SAY Owt, York’s performance poetry forum, teams up with York Literature Festival to present author and poet Pete “The Temp” Bearder in Homer To Hip Hop at The Crescent, York, on June 19.
Bearder’s 7.30pm performance lecture on a people’s history of spoken word and poetry will be “part gig, part TedTalk, part party” as he speaks truth to power.
Introducing Bearder’s show, Say Owt artistic director Henry Raby says: “As we enter the post-Covid comeback, meet the artistic revivals that have remade the world from the bottom up.
“Find out why wordsmiths have always been vilified, feared and revered, from the ballad singers and Beat poets, to the icons of dub, punk and hip hop. The spoken word has always been the most immediate tool of cultural revival. This show brings a proud history to life and asks what we can do with it next.”
Former national Poetry Slam champion, spoken word poet, author and comic Bearder brings to life the poetic movements that have shaped history. His work has been featured on BBC Radio 4, BBC World Service and Newsnight and his Homer To Hip Hop show follows the release of his ground-breaking book Stage Invasion: Poetry & The Spoken Word Renaissance.
Support on June 19 comes from Raby, Say Owt’s “token punk poet”, who has appeared at festivals across the UK and on BBC Radio York. “Althea Thall will be bringing her story-telling energy too and, finally, Jonny Crawshaw will be DJing a hip-hop set afterwards,” says Henry.
Tickets cost £10 via www.thecrescentyork.com/events/home-to-hip-hop-a-peoples-history-of-spoken-word/
BIG beards, food and funfairs galore, Irish whimsy, postcard art, tree theatre, Moronic music, female folk and a year’s notice of camp comedy catch Charles Hutchinson’s eye.
York Spring Festival and Food Fair, Clocktower Enclosure, York Racecourse, Knavesmire, York, running until June 5
IN its second year at York Racecourse, this event takes in the Platinum Jubilee long weekend celebrations to complement the 15 vintage funfair rides, food stalls, live music and family entertainment, highlighted by the lighting of York’s Jubilee Beacon on Thursday evening.
Look forward to 6.30pm performances by York musicians Huge, The Y Street Band, Hyde Family Jam and New York Brass Band, plus Wales’s Old Time Sailors.
Busiest of all will be York children’s entertainer, “balloonologist”, juggler and magician Josh Benson, performing his high-energy Just Josh show four times a day. Tickets: ticketsource.co.uk/yorkspringfair.co.uk.
Half-term festival of the week: Jorvik Viking Festival, York, today until Wednesday
NEARLY two and a half years after hordes of Viking warriors and settlers last descended on the city, York is ready for five days of Norse-themed fun and entertainment.
Moved from February to fit into the summer half-term holiday, the 2022 festival sees the return of a living history encampment, March to Coppergate, Strongest Viking and Best Beard contests and Poo Day at DIG, as well as a new arena event this evening, The Jorvik Games. For full festival details and tickets, go to: jorvikvikingfestival.co.uk.See full preview below.
Comedy gig of the week: Dylan Moran, We Got This, Grand Opera House, York, tonight, 8pm
DROLL Irish comedian Dylan Moran promises a joyously furious romp through the frustration and folly of modern-day life in his new tour show.
“These times have not been easy,” he says. “Learn how to make breakfast not even knowing you are out of bed. Diagnose the mirror, reason with the mice and boil yoghurt blindfolded. Enjoy the fruits of hurtling cognitive decline and your neighbours’ sprawling ghastliness, absence of humanity and so, so much more.” Box office: 0844 871 7615 or atgtickets.com/York.
Art event of the weekend: PICA Postcard Show and Sale, PICA Studios, Grape Lane, York, today and tomorrow, 10am to 4pm
THE artists at the PICA Studios workshop are branching out into one-off postcard artworks for one weekend only. Each postcard will sell for £25 to raise funds towards improving the studio space and to create a gallery in the foyer.
Taking part will be Lesley Birch, Evie Leach, Emily Stubbs, Katrina Mansfield, Ealish Wilson, Sarah Jackson, Ric Liptrot, Jo Edmonds, Lisa Power, Amy Stubbs, Mick Leach, Rae George, Lesley Shaw Lu Mason and Kitty Pennybacker. Purchases also can be made online via instagram@picastudios.
Family drama of the weekend: Badapple Theatre Company in Yorkshire Kernel, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, today, 2.30pm and 7.30pm
JAMES’S Grandad is at death’s door, but he has one last mission: to find a tree. Many trees in fact, scattered around the country in memory of his Second World War comrades. So begins writer, performer and puppeteer Danny Mellor’s play for Green Hammerton company Badapple.
Divided between being haunted by his plain-speaking grandfather, his mother rekindling her romance with an old flame, and James’s pregnant partner, Rosie, thinking he is cheating on her, Mellor’s “bonkers” solo show undertakes a journey of Yorkshire wit and grit through one man’s determination to leave a long-lasting legacy. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.
Cracking gig of the week: The Lovely Eggs, supported by Arch Femmesis and Thick Richard, The Crescent, York, tomorrow, 7.30pm
PROUDLY independent northern psychedelic punk rock duo The Lovely Eggs do not give up. After re-scheduling the tour to promote April 2020’s release of their I Am Moron album seven times, they play The Crescent at last this weekend.
Iggy Pop, no less, contributed to their track I, Moron. “For him just to say nothing but ‘moron’ over and over again fitted in with the sentiment of the song perfectly,” says Lovely Egg Holly Ross. “He just got it. We are all morons. In a world of moronic things. In a world of moronic ideas. You are Moron. I am Moron. We are Moron.” OK, Morons and Eggheads, tickets are on sale at thecrescentyork.com.
Folk gigs of the week: The Unthanks, Sorrows Away Tour, York Barbican, Tuesday, 7.45pm; Katherine Priddy, supported by George Boomsma, National Centre for Early Music, York, Wednesday, 7.30pm
RETURNING to touring after two years off the road, Northumbrian folk musicians The Unthanks will be previewing their upcoming autumn album Sorrows Away in their York Barbican debut with an 11-piece ensemble. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.
The following night at the NCEM, finger-picking guitarist and haunting singer Katherine Priddy performs enchanting songs on the theme of childhood, distant memories and whatever will follow next from last June’s debut album, The Eternal Rocks Beneath. Box office: 01904 658338 or ncem.co.uk.
Gig launch of the week: Tom Allen, Completely, York Barbican, May 28 2023
YOU will have to wait 12 months for comedian, raconteur, arch television jester and radio presenter Tom Allen’s new show, Completely, to arrive in York. Tickets go on sale rather sooner, from 10am on Monday at yorkbarbican.co.uk.
At 38, Bromley-born Allen has finally moved out of his parents’ house, prompting his eagerness to share his life updates, gain audience opinions on his vegetable patch and delve into the protocol of inviting friends with children for dinner.
Jorvik Viking Festival returns with more fun and games…
TENTS for an encampment are being set up in Parliament Street and screens installed at the Eye of York. Traders are transporting their wares to the Guildhall and St Sampson’s Square and a faint smell of mead is wafting through the air. Welcome to the return of the Jorvik Viking Festival.
Nearly two and a half years after hordes of Viking warriors and settlers last descended on the city, York is preparing for five days of Norse-themed fun and entertainment, starting today (28/5/2022).
Postponed from February to fit snugly into the half-term holiday before the Jubilee bank holiday, this year’s festival will see the return of such favourite events as a living history encampment, the March To Coppergate and the Strongest Viking and Best Beard contests, alongside a new arena event at 6.45pm this evening, The Jorvik Games.
“In February, our evening spectacular is usually a dramatic presentation of a Viking story, but with the evenings being so much lighter in May, our event will also be a little more fun,” says event manager Gareth Henry.
“The Viking Games will pit the finest warriors from four teams against each other, with spectators invited to pick their champion and cheer them on to victory. Henry. Of course, being Vikings, they might not always play by the rules – and with their own horde of supporters behind them on the arena field, sparks will fly with skirmishes inevitable!”
Tickets for The Jorvik Games are still available, priced £15 for adults and £11 for concessions, with family tickets also available at jorvikvikingfestival.co.uk.
While Saturday will be the festival’s busiest day, visitors from Sunday to Wednesday will enjoy a host of events and activities too. On Sunday, at 29/31 Coney Street, visitors can meet Vikings from all over Europe, brought together under the Erasmus scheme, including fun crafting activities.
Young warriors can hone their skills in Have-A-Go Sword sessions on the Parliament Street stage and the Ting Tang re-enactors will bring theatre to the stage every day too.
The last few places remain on crafting workshops taking place Monday to Wednesday at York Medical Society, on Stonegate, including Nalebinding (Viking knitting), Trichinopoly (wire weaving) and tablet weaving.
On Wednesday, Jorvik’s sister attraction, DIG in St Saviourgate, will host the ever-popular Poo Day, a chance for children (and adults!) to try their hand at making a replica Viking poo, based on the world-famous Lloyds Bank Coprolite (fossilised poo, should you be wondering).
Jorvik Viking Centre’s exhibition of items from the Silverdale Hoard, on loan from Lancashire County Museums, is also expected to be popular, with tickets for the attraction selling out for many time slots throughout the half-term break.
“With good weather forecast for the weekend, we’re expecting York to be particularly busy, so would urge visitors to pre-book their tickets wherever possible to avoid disappointment,” says Henry.
Full details of all Jorvik Viking Festival events can be found at jorvikvikingfestival.co.uk.
AVOIDING the “devastation of stag and hen parties” (copyright Rachael Maskell, York Central MP), Charles Hutchinson finds reasons aplenty to venture out.
Play of the week: Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming, York Theatre Royal, Monday to Saturday, 7.30pm; Thursday, 2pm; Saturday, 2.30pm
GAVIN & Stacey star Mathew Horne and Keith Allen star in Jamie Glover’s new production of The Homecoming, Harold Pinter’s bleakly funny 1965 exploration of family and relationships.
University professor Teddy returns to his North London childhood home from America, accompanied by his wife Ruth, to find his father, uncle and brothers still living there. As life becomes a barely camouflaged battle for power and sexual supremacy, who will emerge victorious: poised and elegant Ruth or her husband’s dysfunctional family? Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.
Outdoor gig of the week: Tom Figgins, Music At The Mill, Stillington Mill, near York, tonight, 7.30pm
SINGER-SONGWRITER Tom Figgins returns to At The Mill’s garden stage after last summer’s sold-out performance, with the promise of new material.
Figgins’ vocal range, guitar playing and compelling lyrics caught the ear of presenter Chris Evans,who hosted him on his BBC Radio 2 show and invited him to play the main stage at CarFest North & South.
His instrumental works have been heard on Countryfile and Panorama and he is the composer for the Benlunar podcast, now on its fourth series. Box office: tickettailor.com/events/atthemill.
Classical concert of the week: York Guildhall Orchestra, York Barbican, tonight, 7.30pm
YORK Guildhall Orchestra’s final concert of their 2021-2022 season welcomes the long-awaited return of pianist Martin Roscoe, originally booked to perform in May 2020.
Retained from that Covid-cancelled programme are Shostakovich’s Jazz Suite, with its combination of cheeky jazz tunes and the Russian’s mastery of orchestration, and Dohnanyi’s mock-serious take on a children’s nursery rhyme. Leeds Festival Chorus join in for Elgar’s Music Makers. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.
Eighties’ nostalgia of the week: Go West & Paul Young, York Barbican, Sunday, 7.30pm
PETER Cox and Richard Drummer’s slick duo, Go West, and Luton soul singer Paul Young go north this weekend for a double bill of Eighties’ pop.
Expect We Close Our Eyes, Call Me, Don’t Look Down and King Of Wishful Thinking, from the Pretty Woman soundtrack, in Go West’s set. The chart-topping Wherever I Lay My Hat, Love Of The Common People, Everytime You Go Away and Everything Must Change will be on Young’s To Do list. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.
Fun and word games of the week: Paul Merton’s Impro Chums, Grand Opera House, York, Monday, 8pm
HAVE I Got News For You regular and Comedy Store Players co-founder Paul Merton teams up with fellow seasoned improvisers Richard Vranch, Suki Webster and Mike McShane and accompanist Kirsty Newton to flex their off-the-cuff comedy muscles on their first antics roadshow travels since August 2019.
“What audiences like about what we do is that we haven’t lost our sense of play, our sense of fun, the sort of thing that gets knocked out of you because you have to get married or get a mortgage or find a job,” says Merton. Let the fun and games sparked by audience suggestions begin. Box office: 0844 871 7615 or atgtickets.com/York.
Homage, not tribute show, of the week: Hayley Ria Christian in Midnight Train To Georgia, A Celebration Of Gladys Knight, Grand Opera House, York, Friday, 7.30pm
HAYLEY Ria Christian’s show is “definitely not a tribute, but a faithful portrayal that truly pays homage to the voice of a generation, the one and only Empress of Soul, Ms Gladys Knight”.
In the late Sixties and Seventies, Gladys Knight & The Pips enjoyed such hits as Take Me In Your Arms And Love Me, Help Me Make It Through The Night, Try To Remember/The Way We Were, Baby, Don’t Change Your Mind and her signature song Midnight Train To Georgia. Box office: 0844 871 7615 or atgtickets.com/York.
Comedy gig of the week: Milton Jones in Milton: Impossible, Harrogate Theatre, May 21, 7.30pm
ONE man. One Mission. Is it possible? “No, not really,” says Kew comedian Milton Jones, the shock-haired matador of the piercing one-liner, as he reveals the truth behind having once been an international spy, but then being given a somewhat disappointing new identity that forced him to appear on Mock The Week.
“But this is also a love story with a twist, or at least a really bad sprain,” says Jones. “Is it all just gloriously daft nonsense, or is there a deeper meaning?” Find out next weekend. Box office: 01423 502116 or harrogatetheatre.co.uk.
Protest gig of the week: Grace Petrie, The Crescent, York, May 23, 7.30pm
DIY protest singer Grace Petrie emerged from lockdown with Connectivity, her 2021 polemical folk album that reflects on what humanity means in a world struggling against division and destruction.
Petrie’s honest songs seek a way to carry on the fight for a better tomorrow when every day you are told you have lost already. Bad news: her York gig has sold out. Good news: she will be playing Social, Hull, too on May 18 at 8pm (box office, seetickets.com). On both nights, she will be accompanied by long-time collaborator, singer and multi-instrumentalist Ben Moss.
BETH McCarthy will play a home-city gig for the first time since March 2019 at The Crescent, York, tonight (2/5/2022).
Much has happened to Beth, singer, songwriter and erstwhile BBC Radio York evening show presenter, since she moved to London.
Lockdown times three may have curtailed her gigging but in that hiatus she has been buoyed by the online response to four singles and videos, drawing 4.8 million likes and 300,000 followers on TikTok and attracting 465,000 monthly listeners and nine million plays of her heartbreak hit She Gets The Flowers on Spotify.
“I moved down to the Big Smoke three weeks before the first lockdown,” recalls Beth. “Got here. World at my feet, then not anymore!
“It was funny really because, in the first stage of lockdown, it was like it was for all performers – everything stopped – so I came back to York and stayed with my parents for a while, and my only outlet for performing was busking on my parents’ drive.
“It got a bit depressing, I’m not going to lie, but I came back to London, as I’d managed to keep my place on, did some songwriting and started busking.”
After Beth was filmed busking, the response to the footage on social media was so positive that she thought, ‘I’d better get on to this’. “I started doing stuff on TikTok, doing something more than straightforward covers by re-working songs to give them a different perspective,” she says.
“That started to take off and the one that really caught on was OMG Did She Call Him Baby?, where I adapted the hook from Will Joseph Cook’s Be Around Me and changed it OMG Did She Call Him Baby?.
“He’s a songwriter from London, he’s got his own label; like me, he’s pretty independent himself. His song was going viral on TikTok, so I contacted him and he said yes to my version, and mine went viral too!”
Beth has settled into London life, living south of the river in Battersea. “That’s uncommon for creatives, but I absolutely love it, even if you could argue I haven’t experienced it at its fullest,” she says.
“But being around its fast pace does me a lot of good, whereas some people are put off by that and feel lonely. Not me. When I did The Voice [the BBC One talent show] in 2014 when I was 16, staying down here for rehearsals, I loved it and I’ve wanted to be here ever since.”
Reflecting on her move, Beth says: “I’ve had what you could call quite a ‘soft release’ to London; going back to York, doing some Radio York shows for a while, and I’ve still got my family there. I’ve had one foot in York, one foot in London, but now this is me, down here full time.”
Last year, Beth supported Sigrid and sold out two headline shows in London and now she has been taken under the wing of Kilimanjaro Live to promote her shows. This spring, she has appeared on Kilimanjaro Live’s stage at Liverpool Sound City on May 1, and coming next after York tonight are gigs at Camden Assembly, London, on May 3 and Deaf Institute, Manchester, on May 7, followed by a set at Kilimanjaro Live’s new festival in Norwich, Neck Of The Woods, on May 29.
“Having Kilimanjaro Live and Live Nation onside is great, and I’ve also signed to the Paradigm agency, who do everyone! I have two agents there; one works with Billie Eilish, not bad company to be in!” says Beth.
“I haven’t got a manager yet. Finding the right one when you’ve been working on your own isn’t easy.”
Beth is signed to a small Manchester label, LAB Records. “They’re great as I just want to keep releasing songs, and there were sniffs around She Get The Flowers when it took off on Spotify for a bigger release. It almost happened but the industry is still bruised [by the pandemic].”
Check out She Gets The Flowers’ accompanying video on YouTube, the one with a litany of female hurt spelled out on cards – a mode of expression patented by Bob Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues – held silently by assorted friends and cohorts of Beth, among them familiar faces from York’s arts scene such as Annie Donaghy and Livy Potter.
“Because it was lockdown, it was one of the hardest things to navigate, with only a restricted number of people allowed in the room and everyone having to be masked up except when each of us was being filmed, but that was the easiest way to film it at the time,” recalls Beth.
“I did it with Ont’ Sofa [the Old Stables recording studios in Harrogate], who I’ve always done stuff with, working with Ben Dave, who has a company called Dot and Diode, and Harrogate musician and producer Jason Odell.
“I’ve worked with Jason really closely. He co-produced it and every song I’ve done since then, so it’s nice to have a little piece of Yorkshire going in with Jason’s involvement.”
The story arch of She Gets The Flowers and its accompanying video charts those who do not receive the flowers and the circumstances why. “Everyone in the video needed to feel comfortable in front of the camera,” says Beth.
“A couple of them, Annie and Livy, had acting experience but the majority didn’t, but it was vital we set it up to create an emotional atmosphere, so we played them all the lyrics before recording, and that’s what made the song translate so well with their candid expressions on camera.”
For her York, London and Manchester gigs, guitarist Beth will perform in a three-piece line-up, but she remains equally at home singing on her own. “I’m back and forth with what I do when I play live.” she says.
“From the start, I paved the way for being able to just rock up with a guitar and just be myself on a stage. Picking up an acoustic guitar and becoming a singer-songwriter from when I was 13, I feel lucky that I was brought up in the very rootsy music scene in York.”
Joining Beth at The Crescent tonight will be drummer and musical director Michael Turnbull and keyboard player Christina Hizon. “Michael is connected with Litany (Beth Cornell’s band], from Harrogate, so it’s northerners coming together! I said, ‘You’re from the north, you’re going to have to be in my band’,” she says.
“Christina’s been on tour with Maisie Peters, and next up, after my shows, she’s going to tour with Ed Sheeran. She played with [Queen drummer] Roger Taylor on his tour last year that came to the York Barbican. We first in a social setting in London.”
Positivity courses through Beth as TikTok, Spotify and YouTube give her momentum, now compounded by her return to the concert platform. “I’m just going to push my music as much and as often as possible,” she says.
“I may have no label deal or management, but what I do have is the hope that people just want to listen to music, in whatever form, and the last two songs I’ve released have really instilled that in me.
“The rest is just fluff, and as long as you do the things that matter to you, that’s what’s important.”
Beth is putting together an EP combining her compositions If You Loved Me Right, Friendship Bracelet, No Hard Feelings and You Ruin Love. “The point was to capture as many feelings as possible out of relationships and break-ups,” she says.
“If You Loved Me Right is a classically bitter break-up song, taking the power back, feeling not sad, but angry. Friendship Bracelet says ‘go ahead, burn my bracelet’. I wanted the title No Hard Feelings for one song, knowing that most of the songs would be about hard feelings. But that’s all fine, that’s me! I like things to have a concept, to have an honest purpose.
“I feel like if I ever did fall deeply in love it would ruin my career! To be fair, the songs have all been pretty sad or angry, though No Hard Feelings is like an amicable break-up song where you end up on good terms. It’s still hard, but sometimes love fizzles out, there’s no falling out and you just don’t see each other anymore.”
In the buzz of London, Beth has been taking part in “loads of writing sessions with a bit of the speed-dating culture but for writing”. “I find everybody is pretty happy to share other talented people for you to work with,” she says.
Her song-writing goal is to conceive “songs for people who don’t have songs yet”, by which she means songs that are personal to them. “It’s that thing when people go, ‘that’s the song that feels like it came from me, even though I didn’t write it’,” says Beth. “I’m always searching for the person that doesn’t have that song.”
Beth McCarthy, The Crescent, York, tonight (2/5/2022), supported by Jemma Johnson. Doors: 7.30pm. Box office: the crescentyork.com or myticket.co.uk/artists/beth-mccarthy
SEEKING Divine inspiration? Here comes Charles Hutchinson with his guide to what’s hot, from topical comedy to charming songwriters, a steamy thriller to intense jazz.
Charmer of the week: The Divine Comedy, York Barbican, tonight, 7.45pm
THE Divine Comedy’s Neil Hannon plays York this weekend for the first time since the Irish chamber-pop leprechaun’s Minster concert in May 2011.
Hannon will be showcasing his 2022 compilation, Charmed Life – The Best Of The Divine Comedy, marking the completion of the 51-year-old songwriter, musical score composer and cricket enthusiast’s third decade as a recording artist
“I’ve been luckier than most,” Hannon says. “I get to sing songs to people for a living and they almost always applaud.” Hence that Charmed Life title. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.
Outdoor dance vibes of the long weekend: Dance Dance Dance, A Damn Big Dance Party, At The Mill, Stillington, near York, Sunday, 6pm to 11pm
HEADPHONES on as At The Mill plays host to a three-channel Silent Disco with a bunch of very cool guest DJs, a live set from Flatcap Carnival and the pizza oven fired up for orders.
Organiser Alexander Flanagan Wright says: “We got Joshua Pulleyn coming. We got Bolshee taking over a channel. We got Sarah Rorke blasting out some Northern Soul vibes. Tom Figgins is metaphorically spinning a track or two.
“Paul Smith has some new punk and old-school hip hop heading your way. Abbi Ollive has a solid hour of girl power. And I’m lining up a lot of Chemical Brothers, Prodigy and Beyoncé as I can. Come dance. It’s gotta be mega. There’s a handful of tickets left at atthemill.org.”
Homecoming of the week: Beth McCarthy, The Crescent, York, Monday, doors 7.30pm
BETH McCarthy, now living in London, heads home to play her first York gig since March 2019.
Singer-songwriter Beth has been buoyed by the online response to her singles and videos, drawing 4.8 million likes and 300,000 followers on TikTok and attracting 465,000 monthly listeners and nine million plays of her She Gets The Flowers on Spotify. Box office: myticket.co.uk/artists/beth-mccarthy.
Comedy gigs of the week: Stewart Lee, Snowflake/Tornado, York Theatre Royal, Tuesday to Thursday, 7.30pm
DELAYED by lockdowns, Stewart Lee finally brings Snowflake/Tornado – a double bill of two 60-minute sets, back-to-back nightly – to York with new material for 2022.
Heavily rewritten in the light of two pandemic-enforced dormant years, Snowflake looks at how the Covid/Brexit era has influenced the culture war between lovely snowflakes and horrible people.
Tornadoquestions Lee’s position in the comedy marketplace after Netflix mistakenly listed his show as “reports of sharks falling from the skies are on the rise again. Nobody on the Eastern Seaboard is safe.” Good luck trying to acquire a ticket on 01904 623568 or at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.
Psychological thriller of the week: Fatal Attraction, Grand Opera House, York, Tuesday to Saturday, 7.30pm and 2.30pm matinees, Wednesday and Saturday
JAMES Dearden, screenwriter for Adrian Lyne’s 1987 “bunny boiler” American psycho thriller, has written a new stage version of Fatal Attraction for 21st century audiences, mobile phones et al.
The plot remains the same: happily married New York attorney Dan Gallagher (Oliver Farnworth) has a night on the town with editor Alex Forrest (Susie Amy) that boils up into passion.
Dan returns home to wife Beth (Louise Redknapp), trying to forget what happened, but Alex has only one rule: you play fair with her and she’ll play fair with you. If not…! Box office: 0844 871 7615 or atgtickets.com/York.
Smile of the week: Marti Pellow, Greatest Hits Tour, York Barbican, Tuesday, 7.30pm
LET Marti Pellow introduce his Greatest Hits Tour show. “It’s about finally being able to come together to celebrate love, life, and remember those we may have lost along the way. Most of all, it’s about enjoyment and celebrating the here and now. Get your dancing shoes on: it’s time to party with Marti.”
Expect songs from his Wet Wet Wet and solo catalogues up to 2021’s Stargazer album, cover versions too, plus reflective chat as he sits on the edge of the stage. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.
Jazz gig of the week: Trish Clowes: My Iris, National Centre for Early Music, York, Tuesday, 7.30pm
SAXOPHONIST Trish Clowes leads her jazz band My Iris in their York debut, providing pianist Ross Stanley, guitarist Chris Montague and drummer James Maddren with a high-intensity platform for individual expression and improvisation.
Driving grooves and lingering melodic lines combine as they “seamlessly morph between earthy restlessness and futuristic dreamscapes”. Box office: 01904 658338 or ncem.co.uk.
Indoor dance show of the week: Terpsichoring Dance Company in Me, Myself And Misha, York Theatre Royal Studio, Friday, 7.45pm
TERPSICHORING Dance Company’s Me, Myself & Misha is a heartfelt, autobiographical 40-minute show devised and performed by award-winning dance artist Ana Silverio, who explores the physical and emotional journey, full of challenges and joys, that one woman undertakes to become a mother.
Universal themes of pregnancy and labour are presented, using a mix of physical theatre and dance alongside an original and moving musical score. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.
Fundraiser alert: Yorkraine, for DEC Ukraine Appeal, Grand Opera House, York, May 24, 7.30pm
YORKRAINE’s benefit concert combines four of York’s finest cover bands, The Supermodels, The Mothers, The Y Street Band and Sister Madly, plus acoustic slots from Alex Victoria and Mal Fry and guest speakers.
The evening of pop and rock classics from the past six decades will raise funds for the British Red Cross DEC appeal to aid Ukrainian refugees who find themselves in dire circumstances. All artists, hosts, sound tech and crew have donated their time free of charge. Box office: atgtickets.com/York.
Gig announcement of the week: Gary Barlow, A Different Stage, Grand Opera House, York, June 10 and 11
TAKE That legend, singer, songwriter, composer, producer, talent show judge and author Gary Barlow is adding a theatrical one-man show to his repertoire.
“I’ve done shows where it has just been me and a keyboard,” says Barlow. “I’ve done shows where I sit and talk to people. I’ve done shows where I’ve performed as part of a group.
“But this one, well, it’s like all of those, but none of them. When I walk out this time, well, it’s going to be a very different stage altogether.” Now the bad news: tickets went on sale at 9.30am yesterday and sold out by 10am, but Pray there could yet be a silver lining…
MAGIC is on the cards in the week ahead, and you can’t wrong if you follow Charles Hutchinson’s tips for what else to do and see.
Mayhem in April: Mischief in Magic Goes Wrong, York Theatre Royal, Tuesday to Sunday, 7.30pm (except Sunday); 2pm, Thursday and Sunday, 2.30pm, Saturday
MASTERS of catastrophic comedy Mischief team up with deconstructionist American magicians Penn & Teller for Magic Goes Wrong, their most daring calamitous show yet.
When a hapless gang of magicians strive to stage an evening of grand illusion to raise cash for charity, magic turns to mayhem, accidents spiral out of control and so does their fundraising target. Penn & Teller will not be appearing on stage. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.
Cult gig of the week: Kristin Hersh Electric Trio, The Crescent, York, tomorrow, 7.30pm
BOSTON songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and author Kristin Hersh, leader of indie rock band Throwing Muses and noise rock power trio 50 Foot Wave, is on the road with her hard-hitting super-group.
Joining Hersh, 55, will be 50 Foot Wave drummer Rob Ahlers and Throwing Muses bassist Fred Abong, who opens the night playing solo, promoting his Yellow Throat album. Expect Throwing Muses’s 2020 album, Sun Racket, to feature alongside material spanning Hersh’s 30-year career. Box office: thecrescentyork.com.
Anything could happen: Showstopper! The Improvised Musical, York Theatre Royal, tonight, 7.30pm
OLIVIER Award winners Showstopper! return to York with…well, you decide! At each show, a new musical comedy is created from scratch as audience suggestions are transformed on the spot into an all-singing, all-dancing production.
From Hamilton in a hospital to Sondheim in the Sahara, you suggest it and The Showstoppers will sing it. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.
Blues gig of the week: Joanne Shaw Taylor, York Barbican, Sunday, 7.30pm
WEST Midlands blues guitarist and singer-songwriter Joanne Shaw Taylor plays York as one of five British dates this month, performing songs from 2021’s The Blues Album.
That album showcased covers of 11 rare blues classics first recorded by Albert King, Peter Green, Little Richard, Magic Sam, Aretha Franklin and Little Milton. Expect selections from her albums Reckless Heart, Wild, The Dirty Truth, Almost Always Never, Diamonds In The Dirt and White Sugar too. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.
Celebration of the week: York Guildhall Orchestra’s St George’s Day Concert, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, Sunday, 7.30pm
YORK Guildhall Orchestra make their JoRo debut under the baton of conductor Simon Wright, who turns the spotlight on English composers in an Anglophile programme of light music to mark St George’s Day.
“Come down for a springtime evening of joyful music and not a dragon in sight,” says Wright, who will be combining favourite pieces with lesser-known gems. Sullivan, Elgar and Handel feature; so do Strachy’s Party Mood (from Housewives’ Choice), Wood’s Barwick Green (The Archers) and Coates’s By The Sleepy Lagoon (Desert Island Discs). Box office: 01904 501935 or josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.
Family musical of the week: NE Musicals York in The Wind In The Willows The Musical, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, April 27 to May 1, 7.30pm; 2.30pm matinees, Saturday, Sunday
NE Musicals York transform the JoRo theatre into a riverbank and wildwood for director and designer Steve Tearle’s York premiere of Julian Fellowes’ stage adaptation of Kenneth Grahame’s story with a score by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe.
Join Ratty (Finlay Butler), Mole (Jack Hambleton), Badger (Tom Henshaw) and the impulsive Mr Toad (Lee Harris), whose insatiable need for speed lands him in serious bother. Box office: 01904 501935 or josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.
Exhibition launch of the week: Lynda Heaton, Expressions In Watercolour, Village Gallery, Colliergate, York, Tuesday to June 4
SINCE retiring, Selby artist Lynda Heaton has spent much of her time painting in her home studio. “I’m passionate about watercolour painting and love the way the colours mingle and move across the paper, sometimes giving surprising effects,” she says.
“My works come from my imagination or from memories of somewhere I’ve been and the mood of that place.” Other pieces are inspired by the natural world, the colours, textures and rhythms found in nature.
Quick return of the week: Diversity: Connected, York Barbican, Wednesday, 7.45pm
HOT on the heels of their April 4 visit, London street dancers Diversity return to York Barbican due to public demand as part of their 79-show 2022 tour.
In a show created by choreographer Ashley Banjo, the 2009 Britain’s Got Talent winners will be building their routines around the internet, social media, the digital era and how it connects us all. Their Black Lives Matter-inspired dance, premiered on Britain’s Got Talent to a flood of complaints to Ofcom in September 2020, definitely features. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.
An Evening Without Kate Bush but with Sarah-Louise Young, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, Thursday, 7.30pm
THE “chaotic cabaret cult”, An Evening Without Kate Bush”, finds Cabaret Whore, The Showstoppers, La Soiree performer Sarah-Louise Young teaming up theatre maker Russell Lucas to explore the music and mythology of one of the most influential voices in British music.
Kate’s not there, but you are, for a show that is as much about fandom as Bush’s songs and wider cultural impact. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.
IF you carry yourself that way and people treat you like one, doesn’t that make you a star? While Brian Christinzio, aka BC Camplight may not be a household name, he is certainly already cruising towards the upper echelons of indiedom.
His swash of mordant subjects and bright 1980s-coloured sound strongly recalls Eels. Larger than life, Camplight’s image is now fixed, overcoat and hat. He was without his customary shades, but then, as he said, he was in a good mood.
While he didn’t follow through on his threat to wander into the crowd, he was in his element. With his talented four-piece band ably re-creating his louche studio creations, Camplight took centre stage.
With charisma abounding, he was a natural frontman. Never still, he had the sense not to ham things up too much. Yes. he played the keyboard with his foot; OK, he brandished the microphone pole and swigged from his gin bottle. Luckily, not too often. It left everyone straining to see what he’d do next.
The shortish set was packed with songs, as he put it, “to hit you in the groin”. If doing that makes people dance, then he’s onto something. Much of the set drew on parts two and three of his Manchester Trilogy, Deportation Blues and last year’s wonderful Shortly After Take-off.
Camplight’s music is built for the concert hall, its big bold sounds, catchy hooks and swooning melodies seem to bizarrely channel the appeal of his Philadelphia kin Hall & Oates. Only I Want To Be In The Mafia, often the emotional highlight of recent shows, fell somewhat short, the intimacy of the original absent.
Why isn’t this man more commercially popular? Camplight releasing singles called Back To Work and Cemetery Lifestyle during the pandemic tells you much about his inherent poor career timing.
Too off-kilter to be Elton John, the surface layer of the songs is too dark to appeal to the Robbie Williams crowd. The humour and musical fun catches you later. I’m In A Weird Place Now, an alternative anthem to rival Kurt Vile, was dedicated to Selby.
Maybe he’ll settle for loved outsider status. That doesn’t feel too leftfield a spot for Camplight to be right in the world. Hopefully he will stick around.
NOW is the chance to go around the houses, the studios and workshops too, as recommended by Charles Hutchinson on his art beat.
Art event of the week and next week too: York Open Studios, today and tomorrow; April 9 and 10, 10am to 5pm
AFTER 2021’s temporary move to July, York Open Studios returns to its regular spring slot, promising its biggest event ever with more than 150 artists and makers in 100-plus workshops, home and garden studios and other creative premises.
Thirty new participants have been selected by the event organisers. As ever, York Open Studios offers the chance to talk to artists, look around where they work and buy works.
Artists’ work encompasses painting and print, illustration, drawing and mixed media, ceramics, glass and sculpture, jewellery, textiles, photography and installation art. Check out the artists’ directory listings and the locations map at yorkopenstudios.co.uk or pick up a booklet around York.
Classical concert of the week: York Musical Society, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, St Peter’s School Memorial Hall, York, tonight, 7.30pm
DAVID Pipe conducts York Musical Society in a performance of Gioachino Rossini’s last major work, Petite Messe Solennelle, composed when his friend Countess Louise Pillet-Will commissioned a solemn mass for the consecration of a private chapel in March 1864.
After Rossini deemed it to be a ‘poor little mass’, the word ‘little’ (petite) has become attached to the title, even though the work is neither little nor particularly solemn. Instead, the music ranges from hushed intensity to boisterous high spirits.
Caius Lee, piano, Valerie Barr, accordion, Katie Wood, soprano, Emily Hodkinson, mezzo-soprano, Ed Lambert, tenor, and Stuart O’Hara, bass, perform it tonight. Box office: eventbrite.co.uk/e/rossini-petite-messe-solennelle.
Late news: York Late Music, Stuart O’Hara and Ionna Koullepou, 1pm today; Bingham String Quartet, 7.30pm tonight, St Saviourgate Unitarian Chapel, York
BASS Stuart O’Hara and pianist Ionna Koullepou play a lunchtime programme of no fewer than eight new settings of York and regional poets’ works by York composers.
In the evening, the Bingham String Quartet perform Beethoven’s String Quartet in B-flat major, Schnittke’s String Quartet No 3, York composer Nicola LeFanu’s String Quartet No 2 and Tippett’s String Quartet No 2. Box office: latemusic.org or on the door.
A dose of the blues: York Blues Festival 2022, The Crescent, York, today, bands from 1pm to 11pm
YORK Blues Festival returns for a third celebration at The Crescent community venue after two previous sell-outs. On the bill will be Tim Green Band; Dust Radio; Jed Potts & The Hillman Hunters; TheJujubes; Blue Milk; DC Blues; Five Points Gang and Redfish.
For full details, go to: yorkbluesfest.co.uk. Box office: thecrescentyork.seetickets.com.
Free community event of the weekend: YorkLife, Parliament Street, York, today and tomorrow, 11am to 9pm
YORK’S new spring festival weekend showcases the city’s musicians, performers, comedians and more besides today and tomorrow. Organised by Make It York, YorkLife sees more than 30 performers and organisations head to Parliament Street for this free event with no tickets required in advance.
York’s Music Venue Network presents Saturday headliners Huge, Sunday bill-toppers The Howl & The Hum, plus Bull; Kitty VR; Flatcap Carnival; Hyde Family Jam; Floral Pattern; Bargestra and Wounded Bear.
Workshops will be given by: Mud Pie Arts: Cloud Tales, interactive storytelling; Thunk It Theatre, Build Our City theatre; Gemma Wood, York Skyline art; Fantastic Faces, face painting; Henry Raby, from Say Owt, spoken poetry; Matt Barfoot, drumming; Christian Topman, ukulele; Polly Bennet, Little Vikings PQA York, performing arts, and Innovation Entertainment, circus workshops. Look out too for the York Mix Radio quiz; York Dance Space’s dance performance and Burning Duck Comedy Club’s comedy night.
Children’s show of the week: Oi Frog & Friends!, York Theatre Royal, Monday, 1.30pm and 4.30pm; Tuesday, 10.30am and 1.30pm
ON a new day at Sittingbottom School, Frog is looking for a place to sit, but Cat has other ideas and Dog is happy to play along. Cue multiple rhyming rules and chaos when Frog is placed in in charge.
Suitable for age three upwards, Oi Frog & Friends! is a 55-minute, action-packed play with original songs, puppets, laughs and “more rhyme than you can shake a chime at”.
This fun-filled musical has been transferred to the stage by Emma Earle, Zoe Squire, Luke Bateman and Richy Hughes from Kes Gray and Jim Field’s picture books. Box office: 01904 623568 or at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.
Musical of the week: Blood Brothers, Grand Opera House, York, Tuesday to Saturday
AFTER a three-year hiatus, Sean Jones has returned to playing scally Mickey in Willy Russell’s fateful musical account of Liverpool twins divided at both, stretching his involvement to a 23rd year at impresario Bill Kenwright’s invitation in what is billed as his “last ever tour” of Blood Brothers.
Back too, after a decade-long gap, is Niki Evans in the role of Mickey and Eddie’s mother, Mrs Johnstone.
Blood Brothers keeps on returning to the Grand Opera House, invariably with Jones to the fore. If this year really is his Blood Brothers valedictory at 51, playing a Scouse lad from the age of seven once more, thanks, Sean, for all the years of cheers and tears. Box office: 0844 871 7615 or atgtickets.com/York.
York gig of the week: Imelda May, Made To Love Tour, York Barbican, Wednesday, 7.30pm
IRISH singer-songwriter and poet Imelda May returns to York Barbican for her third gig there in the only Yorkshire show of her first major UK tour in more than five years.
“I cannot wait to see you all again, to dance and sing together, to connect and feel the sparkle in a room where music makes us feel alive and elevated for a while,” says Imelda. “A magical feeling we can only get from live music. Let’s go!”
Her sixth studio album, last April’s 11 Past The Hour, will be showcased and she promises poetry too. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.
At the treble: English Touring Opera at York Theatre Royal, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 7.30pm
ENGLISH Touring Opera present three performances in four nights, starting with Bach’s intense vision of hope, St John Passion, on Wednesday, when professional soloists and baroque specialists the Old Street Band combine with singers from York choirs.
La Boheme, Puccini’s operatic story of a poet falling in love with a consumptive seamstress, follows on Friday; the residency concludes with Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel, a send-up of corruption and sloth in government that holds up a mirror to the last days of the Romanovs. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.
Play of the week outside York: Jane Eyre, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, Friday to April 30
CHRIS Bush’s witty and fleet-footed adaptation seeks to present Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre to a fresh audience while staying true to the original’s revolutionary spirit.
Using actor-musicians, playful multi-role playing and 19th century pop hits, Zoe Waterman directs this SJT and New Vic Theatre co-production starring Eleanor Sutton as Jane Eyre, who has no respect for authority, but lives by her own strict moral code, no matter what the consequences. Box office: 01723 370541 or sjt.uk.com.
Welcome home: Beth McCarthy, The Crescent, York, May 2, doors, 7.30pm
BETH McCarthy will play a home-city gig for the first time since March 2019 at The Crescent community venue.
Beth, singer, songwriter and BBC Radio York evening show presenter, has moved from York to London, since when she has drawn 4.8 million likes and 300,000 followers on TikTok and attracted 465,000 monthly listeners and nine million plays of her She Gets The Flowers on Spotify. Box office: myticket.co.uk/artists/beth-mccarthy.
Oh, and one other thing
MODFATHER Paul Weller’s gig on Tuesday at York Barbican has sold out.
Beth, singer, songwriter and erstwhile BBC Radio York evening show presenter, has moved from York to London, since when she has been buoyed by the online response to her singles and videos, drawing 4.8 million likes and 300,000 followers on TikTok and attracting 465,000 monthly listeners and nine million plays of her heartbreak hit She Gets The Flowers on Spotify.
Beth has been singing since the age of seven when she started performing in musical theatre shows. She joined a band at 11, picked up an acoustic guitar and became a singer-songwriter at 13, playing 150 gigs all over England and releasing her debut EP by the age of 16, when she appeared on the BBC One talent show The Voice in 2014.
Coming up this spring for Beth is an appearance on Kilimanjaro Live’s stage at Liverpool Sound City on May 1 and gigs at Camden Assembly, London, on May 3 and Deaf Institute, Manchester, on May 7, followed by a set at Kilimanjaro Live’s new festival in Norwich, Neck Of The Woods, on May 29.
FROM Holding Out For A Hero to Search For The Hero, Charles Hutchinson is on a quest to find heroic deeds and much else to entertain you.
Musical of the week: Footloose at York Theatre Royal, Tuesday to Saturday
DANCING On Ice champ Jake Quickenden rides into York as cowboy Willard and musicals stalwart Darren Day plays Reverend Moore in Racky Plews’s touring production of Footloose The Musical.
Reprising the 1984 film’s storyline, teenage city boy Ren is forced to move to the rural American backwater of Bomont, where dancing and rock music are banned. Taking matters into his own hands, soon he has all hell breaking loose around him and the whole town on its feet.
The set design, by the way, is by Sara Perks, who designed York Theatre Royal’s open-air show Around The World In 80 Days last summer and Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre productions in York. Box office: 01904 623568 or at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.
Thriller of the week: Looking Good Dead, Grand Opera House, York, Tuesday to Saturday
AFTER playing bickering husband and wife Ian and Jane Beale in EastEnders for years and years, Adam Woodyatt and Laurie Brett are re-uniting, this time on stage in Shaun McKenna’s stage adaptation of Peter James’s thriller Looking Good Dead.
No good deed goes unpunished in this story of Woodyatt’s Tom Bryce inadvertently witnessing a vicious murder, only hours after finding a discarded USB memory stick.
Reporting the crime to the police has disastrous consequences, placing him and his family in grave danger. When Detective Superintendent Roy Grace becomes involved, he has his own demons to face while he tries to crack the case in time to save the Bryces’ lives. Box office: 0844 871 7615 or atgtickets.com/York.
Festival event of the week: York Literature Festival presents Europe’s 100 Best Cathedrals with Simon Jenkins, St Peter’s School, Clifton, York, tonight, 7pm
FOR Europe’s 100 Best Cathedrals, former editor of the Evening Standard and The Times Simon Jenkins has travelled the continent, from Chartres to York, Cologne to Florence, Toledo to Moscow, to illuminate old favourites and highlight new discoveries.
Tonight he discusses the book’s exploration of Europe’s history, the central role of cathedrals in the European imagination and the stories behind these wonders. Box office: yorkliteraturefestival.co.uk.
Exhibition of the week: Navigators Art in Moving Pictures, City Screen Picturehouse café and first-floor gallery, until April 15
FROM December’s ashes of the Piccadilly Pop Up Collective studios and gallery in the old York tax office, Navigators Art have re-emerged for a spring exhibition at City Screen.
For their first post-lockdown project, founder Navigators Steve Beadle and Richard Kitchen have invited fellow artist and teacher Timothy Morrison to join them for Moving Pictures: From Fan Art To Fine Art.
“The title is deliberately ambiguous, and we’ve responded to it accordingly,” says Richard. “There are works that relate to cinema and other media but also many of which interpret ‘Moving’ in other ways.”
Rearranged York gig of the week: BC Camplight, supported by Wesley Gonzales, The Crescent, York, Thursday, 7.30pm
MOVED from March 10, BC Camplight’s gig in York highlights the final chapter of his “Manchester trilogy”, Shortly After Takeoff.
“This is an examination of madness and loss,” says BC, full name Brian Christinzio. “I hope it starts a long overdue conversation.”
Fired by his ongoing battle with mental illness, Shortly After Takeoff follows 2018’s Deportation Blues and 2015’s How To Die In The North in responding to BC’s move from his native Philadelphian to Manchester. Cue singer-songwriter classicism, gnarly synth-pop and Fifties’ rock’n’roll. Box office: thecrescentyork.com.
York premiere of the week: Pick Me Up Theatre in Shakespeare In Love, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, April 1 to 9
LEE Hall’s 2014 stage adaptation of Shakespeare In Love, the Oscar-winning film written by Tom Stoppard and Marc Norman, celebrates the joys of theatre in Pick Me Up’s first show of 2022.
Directed by Mark Hird, it recounts the love story of struggling young playwright Will Shakespeare (George Stagnell) and feisty, free-thinking noblewoman Viola de Lesseps (Sanna Jeppsson), who helps him overcome writer’s block and becomes his muse.
Against a bustling background of mistaken identity, ruthless scheming and backstage theatrics, Will’s love for Viola blossoms, inspiring him to write Romeo And Juliet. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.
Voice of the week: Heather Small, York Barbican, April 2, 7.30pm
BILLED as “The voice of M People”, soul singer Heather Small will be combining songs from her Nineties’ Manchester band with selections from her two solo albums.
As part of M People, she chalked up hits and awards with Moving On Up, One Night In Heaven and Search For The Hero and the albums Elegant Slumming, Bizarre Fruit and Fresco. The title track of her Proud album has since become a staple at multiple ceremonies.
At 57, she will never be one to rest on her laurels: “If you got the feeling I do when I sing, you’d understand,” she reasons. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.
Book early for: York Musical Theatre Company in Jekyll & Hyde The Musical, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, May 25 to 28
FLOOR rehearsals are well under way for York Musical Theatre Company’s spring production under the direction of Matthew Clare, who is delighted by how the cast is responding and supporting each other.
The epic struggle between good and evil in Jekyll & Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson’s tale of myth and mystery on London’s fog-bound streets, comes to stage life in Frank Wildhorn and Leslie Bricusse’s pop-rock musical, where love, betrayal and murder lurk at every chilling twist and turn.
YMTC are running an early bird discount ticket offer with the promo code of JEKYLL22HYDE when booking at josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk by April 10.