TWO Big Egos In A Small Car arts podcasters Graham Chalmers and Charles Hutchinson enthuse over the rise of Yard Act from Leeds novelties to number two in the album charts in Episode 76.
Under discussion too: is Kenneth Branagh’s Oscar-nominated childhood memoir Belfast a masterpiece or a fudge? Plus Graham’s interview hiccup with 10CC’s Graham Gouldman and Charles’s verdict on Ross Noble’s chaotic Humournoid show in York.
FROM The Missing Peace to Shed Seven at the races, Charles Hutchinson finds the missing pieces to fill your diary
Premiere of the week: Rowntree Players in The Missing Peace, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, January 27 to 29, 7.30pm and 2.30pm Saturday matinee
ROWNTREE Players director Gemma McDonald has adapted York author, singer, motivational conference speaker and charity champion Big Ian Donaghy’s book The Missing Peace, now billed as “One play…15 endings”.
On stage, Donaghy’s exploration of life after death takes the form of 15 Talking Heads-style monologues, many drawn from interviews he conducted in York. “It’s not a play about death, it’s a play about life,” he says. “There will be moments of laughter, sadness and reflection throughout.”
Look out for Mark Addy, who has recorded the narrator’s role as the Station Announcer. Box office: 01904 501935 or at josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.
Country gig of the week: The Shires – Acoustic, Pocklington Arts Centre, January 26, 8pm
THE Shires, Britain’s best-selling country music act, bring their 2022 intimate acoustic tour to Pocklington on the back of working on their upcoming fifth album.
Award-winning duo Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes have made a habit of playing Pocklington since their Studio debut in 2014, appearing regularly at PAC and playing the Platform Festival at The Old Station in 2016 and 2019. To check ticket availability, go to pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk or call 01759 301547.
Comedy gig of the week: Ross Noble: Humournoid, Grand Opera House, York, January 29, 8pm
WHAT happens when a creature is created and bred to do stand up, asks Geordie comic Ross Noble in his Covid-delayed but finally here new tour show, Humournoid?
“Nobody knows because that isn’t a thing,” says his tour blurb. “What is a thing is Ross Noble doing a show. You can come and see it. This is it.”
As ever with this improviser supreme, it turns out Humournoid has no theme, says Noble, who promises a typically freewheeling performance on his return to one of his five favourite venues in the world. Box office: atgtickets.com/York.
If you discover one band this month, make it: Porridge Radio, The Crescent, York, January 31, 7.30pm
EVERY Bad, their 2020 album released by the super-cool Secretly Canadian label, has propelled Porridge Radio from a word-of-mouth gem of Brighton’s DIY scene to one of the country’s most exciting upcoming bands.
“Last here opening for BC Camplight, we’re very pleased to see them return,” say promoters Please Please You and Brudenell Presents. Pet Shimmers, a new supercharged seven-piece from Bristol, support. Box office: thecrescentyork.com.
Word wars: Say Owt Slam with guest poet Malaika Kegode, The Crescent, York, February 5, 7.30pm
BRISTOL writer, performer and producer Malaika Kegode will be the special guest at York spoken-word hub Say Owt’s first Slam night for more than two years.
Kegode has appeared at WOMAD and Edinburgh Book Festival, published two poetry collections with Burning Eye Books and created Outlier, an autobiographical gig-theatre with prog-rock band Jakabol. Passionate about cinema, culture and race, her lyrical work journeys through lives and loves, exploring genre, form and the power of the written word made visual.
In the raucous poetry Slam, performers will have three minutes each to wow the audience. Box office: thecrescentyork.com.
Moral dilemmas: Alfie Brown: Sensitive Man, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, February 10, 8pm
DOES emotion help us make moral judgments? In his new show, contrarian comedian Alfie Moore will address this question, using jokes.
These jokes will weave together to create something greater than the sum of their parts, answering a question about emotion and its complicated relationship with morality.
“I refute that I am saying things to plainly and wilfully disrupt social progress,” he says. “I am not. I might seem smug, I know, apologies, and I am often misunderstood. So, at this particular point in the unfolding history of meaning, intention, signs and signifiers, I am sometimes going to tell you what I mean.” Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.
Nina’s blues: Black Is The Color Of My Voice, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, March 12, 7.30pm
FLORENCE Odumosu plays Nina Simone in Apphia Campbell’s story of the North Carolina-born jazz and blues singer and activist seeking redemption after the untimely death of her father.
Simone reflects on the journey that took her from a young piano prodigy, destined for a life in the service of the church, to a renowned vocalist and pianist at the forefront of the civil rights movement. Box office: 01723 370541 or at sjt.uk.com.
Racing certainty…hopefully: Shed Seven, Live After Racing @Doncaster Racecourse, May 14, from 11.15am
YORK band Shed Seven’s day at the races should have taken place on May 15 2021, but Covid made it a non-runner. Now they are under starter’s orders at Doncaster Racecourse for a hit-laden live set after the May 15 race card this spring.
Among the Sheds’ runners and riders will be Going For Gold, Chasing Rainbows, She Left Me On Friday, Disco Down, Dolphin, Where Have You Been Tonight? and fan favourites from 2017’s comeback album Instant Pleasures, Room In My House and Better Days. For tickets for the race-day and concert package, go to: doncaster-racecourse.co.uk/whats-on.