More Things To Do in York and beyond from November 18. Here’s holidaying Hutch’s List No. 47 for 2023, from The Press, York

Who’s next as the death count rises in Lucy Bailey’s production of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, on tour at the Grand Opera House, York. Picture: Manuel Harlan

AND then there were thrillers, music, spoken word and comedy gigs, a cricket legend show and smooth crooner tribute for Charles Hutchinson to recommend.  

Thriller of the week: Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, Grand Opera House, York, November 22 to 25, 7.30pm plus 2.30pm Wednesday and Saturday matinees

AFTER Pick Me Up Theatre’s September staging at Theatre@41, Monkgate, here comes Lucy Bailey’s “genuinely terrifying” touring production of Agatha Christie’s best-selling 1939 crime novel, starring, among others, Andrew Lancel as William Blore, David Yelland as Judge Wargrave and Sophie Walter as Vera Claythorne.  

Ten strangers – eight guests and a butler and his housekeeper wife – are lured to a solitary mansion off the coast of Devon. When a storm cuts them off from the mainland, the true reason for their presence on Soldier Island becomes horribly clear. Box office:

Spanish sarcasm of the week: Ignacio Lopez, YO1 Live Lounge, York Barbican, November 18, 8pm

SPANISH export Ignacio Lopez, from Live At The Apollo, The Now Show and Stand-Up Sesh, scrutinises his immigrant upbringing and family tree in a show about clashing cultures and never fitting in. 

Sharing his biggest failures with a globe-trotting story of music, comedy and admin cock-ups, exotic outsider comedian Ignacio skewers Britain and Spain with an armada of stand-up sarcasm, silliness and songs. Box office:

Simon Brodkin: Screwed Up revelations from prankster at Grand Opera House, York

Comedy times two at Grand Opera House, York: Simon Brodkin, Screwed Up, November 18, 8pm; Lucy Beaumont, The Trouble & Strife, November 19, 8pm

THE most viewed British comedian of all time on TikTok, notorious prankster and Lee Nelson creator Simon Brodkin rips into celebrity culture, social media, the police, Putin, Prince Andrew and Jesus in his new stand-up show, Screwed Up. Nothing is off limits, from his mental health to his five arrests and his family.

An award-winning stand-up (and actress) before she met Leeds comedian and now husband Jon Richardson, Hull-born Lucy Beaumont lets slip on her rollercoaster world through a surrealist lens. Box office:

Not just cricket: Henry Blofeld discusses “flannelled fools” and much besides at York Theatre Royal

Chat show of the week: An Audience With Henry Blofeld, York Theatre Royal, November 20, 7.30pm

TEST Match Special alumnus Henry Blofeld, 84, will discuss rather more than the art of cricket commentary. “If you think you’re going to learn how to play a forward defensive, you’ll be sadly disappointed,” he forewarns.

Instead, expect his colourful life story in a tongue-in-cheek show, full of after-dinner anecdotes and meandering digressions where Blowers pokes fun at himself and his TMS gaffes and his subjects veer from intergalactic travel to horticulture to mountaineering. Box office: 01904 623568 or

The Trials Of Cato: Twisting folk into new shapes at Pocklington Arts Centre

Folk gig of the week: The Trials Of Cato, Pocklington Arts Centre, Thursday, 8pm

2019 BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winners The Trials Of Cato pay homage to the folk tradition while twisting old bones into something febrile and modern, combining stomping tunes and captivating stories.

Formed in Beirut, Lebanon, the Welsh/English band have been based in Britain since 2016, releasing the albums Hide And Hair in 2018 and Gog Magog, named after the mythical giant of Arthurian legend and a Cambridgeshire hilltop, last year. Mandolin player and vocalist Polly Bolton has joined the trio after leaving The Magpies. Support act will be Annie Dressner, once of New York City, now of Cambridgeshire. Box office: 01759 301547 or

Jess Gardham: On Navigators Art & Performance’s Basement Sessions bill at The Basement, City Screen Picturehouse, York

Underground movement of the week: Navigators Art & Performance, The Basement Sessions, The Basement, City Screen Picturehouse, York, November 25, doors, 7pm

YORK creative hub Navigators Art & Performance launches the Basement Sessions series of Music, Spoken Word and Comedy – Live, Local and Loud! with a bill of performers from the York area and “a few surprises up the sleeve”.

In the line-up are punk/post-punk/alt. rock/indie band What Fresh Hell, playing their farewell gig; pop, soul and acoustic singer-songwriter Jess Gardham; comedian John Pease; performance artist Carrieanne Vivianette, exploring the legacies of radical women through voice, movement and improvisation, and jazz-turned-punk Battle of the Bands finalists Attacker TV. Box office: or on the door.

Stepping out of the shadow: Atila Huyesin celebrates the music of Nat King Cole at the NCEM, York

Tribute show of the week: Atila Huseyin in King For A Day: The Nat King Cole Story, National Centre for Early Music, York, November 26, 7pm

ATILA Huseyin combines live music, narration and projected archive images and footage in his concert celebration of one the 20th century’s greatest vocalists and entertainers, Nat King Cole. of the Twentieth Century: Nat King Cole.

Accompanied by world-class musicians, Huseyin performs such favourites as Nature Boy, Unforgettable and When I Fall in Love alongside stylish reworkings of his lesser-known gems. Box office: 01904 658338 or

Chris McCausland: Warming up at Selby Town Hall for a year of travels on his 2024 Yonks! tour

Looking ahead: Chris McCausland, Yonks!, Grand Opera House, York, November 10 2024

LIVERPUDLIAN comedian Chris McCausland will follow up his 140-date Speaky Blinder tour with 104 shows on his Yonks! travels in January to May and September to December 2024. Why Yonks? “I’ve been called an ‘overnight success’, even though I’ve been doing this for yonks,” he reasons after more than two decades on the stand-up circuit.

This year, McCausland, 46, has hosted his own travel series, Wonders Of The World I Can’t See, on Channel 4. His Work In Progress show at Selby Town Hall on Wednesday (8pm) has sold out. Box office:

In Focus: Joseph Rowntree Theatre Company Autumn Theatre Festival, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, November 21 to 25

Helen ‘Bells’ Spencer: Leading the musical theatre workshop for age 16 upwards at Joseph Rowntree Theatre Company Autumn Theatre Festival

THE Joseph Rowntree Theatre Company will raise funds for the JoRo with a participatory four-day theatre festival that kicks off with Pirates Of Penzance: Come & Sing on Tuesday at 7pm and closes with a concert performance of the much loved Gilbert & Sullivan opera on Saturday at 3.30pm. This is an opportunity to throw yourself into G&S over a week of fulfilling fun.

JRTC will hold an open rehearsal for next February’s production of Kander & Ebb’s musical murder mystery Curtains on Wednesday at 7pm: a chance to sit in the stalls and peek at how a show is put together, hopefully with no spoiler of whodunit!

Musical director and actor James Robert Ball will lead the Youth Musical Theatre Workshop for seven to 15-year-olds on Thursday at 7pm, when he will look at such theatre skills as vocal technique and acting through song while working on a number that attendees will have the option of performing during the interval of the Saturday Night Musical Theatre Quiz.

JRTC principal actress Helen ‘Bells’ Spencer will oversee Friday’s 7pm Musical Theatre Workshop for age 16 plus, featuring audition skills and top tips, acting through song and vocal techniques. Again, participants can sing in the interval at Saturday’s quiz.

A Tech Demo & Backstage Tour will be held at 2pm on Saturday, when participants can venture behind the scenes and meet the tech team for demonstrations of light and sound equipment.

The festival will conclude with Saturday’s aforementioned quiz night: a chance to play for prizes and bragging rights as teams of up to four are challenged to show their musical theatre knowledge.

Tickets cost £5 per event, £12 for three or £16 for full festival access at

Will the real Simon Brodkin stand up? Yes, at the Grand Opera House on Saturday

Simon Brodkin: Comedian and prankster

THE most viewed British comedian of all time on TikTok, infamous prankster and Lee Nelson creator Simon Brodkin is all Screwed Up at the Grand Opera House, York, on Saturday.

That night he will rip into celebrity culture, social media, the police, Putin, Prince Andrew and Jesus in his new stand-up show, where nothing is off limits, from his mental health to his five arrests and his family.

Star of Channel 4’s Britain’s Greatest Hoaxer, Brodkin has pulled off headline-making stunts, from handing Theresa May a P45 during her Prime Minister’s speech at the Conservative Party Conference to showering disgraced FIFA president Sepp Blatter with bank notes.

From surrounding Donald Trump at the opening of his golf course with 60 swastika-emblazoned golf balls to attaching a 25ft sign to the side of Sir Philip Green’s super yacht, and going on Britain’s Got Talent as the ultra-orthodox Jewish rapper Steven Goldblatt – fooling Simon Cowell and the other judges to win four Yes votes.

“I have performed in York before,” says the 46-year-old Londoner. “It might well have been as my alter ego Lee Nelson and that’s why it’s exciting to be going to the big-time Grand Opera where you can’t just turn up. You have to bring your A-game. I might even sing.”

Lee Nelson was a “very useful” suit of armour for Simon. “It was the only way I could see myself being funny. That was my comedy, pretending to be him or pretending to be multiple characters, including for sketch shows for the BBC,” he says.

“It’s not brave, being a comedian, not like being a firefighter, but it did feel personally brave because I felt it was the most difficult thing I could do.”

Dropping the Lee Nelson front, the real Simon Brodkin will stand up at the Grand Opera House at 8pm on Saturday. Box office:

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