FORMER York Theatre Royal marketing officer and 2009 TakeOver Festival co-director Sam Freeman heads back to his old stamping ground on Friday night with his solo rom-com for the lonely hearted and the loved-up, armed with a projector, a notebook, wonky spectacles and nods to Richard Curtis’s Notting Hill.
This 7.45pm performance of Every Little Hope You Ever Dreamed (But Didn’t Want To Mention) will be preceded on his ten-date tour by tonight’s 7.30pm show at the Cold Bath Brewery Co Clubhouse in Harrogate.
Freeman, marketeer, occasional writer, director and stand-up comedian, combines storytelling and whimsical northern comedy in his multi-layered story of a chance encounter between two soulmates, how they fall in love, then part but may meet again.
Performed by a man in a red checked shirt, black jeans, red Converse, a passable knowledge of Powerpoint and an inexplicable love of Excel spreadsheets, Every Little Hope You Ever Dreamed (But Didn’t Want To Mention) is about “love, Calippo lollies, lazy days under blues skies, cats, answerphones, stabilisers, dangerous places to eat, Google Earth, the necessities of strong planning, dead phones and wiggling toes, time standing still, crazy-paved driveways, mountains, hills, bravery and high-fives. But mostly, love,” says Sam.
Against a film backdrop, Freeman interweaves five stories that start separately and in isolation before gradually coming together as themes, characters, objects, words and callbacks.
Sam says: “The show’s a beautiful mix of storytelling and comedy. It’s warmly influenced by the Richard Curtis rom-coms like Notting Hill and Four Weddings and a Funeral but with a more whimsical, Northern feel.
“It has part of me written into it, places I’ve been and seen, from travelling home on the Transpennine express when the snow has fallen, to moments of being a hopeless (and often failed) romantic. It’s a show written for the lonely hearted and those in love.”
For Harrogate tickets, harrogatetheatre.co.uk; for York, 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.
LET’S do The Time Warp again? It’s just a jump to the left, and then a step to right, to enjoy plenty more of Charles Hutchinson’s recommendations.
Fancy dress invitation of the week: Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show, Grand Opera House, York, Monday to Saturday
KRISTIAN Lavercombe celebrates his 2,000th performance as Riff Raff as Richard O’Brien’s 1973 musical extravaganza enjoys yet another York run.
Alongside Lavercombe in Christopher Luscombe’s touring production will be 2016 Strictly Come Dancing winner Ore Oduba as preppy college nerd Brad Majors, Haley Flaherty as squeaky-clean fiancée Janet Weiss and Stephen Webb as castle-dwelling Transylvanian transsexual doctor Frank-N-Furter.
Cue fabulously camp fun and even camper costumes, shlock-horror comedy and science-fiction send-ups, audiences in fancy dress and sassy songs such as Sweet Transvestite, Science Fiction/Double Feature and The Time-Warp singalong. Box office: 0844 871 7615 or atgtickets.com/York.
Exhibition launch of the week: Imogen Hawgood and Horace Panter, Hyperrealism in America and Japan, at According To McGee, Tower Street, York, from 11am today until March 25
NEW According To McGee signing Imogen Hawgood, from County Durham, introduces her collection of realist paintings in a duo show with Pop artist and Ska legend Horace Panter, The Specials’ bassist.
Panter’s Edward Hopper-inspired depictions of Midwest motels, inner-lit Japanese kiosks and sun-warmed Coca-Cola crates complement Hawgood’s exploration of Americana icons and the idea of “the road” as a transitional landscape.
Rock horror show: Steve Steinman’s Vampires Rock – Ghost Train, Grand Opera House, York, tonight (12/3/2022), 7.30pm
NOTTINGHAM singer and producer Steve Steinman returns to York with his tongue-in-cheek show stacked high with rock anthems, guitar gods and vampy vampettes.
Steinman’s Baron von Rockula and his vampires take refuge in an old fairground’s ghost train as he seeks a new virginial wife after the death of his beloved Pandora. Ordering faithful sidekick Bosley to find him one, enter Roxy Honeybox.
Now in its 20th year, Vampires Rock sets a cast of singers, dancers and musicians loose on Queen, AC/DC, Bonnie Tyler, Meat Loaf, Bon Jovi, Journey and Guns N’ Roses chestnuts. Box office: 0844 871 7615 or atgtickets.com/York.
York gig of the week: Glenn Tilbrook, The Crescent, York, Sunday, 7.30pm
THIS is a standing show…and an outstanding one too as endearing and enduring Deptford singer, songwriter, guitarist and troubadour Glenn Tilbrook makes his debut appearance at The Crescent.
More than 45 years after he first answered an ad placed by Chris Difford looking for like-minded sorts to form the band that became the evergreen Squeeze, an ending is nowhere in sight, even if he called his fourth solo album Happy Ending in 2014. Expect silver-tongued Squeeze and solo numbers, peppered with audience requests, tomorrow night.
Squeeze up, by the way, because this Gig Cartel-promoted gig has sold out. Fingers crossed for any returns (www.thecrescentyork.com), but otherwise you’re really up the junction for a ticket.
Literary event of the week: Alexander McCall Smith, York Theatre Royal, Monday, 7.30pm
YORK Literature Festival plays host to Alexander McCall Smith as he discusses the new instalment in his long-running Scotland Street series, the warm-hearted, humorous and wise Love In The Time Of Bertie.
Fiona Lindsay pops the questions, intertwined with footage shot on location in Edinburgh, wherein McCall Smith invites guests into his study, where he writes surrounded by paintings and books, and visits key landmarks from the books.
The festival follows from March 18 to 27 with full details at yorkliteraturefestival.co.uk. Box office: 01904 623568 or at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.
Postponement of the week: Joe Jackson, Sing, You Sinners! Tour, York Barbican, moving from March 17 to July 29
BLAME Covid for this delay to only the second ever York concert of singer, songwriter and consummate arranger Joe Jackson’s 44-year career.
“After months of uncertainty, it finally became clear that continuing Covid restrictions (particularly on venue capacity) in certain countries, would make our Spring European Tour un-viable as planned,” says Jackson’s official statement. “We can’t tour at a loss, and the situation did not look like changing soon enough.”
Tickets remain valid for the new July 29 date when Jackson promises hits, songs not aired in years and new material. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.
Storytelling show of the week: Sam Freeman, Every Little Hope You Ever Dreamed (But Didn’t Want To Mention), Cold Bath Brewery Co Clubhouse, Harrogate, Monday, 7.30pm; York Theatre Royal Studio, Friday, 7.45pm
FORMER York Theatre Royal marketing officer and 2009 TakeOver Festival co-director Sam Freeman heads back to his old stamping ground with his solo rom-com for the lonely hearted and the loved-up, armed with a projector, a notebook, wonky spectacles and nods to Richard Curtis’s Notting Hill.
Freeman, marketeer, occasional writer, director and stand-up comedian, combines storytelling and whimsical northern comedy in his multi-layered story of a chance encounter between two soulmates, how they fall in love, then part but may meet again. Box office: Harrogate, harrogatetheatre.co.uk; York, 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.
Shaking up Shakespeare: Northern Broadsides in As You Like It, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, Tuesday to Saturday; York Theatre Royal, March 23 to 26
MARKING Northern Broadsides’ 30th anniversary, artistic director Laurie Sansom’s diverse cast of 12 northern actors captures the “sheer joy of live performance and the crazy power of love to change the world” in his bold, refreshing take on Shakespeare’s most musical comedy.
Exiled from the court, high-spirited Rosalind, devoted cousin Celia and drag queen Touchstone encounter outlaws, changing seasons and life unconfined by rigid codes in the forest.
Gender roles dissolve and assumptions are turned on their head in a natural world of endless possibilities. Box office: Scarborough, 01723 370541 or sjt.uk.com; York, 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.
Touring show of the week: Utopia Theatre in Here’s What She Said To Me, York Theatre Royal Studio, Thursday and Friday, 7.45pm
MEET Agbeke, Omotola and Aramide, three generations of proud African women connecting with each other across two continents, time and space, in Oladipo Agboluaje’s distaff drama, conceived and directed by York St John University graduate Mojisola Elufowoju.
Together the women share their struggles, their joys, tragedies and broken dreams, in order to find healing in the present. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.