More Things To Do in York and at home in what’s left of Lockdown 2020 and beyond. List No. 18, courtesy of The Press, York

We face the second wave…but somewhere on the horizon….

AFTER the tiers of a clown, now comes the even greater frustration of Lockdown 2 from today, knocking the growing revival of arts, culture and life in general back into hibernation.

Nevertheless, in one chink of light, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has decreed that theatre companies can continue rehearsing shows in Covid-secure workspaces, behind closed doors, with a view to lockdown being lifted in early December.

Whether that turns out to be a mere fairytale, only time will tell, so please forgive the unpredictability of what may or may not be happening.

Charles Hutchinson picks through the debris of Lockdown 2 to find signs of artistic life for now and the months ahead.

Films, films and yet more films: Aesthetica Short Film Festival has a feast of film to enjoy while being stuck at home in lockdown

It’s started and it won’t finish until November 30: Aesthetica Short Film Festival online

YORK’S tenth anniversary Aesthetica Short Film Festival opened on Tuesday, switching from a spread of historic and modern locations to a digital and live-streamed festival for home entertainment, enlightenment and education on phones, TV sets, tablets and computers.

Films in competition at ASFF 2020 will span animation, documentary, drama, dance, fashion and thriller. This year they will be released in six strands this week, with no fewer than ten programmes per day under the strand titles of Just Another Day On Earth; Humans And Their Environment; Connections: People, Places and Identity; Breaking Down Barriers; Reclaiming Space: Universal And Personal and Keep On The Sunny Side Of Life.

Masterclasses, guest speakers, panel discussions, guest film programmes and an industry market are further highlights of an online festival unimpeded by the new lockdown. Go to asff.co.uk for tickets and to download the full programme.

Kate Bramley’s latest podcast: “Some strange and wonderful goings on at the allotment”

Fighting off the new lockdown blues: Badapple Theatre’s Theatre On Your Desktop podcast

GREEN Hammerton’s Badapple Theatre Company has added a new Kate Bramley play to its Theatre On Your Desktop series as it extends its lockdown season of free podcasts. 

Click on https://badappletheatreonyourdesktop.podbean.com/ for The World Is Still Next Door, artistic director Bramley’s account of some strange and wonderful goings on at the allotment as Mo and her young son search for a place to fight off the lockdown blues.

Set during four sunny days in May in deep lockdown, Bramley’s play seeks to capture the power of soundscapes to inspire imagination. “I got really interested in the idea of creating a new short piece with many voices of varying ages and accents, as well as delving into sound montages that evoke settings from our local Yorkshire all the way to Watamu Beach in Kenya,” says Kate. “With a bit of Badapple signature magic-realism thrown in for good measure.”

All roads lead to…21 York wards for York magician and entertainer Josh Benson in York Theatre Royal’s Travelling Pantomime next month

Travelling Pantomime, not travailing pantomime, as the show must go on…hopefully: York Theatre Royal’s alternative neighbourhood watch

YORK Theatre Royal began rehearsals in the billiards room on Tuesday for associate director Juliet Forster’s Travelling Pantomime production.

It could still be pot luck whether the first collaboration between Evolution Pantomimes and the Theatre Royal will go ahead, everything hanging on Lockdown 2’s fate, but plans are taking rapid shape to cement the itinerary for a tour of 21 York wards from December 3, plus York Theatre Royal performances too.

Just Josh magician and entertainer Josh Benson, Robin Simpson’s Dame Dolly, Anna Soden’s Fairy/Singing Captain, Faye Campbell’s Jack/Dick and Reuben Johnson’s villainous Fleshcreep/Ratticus Flinch will rehearse three pantomimes, Jack And The Beanstalk, Dick Whittington and Snow White, all scripted by Evolution’s Paul Hendy, for each show’s audience to vote for which panto they want to see.  

Bean team: top row, from left, Jordan Fox, May Tether, Ian Stroughair and Livvy Evans; bottom row, Alex Weatherhill, Emily Taylor, Matthew Ives and Danielle Mullan

The other Jack And The Beanstalk in York this Christmas: York Stage at Theatre @41 Monkgate, York, December 11 to 30

YORK Stage are going full team ahead with their inaugural pantomime, to be staged in the Covid-secure John Cooper Studio, where Perspex screens will be in place for the first time for the traverse staging.

Writer-director Nik Briggs has added West End choreographer Gary Lloyd to his production team, proclaiming: We’re taking our West End-worthy panto to the next level with the addition of Gary to our company.”

Jordan Fox, May Tether, Livvy Evans, Alex Weatherhill, Ian Stroughair, Danielle Mullan, Emily Taylor and Matthew Ives will be the cast bringing life to Briggs’s debut panto script.

Yorkshire Pudding Song: Martin Barrass will lead the Song Sheet singing at Bev Jones Music Company’s Strictly Xmas In The Park concert

Barrass is back: Bev Jones Music Company in Strictly Xmas In The Park, Rowntree Park, Amphitheatre, York, December 13, 2pm

MARTIN Barrass will be starring in a York pantomime after all this winter. Dame Berwick’s perennial comic stooge may be missing out on the Covid-cancelled Kaler comeback in Dick Turpin Rides Again at the Grand Opera House, but now he will lead the pantomime section of Strictly Xmas Live In The Park.

As part of Bev Jones Music Company’s Covid-secure, socially distanced, open-air performance, Barrass will tell a few jokes and orchestrate the song-sheet rendition of You Can’t Put A Better Bit Of Batter On Your Platter Than A Good Old Yorkshire Pud.

Barrass will wear black and pink to honour the late Bev’s favourite colour combination.

Helen Charlston: Performing at the York Early Music Christmas Festival

Early notice: York Early Music Christmas Festival, National Centre for Early Music, York, December 4 to 13

AS the NCEM website states: “We are planning for these concerts to go ahead and are still selling tickets. If the situation changes, we will of course be in touch.”

Fingers crossed, then, for a socially distanced festival in St Margaret’s Church, Walmgate, featuring Palisander, The Marian Consort, Illyria Consort, Joglaresa, The York Waits and Bethany Seymour, Helen Charlston, Frederick Long and Peter Seymour.

Among the highlights, on December 9, festival favourites The York Waits will present The Waits’ Wassail: Music for Advent and Christmas: Carols, songs and dance from across medieval and renaissance England and Europe, played on shawms and sackbuts by York’s Renaissance town band.

Duran Duran: Making their Scarborough Open Air Theatre debut next summer

A hat-trick of new shows on the East Coast: Duran Duran, Lewis Capaldi and Snow Patrol at Scarborough Open Air Theatre

IN quick succession, Duran Duran, Lewis Capaldi and Snow Patrol have been confirmed for Cuffe and Taylor’s ever-expanding programme at Britain’s biggest purpose-built outdoor concert arena.

Booked in for July 7, Birmingham glam pop band Duran Duran will introduce their first new material since 2015, alongside such favourites as Save A Prayer, Rio, Girls On Film and The Reflex.

Lewis Capaldi: “Buzzing” to be back at Scarborough Open Air Theatre in 2021

Glaswegian singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi sold out two nights at Scarborough OAT in 2019 and says he is “buzzing” to be returning on July 25 next summer. “It’s a great venue, the crowds there are always unreal and so here’s to another unforgettable night,” he says.

Snow Patrol’s sold-out 2020 Scarborough show had to be scrapped under Covid restrictions but Gary Lightbody’s band are now booked in for July 3 2021. Tickets for all three shows go on sale tomorrow morning at 9am via scarboroughopenairtheatre.com.

Kate Rusby at Christmas…now online

And what about?

THE Kate Rusby At Christmas tour will not be happening, ruling out her South Yorkshire pub carol concert at York Barbican on December 20.

However, in response to the Covid restrictions, the Barnsley folk nightingale has decided to go online instead, presenting Kate Rusby’s Happy Holly Days on December 12 at 7.30pm (GMT). Expect all the usual Rusby Christmas ingredients: sparkly dress, twinkling lights, her regular folk band, her “brass boys”, Ruby the reindeer and a fancy-dress finale.

Tickets go on sale on Friday (6/11/2020) via https://katerusby.com/happy-holly-day/

Snow Patrol head to sunny Scarborough Open Air Theatre for July 2021 show

Back on Patrol: Snow Patrol re-book cancelled Scarborough Open Air Theatre gig for July 2021

FIRST Duran Duran, then Lewis Capaldi, now Snow Patrol, as Gary Lightbody’s band completes a hat-trick of new additions in quick succession to next summer’s Scarborough Open Air Theatre programme.

Tickets for Snow Patrol’s July 3 concert will go on general sale at 9am on Friday (6/11/2020) via scarboroughopenairtheatre.com

Snow Patrol were booked to play Scarborough OAT this summer, only for the sold-out July 4 show to be ruled out by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Concert programmer Peter Taylor, of Scarborough OAT promoters Cuffe and Taylor, says:“We were gutted when the 2020 season had to be postponed, so we are delighted to be able to confirm Snow Patrol are heading to Scarborough in 2021.

“They are a hugely successful and influential band who have written and recorded some of the best-loved indie rock anthems of the last 20 years. These special songs are going to sound amazing at this unique venue. It’s going to be an incredible night.”

Gary Lightbody, guitar and vocals, Johnny McDaid, keyboards and guitar, Nathan Connolly, guitar, Paul Wilson, bass and Jonny Quinn, drums, have chalked up 17 million global album sales, one billion global track streams, five UK platinum-selling albums, an Ivor Novello award, and Grammy and Mercury Music Prize nominations.

Formed in Dundee, Snow Patrol broke into the mainstream in 2003 with their Final Straw album, riding high on the top five hit Run.2006’s Eyes Open propelled the Northern Irish-Scottish band to a worldwide audience as Chasing Cars became British radio’s most played song of the 21st century.

After taking time out, Snow Patrol returned in 2018 with Wildness, their first studio album in seven years, followed up with a live tour topped off with a homecoming gig for Lightbody, playing to 35,000 fans in his birthplace of Bangor, Northern Ireland.

During lockdown, Lightbody and co recorded The Fireside Sessions EP with the help of a few thousand friends. The five songs were written by fans during a series of streams on Instagram Live dubbed Saturday Songwrite.

In a nod to this collaboration, the EP was released under the banner of Snow Patrol And The Saturday Songwriters. All proceeds from sales are going to anti-poverty charity The Trussell Trust.

More dates will be added to a Scarborough OAT 2021 concert programme running to ten shows already. Watch this space.

Lewis Capaldi to play Scarborough Open Air Theatre next summer after 2019 sell-outs

“I can’t wait to return next summer,” says Lewis Capaldi as he announces his 2021 Scarborough show

LEWIS Capaldi is “buzzing” to be returning to Scarborough Open Air Theatre next summer.

The 24-year-old Glaswegian singer-songwriter will head to the Yorkshire coast on Sunday, July 25 2021 after selling out two nights – July 20 and August 30 – at Britain’s largest purpose-built outdoor arena in record time in 2019.

Tickets will go on general sale via scarboroughopenairtheatre.com at 9am on Friday, November 6.

“Buzzing to be back playing in Yorkshire again,” says the chart-topping, two-time BRIT Award winner. “Scarborough 2019 was absolutely class, so I can’t wait to return next summer. It’s a great venue, the crowds there are always unreal and so here’s to another unforgettable night.” 

Capaldi was nominated for the Critics’ Choice Award at the 2019 BRITs before his breakthrough single, Someone You Loved, topped the UK chart for seven weeks and hit the top spot the US Billboard Hot 100 too.

A nomination for a Grammy Award for Song of the Year ensued, along with a place in UK pop history as the longest-running top ten single of all time by a British artist.

Capaldi’s debut album, Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent, was not only the top-seller of 2019 but is on track to match that feat in 2020. Boasting the singles Before You Go, Grace, Hollywood and Bruises, it is yet to vacate the UK top ten more than 18 months after its release.

His 2021 diary is filling up with headline shows at arenas and festivals across Europe, Scarborough et al.

Scarborough Open Air Theatre programmer Peter Taylor, of promoters Cuffe and Taylor, says: “Lewis Capaldi is quite simply a music phenomenon – a brilliant live performer, a great guy and someone we are beyond delighted to see return.

“When we booked his two Scarborough OAT shows in 2019, they were the biggest headline gigs Lewis had ever announced and they sold out in record time.

“Those shows will live long in the memory as brilliant, magical nights, and so to welcome Lewis back in 2021 – for what will undoubtedly be his third sell-out show here – is really special.”

Leeds Festival goes for six of the best by doubling up on headliners for 2021 return

The 2021 line-up of headliners and early confirmed acts for Leeds Festival and its sister event, Reading Festival

LEEDS Festival will have headliners at the double next summer after last week’s no-show in Covid-2020.

Croydon rapper Stormzy and ex-Oasis lippy lead vox Liam Gallagher, bill toppers from this summer’s scrapped event, will have their day in the Bramham Park sun/rain, joined by four 2021 additions: American rapper Post Malone, rock bands Catfish And The Bottlemen and Queens Of The Stone Age and dance duo Disclosure, who released their new album, Energy, last Friday.

Only Rage Against The Machine from the 2020 headliners will not be at next summer’s August 27 to 29 event.

The six headliners will be split between Main Stage West and Main Stage East in what Melvin Benn, managing director of promoters Festival Republic, calls Leeds Festival’s “most epic plan yet”.

Gallagher will be the Friday headliner on Main Stage East; Queens Of The Stone Age, Friday, Main Stage West; Stormzy, Saturday, East; Catfish And The Bottlemen, Saturday, West; Post Malone, Sunday, East, and Disclosure, Sunday, West.

Further acts confirmed for next summer are Lewis Capaldi; Two Door Cinema Club;  Doja Cat; Mabel; AJ Tracey; Fever 333; DaBaby; Ashnikko; MK; 100 Geks; Lyra; Madison Beer; Sofi Tucker and Beabadoobee.

Tickets go on sale on Thursday (September 3) from 9am at leedsfestival.com and via Ticketmaster. Tickets bought for this summer will remain valid; alternatively, refunds will be available.

Benn envisages that entry to Bramham Park, near Wetherby, will be monitored by an NHS-linked tracing app, to be shown at the security gates.