Khorsandi and Moorhouse confirmed for Your Place Comedy live-streamed gig

At the double: Justin Moorhouse and Shappi Khorsandi confirmed for Your Place Comedy home service for laughter

SHAPPI Khorsandi and Justin Moorhouse will perform live from their living rooms in the fifth instalment of Your Place Comedy streamed gigs on September 27.

Their digital double bill will be the penultimate free show for the virtual comedy project,  originally set up in lockdown to deliver live entertainment into the home from national touring acts who might ordinarily be taking to the stages of theatres and arts centres in Yorkshire and the Humber.

2017 I’m A CelebrityGet Me Out Of Here! contestant, author and BBC 1 Question Time panellist Khorsandi, 47, has appeared frequently on Have I Got News For You, Mock The Week, QI and 8 Out Of 10 Cats, as well as BBC Radio 4’s Loose Ends, Just A Minute and The Now Show. She is the daughter of Iranian political satirist and poet Hadi Khorsandi, by the way.

Manchester United fan Moorhouse, 50, played Man City-supporting Young Kenny in both series of Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights on Channel 4, won Celebrity Mastermind and is a frequent panellist on BBC Radio 4’s News Quiz and a familiar voice on TalkSport and BBC 5Live’s Fighting Talk.

As you watch from the socially distanced comfort of your home, regular Your Place Comedy compere Tom FitzHigham, writer and star of BBC Radio 4’s The Gambler and presenter of CBBC’s Super Human Challenge, will introduce the September 27 acts from 8pm.

Humour-plated: Shappi Khorsandi dresses to fight for the right to tell jokes

The live-stream will be free to watch on YouTube and Twitch, but with an option for viewers to donate if they have enjoyed the broadcast. All money raised will be distributed equally among the ten supporting venues, none of whom has had an opportunity to derive any meaningful income from live performances since closing in the middle of March.

Set in motion by Selby Town Council arts officer Chris Jones, who runs the programming for both Selby Town Hall and Otley Courthouse, Your Place Comedy brings together the ten small, independent venues to provide a way to present performers while their doors remain closed and the future of the industry looks uncertain.

Taking part too in the project are The Ropewalk, Barton-upon-Humber; East Riding Theatre, Beverley; Junction, Goole; Helmsley Arts Centre; Shire Hall, Howden; Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds; Pocklington Arts Centre and Rotherham Theatres. Between them all, they have pledged funds to support the performers in the six shows.

Chris says: “With social distancing regulations preventing the vast majority of theatres and arts centres from operating at a profit, or in many cases even opening at all, and with no light at the end of the tunnel, venues across our region continue to look at more innovative ways of connecting with their much-missed audiences and providing work for the artists who have lost so much as a result of the pandemic crisis.

“Justin and Shappi are two of the most consistently funny and highly respected live acts on the circuit today, with nearly 50 years’ performance experience between them.

“They are perfect guests for the show format, which really provides a rather different comedy experience from that of a raucous, sold-out theatre gig. They are personal, intimate, conversational affairs…and completely free to watch. There really is no excuse not to tune in!”

News….Just in…..Moorhouse will play Your Place Comedy gig on September 27

Chris has confirmed the next Your Place Comedy show will be the last “in the current format”. “Despite a feeling of stasis – we’ve not had a live gig at Selby Town Hall since March 14 – the world has really been moving at a dizzying rate in terms of innovation in the performing arts,” he reasons.

“The current model has served us well during lockdown, but I think while audiences have been bombarded with new and exciting offerings that might offer a glimpse of the future, they are, at the same time, looking ever more longingly towards those ultimately irreplaceable live experiences they have been denied for so long.

“We need to regroup and consider how we continue delivering content with that in mind.”

Chris forewarns: “We’re keen to stress that, despite the return of schools and calls to re-populate offices, it is far from business as usual for venues or performers, and we still need the support of our much-loved audiences.

“Live activity to any meaningful degree inside venues is all but non-existent and an entire cultural ecosystem remains very much under threat.”

For full details on September 27’s Your Place Comedy and on how to watch the Khorsandi and Moorhouse double bill, go to: yourplacecomedy.co.uk.

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

New date for Newman at Selby Town Hall as The Philosophy Show moves to May ’21

Newman, new date

SCHOLARLY comedian, author and social activist Rob Newman is remaining philosophical about having to move his Selby Town Hall gig for a second time.

After all, The Philosophy Show has sold out, whatever the Covid-shunted date, whether switching from May 16 2020 to September 11 or, now, to May 28 2021.

Should your putative 2021 diary already have an 8pm engagement pencilled in for that night, Selby Town Hall manager Chris Jones says: “We will be in touch with all ticket holders shortly. Tickets will be automatically transferred to the new date, with refunds available if you cannot make it.”

The tour publicity still invites you to “catch Rob Newman as he tries out new material for the next series of his BBC Radio 4 stand-up philosophy show Total Eclipse Of Descartes”.

Hackney-born, Cambridge-finessed Newman, 56, was part of The Mary Whitehouse Experience with David Baddiel, Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis before forming the Baddiel and Newman double act and subsequently going solo. Last year he won the Best Scripted Comedy and Best Comedy With A Live Audience gongs in the BBC Audio Drama Awards.

Chris McCausland switches Selby Town Hall gig to next April in Covid-enforced move

CHRIS McCausland is moving his Speaky Blinder show at Selby Town Hall from November 14 to April 24 2021.

“He’s blind. He’s a dad. He’s a husband. He’s third in command,” says his tour publicity. “He’ll ‘speaky’ about all of that, plus loads more nonsense in between.

“Chris McCausland is heading back out on tour, but don’t worry, he’s got somebody else doing the driving.”

McCausland has made his mark on such shows as Would I Lie To You?, Have I Got News For You, Live At The Apollo and 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown.

Tickets remain valid for the revised 8pm show. “We will be contacting ticket holders in the coming week,” says Selby Town Council arts officer and Selby Town Council manager Chris Jones. “If you are unable to make the new date, a full refund will be offered.”

Tickets cost £14 at selbytownhall.co.uk or £16 on the door.

Jo Caulfield and Simon Evans double up for Your Place Comedy bill online on Sunday

Simon Evans and Jo Caulfield: Broadcasting live online from their living rooms to yours on Sunday night

JO Caulfield and Simon Evans will perform live from their living rooms on Sunday in the third edition of Yorkshire’s virtual comedy project Your Place Comedy.

Once more, Selby Town Hall is collaborating with nine other small, independent arts centres and theatres from across Yorkshire and the Humber to provide an evening of entertainment from two touring acts, broadcast live to viewers’ homes for free on YouTube and the Twitch video live streaming service.

After the 8pm online double bill hosted remotely by regular compere Tim FitzHigham, viewers will have an option to donate if they have enjoyed the broadcast. All money raised will be distributed equally among the ten supporting venues, as they each seek to navigate their way through these challenging times when closed down under the Covid-19 strictures.

It’s that Jo Caulfield again…this time entertaining on the home front

After Mark Watson and Lucy Beaumont on April 19, followed by Simon Brodkin  and Maisie Adams on May 10, this weekend is the turn of a brace of BBC Radio 4 comedy stalwarts, Caulfield and Evans.

Both have appeared on BBC2’s Mock The Week and Live At The Apollo; between them, they have guested on BBC1’s Have I Got News For You and Question Time, BBC2’s Never Mind The Buzzcocks and Channel 4’s Stand Up For The Week.

They are regulars on BBC Radio 4’s The Now Show, The News Quiz, The Unbelievable Truth and Just A Minute, while Caulfield has starred in three series of her own show, It’s That Jo Caulfield Again, and Evans has written and presented five series of Simon Evans Goes To Market.

Simon Evans, above: BBC Radio 4 comedy stalwart

Host FitzHigham is the writer and star of BBC Radio 4’s The Gamble and presenter of CBBC’s Super Human Challenge.

“Your Place Comedy is a venue-driven initiative that tries to re-establish the traditional relationship between venue, performer and audience that has been temporarily lost during the Covid-19 crisis,” says organiser Chris Jones, Selby Town Council’s arts officer and manager of Selby Town Hall.

“The venues participating in the project 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.”

Umbrella fella: Your Place Comedy host Tim FitzHigham

Chris continues: “While sadly our doors remain closed for the immediate future, this hasn’t stopped venues from across the region working hard to find new ways of delivering high-quality entertainment in innovative formats to the audiences they miss so much.

“All the theatres and arts centres involved in Your Place Comedy are deeply rooted in their communities and want to maintain those vital links that allow them to bring some of the most sought-after national and international touring acts to the towns and cities of Yorkshire and beyond. We are all determined to help keep the live performance industry afloat at a time when it has never been needed more.”

Joining together in this rolling initiative to put the fun into fundraising are Selby Town Hall; The Ropewalk, Barton upon Humber; Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds; East Riding Theatre, Beverley; Junction, Goole; Helmsley Arts Centre; Shire Hall, Howden; Otley Courthouse; Pocklington Arts Centre and  Rotherham Theatres.

Simon Brodkin and Maisie Adams: The line-up for the second Your Place Comedy night on May 10

Looking forward to this weekend’s double bill, Chris says: “There’s a distinct Radio 4 vibe this time round with two stalwarts of the network, and two of the slickest, most accomplished and effortlessly funny acts around, Jo Caulfield and Simon Evans, taking to the virtual stage. Both Jo and Simon have sold out Selby Town Hall before.

“In a fit of nostalgia the other day, I was thinking back to the first time I ever saw a live stand-up show…and I’m certain it was Simon Evans, performing as part of the Carlsberg Ice Comedy Network at the University of York in late 2000. I can still remember the gags – and   that doesn’t happen very often! He was brilliant.”

What’s next for Your Place Comedy? “We’ll stop and take stock after this show, see what lessons small venues in the region can take from the exercise and whether there is a financially viable future in live streaming that supports artists, venues and audiences as this [venue closure] predicament inevitably runs into the autumn and beyond,” says Chris, who initially had speculated on the possibility of a run of five such shows.

Hull comedian and actor Lucy Beaumont: Her Your Place Comedy double bill with Mark Watson in April drew 3,500 viewers and raised £3,500 in donations

For full details on Your Place Comedy, and to find out how to watch the June 7 show, visit yourplacecomedy.co.uk.

Simon Brodkin and Maisie Adam are stream team for Sunday’s Your Place Comedy gig

Sunday service: The stream team of Simon Brodkin and Maisie Adam, delivering comedy to your living room

PRANKSTER Simon Brodkin and Have I Got News For You panellist-in-lockdown Maisie Adam form the second Your Place Comedy double bill on Sunday.

The 8pm show will be streamed live from their living rooms to yours, looking to build on the success of the April 19 launch, when more than 3,500 people tuned in to watch Mark Watson, Hull comedian Lucy Beaumont and compere Tim FitzHigham.

Chris Jones, Selby Town Council’s arts officer and manager of Selby Town Hall, is again co-ordinating this weekend’s online fundraising show, working in tandem with nine other small, independent arts centres and theatres from across Yorkshire and the Humber during the Covid-19 shutdown.

Brodkin and Adam’s show will be free to watch on YouTube and the Twitch video live streaming service, with an option for viewers to donate if they have enjoyed the broadcast. All money raised will be distributed equally among the supporting venues, each being faced with navigating their way through these challenging Coronavirus days.

Compere Tim FitzHigham and a pyjama-clad Mark Watson on screen during the inaugural Your Place Comedy online broadcast

Joining together in this rolling initiative to put the fun into fundraising are Selby Town Hall; The Ropewalk, Barton upon Humber; Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds; East Riding Theatre, Beverley; Junction, Goole; Helmsley Arts Centre; Shire Hall, Howden; Otley Courthouse; Pocklington Arts Centre and  Rotherham Theatres.

“In a nutshell, at a time of huge uncertainty and upheaval in the Coronavirus lockdown, including for the live entertainment industry, I got these venues from around Yorkshire and the Humber to come together to provide our audiences with some much-needed laughter during these difficult times, each chipping in a small amount of money to put on each live stream,” says Chris, who was up until 4am on Tuesday morning putting everything in place for Sunday’s gig.

“Their contributions to Your Place Comedy go towards paying the artists a guaranteed fee at a time when all live income has been taken away, and, in exchange, venues get a show to sell to their own audiences as one of their own, helping maintain those vital relationships with audiences they have nurtured over the years.”

Watson and Beaumont’s April show raised £3,500 in donations for the venues. “We were overwhelmed by the response to our first ever broadcast,” says a delighted Chris, who was interviewed about Your Place Comedy on BBC 5 Live on Tuesday.

Prescient move: Simon Brodkin handed a P45 to Theresa May at Tory party conference

“The fantastic audiences, who are the absolute lifeblood of the ten venues involved in this project, watched and donated in their droves. Drawing more than 3,500 viewers was considerably more than the venues’ combined capacities, so the show went even better than we had imagined, to say the whole project was put together from scratch in the space of two weeks by three people with no live streaming experience.” 

Come Sunday, compere Tim FitzHigham, writer and star of BBC Radio 4’s The Gambler and presenter of CBBC’s Super Human Challenge, will introduce Brodkin and Adams’s sets from their homes, from his.

Prankster and character comedian Brodkin, 42, is best known for his alter-ego Lee Nelson and, latterly, as the man who handed Prime Minister Theresa May a P45 during the 2017 Conservative Party Conference. North Yorkshire-born comedian, writer and actor Adam, 26, has made her mark on Have I Got News For You, Mock The Week and 8 Out Of 10 Cats and appears regularly at the Harrogate Comedy Festival.

“It’s a distinctly different style line-up to the first show,” says Chris. “Simon is a truly fascinating performer. A former doctor turned character comic, he’s reinvented himself as one of the best pranksters the UK has ever seen. Listening to him spill the beans on how those daring exploits are pulled off is remarkably compelling.

One giant leap for Maisie Adam: From Pannal to the Have I Got News For You panel

“Maisie is destined to be omnipresent on our TV screens. Originally from Pannal, just outside Harrogate, she played her first ever gig at Otley Labour Club in 2016. She’s since had a pretty meteoric rise, winning the best new act competition in the country, So You Think You’re Funny?, in 2017; being nominated as Best Newcomer in the Edinburgh Comedy Awards a year later, and now appearing regularly on prime-time panel shows.”

Maisie, a former head girl at St Aidan’s School in Harrogate, appeared from her home in Brighton on last Friday’s home-alone edition of BBC One’s long-running satirical quiz show, Have I Got News For You, partnering team captain Ian Hislop.

Reflecting on the comedic impact of the first show, Chris says: “Both Mark Watson and Lucy Beaumont were fantastic. Mark is relatively experienced when it comes to live streaming and was comfortable enough with the format to perform in his pyjamas.

“For Lucy, it was a first foray into ‘audience-free’ comedy, but her set was pitch perfect – even featuring a rather bizarre bedtime story! – and broadcast live from the pub that her husband, [comedian] Jon Richardson, has built in their house.”

Lucy Beaumont: A “pitch-perfect set, even featuring a rather bizarre bedtime story”

How did the format work, Chris? “We were very aware that one of the limitations of live streamed comedy was a lack of audience interaction, so we devised a function that allowed viewers to send messages directly to the acts,” he says.

“This worked incredibly well and really gave the show that extra feeling of intimacy and warmth that you get from watching comedy in a small venue environment.”

Before the April 19 debut gig, Chris had said: “If the first one is a success and this looks like a sustainable model, I would hope to do several more through the lockdown period and possibly beyond.”

Now he is projecting an initial run of five shows. “We hope that, for as long as our doors have to remain closed, we can continue to connect with audiences and bring them big laughs from some of the UK’s best performers through the Your Place Comedy project,” he says.

“At a time when so many life-affirming social connections have been lost, and a great number of performers have had their livelihoods taken away overnight, it is brilliant to be able to support artists, audiences and independent venues in this way.”

For full details on Your Place Comedy, and to find out how to watch the show, visit yourplacecomedy.co.uk.

Your Place Comedy debut is a stream dream of a Yorkshire living room hit

Stream team: Your Place Comedy compere Tim FitzHigham, left, and a pyjama-clad Mark Watson on screen during April 19’s online gig

REASONS to be cheerful part one. The first Your Place Comedy night, streamed live from Mark Watson and Lucy Beaumont’s living rooms to yours, was a big success.

Compered by Tim FitzHigham, Sunday’s online fundraiser for ten small, independent northern venues in Coronavirus shutdown drew more than 3,500 viewers.

“That’s considerably more than their combined capacities,” says a delighted event co-ordinator Chris Jones, Selby Town Council’s arts officer, who manages the Selby Town Hall arts centre.

“The show went even better than we had imagined, to say the whole project was put together from scratch in the space of two weeks by three people with no live streaming experience!” 

Reasons to be cheerful part two. “The show was free to watch on Facebook and YouTube, with an option to donate. We received £3,500 in donations, which will now be split between the venues,” says Chris.

Joining together in this rolling initiative to put the fun into fundraising are Selby Town Hall; The Ropewalk, Barton upon Humber; Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds; East Riding Theatre, Beverley; Junction, Goole; Helmsley Arts Centre; Shire Hall, Howden; Otley Courthouse; Pocklington Arts Centre and  Rotherham Theatres.

“In a nutshell, I was frustrated that the traditional relationship between venue, artist and audience – the venue providing the artist with income and the audience with entertainment – has been has been eroded for the foreseeable future by Covid-19 and I wanted to find a way to re-create that,” says Chris.

“So, at a time of huge uncertainty and upheaval in the Coronavirus lockdown, including for the live entertainment industry, I got these venues from around Yorkshire and the Humber to come together to provide our audiences with some much-needed laughter during these difficult times, each chipping in a small amount of money to put on Sunday’s live stream.

Lucy Beaumont: “Rather bizarre bedtime story”

“Their contributions to Your Place Comedy go towards paying the artists a guaranteed fee at a time when all live income has been taken away, and, in exchange, venues get a show to sell to their own audiences as one of their own, helping maintain those vital relationships with audiences they have nurtured over the years.”

Reasons to be cheerful part three. “Both Lucy and Mark were fantastic. Mark is relatively experienced when it comes to live streaming and was comfortable enough with the format to perform in his pyjamas,” says Chris.

“For Lucy, it was a first foray into ‘audience-free’ comedy, but her set was pitch perfect – even featuring a rather bizarre bedtime story! – and broadcast live from the pub that her husband, [comedian] Jon Richardson, has built in their house.”

How did the format work, Chris? “We were very aware that one of the limitations of live streamed comedy was a lack of audience interaction, so we devised a function that allowed viewers to send messages directly to the acts,” he says.

“This worked incredibly well and really gave the show that extra feeling of intimacy and warmth that you get from watching comedy in a small venue environment.”

Before Sunday’s inaugural show, Chris said: “If the first one is a success and this looks like a sustainable model, I would hope to do several more through the lockdown period and possibly beyond.”

Reasons to be cheerful part four. “We’re now planning a second show, tentatively scheduled for Sunday, May 3, with two new acts on the bill,” he says. “Watch this space.” Then watch www.yourplacecomedy.co.uk when the line-up is confirmed.

Should you still be wondering what exactly was Hull humorist Lucy Beaumont’s “rather bizarre bedtime story”…..no, you should have been watching!

Yorkston Thorne Khan re-arrange Selby Town Hall concert for November 24

Suhail Yusuf Khan , left, JonThorne and James Yorkston: new album, new tour date in Selby

YORKSTON Thorne Khan, the first gig at Selby Town Hall to fall foul of the Covid-19 shutdown last month, has been re-arranged for November 24.

Tickets for the postponed March 20 show remain valid for the new date, with further tickets still on sale at selbytownhall.co.uk.

Yorkston Thorne Khan are Scottish songwriter James Yorkston (guitar, nyckelharpa, voice); Bishop’s Storford  jazz musician Jon Thorne (double bass, voice) and Delhi-born eighth generation sarangi player and vocalist Suhail Yusuf Khan.

The trio will be touring in support of their third album, Navarasa: Nine Emotions, a January 24 release on Domino Recordings that followed 2016 debut Everything Sacred and 2017’s Neuk Wight Delhi All-Stars after they first met by chance backstage in 2015 and played together ever since.

On the latest recording, they tackle Robert Burns and Sufi poetry, via Dick Gaughan and Amir Khusrow Dehlavi, traditional Scottish songs, ragas and their own spidery compositions.

At the heart of Yorkston Thorne Khan’s transporting new album is the subcontinent’s navarasa: the nine (nava) emotions or sentiments (rasa) of the arts. This “unifying underpinning” is a centuries-old organising principle, wherein the individual artistic emotions range from Shringara (love, beauty), through Hasya (laughter, mirth, comedy), Raudra (anger), Karuna (sorrow, compassion or mercy), Bibhatsya (disgust), Bhayanaka (horror, terror), Veera (heroism, courage), Adbutha (surprise, wonder), to Shanta (peace, tranquillity).

The artwork for Yorkston Thorne Khan’s Navarasa: Nine Emotions

Each song is connected to one of these emotions; for example Westlin Winds is paired with Adbutha, opening with the life-destroying Act I of Robert Burns’s poem Now Westlin Winds (And Slaught’ring Guns).

Then it deliciously transplants its disjoined, nature-extolling and life-affirming Act II on to Indian soil with a composition in Purbi, a dialect of old Hindi. “I learnt the song by listening to various qawwali [Muslim devotional song] singers singing at Hazrat Nizammuddin’s dargah [shrine] in Delhi,” says Khan. “Its source is Hazrat Amir Khusrau.”

In this way, Yorkston Thorne Khan unite one of the key spiritual visionaries and architects of Hindustani art music, the poet-philosopher Hazrat Amir Khusrau, with the key literary visionary of Scottish culture, Robert Burns. 

This bricolage of diverse cross-cultural elements is apparent across Navarasa: Nine Emotions.  Yorkston weaves in Scottish folk, sangster and literary strands; Thorne is grounded in jazz and groove. Then add New Delhi-based Khan’s feast of northern Indian classical, light classical and Sufi devotional musical and literary influences. “What binds these diverse musical strands together is a dark happiness,” says Yorkston.

Looking forward to the re-arranged show in the autumn, Selby Town Hall manager Chris Jones says: “Sadly James, Jon and Suhail’s show was the first in our calendar to fall victim to the lockdown. They are such a phenomenally talented trio, and the feedback I had heard from the early gigs on their tour was amazing, so it was desperately disappointing not to be able to give the Selby audience that experience.

“Thankfully though, we’ve been able to reschedule the show for November 24, and this is definitely one that’s worth waiting for.”

Watson and Beaumont’s Sunday fun-day for your place from their living rooms

Come Hull or high water, Lucy Beaumont will be streaming online from her living room on Sunday

MARK Watson and Lucy Beaumont will star in the first Your Place Comedy night in a streamed show live from their living rooms on Sunday at 8pm.

At a time of huge uncertainty and upheaval in the Coronavirus lockdown, not least for the live entertainment industry, ten small, independent venues across the north have come together to “provide their audiences with some much-needed laughter during these difficult times”. 

The driving force behind the online venture is Chris Jones, Selby Town Council’s arts officer, who manages the Selby Town Hall arts centre. “In a nutshell, I was frustrated that the traditional relationship between venue, artist and audience – the venue providing the artist with income and the audience with entertainment – has been has been eroded for the foreseeable future by Covid-19 and I wanted to find a way to re-create that,” he says.

“So, I’ve got ten venues from around Yorkshire and the Humber to chip in a small amount of money to put on a live stream comedy gig this Sunday (April 19), featuring Mark Watson and Lucy Beaumont and compered by Tim FitzHigham.”

Joining together in this venue-focused initiative are Selby Town Hall; The Ropewalk, Barton upon Humber; Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds; East Riding Theatre, Beverley; Junction, Goole; Helmsley Arts Centre; Shire Hall, Howden; Otley Courthouse; Pocklington Arts Centre and  Rotherham Theatres.

What’s on at home: Mark Watson , live from his living room

“Their contributions to Your Place Comedy go towards paying the artists a guaranteed fee at a time when all live income has been taken away, and, in exchange, venues get a show to sell to their own audiences as one of their own, helping maintain those vital relationships with audiences they have nurtured over the years,” says Chris.

“The show will be free to watch on Facebook and YouTube via www.yourplacecomedy.co.uk, but with an option to donate. All monies raised will be distributed evenly among the ten supporting venues, each of them now having to navigate their way through some challenging financial times.”

Mark Watson is an Edinburgh Comedy Award winner, television panel show regular and ever innovative performer. Lucy Beaumont, from Hull, is a BBC New Comedy Award winner who writes BBC Radio 4’s To Hull And Back and stars in the Dave channel’s Meet The Richardsons. Compere Tim Fitzhigham writes and stars in BBC Radio 4’s The Gambler and presents CBBC’s Super Human Challenge.

Summing up the living-room comedy initiative, Chris says: “In these trying times, when the wonderful audiences who make the work we do possible are unable to visit our venues in person, and when the performers who rely on us for their livelihoods have had many months’ worth of shows cancelled, the organisations involved in Your Place Comedy want to help support those who make live entertainment happen, bringing a little bit of joy to the audiences we miss so much.

“If the first one is a success and this looks like a sustainable model, I would hope to do several more through the lockdown period and possibly beyond.”

Compere Tim FitzHigham

For full details of Your Place Comedy, and to find out how to watch the show, visit www.yourplacecomedy.co.uk.

Tim Brooke-Taylor RIP

Tim Brooke-Taylor, July 17 1940 – April 12 2020

BLAME Tim Brooke-Taylor for the stereotype image of the mithering, miserable, tight but bragging Yorkshireman.

Well, not only Tim, as we celebrate the comic genius and geniality of this son of Derbyshire, Cambridge Footlights president, Goodie and stalwart I’m Sorry I Haven’t panellist, who passed away yesterday, taken by the Covid-19 blight at 79.

The Four Yorkshireman sketch is often attributed to Monty Python, but wrongly so. It was in fact co-written by Brooke-Taylor for At Last The 1948 Show, the ITV series he made with Marty Feldman and future Pythons John Cleese and Graham Chapman in 1967 and 1968.

Monty Python were subsequently to appropriate it and so too was The Secret Policeman’s Ball charity bash, when performed by Cleese, Terry Jones, South Yorkshireman Michael Palin and a young Rowan Atkinson.

“And you try telling the young people of today that and they won’t believe you,” you might say, borrowing the sketch’s pay-off line.

Tim recalled the sketch’s motivation when interviewed ahead of his An Audience With Tim Brooke Taylor show at Selby Town Hall in November 2014: the year when the grainy black-and-white footage of the original recording for At Last The 1948 Show was re-discovered.

“I come from Derbyshire, so all Yorkshiremen are a pain in the neck and we have a chip on the shoulder about them,” said the Buxton-born Brooke-Taylor, not entirely seriously.

“In the Seventies, I was asked by five different publishers to write about Yorkshire because I’d picked on the county, but then Yorkshiremen were not at their best in the Seventies, were they!”

“Geoffrey Boycott!” scoffed the cricket enthusiast. “But I’ve since met some very nice Yorkshiremen and I’ve had to change my attitude, which is rather annoying.”

Tim, the perennial wounded innocent in The Goodies alongside Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie, went on to say why he loved being a team player, rather than performing solo. “I find that comedy is funnier in groups; there are great stand-ups but I love seeing people bouncing words off each other,” he reasoned.

Had Tim ever been tempted to write his autobiography, came the final question? “I’ve been offered deals, but I think the interesting ones are written by those with nasty things to say, like Roy Keane’s book,” he said. “My book would be too happy.”

Too happy? For all four of the grouchy Four Yorkshiremen, maybe, but not for the rest of us. Thank you, Tim Brooke-Taylor, for all the years of happiness and laughter your brought us.

“We’ll lead you to a better life,” you sang. “Goodies, goody, goody, yum, yum.”