If you could create the ultimate tribute show, what would it feature? Let Sarah-Louise Young be your guide at Theatre@41

Sarah-Louise Young: How to construct the ultimate tribute act in an adventure cabaret of singalongs, dance-breaks and audience participation in I Am Your Tribute

AFTER An Evening Without Kate Bush, Julie Madly Deeply and The Silent Treatment, Sarah-Louise Young returns to Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, on Thursday with only the second preview of her Edinburgh Fringe-bound new show, I Am Your Tribute.

In her “most ambitiously interactive performance yet”, sparkling host Sarah-Louise invites you to help her create the ultimate tribute to an act of your choosing in an adventure cabaret featuring singalongs, dance-breaks and audience participation aplenty.

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 backing tracks, a box of wigs and wonderment in an exploration of what it means to pay tribute as she unpacks the unspoken contract between a tribute artist and their fans, inspired by her own experience of creating shows about Kate Bush and Julie Andrews.

“I think it’s a really interesting time for live entertainment,” she says. “On the one hand, audiences are being lambasted for joining in and singing along. On the other, they are being fed musical re-makes and film adaptations which have that invitation baked in.

“Look at the popularity of Mamma Mia! The Party. We want to be inside the action. I wanted to make a show which allowed the audience to join in and take centre stage, enjoying all the guilty pleasures available.”

Sarah-Louise Young: Theatre-maker, cabaret performer, writer, director, improviser and producer

Here Sarah-Louise discusses tribute acts, unspoken contracts between tributes and fans, favourite tribute names and weirdest tribute shows with CharlesHutchPress.

How would you define a tribute act? 

“An act of worship and shared fandom.” 

What is “the unspoken contract between a tribute artist and their fans”?

“That the performer on stage is not Whitney Houston or Roy Orbison or whichever star they are emulating. Everyone knows it’s an act of worship, make believe and magic. I have heard stories of tributes who take things too far – ending up imitating the off-stage life of the star too – which can be very dangerous when drugs and alcohol are involved.

“The performer needs to know where they begin and the star ends. That’s why I speak about us all being fans. We pay tribute when we listen to a song, sing in the shower, wear a tour T-shirt…

“…Some of us are such big fans, we choose to get up on stage and say, ‘watch me show you how much I love them too’. As I say in the show, ‘every tribute counts’.” 

Sarah-Louise Young in the “chaotic cabaret” of An Evening Without Kate Bush

Your shows An Evening Without Kate Bush or Julie Madly Deeply featured songs associated with Kate Bush and Julie Andrews, but they were expressly not doppelganger shows, but had a theme within a structure of songs and “chaotic cabaret”. Discuss…

“For a long time I resisted the word ‘tribute’ in connection to my work. A friend of mine used to be the UK’s number one Madonna tribute and I have huge respect for the skill, talent and hard work it took to pull off a real lookalike and soundalike performance.

“But I was more interested in exploring the dynamic between the performer and the audience and the shared love they both hold for the artist being celebrated. In both the shows you mention, I see my role as a creative facilitator.

“Yes, I sing the songs and guide the audience through the experience but I’m also looking for their stories, their input to influence the show. However, when a review for An Evening Without Kate Bush from The Stage said I was ‘re-inventing the tribute act’, I began to see myself as part of a wider community of artists who all swim in the same sea of ‘fan art’.” 

The prospect of encountering yet another Queen or Abba tribute act fills CharlesHutchPress with dread. How do such shows make you feel?

“I think it’s fair to say that a lot of people look down their noses at tributes, and prior to making this show, if I really am honest, I would not have chosen to go and see a straight tribute myself. I’d rather listen to the music at home.

Sarah-Louise Young’s poster for I Am Your Tribute

“But I really had my ideas turned upside down when I went to see a few bands as research. It’s more than just what’s happening on stage. It’s about the communal experience of people getting together.

“You can still go home and listen to the songs, and of course not everyone wants to share their fandom with others, but for many people, coming together at a gig can be a quasi-religious experience. We are tribal by nature. 

“It also depends greatly on the band. I know, for some people, Queen without Freddie Mercury is not Queen. But for others, Adam Lambert (who now sings the lead with the original musicians Brian May and Roger Taylor) is the perfect tribute. He’ll never replace Freddie, but he honours him with his performance. 

“When an artist is no longer here to perform themselves or chooses not to tour, a tribute can be the only way to hear their songs live. Personally, I’m more excited by performers who bring something new to the table. Like Baby Booshka, who are sadly about to retire but are a United States-based Kate Bush tribute who play multiple eras of Kate and bring great humour, passion and inventiveness to their act. They are doing their final UK tour this autumn and I urge you to check them out.” 

Sarah-Louise Young in her Julie Andrews show Julie Madly Deeply. Picture: Steve Ullathorne

What should a tribute act seek to achieve? Authenticity is often stressed for shows by Pink Floyd/Genesis/Dire Straits/Beatles acts, but does it need to be more than that? 

“For me it’s about channelling the spirit of the original. I never try to impersonate Kate or Julie, but Russell Lucas (who also helped me to make this new show) and I sought the ‘Essence of Kate’.

 “We would never replicate an exact costume, but we’ll take the feathers as a motif from the album Aerial, for example, and weave them into the look for a track from another era. We want to emotionally engage and remind people of why they love the original. 

“For the more traditional tributes, there are some incredible Elvises out there. The ones who are really successful manage to embody the passion and energy of Elvis, even if they don’t have the exact same look or voice. I saw a terrific female Elvis who really blew me away with her passion.” 

In a world of Oasish and Blurd, what is your favourite name for a tribute act?

“There are so many! I like The Arctic Numpties!” 

“I’d like audiences to feel nourished and entertained and part of something positive,” says Sarah-Louise Young of her new show I Am Your Tribute

What is the weirdest tribute act you have seen?

“I love weird so I might not be the best judge! I did see a clip from a BBC programme, which I’m still trying to find the full version of. In it there was a Britney Spears tribute who I would say was about three times older than the real Brittney but utterly committed.

“I’d love to see more elders in the tribute act world, especially when you think of how many incredible artists we’ve lost too young. Members of the 27 Club like Amy Winehouse, Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin. Wouldn’t it be amazing to see how they might have aged?”

Jo Hird, Theatre@41’s publicist, says you have “lots of fun things to say about the life of a tribute act”.  Such as?

“Oh, that’s interesting! York will only be my second preview. We’ve changed a few things since London, which is the nature of work-in-progress. The show is less about tribute ‘acts’ and more about acts of tribute. You do learn quite a lot about wigs though!” 

Here wig go, here wig go, here wig go: Sarah-Louise Young in I Am Your Tribute

Jo also described your show as “unusual”. How would you describe it?

“Ha-ha… well, I hope it’s joyful and inclusive. We’ve tried to choose songs which most people will know and feel comfortable joining in with. I’d like audiences to feel nourished and entertained and part of something positive.”

I Am Your Tribute is your “most ambitiously interactive show yet”. In what way?

“It’s ambitious because there are a couple of sections where it really could go anywhere. I’ll be trying something brand new on Thursday in York and it might fall flat on its face! But I hope the audience will be open to the adventure, and if it’s all goes south, they can applaud the ambition and laugh with me at the joyful failure. It’s the only way to improve and learn.”

You thrive on being off the cuff, whether in a decade of performing with the Olivier Award-winning improvised musical troupe The Showstoppers! or 15 years of solo work. Discuss…

“I love shows which are made with love and danger. Of course there will be rehearsed moments, songs and stories I want to share – but what excites me the most is the collaboration between the audience and me and what they bring. I love being surprised. I always say there is no such thing as a one-person show. The audience is the missing ingredient. I can’t wait to meet them!”

“I hope the audience will be open to the adventure, and if it’s all goes south, they can applaud the ambition and laugh with me at the joyful failure,” says Sarah-Louise

How will you use the audience in this show?

“I feel very strongly that any audience participation should be ‘opt-in’ and no-one should ever feel under pressure to do more than they want to. It’s the first time I’ve added the word ‘interactive’ into the description of the show, so I’m curious to see whether that changes the dynamic in the room.

“There will be invitations to sing collectively, and some people may find themselves being interviewed or even dancing with me on stage, but they’ll never be on their own. I hope after 25 years of making shows, I am pretty good at spotting who wants to play and who doesn’t.

“There is never any pressure to participate. We have billed the show as interactive on purpose, but if you want to come and experience it in the dark anonymity of the back row, you are just as welcome and valued as people who want to get stuck in and join me on stage. As long as you’re having a good time, I’m happy.”

Tribute acts account for more than 50 per cent of programming in many theatres up and down the country. Why are they so popular?

“Nostalgia, economics and familiarity. Some people want to re-live their youth, be transported back to a time when they first fell in love with certain songs or a particular artist. Plus, tribute shows are a relatively cheap night out.

Making a noise about the voice: Sarah-Louise Young in The Silent Treatment

“Tickets to see Taylor Swift start in the hundreds and go into the thousands, but you can see a tribute band for as little as £12. With the economy under so much pressure, tribute shows remain comparatively affordable and accessible.

“For many people, they might only go to a gig or the theatre once a year. Along with panto, tribute nights are a safe bet. You know what you’re going to get… unless it’s one of my shows, in which case all bets are off!” 

Sarah-Louise Young, I Am Your Tribute, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, July 11, 7.30pm. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.

She will play Latitude Festival, Henham Park, Suffolk, July 25 to 28, performing I Am Your Tribute and An Evening Without Kate Bush; Edinburgh Fringe Festival, as part of PBH Free Fringe, at Voodoo Rooms Ballroom, Edinburgh, August 3 to 11, 13 to 19 and 21 to 25, 12.05pm; box office: tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/i-am-your-tribute.

How Sarah-Louise Young finds her voice, stronger than ever, in The Silent Treatment

Sarah-Louise Young: “I have made this show from a place of strength and recovery,” she says. “It is ultimately a very positive story of resilience and healing”. Picture: Steve Ullathorne

WARNING: Sarah-Louise Young’s show in York tomorrow night, The Silent Treatment, includes themes of trauma and sexual violence.

After her celebrations of Kate Bush (An Evening Without…) and Julie Andrews (Julie Madly Deeply), the Canterbury-born writer-performer returns to Theatre@41, Monkgate, with the highly personal true story of a singer who loses her voice and embarks on an unexpected journey of self-revelation and vocal healing.

In a career as a musical theatre actress, singer, writer, director, Showstopper! improviser and cabaret performer with Fascinating Aida, Sarah-Louise had “always known something wasn’t right with my voice but, like many singers, I assumed it was my fault,” as she revealed to the Guardian in June last year, ahead of the show’s Edinburgh Fringe run. “When a singer loses their voice we question their technique, their lifestyle, even their commitment.”

She had to hide how, every few months, her soprano voice would disappear, inducing a paralysing shame until it returned after few days’ rest. Then, after 11 years of ceaseless performing, “secret collapse and hidden recovery”, she lost her voice on stage mid-performance. “I was mortified,” she told the Guardian.

A consultant discovered cysts, probably there since childhood, he suggested, prompting him to ask Sarah-Louise if anything in her childhood – expressly before she was ten – could have traumatised her voice.

The answer was yes; she was sexually attacked at the age of seven, in daylight. “After the initial distress, I never gave it much thought. But the hand on my mouth, the stifled scream…what the mind forgets, the body remembers,” she wrote in her Guardian piece.

Self-care was advised, coffee became a no-no, work flowed, but after three years, her surgeon deemed an operation was necessary after her cysts burst when performing Julie Madly Deeply through bronchitis for six weeks.

Now there was something else to hide: she would be considered “damaged goods” if it became known she had undergone surgery, or so the “industry gatekeepers” forewarned. Stay silent? No, vowed Sarah-Louise, and nine years on, The Silent Treatment is her story, her voice found anew and her diary busier than ever at 47.

Sarah-Louise Young: “The first time I sang after the operation it was like night and day from singing pre-surgery”. Picture: Steve Ullathorne

Here Sarah-Louise discusses singing, healing and dealing with what life throws at you with CharlesHutchPress.

What has been the reaction to The Silent Treatment, especially to your revelations about the sexual attack you suffered aged seven?

“The audience and critical response has been overwhelmingly positive. Whenever I make a new show, especially one which is autobiographical, I ask myself the same question: why should anyone care?

“So although the details of the story are personal to me, it connects with many other people’s lived experiences of being silenced, singers and non-singers alike.

“In terms of the sexual attack, my brilliant director Sioned Jones and I spent a lot of time discussing how best to portray it without sensationalising it or traumatising anyone watching.

“Close friends who didn’t know about it were understandably moved or concerned when they watched it but I have made this show from a place of strength and recovery. It is ultimately a very positive story of resilience and healing.” 

How do you structure this show?

“Without giving too much away about the piece, I play several different characters, ranging from my suave surgeon to a fruity diaphragm. It’s part quest, part journey into the past. It’s definitely not a conventional linear narrative but you’ll have to come along and see it to find out more.” 

Where do songs fit in?

“Music is important and I was lucky enough to work with a fabulous composer called Chris Ash who I knew from Showstopper! The Improvised Musical. He created beautiful soundscapes for the different worlds of the piece, including scenes which take place inside the human body. He even sampled my voice electronically to add to the mix.

“I write the lyrics and we worked together on the songs, which were all created originally for the show to serve different moments. For example, the cysts get their own big solo number, which is great fun.” 

An Evening Without Kate Bush and Julie Madly Deeply both had personal elements within them, but this is your most personal show. How does that feel when you perform it?

“I love connecting with an audience and have found with both of those shows that the more generous and open hearted I am, the more the audience will join me. It’s always a privilege to perform for people who have chosen to spend their time with you and the fact that they are invested in my journey is of course very rewarding for me.

“Most importantly, I want them to see themselves reflected back and find a universal meaning within the story.” 

Both the Bush and Andrews shows were joyous. What is the tone of The Silent Treatment?

“It’s funny, surreal, intimate and heartfelt, incorporating songs, stories, characterisation, puppetry, movement and mime. There’s a lot going on and while I’m required to give the show a trigger warning due to its sensitive thematic content, I hope I have created a piece of cabaret which is uplifting and entertaining.” 

Will there be any audience participation?

“Much less than in my other shows! I chat to the audience as they enter the space and collect tongue-twisters from them. The show is very much performed to them without a fourth wall, but I don’t invite anyone up onto the stage. Well, not yet anyway!” 

I believe it’s a story which needed to be told and I know I’m not alone in this,” says Sarah-Louise

When did you first find your voice, not the prescribed musical theatre voice?

“I think I found my voice as a child, before I was aware of training. It was free and playful. It took many years later on in life to re-discover that sense of play. I had a fantastic singing teacher, Maureen Scott, who guided me through my surgery and a wonderful vocal therapist called Dr Rehab afterwards.

“Our voices change and develop as we age and making this show has really empowered me to sing with my own authentic voice. I love singing Kate Bush and Julie Andrews’ songs too and enjoy the vocal gymnastics of switching between styles.” 

Did you have to re-find your voice after the operation for the cysts?

“I did a month of vocal therapy six times a day. The minimum recovery time from surgery is four weeks and I only had four weeks and a day before opening in Julie Madly Deeply in Toronto, so I had to focus entirely on getting match fit.

“The first time I sang after the operation it was like night and day from singing pre-surgery. My voice has been strong and happy since then and I’ve never looked back.” 

Describe a singer’s fear of being treated as damaged goods after an operation…

“At the time I felt vulnerable and also very angry because I knew it wasn’t true. It was someone else’s idea which I had absorbed. Singers get injuries just like athletes and there was no reason for me to feel any different.

“What happens to us is not our shame and I should never have been made to feel embarrassed or that I needed to hide the truth. The Silent Treatment is my response to being told I needed to stay quiet about my experience. I believe it’s a story which needed to be told and I know I’m not alone in this.” 

“What the mind forgets, the body remembers,” you say. How have you dealt with that psychologically and physically?

“I’ve been through talking therapy and practice movement as part of my creative process. Our bodies have an incredible higher wisdom and if we listen to them, they will often guide us in the right direction.

“I’ve been mentoring a number of other artists recently and one of the things we explore is readiness to tell your story. Although the rehearsal room can feel therapeutic at times, the performer must be on the right side of therapy before they share that work with a paying audience.

“It must be safe for them and their public to perform the show. If it isn’t, in my opinion, then you might not be ready yet.”

The voice is the most vulnerable, personal, unpredictable instrument, even by comparison with a highly-strung guitar or piano. The only human instrument too.

Why are we not more understanding of its delicate nature for performers, who often pray to “Dr Theatre” to continue performing, as you did for so many years?

“Unless you are fortunate enough to have a laryngoscopy, the voice remains invisible to most people. It is a mysterious instrument and everyone’s voice is unique to them.

“I hope for the next generation of performers there will be more compassion and understanding moving forward,” says Sarah-Louise. Picture: Steve Ullathorne

“Some singers swear by gargling with cider vinegar, others smoke 20 cigarettes a day and still sing like an angel (although this isn’t a behaviour I endorse for obvious reasons).

“History also has fetishised singers who push themselves to the edge: Judy Garland, Edith Piaf, Amy Winehouse, for example. How can these incredible voices come from such damaged people?

“We love watching people on the edge, on a tightrope, and when they fall, we make them martyrs for their art.

“It’s getting better for performers now, partly thanks to high-profile artists like Adele going public with their vocal challenges and partly, I think, because in general we’re waking up to the importance of looking after our mental health.

“Our voices and our well-being are intrinsically linked, and I hope for the next generation of performers there will be more compassion and understanding moving forward.

“I was chatting to the principal of an Australian musical theatre course recently and he told me they get all their students scoped in the first term, so not only do they see and understand their voices, but they also have a visual record for the rest of their careers to refer back to if they run into any difficulties.

“Had that been available to me all those years ago, I might have discovered my issue decades earlier.” 

Did your voice change after the cysts were removed?

“The tone and sound was the same, but it was much stronger and I don’t have any breathiness any more, even when I’m tired.” 

How does your voice behave now?

“It’s a joy to sing and I have no concerns whatsoever.” 

How do you take care of your voice on tour, at the Fringe etc?

“Out of habit from so many years of looking after myself, I tend not to drink alcohol when I’m working but that is as much about mental clarity as vocal care. I used to have acid reflux but I don’t any more, so I mainly focus on getting good sleep, staying hydrated and warming down after a show as well as warming up.” 

Are you off to the Edinburgh Fringe this summer?

“I’ll be there for the first week to bed-in two shows I’ve directed: Gertrude Lawrence – A Lovely Way To Spend An Evening, with Lucy Stevens, and Kravitz, Cohen, Bernstein And Me with Deb Filler. I’ll also be running a drop-in for solo performers on August 7, offering solidarity and support to artists on their own.” 

Sarah-Louise Young in The Silent Treatment, Theatre@41, Monkgate, tomorrow (16/7/2023), 7pm. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.

Looking for More Things To Do in York and beyond? I got you, babe. Time to share Hutch’s List No. 105, courtesy of The Press

Made for Chering: Millie O’Connell’s Babe, left, Debbie Kurup’s Star and Danielle Steers’ Lady in The Cher Show: A New Musical. Picture: Matt Crockett

FROM Cher times three and Charlie and that chocolate factory, to G&S and Oliver!, musical entertainment dominates Charles Hutchinson’s diary.

Cher, Cher and Cher alike: The Cher Show: A New Musical, Grand Opera House, York, Tuesday to Saturday, 7.30pm; 2.30pm, Wednesday and Saturday

TURNING back time, Millie O’Connell’s Babe, Danielle Steers’s Lady and Debbie Kurup’s Star share out the Cher role in The Cher Show, the story of the American singer, actress and television personality’s meteoric rise to fame as she flies in the face of convention at every turn.

This celebration of the “Goddess of Pop” and “Queen of Reinvention” packs in 35 hits, I Got You Babe, If I Could Turn Back Time, Strong Enough, The Shoop Shoop Song, Believe et al. Box office: 0844 871 7615 or atgtickets.com/York.

Oliver at the double: Fin Walker, left, and Zachary Pickersgill will be sharing the title role in NE’s production of Oliver!

Community musical of the fortnight: NE in Oliver!, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, November 16 to 19 and 22 to 26, 7.30pm; 2.30pm, Saturday matinees

NE, formerly NE Musicals York and soon to be renamed again, are performing a fortnight’s run for the first time, presenting Lionel Bart’s musical Oliver! in a revised version that complements the familiar songs and characters with added scenes to “bring the story to life in more detail”. 

Two teams of performers will be undertaking alternate performances, led by Zachary Pickersgill and Fin Walker, sharing the role of Oliver Twist, and Henry Barker and Toby Jensen’s Artful Dodger. Director Steve Tearle plays Fagin for the fourth time, joined in the production team by musical director Scott Phillips and choreographer Ellie Roberts. Box office: 01904 501935 or josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.

Exhibition of the week: Lesley Seeger & Katherine Bree, Pigment & Stone, Pyramid Gallery, Stonegate, York, in collaboration until November 27

Jewellery designer Katherine Bree, left, and artist Lesley Seeger in the North Yorkshire countryside

LESLEY Seeger and Katherine Bree form Yorkshire-London collaboration for the painting and gemstone show Pigment & Stone at Pyramid Gallery.

In a celebration of form and colour with an earthy elemental twist, city jewellery designer Katherine has chosen paintings by Huttons Ambo landscape painter Lesley as inspiration for her new collection of gemstone treasures.

Katherine divides her collections into the four elements – earth, air, fire and water – and this provides a perfect complement to Lesley’s elemental paintings, which she describes as “talismans that will reveal themselves over time with their rich histories of place, layers and colour”.

Love-struck at sea: Jack Storey-Hunter’s sailor Ralph and Alexandra Mather’s Josephine, the Captain’s daughter, in York Opera’s HMS Pinafore

Light opera of the week: York Opera in HMS Pinafore, York Theatre Royal, Wednesday to Saturday, 7.30pm; 2.30pm Saturday matinee

YORK Opera sets sail in Gilbert & Sullivan’s operetta HMS Pinafore or The Lass That Loved A Sailor, steered by a new command of stage director Annabel van Griethuysen and conductor Tim Selman.

The story follows Ralph (society newcomer Jack Storey-Hunter), a lovesick sailor, and Josephine (Alexandra Mather), the Captain’s daughter, who are madly in love but kept apart by social hierarchy. All aboard for such G&S favourites as We Sail The Ocean Blue, Never Mind The Why And Wherefore and When I Was A Lad. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory cast members in the rehearsal room at Leeds Playhouse. Picture: Johan Persson

Yorkshire’s big opening of the week: Charlie And The Chocolate Factory – The Musical, Leeds Playhouse, November 18 to January 28

CHOCK-A-BLOCK! Around 30,000 chocoholics have booked their golden ticket already for Leeds Playhouse’s winter musical spectacular, presented in association with Neal Street Productions and Playful Productions ahead of a British tour.

Songs such as The Candy Man and Pure Imagination from the film versions of Roald Dahl’s sweet-toothed adventure will be bolstered by new songs by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. Gareth Snook’s Willy Wonka, Kazmin Borrer’s Veruca Salt and Robin Simoes Da Silva’s Augustus Gloop lead James Brining’s cast; Amelia Minto, Isaac Sugden, Kayleen Nguema and Noah Walton share the role of Charlie Bucket. Box office: 0113 213 7700 or leedsplayhouse.org.uk.

Chloe Latchmore: York Musical Society’s mezzo-soprano soloist for The Armed Man: A Mass For Peace at York Minster

Classical concert of the week: York Musical Society, The Armed Man: A Mass For Peace, York Minster, November 19, 7.30pm

YORK Musical Society’s dramatic performance of Sir Karl Jenkins’s powerful work The Armed Man: A Mass For Peace features full orchestra and soloists soprano Ella Taylor, mezzo-soprano Chloe Latchmore, tenor Greg Tassell and baritone Thomas Humphreys.

Jenkins’s work will be complemented by Joseph Haydn’s lyrical 1796 Mass In Time Of War – Missa In Tempore Belli, also known as Paukenmesse (Kettle Drum Mass in German), on account of its kettle drum solo. Box office: 01904 623568, at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk and on the door.

The poster for South Bank Studios’ Art & Craft Winter Fair at Southlands Methodist Church

Looking for Christmas presents? South Bank Studios Art & Craft Winter Fair, Southlands Methodist Church, November 19, 10am to 5pm

SOUTH Bank Studios’ winter fair assembles 28 artists and crafters, who will be displaying and selling their original artwork and creations, targeted at the Christmas market.

Browers and buyers alike can tour the 18 studios within the church building’s upper floors with a chance to meet assorted artists in situ. Entry is free and refreshments are available throughout the day.

Julie Madly Deeply: Sarah-Louise Young celebrating the life and songs of Dame Julie Andrews at Theatre@41. Picture: Steve Ullathorne

Truly scrumptious show of the week: Sarah-Louise Young in Julie Madly Deeply, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, November 20, 7.30pm

AFTER her glorious An Evening Without Kate Bush, Fringe favourite Sarah-Louise Young returns to York with her West End and Off-Broadway smash in celebration of “genuine showbiz icon” Dame Julie Andrews.

Fascinating Aida alumna Young’s charming yet cheeky cabaret takes a look at fame and fandom by intertwining Andrews’ songs from Mary Poppins, The Sound Of Music and My Fair with stories and anecdotes of her life, from her beginnings as a child star to the challenges of losing her singing voice, in a humorous, candid love letter to a showbusiness survivor. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.

Strictly between them: Ten – yes ten, count’em – Strictly Come Dancing professionals will be sashaying their way to York Barbican next May

Hot ticket of the week: Get a move on for Strictly Come Dancing – The Professionals, York Barbican, May 12 2023

 HURRY, hurry! The last few tickets are still on sale for a spectacular line-up of ten professional dancers from the hit BBC show: Strictly professionals Dianne Buswell; Vito Coppola; Carlos Gu; Karen Hauer; Neil Jones; Nikita Kuzmin; Gorka Marquez; Luba Mushtuk; Jowita Przystal and Nancy Xu.

“Don’t miss your chance to see these much-loved dancers coming together to perform in a theatrical ensemble that will simply take your breath away,” says the Barbican blurb. Box office: ticketmaster.co.uk/strictly-come-dancing-the-professionals-2023-york.