More Things To Do in York and beyond, from rock’n’roll raves to a comedy variant. List No. 68, courtesy of The Press, York

The Bluejays: Ready to Rave On at York Theatre Royal

GOLDEN hits, blue art, a grotesque puppet, raucous inventions, a brace of musicals and an on-trend comedian are Charles Hutchinson’s fancies for cultural gratification.

Nostalgia trip of the week: The Bluejays in Rave On, York Theatre Royal, Saturday (5/2/2022), 7.30pm

THE Bluejays, a group comprised of West End stars from The Buddy Holly Story, Million Dollar Quartet, One Man, Two Guvnors and Dreamboats & Petticoats, head back to the fabulous Fifties and swinging Sixties in Rave On.

Charting the meteoric rise of rock’n’roll, this joyful journey through these revolutionary musical decades revels in the golden days of Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, The Beatles, Neil Sedaka, The Kinks, Connie Francis, Lulu and The Shadows. Box office: 01904 623568 or at

Rebecca Taylor: Soloist for Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 1 at York Guildhall Orchestra’s concert

Beethoven at the double: York Guildhall Orchestra, York Barbican, tonight, 7.30pm

REBECCA Taylor will be the soloist for Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 1 in the second concert of York Guildhall Orchestra’s 41st season.

Under conductor Simon Wright, the orchestra also perform one of Beethoven’s rarely played overtures, an 1811 commemorative work to King Stephen 1st, founder of Hungary in 1000AD.

The second half features a stalwart of the symphonic repertoire, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No 5,  a popular work that “demonstrates his darker side, perhaps ultimate victory through strife,” says Wright. Box office:

Jane Dignum’s poster for Westside Artists’ Into The Blue exhibition at Pyramid Gallery, York

Group exhibition of the week: Westside Artists’ Into The Blue at Pyramid Gallery, Stonegate, York, until March 13, open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm

EACH of the Westside Artists, a group from the west end of York, has created new work to portray a personal interpretation and concept of the exhibition title, Into The Blue, at Terry Brett’s Pyramid Gallery.

Taking part are Adele Karmazyn (digital photomontage); Carolyn Coles (painting); Donna Marie Taylor (mixed media); Ealish Wilson (mixed media and sculpture); Fran Brammer (textiles) and Jane Dignum (printmaking).

So to are Jill Tattersall (mixed-media collage); Kate Akrill (ceramics); Lucie Wake (painting); Mark Druery (printmaking); Richard Rhodes (ceramics); Sharon McDonagh (mixed media) and Simon Palmour (photography).

Joseph Rowntree Theatre Company cast members in rehearsal for Kipps, The New Half A Sixpence Musical

Who will he choose? Joseph Rowntree Theatre Company in Kipps, The New Half A Sixpence Musical, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, February 9 to 12, 7.30pm and 2.30pm Saturday matinee

IN the coastal town of Folkestone, Arthur Kipps knows there is more to life than his demanding but unrewarding job as an apprentice draper.

When he suddenly inherits a fortune, Kipps is thrown into a world of upper-class soirées and strict rules of etiquette that he barely understands. Torn between the affections of the kind but proper Helen and childhood sweetheart Ann, Kipps must determine whether such a simple soul can find a place in high society.

Tickets for this Joseph Rowntree Theatre Company fundraising show for the JoRo are on sale on 01904 501935 or at

Blackeyed Theatre in Frankenstein, on tour at the SJT, Scarborough, from Wednesday. Picture: Alex Harvey-Brown

Fright nights ahead: Blackeyed Theatre in Frankenstein, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, February 9 to 12

SOUTH Yorkshire playwright Nick Lane has reinterpreted John Ginman’s original 2016 script for Bracknell touring company Blackeyed Theatre, built around Mary Shelley’s Gothic novel set in Geneva in 1816, where Victor Frankenstein obsesses in the pursuit of nature’s secret, the elixir of life itself.

This highly theatrical telling combines live music and ensemble storytelling with Bunraku-style puppetry to portray The Creature. Designed and built by Warhorse and His Dark Materials alumna Yvonne Stone, the 6ft 4inch puppet is operated by up to three actors at any one time. Box office: 01723 370541 or at

Jonny Holbek in rehearsal for his role of Che in York Light Opera Company’s production of Evita

“Big sing” of the week ahead: York Light Opera Company in Evita, York Theatre Royal, February 9 to 19

DIRECTOR Martyn Knight has decided to use double casting for the five main roles in Evita, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s musical of people, politics and power, in response to Covid-19’s ongoing impact.

The principals have been rehearsing separately, with Alexa Chaplin and Emma-Louise Dickinson sharing the lead role of Eva Peron; Dale Vaughan and Jonny Holbek playing Che; John Hall and Neil Wood as Juan Peron, Dave Copley-Martin and Richard Weatherill as Agustin Maglidi, and Fiona Phillips and Hannah Witcomb as Peron’s Mistress.

Covid, long Covid and even physical injuries have necessitated Knight drawing up his 18th cast list at the latest count. Box office: 01904 623568 or at

Con Brio, by Mark Hearld, at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Picture: Red Photography

Last chance to see: Mark Hearld’s Raucous Invention: The Joy Of Making, Upper Space and YSP Centre, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, near Wakefield, ends tomorrow (6/2/2022)

THIS weekend is the finale to Raucous Invention: The Joy Of Making, an  ambitious, vibrant, and creative journey wherein York artist and designer Mark Hearld explores connections through collaboration and risk-taking to create bold and challenging works, including tapestries and ceramics.

Working from his Portland Street studio across a range of media and using the natural world as inspiration, Hearld has made collages, lino-cut prints, letter-press prints and a large-scale mural that fills the walls of the YSP kitchen in the visitor centre. You will need to book at

Pandemic pontifications: Russell Kane’s new tour show, The Essex Variant!, is heading to York Barbican

Still the only subject in town by then? Russell Kane Live: The Essex Variant!, York Barbican, December 14

ENFIELD humorist Russell Kane offers his “gut-punch funny, searing take on the two years we’ve just gone through” in his new stand-up tour show, The Essex Variant!. More like, three years, by then.

Comic, writer, presenter and actor Kane presents two podcasts, Man Baggage and BBC Radio 4’s Evil Genius and is a regular on Channel 4, BBC and ITV. “I drink lots of coffee and I’m ‘like that in real life’,” he says. Box office:

No York Open Studios in April, but all that art still needs a new home, so look here…DAY SEVENTEEN

Here Be Monsteras ceramicist Kayti Peschke at work

YORK Open Studios 2020, the chance to meet 144 artists at 100 locations over two April weekends, has been cancelled in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, with doors sadly shut for the April 17 to 19 and April 25 to 26 event, CharlesHutchPress wants to champion the creativity of York’s artists and makers, who would have been showcasing their ceramics, collage, digital, illustration, jewellery, mixed media, painting, print, photography, sculpture and textiles skills.

Each day, in brochure order, five artists who now miss out on the exposure of Open Studios will be given a pen portrait on these pages, because so much art and craft will have been created for the event and still needs a new home. Addresses will not be included at this time.

Meanwhile, York Open Studios artists are finding their own way to respond to the shutdown by filling their windows with their work instead.  Look for #openwindowsyork2020 to locate them. “If you see one in your area while taking your daily exercise, take a picture and let us know,” they say.

Camera Obscura, by Jill Tattersall

Jill Tattersall, mixed media

THIS would have been Jill’s second York Open Studios since she and her The Wolf At The Door art enterprise moved north from Brighton.

Before turning to art, she taught mediaeval French literature, leading to her fascination with the creation myths: Norse, Eastern, European and Aboriginal. “I’m overawed by early cave and rock art, made long ago with the simplest, most elemental means. People looked up into the night sky, just as we do, and must have asked the same questions about their place in the universe.”

Coasts and maps have inspired her too. “I used to live as far from the sea as you can get on this island but, like most of us, I was fascinated by coastlines and the sea,” says Jill. ”I moved, and till recently lived on the south coast, where the light is fabulous. I try to avoid trite seaside scenes and ration myself to a few sea-related pieces a year.”

Jill Tattersall: Left Brighton for York

Town and country are key influences as well. “Subjects just crop up: loaves of bread, a stretch of pavement, a passing scene, reflections in a train window,” she says.

“Often I use my own hand-made cast or moulded cotton paper. I then apply washes of paints, inks, dyes and pure pigments to build up intense, glowing colours, combining gold and silver leaf with recycled elements. Labour intensive, highly individual.  The paper has a seductive, unpredictable surface: I like the danger and uncertainty this brings. You can wreck a promising painting at any moment.”

Jill’s paintings are in collections from Peru to Tasmania. Since moving north, she has exhibited at Kunsthuis Gallery, The Dutch House, Crayke. Discover more at

Here Be Monsteras: Ceramics created in a garage studio in a Wolds garden

Here Be Monsteras, Kayti Peschke, ceramics

KAYTI creates ceramics under the name of Here Be Monsteras from her garage studio in her garden in the Wolds east of York.

Her background is in photography and magazine design, but a year ago she started making pottery and now she has converted full time. “It has become an obsession,” she says.

Kayti makes wheel-thrown ceramics with stoneware clays to create functional objects for the home. “A collection of special pieces that bring a bit of extra joy to the ordinary,” as she put it ahead of what would have been her York Open Studios debut.

“It has become an obsession,” says Kayti Peschke of her conversion to making pottery

She has been working on new collections, including screen-printing ceramics with artist Jade Blood, creating travel cups and a full dinnerware set, as well as collaborating with restaurants and cafés that serve their menus on her tableware.

“A cup of tea in a handmade cup really does taste better, maybe because the process feels more special or you take more time over it? I’m not sure why, but it’s true,” she says.

In her home studio, the cups of tea flow and her puppies hang out in the sunshine as she listens to BBC 6Music or podcasts. “I absolutely love being out there, creating, and hopefully this shows in the things I make.”

As testament to that, her ceramics can be found in York at Kiosk, Fossgate; Sketch By Origin, York Art Gallery; Walter & May, Bishopthorpe Road; Lotte The Baker, SparkYork and Botanic York, Walmgate. Take a look at

Gold needle necklace, by Joanna Wakefield

Joanna Wakefield, jewellery

DESIGNER jeweller Joanna’s work combines her two passions, jewellery and textiles, with the third essential element of her memories, observations and musings.

Joanna creates silver and gold jewellery inspired by textiles, haberdashery and her vintage collections and found objects.

Her work invokes a sense of nostalgia. Alongside button-inspired pieces is a delicate interpretation of handcrafted bobbins, thimbles, measures and needles.

Joanna first trained in design, specialising in textiles, having grown up in a family environment of three generations of needlewomen.

Joanna Wakefield: Switched from textile designs to jewellery designs

She travelled the world as a Fair Trade designer, but after more than ten years she could no longer ignore her desire to develop further creatively, leading her to re-train at York School of Jewellery.

“A huge part of my jewellery designs is influenced by textiles and haberdashery, stemming from a fascination that grew from admiring my Grandma’s talents and fond memories of sorting through her button stash,” says Joanna, whose work was to have featured in the MADE shop at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, near Wakefield, from March 7 to June 21.

Take a shine to Joanna’s jewellery at

” I’ve always had an interest in natural history and the British countryside,” says Mark Hearld

Mark Hearld, collage, printmaking and ceramics

MARK studied illustration at Glasgow School of Art and an MA in natural history illustration at the Royal College of Art in 1999 before breaking into the artistic world with exhibitions at Godfrey & Watt in Harrogate and St Jude’s in Norfolk and in London’s arty Lower Sloane Street.

He specialises in bright collages, paintings, limited-edition lithographic and lino-cut prints and now hand-painted ceramics, his work often involving animals and birds, flora and fauna.

“I’ve always had an interest in natural history and the British countryside,” says Mark, 46, who is strongly influenced too by mid-20th century art and design. “I like the idea of the artist working as a designer rather than making images to stick in a frame,” he reasons.

Mark Hearld: Birds, beasts, flora and fauna

He undertook a set-design commission for the 2005 film Nanny McPhee and has done design projects for Tate Britain – cups, jugs, plates and scarves – and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, near Wakefield, where he held a solo show, Birds and Beasts, from November 2012 to February 2013.

In 2012, Merrell Books published Mark Hearld’s Work Book, the first book devoted to his work, and he has illustrated such books as Nicola Davies’s A First Book Of Nature (2012) and Nature Poems: Give Me Instead Of A Card (2019).

He curated the Lumber Room exhibition at the re-opened York Art Gallery from August 2015 after its £8 million development project, as well as a re-imagining of the British Folk Art Collection at Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park. Contact him via

Lauren Terry, Lauren’s Cows, painting

Out in the fields: Lauren’s Cows artist Lauren Terry

LAUREN has moved out of Bar Lane Studios, not too far away, to a new studio workspace overlooking Micklegate Bar and Blossom Street, where her focus remains on creating vibrant cow paintings, prints and homeware.

Lauren’s Cows had began with a one-off painting of a cow that she painted while working as a waitress and actress in the heart of London. 

Growing tired of city life, she craved a window to her country childhood. What better view than a curious cow peering in on her kitchen table?

Scarlet, by Lauren Terry

The framer in North Yorkshire was so taken by the characterful cow that he offered to host an exhibition if Lauren agreed to paint 20 more of her beautiful beasts.

The response this debut show generated gave her the confidence to change career tack by launching her art business and brand, and so Lauren’s Cows was born in 2012: a daughter-and-mother partnership where Lauren paints character-filled cattle in heavy-bodied acrylic paint and designing items for the home in her York studio and Jude takes care of business from the family home at Crackenthorpe, Appleby-in-Westmoreland.

Lauren Terry in her new studio in York

“I love what I do,” says Lauren. “Cows have such a curious nature and humorous personality that they just make me smile, and I take great pleasure in passing that smile on through my vibrant paintings. It’s all about capturing all the character while still remaining true to the breed.”

Lauren’s Cows can be found at

TOMORROW: Sharon McDonagh; Jane Dignum; Carolyn Coles; Adele Karmazyn and Nathan Combes