BADAPPLE Theatre Company return to live performances this evening with Tales From The Great Wood at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York.
“This is a new short play for children and grandparents – and everyone else – to enjoy together that can be performed indoor or outdoor,” says writer-director Kate Bramley, founder of the Green Hammerton theatre-on-your-doorstep proponents, as she introduces her interactive storytelling eco-adventure.
“Listen! Can you hear the whispering in the trees? The Great Wood is full of stories. It’s a hot summer’s day, perfect for basking in the sun, but instead of resting, Hetty the hare is investigating because someone is missing.
“As she unravels a tall tale that stretches from end to end of The Great Wood, Hetty realises that every creature – no matter how small – can have a huge part to play in the world of the forest.”
One of those “creatures” is the exotic Hoopoe bird from Africa that is blown off course en route to Spain and ends up in Bramley’s British woodland story.
“Although I write daft stuff, the facts behind it are always real,” says Kate. “So this bird with a long beak and a liking for ants really does occasionally turn up in Britain, sometimes Scotland, or the south west of England…and now in The Great Wood!”
Starring York actor Richard Kay, Danny Mellor and a host of puppets made by designer Catherine Dawn, this show for ages five to 95 will be performed at the Covid-secure JoRo tonight at 7.30pm and tomorrow at 11am, 2.30pm and 7.30pm.
“We’ll also be playing Skipsea Village Hall on Sunday afternoon, and we’re looking to do some outdoor performances too, such as at stately homes, with Annabelle Polito working on that for us at the moment,” says Kate.
“I’m trying to create a show that is ‘omni-everything’: suitable for outdoor spaces and for indoors, so it’s not only a play for all seasons, but a play for all eventualities.”
In the spirit of an eco-adventure, Badapple Theatre’s have recycled the set and puppets for use in Tales From The Great Wood. “At a time when all businesses great and small are recognising the need to look at how live events come about, what we want to do is threefold: to carry on telling stories; to carry on spreading joy and to make sure we are always eco-conscious,” says Kate.
“I’ve had 22 years with Badapple since founding the company to bring theatre to your doorstep, and I’ve been thinking, ‘what would I like to do for the next 22 years’?
“I’d now be happy to split my time between telling stories and digging and growing things in the garden.”
In addition to rehearsing Tales From The Great Wood at Hunsingore Village Hall, Badapple have held a puppet day with Haxby primary schoolchildren, combining puppets and poems. “They were just such a beautiful set of children, who were so excited to get involved, making puppets and then working with all the puppets we’d made,” says Kate.
“It was interesting to see just how instinctive it was for them to adopt puppet characters. Right now, they should just be having fun, playing with theatre skills and enjoying storytelling.”
Badapple Theatre Company in Tales From The Great Wood, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, July 2, 7.30pm, and July 3, 11am, 2.30pm and 7.30pm. Box office: 01904 501935. Also: Skipsea Village Hall, July 4, 2pm; tickets, 01262 469714 or 01262 468640.
LOOKING to have a whale of a time? Here is Charles Hutchinson’s latest guide to what’s on and what’s coming up, featuring a snail, a whale, a hare, a York king and much more besides.
Anything Could Happen show of the week: The Showstoppers in Showstopper! The Improvised Musical, York Theatre Royal and livestream, June 30, 7.30pm
DIRECT from the West End, The Showstoppers’ Olivier Award-winning blend of comedy, musical theatre and spontaneity heads to York Theatre Royal for one night only.
A new musical comedy will be created from scratch as audience suggestions are transformed into an all-singing, all-dancing production packed with drama, dazzling dance routines and contagious melodies, everything being made up on the spot.
“Whether you fancy Hamiltonin a hospital or Sondheim in the Sahara, you suggest it and we’ll sing it,” say the Showstoppers, whose show will be livestreamed too, with more details in how to tune in at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk/show/showstopper-the-improvised-musical-livestream.
Family show of the week: Badapple Theatre Company in Tales From The Great Wood, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, July 2, 7.30pm; July 3, 11am, 2.30pm and 7pm.
LISTEN! Can you hear the whispering in the trees? The wood is full of stories in Tales From The Wood, written and directed by Kate Bramley, artistic director of Green Hammerton company Badapple.
York actor Richard Kay, Danny Mellor and a host of puppets present an interactive storytelling eco-adventure for ages five to 95, set on a hot summer’s day, when, instead of resting, Hetty the hare is investigating because someone is missing.
As she unravels a tall tale that stretches across The Great Wood, Hetty realises how every creature, no matter how small, can have a huge part to play in the world of the forest. Box office: josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.
Children’s show of the week: Tall Stories in The Snail And The Whale, York Theatre Royal, July 2, 2.30pm and 4.30pm; July 3, 10.30am and 1.30pm
TALL Stories invite you to join an adventurous young girl and her seafaring father as they reimagine the story of a globe-trotting tiny snail, inspired by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s picture book.
In this heart-warming play full of music, storytelling and laughter, the sea snail hitches a lift on the tail of a grey-blue humpback whale to head off an amazing journey around the world, but when the whale becomes beached, how will the snail save him? Box office: 01904 623568 or at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.
Folk event of the week ahead: Gary Stewart’s Folk Club, At The Mill, Stillington, near York, July 3, 7.30pm to 10pm
“IT will be a very special, one-off, folk club: part folk night, part headline gig, with an eclectic mix of acts and then me doing a set,” says Easingwold singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Gary Stewart.
Hosted by Gary, people in attendance will be given the chance to play and perform, whether music, stories, songs or poems. “If you want to share something, then bring your instrument and your voice and we’ll see you there!” says At The Mill’s Alexander Wright. For tickets, go to: atthemill.com.
Portrait of the summer: Richard III, Yorkshire Museum, York, July 9 to October 31.
HIS ex-car park bones may be stuck in Leicester Cathedral, but that right work of art, Richard III, is heading back to his favourite city, York, albeit in portrait form.
On loan from the National Portrait Gallery as part of its Coming Home project, the iconic 16th century painting by the mysterious Unknown Artist will be on show at the Yorkshire Museum alongside “one of the finest groups of objects associated with Richard III”, such as the magnificent Middleham Jewel, The Ryther Hoard and Stillingfleet Boar Badge.
“Coming home,” you say? Yes, the project lends portraits of iconic individuals to places across the UK with which they are most closely associated. York 1, Leicester 0.
Where there’s hope…and a NEW date: Hope & Social, The Crescent, York, October 12, 7.30pm. Moved from July 16
“WE wear blue jackets. Fingers crossed, we will die with our hearts out in bloom,” say Leeds band Hope & Social, purveyors of the 2014 Tour de France Grand Depart and Yorkshire Festival anthem The Big Wide.
Ah yes, but why do they wear those blue jackets? “Homburgs, in Leeds, were selling off goods, and they had a choice between Wombles outfits and these Butlins holiday camp-style outfits,” explains drummer Gary Stewart. Box office: thecrescentyork.com.
Warm-up gig of the summer: The Courteeners, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, September 8
THE Courteeners will loosen up for two-late summer shows with an exclusive warm-up on the East Coast, supported by Wirral wonders The Coral.
The Middleton band are to play Glasgow’s TRNSMT Festival on September 10 and Manchester’s Emirates Old Trafford cricket ground on September 25, a home-coming that sold out in 90 minutes.
Best known for Not Nineteen Forever, Are You In Love With A Notion, How Good It Was, The 17th and Hanging Off Your Cloud, The Courteeners released their seventh top ten album, More. Again. Forever, in January 2020. Tickets will go on sale tomorrow (25/6/2021) via scarboroughopenairtheatre.com.
Comedy gig announcement of the week: Joe Lycett: More, More, More! How Do You Lycett? How Do You Lycett?, York Barbican, April 1 and 3 2022
FRESH from filming in York last Thursday for his Channel 4 consumer-campaign series Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back, Birmingham comedian and presenter Lycett has announced a 60-date tour with a title riffing on a 1976 Andrea True Connection disco floor-filler.
In More, More, More!, Lycett will explore his love of art and passion for gardening, how he toys with companies on Instagram and the perils of online trolls.
As well as his York Barbican brace, among more, more, more dates in 2022 will be Hull Bonus Arena on April 2 and Leeds First Direct Arena on September 14. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk and joelycett.com.