More Things To Do in York and beyond, whether locating your ‘inner outlaw’ or just going out. List No. 74, courtesy of The Press

Charles Hutchinson unearths Indian jazz, jive, cabaret, ceramics , 70 years of hits and a candlelit concert for Ukrainian solidarity for your diary.

Re-entry, by Danny Barbour, on show at According To McGee from today

Exhibition launch of the week: Christine Cox, Geoff Cox and Danny Barbour, Unearthed, Pyramid Gallery, Stonegate, York, today until April 24.

CHRSTINE Cox, Geoff Cox and Danny Barbour will be at Terry Brett’s gallery today from 11.30am to 2pm to talk about their Unearthed exhibition.

Pyramid Gallery’s spring show combines Christines ceramics, derived from repeated visits to a Cumbrian sea-cliff; Geoff’s ceramic pots and sculpture, rooted in archaeology and long-lost civilisations, and Danny’s paintings and collages that draw on his fascination with what lies beneath the surface.

“Unearthed features the work of three artists whose work is inspired by the passing of time: changes observed in the built environment and found remnants from the past,” says Terry.

Lady Lounges, ceramic, by Geoff Cox, at According To McGee

Diva at the double: Velma Celli: Me And My Divas, York Theatre Royal, tonight, 7.30pm; Velma Celli: Outlaw Live, National Centre for Early Music, York, doors, 7pm; show, 8pm

YORK’S drag diva deluxe, Velma Celli, returns to York Theatre Royal for “an overindulgent diva fest celebrating the songs and behaviour of all your favourite divas” with York singer Jess Steel and West End leading lady Gina Murray.

This cabaret night of impressions and banter celebrates Whitney, Aretha, Bassey, Streisand, Garland, Cilla, Dolly, Madonna, Adele, Sia and latest addition Jessie J.

Next Friday, Velma and York Gin launch Outlaw Live, an outrageous night of cabaret and gin at the NCEM, raising a glass to Guy Fawkes, Dick Turpin and all that’s villainous and defiantly naughty about York and its outlaws. Box office: tickettailor.com/events/yorkgin/590817.

“Explore your inner outlaw”: Velma Celli in Outlaw Live mode

Welcome to the Pleasure dome: King Pleasure & The Biscuit Boys, Selby Town Hall, tonight, 8pm

AFTER 6,500 performances across 21 countries in more than 30 years on the road, the jump, jive and swing band King Pleasure & The Biscuit Boys bring their high octane, good-time show to Selby.

The sartorially sharp British band have performed their dance-hall rhythm & blues opening for BB King, Cab Calloway and Ray Charles and have toured with the Blues Brothers Band from the movie. Box office: 01757 708449 or selbytownhall.co.uk.

King Pleasure & The Biscuit Boys: In the swing at Selby Town Hall

Jazz gig of the week: Arun Ghosh and Yaatri, The Crescent, York, Thursday, 7.30pm

IN a showcase of Indian-influenced jazz, York promoter Ouroboros presents award-winning clarinettist Arun Ghosh’s return to The Crescent to perform music from new album Seclused In Light. Ghosh and his band deliver a passionate sound driven by soaring melodies, hypnotic rhythms and transcendental textures as he melds jazz with  jazz myriad of musical influences, from jungle to punk, blues to Bollywood.

Support act Yaatri are an art-rock/jazz crossover five-piece, formed in Leeds in 2018, led by Indian/American guitarist and composer Liam Narain DeTar. Box office: thecrescentyork.seetickets.com.

Arun Ghosh: Showcasing his Seclused In Light album at The Crescent, York. Picture: Emile Holba

Why life is a minestrone: 10cc, The Ultimate Greatest Hits Tour, York Barbican, March 26, 7.30pm

CO-FOUNDER Graham Gouldman leads 10cc on their return to the concert stage after the lockdown lull, as the art-rock icons perform the chart-topping I’m Not In Love, Rubber Bullets and Dreadlock Holiday alongside eight more top ten hits.

Bass and guitar player Gouldman, 75, is joined by lead guitarist Rick Fenn, drummer Paul Burgess, keyboards player Keith Hayman and vocalist Iain Hornal. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.

Graham Gouldman and 10cc: Playing their greatest hits at York Barbican

Candlelit concert of the week: The Ebor Singers, How Do You Keep The Music Playing?, Chapter House, York Minster, March 26, 7.30pm

THE Ebor Singers return to the Chapter House for the first time since March 2020 to celebrate being together again, while pausing to reflect on what society has endured together.

The candlelit programme features Allegri’s Miserere; choral pieces by Whitacre and Esenwalds; an arrangement of Michel Legrand’s jazz classic How Do You Keep The Music Playing? and premieres of two lockdown commissions, Kerensa Briggs’s The Inner Light and Philip Moore’s O Vos Omnes.

In solidarity with the people of Ukraine, the singers perform works by Kyiv composer Valentin Silvestrov, 84, who managed to leave the country safely last week. Tickets: on the door or at tickets.yorkminster.org.

The Ebor Singers: First Chapter House concert at York Minster since March 2020

Nostalgia of the week: 70 Years Of Pop Music, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, March 27, 7.30pm

THIS year marks the 70th anniversary of the dawn of the British pop charts, when Al Martino claimed the first number one spot with Here In My Heart on November 20 2022.

Don Pears’ singers and musicians take a journey through the decades from Perry Como and Doris Day to Adele and Ed Sheeran in this fundraiser for the JoRo theatre.  

“Somewhere between A for Abba and Z for ZZ Top, whether you are a fan of the Fifties and Sixties or the Nineties and Noughties, there will be music that will delight you,” promises Don. Box office: 01904 501935 or josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.

Eboracum Baroque: Heading back to the alehouses of 17th century England

Baroque’n’roll: Eboracum Baroque, Purcell And A Pint, York Mansion House, St Helen’s Square, York, May 7, 7.30pm

EBORACUM Baroque are teaming up with York Gin for an evening of rowdy drinking songs, fiddle tunes, alongside music by Purcell and baroque composers “he might have had a pint with”.

“This time our concert is called Purcell And A Pint, sadly not a pint of gin but you still get a free gin on arrival!”, says trumpet player and percussionist Chris Parsons.

“We’ll transport you back to the alehouses of 17th century England. Taverns were raucous surroundings and overflowed with music, alcohol, sex, gossip, fights, fumes, shouting, singing, laughing, dancing. Our performance won’t have all of these – but audience participation is a must.” Box office: eboracumbaroque.co.uk.

Shaparak Khorsandi recalls her Shappi days of Nineties’ ladette culture in It Was The 90s! at Selby Town Hall on January 22

” It’s a show that massively talks about the Nineties’ ‘ladette’ culture,” says Shaparak Khorsandi of It Was The 90s!

SHAPARAK Khorsandi, the Iranian-born British stand-up comedian and author formerly known as Shappi, tackles  1990s’ culture in her new show at Selby Town Hall on January 22.

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.

“It Was The 90s! 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.”

The new show emerged from Shaparak realising that her son’s generation regards the 1990s the way her generation regards the 1960s. “It’s a show that massively talks about the Nineties’ ‘ladette’ culture, which was a culture of women supposedly taking their power back by drinking the boys under the table and all that mayhem of emulating the worst of laddish behaviour,” she says.

“I talk about how and why I threw myself into that wholeheartedly in the ’90s, which is also when I started stand-up comedy. That was part of my need for freedom and the comedy circuit seemed like the most punk place to be. It’s very different to the way it is now.”

Hedonism and escapism form Shaparak’s abiding memories of the Nineties. “In the show I talk about all the harm I need to undo. You didn’t just go out for a drink hoping you’d meet someone you fancied, you drank and drank until you fancied someone,” she says.

“It’s also about how, back then, I went to university with people who’d say ‘I’ve only got £200 to last me until Monday’ when I was a cleaner on Saturdays and Sundays to pay for my beer. “

You really saw the class difference, she recalls. “I had one friend who said of her parents, ‘They want me to have a work ethic, so they’ve said to me, if I get a job, they’ll match my hourly rate pound for pound’.

“Before I went to university in the ’90s, I’d never come across private-school kids before. That’s why Jarvis Cocker became my absolute hero with Common People, because that song for me expressed how I was feeling in this brand-new adult world I was navigating. Then I come to 2022 and how I’ve changed from the 23-year-old me.”

Contemplating how she has altered since then, Shaparak notes: “I’m not quite the Socialist she was. I’m looking back at how my politics have changed and how my outlook has also changed. And you have to shelve the ‘ladette’ behaviour if you want to live for longer.

Shaparak Khorsandi’s tour poster for It Was The 90s!

“I look at Emma Watson now. She’s the sort of leading light of young feminism and when I look at her, I go, ‘Oh my God, you look so clean’. She looks like she goes to bed at a sensible time, whereas in the ’90s I don’t remember ever deliberately going to bed.

“It Was The 90s! offers me the chance to look at how young people look after themselves now compared to then.”

Looking for examples of the difference between then and now, Shaparak says: “Self-care in the ’90s was about having a Berocca. If I’d said to my friends in the ’90s, after a one-night stand where the bloke thought my name was Jackie, that I was going to take some time out, do some breathing exercises and meditation, become vegetarian and work on my boundaries, they would have thought I’d joined a cult. Self-care was what people in cults did.”

Alongside Pulp’s Common People, what would made Shaparak’s ultimate 1990s’ playlist? “Alanis Morissette’s You Oughta Know, because it was the first time I’d really heard an angry female voice in a pop song. Also, Chumbawamba’s Tubthumping, The Prodigy and all of the songs that talked about chaos and mayhem. Then Eminem. Weirdly, I was really connected to Eminem.”

Shaparak is heading out on her first tour since 2017, her first dates too since being diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in lockdown. “I got proper help with it,” she says.

“What I’m finding is that it’s changed the way I do comedy. People ask, ‘Are you worried it’s going to affect how you are on stage?’ and I’m like, ‘No, it’s made me better. It’s made me a better writer and a better performer, having pills that help me to focus’.

“There was always a lot of anxiety around tours and there was always a lot of ‘I’ll just do it in the moment and hopefully it’ll work’. This is the first time I’ll be doing a show whilst looking after my ADHD and creatively it’s been a game-changer.”

A game-changer in all sorts of ways, she expands: “I’d say this is the first time doing a tour where I’m absolutely sure that I’m going to have a lot of fun and no anxiety. It’s a real privilege to have a clear head.

“I feel my brain works for comedy much better than before. I feel like I’m starting my career from scratch whilst also having 20 years’ experience behind me, if that makes sense.”

Shaparak kept busy in lockdown writing her book Emma when she “should have been educating my children, so their careers and dreams are going to have to happen a year later than planned”.

Shappi Khorsandi, as was, promoting her 2019-2020 tour of Skittish Warrior…Confessions Of A Club Comic, which visited Pocklington Arts Centre in February 2020

“I’m a single mum with two kids, so there wasn’t a moment of boredom in lockdown, and I’ve got two dogs, so there was a lot of mopping of floors. I didn’t have the sort of lockdown where people were looking for boxsets to binge on. I wish I’d had time to watch telly but I was writing and putting this show together.”

Lockdown also made Shaparak very nostalgic about her younger days. “It made me revisit my youth, which was something I hadn’t done before, and the reason it made me do that was because of the loss of freedom,” she says.

“It took me right back to the age where I felt the most free, which was in the ’90s, where every night was spent rushing out with nothing but a tenner in my pocket, spare knickers in my handbag and hope in my heart.

“It made me think about those years a lot and what a blur they were, yet actually stepping back into that era during lockdown, it was interesting just how much I inhabited twentysomething me again.”

By comparison with those Shappi Nineties, her idea of a great night out now comprises a “nice, chilled festival somewhere, where someone hands me something nice to eat and we watch a band that we love”. “I still like a party but not to the detriment of my physical and mental health,” she says.

Should you be wondering why she now goes by her full name of Shaparak – although her Twitter account is still @ShappiKhorsandi – here is the explanation. “The first thing I did in the ’90s was start A-level college and I went, ‘Right, no-one’s allowed to call me Shaparak anymore, I’m Shappi’,” she says.

“If you had a foreign name, you were expected to make it as easy as possible for everyone by either shortening or changing it. That doesn’t exist for young people anymore. I changed it back in spring this year. I was very invested in the football and Raheem Sterling comes from Brent, near where I grew up, and Bukayo Saka went to school in Greenford.

“I went to a school down the road in Hanwell and we used to play sports against his school. These are the sort of boys I’d have gone to school with, and I was impressed that they spoke so proudly of the backgrounds they came from, how they were from poor and immigrant families and how they had elevated themselves without changing their names. It wasn’t Ray Sterling and Bob Saka. I thought, ‘Wow, back then life would have been so different for them’.”

This led her to ask herself, “Why am I Shappi? I’m almost 50 years old, for God’s sake. Why have I got the name of a puppy?”.

“I watched Dirty Dancing again, and you know where she says at the beginning ‘That was the summer of 1963, when everybody called me ‘Baby’ and it didn’t occur to me to mind’? I just thought that it really should occur to me to mind that on all the posters and TV shows and books and everything I’m billed as Shappi, but that’s not my name,” she says.

“The only reason I’d got rid of it was because I grew up in a time when you were made to feel a bit ashamed of being foreign and making life difficult for everyone because you had a three-syllable name that was unfamiliar. I’ve changed it back because I don’t think we live in that world anymore.”

Shaparak Khorsandi: It Was The 90s!, Selby Town Hall, January 22, 8pm. SOLD OUT. Also: Square Chapel, Halifax, February 4, 8pm; The Civic, Barnsley, May 20, 7.30pm. Box office: Halifax, 0343 208 6016 or squarechapel.co.uk; Barnsley, 01226 327000 or barnsleycivic.co.uk.

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.

Daliso Chaponda to make his Selby Town Hall debut on Apocalypse Not Now tour

Daliso Chaponda: Selby Town Hall debut on Friday

MALAWIAN comedian Daliso Chaponda declares “Apocalypse Not Now” at Selby Town Hall on Friday.

The BBC Radio 4 regular and 2017 Britain’s Got Talent finalist is making his Selby debut on his nationwide tour.

Selby Town Council arts officer Chris Jones says: “I think Daliso is one of the most naturally gifted and effortlessly funny acts on the circuit. The phrase ‘funny bones’ isn’t always applied terribly well by comedy aficionados, but if anyone can rightly claim to have them, it’s Daliso!”

Chaponda’s stand-up had notched more than 300 million views online before his UK breakthrough on Britain’s Got Talent.

Since then, he has made his mark on BBC2’s QI and BBC Radio 4’s The News Quiz and The Now Show on BBC Radio 4, and most notably he is the writer, creator and host of his own Rose d’Or-nominated Radio 4 show Citizen Of Nowhere, chalking up two series.

Chaponda has performed around the world and at the Edinburgh, Melbourne, Singapore and Cape Town comedy festivals, as well as touring the UK twice.

Now comes his Selby date. “Daliso is a master of satire, and there has definitely been no shortage of material to work with in the year and a half since he was last able to go out on tour,” says Jones. “I can’t wait to see what he has cooked up.”

Doors open at 7.30pm for Friday’s 8pm show; tickets cost £15 on 01757 708449 or at selbytownhall.co.uk.

Barron night’s scathing comedy to scald Selby as Sara keeps her Enemies Closer

Sara Barron: Selby date. Picture: Karla Gowlitt

CAUSTIC American comedian Sara Barron follows up her Theatre@41, Monkgate, gig in York with a prompt return to North Yorkshire to keep her Enemies Closer at Selby Town Hall on Friday.

In her no-holds barred 8pm gig, blisteringly cynical Barron examines kindness, meanness, ex-boyfriends, current husbands, all four of her remaining friends and two of her 12 enemies.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, she shaped her scathing brand of comedy on the New York circuit and is now playing her debut British tour on the back of Edinburgh Fringe performances since 2018 and television turns on Live At The Apollo, 8 Out Of 10 Cats, Would I Lie To You? and Frankie Boyle’s New World Order.

Barron has appeared on Hypothetical, Richard Osman’s House Of Games, Alan Davies’s As Yet Untitled, Comedy Central’s Roast Battle and Hello, America too, while her radio credits include The News Quiz, The Now Show and Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4. As a writer, she has published two essay collections and been featured in Vanity Fair and on This American Life.

Selby Town Council arts officer Chris Jones says: “Sara is one of the hottest prospects and sharpest writers on the circuit right now. Her deliciously dark material pulls no punches and she looks set to reach the highest echelons of the comedy world. This could well be another ‘I saw them here first’ moment at Selby Town Hall.”

Tickets for Sara Barron: Enemies Closer are on sale at £14 on 01757 708449 and at selbytownhall.co.uk or £16 on the door from 7.30pm.

Barron has posted a trailer, by the way, such is her unbridled excitement at the prospect of visiting Selby for the first time. Take a look at: youtube.com/watch?v=AutocIpagNo

More Things To Do in and around York, as Levelling up, peas and wickedness this way come. List No. 54, courtesy of The Press

Ben Moor and Joanna Neary: Mini-season of stand-up theatre and comedy at Theatre@41

MOOR, Moor, Moor and much more, more, more besides are on Charles Hutchinson’s list for the week ahead.

Surrealist stand-up theatre of the week, Ben Moor and Joanna Neary mini-season, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, today until Saturday

BEN Moor and Joanna Neary combine to deliver five offbeat comedy shows in three days in their Theatre@41 debut.

Moor contemplates performance, friendship and regret in his lecture about lectures, Pronoun Trouble, tonight at 8pm. Tomorrow, at 7.30pm, Neary’s multi-character sketch show with songs and impersonations, Wife On Earth, is followed by Moor’s Who Here’s Lost?, his dream-like tale of a road trip of the soul taken by two outsiders.

Saturday opens at 3pm with Joanna’s debut children’s puppet show, Stinky McFish And The World’s Worst Wish, and concludes at 7pm with the two-hander BookTalkBookTalkBook, a “silly author event parody show”. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.

Gunpowder Guy in Horrible Histories’ Barmy Britain. Picture: Frazer Ashford

Alternative history lesson of the week: Horrible Histories’ Barmy Britain, Grand Opera House, York, today at 1.30pm, 7pm; tomorrow, 10.30am and 7pm; Saturday, 3pm, 7pm; Sunday, 11am, 3pm

WHAT if a Viking moved in next door? Would you lose your heart or head to horrible Henry VIII? Can evil Elizabeth entertain England? Will Parliament survive Gunpowder Guy? Dare you stand and deliver to dastardly Dick Turpin?

Questions, questions, so many questions to answer, and here to answer them are the Horrible Histories team in Barmy Britain, a humorously horrible and eye-popping show trip to the past with Bogglevision 3D effects. Box office: atgtickets.com/york

Hannah Victoria in Tutti Frutti’s The Princess And The Pea at York Theatre Royal Studio

Reopening of the week: York Theatre Royal Studio for Tutti Frutti’s The Princess And The Pea, today to Tuesday; no show on Sunday

YORK Theatre Royal Studio reopens today with a capacity reduced from 100 to 71 and no longer any seating to the sides.

First up, Leeds children’s theatre company Tutti Frutti revive York playwright Mike Kenny’s adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s story, set in a place where what you see is not what it seems: the Museum of Forgotten Things.

Three musical curators delve into the mystery of how a little green pea ended up there in an hour of humour, songs and a romp through every type of princess you could imagine. Box office and show times: 01904 623568 or at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

Artist Anita Bowerman and Yorkshire Shepherdess Amanda Owen at Dove Tree Art Gallery and Studio

Open Studios of the week: Anita Bowerman, Dove Tree Art Gallery and Studio, Back Granville Road, Harrogate, Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 5pm

HARROGATE paper-cut, watercolour and stainless steel artist Anita Bowerman opens her doors for refreshments and a browse around her new paintings of Yorkshire and Yorkshire Shepherdess Amanda Owen, prints and mugs. 

“It’s a perfect chance for inspiration before the Christmas present-buying rush starts,” says Anita, who has been busy illustrating a new charity Christmas card for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance featuring the Yorkshire Shepherdess.

Rachel Croft: York singer-songwriter performing at Drawsome! day of activities at Spark:York as part of York Design Week on Saturday

York Design Week gig of the week: Drawsome!, Mollie Coddled Talk More Pavilion, Spark:York, Saturday, from 3pm

AS part of Drawsome’s day of workshops and an Indy Makers Market to complement MarkoLooks’ print swap exhibition of illustrators and printmakers, York’s Young Thugs Records are curating a free line-up of live music.

Taking part will be The Hazy Janes, Kell Chambers and Rachel Croft, singer, songwriter and illustrator to boot.

Breabach: First touring band to play Selby Town Hall in “far too long”. Picture: Paul Jennings

Welcome back of the week: Breabach, Selby Town Hall, Saturday, 8pm

GLASGOW folk luminaries Breabach will be the first touring band to play Selby Town Hall for almost 20 months this weekend.

“Leading lights of the Scottish roots music scene and five-time Scots Trad Music Award winners, they’re a really phenomenally talented band,” says Chris Jones, Selby Town Council’s arts officer. “It’s an absolute thrill to have professional music back in the venue. It’s been far too long!” Box office: 01757 708449, at selbytownhall.co.uk or on the door from 7.30pm.

Levelling up in York: Jazz funksters Level 42 in the groove at York Barbican on Sunday night

Eighties’ celebration of the week: Level 42, York Barbican, Sunday, doors 7pm

ISLE of Wight jazz funksters Level 42 revive those rubbery bass favourites Lessons In Love, The Sun Goes Down (Living It Up), Something About You, Running In The Family et al at York Barbican.

Here are the facts: Mark King’s band released 14 studio, seven live and six compilation albums, sold out Wembley Arena for 21 nights and chalked up 30 million album sales worldwide. 

This From Eternity To Here tour gig has been rearranged from October 2020; original tickets remain valid. Box office for “limited availability”: yorkbarbican.co.uk.

Writes of passage: Musician and now author Richard Thompson

Guitarist of the week:  Richard Thompson, York Barbican, Monday, doors 7pm

RICHARD Thompson plays York Barbican on the back of releasing Beeswing, his April autobiography subtitled Losing My Way And Finding My Voice 1967-1975.

An intimate memoir of musical exploration, personal history and social revelation, it charts his co-founding of folk-rock pioneers Fairport Convention, survival of a car crash, formation of a duo with wife Linda and discovery of Sufism.

Move on from the back pages, here comes Richard Thompson OBE, aged 72, songwriter, singer and one of Rolling Stone magazine’s Top 20 Guitarists of All Time. Katherine Priddy supports. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.

That clinches it: Emma Scott’s Macbeth leaps into the arms of Nell Frampton’s The Lady in rehearsals for York Shakespeare Project’s Macbeth. Picture: John Saunders

Something wicked this way comes…at last: York Shakespeare Project in Macbeth, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, October 26 to 30, 7.30pm and 2.30pm Saturday matinee

THE curse of Macbeth combined with Lockdown 1’s imposition to put a stop to York Shakespeare Project’s Scottish Play one week before its March 2020 opening.

Rising like the ghost of Banquo, but sure to be better received, Leo Doulton’s resurrected production will run as the 37th play in the York charity’s mission to perform all Shakespeare’s known plays over 20 years.

Doulton casts Emma Scott’s Macbeth into a dystopian future, using a cyberpunk staging to bring to life this dark tale of ambition, murder and supernatural forces. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.

Ballet Black dancers Marie Astrid Mence, left, Isabela Coracy, Cira Robinson, Sayaka Ichikawa, Jose Alves, Ebony Thomas and Alexander Fadyiro in Mthuthuzeli’s The Waiting Game

Dance show of the week: Cassa Pancho’s Ballet Black, York Theatre Royal, Tuesday, 7.30pm

ARTISTIC director Cassa Pancho’s Ballet Black return to York with a double bill full of lyrical contrasts and beautiful movement.

Will Tuckett blends classical ballet, poetry and music to explore ideas of home and belonging in Then Or Now; fellow Olivier Award-winning choreographer Mthuthuzeli November contemplates the purpose of life in The Waiting Game. Box office: 01904 623568 or at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

From Limpsey Gate Lane, August, by Sue Slack

Exhibition of the week: Fylingdales Group of Artists, Blossom Street Gallery, Blossom Street, York, until November 30

TWELVE Fylingdales Group members are contributing 31 works to this exhibition of Yorkshire works, mainly of paintings in oils, acrylics, gouache and limonite.

Two pieces by Paul Blackwell are in pastel; Angie McCall has incorporated collage in her mixed-media work and printmaker Michael Atkin features too.

Also participating are David Allen, fellow Royal Society of Marine Artist member and past president David Howell, Kane Cunningham, John Freeman, Linda Lupton, Don Micklethwaite, Bruce Mulcahy, Sue Slack and Ann Thornhill.

Breabach to return to Selby Town Hall on October 23 as gigs resume after 20 months

Breabach: Selby Town Hall awaits on October 23. Picture: Paul Jennings

SCOTTISH folk luminaries Breabach will be the first touring band to play Selby Town Hall for almost 20 months on October 23.

“Leading lights of the Scottish roots music scene and five-time Scots Trad Music Award winners, they’re a really phenomenally talented band,” says Chris Jones, Selby Town Council’s arts officer. “It’s an absolute thrill to have professional music back in the venue. It’s been far too long!”

Regarded as one of Scotland’s most skilled and imaginative contemporary folk acts, Breabach unite deep roots in highland and island tradition with the innovative musical ferment of their Glasgow base.

Across a 15-year career, they have performed everywhere from Sydney Opera House to New York’s Central Park, receiving nominations for Best Group in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and European Album of the Year in the Songlines Music Awards.

Combining twin bagpipes, fiddle, bass and guitar with Gaelic vocals and step dance, Breabach respect both the origins of the music they play and the band’s roots while embracing the future with new ideas, energy and belief.

When lockdown put paid to their touring plans, Breabach set to work on writing Dùsagadh, a series of five new pieces of music put to animation by BAFTA award winner Cat Bruce.

“This stunning creation then toured ‘virtually’ to 19 venues and festivals across the UK, including Selby Town Hall, with proceeds split between both the band and participating venues and festivals,” says Chris.

Next Saturday’s live set will draw on six Breabach albums: 2007’s The Big Spree; 2010’s The Desperate Battle Of The Birds; 2012’s Bann; 2013’s Urlar; 2016’s Astar and 2018’s Frenzy Of The Meeting.

“Breabach are a real force of nature, and their 2019 performance at the town hall was one of our biggest highlights of recent years” says Chris. “The virtuoso talent on display is just incredible.

“Ewan Robertson, Calum MacCrimmon, Patsy Reid, James Lindsay and James Duncan MacKenzie are five of Scotland’s finest traditional musicians, at the very top of their game, and I’m so excited to have them back as the first touring band to perform here for the best part of two years.”

Tickets for the 8pm concert cost £16 on 01757 708449 or at selbytownhall.co.uk or £18 on the door from 7.30pm.

Selby Town Hall plays host to first night of Paines Plough’s premiere of Sessions

Joseph Black in the role of Tunde in Paines Plough’s premiere of Ifeyinwa Frederick’s Sessions

LIVE theatre returns to Selby Town Hall for the first time since 2019 with the September 29 visit of Paines Plough.

Described by the Daily Telegraph as “the de facto national theatre of new writing”, the London company will be presenting Sessions, the second play by one of Britain’s most hotly tipped young writers, Ifeyinwa Frederick, on the first date of its nationwide tour co-produced with Soho Theatre.

Tunde’s 30th birthday is fast approaching, prompting him to start therapy as he has been unable to head to the gym for weeks and a recent one-night stand ended in tears – his.

A raw, funny and bittersweet deep-dive into the complexities of masculinity, depression and therapy, Sessions interrogates the challenge of opening up and accepting our own vulnerabilities.

Playwright Ifeyinwa Frederick is a fervent believer in the power of storytelling and human connection, a combination that fuels her work as both a writer and entrepreneur. Her debut play, The Hoes, was shortlisted for the Tony Craze Award, Verity Bargate Award and Character 7 Award.

Alongside her theatre work, Ifeyinwa is a restaurateur, co-founding the world’s first Nigerian tapas restaurant, for which she won a Young British Foodie Award and was included on Forbes’ list of 100 Female Founders in Europe.

On the rise: Playwright and restaurateur Ifeyinwa Frederick

“Paines Plough are one of Britain’s finest creative institutions” says Selby Town Council arts officer Chris Jones. “For more than 40 years they have consistently produced exceptional quality, envelope-pushing theatre from some of the UK’s most gifted writers, such as Mike Bartlett, James Graham and Kae Tempest.

“We’ve been working with the company over the past three years as part of a funded project to improve small-scale theatre touring in England, to help more companies make the leap to touring, to bring more high quality work to small venues and to broaden audiences with new and diverse work.

“So I’m thrilled that Paines Plough are returning to Selby Town Hall with Ifeyinwa Frederick’s latest play, giving audiences the chance to see some of the best new writing in the country right here in Selby.”

Joseph Black takes the role of Tunde under the direction of Philip Morris, with design by Anna Reid, lighting by Simisola Majekodunmi, sound and composition by Asaf Zohar and movement by Yassmin V Foster.

Tickets for Wednesday’s 8pm performance cost £13 on 01757 708449 or at selbytownhall.co.uk or £15 on the door.

“The play covers some challenging subject matter, and I know it will be brilliant, because everything Paines Plough do is,” concludes Chris.

American comedian Sara Barron promises artful rant on meanness in Enemies Closer on debut tour at York, Selby and Leeds

Barron nights: American comic Sara Barron to play York, Leeds and Selby on 30-date British tour. Pictures: Karla Gowlett

AMERICAN comedian Sara Barron examines kindness, meanness, ex-boyfriends, current husbands, all four remaining friends and two of her 12 enemies in Enemies Closer at Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, on October 9.

Further Yorkshire gigs on Barron’s debut British tour from October 2 to November 14 will be at Sheaf Street, Leeds, on October 20 and Selby Town Hall on September 29 on .

As an American comic, I can’t be like, ‘Yeehaw, this tour is gonna be awesome’ without forcing my UK audience into a full-body cringe,” says Sara, from Chicago, Illinois. “But. May I just say…I think it *will* be awesome, but I’m saying it in an ‘I-live-in-Britain-and-buy-all-my-bras-from-M&S’ kinda way. 

“The UK comedy scene is one of my great beloveds – alongside crafty passive-aggression – so touring this show is truly the fulfilment of a dream. Come if you dig an artful rant. Stay at home if think you’re ‘a positive person’. I hope to see you there!”

“Come if you dig an artful rant, Stay at home if think you’re ‘a positive person’,” advises Sara Barron

Barron first performed the no-holds-barred Enemies Closer at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe, having made her Edinburgh debut with For Worse in 2018, when she was nominated for Best Newcomer in the Edinburgh Comedy Awards and Chortle Awards. Two sold-out runs of For Worse ensued at the Soho Theatre, London.

She has since appeared on the BBC’s Live At The Apollo, Would I Lie To You?, Frankie Boyle’s New World Order and Richard Osman’s House Of Games; Channel 4’s 8 Out Of 10 Cats and Dave’s Hypothetical.

On radio, Sara’s credits include BBC Radio 4’s The News Quiz, The Now Show, Where’s The F In News? and Woman’s Hour and BBC Radio Scotland’s Breaking News; she has published two essay collections, People Are Unappealing and The Harm In Asking, and her writing has featured in Vanity Fair and on This American Life.

In New York City, frequently she has hosted the cult storytelling show, The Moth: True Stories Told Live.

York tickets for Enemies Closer are on sale at tickets.41monkgate.co.uk; Leeds and Selby tickets, via berksnest.com/sara.