More Things To Do indoors in and around York in Stay Home Lockdown 3. List No 24, courtesy of The Press, York

A Long night: Josie Long will be performing for the Your Place Comedy live-stream from her living room on January 24

AS LOCKDOWN 3 urges everyone to “stay home”, Charles Hutchinson takes that advice in selecting entertainment for the dark days and nights ahead.

Somewhere over the pandemic horizon, he highlights a couple of shows in the diary for the autumn.

Ahir Shah: Joining Josie Long in a remote double bill for Your Place Comedy

Live-stream lockdown humour from living room to living room: Josie Long and Ahir Shah, Your Place Comedy, January 24

LOCKDOWN 3 has brought another round of Your Place Comedy home entertainment. “As before, we’ll be broadcasting from comedians’ living rooms, kitchens and attics or, as was the case with Lucy Beaumont, her homemade pub,” says virtual comedy club organiser Chris Jones, Selby Town Council’s arts officer.

The format remains the same: two headline comedians, some stand-up and some chat, all juggled by regular compere Tim FitzHigham. First up will be Josie Long and Ahir Shah on January 24; line-ups are yet to be confirmed for February 28 and March 28.

The live-stream shows will be free to watch but with donations keenly encouraged at yourplacecomedy.co.uk.

Pea’s home; green: Story Craft Theatre storyteller Cassie Vallance looks forward to next week’s Crafty Tales session

Interactive stories for children: Story Craft Theatre’s Crafty Tales

CASSIE Vallance and Janet Bruce cannot hold their Crafty Tales sessions in person during Lockdown 3 but will continue to deliver sessions “directly to you via the power of Zoom”.

“Each 50-minute session is packed full of crafting, storytelling and educational fun with lots of activities to keep your little folk’s imagination alight,” says Cassie. “There are still a few spaces left for next week’s 10am sessions based around Julia Donaldson’s The Runaway Pea on January 20, 22 and 23.”

Coming up on January 27, 29 and 30 will be Elaine Wickson’s Super Stan. For more details and to book, go to storycrafttheatre.co.uk.

Parasols aplenty: A scene from the National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company production of The Pirates Of Penzance at the 2019 International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, now available online. Picture: Jane Stokes

Operetta on screen: International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, G&S Opera TV On-Line Streaming Service

WHEN the Coronavirus pandemic put paid to the 2020 International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival at Harrogate Royal Hall, the festival launched its online streaming subscription service at gsoperatv.

“New content is being continually added,” says festival stalwart Bernard Lockett. “It features the very best of more than 26 years of the National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, along with top amateur productions performed at our festival, G&S films and fascinating documentaries and interviews, and is the only place to experience so many outstanding Savoy operas.”

The subscription rates for general viewers is £9.99 per month or £99 annuallyThe 2021 festival is in the diary for August 8 to 22 in Harrogate, preceded by Buxton Opera House the week before.

Chelsey Gillard: Stephen Joseph Theatre associate director, hosting online script-reading sessions

Play for the day appraisal: Online script-reading sessions, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, from January 20

RUNNING online on Wednesdays from 11.30am to 1.30pm for five weeks, the fun sessions will dive into five classic comedies: Aristophanes’s Lysistrata on January 20; Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, January 27; Moliere’s Tartuffe, February 3; Sheridan’s The Rivals, February 10, and Feydeau’s A Flea In Her Ear, February 17.

Participants will read sections of the plays aloud and work with SJT associate director Chelsey Gillard to consider their themes, stories, writing styles and historical context in a relaxed discussion. Session bookings can be made at sjt.uk.com.

Clowning around: Jon Marshall’s Ringmaster with Steve Collison’s Clown in Magic Carpet Theatre’s Magic Circus

Online children’s show of the month: Magic Carpet Theatre in Magic Carpet, Pocklington Arts Centre YouTube channel

HULL company Magic Carpet Theatre filmed their fun family-friendly show, Magic Carpet, behind closed doors at Pocklington Arts Centre last October. By public demand, its free streaming run is being extended to January 21 at: youtu.be/CNrUixTMWdQ.

Performed by director Jon Marshall and Steve Collison with magical illusions, comedy, circus skills and puppets, it tells the humorous tale of what happens to the ringmaster’s extravaganza plans after the artistes and elephants fail to arrive and everything has to be left in the calamitous hands of the clowns. Disaster!

His master’s voices: Alan Ayckbourn recorded his audio version of Haunting Julia at home. Picture: Tony Bartholomew

Online ghost play of the season: Alan Ayckbourn’s Haunting Julia, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

ALAN Ayckbourn’s 2020 audio version of his ghost play Haunting Julia is being given an afterlife. Originally available at sjt.uk.com/event/1078/haunting_julia until January 5, the winter chiller now will be online until January 31.

Revisiting his 1994 play, Ayckbourn’s audio recording features the voice of the Stephen Joseph Theatre’s 81-year-old director emeritus. Or, rather, the three voices of Ayckbourn, who plays all three parts.

Rufus Wainwright: Songs inspired by middle age, married life, fatherhood, friends, loss, London and Laurel Canyon

Baroque’n’roll gig of the autumn: Rufus Wainwright, York Barbican, October 13

LAUREL Canyon singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright’s October 27 2020 tour date at York Barbican has moved to October 13 2021. Tickets remain valid for the rearranged date with his new band.

Last July, Wainwright, 47, released his ninth studio album, Unfollow The Rules, his first since 2012. “I consider it my first fully mature album; it is like a bookend to the beginning of my career,” says Rufus, whose fearless, mischievous songs were inspired by middle age, married life, fatherhood, friends, loss, London and Laurel Canyon.

Taking the mic: Omid Djalili looks forward to letting the Good Times roll again

Ready for a laugh: Omid Djalili, The Good Times Tour, Grand Opera House, York, November 10

OMID Djalili cannot wait to be back where he belongs, on stage, after experimenting with a Zoom gig where he was muted by no fewer than 639 people and a drive-in gig when he witnessed one audience member leave his car, attach a hose pipe to his exhaust and feed it through the window.

The British-Iranian stand-up’s 2021 excursions could not have a more positive title: The Good Times Tour. Let’s hope he is right, although who can predict if his shows at Harrogate Theatre on May 6 and Hull City Hall on May 26 will be given the go-ahead.

In his diary too are: Platform Festival, The Old Station, Pocklington, July 22, and Masham Town Hall, September 18 and 19. Oh, and Leeds Town Hall on October 28 in faraway 2022.

Gilbert and Sullivan Festival confirms 2021 performances at Harrogate Royal Hall

The National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company in the dress rehearsal for The Pirates Of Penzance in July 2018. Picture: Jane Stokes

THIS summer’s 27th International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival in Harrogate has been scuppered by the Covid-19 pandemic, but the festival organisers have put next summer’s festival line-up in place already.

As is custom, the 2021 festival will run at two locations, the original home of Buxton Opera House from July 31 to August 7 and Harrogate Royal Hall from August 8 to 22.

Taking part will be three professional companies, the National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, Charles Court Opera and Forbear! Theatre, and amateur performers from Abbots Langley G&S Society, Brussels Light Opera, Bus Pass Opera, Peak Opera, Ploverleigh Savoy Players, SavoyNet Performing Group and Trent Opera.    

Harrogate dates for the 2021 diary are:

August 8, The Mikado, National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, 2.30pm; H.M.S. Pinafore, National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, 7.30pm.

August 9, Iolanthe, Peak Opera, 7.30pm.

August 10, The Gondoliers, Trent Opera, 7.30pm.

August 11, Iolanthe, Charles Court Opera, 2.30pm; Ruddigore, Charles Court Opera, 7.30pm.

August 12, The Pirates Of Penzance, Brussels Light Opera, 7.30pm.

August 13, The Yeomen Of The Guard,  Forbear! Theatre, 7.30pm.

August 14, Patience, National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, 2.30pm; The Mikado, National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, 7.30pm.

August 15, The Pirates Of Penzance, National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, 2.30pm; H.M.S. Pinafore, National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, 7.30pm.

August 16, Ruddigore, Abbots Langley G&S Society, 7.30pm.

August 17, The Mikado, Ploverleigh Savoy Players, 7.30pm.

August 18, Patience, National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, 2.30pm; The Pirates Of Penzance, National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, 7.30pm.

August 19, The Grand Duke, SavoyNet Performing Group, 7.30pm.

August 20, Princess Ida, Bus Pass Opera, 7.30pm.

August 21, H.M.S. Pinafore, National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, 2.30pm; Patience, National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, 7.30pm.

August 22, The Mikado, National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, 2.30pm; The Pirates Of Penzance,  National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, 7.30pm.

A night at the light opera: The International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival at the Royal Hall, Harrogate, in a past year

This summer’s festival run in Harrogate from August 9 to 23 would have featured five new National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company productions: The Pirates Of Penzance and The Sorcerer, directed by Richard Gauntlett; rising star Rachel Middle’s HMS Pinafore; Simon Butteriss’s Patience and Alan Borthwick’s The Emerald Isle (or The Caves Of Carrig-Cleena), a work staged only rarely.

Further highlights were to have been Charles Court Opera’s smart, stylish new take on The Mikado, directed by John Savournin, and their new production of Iolanthe, plus Rachel Middle’s production of The Yeomen Of The Guard for Forbear! Theatre.

After the cancellation of the 2020 festival, the organisers have launched a streaming service at gsopera.tv to show “the very best of the National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company and festival productions at home and abroad since 1994, plus many other G&S classics”.

“There’s something for everyone and our content will be constantly updated with new, exciting films for you to enjoy from the best seat in your house,” says festival trustee Bernard Lockett. “There’s free content to watch there too.

“You can watch gsopera.tv on your tablet, laptop, smart TV, smartphone or PC: anywhere with the internet. It’s easy to use and your purchases can be accessed on all your internet devices forever.

“Keep an eye out for our new weekly podcasts and webinars starring your festival favourites and Gilbert and Sullivan experts. They are coming soon and we can’t wait to share them with you. We are also selecting some outstanding films for an eagerly awaited virtual festival in August, so this year you can simply stay safely at home and enjoy being entertained.

“Gsopera.tv lets you re-live treasured memories and enjoy those magical performances that have made the Gilbert and Sullivan Festival such an amazing and unique event.”

International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival launches opera TV streaming service after August event’s cancellation

A night at the light opera: The International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival at the Royal Hall, Harrogate, in a past year

THIS summer’s 27th International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival at the Royal Hall, Harrogate, may have been cancelled, but the show must go on…online.

In response to the Covid-19 strictures, the festival is launching a new streaming service of past productions at www.gsopera.tv.

“We shall be streaming the very best of our National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company and G&S Festival productions at home and abroad since 1994, plus many other G&S classics,” says festival trustee Bernard Lockett.

“Unfortunately, there’s no International G&S Festival in 2020 because of Covid-19, but here, as is said in The Mikado, is our ‘substitute’: www.gsopera.tv. Full programme details will be available later.”

What delights lie in store, Bernard? “There’s something for everyone, and our content will be constantly updated with new, exciting films for you to enjoy from the best seat in your house. Sign in now on gsopera.tv and there’s even a ten per cent discount until May 14. There’s free content to watch there too,” he says.

“You can watch gsopera.tv on your tablet, laptop, smart TV, smartphone or PC – anywhere with the internet. It’s easy to use and your purchases can be accessed on all your internet-connected devices forever.”

What else? “Keep an eye out for our new weekly podcasts and webinars starring your festival favourites and Gilbert & Sullivan experts,” says Bernard. “They are coming soon and we can’t wait to share them with you.

“We’re selecting some outstanding films for an eagerly awaited virtual festival in August, so this year you can simply stay safely at home and enjoy being entertained. Our streaming service will let you re-live treasured memories and enjoy those magical performances that have made the Gilbert & Sullivan Festival such an amazing and unique event.”

Bernard also confirmed the G&S Festival will be “back in earnest” in 2021 at two locations: the festival’s original home of Buxton Opera House, from July 31 to August 7, and the Royal Hall, Harrogate, from August 8 to 22.

This summer’s festival run in Harrogate from August 9 to 23 would have featured five new National Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company productions: The Pirates Of Penzance and The Sorcerer, directed by Richard Gauntlett; rising star Rachel Middle’s HMS Pinafore; Simon Butteriss’s Patience and Alan Borthwick’s The Emerald Isle (or The Caves Of Carrig-Cleena), a work staged only rarely.

Further highlights were to have been Charles Court Opera’s smart, stylish new take on The Mikado, directed by John Savournin, and their new production of Iolanthe, plus Rachel Middle’s production of The Yeomen Of The Guard for Forbear! Theatre.