More Things To Do in York and beyond as the time to book up for the literati arrives. Hutch’s List No. 10, from The Press

Tuck into An Audience with Grace Dent, the Guardian food writer, columnist, author and presenter, at the Grand Opera House, York, on March 30 (7pm) as part of York Literature Festival

LITERATURE festivities, psychological bunny puppetry, sci-fi theatre, paranormal investigations and explosive dance promise out-of-this-world cultural experiences, reckons Charles Hutchinson.

Festival of the month: York Literature Festival, ends April 4

YORK Literature Festival is under way with events spread between St Peter’s School; York St John University; York Explore Library; Theatre@41; The Mount School; The Basement at City Screen; York Museum Gardens; York Medical Society, Stonegate; The Crescent; the Grand Opera House and The Blue Boar, Castlegate.

Among the highlights are today’s (2/3/2024) Folk Horror Day; food writers Nina Mingya Powles and Ella Risbridger on Thursday and Grace Dent on March 30; Nicholas Royle David Boiwe, Enid Blyton and The Sun Machine, March 12; journalist and broadcaster Steve Richards on Turning Points in modern Britain, March 16; Lush founder and lead singer Mike Berenyi, discussing her memoir Fingers Crossed, March 24, and poet and broadcaster Lemn Sissay’s morning poems, March 30. For the full programme and bookings, visit

Lemn Sissay: British-Ethiopian poet will perform morning poems from Let The Light Pour In at York Literature Festival on March 30 (2pm). Picture: Hamish Brown

When Tuesday is on a Saturday: 1812 Youth Theatre in Tuesday, Helmsley Arts Centre, tonight (2/3/2024), 2.30pm, 7.30pm

AN ordinary Tuesday turns really, really weird when the sky over the school playground suddenly rips open in Alison Carr’s funny and playful play Tuesday. Pupils and teachers are sucked up to a parallel universe as a new set of people rain down from above. ‘Us’ and ‘Them’ must come together to work out what is going on and how to return things to how they were.

Carr combines “a little bit of sci-fi and a lot of big themes”: friendship, family, identity, grief, responsibility – and what happens when an unexpected event turns the world upside down. Box office: 01439 771700 or

Exploring psychological damage: George Green in Foxglove Theatre’s Rabbit at Theatre@41, Monkgate, York

New play of the week: Foxglove Theatre in Rabbit, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, tonight (2/3/2024), 7.30pm

YORK company Foxglove Theatre identified a need for weirder, more experimental theatre in the city, focusing on “psychological exploration through innovative visual storytelling”. Here comes their debut new work, Rabbit, wherein a brave bunny wakes up lost in a murky forest determined to find her way home to Mumma.

Blending puppetry and visual effects, George Green’s performance explores the psychological damage that develops from even the smallest mishandlings of our childhood selves. Box office:

Back on the Chain Gang: Miles Salter, second left, and his York band make a second visit to Ampleforth Village Hall tonight

Village gig of the week: Miles and The Chain Gang, Ampleforth Village Hall, near Helmsley, tonight (2/3/2024), 7.30pm

YORK band Miles and The Chain Gang return to Ampleforth Village Hall by popular demand after a first outing there last summer. Expect rock’n’roll, acoustic songs, new wave, soul and country, plus Rolling Stones, Joni Mitchell and Johnny Cash covers.

Their latest digital single, the country-tinged Raining Cats And Dogs, is sure to feature in the set by Miles Salter, guitar and vocals, Mat Watt, bass, Steve Purton, drums, and Charlie Daykin, keyboards. Tickets: 07549 775971.

Yvette Fielding: Leading the paranormal investigations at the Grand Opera House, in the haunted city of York, in a Sunday fright night

Paranormal show of the week: Most Haunted: The Stage Show, Grand Opera House, York, Sunday (3/3/2024), 7.30pm

YVETTE Fielding, “the first lady of the paranormal”, joins Karl Beattie, producer and director of the Most Haunted television series, in the investigative team to take Sunday’s audience on “the darkest, most terrifying journey of your life”, followed by a question-and-answer session.

In a city bursting at the seams with ghost stories and walks, Fielding and Beattie present Most Haunted’s All-Time Top Ten Scares, complete with unseen video footage from haunted castles, manor houses, hospitals and prisons. Box office:

Excellent entertainment? Phil Ellis reckons so at Theatre@41 on Tuesday

Comedy gig of the week: Phil Ellis’s Excellent Comedy Show, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, Tuesday, 8pm

DO you like comedy? Do you like shows? What are your thoughts on excellence? “If you like all three, then the award-winning Phil Ellis’s Excellent Comedy Show is the excellent comedy show for you,” advises Ellis, who promises an hour of stand-up and fun from “the North West’s most punctual working-class comedian”. Box office:

Diversity: Dancing around the Supernova at the Grand Opera House, York, for two nights. Harrogate and Hull to follow

Dance show of the week: Diversity in Supernova, Grand Opera House, York, March 7 and 8, 7.45pm; Harrogate Convention Centre, March 9, 3.30pm; Hull Connexin Live, April 7, 2.30pm

2009 Britain’s Got Talent winners Diversity return to York on their biggest tour yet to stage Supernova, devised by founder Ashley Banjo. More than 120,000 tickets have sold for more than 90 dates in 40 cities and towns through 2023 and 2024, with both Grand Opera House performances down to the last few tickets.

Diversity will be supporting the Trussell Trust, the anti-poverty charity, inviting audience members to bring food donations to place in collection points. Cash donations in buckets are welcome too. Box office: York,; Harrogate, 01423 502116 or; Hull,

Suzi Quatro: Using this iconic image from her first photographic session with Gered Mankowitz in 1973 to promote her 60th anniversary tour. York Barbican awaits

Gig announcement of the week: Suzi Quatro, York Barbican, November 15

SUZI Quatro will mark the 60th year of her reign as “the Queen of Rock’n’Roll” by embarking on a five-date autumn tour, taking in York Barbican as the only Yorkshire venue.

Born in Michigan, Quatro flew to England in 1971 to work with songwriting duo Chinn and Chapman, chalking up chart toppers with Can The Can and Devil Gate Drive and further hits with 48 Crash, Daytona Demon, The Wild One, If You Can’t Give Me Love and She’s In Love With You, as well as co-writing Babbies & Bairns with dame Berwick Kaler in his York Theatre Royal panto pomp. Box office:

In Focus: Two Houses, One Story: York ‘s Forgotten Women at Bar Convent and Fairfax House

Special collections manager Dr Hannah Thomas studies a reproduction of Lady Hungate’s unofficial will alongside items left to the Bar Convent Living Heritage Centre

TWO Houses, One Story: York’s Forgotten Women, a collaboration between the Bar Convent Living Heritage Centre and Fairfax House, opens today, marking International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month.

Running until April 27, the project explores the long intertwining histories of these illegal Catholic houses with an exhibition at each house that enhances the other.

Two of York’s most iconic historic houses, they share a history of strong Catholic women. One was founded as a secret convent, operating a pioneering school for girls, in Blossom Street; the other was constructed as the winter townhouse of Charles, 9th Viscount Fairfax of Emley, gifted to his daughter, the Hon Anne Fairfax, with its richly decorated interiors and stucco ceilings in a masterpiece of Georgian design and architecture in Castlegate.

Dr Hannah Thomas, the Bar Convent’s special collections manager, says: “The histories of the Bar Convent and Fairfax House are so closely intertwined that a joint exhibition such as this makes perfect sense.

The welcome to the Two Houses, One Story exhibition at Fairfax House

“Not many people are aware of the links between the houses but both Anne and Mary Fairfax attended the school here and Lady Hungate lived here with the sisters for 29 years.

“This exhibition gives us a fantastic opportunity to explore and share this exciting little-known narrative with the public and to work with the incredible team at Fairfax House.”

Sarah Burnage, curator at Fairfax House, says: “We are delighted to be working with our friends at the Bar Convent on this joint venture. The exhibition tells the story of women living in York in the 18th century and offers a fascinating glimpse into the little-known world of Catholicism in York”.

Two Houses: One Story features recently discovered documents, beautiful portraits and intriguing artefacts that give new insight into the day-to-day lives of these exceptional Yorkshire women.

Original 18th century account books referencing Lady Hungate, on display for the first time at the Bar Convent

The exhibitions explore how they navigated their faith during an era of persecution and suspicion, and how some were linked to dangerous underground activity that ultimately aided the survival of the Catholic faith in York and beyond.

At the Bar Convent, discover the early years of the Fairfax daughters who attended the school, how and why their grandmother, Lady Hungate, lived at the house for 29 years and the significance and legacy of this alliance.

At Fairfax House, learn more about the limited life choices that woman, like Anne Fairfax, faced in the 18th century. Also discover more about the Catholic networks in the city and how this clandestine community supported each other.       

Each exhibition complements the other, and visitors to one house receive a 30 per cent discount on admission to the other with proof of receipt. The Bar Convent is open 10am to 5pm (last entry 4pm), Monday to Saturday; Fairfax House, from 10am to 4pm daily (Fridays: guided tours at 10am, 12pm and 3pm). Tickets: Bar Convent, or 01904 643238; Fairfax House, or 01904 655543.

Discover what Lady Hungate left to the Bar Convent in her unofficial will, on show at the Bar Convent Living Heritage Centre

More Things To Do in York and beyond when life is swings & roundabouts, not all doom & gloom. List No 98, from The Press

All Swings And Roundabouts, by Adele Karmazyn, from her Pleasure Gardens exhibition at Village Gallery, York

POLITICAL division and soul power, sturdy stilettos and string sextets, doomed comedy and surreal gardens spark Charles Hutchinson’s interest for the week ahead.

Exhibition of the week: Adele Karmazyn, Pleasure Gardens, Village Gallery, Colliergate, York, until October 25

YORK Open Studios regular Adele Karmazyn is exhibiting new works in Pleasure Gardens, demonstrating her love of Victorian antiquities and oddities, weathered surfaces and nature.

Using her digital camera, scanner and Photoshop, Adele creates playful, surprising, surrealist digital photomontages, printing the images on to archival paper before hand-finishing with paint, pastel and gold leaf.

Drawing on idioms, metaphors and musical lyrics for narrative inspiration, she chooses her characters, then brings them back to full colour, intertwining them with creatures big and small, coupled with delicate foliage.

Nostalgia of the week: Giants Of Soul, York Barbican, Saturday (10/9/2022), 7.30pm

HOSTED by Smooth Radio’s Angie Greaves, the three-hour revue Giants Of Soul assembles performers from the late-1970s to the modern day, who have notched 18 British top ten smashes and 47 top 40 entries between them.

Step forward The Lighthouse Family’s Tunde Baiyewu; Grammy winner Deniece Williams; Rose Royce’s Gwen Dickey, on her farewell tour; Alexander O’Neal; Jaki Graham; Janet Kay and American Candace Woodson, who will be accompanied by an all-star ten-piece band of British and American musicians. Box office:

Chris de Burgh: Playing songs and telling stories at York Barbican

Rescheduled show of the week: An Evening With Chris de Burgh, His Songs, Stories & Hits, York Barbican, Thursday, 7.30pm

BRITISH-IRISH singer-songwriter Chris de Burgh heads to York for a night of songs, stories and hits, showcasing his latest album, 2021’s The Legend Of Robin Hood, on guitar and piano.

Born Christopher John Davison in Venado Tuerto, Argentina, de Burgh will be delivering “an exciting evening full of your favourite songs”, accompanied by a large lighting production. Here come The Lady In Red, Don’t Pay The Ferryman and A Spaceman Came Travelling. Box office:

Howell of anguish: Comedian Daniel Howell peers through the gloom in search of hope in We’re All Doomed

Doom’s day booking of the week: Daniel Howell, We’re All Doomed, York Barbican, Friday, 7.30pm

WOKINGHAM comedian, YouTuber, presenter and author Daniel Howell’s new solo show, We’re All Doomed, finds him as stressed and depressingly dressed as ever but nevertheless resisting temptation to give into apocalyptic gloom.

Armed with sarcasm, satire and a desire to skewer everything deemed wrong with society, Howell vows to find hope for humanity or at least to “laugh like it’s the end of the world (because it probably is)”. Prepare for savage self-deprecation, soul-searching and over-sharing of his deepest fears and desires. Box office:

Tim Lowe: Programming York Chamber Music Festival at the NCEM

Festival of the week: York Chamber Music Festival 2022, National Centre for Early Music, York, September 16 to 18

ARTISTIC director and cellist Tim Lowe turns his festival focus on the string sextet repertoire in the company of Tristan Gurney and Jonathan Stone, violins, Sarah-Jane Bradley and Scott Dickenson, violas, and Marie Bitlloch, cello, plus Scottish pianist Alasdair Beatson.

“We’ll play four of the very greatest sextets: Boccherini, the first string sextet, as far as we know; Brahms’s heart-warming/glowing Sextet in B flat; Richard Strauss’s sextet embedded at the beginning of his last opera, Capriccio, and Tchaikovsky’s joyous recollection of his favourite place in his Souvenir de Florence.” Full programme and ticket details at

Angels in Kinky Boots: York Stage’s musical is a shoe-in for joyous songs and staggering stilettos at the Grand Opera House, York

Musical of the week: York Stage in Kinky Boots, Grand Opera House, York, September 16 to 24

FACTORY owner Charlie is struggling to save his family business. Lola is a fabulous entertainer with a wildly exciting idea. Both live in the shadows of their fathers in seemingly different, yet surprisingly similar ways.

Learning to embrace their differences, they create sturdy stilettos unlike any the world has ever seen.

Up step York Stage director Nik Briggs and choreographer A J Powell to oversee a joyous show with 16 songs by Cyndi Lauper and a book by Tony-winning Harvey Fierstein. Box office: 0844 871 7615 or

Effie Ansah (Sephy) and James Arden (Callum), left, in rehearsal for Pilot Theatre’s Noughts & Crosses at York Theatre Royal and on tour. Picture: Robert Day

Political drama of the week: Pilot Theatre in Noughts & Crosses, York Theatre Royal, September 16 to 24

YORK company Pilot Theatre revive their award-winning production of Sabrina Mahfouz’s adaptation of Malorie Blackman’s young adult novel of first love in a volatile fictional dystopia, first toured in 2019.

Sephy is a Cross and Callum is a Nought in a segregated society of racial and social divides. As violence breaks out, the teenagers draw closer, but their forbidden romance will lead them into terrible danger in this exploration of love, revolution and what it means to grow up in a divided world. Box office: 01904 623568 or

Phil Ellis: Headlining The Comedy Network’s first triple bill at Selby Town Hall

Comedy launch of the week: The Comedy Network at Selby Town Hall, September 18, 7.30pm

PITCHING up at Selby Town Hall for the first time this autumn, The Comedy Network is launching a series of showcases of national circuit acts, each night featuring a master of ceremonies, support act and headliner.

First up will be Edinburgh Comedy Award panel prize winner Phil Ellis; Mancunian actor and comedian Katie Mulgrew, daughter of Irish humorist Jimmy Cricket, and compere Travis Jay, a writer for Spitting Image. Box office:  01757 708449 or or on the door from 7pm.

York National Book Fair in the Knavesmire Suite

Looking for a book? York National Book Fair, Knavesmire Suite, York Racecourse, today, 10am to 5pm

“BRITAIN’S largest antiquarian book fair” is booked in for its second day in the Knavesmire Suite with all manner of book sellers, book binders and restorers, books, maps and prints to discover.

In its 48th year, this Provincial Booksellers’ Fairs Association event brings together an array of rare and antiquarian booksellers offering material for sale to collectors, scholars, dealers, readers and the curious. Items are priced from only a few pounds up to many thousands. Complimentary tickets can be booked at; alternatively, pay £2 on the door.

The Comedy Network launches regular triple bill at Selby Town Hall next Sunday

Headliner: Phil Ellis

THE Comedy Network is coming to Selby Town Hall for the first time this autumn, launching a series of showcases of national circuit acts on September 18.

Each club night features a master of ceremonies, support act and headliner for the introductory price of £10 a ticket.

First up will be a 7.30pm bill of Phil Ellis, Katie Mulgrew and Travis Jay, with tickets on sale on 01757 708449 or or on the door from 7pm.

Headliner Ellis, who combines off-beat observational material and physical comedy, won the Edinburgh Comedy Award panel prize for his anarchic sleeper hit Funz And Gamez, later broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and BBC3.

Support act: Katie Mulgrew

Ellis has written and starred in three series of his Radio 4 sitcom, Phil Ellis Is Trying, joined by Lolly Adefope, Johnny Vegas, Sean Lock and Lee Mack. The second series was nominated for Best Scripted Comedy (Longform) in the BBC Audio Drama Awards 2020.

The support slot goes to Mancunian actor and comedian Mulgrew, who has been heard on BBC Radio 4 and Radio 2 and seen on CBBC and ITV2 and was a writer for Radio 4’s The News Quiz.

She is the daughter of Irish humorist Jimmy Cricket and has supported The Boy With Tape On His Face, Vikki Stone and Matt Richardson on their UK tours.

Compere: Travis Jay

The evening will be compered by Spitting Image writer Jay, who supported Dave Chapelle on his Sticks & Stones dates in London.

The Comedy Network programme is curated by comedy producer and agency Avalon, who are responsible for such shows as Taskmaster, The Russell Howard Hour Not Going Out and Spitting Image and represent the likes of Dave Gorman, Frank Skinner and Rose Matafeo.

The Comedy Network gives audiences then chance to see tomorrow’s arena fillers today and over the years has provided a platform for stand-ups such as Russell Howard, John Oliver, Harry Hill, Bill Bailey, Roisin Conaty, Lee Mack, Stewart Lee, Greg Davies, Al Murray, Noel Fielding, Ross Noble, Chris Ramsey, Joe Wilkinson and Jenny Eclair.

Robert White: October 30 headliner

Selby Town Council arts officer Chris Jones, who programmes the Town Hall seasons, says: “We’ve mooted setting up a comedy club for many years and have finally taken the plunge…at what now looks like being an even tougher time for ticket sales than the immediate post-Covid period.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be welcoming The Comedy Network to Selby. My own first experience of live stand-up was at a Comedy Network club night almost quarter of a century ago, being mesmerised by a headline slot from now cult icon Daniel Kitson.

“The club has supported so many of today’s top acts on their way to super stardom – it’s a real opportunity to seek out new talent and experience those ‘I saw them here first’ moments. And with three acts on each bill for just £10, it’s also an exceptionally good value night out!”

The Comedy Network’s further 7.30pm bills at Selby Town Hall will feature: Robert White, Maff Brown and Meryl O’Rourke on October 30; Steve Bugeja, Annie McGrath and Darran Griffiths on December 18 and Tez Ilyas, Lovell Smith and Aaron Twitchen on January 29 2023.

Steve Bugeja: December 18 headliner