What’s on the menu? More Things To Do in York and beyond, hopefully, but check for updates. List No. 62, from The Press, York

Waiter! David Leonard’s Vermin the Destroyer, left, and A J Powell’s Luvlie Limpit survey what’s left of the Ye Olde Whippet Inn menu as Martin Barrass’s Dunkin Donut offers advice in Dick Turpin Rides Again. Picture: David Harrison

GIVEN the ever-changing Omicron briefings, Charles Hutchinson has a rubber as well as a pencil in his hand as he highlights what to see now and further ahead.

Still time for pantomime unless Omicron measures intervene part one: Dick Turpin Rides Again, Grand Opera House, York, until January 9

BACK on stage for the first time since February 2 2019, grand dame Berwick Kaler reunites with long-standing partners in panto Martin Barrass, David Leonard, Suzy Cooper and A J Powell.

After his crosstown switch to the Grand Opera House, Kaler steps out of retirement to write, direct and lead his first show for Crossroads Pantomimes, playing Dotty Donut, with Daniel Conway as the company’s new face in the Essex lad title role amid the familiar Kaler traditions. Look out for the flying horse. Box office: atgtickets.com/York.

Come join the rev-olution: Stepsisters Manky (Robin Simpson), left, and Mardy (Paul Hawkyard) make a raucous entrance in Cinderella. Alas, the Theatre Royal panto is now on hold until December 30 after a Covid outbreak

Still time for pantomime but only after a week in self-isolation: Cinderella, York Theatre Royal, ending on January 2 2022

COVID has struck three cast members and understudies too, leading to the decision to cancel performances of Cinderella from today until December 30.

Fingers crossed, you can still enjoy Evolution Productions writer Paul Hendy and York Theatre Royal creative director Juliet Forster’s panto custom-built for 21st century audiences.

Targeted at drawing in children with magical storytelling, silliness aplenty and pop songs, Cinderella has a thoroughly modern cast, ranging from CBeebies’ Andy Day as Dandini to Faye Campbell as Cinders and ventriloquist Max Fulham as Buttons, with his Monkey on hand for cheekiness.

Robin Simpson and Paul Hawkyard’s riotous step-sisters Manky and Mardy and puns galore add to the fun. Box office: 01904 623568 or at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

A wintry landscape by Julia Borodina, on show at Blossom Street Gallery, York

Buy now before her prices go up! Julia Borodina, Into The Light, Blossom Street Gallery, York, until January 31

JULIA Borodina will be competing in Sky’ Arts’ 2022 Landscape Artist of the Year, set for screening in January and February. Perfect timing for her York exhibition, Into The Light, on show until the end of next month.

Bretta Gerecke, part of the design team behind Castle Howard’s Christmas In Narnia displays, stands by the 28ft decorated tree in the Great Hall. Picture: Charlotte Graham

THE Christmas tree of the season: Christmas In Narnia at Castle Howard, near York, until January 2

CASTLE Howard has topped past peaks by installing a 28ft spruce tree from Scotland in the Great Hall as part of the Christmas In Narnia displays and decorations.

 “We believe that this is the largest real indoor Christmas tree in the country, standing around eight feet higher than the impressive tree normally installed in Buckingham Palace,” says the Hon Nicholas Howard, guardian of Castle Howard. 

“It’s certainly the largest we have had, both in terms of height and width at the base, which has a huge footprint in the Great Hall – but thankfully leaves a gap on either side for visitors to walk right around it.” Tickets for Christmas In Narnia must be booked before arrival at castlehoward.co.uk.

York Community Choir Festival: Eight diverse concerts at Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York

Choirs galore: York Community Choir Festival, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, February 27 to March 5 2022

EIGHT shows, different every night, will be the format for this choral celebration of how and why people come together to make music and have fun.

At least four choirs will be on stage in every concert in a festival featuring show tunes, pop and folk songs, world music, classical music, gospel songs, close harmonies, blues and jazz.

From primary-school choirs through to teenage, young adult and adult choirs, the choral configurations span male groups, female groups and mixed-voice choirs. Proceeds will go to the JoRo theatre from ticket sales on 01904 501935 or at josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.

David Ford’s poster for his Interesting Times tour, visiting Pocklington Arts Centre in March

If you see one sage and rage singer-songwriter next year, make it: David Ford, Interesting Times Tour 22, Pocklington Arts Centre, March 10 2022, 8pm

EASTBOURNE troubadour David Ford will return to the road with an album of songs documenting the tumultuous year that was 2020.

May You Live In Interesting Times, his sixth studio set, charts the rise of Covid alongside the decline of President Trump. Recorded at home during various stages of lockdown, the album captures the moment with Ford’s trademark emotional eloquence and dark irony.

After the imposed hiatus times three (and maybe four, wait and see), the new incarnation of Ford’s innovative, incendiary live show promises to demonstrate just what happens when you shut such a creative force in a room for two years. Box office: 01759 301547 or at pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk.

Sir Tom Jones: Playing Scarborough Open Air Theatre for a third time next summer

Amid the winter uncertainty, look to next summer’s knight to remember: Sir Tom Jones at Scarborough Open Air Theatre, July 26 2022

SIR Tom Jones will complete a hattrick of Scarborough Open Air Theatre concerts after his 2015 and 2017 gigs with his July return.

In April, the Welsh wonder released his 41st studio album, the chart-topping Surrounded By Time, featuring the singles Talking Reality Television Blues, No Hole in My Head, One More Cup of Coffee and Pop Star.

Sir Tom, 81, will play a second outdoor Yorkshire concert in 2022, at The Piece Hall, Halifax, on July 10. Box office for both shows: ticketmaster.co.uk.

Flying dreamers: Elbow showcase their ninth studio album in Scarborough next July

Deep in the bleak midwinter, think of days out on the Yorkshire coast part two: Elbow, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, July 9 2022

MAKE Elbow room in your diary to join Guy Garvey, Craig Potter, Mark Potter and Pete Turner on the East Coast in July.

Formed in 1997 in Bury, Greater Manchester, BBC 6 Music Sunday afternoon presenter Garvey and co chalked up their seventh top ten album in 2021 with Flying Dream 1.

Released on November 19, Elbow’s ninth studio album was written remotely in home studios before the lifelong friends met up at the empty Brighton Theatre Royal to perfect, perform, and record the songs. Box office: ticketmaster.co.uk.

Next month Julia Borodina makes a splash in Sky Arts’ Landscape Artist of the Year, but first she is exhibiting at gallery in York

Julia Borodina: Russian-born West Yorkshire artist exhibiting at Blossom Street Gallery . Sky competition awaits

WEST Yorkshire painter Julia Borodina will be competing in Sky Arts’ 2022 Landscape Artist of the Year, set for screening in January and February.

Perfect timing for her York exhibition, Into The Light, now on show at Blossom Street Gallery until the end of January.

“She’s managed not to let anything slip regarding the outcome,” says gallery owner Kim Oldfield. “I first met Julia when she exhibited here as part of the Leeds Fine Artists Group, and it’s very exciting that she’s now been selected for the Sky competition.”

Born in Tobolsk, Western Siberia, Russia, Julia graduated with distinctions in Fine Art from Omsk University, later completing a Masters in Painting in the UK in 2002.

Autumn, Woodland, acrylic on board, by Julia Borodina

“I usually work from my studio at the Creative Arts Hub in Mirfield, south of Leeds, or paint outdoors at various locations, depending on the season,” she says. “My main themes are landscapes and townscapes. 

“I greatly enjoy working outdoors as it gives me an opportunity to develop suitable compositions and experiment with light conditions.”

Julia is always searching for beauty. “I’m trying to capture a unique moment of life, which on its own is telling a story. I’m interested in painting ‘portraits’ of things and places,” she says.

“The whole experience of painting ‘en plein-air’ is an ideal working environment for me. I start from investigating the area on foot or on my bicycle, noting the places of interest and making quick sketches. 

Anglesey, acrylic, by Julia Borodina

“Next step will be to come back to the selected spots and to produce a number of preliminary studies and additional photos if needed. After that the collected material matures and expands in the studio.”

Julia has exhibited her work at the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours, Society of Women Artists, Royal Society of Marine Artists and Society of Wildlife Artists at the Mall Galleries, London.

As well as being a member of Leeds Fine Artists Group, she has taken part in annual exhibitions in York and Holmfirth and at other British galleries and art fairs. Overseas, she shows work at the National Watercolour Exhibition in Russia.

Julia enjoys sharing her creative knowledge with students. “I have extensive teaching experience since graduating and have worked with all age groups, being especially excited to inspire my youngest pupils at primary-school level,” she says.

“I’m trying to capture a unique moment of life, which on its own is telling a story,” says Julia Borodina of her “portraits of things and places”

“We’ve produced some amazing artwork based on climate change, as well as international projects in Chengdu, China, funded by the British Council.

“I teach workshops for children on Saturdays at the Creative Arts Hub, Mirfield, and receive invitations to design and run unique art projects tailored to the needs of both primary and secondary schools.”

Julia also runs painting workshops, teaching short and long-term painting and drawing courses for adults.

From next month, the focus will fall on her Sky Landscape Artist of the Year endeavours after she was selected last summer for the seventh series. “I have very happy memories of the filming and invite you to watch it this winter, when it will be out on Sky Arts TV and Freeview in January and February,” says Julia, still staying tight-lipped on how she fared!

Julia Borodina: Into The Light, Blossom Street Gallery, York, running until January 31; gallery closed from December 25 to January 17. Opening hours before Christmas Day: 10am to 4pm; Christmas Eve, 10am to 3pm. From January 17: 10am to 5.30pm, Tuesday to Saturday; 10am to 4pm, Sundays.

The poster for Julia Borodina’s Into The Light exhibition at Blossom Street Gallery, York