More Things To Do in and around York as deathly silence is broken at libraries. List No. 43, courtesy of The Press, York

James Lewis Knight, left, as Jimmy and Matt Stradling as James in Next Door But One’s library tour of Operation Hummingbird in York

GO forth and multiply the chance to see the summer spurt of theatre, musicals and outdoor shows, urges Charles Hutchinson, who also highlights big gig news for autumn and March 2022.

Breaking the library hush: Next Door But One in Operation Hummingbird, in York, today and August 12

YORK community arts collective Next Door But One are teaming up with Explore York for a library tour of Matt Harper-Harcastle’s 45-minute play Operation Hummingbird.

James Lewis Knight plays Jimmy and Matt Stradling, James, in a one-act two-hander that takes the form of a conversation across the decades about a sudden family death, realising an opportunity that we all wish we could do at some point in our life: to go back and talk to our younger self.

Today’s Covid-safe performances are at 3.30pm at New Earswick Folk Hall and 7pm, Dringhouses Library; August 12, York Explore, 2pm, and Hungate Reading Café, 7pm. Box office:

Exit-kitchen-sink drama: Ashley Hope Allan as bored Liverpool housewife Shirley, planning a holiday to Greece in Esk Valley Theatre’s production of Shirley Valentine. Picture: Tony Bartholomew

Play launch of the week outside York: Esk Valley Theatre in Shirley Valentine, Robinson Institute, Glaisdale, near Whitby, tonight until August 28

ESK Valley Theatre complete a hattrick of Willy Russell plays with Shirley Valentine from tonight, under the direction of artistic director Mark Stratton as usual.

In Russell’s one-woman show, Coronation Street star Ashley Hope Allan plays middle-aged, bored Liverpool housewife Shirley in a story of self-discovery as she takes a holiday to Greece with a friend, who promptly abandons her for a holiday romance. Left alone, Shirley meets charming taverna owner Costas. Box office: 01947 897587 or at

It’s here at last! Heathers The Musical opens its delayed tour at Leeds Grand Theatre tonight. Picture: Pamela Raith

Musical of the week outside Leeds, Heathers The Musical, Leeds Grand Theatre, tonight until August 14

HEATHERS The Musical launches its touring production in Leeds from tonight with choreography by Gary Lloyd, who choreographed the debut York Stage pantomime last Christmas.

Produced by Bill Kenwright and Paul Taylor-Mills and directed by American screen and stage director Andy Fickman, this high-octane, dark-humoured rock musical is based on the Winona Ryder and Christian Slater cult teen movie.

The premise: Westerberg High pupil Veronica Sawyer (Rebecca Wickes) is just another nobody dreaming of a better day, until she joins the impossibly cruel Heathers, whereupon mysterious teen rebel JD (Simon Gordon) teaches her that it might kill to be a nobody, but it is murder being a somebody. Box office: 0113 243 0808 or at

Round To Low Horcum, by Sue Slack, one of the 33 artists and makers taking part in Ryedale Open Studios

Art event of the week: Ryedale Open Studios, Saturday and Sunday and next weekend, 10am to 5pm each day

THE newly formed Vault Arts Centre community interest company, in Kirkbymoorside, is coordinating this inaugural Ryedale Open Studios event, celebrating the creativity and artistic talent of Ryedale and the North York Moors.

Artists, makers and creators will be offering both an exclusive glimpse into their workplaces and the opportunity to buy art works directly. Full details of all 33 artists can be found at; a downloadable map at

Serena Manteghi: Performing in Eurydice at Theatre At The Mill this weekend

Hit and myth show of the week: Eurydice, Theatre At The Mill, Stillington Mill, near York, Saturday and Sunday, 7.30pm

THIS weekend, Serena Manteghi returns to the play she helped to create with writer Alexander Wright, composer Phil Grainger and fellow performer Casey Jane Andrews with Fringe award-winning success in Australia in 2019.

Manteghi, a tour de force in the Stephen Joseph Theatre’s Build A Rocket, will be joined by Grainger for the tale about being a daily superhero and not giving in to the stories we tell ourselves.

Woven from spoken word and soaring live music, Eurydice is the stand-alone sister show to Orpheus; her untold story imagined and reimagined for the modern-day and told from her perspective. Box office:

Kaiser Chiefs: Yorkshire anthems galore at Scarborough Open Air Theatre on Sunday

Yorkshire gig of the week outside York: Kaiser Chiefs, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, Sunday, gates open at 6pm

LEEDS lads Kaiser Chiefs promise a “no-holds-barred rock’n’roll celebration” on their much-requested return to Scarborough OAT after their May 27 2017 debut.

“We cannot wait to get back to playing live shows again and it will be great to return to this stunning Yorkshire venue,” says frontman Ricky Wilson. “We had a cracking night there in 2017, so roll on August 8!”

Expect a Sunday night of such Yorkshire anthems as Oh My God, I Predict A Riot, Everyday I Love You Less And Less, Ruby, Never Miss A Beat and Hole In My Soul. Box office:

Simon Amstell’s hippy-chic poster for his autumn tour show, Spirit Hole, visiting York, Sheffield and Leeds in the autumn

Comedy gig announcement of the week: Simon Amstell, Spirit Hole, Grand Opera House, York, September 25, 8pm

INTROSPECTIVE, abjectly honest comedian Simon Amstell will play the Grand Opera House, York, for the first time since 2012 on his 38-date Spirit Hole autumn tour.

Agent provocateur Amstell, 41, will deliver a “blissful, spiritual, sensational exploration of love, sex, shame mushrooms and more” on a tour with further Yorkshire gigs at The Leadmill, Sheffield, on September 12 and Leeds Town Hall on October 1.

York tickets are on sale at; York, Sheffield and Leeds at

Look sharp! Tickets are on sale for Joe Jackson’s second-ever York concert…next March

York gig announcement of the week: Joe Jackson, York Barbican, March 17 2022

JOE Jackson will play York for only the second time in his 43-year career on his Sing, You Sinners! tour next year.

Jackson, who turns 67 on August 11, will perform both solo and with a band at York Barbican in the only Yorkshire show of his 29-date British and European tour, promising hits and new material.

“We’ve been dealing with two viruses over the past two years, and the worst – the one we really need to put behind us – is Fear,” he says. “Love is the opposite of fear, so if you love live music, come out and support it!” Box office:

‘We really need to put fear behind us,’ says Joe Jackson as he books York Barbican gig

“Sing, You Sinners,” urges Joe Jackson as he announces York Barbican gig for March 17 next year

JOE Jackson will play York for only the second time in his 43-year career on his Sing, You Sinners! tour next year.

Jackson, who turns 67 on August 11, will perform at York Barbican on March 17 2022 in the only Yorkshire show of his 29-date British and European tour. Tickets go on sale today at

To find out when singer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, composer and bandleader Jackson last played York, head to the fact file below.

He will be touring with the same band that accompanied him on his Four Decade Tour in 2019 and that year’s studio album, Fool: Graham Maby, ever present since Joe Jackson Band days, on bass; Teddy Kumpel, on guitar, and Doug Yowell, on drums and electronics, all contributing backing vocals too.

Sing, You Sinners will feature both the full band and a “mini-set” of Jackson solo, the set list being drawn from his whole career, including some not aired live in many years. Watch out for surprises too, he forewarns, not least the promise of “completely new material”.

The 2022 tour will take Jackson to cities he has never played (Saarbrücken, Valencia) or not toured for a long time (Bordeaux, Lisbon, Oporto), as well as seven UK shows and new venues in Berlin, Paris and elsewhere.

Ahead of his travels, Jackson says: “We’ve been dealing with two viruses over the past two years, and the worst – the one we really need to put behind us – is Fear. Love is the opposite of fear, so if you love live music, come out and support it!”

Say it ain’t so, Joe. He was once in a band called Edward Bear, you know….

Joe Jackson Fact File

Full name: David Ian “Joe” Jackson.

Why “Joe”? Acquired nickname based on perceived resemblance to British television puppet character Joe 90.

Born: August 11 1954, Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire.

Raised: Swadlincote, Derbyshire (briefly); Portsmouth, Gosport, Hampshire.

Education: After playing piano in bars from 16, won scholarship to study musical composition at Royal Academy of Music, London.

First band: Edward Bear, later renamed Arms And Legs. Broke up in 1976 after two unsuccessful singles. Still known as David Jackson when he joined Arms and Legs, legally changing name to Joe at 20.

Occupation: Singer, musician, songwriter, bandleader, producer, author, campaigner.

Instruments: Piano, keyboards, guitar, saxophone.

Genres: New Wave rock, reggae, jive, minimalist jazz funk, piano ballads, instrumentals, classical, film soundtracks. “People have made too much” of his reputation for often changing tack, he says. “That reputation reduces me to a cartoon, and I certainly don’t change for change’s sake”.

Debut hit: Re-released first single Is She Really Going Out With Him reached number 13 in August 1979.

At his peppery sharpest: the artwork to Joe Jackson’s debut album

Debut album: Look Sharp!, March 5 1979. Named at number 98 in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of 100 best debuts of all time in 2013. Initially recorded demo tape in Portsmouth (1977-78) with tour money from cabaret gigs with Koffee’n’Kream; re-recorded after signing to A&M.

Latest album: Fool, 2019.

Studio albums: 21.

Best-known songs: Is She Really Going Out With Him?; It’s Different For Girls; Sunday Papers; I’m The Man; Beat Crazy; One To One; Jumpin’ Jive; Steppin’ Out; Breaking Us In Two; A Slow Song; Be My Number Two; You Can’t Get What You Want (Till You Know What You Want).

Quirk of fate: 1991 single Hit Single, from Laughter & Lust, wasn’t a hit.

Grammy history: Five nominations, one win, for Best Pop Instrumental Album for Symphony No. 1 at 43rd awards in 2000.

Out-of-this-world collaboration: Featured on Star Trek icon William Shatner’s cover of Pulp’s Common People on William Shatner Has Been album in 2004.

More contributions to “covers albums”: That’s The Way I Feel Now: A Tribute To Thelonious Monk, 1986; Statue Of Liberty on A Testimonial Dinner: The Songs Of XTC, 1995.

Not forgetting: His own “covers” album, Jumpin’ Jive, June 1981 “musical vacation” in Forties’ swing and jump blues of Louis Jordan and Cab Calloway.

Other collaborations: Left Of Centre, with Suzanne Vega, charting at number 32, 1985, from Pretty In Pink soundtrack. Performed on Show Biz Kids, For No One and One Hand, One Heart on Rickie Lee Jones’s 2000 album, It’s Like This.

Motion picture soundtrack: Featured on Angel and 1913 pub song Hello, Hello, Who’s Your Lady Friend? on The Greatest Game Ever Played, 2005. Made cameo appearance as dapper gent in bowler hat in East End boozer tinkling the ivories.

Autobiography: A Cure For Gravity, 1999. Billed as “book about music, thinly disguised as a memoir”, Jackson charted musical life from working-class, council-house childhood to 24th birthday, deeming pop-star years “hardly worth writing about”.

Campaigner, you say? Yes, against smoking bans in USA and UK. Published 2005 pamphlet The Smoking Issue and 2007 essay Smoke, Lies And The Nanny State and recorded satirical song In 20-0-3.

Gone with the wind: Jackson was among hundreds of artists whose recordings were destroyed reportedly in 2008 Universal vaults fire.

Has Joe ever performed in York? Only once, in June 2005, sharing Grand Opera House bill with Todd Rundgren and improvisational string quartet Ethel.