More Things To Do in York and beyond, seeing someone somewhere in summer time. Hutch’s List No. 25, from The Press

Bhavin Bhatt’s villainous Assef, left, and Stuart Vincent’s Amir in The Kite Runner, on tour at York Theatre Royal. Picture: Barry Rivett

THE return of The Kite Runner and Forest Live, a family art show and coastal concerts, a Scottish-English union and a girl group tribute spice up Charles Hutchinson’s week ahead.  

Play of the week: The Kite Runner, York Theatre Royal, June 18 to 22, 7.30pm plus 2pm Thursday and 2.30pm Saturday matinees

DIRECTED by Giles Croft, Matthew Spangler’s adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s novel presents a haunting tale of friendship that spans cultures and continents as it follows Amir’s journey to confront his past and find redemption.

In his childhood recollection, Afghanistan is on the verge of war and best friends Amir (Stuart Vincent) and Hassan (Yazdan Qafouri) are about to be torn apart. Amid the excitement of a Kabul kite-flying tournament, no-one can foresee the terrible incident that will shatter their lives forever. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

Amy Stubbs: Exhibiting with her sister Emily and father Christopher in Canvas, Clay and Cloth at Pyramid Gallery, Stonegate, York

Family exhibition launch of the week: Stubbs3 – Canvas, Clay and Cloth, Pyramid Gallery, Stonegate, York, today until August 3

FAMILY artistry unites in Stubbs3 – Canvas, Clay and Cloth, a unique exhibition featuring works by sisters Emily Stubbs and Amy Stubbs, regular participants in York Open Studios, alongside their father, Christopher Stubbs, from Hepworth, West Yorkshire.

Their first-ever joint showcase brings together diverse artistic media in a celebration of family creativity. Contemporary ceramicist Emily Stubbs works from PICA Studios, in Grape Lane; Amy specialises in textile and surface pattern design in a range of homeware and wearable art; Christopher will be exhibiting framed paintings and sketches. All three will attend today’s launch in a Meet The Artists session from 12 noon to 2pm.

Christopher Stubbs: Exhibiting framed paintings and sketches at Pyramid Gallery

Film music of the week: A Tribute To Hans Zimmer and Film Favourites Illuminated, Grand Opera House, York, tomorrow (16/6/2024), 3.30pm and 7pm

EXPERIENCE cinema’s most iconic soundtracks performed by the London Film Music Orchestra in a tribute to Hans Zimmer and more besides in an immersive illuminated setting.

The chamber orchestra will be performing music from Harry Potter, Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Gladiator, E.T., Pirates Of The Caribbean, Jaws, Interstellar, Indiana Jones, Schindler’s List and Inception. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.

Jessa Liversidge: Two Bards And A Songbird, two concerts and two workshops. Picture: David K Newton

English and Scottish union of the week: Jessa Liversidge, Two Bards And A Songbird, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, tomorrow, 7.30pm, and Helmsley Arts Centre, June 22, 7.30pm

EASINGWOLD singer and choir leader Jessa Liversidge presents her celebration of song inspired by two bards: William Shakespeare and Robert Burns, from her native Scotland. Her heartfelt performance spans traditional folk, pop and musical theatre, sung to her piano accompaniment with judicious use of a  loop pedal to layer melodies and sounds.

At each concert, audience suggestions are invited to enable Jessa to improvise a new song around a Shakespeare/Burns quotation. At both venues, from 4pm to 6pm, she will be hosting a harmony-singing workshop for participants to sing in the evening show. Box office: York, tickets.41monkgate.co.uk; Helmsley, helmsleyarts.co.uk.

Paul Sinha: In conversation at The Crescent, York. Picture: Andy Hollingsworth

Show title of the week: One Sinha Lifetime, Paul Sinha, The Crescent, York, June 17, 7.30pm

COMEDIAN, white-suited chaser on ITV quiz show The Chase, former doctor and villainous Abanazar in his 2016 pantomime debut in Aladdin at York’s Grand Opera House, Paul Sinha has plenty to discuss in conversation at The Crescent as he marks Penguin Books’ June 20 release of his coming-of-age memoir One Sinha Lifetime.

Subtitled Comedy, Disaster and One Man’s Quest for Happiness, broadcaster and quiz champ Sinha’s book charts his unconventional odyssey through love, family and the joy of general knowledge. Box office: thecrescentyork.com.

Simple Minds in Scarborough: Charlie Burchill and Jim Kerr head to the East Coast on Tuesday. Picture: Dean Chalkley

Coastal gig of the week: Simple Minds and special guests Del Amitri, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, June 18; gates open at 6pm

SOMEONE somewhere in summertime, namely Simple Minds in Scarborough on Tuesday, finds Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill’s band revisiting such hits as Promised You A Miracle, Glittering Prize, Alive And Kicking, Sanctify Yourself, Don’t You Forget About Me and, aptly for Scarborough, Waterfront.

Opening the Scottish double bill will be fellow Glaswegians Del Amitri, led as ever by Justin Currie. In further Scarborough OAT shows, Hampstead pop singer Jess Glynne performs tonight and yet more Glaswegians, Deacon Blue, Ricky Ross and Lorraine McIntosh et al, appear on Friday. Box office: scarboroughopenairtheatre.com.

Wannabe: Celebrating 30 years of Spice Girl power at Grand Opera House, York

York tribute show of the week: Wannabe – The Spice Girls Musical, Grand Opera House, York, June 20, 7.30pm

WANNABE, the “world’s longest-running” Spice Girls tribute stage production, celebrates three decades of girl power in a nostalgic journey through the Spice World.

The show charts the English girl group’s meteoric rise, from July 1996’s debut number one, Wannabe, to Scary, Sporty, Baby, Ginger and Posh’s reunion at the 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony. Expect “meticulously crafted costumes, unique vocal and musical arrangements exclusive to Wannabe, iconic dance routines and stunning visual flair”. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.

Richard Hawley: Made in Sheffield, performing in Scarborough

Yorkshireman of the week: Richard Hawley, Scarborough Spa, June 20, 7.30pm

ON the heels of his Olivier Award-winning Sheffield musical Standing At The Sky’s Edge opening a six-month West End run at the Gillian Lynne Theatre, Richard Hawley showcases his May 31 album In This City They Call You Love on his spring tour. Scarborough hosts the closing night. James Bagshaw supports. Box office: scarboroughspa.co.uk.

Nile Rodgers: Turning Dalby Forest into a disco floor with CHIC next Saturday, when Sophie Ellis-Bextor & Deco will be on the bill too

Welcome return of the week: Forest Live at Dalby Forest, near Pickering, Bryan Adams, June 21; Nile Rodgers & CHIC, June 22; Richard Ashcroft, June 23; gates 5pm

FORESTRY England revives Forest Live at Dalby Forest for the first time since 2019 for three nights of open-air concerts in aid of woodland conservation. Canadian rocker Bryan Adams, he of forest fame from (Everything I Do) I Do It For You for Robin Hood Prince Of Thieves, on Friday night will be followed by disco icons Nile Rodgers & CHIC next Saturday and the Wigan singer, songwriter and The Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft next Sunday. Box office: forestlive.com.

Alison Moyet: 40th anniversary album and 2025 tour, visiting York Barbican next February. Picture: Naomi Davison

Gig announcement of the week: Alison Moyet, York Barbican, February 20 2025

MARKING 40 years since she left Yazoo to launch her solo career, Essex soul singer Alison Moyet will play York Barbican on her 25-date 2025 itinerary, her first headline tour since 2017.  

After graduating from Brighton University in 2023 with a first-class degree in fine art printmaking, Moyet will combine art and music on her 18-track October 4 album, Key, creating the artwork as well as reworking singles, fan favourites and deep cuts, complemented by two new songs. Box office from 10am on June 21: yorkbarbican.co.uk/whats-on/alison-moyet-2025/.

In Focus: British Wildlife Photography Awards exhibition, Nunnington Hall, Nunnington, near Helmsley

What’s All The Fuss About?, Will Palmer’s photo of Arctic walrus Thor on the Scarborough harbour slipway, from the British Wildlife Photography Awards exhibition at Nunnington Hall. Courtesy of National Trust

THE British Wildlife Photography Awards exhibition at Nunnington Hall aims to raise awareness of British biodiversity, species and habitats.

On display are award-winning images selected from 14,000 entries in more than a dozen categories, including film and three for juniors, all in celebration of the diversity of British wildlife and wild spaces.

In particular, look out for What’s All The Fuss About?, taken by Scarborough photographer Will Palmer, who captured the headline-making Thor as the Arctic walrus rested ashore on the harbour slipway cobbles on December 31 2022.

Scarborough photographer Will Palmer with his photograph of Thor, the Arctic walrus, at Nunnington Hall

Will’s image was judged the runner-up in the Urban Wildlife category. “It’s always a huge privilege to be recognised for your work and especially when the awards are as prestigious as this,” he says.

“I captured the image by laying on the cobbles to capture Thor at eye level with the harbour behind. I was very fortunate to get there early and capture the moment at night and before the crowd arrived.”

Nunnington Hall is the nearest National Trust property to the Scarborough coastline. “It’s really special to see the image included in the exhibition and especially at Nunnington Hall, with such a wonderful exhibition space and grounds to boot.

“I’ve hugely appreciated seeing all the effort that’s gone into the exhibition, and with it being on my doorstep, I’m looking forward to visiting it again soon.”

Ocean Drifter, overall winner in the British Wildlife Photography Awards, by Ryan Stalker. Courtesy of National Trust

Laura Kennedy, experience & programming manager at Nunnington Hall, says: “We’re delighted to offer our visitors the opportunity to see this year’s selected images. They are always of such a high quality and the variation of categories means there’s something for everyone.

“More than 14,000 images were submitted into this year’s competition, so you really are seeing the very best of British wildlife photography when you visit the exhibition here at Nunnington.”

British Wildlife Photography Awards exhibition, Nunnington Hall, Nunnington, near Helmsley, until July 7. Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10.30am to 5pm; last entry at 4.15pm. Tickets: nationaltrust.org.uk/nunnington-hall. Normal admission prices apply, which includes entry to the exhibition, with free entry to National Trust members and under-fives.

For more information on the British Wildlife Photography Awards, visit www.bwpawards.org.

British Wildlife Photography Awards’ Hidden Britain winner: Ross Hoddinott’s Three’s A Crowd. Courtesy of National Trust

More Things To Do in York and beyond or at home, in or hopefully out of the rain, courtesy of The Press, York. List No. 13

Benched: Lisa Howard as grief-stricken Cathy, coming out of isolation on Easter Sunday 2020 in Matt Aston’s lockdown play, Every Time A Bell Rings, presented by Park Bench Theatre. Picture: Northedge Photography

A BANK Holiday on Monday, the return to schools drawing ever closer, masked or unmasked, the summer calendar is speeding by.

Make the most of the outdoors before the crepuscular Covid uncertainty of autumn and beyond arrives for theatres, concert halls and gig venues alike.

Charles Hutchinson pops outside, then quickly head back indoors in the rain with these recommendations.

Comedy for your living room…from theirs: Your Place Comedy presents Paul Sinha and Angela Barnes, Sunday, 8pm

Paul Sinha and Angela Barnes: The stream team for Your Place Comedy, performing in their living rooms on Sunday night

YORKSHIRE virtual comedy project Your Place Comedy returns after a summer break to deliver a second series of live streamed shows over the next three months, re-starting with The Chase star Paul Sinha and  BBC Radio 4 News Quiz guest host Angela Barnes this weekend.

Corralled by Selby Town Council arts officer Chris Jones, ten small, independent theatres and arts centres from God’s Own Country and the Humber are coming together again, amid continued unease for the industry, to provide entertainment from national touring acts.

Sunday’s show will be broadcast live to viewers’ homes for free, with full details on how to watch on YouTube and Twitch at yourplacecomedy.co.uk. “As before, viewers will have an option to make a donation to the venues if they have enjoyed the broadcast,” says Chris.

Mucking around: Cassie Vallance enjoying herself in Teddy Bears’ Picnic in the Friends’ Garden, Rowntree Park,
York. Picture: Northedge Photography

Garden theatre part three: Park Bench Theatre in Every Time A Bell Rings, Friends Garden, Rowntree Park, York, until September 5

SAMUEL Beckett’s First Love has left the bench for good. Children’s show Teddy Bears’ Picnic, starring Cassie Vallance, resumes daytime residence from today.  From this week, the premiere of Engine House Theatre artistic director Matt Aston’s lockdown monologue Every Time A Bell Rings occupies the same bench on evenings until September 5.

Performed by Slung Low and Northern Broadsides regular Lisa Howard and directed by Tom Bellerby on his return to York from London, Aston’s 50-minute play is set in Lockdown on Easter Sunday 2020, when isolated, grief-stricken Cathy searches for solace on her favourite park bench in her favourite park in this funny and poignant look at how the world is changing through these extraordinary times.

Tickets for performances in the Covid-secure Friends Garden must be bought in advance at parkbenchtheatre.com or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk. Bring picnics, blankets and headphones to tune in to shows delivered on receivers. 

Decked out: Hannah Sibai’s design for the Pop-Up On The Patio festival at York Theatre Royal

Deckchairs will be provided: Pop-Up On The Patio, week three at York Theatre Royal, August 28 and  29

YORK Theatre Royal’s Covid-secure summer festival of outdoor performances on Hannah Sibai’s terrace stage climaxes with five more shows, three tomorrow, two on Saturday.

First up, tomorrow at 4pm, is York company Cosmic Collective Theatre’s cult show Heaven’s Gate, an intergalactic pitch-black comedy starring  satirical writer Joe Feeney, Anna Soden, Lewes Roberts and Kate Cresswell as they imagine the final hour of four fictionalised members of a real-life UFO-theistic group.

York performance poet Henry Raby puts the word into sword to slice up the past decade in Apps & Austerity at 6.30pm; Say Owt, the York outlet for slam poets, word-weavers and “gobheads”, follows at 8pm. On Saturday, York magician, juggler and children’s entertainer Josh Benson is unstoppable in Just Josh at 1pm before York pop, soul and blues singer Jess Gardham closes up the patio at 4pm.

Jo Walton: Rust on show at Pyramid Gallery

York exhibition of the week and beyond: Jo Walton, Paintings and Rust Prints, Pyramid Gallery, Stonegate, York, until September 30

YORK artist Jo Walton uses rust and rusted metal sheet in innovative ways to create her artworks. Iron filings are applied as ‘paint’ and as they rust, reactions occur, resulting in every painting being unique and unrepeatable.

“Jo’s work is abstract, inspired by horizons,” says Pyramid Gallery owner Terry Brett. “Her work features enhanced rust-prints on plaster surfaces, combinations of rusted sheet metal with oil painting and painting seascapes on gold-metal leaf.”

The poster for Christopher Nolan’s Tenet

First blockbuster of the summer…at last: Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, at York cinemas

THE wait is over. This summer has been more blankbuster than blockbuster, thanks to the stultifying impact of the Covid lockdown and the big film companies’ reluctance to take a chance on a major release in the slow-burn, socially distanced reopening of cinemas.

Step forward Christopher Nolan, director of Memento, Inception, three Dark Knight/Batman movies and Dunkirk to grasp the nettle by releasing the 151-minute psychological thriller/action movie Tenet.

John David Washington (yes, Denzel’s son), Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Michael Caine and Kenneth Branagh ride a rollercoaster plot that follows a secret agent who must manipulate time in order to prevent the Third World War. Apparently, Tenet is a “film to feel, not necessarily understand”, like a Scarborough fairground ride, then.

Bella Gaffney expresses her enthusiasm for taking part in Songs Under Skies in the National Centre for Early Music churchyard garden

Double bills galore outside a church: Songs Under Skies, National Centre for Early Music, St Margaret’s Church, Walmgate, York, between September 2 and 17

SONGS Under Skies will bring together the National Centre for Early Music, The Crescent, The Fulford Arms and the Music Venues Alliance for an open-air series of acoustic concerts next month in York.

Dates for the diary are: September 2, Amy May Ellis and Luke Saxton; September 3, Dan Webster and Bella Gaffney; September 9,  Kitty VR and Boss Caine; September 10, Wolf Solent and Rosalind; September 16, Polly Bolton and Henry Parker; September 17, Elkyn and Fawn.

Gates will open at the NCEM’s Walmgate home, St Margaret’s Church, at 6.30pm for each 7pm start; acts will perform either side of a 30-minute interval with a finishing time of 8.30pm. 

The artwork for the new album by perennial York Barbican favourites The Waterboys

And what about…

Discovering The Waterboys’ new album, Good Luck, Seeker, Mike Scott’s latest soulful blast, met with universal thumbs-up reviews. Or bunking down with 1981 Ashes-winning captain turned psychoanalyst Mike Brearley’s new book for the end of summer, Spirit Of Cricket.

Paul Sinha and Angela Barnes take to their living rooms as Your Place Comedy returns

At the double: Paul Sinha and Angela Barnes take to their living rooms for a night of comedy on August 30

YORKSHIRE virtual comedy project Your Place Comedy will return after a brief summer break to deliver a second series of live streamed shows over the next three months, re-starting with Paul Sinha and Angela Barnes.

Corralled by Selby Town Council arts officer Chris Jones, ten small, independent theatres and arts centres from God’s Own Country and the Humber are coming together again, at a time of continued uncertainty for the industry, to provide entertainment from national touring acts.

“None of the venues involved in the project are able to operate in any meaningful way under social-distancing regulations, which are in place until November at the very earliest,” says Chris.

“So we’ve decided to pull together another series of three, monthly shows that will take us up to a time when possibly, with a steady and consistent wind in the right direction, we are able to open our doors again.”

Broadcast live to viewers’ homes for free, Your Place Comedy season two will begin on Sunday, August 30 with Paul Sinha, star of ITV’s The Chase, BBC television and radio regular and one-time Grand Opera House pantomime baddie in York, and Angela Barnes, 2020 guest host of BBC Radio 4’s News Quiz and frequent Mock the Week panellist on BBC Two.

Paul Sinha: Quiz champion, panto baddie and living-room comedy act

Each will deliver a set direct from their own home to yours, with full details on how to watch the 8pm show on YouTube and Twitch at yourplacecomedy.co.uk.

“As before, viewers will have an option to make a donation if they have enjoyed the broadcast,” says Chris. “All money raised will be distributed equally among the ten supporting venues, none of which is likely to host live performances for the foreseeable future, having already been shut for over five months.”

Sinha has appeared on BBC 5 Live’s Fighting Talk and BBC Radio 4’s Just A Minute, The News Quiz, The Now Show, Loose Ends and his own Rose d’Or-winning series Paul Sinha’s History Revision, as well as on BBC Two’s QI and Dave’s Taskmaster.

“A general knowledge expert, Paul is perhaps best known as The Chase’s ‘Sinnerman’ and is also the reigning British Quizzing champion,” says Chris.

Angela Barnes, a former winner of the BBC New Comedy Award, has presented four series of BBC Radio 4 Extra’s Newsjack and has appeared on BBC Two’s Live At The Apollo.

Angela Barnes: Will she be sitting down or standing up for her Live From Her Living Room comedy set on August 30?

Both Sinha and Barnes have chalked up multiple sold-out runs at the Edinburgh Fringe, and their August 30 show takes place on what would have been the 2020 festival’s closing weekend until Covid-19 played its killjoy hand.

Your Place Comedy is a venue-driven initiative that seeks to re-establish the traditional relationship between venue, performer and audience, lost temporarily during the Coronavirus crisis.

“The participating venues have all pledged funds to both support the performers involved and to provide their audiences with entertainment from the kind of artists who, in normal times, would have been appearing in their local arts centre or theatre,” says Chris, who manages both Selby Town Hall and Otley Courthouse.

Those two venues are joined in round two of the virtual venture by The Ropewalk, Barton upon Humber; Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds; East Riding Theatre, Beverley; Helmsley Arts Centre; Howden Shire Hall; Junction, Goole; Pocklington Arts Centre and Rotherham Theatres.

Looking not so jolly with his brolly: Your Place Comedy regular host Tim FitzHigham

“At the start of the pandemic, I don’t think any venues or performers envisaged that, five months in, they would be contemplating the possibility of no live performances taking place for the remainder of 2020,” says Chris.

“While we’re still unable to host live events inside our venues, the arts centres and theatres who came together to create Your Place Comedy are determined to continue delivering shows for their audiences and providing work for artists.”

Exit Edinburgh 2020, re-enter Your Place Comedy. “A big feature of the first show is that it takes place on what would have been the final Sunday of the Edinburgh Fringe,” says Chris. “Both Paul and Angela are Edinburgh stalwarts and should have been performing the last of their nearly month-long run of shows, before embarking on tours throughout autumn.

“We’re thrilled that they’ve decided to spend that time with us instead, joining us via the wonders of modern technology, keeping spirits up across Yorkshire as we look forward to a time when we can all get together again and share the joy of communal laughter.” 

The August 30 event will be compered remotely once more by Tim FitzHigham, writer and star of BBC Radio 4’s The Gambler and presenter of CBBC’s Super Human Challenge. Previously, he hosted Mark Beaumont and Hull humorist Lucy Beaumont in April; prankster Simon Brodkin and Have I Got News For You panellist-in-lockdown Maisie Adam in May and BBC Radio 4 comedy stalwarts Jo Caulfield and Simon Evans in June.

Hullarious: Lucy Beaumont starred in the first lockdown Your Place Comedy night in April