BIKERS divided by Brexit, beach encounters with Orpheus, a joyful mess in art, an Eighties rom-com revisited, Ukrainian opera and a big summer signing for Scarborough brighten Charles Hutchinson’s days ahead
Ryedale play of the week: 1812 Theatre Company in Scary Bikers, Helmsley Arts Centre, February 21 to 24, 7.30pm
HELMSLEY’S 1812 Theatre Company stage their first John Godber comedy next week, his 2018 two-hander Scary Bikers. Outwardly, redundant miner Don (John Lister) and former private school teacher Carol (Kate Caute) have little in common, but beneath the surface their former spouses are buried next to each other. Soon widowed Don and Carol will bump into each other.
An innocent coffee leads to a bike ride through the Yorkshire Dales, then a bike tour across Europe to Florence. All looks promising for a budding romance, but their departure date is June 23 2016 and Don and Carol are on the opposite sides of the Brexit fence. Box office: helmsleyarts.co.uk or in person from the arts centre.
York play of the week: Pilot Theatre in A Song For Ella Grey, York Theatre Royal; February 20 to 24, Hull Truck Theatre, March 5 to 9
IN Zoe Cooper’s stage adaptation of David Almond’s novel for York company Pilot Theatre, York Theatre Royal and Newcastle’s Northern Stage, Claire and her best friend, Ella Grey, are ordinary kids from ordinary families in an ordinary world where modern teenagers meet ancient forces.
They and their friends fall in and out of love, play music and dance, stare at the stars, yearn for excitement, and have parties on Northumbrian beaches. One day, a stranger, a musician called Orpheus, appears on the beach and entrances them all, especially Ella. Where has Orpheus come from and what path will Ella follow in this contemporary re-telling of the ancient Greek myth? Box office: York, 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk; Hull, 01482 323638 or hulltruck.co.uk.
Coastal exhibition of the season: Displayful, Scarborough Art Gallery until May 7
DISPLAYFUL celebrates happy accidents and joyful mess, aiming to brighten the winter months by inviting visitors to enjoy uplifting contemporary artistic responses to objects from the collections of Scarborough Museums and Galleries.
The show combines new work by five regional artists, Luke Beech, Kate Fox, Wendy Galloway, Liberty Hodes and Angela Knipe, alongside historical artefacts, and asks audiences to consider new possibilities for the lives of objects.
Messages from beyond: Grant Harris: Medium, Milton Rooms, Malton, tomorrow (15/2/2024), 7pm
MEDIUM Grant Harris returns to the Milton Rooms to “connect with your loved ones to provide messages of support, reassurance and much needed clarity at times we require it most”.
“There are things we don’t fully understand about life and death but what I do is bring some peace to those who need it,” says Harris, whose shows promise humour too. Tickets: 01709 437700 or 01653 696240.
Musical of the week: Pretty Woman The Musical, Grand Opera House, York, February 20 to 24, 7.30pm, plus 2.30pm Wednesday and Saturday matinees
BILLED as Hollywood’s ultimate rom-com, live on stage, Pretty Woman: The Musical is set once upon a time in the late 1980s, when Hollywood Boulevard hooker Vivian meets entrepreneur Edward Lewis and her life changes forever.
Amber Davies plays Vivian opposite Oliver Savile’s Edward; 2016 Strictly Come Dancing champion Ore Oduba, last seen at this theatre in fishnets in March 2022 as Brad Majors in The Rocky Horror Show, has two roles as hotel manager Barnard Thompson/Happy Man, and Natalie Paris will be Vivian’s wisecracking roommate Kit De Luca. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.
Opera of the week: Dnipro Opera in Madama Butterfly, York Barbican, February 20, 7pm
DNIPRO Opera, the Ukrainian National Opera, returns to British shores after last year’s visit to perform Puccini’s favourite work, Madama Butterfly, sung in Italian with English surtitles.
Set in Japan in 1904, this torrid tale of innocent love crushed between two contrasting cultures charts the affair between an American naval officer and his young Japanese bride, whose self-sacrifice and defiance of her family leads to tragedy. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.
Comedy gig of the week: Burning Duck Comedy Club presents Chloe Petts, The Crescent, York, tomorrow (15/2/2024), 7.30pm
BUOYED by her Edinburgh Fringe run and Soho Theatre sell-out debut in London, Chloe Petts serves up her follow-up hour, If You Can’t Say Anything Nice. Everyone complimented her on how polite she was with big issues in the last show, so now she is cashing in those points and plans on being really rude. “Expect routines on wedding dancefloors, the footie and calling you all a bunch of virgins,” she says. Box office: wegottickets.com/event/588889.
Look out too for Burning Duck’s 8pm show at Theatre@41 Monkgate, York, on Friday: the debut tour of northerner Paddy Young: Hungry, Horny, Scared..and “in the gutter but looking down on all of you”. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.
Gig announcement of the week: James, supported by Reverend & The Makers and Girlband!, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, July 26
MANCHESTER band James play Scarborough Open Air Theatre for the fourth time on July 26, the night when Leeds lads Kaiser Chiefs finish off the evening card at York Races.
“If you haven’t been there before, then make sure you come,” says James bassist and founder member Jim Glennie. “It’s a cracking venue and you can even have a paddle in the sea before the show!” New album Yummy arrives on April 12. Box office: James, ticketmaster.co.uk from 9am on Friday; Kaiser Chiefs, yorkracecourse.co.uk.