More Things To Do in and around York once lockdown loosens grip and at home now. List No. 27, courtesy of The Press, York

Sandwich time: Teddy Bears’ Picnic, Cassie Vallance’s hit show from last summer in Rowntree Park, York, can be streamed from tomorrow

THE return of live entertainment is on the horizon at last, hopefully from May 17, prompting a surge in show confirmations, but in the meantime Stay Home activities remain prominent in Charles Hutchinson’s diary too.

Children’s streamed show of the weeks ahead: Park Bench Theatre’s Teddy Bears’ Picnic, February 26 to March 7

ONE of the hits of last summer’s Park Bench Theatre open-air season at Rowntree Park, York, is to be streamed by producers Engine House Theatre from tomorrow.

Children’s show Teddy Bears’ Picnic was performed by Cassie Vallance under Covid-safe conditions with more than 1,000 adults and youngsters seeing the show at 30-plus performances.

Suitable for everyone aged three and over, the streamed show will be bolstered by a Make Your Own Teddy Bear craft video. Tickets cost £5 at

Hal Cruttenden and Rosie Jones: Your Place Comedy double bill at the weekend

Streamed comedy gig of the weekend: Rosie Jones and Hal Cruttenden, Your Place Comedy, Sunday

ROSIE Jones, Bridlington-born comedian, scriptwriter and actor, will join television comedy mainstay Hal Cruttenden in a virtual double bill on Sunday night, streamed from their living rooms into homes via YouTube and Twitch at 8pm.

Co-ordinator Chris Jones, manager of Selby Town Hall, says: ““I know that times are tough for many people, and so we’re committed to keeping these shows completely free, so please do come and join Hal, Rosie and Tim via for some top entertainment at an unbeatable price, as for now streaming is the only show in town.”

Thunk-It Theatre’s Becky Lennon and Jules Risingham: Setting up youth theatre classes with Pocklington Arts Centre

Youth theatre project launch: Thunk-It Theatre in tandem with Pocklington Arts Centre, from this weekend

YORK company Thunk-It Theatre are partnering with Pocklington Arts Centre to provide youth theatre for the East Riding and beyond.

Weekly drama classes will be available to children aged six to 11 from February 28, initially on Zoom until it is safe to re-open the Market Place venue, when sessions can be held in person.

The all-levels drama sessions for Years 2 to 6 will take place from 10am to 11am every Sunday during term time, run by Becky Lennon and Jules Risingham. To book a place, visit

Asterisk tweet: Liam Gallagher found a typically eff-usive way on Wednesday to express his delight at the thumbs-up for Leeds Festival in August

Game-changing festival announcement of the year so far:  Leeds Festival, Bramham Park, near Wetherby, to go ahead

LEEDS Festival, Yorkshire’s biggest outdoor musical gathering of the year, is ON. Organiser Melvin Benn, managing director of Festival Reepublic, confirmed the decision yesterday (24/2/2021) in the wake of the Government’s Monday statement on the four-step route out of Covid lockdown strictures.

Already confirmed as headliners are Stormzy, Catfish And The Bottlemen, Post Malone, Disclosure, Liam Gallagher and Queens Of The Stone Age in a new initiative for the August 27 to 29 event that sees the long-running festival introducing a second main stage to enable two bill-toppers per day.

Aljaž Škorjanec and Janette Manrara: New date for Remembering The Oscars dance show at York Barbican. Picture: Colin Thomas

Dance delay: Aljaž Škorjanec and Janette Manrara: Remembering The Oscars, York Barbican, put back to April 2022

STRICTLY Come Dancing regulars Aljaž Škorjanec and Janette Manraraare moving their Remembering The Oscars show at York Barbican for a second time. The persistent pandemic has enforced a switch to April 7 2022 for the only Yorkshire performance of next year’s tour, after an earlier change from Spring 2020 to March 2021. Tickets are still valid.

In the meantime, Aljaž and Janette will star in a streamed one-hour performance of Remembering The Oscars for a limited three-week season from March 27 to April 17. To book, go to:

Just Steve, A Guitar And You: the tour poster for Seasick Steve’s York Barbican return in the autumn

York gig announcement of the week: Seasick Steve, York Barbican, November 11

CALIFORNIAN country blues singer-songwriter Seasick Steve will return to York Barbican on November 11 on his Just Steve, A Guitar And You Tour.

Tickets go on sale tomorrow (26/2/2021) from 9am at for the only Yorkshire gig of the American’s nine-date autumn solo tour in support of his second album of 2020, last November’s Blues In Mono.

“I’m lookin’ forward to coming and playing for y’all,” says Seasick Steve, 69. “Just gonna be me, you and my guitar. A few songs and a few stories, kinda like we just hangin’ out together! Gonna be fun. See ya there.”

Jesse Malin: Pocklington Arts Centre gig in December

East Yorkshire gig announcement of the week: Jesse Malin, Pocklington Arts Centre, December 7

POCKLINGTON Arts Centre has secured a new date for New York City singer-songwriter Jesse Malin. He will play on December 7 2021, fully 18 months after he was originally booked to perform there in June 2020 as part of PAC’s 20th anniversary programme.

Malin, 53, released his seventh studio album, Sunset Kids, in 2019, produced by Lucinda Williams, American roots icon, country music queen and 2016 Platform Festival headliner at the Old Station, Pocklington.

Grayson Perry: Channel 4 return, York Barbican show and York Art Gallery exhibition at CoCA

And what about?

THE return of Grayson’s Art Club for a second series on Channel 4 on Fridays after Grayson Perry’s championing of people’s art was such a spirit-lifting boost to home creativity in the early days of Lockdown 1 last spring.

Perry, by the way, is booked into York Barbican for September 6 on his A Show For Normal People tour and his delayed early pottery exhibition, The Pre-Therapy Years, should open at the Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA), York Art Gallery, on May 28, if Step 3 re-opening comes into effect from May 17, as planned.

Aljaž and Janette move York date to April 2022…but here comes their streamed show

Strictly between us: Aljaž Škorjanec and Janette Manrara and a model of an Oscar

STRICTLY Come Dancing regulars Aljaž Škorjanec and Janette Manrara are moving their Remembering The Oscars show at York Barbican for a second time.

The persistent pandemic has enforced a switch to April 7 2022, for the only Yorkshire performance of next year’s tour, after an earlier change from Spring 2020 to March 2021.

“Due to the continuing uncertainty regarding the unlocking of mass gatherings for events in the entertainment sector, it has been decided to reschedule the tour to Spring 2022,” the official statement reads, after the 41-date tour was postponed again, this time rescheduled for March 19 to May 7 2022.

All tickets will remain valid for the new dates. As announced earlier, the tour’s producers and Aljaž and Janette will be making ten free VIP tickets available to NHS staff at every venue as a way of showing their gratitude to front-line workers, with a meet & greet with the two dancers as part of the package. Information on how to claim these tickets will be announced “as soon as normal services resume”. 

In Remembering The Oscars, husband and wife Aljaž and Janette will give the red-carpet treatment to Oscar-winning songs, dances, movies and stars.

Slovenian-born dancer and choreographer Aljaž, 31, says: “We’re devastated to have to postpone for a second time what we truly believe is our best show to date. However, everybody’s health and safety comes first, so we know it’s absolutely the right decision to make.

“Equally, we’re thrilled audiences across the UK will still get to see our amazing show next year, by which point we all hope the pandemic will finally be behind us.”

Miami-born Cuban-American dancer and choreographer Janette, 37, adds: “Like all performers, we’re very much looking forward to the moment when we can all get back on the stage and put on a real show for everyone.

The poster for Aljaž and Janette’s rearranged Remembering The Oscars tour in 2022

“It will be a memorable and emotional moment for both the cast and audience that’ll be worth waiting for. In the meantime, stay safe everybody.”

Tickets remain valid for the new York Barbican date, but ticket holders unable to attend the April 7 2022 show should contact for refund details.

Meanwhile, in the wake of the latest tour postponement, Aljaž and Janette are to star in a streamed performance of the still-to-be-debuted Remembering The Oscars for a limited three-week season starting on March 27.

In this one-hour special, Aljaž & Janette will celebrate the greatest award-winning songs, films and dance routines from the Golden Ages of Hollywood through to Disney family favourites and beyond.

The Strictly duo will be joined by a cast of singers and dancers on a specially constructed stage, backed by a large LED screen that will show brand-new filmed content, as they dance their way through bespoke and original and musical arrangements of more than 25 songs.

Among the films in the spotlight will be Dirty Dancing, Mary Poppins, Flashdance, Cabaret, The Wizard Of Oz, An American In Paris, The Lion King, La La Land, Toy Story, Singin’ In The Rain, Frozen, A Chorus Line, William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet and Scent Of A Woman, among others.

The performance will be intercut with commentaries from Aljaž and Janette, complemented by backstage behind-the-scenes content; their personal account of how the show and its routines were created; why they picked certain songs; how they devised each of the show’s sections and the influences behind their performances.

Shot using ten high-definition cameras, the pay-per-view event will premiere on Saturday, March 27 at 7.30pm and can be watched on demand via Smart TVs, computers, tablets and phones until April 17.

Up stream: Aljaž and Janette announce “the streaming event of the year!”

All tickets come with a free digital 32-page programme, packed with exclusive photos, interviews, Oscar trivia and much more. Options to upgrade include an after-show pass to an In Conversation with Aljaž and Janette and an exclusive 30-minute behind-the-scenes film, featuring additional footage with access to the dressing rooms, rehearsals and backstage.

Aljaž and Janette say: “We feel awful having to postpone our Remembering The Oscars tour for a second time due to the pandemic, but we’re delighted to have been given the opportunity to film some of the highlights from the show.

“Hopefully this will give our audience and fans a taster of what is to come next year. We love and miss you and hope you enjoy the show.”

Many of the postponed tour’s venues, such as Birmingham Symphony Hall, Newcastle Theatre Royal and Northampton’s Derngate Theatre, have come together to help to promote the stream.

The show’s co-producers, Steven Howard for The TCB Group and David Shepherd, have commented jointly: “The support we have from our friends in the regions is invaluable. While venues remain closed, they are working with us to promote this very special streamed performance of Remembering The Oscars to their respective audiences.

“We all know how important local venues are to the cultural fabric of the UK, so we hope this goes someway to supplement the public’s craving for live performance.”

Tickets are available at £15 from: or

Further offers:

In Conversation with Aljaž and Janette: £5

Aljaž and Janette answer all your questions and talk about the show, their dreams and aspirations for the future. In Conversation is a revealing insight into their Remembering The Oscars journey and the inspirations behind their choice of songs and dance routines. They will be joined by “some very special guests”.

Behind The Scenes with Aljaž and Janette: £5

Exclusive 30-minute film featuring additional footage with access to the dressing rooms, rehearsals and backstage of Remembering The Oscars.

Viva La Divas is next step for Strictly stars Katya, Nadiya and Janette in York show

The tour poster for Viva La Divas starring Katya Jones, Nadiya Bychkova and Janette Manrara. Picture: Colin Thomas

STRICTLY Come Dancing professional trio Janette Manrara, Katya Jones and Nadiya Bychkova will be on tour this summer, making a song and dance of Viva La Divas at the Grand Opera House, York, on June 16.

Collaborating with the original producers of Viva La Diva, first performed in 2007 with dancer Darcey Bussell and singer Katherine Jenkins, this glamorous show will pay tribute to stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood, Broadway and West End musical theatre, modern pop divas and female icons with the greatest impact on the Strictly dancers.

In this all-singing, all-dancing musical extravaganza, Katya, Nadiya and Janette will star with a cast of dancers and singers as they celebrate Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, Beyonce, Judy Garland, Celine Dion, Jennifer Lopez and many more.

Running from June 14 to July 16, the tour has further Yorkshire dates at Halifax Victoria Hall on June 23 and Bridlington Spa on the last night.

Miami-born Janette Manrara became a Strictly professional in 2013 after performing at the 2009 Academy Awards, appearing in season five of the American version of So You Think You Can Dance, being a principal dancer on Glee and starring in the stage show Burn The Floor for three years.

Among her Strictly highlights was lifting the Christmas Glitter Ball trophy twice with celebrity partners Aston Merrygold and Melvin Odoom.
Looking ahead to the summer tour, Janette says: “I’m so excited to be touring the UK with two of my best friends, Katya and Nadiya – and what a show it’s going to be.

“We’ll be celebrating the glitz, the glamour and style of the greatest divas in showbiz. We’re going to have so much fun bringing this show to audiences across the UK and I can’t wait. It’s going to be a blast.”

Before making her Strictly debut in 2016 , Russian dancer Katya Jones and her dance partner Neil Jones won the WDC World Show Dance Championships and three titles at the World Amateur Latin Championship.

After her Strictly partnership with politician Ed Balls in 2016, for her second series Katya was partnered with actor Joe McMadden, the pair duly lifting the  Glitterball Ball trophy as 2017 champions.

“To tour Viva La Divas across this beautiful country this summer with two incredible dancers, who happen to be my very close friends, is a dream come true,” says Katya.

“How the three of us managed to keep everything a secret for so long I’ll never know. Finally, we can shout it from the roof tops: girls on tour! It’s going to be epic.”

Ukrainian-born Nadiya Bychkova made her Strictly debut in 2017 as a two-time world champion and European champion in ballroom and Latin ‘10’ Dance, partnering former England goalkeeper David James in the 2019 series.

“I’m thrilled to be part of the Viva La Divas tour this summer,” she says. “We have an incredible team working on what will be a dazzling show that I can’t wait for audiences everywhere to see.

“It’s going to be a stunning spectacle full of the elegance, style and attitude, befitting of the greatest divas’ legacies. And to be touring with two incredible friends in Janette and Katya is simply the dream team.”

Tickets for the tour go on general sale at 10am on Friday at and; York tickets on 0844 871 3024 or at