DRAMAS, circus, musical theatre, rock’n’roll, sorrowful folk, one more pantomime and the return of forest concerts attract Charles Hutchinson’s attention.
Theatre event of the week: Life Of Pi, Leeds Grand Theatre, January 10 to 13; 2pm and 7pm, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday; 7.30pm, Friday
WINNER of five Olivier Awards, not least Best Play, the West End spectacle Life Of Pi is heading north on its debut British tour with its combination of jaw-dropping visuals, magic and puppetry.
Adapted from Yann Martel’s 15 million-selling, 2002 Man Booker Prize-winning fantasy novel, Life Of Pi finds Pi stranded on a lifeboat with four other survivors – a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan and a Royal Bengal tiger. Time is against them, nature is harsh, who will survive on this epic journey of endurance and hope. Box office: 0113 243 0808 or leedsheritagetheatres.com.
Tribute show of the week: Meat Loaf By Candlelight, Grand Opera House, York, January 12, 7.30pm
STARS of the original West End and international productions of Bat Out Of Hell will be accompanied by a rock band in a tribute to Texan rock-operatic singer and actor Meat Loaf “as you have never heard before”.
On the Meat Loaf menu will be I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That), Bat Out Of Hell, Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad, Dead Ringer For Love, You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth, Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through et al. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.
Move over PT Barnum and Hugh Jackman: Cirque: The Greatest Show, York Barbican, January 13, 2pm and 6pm
CIRQUE: The Greatest Show combines West End and Broadway musical theatre showstoppers with spectacular circus skills, ranging from aerialists and contortionists to thrilling feats of agility and flair.
West End performers join with mesmerising circus acts in the all-star cast for an enchanting variety show that vows to “charm and astonish in equal measure”. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.
Still time to squeeze in another pantomime: PQA York in Peter Panto, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, January 14, 7.30pm
PETER Panto, the high-flying PQA Pantomime, features the talented young performers of the Pauline Quirke Academy York’s Friday Academy.
Join Peter Pan as he flies off on a new adventure for one night only in a show featuring “stunning visuals, gorgeous music and barrel-loads of laughter on a swashbuckling journey to Neverland unlike any before”. Box office: 01904 501935 or josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.
Hey, rock and roll nostalgia: Showaddywaddy 50th Anniversary Tour, Grand Opera House, York, January 19, 7.30pm
FORMED in Leicester in 1973, Showaddywaddy like to call themselves “the greatest rock’n’roll band in the world”. Their 50th anniversary travels rock’n’roll on into 2024 with a line-up featuring only one original member, drummer Romeo Challenger, aged 73.
Dave Bartram, the singer on such hits as Hey Rock And Roll, Under The Moon Of Love, Three Steps To Heaven, When, Blue Moon and Pretty Little Angel Eyes, now manages the band, having performed his last gig in Ilkley in 2011. Andy Pelos takes lead vocals. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.
Leaping ahead: Angeline Morrison, National Centre for Early Music, York, February 29, 7.30pm
SEEKING to make the most of the extra day in this Leap Year? Why not discover why the Guardian picked Angeline Morrison’s The Sorrow Songs: Folk Songs Of Black British Experience (Topic Records) as the number one folk album of 2022.
Birmingham-born, Cornwall-based folk singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Morrison explores traditional song with reverence, love and curiosity, a handmade sonic aesthetic and a feeling for the stories of ordinary human lives. York singer-songwriter Holly Taymar supports. Box office: 01904 658338 or ncem.co.uk.
Classic play of the season: York Settlement Community Players in Separate Tables, York Theatre Royal Studio, February 8 to 17, 7.45pm except Sunday and Monday, plus 2pm Saturday matinees
AFTER directing four Russian plays by Chekhov, Helen Wilson turns her attention to Separate Tables, two very English Terence Rattigan tales of love and loss, set in a shabby Bournemouth hotel in the 1950s.
Guests, both permanent and transient, sit on separate tables, a formality that underlines the loneliness of these characters in a play about class, secrets and repressed emotions. Chris Meadley, Paul French, Marie-Louise Feeley, Caroline Greenwood and Linda Fletcher lead the Settlement cast. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.
Going down to the woods again at last: Forest Live concerts, Dalby Forest, near Pickering, June 21 and 22; gates open at 4pm
FOREST Live concerts are to return to Dalby Forest for the first time since Paul Weller and Jess Glynne’s shows in June 2019. Covid put paid to 2020, since when three more silent summers have passed in the woods, but the hiatus will come to an end after Forestry England’s announcement of two outdoor gigs for 2024.
Bryan Adams, forever associated with (Everything I Do) I Do It For You’s 16-week chart-topping run from the 1991 film soundtrack to the forest tale of Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves, will play on June 21. Nile Rodgers & CHIC will be supported by Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Deco on June 22. Ellis-Bextor previously guested at Erasure’s Dalby date in 2011. Box office: forestlive.com.