Comedian Maisie Adam’s Harrogate homecoming has her buzzing on first tour

“The hair is fun, the live performance is way funnier,” said the London Evening Standard of Maisie Adam’s haircut, the one to rival David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane for multiple choices across one barnet. Picture: Matt Crockett

MAISIE Adam took her first stage steps in youth theatre sessions in the Harrogate Theatre Studio.

Born in Pannal just outside the spa town, this former head girl at St Aidan’s High School would later return to the top-floor Studio in her fledgling days on the comedy circuit to perform at the Harrogate Comedy Festival.

Now, comedian, actor and writer Maisie is looking forward to tomorrow’s homecoming when she graduates to Harrogate Theatre’s main stage on her first UK tour, Buzzed.

The gig has sold out, as has tonight’s date at Leeds City Varieties Music Hall, although tickets remain available for The Leadmill, Sheffield, next Thursday.

“It’s super-exciting,” says a suitably buzzing Maisie, 28. “It’s wonderful any time I go back, but going there with this show, in that specific venue, will be special. Whenever I’ve performed there, it’s always been in the Studio, but this time, being in the big room, feels very touching.

“I’ll be channelling Tim Stedman,” says Maisie Adam, who every winter visits Harrogate Theatre’s pantomime, led by the boundless comic buffoonery of Stedman’s village idiot, pictured here in Snow White

“Me and my family go to the pantomime every year to watch Tim Stedman. He is pantomime! He’s fantastic. That’s the level of comedy you have to bring to the stage, so I’ll be channelling Tim Stedman!”

Post-Harrogate Youth Theatre and the National Youth Theatre, Maisie trained at East 15 Acting School in Southend, graduating with a BA in Acting and Community Theatre. However, after initial plans to act and write, including a Laurence Marks sitcom-writing mentorship in 2015, a return home to Yorkshire and temp jobs led to her comedy road-to-Damascus conversion in 2016.

Wholly inexperienced, Maisie did a full hour’s set in her stand-up debut gig at Ilkley Literature Festival as her first show took shape under the title of Living On The Edge.

Acting involves subsuming yourself to play another character, sometimes using it as a shield for shyness, in a team environment, whereas stand-up comedy is all about being yourself on stage, on your own, maybe even playing an exaggerated version of you, performing your own words.

“I think it’s that whole thing of fear,” starts Maisie. Not in comedy, but in theatre. “When you’re doing comedy, you’re in control. If it goes well, you get all the cheers. If it goes wrong, you can’t blame anyone else.

“If you’re continually doing the same play, you can get bored, but with stand-up, it’s different every night,” says Maisie. Picture: Matt Crockett

“But with acting, you could be a really good actor, but if the script isn’t good, or the other actors aren’t particularly good, or the director isn’t, or the show just isn’t working, you’re not in control.

“With comedy, there’s definitely that thing of being an extension of yourself, and there’s loads you can do with that, because it’s a chance to improvise.

“The more you do comedy, the better you get at it – and it’s fun as well! If you’re continually doing the same play, you can get bored, but with stand-up, it’s different every night, the venue, the audience, the interaction.”

Maisie made rapid advances on the comedy circuit with her anecdotal material and convivial manner. Within months of that Ilkley debut she won the UK’s largest stand-up contest, So You Think You’re Funny?, followed a year later by the Amused Moose National Comic Award for Vague, her 2018 debut Edinburgh Fringe show about being diagnosed with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy at 14.

Television appearances on Have I Got News For You, A League of Their Own, 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, Mock The Week and The Last Leg have piled up, and a podcast with fellow comedian Tom Lucy, That’s A First, has been running since 2019.

“The worst thing that can happen with comedy is that you feel safe and secure,” says Maisie. “If that happens, you’re not doing it right.” Picture: Matt Crockett

She loves the unpredictability of stand-up, the need to stay on her toes and keep her comedy radar tuned. “The worst thing that can happen with comedy is that you feel safe and secure. If that happens, you’re not doing it right,” says Maisie.

“You should want anything to happen on the night, and as long as you have a loose structure, knowing that ‘x’ and ‘y’ will be happening, then you can move things around and be open to anything.”

Buzzed, her follow-up to her 2019 show Hang Fire, has been extended from the regulatory 60-minute maximum at the Edinburgh Fringe – or 70 minutes as the Guardian review said – for the 2022-2023 tour. “It was 60 minutes,” says Maisie. “It was just that when you have other shows going on before and after you every day, that day the shows were running ten minutes late.”

Buzzed now opens with a 30-minute “very spontaneous, anything-can-happen” first half, then a break, followed by the full Buzzed show. One that the Guardian reviewer said was “bursting with puppyish pleasure”.

“Don’t tell me about reviews,” steps in Maisie. “I don’t read them. You’re being judged by someone who’s never done comedy but just goes and watches. That would be like me ‘reviewing’ Wimbledon. I mean, I enjoy watching tennis but why would I need to review what was good about someone’s tennis performance?!”

Leeds United: One of the two great loves of Maisie Adam’s life

While on the subject of sport, Wikipedia’s Maisie profile sums up her personal life as: Lives in Brighton. Engaged to Mike Dobinson as of December 2021. Also a Leeds United fan.

Mr Dobinson or the maddening LUFC, Maisie, who do you love more? “I think they’re of equal status! They’re the two loves of my life. 100 per cent.” One is much better for her mental health, however, she adds.

Her relationships, whether in love or with houseplants, feature in Buzzed and so does the footballing aplomb of 5ft 11inch Maisie. “I played at a relatively high standard as a kid. I got to county level,” she says. “I still play in a league in Brighton, but more of that in the show.”

Why settle in Brighton, Maisie? “I just needed to be nearer London, but the idea of living in London filled me with dread.”

Maisie Adam: Buzzed, Leeds City Varieties, tonight, 8pm, sold out; Harrogate Theatre, tomorrow, 8pm, sold out; The Leadmill, Sheffield, October 13, doors 7pm; Pocklington Arts Centre, February 17 2023 and The Wardrobe, Leeds, March 3 2023. Box office: Sheffield, 0114 272 7040 or; Pocklington, 01759 301547 or; Leeds, 0113 3838800 or

More Things To Do in York and beyond: The Mirror Crack’d and other cracking ideas. Hutch’s List No. 100, from The Press

On the case: Susie Blake’s bandaged Miss Marple and Oliver Boot’s Detective Inspector Craddock in the Original Theatre Company’s production of The Mirror Crack’d. Picture: Ali Wright

COINCIDING with Miss Marple’s arrival, Charles Hutchinson  applies his investigative skills to to pick out the best prospects to see, whether usual or unusual.  

Mystery of the week: Original Theatre Company in Agatha Christie’s The Mirror Crack’d, York Theatre Royal, Tuesday to Saturday, 7.30pm; 2pm, Thursday; 2.30pm, Saturday

SUSIE Blake’s Miss Marple, Sophie Ward and Joe McFadden lead the cast in Rachel Wagstaff’s stage adaptation of Agatha Christie’s 1962 psychological thriller, a story of revenge and the dark secrets that we all hide.

In the sleepy village of St Mary Mead, a new housing estate is making villagers curious and fearful. Even stranger, a rich American film star has bought the Manor House. Cue a vicious murder; cue Jane Marple defying a sprained ankle to unravel a web of lies, tragedy and danger. Box office: 01904 623568 or

On the move: Dance time for the Barbara Taylor School of Dancing at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre

Every body dance: It’s Dance Time 2022, Barbara Taylor School of Dancing, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, today, 2.30pm and 7.30pm

IT’S Dance Time is “a festival arrangement of dance, infused together to arrange a variety of dance styles”, featuring the whole Barbara Taylor School of Dancing intake.

From tiny toes to fully grown, this song-and- dance parade through the years takes in Commercial Ballet, Tap, and Freestyle Jazz, finishing off with excerpts from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Box office: 01904 501935 or

Bingham String Quartet: Playing the first Saturday evening concert of the new York Late Music season

Season launch of the week: York Late Music presents Jakob Fichert, today, 1pm, and Bingham String Quartet, today, 7.30pm, St Saviourgate Unitarian Chapel, York

ON the first weekend of its 2022-2023 season, York Late Music returns with its regular format of a lunchtime and evening concert. First up, pianist Jakob Fichert marks the 75th birthday of American composer John Adams by performing his works China Gates and American Berserk.

Later, the Bingham String Quartet play string quartets by Beethoven, Schnittke, LeFanu and Tippett, preceded by a talk at 6.45pm by Steve Bingham with a complimentary glass of wine or juice. Tickets: or on the door.

Graham Norton: Discussing his darkly comic new novel, Forever Home, at York Theatre Royal

Novel event of the week:  An Evening With Graham Norton, York Theatre Royal, Monday, 7.30pm

BBC broadcaster, Virgin Radio presenter and novelist Graham Norton is on a promotional tour for his new book, Forever Home, published this week by Coronet. Set in a small Irish town, it revolves around divorced teacher Carol, whose second chance of love brings her unexpected connection, a shared home and a sense of belonging in a darkly comic story of coping with life’s extraordinary challenges.

In conversation with author and presenter Konnie Huq, Norton will discuss the novel’s themes and how he creates his characters and atmospheric locations, share tales from his career and reveal what inspired him to pick up a pen and start writing, with room for audience questions too. Tickets update: sold out; for returns only, check

Sax to the max: Jean Toussaint leads his quintet at the NCEM

Jazz gig of the week: Jean Toussaint Quintet, National Centre for Early Music, York, Wednesday, 7.30pm

SAXOPHONIST Jean Toussaint, who came to prominence in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in 1982, after his Berklee College of Music studies in Boston, has released 12 albums since moving to London in 1987.

His latest, Songs For Sisters Brothers And Others, reflects on the turbulent Covid-19 years. “The pandemic caused me to focus on the fragility of life and the fact we’re here one moment and gone the next,” he says of penning songs as a “tribute to my wonderful siblings while they were still around to enjoy it”.

Joining him in York will be Freddie Gavita, trumpet, Jonathan Gee, piano, Conor Murray, bass, and Shane Forbes, drums. Box office: 01904 658338 or

Feel like dancing? Leo Sayer steps out at York Barbican on Friday

The rearranged show must go on: Leo Sayer, York Barbican, Friday, 7.30pm

DELAYED by the pandemic, Leo Sayer’s York show now forms part of a 2022 tour to mark his 50th anniversary in pop.

Sayer, 74, who lives in Australia, is back on home soil with his not-so-one-man band to perform a setlist sure to feature  One Man Band, Thunder In My Heart, Moonlighting, I Can’t Stop Loving You, More Than I Can Say, Have You Ever Been In Love, When I Need You, You Make Me Feel Like Dancing and, yes, The Show Must Go On. Box office:

Buzzing: Maisie Adam heads home for Harrogate Theatre gig. Picture: Matt Crockett

Homecoming of the week: Maisie Adam: Buzzed, Harrogate Theatre, October 8, 8pm

BORN in Pannal and former head girl at St Aidan’s in Harrogate, anecdotal stand-up Maisie Adam heads home next Saturday on her first full-scale British tour to discuss relationships, house plants, her footballing aplomb, hopefully her beloved Leeds United and that haircut, the one to rival David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane for multiple choices across one barnet.

Adam played her first gig at the Ilkley Literature Festival in 2016 and won the nationwide So You Think You’re Funny? Competition in 2017. Now she pops up on Mock The Week and Have I Got News and co-hosts the podcast That’s A First. She also plays Leeds City Varieties on Friday. Box office: Harrogate, 01423 502116 or; Leeds, 0113 243 0808 or

Digging the digital: The poster for Foto/Grafic’s Human After All digital-media exhibition at Fossgate Social and Micklegate Social

One exhibition, two locations: Foto/Grafic, Human After All, at Micklegate Social and Fossgate Social, York, today until November 27.

TWO sister bars that “show a bit of art every now and then championing local and innovative creativity” present Foto/Grafic’s group show from this weekend.

Human After All features digital-media artwork by young and early-career artists in celebration of their “leap from physical earthbound creations to the stratosphere of the unlimited digital toolbox”.

December Morning, by Judy Burnett

Exhibition launch of the week outside York: Judy Burnett, Time And Tide, Morten Gallery, High Street, Old Town, Bridlington, today until November 13; open Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm

YORK artist Judy Burnett’s latest show of paintings and collages at Morten Gallery winds its way across the Wolds from the River Ouse in York to the sea.

Over time, water in all its forms has created the East Yorkshire landscape, firstly as a melting glacier at the end of the Ice Age, gouging out deep valleys and folds on its way down to the Vale of York.

The River Ouse then connects with other Yorkshire waterways to spill out into the North Sea at the mouth of the Humber and return on the tide to crash onto the cliffs of the Wolds coastline.

Judy lives by the Ouse in York, with a view from her studio window directly onto the riverbank, leading to the changing effects of light on moving water being an inspiration for her work. The colours and rhythms of the water alter with the weather, the time of day, the seasons and the frequent floods.

This interest in the luminosity and movement of water is also reflected in Judy’s many paintings of the Yorkshire coast, most particularly at Flamborough Head and Bridlington.

During the past year, she has made many trips across the Wolds, observing the rich tapestry of the countryside that links the river to the sea.

Her sketches are completed on-site in varying weather conditions. Back in the studio, they are developed in a range of media, utilising hand-printed collage paper and paint. The aim is to keep all the mark-making fresh and spontaneous, to echo the power of the elements at the time of observation.

 A Meet The Artist event will be held on October 22, from 1pm to 3pm, when “you are welcome to join us for a glass of wine and to enjoy the 30 pieces of work, together with Judy’s sketchbooks on display,” says gallery owner Jenny Morten.

REVIEW: Live At The Theatre Royal Comedy Night, York Theatre Royal, July 1

Ed Byrne: Unexpected cameo…on the phone

ED Byrne did appear at the debut Live At Theatre Royal Comedy Night after all. On late substitute Milton Jones’s mobile phone in an impromptu exchange where Jones had the last word, over and over, setting up Ed for his genial jibes like Federer putting away a backhand passing shot.

“Byrne out” had struck this gig when the whimsical Irishman’s own phone had pinged him with the message of our times: “You Need To Self-Isolate” , until 23.59pm on July 7.

Byrne was indeed at home, doing passing-the-time things, by way of contrast with this fast-moving, no-interval comedy bill, kept on its toes in brisk fashion by host Arthur Smith, who was largely in rather jollier mood than his usual lugubrious, Grumpy Old Man schtick, as casual as his summer shorts.

So, here was the alternative Smith and Jones show, plus Rhys James in his first gig since times BC (before Covid) and Maisie Adam, the Pannal humorist familiar from panel shows, still defiantly sporting her half-shaven lockdown hair.

Maisie Adam; Hair-larious set back in God’s Own Country

James, looking impossibly boyish as he hits 30 this year, is from the time-honoured school of cheeky chappy comedy, full of wry observations and a winning line in self-deprecation, not least over sharing a name – albeit spelt differently – with England’s full back Reece James. He found his feet back on the comedy turf rather better than his namesake in his Euro 2020 debut against Scotland.

Maisie Adam, enthusiastic football player in a Brighton women’s team and fabulous storyteller, was loving being back home in Pannal, visiting Ripon and taking the train across the Knaresborough viaduct.

Like James, she was adjusting to a return to audience interaction after a surfeit of streamed gigs into the silent digital ether, an experience much like howling into the wind, and how she relished the sound of laughter, so vital to a comic’s timing and rhythm. Such delightful, sometimes daft, often astute company, the fearless, forthright Maisie is on the unstoppable rise, you better Adam and Eve it.

In the absence – save for that surprise phone cameo – of ‘edliner Ed Byrne, comedy paradise was found in Milton, the joker with a quip in every soundbite, a pun-slinger always one step ahead of the audience guessing games.

Milton Jones: Late substitute struck comedy gold

Hair wilder than Doddy, Hawaiian shirt as over-excitable as a teenager’s first holiday away from the parental grip, Jones had a hit rate of word-play gags so consistent, so precise, it was the equivalent of reducing a dartboard to only the bullseye and still never missing.

Behind the deadpan delivery, his abundant sense of mischief, gift for mimicry, smart political sensibility and unerring radar for what’s funny without the need for offence, all wrapped inside his endless joy in a one-liner, were such welcome light relief after so many months of darkness.

In Damian Cruden’s two decades of artistic directorship, comedy nights were strangely absent from the York Theatre Royal calendar, but chief executive Tom Bird is now taking a different tack, and you can surely expect more bills to follow the lead of the Smith and Jones show.

Ed Byrne out, Milton Jones in, as York Theatre Royal makes late line-up change

Byrne out: “Unable to appear due to circumstances beyond the Theatre Royal’s control”

OFF with his ‘Edliner! Comedian Ed Byrne will not top the Live At The Theatre Royal comedy bill in York on Thursday after all.

“We are sorry to announce that due to circumstances beyond our control, Ed Byrne is now unable to appear,” says the York Theatre Royal .

No Byrne’s night in York, but well equipped to take over at short notice is quip-witted pun-slinger Milton Jones.

Shock of the new: Milton Jones looks startled by his late call-up for the Live At The Theatre Royal comedy night

The shock-haired, excitable-shirted absurdist with the quiver of arrow-sharp one-liners will be joined by Rhys James and Maisie Adam, introduced by lugubrious host Arthur Smith. 

“If you have already booked your tickets, you do not need to do anything and we look forward to seeing you on Thursday,” says the box office. “If you need to contact us about your booking, please email or call 01904 623568 between 12 noon and 3pm. Our team will be happy to answer any questions and help in any way they can.”

To check ticket availability, go to

‘When a joke makes a good point, I think people enjoy it,” says York-bound Ed Byrne

Ed Byrne: Topping the bill at York Theatre Royal next Thursday

JULY I will be Ed Byrne’s night in York when the observational Southern Irish comedian headlines an all-star bill for the Live At The Theatre Royal Comedy Night.

Byrne, 49, from Swords, County Dublin, has presented the television shows Just For Laughs and Uncut! Best Unseen Ads and co-hosted BBC2’s The World’s Most Dangerous Roads, Dara And Ed’s Big Adventure and Dara And Ed’s Road To Mandalay with fellow Irish humorist Dara O Briain.

He is a regular guest on numerous television panel games, most notably Mock The Week and Have I Got News For You and has appeared on TV cooking shows, such as Comic Relief Bake Off 2015. As a semi-professional hill-walker and fully paid-up humanist, he brought a refreshing warmth and honesty to BBC2’s The Pilgrimage.

Byrne last played York in March 2018, presenting his Spoiler Alert tour show at the Grand Opera House, where he explored the thin line between righteous complaining and brattish whining as he asked: “Are we right to be fed up or are we spoiled?”

Joining the self-deprecating Bryne will be Mock The Week’s whip-smart wordsmith Rhys James and Have I Got News For You panellist-in-lockdown Maisie Adam, who performed from her living room on the second Your Place Comedy bill with prankster Simon Brodkin last May, as part of the virtual home entertainment series organised by Selby Town Council arts officer Chris Jones.

July 1’s 7.30pm show will be hosted by legendary compere-beyond-compare Arthur Smith, the veteran gloomy weather-faced comedian and presenter from Bermondsey, London.

Tickets cost £20 at or on 01904 623568.

The importance of being honest: Ed Byrne will play Harrogate Theatre on his autumn tour

ED Byrne’s Live At The Theatre Royal Comedy Night in York next Thursday is a one-off, detached from his If I’m Honest tour.

To see that show in North Yorkshire, you will have to wait until October 12 at Harrogate Theatre, when he will delve into a father’s sense of responsibility, what it means to be a man in 2021, and whether he possesses any qualities worth passing on to his two sons.

Noted for his whimsy, Byrne is more serious in tone in If I’m Honest. Take gender politics, for example. “I’ll admit that there are things where men get a raw deal,” he says. ‘We have higher suicide rates, and we tend not to do well in divorces, but representation in action movies is not something we have an issue with.

“It was Mad Max: Fury Road that kicked it all off, even though nobody complained about Ripley in Alien or Sarah Connor in Terminator 2. Of course, social media means this stuff gets broadcast far and wide in an instant, which emboldens people.”

Byrne continues: “The problem with men’s rights activists is that it’s not about speaking up for men’s rights, it’s about hating women. If you’re a men’s rights activist, you’re not going to care about the fact that there’s an all-female Ghostbusters remake.

“That’s nothing to do with men’s rights or female entitlement. That’s everything to do with being, well, a whiny baby.”

Byrne judges how to be provocative without being too polemical. “I did stuff about Trump and the Pizzagate right wing conspiracy, and a couple of the reviewers said, “Oh, I would have liked to have watched a whole show of this’. And I think, ‘well, you might have, but the average person who comes to see me would not like to see that’. I like to make a point or get something off my chest, or perhaps I’m talking about something that’s been on my mind, but the majority of stuff is just to get laughs,” he says.

“People who come to see me are not political activists necessarily, they’re regular folk. If you can make a point to them, in between talking about your struggles with ageing, or discussing your hernia operation or whatever it is, you can toss in something that does give people pause as regards to how men should share the household chores.”

“There’s something very satisfying about your audience growing old with you,” says Ed Byrne, who will hit 50 in 2022

Byrne goes on: “It’s not that I feel a responsibility. I think it just feels more satisfying when you’re doing it, and it feels more satisfying when people hear it. When a joke makes a good point, I think people enjoy it. It’s the difference between having a steak and eating a chocolate bar.”

As the show title would suggest, If I’m Honest pumps up the tendency towards self-deprecation. “I do genuinely annoy myself,” he admits. “But the thing of your children being a reflection of you gives you an opportunity to build something out of the best of yourself, only for you to then see flashes of the worst of yourself in them. It’s a wake-up call about your own behaviour.”

Byrne observes that “self-aggrandising humour is a lot harder to pull off than self-deprecating humour”. “A lot of people get really annoyed when Ricky Gervais is self-congratulatory,” he says. “I always find it very funny when he accepts awards and does so in the most big-headed way possible. I think it’s a trickier type of humour to pull off, talking yourself up in that way.

“I don’t think I’m being massively hard on myself. The fact is when you’re the bloke who is standing on the stage with the microphone, commanding an audience’s attention, you’re in a very elevated position anyway.”

If I’m Honest expresses the frustration that comes with middle age. “I’m bored looking for things, I’m bored of trying to find stuff, because I can never find it, and it is entirely my fault,” says Byrne.

“Nobody’s hiding my stuff from me. Although my wife did actually move my passport on one occasion.”

Amid the mordant and occasionally morbid humour, If I’m Honest accommodates quietly triumphant moments too. “I thought I was being quite upbeat talking about the small victories,” says Byrne. “You know, finding positivity in being able to spot when a cramp was about to happen in your leg and dealing with it before it does. I was very happy with myself about that.”

Next April, Byrne will turn 50. “You see comics who are my age and older but are still retaining a level of ‘cool’ and drawing a young crowd. I can’t deny that I’m quite envious of that,” he says. “But there’s also something very satisfying about your audience growing old with you.”

Ed Byrne, If I’m Honest, Harrogate Theatre, October 12, 8pm. Box office: 01423 502116 or at

More Things To Do in York and beyond and on the home front in loosened lockdown. List No. 32, courtesy of The Press, York

Love letters straight to your art from York Theatre Royal’s reopening show, Love Bites

THE Downing Street briefing on Step 3 of the roadmap rollout is just around the tantalising corner. Charles Hutchinson highlights the rising tide of upcoming shows, ongoing festivals and exhibitions and online options.

Love story of the month: The Love Season: Love Bites, York Theatre Royal, May 17 and 18

YORK Theatre Royal reopens with two nights of Love Bites, both a love letter to live performance by York artists and a celebration of the creative talent across the city.

More than 200 artists from a variety of art forms applied for £1,000 love-letter commissions to be staged on May 17 – the first day theatres can reopen under Step 3 of the Government’s lockdown loosening – and May 18. The 22 short pieces will be performed each socially distanced night, introduced by broadcaster Harry Gration.

“We hope Love Bites will turn out to be ‘a many-splendored thing’!” says director Juliet Forster. Prompt booking is advised at or on 01904 623568.

Ruth Rogers: Violinist performing at Ryedale Festival’s online Spring Festival on RyeStream

Online festival of the week: Ryedale Festival’s Spring Festival, running until May 8

TOMORROW night will see the fast-rising combo The Immy Churchill Trio toast the arrival of spring with Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year, a late-night session of jazz standards from the Great American Songbook online from Helmsley Arts Centre at 9pm.

Finishing the festival at Castle Howard with The Lark Ascending on May 8 at 3pm, the virtuosic London Mozart Players and violinist Ruth Rogers will perform Grieg’s Holberg Suite, Vaughan Williams’s The Lark Ascending and Vivaldi’s Spring from The Four Seasons.

The Spring Festival season will be available to view on RyeStream until the end of May.

Are you going for Scarborough air? York artist Malcolm Ludvigsen painting on the bracing seafront at the East Coast resort

Exhibition launch of the week in York: Malcolm Ludvigsen’s Art, Village Gallery, York

PROLIFIC York plein-air artist Malcolm Ludvigsen is the focus of Village Gallery’s first new exhibition of 2021 in Colliergate, York.

Erstwhile maths professor Ludvigsen spends much of his time on the beaches and headlands of Yorkshire, fascinated endlessly by the sea and sky.

The show of Ludvigsen oil paintings will run until Saturday, June 19 with Covid-secure, socially distanced measures in place. Opening hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm.

Not a spoiler alert: Irish humorist Ed Byrne will play York for the first time since his Spoiler Alert tour in 2018

Comedy gig announcement of the week in York: Live At The Theatre Royal Comedy Night, York Theatre Royal, July 1

THIS will be Ed Byrne’s night in York when the observational Southern Irish comedian headlines an all-star bill.

Joining headliner Ed will be Mock The Week’s whip-smart wordsmith Rhys James and Have I Got News For You panellist-in-lockdown Maisie Adam, hosted by “compere-beyond-compare” Arthur Smith, the veteran gloomy weather-faced comedian and presenter from Bermondsey, London.

Tickets are on sale at and on 01904 62356.

Cuppa and a couple of gigs at Pocklington Arts Centre for Omid Djalili in July

Comedy gig announcement of the week outside York: Omid Djalili, Pocklington Arts Centre, July 22, at the double

POCKLINGTON Arts Centre has confirmed its first live shows since Tom Rosenthal’s Manhood comedy gig on March 14 last year.

British-Iranian comedian Omid Djalili will perform twice on Thursday, July 22. Significantly too, those 7pm and 9pm performances will be without social-distancing measures, but full of provocative, intelligent cultural observations.

Djalili, 55, originally had been booked for July’s now-cancelled Platform Festival at the Old Station, Pocklington.

Dancing Dan: Dancing On Ice star Dan Whiston glides into Rawcliffe Country Park in August

Get your skates on: Cinderella On Ice, Rawcliffe Country Park, York, August 17 to 22

DANCING On Ice three-time champion Dan Whiston will lead the company for Cinderella On Ice, a show fuelled by high-speed ice-skating and aerial feats.

“I cannot wait to get back on the ice and for the crowds to witness this amazing show after such a troubled past 12 months of lockdowns,” says Whiston. “We hope to both wow and amaze.”

Fairytale On Ice’s ice-palace production will be performed by “some of the world’s most elite entertainers and skilled skaters after thousands of auditions”. Tickets for the 4.30pm matinees and 7.30pm evening performances are on sale at

Seven UP: Shed Seven’s Shedcember tour to climax with two nights at Leeds O2 Academy

The return of the York heroes: Shed Seven, Shedcember tour

SHED Seven will close their 2021 Shedcember tour with two nights at Leeds O2 Academy on December 20 and 21.

The York band’s 18-date itinerary will take in further Yorkshire shows at Sheffield O2 Academy on November 30 and Hull City Hall on December 1, but not a home-city gig, alas.

The Sheds’ concerts are billed as Another Night, Another Town – The Greatest Hits Live – a nod of acknowledgement in the direction of last December’s 21-track live double album. Tickets are selling very fast at, and

Senegal and Wales combine in the Pocklington-bound music-making of Seckou Keita and Catrin Finch

On the move: Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita, Pocklington Arts Centre

WELSH harpist Catrin Finch and Sengalese kora player Seckou Keita will now play Pocklington on May 21 2022.

The 7.30pm concert has been rescheduled from June 10 2021 for the usual Covid reasons. All original tickets remain valid; further tickets go on sale from 10am tomorrow (7/5/2021) at

Finch and Keita will be showcasing songs from their next album, as yet untitled and set for release next year. 

Rapper and beatboxer Testament testifying in Orpheus In The Record Shop

And what about?

AS lockdown’s gradual, grinding release continues to make an impact on live performance, Leeds company Opera North will seek to entertain viewers at home. Check out Orpheus In The Record Shop, available for free at:

Inspired by the ancient Greek myth, rapper and playwright Testament fuses spoken word and beatboxing with a cinematic score performed by the Orchestra and Chorus of Opera North.

Originally performed during Connecting Voices at Leeds Playhouse, it has been reworked for film by Alex Ramseyer-Bache and Playhouse artistic director James Brining as part of the BBC Lights Up season.

Byrne’s night as Irish comic Ed headlines York Theatre Royal comedy bill in July

Ed Byrne: Headline set at York Theatre Royal

JULY I will be Ed Byrne’s night in York when the observational Southern Irish comedian headlines an all-star bill for the Live At The Theatre Royal Comedy Night.

Byrne, 49, from Swords, County Dublin, has presented the television shows Just For Laughs and Uncut! Best Unseen Ads and co-hosted BBC2’s The World’s Most Dangerous Roads, Dara And Ed’s Big Adventure and Dara And Ed’s Road To Mandalay with fellow Irish humorist Dara O Briain.

He is a regular guest on numerous television panel games, most notably Mock The Week and Have I Got News For You and has appeared on TV cooking shows, such as Comic Relief Bake Off 2015.

Byrne last played York in March 2018, presenting his Spoiler Alert tour show at the Grand Opera House, where he explored the thin line between righteous complaining and brattish whining as he asked: “Are we right to be fed up or are we spoiled?”

Joining Bryne will be Mock The Week’s whipsmart wordsmith Rhys James and Have I Got News For You panellist-in-lockdown Maisie Adam, who performed from her living room on the second Your Place Comedy bill with prankster Simon Brodkin last May, as part of the virtual home entertainment series organised by Selby Town Council arts officer Chris Jones in tandem with ten independent Yorkshire and Humber arts centres and theatres during lockdown.

July 1’s 7.30pm show will be hosted by legendary compere-beyond-compare Arthur Smith, the veteran gloomy weather-faced comedian and presenter from Bermondsey, London.

Tickets cost £20 at or on 01904 623568.

Simon Brodkin and Maisie Adam are stream team for Sunday’s Your Place Comedy gig

Sunday service: The stream team of Simon Brodkin and Maisie Adam, delivering comedy to your living room

PRANKSTER Simon Brodkin and Have I Got News For You panellist-in-lockdown Maisie Adam form the second Your Place Comedy double bill on Sunday.

The 8pm show will be streamed live from their living rooms to yours, looking to build on the success of the April 19 launch, when more than 3,500 people tuned in to watch Mark Watson, Hull comedian Lucy Beaumont and compere Tim FitzHigham.

Chris Jones, Selby Town Council’s arts officer and manager of Selby Town Hall, is again co-ordinating this weekend’s online fundraising show, working in tandem with nine other small, independent arts centres and theatres from across Yorkshire and the Humber during the Covid-19 shutdown.

Brodkin and Adam’s show will be free to watch on YouTube and the Twitch video live streaming service, with an option for viewers to donate if they have enjoyed the broadcast. All money raised will be distributed equally among the supporting venues, each being faced with navigating their way through these challenging Coronavirus days.

Compere Tim FitzHigham and a pyjama-clad Mark Watson on screen during the inaugural Your Place Comedy online broadcast

Joining together in this rolling initiative to put the fun into fundraising are Selby Town Hall; The Ropewalk, Barton upon Humber; Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds; East Riding Theatre, Beverley; Junction, Goole; Helmsley Arts Centre; Shire Hall, Howden; Otley Courthouse; Pocklington Arts Centre and  Rotherham Theatres.

“In a nutshell, at a time of huge uncertainty and upheaval in the Coronavirus lockdown, including for the live entertainment industry, I got these venues from around Yorkshire and the Humber to come together to provide our audiences with some much-needed laughter during these difficult times, each chipping in a small amount of money to put on each live stream,” says Chris, who was up until 4am on Tuesday morning putting everything in place for Sunday’s gig.

“Their contributions to Your Place Comedy go towards paying the artists a guaranteed fee at a time when all live income has been taken away, and, in exchange, venues get a show to sell to their own audiences as one of their own, helping maintain those vital relationships with audiences they have nurtured over the years.”

Watson and Beaumont’s April show raised £3,500 in donations for the venues. “We were overwhelmed by the response to our first ever broadcast,” says a delighted Chris, who was interviewed about Your Place Comedy on BBC 5 Live on Tuesday.

Prescient move: Simon Brodkin handed a P45 to Theresa May at Tory party conference

“The fantastic audiences, who are the absolute lifeblood of the ten venues involved in this project, watched and donated in their droves. Drawing more than 3,500 viewers was considerably more than the venues’ combined capacities, so the show went even better than we had imagined, to say the whole project was put together from scratch in the space of two weeks by three people with no live streaming experience.” 

Come Sunday, compere Tim FitzHigham, writer and star of BBC Radio 4’s The Gambler and presenter of CBBC’s Super Human Challenge, will introduce Brodkin and Adams’s sets from their homes, from his.

Prankster and character comedian Brodkin, 42, is best known for his alter-ego Lee Nelson and, latterly, as the man who handed Prime Minister Theresa May a P45 during the 2017 Conservative Party Conference. North Yorkshire-born comedian, writer and actor Adam, 26, has made her mark on Have I Got News For You, Mock The Week and 8 Out Of 10 Cats and appears regularly at the Harrogate Comedy Festival.

“It’s a distinctly different style line-up to the first show,” says Chris. “Simon is a truly fascinating performer. A former doctor turned character comic, he’s reinvented himself as one of the best pranksters the UK has ever seen. Listening to him spill the beans on how those daring exploits are pulled off is remarkably compelling.

One giant leap for Maisie Adam: From Pannal to the Have I Got News For You panel

“Maisie is destined to be omnipresent on our TV screens. Originally from Pannal, just outside Harrogate, she played her first ever gig at Otley Labour Club in 2016. She’s since had a pretty meteoric rise, winning the best new act competition in the country, So You Think You’re Funny?, in 2017; being nominated as Best Newcomer in the Edinburgh Comedy Awards a year later, and now appearing regularly on prime-time panel shows.”

Maisie, a former head girl at St Aidan’s School in Harrogate, appeared from her home in Brighton on last Friday’s home-alone edition of BBC One’s long-running satirical quiz show, Have I Got News For You, partnering team captain Ian Hislop.

Reflecting on the comedic impact of the first show, Chris says: “Both Mark Watson and Lucy Beaumont were fantastic. Mark is relatively experienced when it comes to live streaming and was comfortable enough with the format to perform in his pyjamas.

“For Lucy, it was a first foray into ‘audience-free’ comedy, but her set was pitch perfect – even featuring a rather bizarre bedtime story! – and broadcast live from the pub that her husband, [comedian] Jon Richardson, has built in their house.”

Lucy Beaumont: A “pitch-perfect set, even featuring a rather bizarre bedtime story”

How did the format work, Chris? “We were very aware that one of the limitations of live streamed comedy was a lack of audience interaction, so we devised a function that allowed viewers to send messages directly to the acts,” he says.

“This worked incredibly well and really gave the show that extra feeling of intimacy and warmth that you get from watching comedy in a small venue environment.”

Before the April 19 debut gig, Chris had said: “If the first one is a success and this looks like a sustainable model, I would hope to do several more through the lockdown period and possibly beyond.”

Now he is projecting an initial run of five shows. “We hope that, for as long as our doors have to remain closed, we can continue to connect with audiences and bring them big laughs from some of the UK’s best performers through the Your Place Comedy project,” he says.

“At a time when so many life-affirming social connections have been lost, and a great number of performers have had their livelihoods taken away overnight, it is brilliant to be able to support artists, audiences and independent venues in this way.”

For full details on Your Place Comedy, and to find out how to watch the show, visit