is on the verge of war and best friends Amir (Stuart Vincent) and Hassan (Yazdan Qafouri) are about to be torn apart. Amid the excitement of a Kabul kite-flying tournament, no-one can foresee the terrible incident that will shatter their lives forever. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk. 

Murder mystery to solve: Calf 2 Cow in Sherlock & Watson – A Murder In The Garden at Helmsley Walled Garden

Immersive murder mystery experience of the week: Calf 2 Cow, Sherlock & Watson – A Murder In The Garden, Helmsley Walled Garden, tomorrow, 7pm (gates, 6pm)

WHEN a body is mysteriously found lying in the middle of Landsdown Manor Gardens, the police have no option but to persuade Sherlock Holmes to take on his toughest case to date.

Assisted by the loyal Watson, the detective duo must battle through villains to discover who is behind the murder in Bath comedy troupe Calf 2 Cow’s new adaption, full of slapstick, multi-role playing and rock’n’roll, penned by artistic director Matthew Emeny. Bring chairs, blankets and picnics. Box office: 01439 771700 or helmsleyarts.co.uk.

Richard Hawley: Made in Sheffield, performing in Scarborough

Yorkshireman of the week: Richard Hawley, Scarbrough Spa, tomorrow (20/6/2024), 7.30pm

ON the heels of his Olivier Award-winning Sheffield musical Standing At The Sky’s Edge opening a six-month West End run at the Gillian Lynne Theatre, Richard Hawley showcases his ninth studio album In This City They Call You Love on his late-spring tour. Scarborough hosts the closing night. Box office: scarboroughspa.co.uk.

Nile Rodgers: Turning Dalby Forest into a disco floor with CHIC on Saturday, when Sophie Ellis-Bextor & Deco will be on the bill too

Welcome return of the week: Forest Live at Dalby Forest, near Pickering, Bryan Adams, Friday; Nile Rodgers & CHIC, Saturday; Richard Ashcroft, Sunday; gates 5pm

FORESTRY England revives Forest Live at Dalby Forest for the first time since 2019 for three nights of open-air concerts in aid of woodland conservation. Canadian rocker Bryan Adams, he of forest fame from (Everything I Do) I Do It For You for Robin Hood Prince Of Thieves, on Friday night will be followed by disco icons Nile Rodgers & CHIC on Saturday and the Wigan singer, songwriter and The Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft on Sunday. Box office: forestlive.com.

Jessa Liversidge: Two Bards And A Songbird, one concert and a workshop in Helmsley. Picture: David K Newton

English and Scottish union of the week: Jessa Liversidge, Two Bards And A Songbird, Helmsley Arts Centre, Saturday, 7.30pm

EASINGWOLD singer and choir leader Jessa Liversidge presents her celebration of song inspired by two bards: William Shakespeare and Robert Burns, from her native Scotland. Her heartfelt performance spans traditional folk, pop and musical theatre, sung to her piano accompaniment plus a loop pedal to layer melodies and sounds.

Audience suggestions are invited to enable Jessa to improvise a new song around a Shakespeare/Burns quotation. From 4pm to 6pm, she will host a harmony-singing workshop for participants to sing in the evening show, with a combined ticket available for the workshop and concert. Box office: 01439 771700 or helmsleyarts.co.uk.

York Light Opera Company cast members in rehearsal for Nunsense: The Mega-Musical

York musical of the week: York Light Opera Company in Nunsense: The Mega-Musical!, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, 7.30pm, June 26 to 28, July 2 to 5; 3pm; June 29 and 30, July 6

AFTER the unfortunate passing of four beloved sisters in a “culinary catastrophe”, the remaining Little Sisters of Hoboken find themselves in a sticky situation. To raise funds for a proper burial (and perhaps a new cook), the nuns take centre stage for a riotous revue unlike any other.

Director Neil Wood brings Dan Goggin’s musical to mega-sized life in a version that boasts an expanded cast, new characters and even more musical mayhem. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk

Tom Jones: Returning to Scarborough Open Air Theatre, where he last performed in July 2022

Coastal gig of the week: Tom Jones, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, June 26, gates open at 6pm

SEATED tickets have sold out for Welsh whirlwind Tom Jones’s outdoor gig in Scarborough but that still leaves room for standing. Sixty years since releasing his first single, Chills And Fever, in 1964, he is still blowing those bellows as powerfully as ever at 84, having made history as the oldest man to notch up a number one with an album of new material in the UK Official Album Charts in 2021 with Surrounded By Time, overtaking Bob Dylan.

Expect It’s Not Unusual, What’s New Pussycat?, Delilah, She’s A Lady, Green, Green Grass Of Home, Kiss, You Can Leave Your Hat On, Sex Bomb et al from Sir Tom. Box office: scarboroughopenairtheatre.com.

Sully O’Sullivan: Putting the comedy boot in on June 28 in Malton. Picture: Andy Hollingworth

Comedy gig of the week: Hilarity Bites Comedy Club, Sully O’Sullivan, Don Biswas and host Danny Deegan, Milton Rooms, Malton, June 28, 8pm

SULLY O’Sullivan has played New Zealand, Australia, Croatia, Canada and all over Great Britain, now adding Malton to that list. Politically charged Don Biswas covers such subjects his Asian upbringing, his neuro-diversity as someone with dyspraxia, ADHD and ASD [Autism Spectrum Disorder], topped off with conspiracy theories.

Northern comedian, writer and actor Danny Deegan hosts the show with tales of mischief and multiple characters. Box office: 01653 696240 or themiltonrooms.com.

Alison Moyet: 40th anniversary album and 2025 tour, visiting York Barbican next February. Picture: Naomi Davison

Gig announcement of the week: Alison Moyet, York Barbican, February 20 2025

MARKING 40 years since she left Yazoo to launch her solo career, Essex soul singer Alison Moyet will play York Barbican on her 25-date 2025 itinerary, her first headline tour since 2017.  

After graduating from Brighton University in 2023 with a first-class degree in fine art printmaking, Moyet will combine art and music on her 18-track October 4 album, Key, creating the artwork as well as reworking singles, fan favourites and deep cuts, complemented by two new songs. Box office from 10am on Friday: yorkbarbican.co.uk/whats-on/alison-moyet-2025/.

Two bards, one songbird, a loop pedal and a nod to Taylor Swift add up to Jessa Liversidge’s Shakespeare and Burns show

Jessa Liversidge: Two bards, one songbird; two performances, two workshops. Picture: David K Newton

EASINGWOLD singer and choir leader Jessa Liversidge presents her celebration of song inspired by two bards, William Shakespeare and Robert Burns, from her native Scotland, in York tomorrow and Helmsley next Saturday.

Her heartfelt performance spans traditional folk, pop and musical theatre, sung to her piano accompaniment with judicious use of a loop pedal to layer melodies and sounds.

At each concert, at Theatre@41 and Helmsley Arts Centre, audience suggestions are invited to enable Jessa to improvise a new song around a Shakespeare/Burns quotation.

At both venues, from 4pm to 6pm, she will be hosting a harmony-singing workshop for participants to sing in the evening show. Box office: York, tickets.41monkgate.co.uk; Helmsley, helmsleyarts.co.uk.

The poster for Two Bards And A Songbird

Here, Jessa discusses Shakespeare, Burns, songs, poems and her next show with CharlesHutchPress

What part did Robert Burns and Shakespeare play in your education, being brought up in Scotland?

“I was brought up and went to school in Dundee, and in my younger years we all had to learn a Burns song to take part in a competition called the Leng Medal. This was my first experience of Burns’s songs, and of course we learned several of the poems in school too.

“At this young age, I didn’t really appreciate the poetry and power of his words, and certainly didn’t fully appreciate the speeches from Macbeth and Hamlet as I crammed them the night before my Higher English exam! I wouldn’t have predicted that years later I’d be improvising songs around those same words.”

How did you first come to participate in the Durham Fringe Festival?

“Durham is quite a young Fringe, and I’ve been involved since it started in 2021. Mick [actor husband Mick Liversidge] and I had put a show together inspired by our outdoor lockdown singing and poetry reciting called Fields and Lanes, and this was featured in an afternoon showcase the Fringe put on, alongside aerial artistes and dancers! A great experience and a friendly bunch of volunteers running the festival.

“It has grown since then, and I performed my Songbirds show there in 2022, then Two Bards And A Songbird in 2023. My inspiration to put this show together was a callout by Durham Fringe for Shakespeare-inspired shows, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the First Folio.”

Sum up the show in a nutshell…

“It’s a musical exploration of work inspired by the two bards. Just me, a piano and my loop pedal. Very different, very eclectic!

“I could be singing a beautiful Robert Burns song one moment, improvising around a Shakespeare sonnet the next, looping around with a Taylor Swift song, then throwing in a musical theatre number, such as Sondheim’s Fear No More The Heat O’ The Sun or So In Love from Kiss me Kate.

Mick and Jessa Liversidge on one of their walks in lockdown in 2020 for Fields and Lanes

“I even combine the two bards in two of the pieces. There’s also a fun, but scary element of the show, where audience members pick a quotation from their table for me to improvise around.”

Shakespeare’s plays feature songs; Burns’s poetry has a long tradition of being turned into folk songs, alongside his own songwriting. How has that shaped the content of your show?

“Several of Burns’s original songs feature in the show – Red, Red Rose, Ae Fond Kiss, A’ The Airts – as well as the most famous song Burns actually didn’t write! (Auld Lang Syne, which he heard someone singing, then wrote down!)

“In the early stages of developing the show, I looked at some of the original songs used in Shakespeare plays, but I ended up using a more contemporary mix of songs for the Shakespeare element. His work features such universal themes that just about anything can be said to be inspired by Shakespeare!

“What I’ve chosen is a mixture of pop and musical theatre inspired by his words and stories, songs from musical adaptations of his plays (including some from a fairly recent adaptation of As You Like It, performed in Central Park, New York, featuring hundreds of community performers and music by Shaina Taub.)

“Plus of course the more improvised sections, where I develop my own musical interpretations of Shakespeare’s words, such as Come Away Death and Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer’s Day.”

How do you use the loop pedal?

“I love looping! It’s so addictive and fun, and a great, if sometimes baffling, experience for the audience, some of whom have never heard anything quite like it!

“I basically layer up keyboard chords, vocal harmonies, melodies, sometimes even recited poetry, together. Everything is done live, nothing pre-recorded.

The poster for Jessa Liversidge’s new show, A Tapestry Of Life, at the 2024 Durham Fringe Festival

“So, with the Taylor Swift song in the show, I build up harmonies in a chorus first, as part of the performance, then use that within the song.

Here it is: https://youtu.be/38GwLrzmbeU?si=YK8Rl1icPaoCiCX4

“It’s great for the improvised sections too, and where I mash Shakespeare and Burns together – so at one point I sing a Burns song (John Anderson My Jo) and layer a suitable sonnet over the top – as a great way of creating harmony and different effects as a solo performer.” https://youtu.be/_Gsvwqzt6Bw?si=PFAUtyRsZE169dLM

Explain your choice of Burns and Shakespeare works to intertwine.

“The Burns song, John Anderson My Jo, speaks in a light-hearted way of the longevity of love, how it changes over time. Quite ironic as Burns never reached old age sadly. (N.B. I am doing one of the more polite versions of this song!).

“I then layer Shakespeare’s sonnet 104 over the top, which speaks, “to me, fair friend, you never can be old”.

“Another features a short segment from the Royal Shakespeare Company production of Julius Caesar that I was lucky enough to be involved with this time last year: Ghosts, used with permission of the composer, Jasmin Kent Rodgman.

“This haunting, repetitive piece is used in one of the battle scenes – and as a nod to the more pacifist leanings of Burns, I recite his Logan Braes over the top.” 

Jessa Liversidge leading one of her choir workshops

What will the workshops involve? Who can attend? Is there a charge?

“The workshops are open to all voices – anyone who enjoys singing and wants to get more involved with the show. We’ll work on some vocal technique and fun warm-ups, then learn some of the material from the show – which the group can then get up and perform alongside me in the evening, in between enjoying the rest of the show as an audience member.

“I will tailor each workshop to whoever comes along. I am used to working with all ages and abilities and just love bringing people together to sing! It’s such a joyous way to connect with others. 

“Both venues are offering a combined ticket for the workshop and show, only £5 extra for the two-hour workshop.”

Have your performed Two Bards And A Songbird in Scotland?

“I’ve been up to my native land for a couple of weekends performing the show in Dundee and Fife. Quite a moment, having not performed there since I was at school! And even then, I was never a singing soloist in those days, only really finding my voice in my mid-twenties.

“One old school friend who came to the Dundee performance said, ‘you were a violinist at school’! Lovely, though, to be able to have some family members come and support who don’t usually get to witness my antics in real life.”

How did you find your voice in your mid-20s, and was that part of the inspiration for encouraging others to do likewise in your choirs?

“My vocal journey has been a long and winding one! I’ve always enjoyed singing, but as I reached my 20s, I found I was limited in what I could do as a soloist, so decided to have some proper vocal training.

“I could be singing a beautiful Robert Burns song one moment, improvising around a Shakespeare sonnet the next,” says Jessa of her Two Bards And A Songbird show. Picture: Andrea Denniss

“I spent ten years training with York’s Jacqueline Edwards, finding my full range and surprising myself with what I could do. Then since having my own children in my 30s, I have built up my freelance work around singing, and sharing the joy of singing with others.

“I’ve undertaken so much more training in the past ten years or so, from vocal health first aid to vocal cross-training (all the different techniques and characteristics of singing in different genres), and now I feel so lucky to spend my week singing with, and for, such a wide range of people of all ages and abilities.”

Describe your new Carole King show, A Tapestry Of Life, premiering at next month’s Durham Fringe Festival?

“Like many, I’m a huge fan of Carole King. Her songs (a bit like the bard himself!) focus on those universal themes everyone can identify with: life, love, loss. My sister, Andrea Brown, has recently written a book of poetry with that very title.

“As we were born in the 1970s, when Tapestry was released, I came up with the idea of A Tapestry Of Life. It will be the classic Carole King songs, interspersed with songs I’m writing from Andrea’s poetry. Lots of them about pretty moving and emotional family events, and situations and journeys that will resonate with a lot of people, I’m sure. Quite scary for me as I am quite new to songwriting!

“But the words are so beautiful, I am very excited about performing this combination of old and new.”

What drew you to the music of Carole King?

“I first got to know some of the best-known songs, such as You’ve Got A Friend and Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, then decided to explore further. I love the messages behind her songs, the catchy and moving melodies, and how the songs mean so much to people. These songs were released over 50 years ago but the themes and messages are eternally relevant.”

How have you found the experience of writing songs? 

“It’s a whole new world for me. I really only started writing songs in 2020, and even then, that was only short rounds and partner songs to teach to my choirs. I’ve dabbled a little but not often had the confidence to share much of my own writing.

“My sister Andrea has always been the poet in our family. She’s written poems for events at work and home, and even wrote and recited beautiful poems for our parents’ funerals.

“I am used to improvising short melodies, and layering up harmonies, like I do in Two Bards, but this is a different ball game! I’m loving the process of putting these moving words to music and linking the themes of the Carole King classics to the themes of these beautiful poems.”

Jessa Liversidge, Two Bards And A Songbird, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, tomorrow (16/6/2024), 7.30pm, and Helmsley Arts Centre, June 22, 7.30pm. Box office: York, tickets.41monkgate.co.uk; Helmsley, 01439 771700 or helmsleyarts.co.uk

Jessa Liversidge, A Tapestry Of Life, Durham Fringe Festival, The Pemberton Rooms, Durham University, just off Palace Green, July 25 to 28, 4.30pm. Box office: durhamfringe.co.uk.

Preview show at Easingwold Library on July 17 at 7.30pm (doors 7pm). Suggested entry donation of £8; all profits in aid of community library funds. Bookings: email willowtreevent@gmail.com or ring 07526 107448 and leave a message with contact details.

Jessa Liversidge: the back story

SINGER and positive and encouraging singing leader, experienced in working with singers of all ages and abilities.

Runs several choirs, including HAC Singers, Easingwold Community Singers, Singing For All and York Military Wives Choir, as well as teaching singing privately and teaching music to young people, lifting the spirits of hundreds through song each week.

For more information, head to: jessaliversidge.com.

What’s On in Ryedale, York and beyond in the wild, on stage, canvas and dancefloor. Hutch’s List No 20, from Gazette & Herald

What’s All The Fuss About?, Will Palmer’s photo of Arctic walrus Thor on the Scarborough harbour slipway, from the British Wildlife Photography Awards exhibition at Nunnington Hall. Courtesy of National Trust

WILDLIFE photography, Rodgers and Hammerstein romance, a Strictly couple and a Scottish double bill send June into full bloom for Charles Hutchinson.

Ryedale exhibition of the week: British Wildlife Photography Awards, Nunnington Hall, Nunnington, near Helmsley, until July 7

CELEBRATING the diversity of British wildlife and wild spaces, this exhibition aims to raise awareness of British biodiversity, species and habitats. On display are award-winning images selected from 14,000 entries in more than a dozen categories, including film and three for juniors.

Look out for What’s All The Fuss About?, taken by Scarborough photographer Will Palmer, who captured the headline-making Arctic walrus, Thor, when resting ashore on the harbour slipway cobbles on December 31 2022. Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10.30am to 5pm; last entry at 4.15pm. Tickets: nationaltrust.org.uk/nunnington-hall.

Courtney Broan’s Ado Annie in Pickering Musical Society’s Oklahoma! at the Kirk Theatre, Pickering

American classic of the week: Pickering Musical Society in Oklahoma!, Kirk Theatre, Pickering, running until Saturday, 7.30pm and 2.30pm Saturday matinee

LUKE Arnold directs Pickering Musical Society in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1943 love story of Curly (Marcus Burnside) and Laurie (Rachel Anderson), set in the sweeping landscapes of the American heartland. 

Further roles go to Courtney Broan as Ado Annie, Stephen Temple as Will Parker, Michael O’Brien as Mr Carnes and Rick Switzer-Green as Ali Hakim, joined by dancers from the Sarah Louise Ashworth School of Dance. Box office: 01751 474833 or kirktheatre.co.uk.

Nadiya & Kai: Strictly dancers venture Behind The Magic at York Barbican

Dance show of the week: Nadiya & Kai , Behind The Magic, York Barbican, Friday, 7.30pm

STRICTLY Come Dancing professionals Nadiya Bychkova and Kai  Widdrington go Behind The Magic on a journey through the world of dance, from childhood memories and competition days, to dancing on Strictly and beyond.

The Ukraine-Southampton couple and their cast will be highlighting the influence of 20th century dance legends, creatives and artists alike. Expect “fabulous outfits, wonderful music and sensational dancing”. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.

Ceramicist Emily Stubbs: Exhibiting with sister Amy and father Christopher in Stubbs3 – Canvas, Clay and Cloth at Pyramid Gallery, York

Family exhibition of the week: Stubbs3 – Canvas, Clay and Cloth, Pyramid Gallery, Stonegate, York, June 15 to August 3

FAMILY artistry unites in Stubbs3 – Canvas, Clay and Cloth, a unique exhibition featuring works by sisters Emily Stubbs and Amy Stubbs, regular participants in York Open Studios, alongside their father, Christopher Stubbs, from Hepworth, West Yorkshire.

Their first-ever joint showcase brings together diverse artistic media in a celebration of family creativity. Contemporary ceramicist Emily Stubbs works from PICA Studios, in Grape Lane; Amy specialises in textile and surface pattern design in a range of homeware and wearable art; Christopher will be exhibiting framed paintings and sketches. All three will attend Saturday’s launch in a Meet The Artists session from 12 noon to 2pm.

Amy Stubbs: Homeware and wearable art

Vintage gig of the week: Ben Beattie’s After Midnight Band, Helmsley Arts Centre, Saturday, 8pm

BEN Beattie’s After Midnight Band celebrate the greats and the lesser known, from honking jump blues to hypnotic Latin beats, joyous African township sounds to the smoky jazz normally to be found in a Chicago speakeasy at 3am. Box office: 01439 771700 or helmsleyarts.co.uk.

Ben Beattie: Heading to Helmsley with the After Midnight Band

Film music of the week: A Tribute To Hans Zimmer and Film Favourites Illuminated, Grand Opera House, York, Sunday, 3.30pm and 7pm

EXPERIENCE cinema’s most iconic soundtracks performed by the London Film Music Orchestra in an immersive tribute to Hans Zimmer and more besides in an immersive illuminated setting.

The chamber orchestra will be performing music from Harry Potter, Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Gladiator, E.T., Pirates Of The Caribbean, Jaws, Interstellar, Indiana Jones, Schindler’s List and Inception. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.

Simple Minds in Scarborough: Charlie Burchill, left, and Jim Kerr are off to the Yorkshire coast on Tuesday. Picture: Dean Chalkley

Coastal gig of the week: Simple Minds and special guests Del Amitri, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, June 18; gates open at 6pm

SOMEONE somewhere in summertime, namely Simple Minds in Scarborough on Tuesday, finds Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill’s band revisiting such hits as Promised You A Miracle, Glittering Prize, Alive And Kicking, Sanctify Yourself, Don’t You Forget About Me and, aptly for Scarborough, Waterfront.

Opening the Scottish double bill will be fellow Glaswegians Del Amitri, led as ever by Justin Currie. Box office: scarboroughopenairtheatre.com/simpleminds.

Wannabe: Spicing up the Grand Opera House, York

York tribute show of the week: Wannabe – The Spice Girls Musical, Grand Opera House, York, June 20, 7.30pm

WANNABE, the “world’s longest-running” Spice Girls tribute stage production, celebrates three decades of girl power in a nostalgic journey through the Spice World.

The show charts the English girl group’s meteoric rise, from July 1996’s debut number one, Wannabe, to Scary, Sporty, Baby, Ginger and Posh’s reunion at the 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony. Expect “meticulously crafted costumes, unique vocal and musical arrangements exclusive to Wannabe, iconic dance routines and stunning visual flair”. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.

Tim Ainslie: Leading his three-piece band in Malton

Blues gig of the month: Ryedale Blues Club, Tim Ainslie and The Vibes, Milton Rooms, Malton, June 27, 8pm

TIM Ainslie and The Vibes head up to Malton from Suffolk for a night of blues, jazz and funk, crossing over into country and rock too, making it hard to pigeonhole his three-piece’s style.

Ainslie, who turned professional in 1997, will be showcasing his original material and guitar-playing prowess that has seen him tour home and abroad with Steamboat To Chicago, Steel Street, Swagger, Groove Doctors, Delta Groove and American guitaristsBuddy WhittingtonandLightnin’ Willie. Box office: 01653 696240 or themiltonrooms.com.

The poster artwork for Rick Witter and Paul Banks’s acoustic Shed Seven gigs at Huntington Working Men’s Club in December

Show announcement of the week: Shed Seven’s Rick Witter and Paul Banks, Huntington Working Men’s Club, York, December 21 and 22

RENASCENT York band Shed Seven will end their 30th anniversary celebrations with a brace of intimate acoustic concerts by frontman Rick Witter and guitarist Paul Banks at Huntington WMC, supported by a DJ set by Sheds’ bassist Tom Gladwin.

Tickets will go on sale at 9am today (12/6/2024) for these homecoming gigs: the York postscript to the Sheds’ 23-date 30th Anniversary Tour, their biggest ever “Shedcember” itinerary from November 14 to December 14. Box office: store.shedseven.com.

What’s On in Ryedale, York and beyond, whether whales, walks or water. Here’s Hutch’s List No. 19, from Gazette & Herald

Guy Rhys’s Captain Ahab, centre, leads the whale hunt in Simple 8’s Moby Dick, on tour at York Theatre Royal

SEEKING a whale of a time? Head off to Moby Dick, open studios and musicals full of physical exercise, suggests Charles Hutchinson.

Touring play of the week: Simple8 in Moby Dick, York Theatre Royal, tomorrow to Saturday, 7.30pm plus 2.30pm Saturday matinee

SEBASTIAN Armesto’s stage adaptation captures the romantic, ambiguous, richly allegorical spirit of Herman Melville’s novel for Simple8, specialists in creating worlds out of nothing in bold new plays that tackle big ideas with large casts.

Armed with sea shanties played live on stage, planks of wood, tattered sheets and a battered assortment of musical instruments, the ensemble of actors and actor-musicians, led by Guy Rhys’s whale-seeking Captain Ahab, brings Moby Dick ingeniously to life. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

Wildlife and landscape artist Jonathan Pomroy: Opening his studio at 4
Pottergate, Gilling East, for North Yorkshire Open Studios

Art event of the week: North Yorkshire Open Studios 2024, Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 5pm

STRETCHING from the coast to the moors, dales and beyond, 169 artists and makers from North Yorkshire’s artistic community invite you to look inside their studios this weekend.

Among them will be Steve Page (Sheriff Hutton); Russell Hughes (Easingwold); Richard Gray (Easingwold); Justine Warner (Sheriff Hutton); Patrick Smith (Sheriff Hutton); Calum Balding (Thornton le Clay); Sue Walsh (Cawton); Jonathan Pomroy (Gilling East); Stephen Bird (Ampleforth); Mary Raynar (Helmsley); Ruth King (Boltby) and Marcus Jacka (Boltby). For full details, go to: nyos.org.uk. A full brochure is available.

Tim Pearce’s poster artwork for Life Forms In Motion at Blossom Street Gallery, York

York exhibition of the week: Life Forms In Motion, Blossom Street Gallery, Blossom Street, York, until June 30

SIX Yorkshire artists give individual responses to the challenge of interpreting the motion of life forms in a range of static media. In a nutshell, time and space condensed into single, dynamic images.

Taking part are Tim Pearce, painting and sculpture; Cathy Denford, painting; Jo Ruth, printmaking; Adrienne French, painting; Mandy Long, ceramic sculpture, and Lesley Peatfield, photography. Opening hours: Thursday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm; Sundays, 10am to 3pm.

Save our lido: Drip Drop Theatre in All Those On Board at Helmsley Arts Centre

Making a splash: Drip Drop Theatre in All Those On Board, Helmsley Arts Centre, tomorrow, 7.30pm

NORTH Yorkshire company Drip Drop Theatre presents the premiere of E C R Roberts’s new musical All Those On Board, wherein Bingham-by-the-Sea’s Save The Lido group members are determined to save the town’s long-closed 1930s’ swimming pool from demolition.

They need to come up with the funding before the deadline, no matter to what lengths they must go. Fifteen original songs, live instruments, leg-kicking choreography and colourful swimming hats combine in this lido-themed show for fans of upbeat musical theatre and outdoor swimming in whatever form. Box office: 01439 771700 or helmsleyarts.co.uk.

Gary Stewart: Playing the Paul Simon songbook at Helmsley Arts Centre

Ryedale gig of the week: Gary Stewart, The Only Living Boy In (New) York: The Songs of Paul Simon, Helmsley Arts Centre, Friday, 7.30pm

PERTHSHIRE-BORN singer, songwriter, folk musician and Hope & Social drummer Gary Stewart’s compositions are influenced by Sixties and Seventies’ folk artists. Chief among them is New Jersey’s Paul Simon, whose songs Easingwold-based Stewart grew up learning and performing.  

Here he interprets such Simon standouts as The Boxer, Mrs Robinson, Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard, Kodachrome and Graceland. Box office: 01439 771700 or helmsleyarts.co.uk.

Ryedale Primary Choir: Taking part in Across The Whinny Moor at St Peter’s Church, Norton, on Saturday

Ryedale Festival community event of the week: Across The Whinny Moor, St Peter’s Church, Norton, Saturday, 4pm

THE world premiere of the Community Song Cycle: Across The Whinny Moor follows the trail of North Yorkshire’s Lyke Wake Walk, meeting cheeky hobs, angry mermaids, resourceful giants and wise witches along the way. 

The all-age cast for a walk through stories and songs by John Barber and Hazel Gould includes the schoolchildren of the Ryedale Primary Choir, the Ryedale Voices, Harmonia and The RyeLarks choirs, Kirkbymoorside Town Junior Brass Band, storyteller Rosie Barrett and mezzo-soprano soloist Victoria Simmonds, conducted by Caius Lee. Box office: ryedalefestival.ticketsolve.com/ticketbooth/shows/1173652657.

Mezzo-soprano Victoria Simmonds: Singing in Across The Whinny Moor

Tribute gig of the month: The Belgrave House Band presents Amy Winehouse’s Back To Black, Milton Rooms, Malton, June 16, 8pm

THE Belgrave House Band, specialists in reimagining classic albums, have visited Malton previously with their interpretations of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours and David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars.

Now they return with their take on Amy Winehouse’s second album, 2006’s Back To Black, joined by London vocalist Lydia Kotsirea and a full horn section, backing vocalists and rhythm section from the burgeoning Leeds jazz scene. York singer-songwriter Maggie Wakeling supports. Box office: 01653 696240 or themiltonrooms.com.

The poster artwork for Calamity Jane, whip crackin’ its way to the Grand Opera House, York, next spring

Show announcement of the week: Carrie Hope Fletcher in Calamity Jane, Grand Opera House, York, April 29 to May 3 2025

IN the week when Nikolai Foster’s production of An Officer And A Gentleman The Musical is on tour at the Grand Opera House, the York theatre announces the booking of another show with the North Yorkshire director at the helm, this one bound for the West End.

Three-time WhatsOnStage Best Actress in a Musical winner Carrie Hope Fletcher will star in the whip-crackin’ musical as fearless Dakota gun-slinger Calamity Jane. “She is one of those roles that doesn’t come around all too often,” she says. “She’s action, romance and comedy all packed into one character, and I can’t wait to take on the challenge of filling her shoes.” Box office: atgtickets.com/york.