More Things To Do in York and beyond in search of algorithms, rhythm and a Snake. List No. 88, courtesy of The Press

Algorithm & blues: Coder and post-classical pianist Larkhall at Micklegate Social. Picture: Samuel White

GLASTONBURY? Out of sight, out of mind, out of pocket, Charles Hutchinson prefers to stay up north for arts and crafts aplenty.

Curioso gigs of the week: Larkhall, Micklegate Social, Micklegate, York, tonight, 8pm; Brudenell Piano Sessions, Howard Assembly Room, Leeds Grand Theatre, tomorrow, 4pm

RECOMMENDED to Nils Frahm and Max Richter neo-classical devotees, Larkhall combines creative coding with beautiful post-classical piano pieces and makes algorithmically created visuals as he plays.

Larkhall is the performance alias of Minnesota mining town-born, Cambridge University-educated, Bath-based composer, coder and new-media artist Charlie Williams, whose intimate York show coincides with this week’s release of his third album, Say You’re With Me, with its theme of men’s mental health.

Can algorithms be art? Charlie reckons so. “My shows are an experience of algorithms creating beauty instead of, like, getting us to buy more stuff,” he says. Box office: larkhall.org.

Frankie Valli: Fronting The Four Seasons in one day at Scarborough Open Air Theatre

Nostalgia of the week: Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, tonight, gates, 6pm

THE Tony Award-winning musical Jersey Boys, chronicling the life and times of Frankie Valli and his New Jersey group, has brought so many songs to a new generation.

Cue Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Frankie playing Scarborough at 88 with The Four Seasons, performing Sherry, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Walk Like A Man, Rag Doll, Let’s Hang On, My Eyes Adored You, Who Loves You, December, 1963 (Oh What A Night), Grease et al. Box office: scarboroughopenairtheatre.com.

Leg up for comic effect: Thom Tuck and Dennis Herdman’s double act in The Play What I Wrote at York Theatre Royal. Picture: Manuel Harlan

Play of the week: Birmingham Rep in The Play What I Wrote, York Theatre Royal, Monday to Saturday, 7.30pm; Thursday, 2pm; Saturday, 2.30pm

WRITTEN by The Right Size comic coupling of Sean Foley and Hamish McColl in tandem with Eddie Braben, the chap what wrote little Ern’s plays, The Play What I Wrote is both a dissection of double acts and a celebration of Morecambe and Wise.

Thom Wall insists on performing yet another of his hapless plays, an epic set in the French Revolution. Partner Dennis Hayward prefers to continue with their failing comedy duo instead, believing a tribute to Morecambe & Wise will restore Wall’s confidence. First, he needs to persuade a mystery guest to appear in the play what Thom wrote, with a different star for each show. Box office: 01904 623658 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

Snake Davis: Saxophonist plays Cop’ Carnival’s debut jazz night on Tuesday

Community event of the week: Cop’ Carnival Day, Copmanthorpe Recreation Centre, Barons Crescent, York, July 2, 11.30am to 6pm

NOW in its 51st year, Cop’ Carnival Day retains its familiar format of dance troops, bands, traditional games and attractions next weekend. Tickets cost £5 in advance or £8 on the day.

In addition, Cop’ Carnival’s first jazz night, hosted with York Gin, presents An Evening With Snake Davis, saxophonist to the stars, on Tuesday at 7pm. Two nights later, the carnival’s comedy bill features Steve Royle, Tom Wrigglesworth, David Eagle and compere Alex Boardman from 8pm.

Throughout the festival, 30 artists are exhibiting at Copmanthorpe Methodist Church nightly from 7pm, admission free. Box office: copmanthorpecarnival.org.uk.

Strictly between them: Anton du Beke and Giovanni Pernice team up for Him & Me

Dance moves of the week: Anton & Giovanni, Him & Me, Grand Opera House, York, Tuesday, 7.30pm

 STRICTLY Come Dancing judge Anton du Beke and 2021 champion professional Giovanni Pernice are joined by dancers and singers for Him & Me, a night when the Ballroom King meets the Jive Master. Expect dance, song, light-hearted fun and banter.

Both Strictly stars will be making their second York appearance of 2022; Anton & Erin’s Showtime played York Barbican in February; Giovanni’s This Is Me followed suit in March. Box office: atgtickets.com/York.

Fran, frankly: Fran Lebowitz’s evening of acerbic New York wit and astute observation at Grand Opera House

Social commentator of the week: An Evening With Fran Lebowitz, Grand Opera House, York, Wednesday, 7.30pm

FRAN Lebowitz, New York purveyor of urban cool, cultural satirist and author, will be typically forthright and unapologetically opinionated in her dry-humoured social commentary on anything and everything, with a Q&A to boot.

After Pretend It’s A City, Lebowitz’s Netflix documentary series directed by filmmaker and friend Martin Scorsese, here comes her acerbic insights on gender, race, gay rights and the media, plus her pet peeves of celebrity culture, tourists, and baby strollers. Box office: atgtickets.com/York.

Who’d be a teacher? Sam Jackson’s Nick struggles with more than the paperwork in Foxglove Theatre’s The Brink

Shock of the new: Foxglove Theatre in The Brink, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, Thursday to Saturday, 7.30pm

IN Brad Birch’s darkly comic, explosive psychological thriller, history teacher Nick is a normal person, working a normal job, who lives a normal life, but he suffers a downward spiral fuelled by dreams and whispers of a bomb buried under the school.

“Thrilling, turbulent, unconventional, The Brink is an unwavering dive into dark and prominent subject matter, alien to the established York stage,” says Nathan Butler, director of new York company Foxglove Theatre. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.

Suzanne Vega: Booked into York Barbican for February 2023 concert

Big signings of the week for 2023: Suzanne Vega, York Barbican, February 22; Mike + The Mechanics, York Barbican, April 12

GLASTONBURY acoustic stage headliner Suzanne Vega will play York Barbican as the only Yorkshire show of the New York folk singer-songwriter’s 14-date tour next year, with Luka, Marlene On The Wall and Tom’s Diner to the fore.

Mike + The Mechanics will return to York Barbican next spring on their Refueled! 2023 Tour, promising “all the hits and a drop of Genesis” – Mike Rutherford’s other band – plus songs from latest album Out Of The Blue. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.

Podcast question of the week: Is Cruise in for a bruisin’ review or is tip-top Tom gunning for glory? Find out here

The poster for Top Gun: Maverick, playing cinemas everywhere, all day and most of the night

TWO Big Egos In A Small Car culture podcasters Graham Chalmers and Charles Hutchinson set their sights on Tom Cruise and Top Gun: Maverick in Episode 93.

Under discussion too: Ray Liotta RIP; summer nights at Scarborough Open Air Theatre and Luna Cinema, and Kahlil Gibran’s spiritual uplift in The Prophet.

To listen, head to: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1187561/10733500

More Things To Do in York and beyond as green shoots emerge and Johnny’s here. List No. 85, courtesy of The Press, York

Butshilo Nleya: Drums and drama at Green Shoots at York Theatre Royal

NOT only a certain platinum jubilee is cause for a party. Charles Hutchinson finds reasons aplenty to head out.

What can you say in five minutes? Green Shoots, York Theatre Royal, Tuesday and Wednesday, 7.30pm

NEW work commissioned by York Theatre Royal from 20 York and North Yorkshire professional artists will be premiered in Green Shoots.

Poets, performers, singers, dancers and digital artists will be presenting bite-sized performances focused on “rebooting post-pandemic and looking to the future of the planet”.

Among them will be Fladam; Bolshee; Alexander Flanagan-Wright; Paul Birch; Hayley Del Harrison; Butshilo Nleya; Hannah Davies and Jack Woods; Gus Gowland; Joe Feeney and Dora Rubinstein. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

Miles And The Chain Gang: Miles Salter’s new line-up plays the City of York (Roland Walls) Folk Weekend

That’s all folk: City of York (Roland Walls) Folk Weekend, Black Swan Inn, Peasholme Green, York, today, 1pm to 11pm, and tomorrow, 1.30pm to 10.30pm

THE Black Swan Folk Club’s two days and nights of free music and song take in a marquee concert stage; rolling folk club; musicians’ sessions; singarounds; Japanese drumming; indoor concerts; the Poems & Pints hour and workshops.

Playing over the weekend will be Kaminari Taiko, The Ale Marys, The Duncan McFarlane Band, White Sail, Clurachan, Two Black Sheep And A Stallion, Holly Taymar, Blonde On Bob, Les Rustiques, Caramba, Miles And The Chain Gang, Tommy Coyle, Chechelele, Leather’O and more besides. Full programme: blackswanfolkclub.org.uk.

Artwork by North Yorkshire Open Studios mixed-media artist Jo Yeates, who is inspired by the many possibilities of fabric, paper, paint and stitch, on show at South Bank Studios, Southlands Methodist Church, Bishopthorpe Road, York

Art event of the  month: North Yorkshire Open Studios 2022, today, tomorrow, then June 11 and 12, 10am to 5pm

FROM the rugged coastline near Whitby to the rolling Yorkshire Dales, 108 artists and makers invite you inside their studios and workshops.

Over four days, this is the chance to discover secret studio spaces and inspiring locations, watch artists at work, learn about their creative practices and buy contemporary art and design directly from the makers. To plan a route, visit nyos.org.uk to download a free brochure.

Jane McDonald: Headlining Yorkshire’s Platinum Jubilee Concert at Scarborough Open Air Theatre

Coastal party of the weekend: Yorkshire’s Platinum Jubilee Concert, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, today, 6pm

NATIONAL treasure Jane McDonald will be joined by musical theatre stars The Barricade Boys and drag artiste La Voix outdoors in Scarborough this evening.

“It’s going to be amazing,” says Wakefield singer and television presenter McDonald. “A really rousing night, full of song. It will be a real sing-along event, so bring your voices. I expect it’ll be emotional too, but above all else we’ll have a good old party.” Box office: scarboroughopenairtheatre.com.

Beck beckons: More than a year later than first planned, Jeff Beck plays York Barbicanand here’s Johnny too

Guitar god of the week and his (in)famous friend: Jeff Beck, with Johnny Depp, York Barbican, Tuesday, 8pm, sold out

NEWS flash. Fresh from winning his US defamation lawsuit against former wife Amber Heard, Hollywood frontman Johnny Depp, 58, is doing an impromptu victory lap as the special guest of South London rock, blues and jazz guitarist and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Jeff Beck, 77, on a tour rearranged from April 2021. 

Beck will take to the York stage with Rhonda Smith, bass, Vanessa Freebairn-Smith, cello, Anika Nilles, drums, Robert Adam Stevenson, keyboards, and Depp, riffing off his piratical Keith Richards vibe no doubt, on guitar. Box office for returns only: yorkbarbican.co.uk.

Beware the Ides of March…in June: Shakespeare’s Globe bring Julius Caesar to York Theatre Royal next week. Picture: Helen Murray

Political drama of the week: Shakespeare’s Globe in Julius Caesar, York Theatre Royal, June 10, 7.30pm; June 11, 2.30pm and 7.30pm

PREPARE to confront today’s political landscape as Shakespeare’s tragedy Julius Caesar takes on startlingly new relevance in Diane Page’s account of this brutal tale of ambition, incursion and revolution.

When Cassius (Charlotte Bate) and Brutus (Anna Crichton) decide Roman leader Julius Caesar (Dickson Tyrrell) poses a political threat to their beloved country, ancient Rome feels closer to home than ever amid the conspiracy to kill, the public broadcast of cunning rhetoric and a divisive fight for greatness. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

She’s back to say farewell: Dionne Warwick makes a last visit to York Barbican next Friday

Soul legend of the week: Dionne Warwick, She’s Back: One Last Time, York Barbican, June 10, 8pm

DON’T walk on by. Dionne Warwick’s rescheduled She’s Back: One Last Time itinerary now carries the Farewell Tour tag too, making next Friday’s concert all the more a Must See event.

Now 81, the six-time Grammy Award-winning New Jersey singer, actress, television host and former United Nations Global Ambassador for the Food and Agriculture will be performing such Bacharach/David favourites as I Say A Little Prayer, Do You Know The Way To San Jose and Walk On By, plus material from her May 2019 album, She’s Back. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.

The poster for Gary Barlow’s one-man theatre show A Different Stage, visiting the Grand Opera House for four performances

Hottest ticket of the week: Gary Barlow: A Different Stage, Grand Opera House, York, June 9, 10 and 11, 7.30pm; June 12, 2.30pm

FIRST, Take That’s Gary Barlow announced Friday and Saturday solo shows, then he added a Sunday matinee, and, finally, Thursday too. Ticket availability is best for the opening night; barely a handful remain for the others.

“I’ve done shows where it has just been me and a keyboard,” says the Wirral singer, songwriter, composer, producer, talent show judge and author. “I’ve done shows where I sit and talk to people. I’ve done shows where I’ve performed as part of a group.

“But this one, well, it’s like all of those, but none of them. When I walk out this time, well, it’s going to be a very different stage altogether.” Box office, without delay: 0844 871 7615 or atgtickets.com/York.

Getting mighty Crowded: Neil Finn’s band, Crowded House, head for the Yorkshire coast

Whatever the weather with you, Crowded House play Scarborough Open Air Theatre, July 11; gates open at 6pm

CROWDED House are heading out on their first European tour in more than ten years with a line-up of founding members Neil Finn and Nick Seymour, producer and keyboardist Mitchell Froom, guitarist and singer Liam Finn and drummer Elroy Finn, Neil’s sons.

Such favourites as Weather With You, Don’t Dream It’s Over, Distant Sun and Private Universe will be complemented by material from the Antipodeans’ seventh studio album, June 2021’s Dreamers Are Waiting, their first since 2010’s Intriguer. Box office: scarboroughopenairtheatre.com.

Jane McDonald to be joined by La Voix and The Barricade Boys on Saturday at Yorkshire’s Platinum Jubilee Concert

Jane McDonald: Leading the Yorkshire celebrations of HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee at Scarborough Open Air Theatre

NATIONAL treasure Jane McDonald will be joined by The Barricade Boys and drag artiste La Voix at Yorkshire’s Platinum Jubilee Concert at Scarborough Open Air Theatre on Saturday.

Wakefield singer and television star McDonald will be flying the flag for her beloved White Rose county when leading the Yorkshire coast celebration of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in a sea of red, white and blue.

“Everyone knows I’m a proud Yorkshire lass, so it will be so thrilling to walk on to stage in Scarborough for these celebrations,” says Jane.

Malton singer and musical actor Scott Garnham, second from left, with fellow members of The Barricade Boys

Malton-born West End musical actor ad impresario Scott Garnham will be joined by three fellow past cast members of Les Misérables, Craig Mather, Kieran Brown and Simon Schofield, in The Barricade Boys line-up.

Formed in 2015, the quartet’s latest tour, Bring Him Home, features music from the West End and Broadway stage, including The Phantom Of The Opera, Miss Saigon, Jersey Boys and Les Misérablescomplemented by songs by Queen, Elton John and The Beatles.

La Voix, the comedian and singer with the larger-than-life personality, is the redhead drag creation of Chris Dennis, who followed up reaching the Britain’s Got Talent semi-finals with an appearance in Ab Fab The Movie.

La Voix: Flagging up her appearance at Yorkshire’s Platinum Jubilee Concert

La Voix is completing the fifth year of an international one-woman theatre tour that visited the Grand Opera House, York, last October and has hosted a show on BBC Three Counties Radio for more than two years.

Headliner Jane McDonald, TV host of Cruising With Jane McDonald, Jane & Friends, Holidaying With Jane McDonald and Jane McDonald Explores Yorkshire and Loose Women regular, is promising a night of pomp and pageantry. “What an occasion this is going to be,” she says.

“It’s going to be amazing. A really rousing night, full of song. It will be a real sing-along event, so bring your voices. I expect it’ll be emotional too, but above all else we’ll have a good old party. It’s a celebration of The Queen’s life, but also all our lives and life in general after the past couple of years. A celebration of life as we know it!”

Tickets for this 6pm event are on sale at scarboroughopenairtheatre.com.

The poster for Saturday’s concert at Scarborough Open Air Theatre

More Things To Do in York and beyond when not only the Mouse will play in all weathers. List No. 83, courtesy of The Press

Behind you! Behind you: Will The Gruffalo pounce on Mouse in Tall Stories’ The Gruffalo?

POLITICS, the weather, monsters, Sixties and Eighties’ favourites, comedy songs and a north eastern tornado all are talking points for Charles Hutchinson for the week ahead.

Children’s show of the week: Tall Stories in The Gruffalo, Grand Opera House, York, today, 1pm and 3pm; tomorrow, 11am and 2pm

JOIN Mouse on a daring adventure through the deep, dark wood in Tall Stories’ magical, musical, monstrous adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s picture book, suitable for children aged three upwards.

Searching for hazelnuts, Mouse meets cunning Fox, eccentric old Owl and high-spirited Snake. Will the story of the terrifying Gruffalo save Mouse from becoming dinner for these hungry woodland creatures? After all, there is no such thing as a Gruffalo – or is there? Box office: 0844 871 7615 or atgtickets.com/York.

True or false: Is Tony Hadley playing York Barbican on Sunday? True!

Eighties’ nostalgia of the week: Tony Hadley, York Barbican, Sunday, 7.30pm

I KNOW this much is true: smooth London crooner Tony Hadley is celebrating 40 years in the music business with a 2022 tour that focuses on both his Spandau Ballet and solo years.

Once at the forefront of the New Romantic pop movement, Islington-born Hadley, 61, is the velvet voice of hits such as True, Gold, Chant No. 1, Instinction and Paint Me Down and solo numbers Lost In Your Love and Tonight Belongs To Us. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.

Up and at’em, Fladam: York musical comedy duo Florence Poskitt and Adam Sowter

Comedy songs of the week: Fladam & Friends, Let’s Do It Again!, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, today at 2.30pm and 7.30pm

YORK musical comedy duo Fladam, alias Florence Poskitt and piano-playing partner Adam Sowter, vowed to return after last year’s Hootenanny, and return they will this weekend. But can they really “do it again?”, they ask. Is a sequel ever as good?

Mixing comic classics from Victoria Wood with fabulous Fladam originals, plus a sneak peak of this summer’s Edinburgh Fringe debut, this new show will “either be the Empire Strikes Back of musical comedy sequels or another case of Grease 2”. Tickets to find out which one: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.

Always take a brolly with you just in case: Mikron Theatre Company’s James Mclean, left, Hannah Bainbridge, Alice McKenna and Thomas Cotran on tour in Lindsay Rodden’s all-weathers play, Red Sky At Night. Picture: Liz Baker

Whatever the weather, nothing stops Mikron Theatre Company in Red Sky At Night, Scarcroft Allotments, York, Sunday, 2pm

HAYLEY’S sunny, beloved dad was the nation’s favourite weatherman. Now, she is following in his footsteps, joining the ranks of the forecasting fraternity, or at least local shoestring teatime telly.

When the pressure drops and dark clouds gather, Hayley melts faster than a lonely snowflake. She may be the future’s forecast, but will anyone listen in Lindsay Rodden’s premiere, toured by Marsden company Mikron’s 50th anniversary troupe of James Mclean, Hannah Bainbridge, Alice McKenna and Thomas Cotran. No tickets are required; a Pay What You Feel collection will be taken after the show.

Stop Stop Start: The Hollies’ rearranged 60th anniversary tour will arrive at York Barbican on Monday

Sixties’ nostalgia of the week: The Hollies, 60th Anniversary Tour, York Barbican, Monday, 7.30pm

MOVED from September 2021, with tickets still valid, this 60th anniversary celebration of the Manchester band features a line-up of two original members, drummer Bobby Elliott and lead guitarist Tony Hicks, joined by lead singer Peter Howarth, bassist Ray Stiles, keyboardist Ian Parker and rhythm guitarist Steve Lauri.

Expect He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother, I Can’t Let Go, Just One Look, Bus Stop, I’m Alive, Carrie Anne, On A Carousel, Jennifer Eccles, Sorry Suzanne, The Air That I Breathe and more besides. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.

Giving an earful: Bettrys Jones’s Ellen Wilkinson MP, left, has a word with Laura Evelyn’s British Communist activist Isabel Brown in Red Ellen

A bit of politics of the week: Northern Stage in Red Ellen, York Theatre Royal, Tuesday to Saturday, 7.30pm; 2pm, Thursday; 2.30pm, Saturday

CAROLINE Bird’s new play turns the overdue spotlight on “Mighty Atom” Ellen Wilkinson, the crusading Labour MP cast forever on the right side of history, but the wrong side of life.

Caught between revolutionary and parliamentary politics, Ellen fights with an unstoppable, reckless energy for a better world, whether battling to save Jewish refugees in Nazi Germany; leading 200 workers on the Jarrow Crusade; serving in Churchill’s war cabinet or becoming the first female Minister for Education. Yet somehow she still finds herself on the outside looking in.​ Box office: 01904 623568 or at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

Steven Jobson, as Jekyll/Hyde, and Nicola Holliday, as Lucy Harris, in York Musical Theatre Company’s photocall for Jekyll & Hyde The Musical at York Castle Museum

Musical of the week: York Musical Theatre Company in Jekyll & Hyde The Musical, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, Wednesday to Saturday, 7.30pm; 2.30pm, Saturday matinee

BE immersed in the myth and mystery of London’s fog-bound streets where love, betrayal and murder lurk at every chilling twist and turn in Matthew Clare’s production of Frank Wildhorn and Leslie Bricusse’s musical adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s epic struggle between good and evil.

Steven Jobson plays the dual role of Dr Henry Jekyll and Mr Edward Hyde in the evocative tale of two men – one, a doctor, passionate and romantic; the other, a terrifying madman – and two women – one, beautiful and trusting; the other, beautiful and trusting only herself– both women in love with the same man and both unaware of his dark secret. Box office: 01904 501935 or josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.

Coastal call: Sam Fender kicks off the 2022 season at Scarborough Open Air Theatre

Award winner of the week: Sam Fender, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, May 27, gates open at 6pm

WINNER earlier this week of the Ivor Novello Award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically for his Seventeen Going Under single, North Shields singer-songwriter Sam Fender opens the 2022 Scarborough Open Air Theatre summer season next Friday.

Already Fender, 28, has the 2022 Brit Award for Best British Alternative/Rock Act in his bag as he heads down the coast to perform his frank, intensely personal, high-octane songs from 2019’s Hypersonic Missiles and 2021’s Seventeen Going Under. Box office: scarboroughopenairtheatre.com. 

a-ha, Christina Aguilera and Sam Fender to play Scarborough Open Air Theatre

The sun always shines on a-ha in Scarborough in July

NORWEGIAN synth-pop trio a-ha will head to the East Coast on their 2022 World Tour to play Scarborough Open Air Theatre on July 3.

Forty years since forming in Oslo, vocalist Morten Harket, guitarist Pal Waaktaar-Savoy and keyboardist Magne Furuholmen will be playing Europe, the United States and South America in 2022.

a-ha made their breakthrough in 1985 with the chart-topping Take On Me and The Sun Always Shines On TV from debut album Hunting High And Low, since when they have released ten studio and two live albums, plus an MTV Unplugged album. Take On Me has been viewed 1.4 billion times on YouTube and repeatedly voted into MTV fans’ Top Ten Best Music Videos of all time.

a-ha The Documentary, a film that follows the Scandinavians over four years, will be released in British cinemas on May 27 to coincide with their series of UK arena shows.

a-ha: New album in October

The documentary charts a-ha’s rise to the peak of their popularity, portraying the challenging creative and personal dynamics of three strong individuals who achieved their dreams.

After their world tour, a-ha will not be taking time out. Instead, in October, they will release True North, their first collection of new songs since 2015’s I on their debut for Sony Music/RCA.

True North will be not only an album, but a film too, capturing a-ha while recording the songs over two early November 2021 days in Bodø, the Norwegian city located 25km inside the Arctic Circle, in a project completed with the Norwegian Arctic Philharmonic.

Venue programmer and promoter Peter Taylor, of Cuffe and Taylor, says: “a-ha are true pop pioneers, visionaries and one of the most loved bands of the last 40 years.

“Their 2022 tour sees them headline many huge venues, including the Hollywood Bowl, so we’re delighted to be bringing them to the UK’s very own iconic open-air arena, right here on the beautiful Yorkshire coast.”

Christina Aguilera: Follows Britney and Kylie in playing Scarborough Open Air Theatre

AMERICAN singer, songwriter, producer and entrepreneur Christina Aguilera, 41, will play Scarbrough OAT on August 2 as one of three UK shows this summer, with Liverpool and London to follow on August 3 and 5.

Promoter Peter Taylor says: “Christina Aguilera is a music superstar and true global icon and we’re absolutely thrilled she is coming to Scarborough this summer.

“Christina is only playing a handful of shows in the UK, so to bring her here is another major coup for Scarborough Open Air Theatre and the Yorkshire coast.

“First Britney [Spears], then Kylie [Minogue] and now Christina – three incredible women on the global stage – all headlining this special venue. Roll on August 2; this is going to be one of the must-see shows of the summer.”

More than 20 years after her self-titled debut album, New Yorker Aguilera has sold more than 43 million records worldwide, collected 18 million Spotify listens, received three billion YouTube views and achieved five American number one singles, making her the fourth female artist to top the charts over three consecutive decades (1990s, 2000s, and 2010s).

In 2010, Aguilera received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and she holds the honour of being the only artist under the age of 30 to be included in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 greatest singers of all time.

Aguilera’s British dates follow the release of her single Pa Mis Muchachas, a much anticipated return to her Latin roots in a Spanish-language celebration of Latina sisterhood that features  Latin music superstar Becky G, explosive Argentinian rising star Nicki Nicole and Spain-based songwriter and rapper Nathy Peluso. Expect to hear it alongside Dirrty, Ain’t No Other Man, Fighter and Genie In A Bottle on August 2.

Sam Fender: Opening concert of Scarborough Open Air Theatre’s 2022 programme

NORTH Shields singer-songwriter Sam Fender will travel down the East Coast to open Scarborough Open Air Theatre’s 2022 season on May 27 on his biggest ever UK Tour.

The double BRIT Award winner, who turns 28 next Monday, will be airing songs from his two chart-topping albums, last October’s Seventeen Going Under and his 2019 debut, Hypersonic Missiles.

This year he added the Brit Award for Best British Alternative/Rock Act to his 2019 Critics’ Choice Award.

Fender will follow his Scarborough concert with summer headline festival sets at Tramlines, Truck and Victorious and a London outdoor show at Finsbury Park.

Tickets for Scarborough OAT gigs are on sale at scarboroughopenairtheatre.com.

Duran Duran to play outdoor concert at Castle Howard on June 17

Duran Duran: Castle Howard concert

DURAN Duran will play the first show in a new concert series in the grounds of Castle Howard, near York, on June 17.

This will be their second outdoor gig in North Yorkshire in nine months, after closing the 2021 summer season of Scarborough Open Air Theatre concerts last September.

Emerging from the New Romantic synthpop scene in the early 1980s, the Birmingham band have gone on to sell 100 million records and chalk up 21 British Top 20 singles and 18 American hits.

Songs such as Planet Earth, Girls On Film, Save A Prayer, Rio, Hungry Like the Wolf, The Reflex, The Wild Boys, Is There Something I Should Know and A View To A Kill have brought them nine gold, six platinum and three multi-platinum records, eight lifetime achievement awards, two Grammy awards, two Ivor Novello awards and two BRITs.

Singer Simon Le Bon, keyboardist Nick Rhodes, bassist John Taylor and drummer Roger Taylor are noted for fusing art, technology and fashion with pop hooks, while still looking to innovate and re-invent their sound after 42 years together.

Last October, they released their 15th studio album, Future Past, featuring collaborations with Giorgio Moroder, Mark Ronson, Graham Coxon, Erol Alkan, Tove Lo, Mike Garson, Ivorian Doll and CHAI, on their first studio recordings since Paper Gods in 2015.

Tickets for Duran Duran and special guests are on sale via castlehoward.co.uk or at ticketmaster.co.uk.

The concert poster for Duran Duran at Castle Howard

More Things To Do in York and beyond in 2022 as the icing man cometh. List of ingredients No. 63, courtesy of The Press

Car Park Panto’s cast dishes up a Horrible Christmas to Sunday’s drive-in audience at Elvington Airfield

AS U2 once sang, all is quiet on New Year’s Day, but Charles Hutchinson has his diary out to note down events for the months ahead.

Drive-in pantomime: Car Park Panto’s Horrible Christmas, Elvington Airfield, near York, tomorrow (Sunday,) 11am, 2pm and 5pm

BIRMINGHAM Stage Company’s Horrible Histories franchise teams up with Coalition Presents for Car Park Panto’s Horrible Christmas.

In writer-director Neal Foster’s adaptation of Terry Deary’s story, when Christmas comes under threat from a jolly man dressed in red, one young boy must save the day as a cast of eight sets off on a hair-raising adventure through the history of Christmas.

At this Covid-secure experience, children and adults can jump up and down in their car seats and make as much noise as they like, tuning in to the live show on stage and screen. Box office: carparkparty.com.

Shaparak Khorsandi: Revisiting her 1900s’ experiences in It Was The 90s! at Selby Town Hall

Looking back, but not nostalgically: Shaparak Khorsandi, It Was The 90s!, Selby Town Hall, January 22, 8pm

SHAPARAK Khorsandi, the Iranian-born British stand-up comedian and author formerly known as Shappi, tackles the celebrated but maligned 1990s in her new show, It Was The 90s!.

Back then, she flew around London with hope in her heart, a tenner in her pocket and spare knickers in her handbag. “But how does the decade of binge drinking and walks of shame look now without snakebite and black-tinted specs?” asks Shaparak, 48.

“This is a show about how we ’90s kids are looking to young people to learn how to take care of ourselves, because if you survived the car crash of being a ’90s kid, then surely Things Can Only Get Better.” Box office: 01757 708449 or selbytownhall.co.uk.

Round The Horne as re-created by Apollo Stage Company at the Grand Opera House, York

Looking back, nostalgically: Round The Horne, Grand Opera House, York, January 27, 7.30pm

FROM the producers of The Goon Show and Hancock’s Half Hour tours comes another radio comedy classic, re-created live on stage by Apollo Stage Company.

Compiled and directed by Tim Astley from Barry Took and Marty Feldman’s scripts, this meticulous show takes a step back in time to the BBC’s Paris studios to re-play the recordings of the Sunday afternoon broadcasts of Kenneth Horne and his merry crew in mischievous mood.

Expect wordplay, camp caricatures and risqué innuendos, film spoofs and such favourite characters as Rambling Sid Rumpo, Charles and Fiona, J. Peasemold Gruntfuttock and Julia and Sandy. Box office: atgtickets.com/York.

Kipps, The New Half A Sixpence Musical: Making its York debut at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre in February

Heart or head choice: Joseph Rowntree Theatre Company in Kipps, The New Half A Sixpence Musical, Joseph Rowntree Theatre Company, York, February 9 to 12, 7.30pm and 2.30pm Saturday matinee

IN the coastal town of Folkestone, Arthur Kipps knows there is more to life than his demanding but unrewarding job as an apprentice draper.

When he suddenly inherits a fortune, Kipps is thrown into a world of upper-class soirées and strict rules of etiquette that he barely understands. Torn between the affections of the kind but proper Helen and childhood sweetheart Ann, Kipps must determine whether such a simple soul can find a place in high society.

Tickets for this fundraising show for the JoRo are on sale on 01904 501935 or at josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.

Giovanni Pernice: This is him in This Is Me after his Strictly Come Dancing triumph

Strictly winner comes dancing: Giovanni Pernice: This Is Me, York Barbican, March 9, 7.30pm

GLITTER ball still gleaming, Giovanni Pernice will take to the road on his rescheduled tour after winning Strictly Come Dancing as the professional partner to ground-breaking deaf EastEnders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis.

The Italian dance stallion will be joined by his cast of professional dancers for This Is Me, his homage to the music and dances that have inspired Pernice’s career, from a competition dancer to being a mainstay of the gushing BBC show.

“Expect all of your favourite Ballroom and Latin dances and more,” says Giovanni. Tickets remain valid from the original date of June 11 2020. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.

The Script: Returning to Scarborough Open Air Theatre in July

Off to the East Coast part one: The Script, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, July 14

IRISH rock band The Script topped the album charts for a sixth time in October with their greatest hits collection Tales From The Script, matching the feats of Arctic Monkeys, Pink Floyd and Radiohead.

Those songs can be heard live next summer when lead vocalist and keyboardist Danny O’Donoghue, guitarist Mark Sheehan and drummer Glen Power return to Scarborough Open Air Theatre for the first time since June 2018.

Formed in Dublin in 2007, The Script have sold more than 30 million records, chalking up hits with We Cry, The Man Who Can’t Be Moved, For The First Time, Hall Of Fame and Superheroes. Box office: scarboroughopenairtheatre.com.

Jane McDonald: Leading the line-up at Yorkshire’s Platinum Jubilee Concert at Scarborough Open Air Theatre

Off to the East Coast part two: Jane McDonald and special guests, Yorkshire’s Platinum Jubilee Concert, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, June 4

WAKEFIELD singing star Jane McDonald will top the bill at next summer’s Scarborough celebration of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. A host of special guests will be added.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be headlining this very special concert, and where better to be holding such a brilliant event than in Yorkshire,” she says. “Everyone knows I’m a proud Yorkshire lass, so it will be so thrilling to walk on to stage in Scarborough for these celebrations.” Box office: scarboroughopenairtheatre.com.

Paul Hollywood will pour some sugar on Harrogate Convention Centre in October

The Great British Baker gets cooking: Paul Hollywood Live, Harrogate Convention Centre, October 23

GREAT British Bake Off judge, celebrity chef and cookbook author Paul Hollywood promises live demonstrations, baking tasks, sugar-coated secrets and special surprises in next autumn’s tour.

Visiting 18 cities and towns, including Harrogate (October 23) and Sheffield City Hall (November 1), Wallasey-born baker’s son Hollywood, 55, will work from a fully equipped on-stage kitchen, sharing his tricks of the trade. Tickets for a slice of Hollywood action are on sale at cuffeandtaylor.com.

What’s on the menu? More Things To Do in York and beyond, hopefully, but check for updates. List No. 62, from The Press, York

Waiter! David Leonard’s Vermin the Destroyer, left, and A J Powell’s Luvlie Limpit survey what’s left of the Ye Olde Whippet Inn menu as Martin Barrass’s Dunkin Donut offers advice in Dick Turpin Rides Again. Picture: David Harrison

GIVEN the ever-changing Omicron briefings, Charles Hutchinson has a rubber as well as a pencil in his hand as he highlights what to see now and further ahead.

Still time for pantomime unless Omicron measures intervene part one: Dick Turpin Rides Again, Grand Opera House, York, until January 9

BACK on stage for the first time since February 2 2019, grand dame Berwick Kaler reunites with long-standing partners in panto Martin Barrass, David Leonard, Suzy Cooper and A J Powell.

After his crosstown switch to the Grand Opera House, Kaler steps out of retirement to write, direct and lead his first show for Crossroads Pantomimes, playing Dotty Donut, with Daniel Conway as the company’s new face in the Essex lad title role amid the familiar Kaler traditions. Look out for the flying horse. Box office: atgtickets.com/York.

Come join the rev-olution: Stepsisters Manky (Robin Simpson), left, and Mardy (Paul Hawkyard) make a raucous entrance in Cinderella. Alas, the Theatre Royal panto is now on hold until December 30 after a Covid outbreak

Still time for pantomime but only after a week in self-isolation: Cinderella, York Theatre Royal, ending on January 2 2022

COVID has struck three cast members and understudies too, leading to the decision to cancel performances of Cinderella from today until December 30.

Fingers crossed, you can still enjoy Evolution Productions writer Paul Hendy and York Theatre Royal creative director Juliet Forster’s panto custom-built for 21st century audiences.

Targeted at drawing in children with magical storytelling, silliness aplenty and pop songs, Cinderella has a thoroughly modern cast, ranging from CBeebies’ Andy Day as Dandini to Faye Campbell as Cinders and ventriloquist Max Fulham as Buttons, with his Monkey on hand for cheekiness.

Robin Simpson and Paul Hawkyard’s riotous step-sisters Manky and Mardy and puns galore add to the fun. Box office: 01904 623568 or at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

A wintry landscape by Julia Borodina, on show at Blossom Street Gallery, York

Buy now before her prices go up! Julia Borodina, Into The Light, Blossom Street Gallery, York, until January 31

JULIA Borodina will be competing in Sky’ Arts’ 2022 Landscape Artist of the Year, set for screening in January and February. Perfect timing for her York exhibition, Into The Light, on show until the end of next month.

Bretta Gerecke, part of the design team behind Castle Howard’s Christmas In Narnia displays, stands by the 28ft decorated tree in the Great Hall. Picture: Charlotte Graham

THE Christmas tree of the season: Christmas In Narnia at Castle Howard, near York, until January 2

CASTLE Howard has topped past peaks by installing a 28ft spruce tree from Scotland in the Great Hall as part of the Christmas In Narnia displays and decorations.

 “We believe that this is the largest real indoor Christmas tree in the country, standing around eight feet higher than the impressive tree normally installed in Buckingham Palace,” says the Hon Nicholas Howard, guardian of Castle Howard. 

“It’s certainly the largest we have had, both in terms of height and width at the base, which has a huge footprint in the Great Hall – but thankfully leaves a gap on either side for visitors to walk right around it.” Tickets for Christmas In Narnia must be booked before arrival at castlehoward.co.uk.

York Community Choir Festival: Eight diverse concerts at Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York

Choirs galore: York Community Choir Festival, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, February 27 to March 5 2022

EIGHT shows, different every night, will be the format for this choral celebration of how and why people come together to make music and have fun.

At least four choirs will be on stage in every concert in a festival featuring show tunes, pop and folk songs, world music, classical music, gospel songs, close harmonies, blues and jazz.

From primary-school choirs through to teenage, young adult and adult choirs, the choral configurations span male groups, female groups and mixed-voice choirs. Proceeds will go to the JoRo theatre from ticket sales on 01904 501935 or at josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.

David Ford’s poster for his Interesting Times tour, visiting Pocklington Arts Centre in March

If you see one sage and rage singer-songwriter next year, make it: David Ford, Interesting Times Tour 22, Pocklington Arts Centre, March 10 2022, 8pm

EASTBOURNE troubadour David Ford will return to the road with an album of songs documenting the tumultuous year that was 2020.

May You Live In Interesting Times, his sixth studio set, charts the rise of Covid alongside the decline of President Trump. Recorded at home during various stages of lockdown, the album captures the moment with Ford’s trademark emotional eloquence and dark irony.

After the imposed hiatus times three (and maybe four, wait and see), the new incarnation of Ford’s innovative, incendiary live show promises to demonstrate just what happens when you shut such a creative force in a room for two years. Box office: 01759 301547 or at pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk.

Sir Tom Jones: Playing Scarborough Open Air Theatre for a third time next summer

Amid the winter uncertainty, look to next summer’s knight to remember: Sir Tom Jones at Scarborough Open Air Theatre, July 26 2022

SIR Tom Jones will complete a hattrick of Scarborough Open Air Theatre concerts after his 2015 and 2017 gigs with his July return.

In April, the Welsh wonder released his 41st studio album, the chart-topping Surrounded By Time, featuring the singles Talking Reality Television Blues, No Hole in My Head, One More Cup of Coffee and Pop Star.

Sir Tom, 81, will play a second outdoor Yorkshire concert in 2022, at The Piece Hall, Halifax, on July 10. Box office for both shows: ticketmaster.co.uk.

Flying dreamers: Elbow showcase their ninth studio album in Scarborough next July

Deep in the bleak midwinter, think of days out on the Yorkshire coast part two: Elbow, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, July 9 2022

MAKE Elbow room in your diary to join Guy Garvey, Craig Potter, Mark Potter and Pete Turner on the East Coast in July.

Formed in 1997 in Bury, Greater Manchester, BBC 6 Music Sunday afternoon presenter Garvey and co chalked up their seventh top ten album in 2021 with Flying Dream 1.

Released on November 19, Elbow’s ninth studio album was written remotely in home studios before the lifelong friends met up at the empty Brighton Theatre Royal to perfect, perform, and record the songs. Box office: ticketmaster.co.uk.

Simply Red to play Scarborough Open Air Theatre on July 22 next summer

“It’s going to be wonderfully inspiring when people can go and see bands again. I can’t wait,” says Simply Red’s Mick Hucknall

SIMPLY Red will head back to Scarborough Open Air Theatre next summer for the first time since 2016.

Mick Hucknall’s pop-soul band will play on the East Coast on July 22, with tickets going on sale on Friday at 9am at scarboroughopenairtheatre.com.

Looking forward to his stage return, Hucknall, 61, says: “I’ve spent most of my life going out and singing for people, so it feels strange not to have that. I miss being able to express myself. It’s going to be wonderfully inspiring when people can go and see bands again. I can’t wait.”

Simply Red have notched up more than a billion hits on You Tube and sold more than 60 million albums worldwide, five of them going to number one in the UK: A New Flame in 1989, Stars in 1991, Life in 1995, Greatest Hits in 1996 and Blue in 1998 .

All 12 Simply Red studio albums since 1985 debut Picture Book have made the British top ten; the latest, 2019’s Blue Eyed Soul, peaking at number six.

1991’s Stars was the best-selling album for two years running in Britain and Europe; Holding Back The Years and If You Don’t Know Me By Now both topped the US Billboard singles chart.

Simply Red: Mick Hucknall has retained the same line-up since 2003

Manchester-born Hucknall has been the songwriter and bandleader since Simply Red formed in 1985, working with the present line-up since 2003.

Simply Red join the ever-expanding diary of headliners at Scarborough OAT in 2022:  Lionel Richie, Lewis Capaldi, Bryan Adams, Crowded House and Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.

Peter Taylor, of venue programmers Cuffe and Taylor, says: “We’re delighted to be welcoming Simply Red back to Scarborough Open Air Theatre.

“Mick Hucknall is a music legend and he and his band sound as relevant and as fresh today as they did when Simply Red first burst into the public consciousness almost 40 years ago.

“We’ve had so many requests for them to return, so we are delighted to oblige and reveal they will be back at this special venue next summer.”