What’s On in Ryedale, York and beyond as the Sheds go outdoors. Here’s Hutch’s List No. 25, from Gazette & Herald

Shed Seven: Playing sold-out concerts in York Museum Gardens on Friday and Saturday

SHED Seven’s 30th anniversary open-air concertss are the headline act on Charles Hutchinson’s arts and culture bill for the week ahead. Look out for global travels, Gershwin celebrations and a Hitchcockian comic caper too.

York festival of the week: Futuresound presents Live At York Museum Gardens, Jack Savoretti, tomorrow; Shed Seven, Friday and Saturday

ANGLO-ITALIAN singer-songwriter Jack Savoretti opens the inaugural Live At York Museum Gardens festival at the 4,000-capacity gardens tomorrow, when the support acts will be Northern Irish folk-blues troubadour Foy Vance, York singer-songwriter Benjamin Francis Leftwich and fast-rising Halifax act Ellur.

Both of Shed Seven’s home-city 30th anniversary gigs have sold out. Expect a different set list each night, special guests and a school choir, plus support slots for The Libertines’ Peter Doherty, The Lottery Winners and York band Serotones on Friday and Doherty, Brooke Combe and Apollo Junction on Saturday. Sugababes’ festival-closing concert on July 21 was cancelled in April. Box office: seetickets.com/event/jack-savoretti/york-museum-gardens/2929799.

Claire Martin: Celebrating Gershwin’s Rhapsody In Blue at Ryedale Festival. Picture: Kenny McCracken

Jazz gig of the week: Ryedale Festival, Claire Martin and Friends, Rhapsody In Blue – A Gershwin Celebration, Milton Rooms, Malton, Friday, 8pm

LONDON jazz singer Claire Martin leads her all-star line-up in a celebration of George Gershwin’s uplifting music and the 100th anniversary of Rhapsody In Blue, a piece that changed musical history.

In the band line-up will be pianist Rob Barron, double bassist Jeremy Brown, drummer Mark Taylor, trumpet player Quentin Collins and saxophonist Karen Sharp. Box office: themiltonrooms.com or ryedalefestival.com.

Maria Gray in the role of The Acrobat in Around The World In 80 Days-ish at York Theatre Royal. Picture: Charlie Kirkpatrick

Theatrical return of the week: Around The World In 80 Days-ish, York Theatre Royal, tomorrow to August 3

PREMIERED on York playing fields in 2021, revived in a touring co-production with Tilted Wig that opened at the Theatre Royal in February 2023, creative director Juliet Forster’s circus-themed adaptation of Jules Verne’s novel returns under a new title with a new cast.

Join a raggle-taggle band of circus performers as they embark on their most daring feat yet: to perform the fictitious story of Phileas Fogg and his thrilling race across the globe. But wait? Who is this intrepid American travel writer, Nellie Bly, biting at his heels? Will an actual, real-life woman win this race? Cue a carnival of delights with tricks, flicks and brand-new bits. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

Katie Leckey and Jack Mackay: Co-artistic directors of Griffonage Theatre, alternating roles in Harold Pinter’s The Dumb Waiter

Fringe show of the week: Griffonage Theatre in The Dumb Waiter, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, tomorrow to Saturday, 7.30pm plus 2.30pm Saturday matinee

YORK company Griffonage Theatre follow up February’s debut production of Patrick Hamilton’s Rope with Harold Pinter’s 1957 one-act play The Dumb Waiter, directed and designed by Wilf Tomlinson.

Two hitmen, Ben and Gus, are waiting in a basement room for their assignment, but why is a dumbwaiter in there, when the basement does not appear to be in a restaurant? To make matters worse, the loo won’t flush, the kettle won’t boil, and the two men are increasingly at odds with each other. Unique to this production, actors Jack Mackay and Katie Leckey will alternate the roles of Ben and Gus at each performance. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.

One of Anna Matyus’s artworks on show at Helmsley Arts Centre

Exhibition of the week: Anna Matyus, Helmsley Arts Centre, until August 9

ANNA Matyus’s work explores the powerful spiritual resonance of historical sacred buildings and their setting in the landscape. Using etching and collagraph printmaking techniques and a colourful palette, she seeks to bring to life the powerful geometry of the often-faded motifs and time- worn patterns and symbols of historic artefacts found in the masonry and ancient tiles of these sacred sites.

“My final prints explore and record the dynamic rhythms of three-dimensional architectural form, layered with their decorative and symbolic adornment in a graphic expression of awe and wonder,” she says.

Gary Louris: The Jayhawks’ singer, guitarist and songwriter plays solo at The Crescent on Saturday, York. Picture: Steve Cohen

American solo act of the week: Gary Louris, of The Jayhawks, supported by Dave Fiddler, The Crescent, York, Saturday, 7.30pm

OVER three decades, vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Gary Louris has co-led Minneapolis country rock supremos The Jayhawks with Mark Olson, as well as being a member of alt.rock supergroup Golden Smog, forming Au Pair with North Carolina artist Django Haskins in 2015 and releasing two solo albums, 2008’s Vagabonds and 2021’s Jump For Joy.

He has recorded with acts as diverse as The Black Crowes, Counting Crows, Uncle Tupelo, Lucinda Williams, Roger McGuinn, Maria McKee, Tift Merritt and The Wallflowers too. As an alternative to the sold-out Sheds on Saturday, look no further than this American rock luminary. Box office: thecrescentyork.com.

Cutting a dash but in a hurry: Tom Byrne’s Richard Hannay in The 39 Steps. Picture: Mark Senior

Comedy play of the week: The 39 Steps, Grand Opera House, York, July 23 to July 27, 7.30pm and 2.30pm Wednesday and Saturday matinees

PATRICK Barlow’s award-garlanded stage adaptation of The 39 Steps has four actors playing 139 roles between them in 100 dashing minutes as they seek to re-create Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 spy thriller while staying true to John Buchan’s 1915 book.

Tom Byrne – Falklands War-era Prince Andrew in The Crown – plays on-the-run handsome hero Richard Hannay, complete with stiff upper-lip, British gung-ho and pencil moustache as he encounters dastardly murders, double-crossing secret agents and devastatingly beautiful women. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.

James: Playing Scarborough Open Air Theatre for the fourth time on July 26. Picture: Paul Dixon

Coastal gig of the week: James, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, July 26, gates 6pm

JAMES follow up Scarborough appearances in 2015, 2018 and 2021 by continuing that three-year cycle in 2024, on the heels of releasing the chart-topping Yummy, their 18th studio album, in April.

“I’m very pleased that we will be playing Scarborough Open Air Theatre this summer – our fourth time in fact,” says bassist and founder member Jim Glennie. “If you haven’t been there before, then make sure you come. It’s a cracking venue and you can even have a paddle in the sea before the show!” Support acts will be Reverend And The Makers, from Sheffield, and Nottingham indie rock trio Girlband!. Box office: scarboroughopenairtheatre.com/james.

What’s On in Ryedale, York and beyond when the vampire hunters strikes back. Hutch’s List No. 23, from Gazette & Herald

Killian Macardle, left, Annie Kirkman and Chris Hannon in Dracula: The Bloody Truth at the SJT. Picture: Pamela Raith

THE truth behind Dracula, wall-to-wall graffiti, vicar irreverence and a blast of brass bring variety to Charles Hutchinson’s tips for jaunty July trips.

Comedy drama of the week: Dracula: The Bloody Truth, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, tonight to July 27

THE Stephen Joseph Theatre teams up with Bolton’s Octagon Theatre to stage physical theatre comedy exponents La Navet Bete & John Nicholson’s Dracula: The Bloody Truth, based very loosely on Bram Stoker’s story.

SJT artistic director Paul Robinson directs Chris Hannon, Annie Kirkman, Alyce Liburd and Killian Macardle as vampire hunter Professor Abraham Van Helsing reveals the real story behind the legend of Dracula, the one with the Whitby connection. Box office: 01723 370541 or sjt.uk.com.

Hamish Brown’s Alexis, left, Alexandra Mather’s Miss Aline Sangazure and Anthony Gardner’s John Wellington Wells in York Opera’s The Sorcerer. Picture: John Saunders

Everything stops for tea:  York Opera in The Sorcerer, York Theatre Royal, until Saturday, 7.30pm and 2.30pm Saturday matinee

JOHN Soper directs York Opera in The Sorcerer, Gilbert and Sullivan’s first full-length comic opera, wherein Sir Marmaduke Pointdextre (Ian Thomson-Smith) hosts a tea party in the Ploverleigh Hall gardens to celebrate the betrothal of his only son, Alexis (Hamish Brown) to Miss Aline Sangazure (Alexandra Mather), daughter of Lady Annabella Sangazure (Rebecca Smith).

When a love-at-first-sight elixir is mixed into the celebration tea by a sorcerer, John Wellington Wells (Anthony Gardner, in the role played by Soper for York Opera in 2001), mayhem follows as the assembled guests fall under his magic spell. What could possibly go wrong? Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

Julia Bullock’s Geraldine Granger, Oliver Clive’s Hugo Horton, centre, and Grahame Sammons’s David Horton in 1812 Theatre Company’s The Vicar Of Dibley

Religious conversion of the week: 1812 Theatre Company in The Vicar Of Dibley, Helmsley Arts Centre, untilSaturday, 7.30pm plus 2.30pm Saturday matinee

JULIE Lomas directs Helmsley Arts Centre’s resident company in a stage play adapted from the original BBC television series by Richard Curtis and Paul Mayhew-Archer. When Reverend Pottle dies, much to the surprise of the Dibley Parish Council, his replacement is Geraldine Granger, a vicar who is also a chocoholic sex kitten.

Follow the antics of David Horton, his son Hugo, Jim, Owen, Frank and Mrs Cropley as they adjust to working with the witty and wonderful Geraldine, assisted by her verger, Alice Tinker. Box office: 01439 771700 or helmsleyarts.co.uk.

Bright Light Musical Productions in Green Day’s American Idiot: York premiere at Joseph Rowntree Theatre. Picture: Dan Crawfurd-Porter

York musical of the week: Bright Light Musical Productions in Green Day’s American Idiot, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, tomorrow to Saturday, 7.30pm and 2.30pm Saturday matinee

NORTH Yorkshire company Bright Light Musical Productions make their JoRo debut in the York premiere of punk rock opera Green Day’s American Idiot with a cast of 14 directed by Dan Crawfurd-Porter and a seven-piece band under Matthew Peter Clare’s musical direction.  

Inspired by the Californian band’s 2004 album, American Idiot tells the story of Johnny (Iain Harvey), “Jesus of Suburbia”, and his friends Will (William Thirlaway) and Tunny (Dan Poppitt) as they attempt to break out of their mind-numbing, aimless suburban existence. Box office: 01904 501935 or josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.

For those about to rock: Live/Wire take the highway to hell with AC/DC classics at The Crescent

Tribute show of the week: Live/Wire, The AC/DC Show, The Crescent, York, Friday and Saturday (sold out), doors 7.30pm

LIVE/WIRE, The AC/DC Show pays tribute to the Aussie heavy rock band, replete with a wall of Marshall amps for two hours of high voltage rock’n’roll. Podge Blacksmith, a double take for frontman Brian Johnson, revels in a set taking in everything from Highway To Hell and Whole Lotta Rosie to Back In Black and latest album Rock Or Bust. Box office for Friday only: thecrescentyork.com.

One of James Jessop’s works on show in Rise Of The Vandals at the disused office block at 2, Low Ousegate, York

Exhibition/installation of the week: Bombsquad, Rise Of The Vandals, 2, Low Ousegate, York, Friday to Sunday, 11am to 6pm.

SPREAD over four floors in a disused Low Ousegate office block, York art collective Bombsquad showcases retrospective and contemporary spray paint culture, graffiti, street art and public art in three galleries, a cinema room, a Wendy house and art shop, in aid of SASH (Safe and Sound Homes).

Taking part in Rise Of The Vandals are York graffiti archivist Keith Hopewell, James Jessop, Bristol legend Inkie, Chu, Rowdy, Kid Acne, Remi Rough, Prefab77, SODA, Replete, Jo Peel, Sharon McDonagh, Lincoln Lightfoot, Anonymouse, Boxxhead and live DJs in SODA’s booth. Free entry; donations are encouraged. Dog friendly.

Fatboy Slim: Cooking up the beats at Scarborough Open Air Theatre. Picture: fatboyslim.net

Coastal gigs of the week: Fatboy Slim, Saturday; Paul Weller, Sunday, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, gates open at 6pm

NORMAN Cook has come a long way, baby, since he played bass in Hull band The Housemartins. Now the BRIT award-winning, Brighton-based DJ, aka Fatboy Slim, heads back north to fill Scarborough with big beats and huge hooks in Rockafeller Skank, Gangster Trippin, Praise You and Right Here Right Now et al on Saturday night.

The Modfather Paul Weller showcases his 17th studio album, 66, full of ruminations on ageing, in Sunday’s set of songs from The Jam, Style Council and his solo years. Box office: scarboroughopenairtheatre.com.

Paul Weller: Reflections on hitting 66 at Scarborough Open Air Theatre

Brass Band Summer Showcase of the week: Swinton & District Excelsior Brass Band, Milton Rooms, Malton, Sunday, 2pm

AS part of Brass Band Week, the Summer Showcase features the Swinton & District Excelsior Brass Band with trumpet and cornet soloist Sean Chandler. Taking part too will be the Swinton Training Band and The Workshop Band, including members from Swinton, Stape, Malton and Kirkbymoorside Brass Bands. Entry is free; tickets are available from 01653 696240, themiltonrooms.com or ticketsource.co.uk.

More Things To Do in York & beyond when art goes wall to wall and opera takes a love potion. Hutch’s List No. 27, from The Press

One of James Jessop’s works on show in Rise Of The Vandals in the disused office block at 2, Low Ousegate, York

GRAFFITI writ large, an American rock musical, G&S and afternoon tea, a theatre festival and a football play find Charles Hutchinson in tune with the joys of June.

Exhibition/installation of the week: Bombsquad, Rise Of The Vandals, 2, Low Ousegate, York, today, tomorrow, then July 5 to 7, 11am to 6pm.

SPREAD over four floors in a disused Low Ousegate office block, York art collective Bombsquad showcases retrospective and contemporary spray paint culture, graffiti, street art and public art in three galleries, a cinema room, a Wendy house and art shop, in aid of SASH (Safe and Sound Homes).

Taking part in Rise Of The Vandals are York graffiti archivist Keith Hopewell, James Jessop, Bristol legend Inkie, Chu, Rowdy, Kid Acne, Remi Rough, Prefab77, SODA, Replete, Jo Peel, Sharon McDonagh, Lincoln Lightfoot, Anonymouse, Boxxhead and live DJs in SODA’s booth. Free entry; donations are encouraged. Dog friendly.

Johnny Marr: Playing songs from The Smiths to Electronic to his solo career (compiled on his Spirit Power collection) at Scarborough Open Air Theatre

Coastal gigs of the week: Johnny Marr and The Charlatans, tonight; Gregory Porter, Monday, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, gates 6pm

JOHNNY Marr, The Smiths and Electronic guitarist, superstar collaborator and solo artist, cherry-picks from all eras of his career, right up to his November 2023 compilation Spirit Power in his headline set. First up on this north-western double bill on the East Coast will be The Charlatans, as full of indie rock swagger as ever after 22 Top 40 hits.

Grammy Award-winning Californian jazz vocalist and songwriter Gregory Porter performs songs from Liquid Spirit, Take To The Alley, Nat King Cole & Me, All Rise and more besides on Monday night. Box office: scarboroughopenairtheatre.com.

Hamish Brown’s Alexis, left, Alexandra Mather’s Miss Aline Sangazure and Anthony Gardner’s John Wellington Wells in York Opera’s The Sorcerer. Picture: John Saunders

Everything stops for tea:  York Opera in The Sorcerer, York Theatre Royal, July 3 to 6, 7.30pm and 2.30pm Saturday matinee

JOHN Soper directs York Opera in The Sorcerer, Gilbert and Sullivan’s first full-length comic opera, wherein Sir Marmaduke Pointdextre (Ian Thomson-Smith) hosts a tea party in the Ploverleigh Hall gardens to celebrate the betrothal of his only son, Alexis (Hamish Brown) to Miss Aline Sangazure (Alexandra Mather), daughter of Lady Annabella Sangazure (Rebecca Smith).

When a love-at-first-sight elixir is mixed into the celebration tea by a sorcerer, John Wellington Wells (Anthony Gardner, in the role played by Soper for York Opera in 2001), mayhem follows as the assembled guests fall under his magic spell. What could possibly go wrong? Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

Julia Bullock’s Geraldine Granger, Oliver Clive’s Hugo Horton and Grahame Sammons’s David Horton in 1812 Theatre Company’s The Vicar Of Dibley

Religious conversion of the week: 1812 Theatre Company in The Vicar Of Dibley, Helmsley Arts Centre, July 3 to 6, 7.30pm plus 2.30pm Saturday matinee

JULIE Lomas directs Helmsley Arts Centre’s resident company in a stage play adapted from the original BBC television series by Richard Curtis and Paul Mayhew-Archer. When Reverend Pottle dies, much to the surprise of the Dibley Parish Council, his replacement is Geraldine Granger, a vicar who is also a chocoholic sex kitten.

Follow the antics of David Horton, his son Hugo, Jim, Owen, Frank and Mrs Cropley as they adjust to working with the witty and wonderful Geraldine, assisted by her verger, Alice Tinker. Box office: 01439 771700 or helmsleyarts.co.uk.

Bright Light Musical Productions in Green Day’s American Idiot: York premiere at Joseph Rowntree Theatre. Picture: Dan Crawfurd-Porter

Musical of the week: Bright Light Musical Productions in Green Day’s American Idiot, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, July 4 to 6, 7.30pm and 2.30pm Saturday matinee

NORTH Yorkshire company Bright Light Musical Productions make their JoRo debut in the York premiere of punk rock opera Green Day’s American Idiot with a cast of 14 directed by Dan Crawfurd-Porter and a seven-piece band under Matthew Peter Clare’s musical direction.  

Inspired by the Californian band’s 2004 album, American Idiot tells the story of Johnny (Iain Harvey), “Jesus of Suburbia”, and his friends Will (William Thirlaway) and Tunny (Dan Poppitt) as they attempt to break out of their mind-numbing, aimless suburban existence. Box office: 01904 501935 or josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.

The bootiful game: Long Lane Theatre Club in The Giant Killers at the Milton Rooms, Malton

Football alternative to England at the Euros: Long Lane Theatre Club in The Giant Killers, Milton Rooms, Malton, July 4, kick-off at 7.30pm

THE Giant Killers tells the story of how Darwen FC came to the public’s attention in 1870s’ Lancashire to proclaim Association Football as the people’s game and not only the preserve of the upper classes.

Andrew Pearson-Wright & Eve Pearson-Wright’s play recounts how a ragtag bunch of mill workers in Darwen took on the amateur gentlemen’s club of the Old Etonians in the FA Cup quarter-final in 1879, rising up against prevailing social prejudice and the might of the Football Association to earn a place in history as the first real ‘‘giant killers’’ in English football. Box office: 01653 696240 or themiltonrooms.com.

For those about to rock: Live/Wire take the highway to hell with AC/DC classics at The Crescent

Tribute show of the week: Live/Wire, The AC/DC Show, The Crescent, York, July 5 and 6 (sold out), doors 7.30pm

LIVE/WIRE, The AC/DC Show pays tribute to the Aussie heavy rock band, replete with a wall of Marshall amps for two hours of high voltage rock’n’roll. Podge Blacksmith, a double take for frontman Brian Johnson, revels in a set taking in everything from Highway To Hell and Whole Lotta Rosie to Back In Black and latest album Rock Or Bust. Box office for July 5 only: thecrescentyork.com.

In Focus: Shepherd Group Brass Bands, Best Of Brass, York Theatre Royal, tonight, 7.30pm

The poster for Shepherd Group Brass Bands’ Best Of Brass at York Theatre Royal

TONIGHT’S Shepherd Group Brass Bands concert features all of the Shepherd bands playing individually and then a mighty ensemble piece, when all 170 players perform a specially composed piece by Liz Lane to mark 20 years of the bands’ sponsorship by the Shepherd Group.

Liz’s celebratory work represents the bands – Brass Roots, Academy Brass, Youth Band, Concert Band and Shepherd Group Brass Band – and the company support that provides first-class rehearsal facilities and has enabled the band organisation to grow.

Liz has led  several workshops, where she has worked with each band, “ storyboarding players’ feelings about the band, what we get from it as players and as a band family as a whole”.

She has been allowed to visit the Portakabin production site too, where she drew inspiration from the machinery used in the production of product lines.

On May 21, players from each band gathered in the band room for the first full run-through in Liz’s presence.  Afterwards she went away with a couple of ideas for final tweaks. Now comes the premiere performance with “a few real surprises in store for the audience”. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

In Focus too: Festival of the week: Ripon Theatre Festival, July 2 to 7

Barrie Rutter: Presenting Shakespeare’s Royals in Ripon Cathedral on July 4 at 7.30pm

PUPPETS, stories, dance, drama, circus and street entertainment pop up in new and surprising places alongside more familiar venues, such as Newby Hall, The Old Deanery, Ripon Cathedral, Ripon Arts Hub and Fountains Abbey, as Ripon Theatre Festival returns.

In all, 109 events and activities will be crammed into five days and six nights. Among the highlights will be Barrie Rutter’s Shakespeare’s Royals, The Adventures Of Doctor Dolittle, Red Ladder’s Miners’ Strike musical comedy We’re Not Going Back, the Family Day on July 7 and Folksy Theatre’s open-air As You Like It.

Opening the festival on Tuesday at 11am and 2pm, Andrew Bates’s Brother Aidan brings heritage crafts, history and storytelling to his new home at Fountains Abbey. In Hazelsong Theatre’s interactive event for adults, he creates an Anglo-Saxon book, interwoven with stories of his life as a monk, with his demonstration including parchment and ink making, bookbinding and calligraphy.

On the first night, the Hilarity Bites Festival Special comedy bill will be hosted by Ripon favourite Lee Kyle at Ripon Arts Club on Tuesday at 8pm. Taking part will be sketch supergroup Tarot, musical comedy duo Black Liver and 2023 BBC New Comedian of the Year Joe Kent-Walters in the guise of his outrageous comic creation, Frankie Monroe, the MC of a working men’s club that provides a portal to hell.

York company Pilot Theatre and One To One Development Trust present daily screenings of Monoliths, an immersive, digital theatre experience that interweaves three northern landscapes – a moor, a city and a coast – with sweeping soundscapes and poetic monologues at Ripon Cathedral.

Written by Hannah Davies, from York, Carmen Marcus, from Saltburn-by-the-Sea, and Asma Elbadawi, from Leeds, the stories are an arresting testament to the inextricable link between person and place. Directed by Lucy Hammond, each performance lasts 11 minutes and can be experienced by three visitors at a time, wearing XR headsets. Times: 1.30pm to 3.30pm, July 2 to 5; 10.30am to 3.30pm, July 6.

Nicola Mills is joined by pianist Maria King for A Spoonful Of Julie, an hour-long tribute to Julie Andrews, full of charming stories of her life, songs, singalongs, medleys and favourite things, at Holy Trinity Church on Wednesday from 1pm to 2pm.

In Look After Your Eyes, at Ripon Arts Club at 8pm that night, Yorkshire theatre-maker, performer and physical comedian Natalie Bellingham reflects on the pain and beauty of love: what it is to both connect and unravel.  

Performed by a clown “delving into the space inside us left behind by loss”, her show celebrates being human in all its banality, sprinkled with joy and ridiculousness.

Natalie Bellingham in Look After Your Eyes

Thursday opens with Stand Up Stories, presented by Ripon Theatre Festival storyteller in residence Ilaria Passeri at the Storehouse Bar. Describing herself as the product of a bold Scottish mother, an errant Italian father and a little sister with the vocabulary of a truck driver, Ilaria has found herself in more than a few scrapes, situations and silly scenes.

In a whistlestop twilight tour through the confusing comedy of errors of her life, her tales introduce her family, friends, pets and one very peculiar clown.

From 7.15pm, Ripon Museum Trust guides lead the Ripon Heritage Ghost Walk from the Market Place. At 7.30pm, Northern Broadsides founder Barrie Rutter OBE celebrates the Bard’s Kings and Queens, their achievements, conquests and foibles, in Shakespeare’s Royals at Ripon Cathedral. Cue anecdotes and memories from a globe-spanning career of playing and directing Shakespeare.

Ilaria Passeri returns on Friday morning from 10.30am to 11am for Storytime for pre-schoolers at Ripon Library, featuring Derek the Dragon, Rita the skateboarding Mouse and Brian the Chicken’s messy bedroom. A short-story writing workshop for adults follows from 11.30am to 1pm; bring a pen and notepad.

At 2pm at Ripon Cathedral, Redheart Theatre presents Rupert Mason in Mr Owen’s Notebook, an exploration of Wilfred Owen’s experience of war through his poetry and the works of his contemporaries.

Written and directed by Justin Butcher, Mason’s one-man performance recalls how Owen lived his last summer in Ripon, where he spent his last birthday in the cathedral, now the backdrop to this sold-out show.

Mason charts how an officer travels from the Allied HQ to the Western Front one week before the Armistice and discovers the pocketbook of a young lieutenant killed that day: Wilfred Owen.

In a marquee at The Ripon Inn, in Park Street, Tell Tale Hearts serve up the teatime entertainment Trunk Tales, wherein a well-travelled lady arrives with her trunk of tales that tell of boastful toads, magical fish and fearsome beasts.

Using only the contents of her magical luggage, she creates Arabic seas, epic mountains, fields of turnips and the tallest trees in her interactive stories from around the world for four-year-olds and upwards.

Paulus the Cabaret Geek in Looking For Me Friend

Paulus the Cabaret Geek’s tour of Looking For Me Friend, The Music Of Victoria Wood arrives at Ripon Arts Hub on Friday at 8pm, accompanied by Fascinating Aida pianist Michael Roulston for an hour of songs and stories.

In telling Wood’s story, Paulus unfolds his own in a relatable account of a 1970s’ childhood and what it really means to find your tribe.

Saturday keeps festivalgoers on the move in a day of Pop-Up Events at various locations from 9.30am to 6pm. Ilaria Passeri hosts a morning of adventures for four-year-olds and upwards in Tales From Honeypot Village, featuring Rita the Mouse and the Tidy Trolls in the front room of The Unicorn Hotel at 9.30am and the back room of The Little Ripon Bookshop at 11.30am.

Puppeteers Eye Of Newt open their magical miniature suitcase for Ayla’s Dream, a captivating tale of night skies, light and counting sheep for three to ten-year-olds at Ripon Library at 10.30am (accompanied by a puppet workshop) and Ripon Cathedral from 12 noon to 12.30pm (performance every ten minutes).

York performer Tempest Wisdom takes a journey down the rabbit hole in the family-friendly Curiouser & Curiouser, a show for age five + packed with Lewis Carroll’s whimsical writings, inspired by Ripon Cathedral’s nooks and crannies. Free performances take place at Ripon Cathedral at 11am, 12.30pm and The Little Ripon Bookshop at 2.30pm.

Join the Master and Matron on the front lawn for an interactive game of giant Snakes And Ladders At The Workhouse Museum. Learn how life then, as now, is as precarious as a shake of the dice; slither down the snake to a shaven head and defumigation or ascent to a life out of the ashes from 11am to 12.30pm or 1pm to 3pm.

Festival favourites Lempen Puppet Theatre return with the free show Theatre For One in Ripon Cathedral from 10.45am to 11.30pm and Kirkgate from 1.30pm to 2.30pm and 3pm to 4pm. In a micro-theatre experience for one at a time, plus curious onlookers, a mini-performance of The Belly Bug or Dr Frankenstein will be staged every five minutes.

Members of the Workhouse Theatre Group invite you to experience justice 1871 style in The Trial Of John Sinkler in a case of poaching and threatening behaviour from 2pm to 3pm at The Courthouse Museum.

Ensure justice is seen to be done or perhaps take a more active role in a lively scripted re-enactment led by Mark Cronfield, formerly of Nobby Dimon’s North Country Theatre company.

The festival fun continues in Kirkgate with buskers, bands and more from 3pm to 6pm.

For full festival details and tickets, head to: ripontheatrefestival.org. A preview of further events at Ripon Theatre Festival on July 6 and 7 will follow.

More Things To Do in York and beyond light nights. Plenty of stuff and Nunsense in Hutch’s List No. 26, from The Press, York

Sing something wimple: Emily Rockliff’s Sister Robert Anne to the fore in a rehearsal for York Light Opera Company’s Nunsense: The Mega-Musical

FROM nuns in a riotous revue to a celebration of Caribbean culture, The Fonz’s memoirs to Ballet Black’s heroes of dance, Charles Hutchinson’s arts diary matches the June sunshine.  

York musical of the week: York Light Opera Company in Nunsense: The Mega-Musical!, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, 7.30pm, June 26 to 28, July 2 to 5; 3pm; June 29 and 30, July 6

AFTER the unfortunate passing of four beloved sisters in a “culinary catastrophe”, the remaining Little Sisters of Hoboken find themselves in a sticky situation. To raise funds for a proper burial (and perhaps a new cook), the nuns take centre stage for a riotous revue unlike any other.

Director Neil Wood brings Dan Goggin’s musical to mega-sized life in a version that boasts an expanded cast, new characters and even more musical mayhem. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.

Lynda Burrell, left, and Catherine Ross, founders of exhibition curators Museumand, at the launch of 70 Objeks & Tings at York Castle Museum. Picture: Gareth Buddo

Exhibition of the week: 70 Objeks & Tings, York Castle Museum, until November 4; Mondays, 11am to 5pm, Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm

70 OBJEKS & Tings, a celebration of 75 years of Caribbean culture, showcases 70 items that connect us to the Windrush Generation in an “extraordinary exhibition of the ordinary”.

Curated by mother and daughter Catherine Ross and Lynda Barrett, founders of Museumand, the National Caribbean Heritage Museum, it features objects that combine familiarity and practicality and have been passed down the generations. On show are cooking and household goods, food packaging and beauty supplies, funeral items, music, games, books and newspapers. Tickets: yorkcastlemuseum.org.uk. 

Alexandra Kidgell: Soprano soloist for Haydn’s The Creation at York Minster

Classical concert of the week: York Musical Society, Haydn’s The Creation, York Minster, tonight, 7.30pm

FOUR years later than first planned – blame Covid – York Musical Society performs Haydn’s oratorio The Creation under the baton of musical director David Pipe. The choir and orchestra will be joined by soloists Alexandra Kidgell, soprano, Nathan Vale, tenor, and Thomas Humphreys, baritone.

The Creation was composed in 1797, following Haydn’s visits to London, when he was inspired by hearing Handel’s great oratorios, such as the Messiah, sung by huge choral gatherings.

“Haydn’s oratorio is one of the most upbeat and enjoyable works in the repertoire, with plenty of drama for the chorus to bring to life,” says Pipe. “We are excited to have the chance to perform The Creation in York Minster’s inspiring surroundings.” Box office: 01904 623568, at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk or on the door.

Mostly Autumn: Highly summer concert at The Crescent tonight

York band of the week: Mostly Autumn, The Crescent, York, tonight, 7.30pm

MOSTLY Autumn may have been called “the best band you have never heard”, but that is a misnomer in their home city of York, where Bryan Josh and Olivia Sparnenn-Josh’s classic rock combo play tonight.  

Twenty years of gigging, whether headlining or supporting Blackmore’s Night, Uriah Heep, Jethro Tull and Bryan Adams, goes into performing their combination of Seventies’ rock and prog-rock, peppered with a sense of the future. Box office: thecrescentyork.com.

Henry Winkler: American actor discusses The Fonz and more on Sunday

Coolest show of the week: Henry Winkler, The Fonz & Beyond, Grand Opera House, York, tomorrow, 7.30pm

HEY, Happy Days star HenryWinkler shares stories of his life on the 50th anniversary of his time in Hollywood after being told he would “never achieve”.

The Emmy award-winning actor, author, director and producer, now 78, is promoting his Being Henry memoir as he reflects on his sitcom days as The Fonz, the Happy Days role that defined a generation of cool, as well as subsequent appearances in Arrested Development, Parks And Recreation and Barry. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.

Tom Jones: Returning to Scarborough Open Air Theatre for the first time since July 2022

Coastal gig of the week: Tom Jones, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, June 26, gates open at 6pm

SEATED tickets have sold out for Welsh whirlwind Tom Jones’s outdoor gig in Scarborough but that still leaves room for standing. Sixty years since releasing his first single, Chills And Fever, in 1964, he is still blowing those bellows as powerfully as ever at 84, having made history as the oldest man to notch up a number one with an album of new material in the UK Official Album Charts in 2021 with Surrounded By Time, overtaking Bob Dylan.

Expect It’s Not Unusual, What’s New Pussycat?, Delilah, She’s A Lady, Green, Green Grass Of Home, Kiss, You Can Leave Your Hat On, Sex Bomb et al from Sir Tom. Box office: scarboroughopenairtheatre.com. Box office: scarboroughopenairtheatre.com.

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats: Introducing new album South Of Here at York Barbican

Rhythm & blues gig of the week: Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, York Barbican, June 27, doors 7pm

NATHANIEL Rateliff & The Night Sweats play York Barbican as the only Yorkshire venue on their six-date South Of Here summer tour.

Noted for supplying the zeal of a whisky-chugging Pentecostal preacher to songs of shared woes, old-fashioned rhythm & blues singer and songwriter Rateliff will be showcasing his Missouri band’s fourth studio album on the eve of its Friday release. William The Conqueror support. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.

Crowning glory: Ballet Black in If At First, on tour at York Theatre Royal

Dance show of the week: Ballet Black: Heroes, York Theatre Royal, June 28, 7.30pm

CASSA Pancho’s dance company returns to York with the double bill Ballet Black: Heroes. Choreographer Mthuthuzeli November contemplates the meaning of life in The Waiting Game, a 2020 work infused with a dynamic soundtrack featuring the voices of Ballet Black artists.

Franco-British artist Sophie Laplane, choreographer-in-residence at Scottish Ballet, follows up her 2019 Ballet Black debut, Click!, with If At First, her exploration of “a more subtle heroism, a quieter triumph over adversity, in a struggle that unites us all”. Humanity, heroism and self-acceptance combine in this celebratory piece. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

Eliza Carthy: Performing solo at the NCEM, York, and Fylingdales Village Hall

Folk gigs of the week: Eliza Carthy, National Centre for Early Music, Walmgate, York, June 28, 7.30pm; Fylingdales Village Hall, Station Road, Robin Hood’s Bay, June 30, 7.30pm

ELIZA Carthy, innovative fiddler and vocalist from the First Family of Folk, heads from Robin Hood’s Bay to York for a solo gig at the NCEM. At once a folk traditionalist and iconoclast, she revels in centuries-old ballads and Carthy compositions alike.

In her 32-year career, Carthy has performed with The Imagined Village, The Wayward Band and The Restitution, collaborated with Paul Weller, Jarvis Cocker, Pere Ubu, Rufus & Martha Wainwright, Jools Holland, Patrick Wolf and Kae Tempest, served as president of the English Folk Dance & Song Society and artist in residence in Antarctica and been described by comedian Stewart Lee as “not the Messiah, but a very naughty girl”. Broadside balladeer Jennifer Reid supports at the York gig. Box office: York, for returns only, 01904 658338 or ncem.co.uk; Robin Hood’s Bay, trybooking.com/uk/events/landing/57434.

David Ward Maclean, centre, and musical friends Sarah Dean and Steve Kendra

Retirement concert of the week: David Ward Maclean and Friends, with special guest Edwina Hayes, Friargate Theatre, York, June 29, 6.30pm

YORK music scene stalwart and busker supreme David Ward Maclean plays his retirement gig with friends on the eve of his 66th birthday (June 30). “I’m retiring from all public performance, except the occasional open mic when I fancy it, maybe the odd charity appearance if requested, and will be focusing on finishing recording some 40 unreleased songs of mine,” he says.

Joining David will be The Howl & The Hum’s Sam Griffiths, Bradley Blackwell, Sarah Dean, Steve Kendra, Emily Lawler, Dan Webster, Paul Heaney, Al Hamilton, Robert Loxley Hughes, Amy Greene, Sarah Jennifer and special guest Edwina Hayes. Box office: wegottickets.com.

More Things To Do in York and beyond, seeing someone somewhere in summer time. Hutch’s List No. 25, from The Press

Bhavin Bhatt’s villainous Assef, left, and Stuart Vincent’s Amir in The Kite Runner, on tour at York Theatre Royal. Picture: Barry Rivett

THE return of The Kite Runner and Forest Live, a family art show and coastal concerts, a Scottish-English union and a girl group tribute spice up Charles Hutchinson’s week ahead.  

Play of the week: The Kite Runner, York Theatre Royal, June 18 to 22, 7.30pm plus 2pm Thursday and 2.30pm Saturday matinees

DIRECTED by Giles Croft, Matthew Spangler’s adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s novel presents a haunting tale of friendship that spans cultures and continents as it follows Amir’s journey to confront his past and find redemption.

In his childhood recollection, Afghanistan is on the verge of war and best friends Amir (Stuart Vincent) and Hassan (Yazdan Qafouri) are about to be torn apart. Amid the excitement of a Kabul kite-flying tournament, no-one can foresee the terrible incident that will shatter their lives forever. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

Amy Stubbs: Exhibiting with her sister Emily and father Christopher in Canvas, Clay and Cloth at Pyramid Gallery, Stonegate, York

Family exhibition launch of the week: Stubbs3 – Canvas, Clay and Cloth, Pyramid Gallery, Stonegate, York, today until August 3

FAMILY artistry unites in Stubbs3 – Canvas, Clay and Cloth, a unique exhibition featuring works by sisters Emily Stubbs and Amy Stubbs, regular participants in York Open Studios, alongside their father, Christopher Stubbs, from Hepworth, West Yorkshire.

Their first-ever joint showcase brings together diverse artistic media in a celebration of family creativity. Contemporary ceramicist Emily Stubbs works from PICA Studios, in Grape Lane; Amy specialises in textile and surface pattern design in a range of homeware and wearable art; Christopher will be exhibiting framed paintings and sketches. All three will attend today’s launch in a Meet The Artists session from 12 noon to 2pm.

Christopher Stubbs: Exhibiting framed paintings and sketches at Pyramid Gallery

Film music of the week: A Tribute To Hans Zimmer and Film Favourites Illuminated, Grand Opera House, York, tomorrow (16/6/2024), 3.30pm and 7pm

EXPERIENCE cinema’s most iconic soundtracks performed by the London Film Music Orchestra in a tribute to Hans Zimmer and more besides in an immersive illuminated setting.

The chamber orchestra will be performing music from Harry Potter, Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Gladiator, E.T., Pirates Of The Caribbean, Jaws, Interstellar, Indiana Jones, Schindler’s List and Inception. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.

Jessa Liversidge: Two Bards And A Songbird, two concerts and two workshops. Picture: David K Newton

English and Scottish union of the week: Jessa Liversidge, Two Bards And A Songbird, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, tomorrow, 7.30pm, and Helmsley Arts Centre, June 22, 7.30pm

EASINGWOLD singer and choir leader Jessa Liversidge presents her celebration of song inspired by two bards: William Shakespeare and Robert Burns, from her native Scotland. Her heartfelt performance spans traditional folk, pop and musical theatre, sung to her piano accompaniment with judicious use of a  loop pedal to layer melodies and sounds.

At each concert, audience suggestions are invited to enable Jessa to improvise a new song around a Shakespeare/Burns quotation. At both venues, from 4pm to 6pm, she will be hosting a harmony-singing workshop for participants to sing in the evening show. Box office: York, tickets.41monkgate.co.uk; Helmsley, helmsleyarts.co.uk.

Paul Sinha: In conversation at The Crescent, York. Picture: Andy Hollingsworth

Show title of the week: One Sinha Lifetime, Paul Sinha, The Crescent, York, June 17, 7.30pm

COMEDIAN, white-suited chaser on ITV quiz show The Chase, former doctor and villainous Abanazar in his 2016 pantomime debut in Aladdin at York’s Grand Opera House, Paul Sinha has plenty to discuss in conversation at The Crescent as he marks Penguin Books’ June 20 release of his coming-of-age memoir One Sinha Lifetime.

Subtitled Comedy, Disaster and One Man’s Quest for Happiness, broadcaster and quiz champ Sinha’s book charts his unconventional odyssey through love, family and the joy of general knowledge. Box office: thecrescentyork.com.

Simple Minds in Scarborough: Charlie Burchill and Jim Kerr head to the East Coast on Tuesday. Picture: Dean Chalkley

Coastal gig of the week: Simple Minds and special guests Del Amitri, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, June 18; gates open at 6pm

SOMEONE somewhere in summertime, namely Simple Minds in Scarborough on Tuesday, finds Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill’s band revisiting such hits as Promised You A Miracle, Glittering Prize, Alive And Kicking, Sanctify Yourself, Don’t You Forget About Me and, aptly for Scarborough, Waterfront.

Opening the Scottish double bill will be fellow Glaswegians Del Amitri, led as ever by Justin Currie. In further Scarborough OAT shows, Hampstead pop singer Jess Glynne performs tonight and yet more Glaswegians, Deacon Blue, Ricky Ross and Lorraine McIntosh et al, appear on Friday. Box office: scarboroughopenairtheatre.com.

Wannabe: Celebrating 30 years of Spice Girl power at Grand Opera House, York

York tribute show of the week: Wannabe – The Spice Girls Musical, Grand Opera House, York, June 20, 7.30pm

WANNABE, the “world’s longest-running” Spice Girls tribute stage production, celebrates three decades of girl power in a nostalgic journey through the Spice World.

The show charts the English girl group’s meteoric rise, from July 1996’s debut number one, Wannabe, to Scary, Sporty, Baby, Ginger and Posh’s reunion at the 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony. Expect “meticulously crafted costumes, unique vocal and musical arrangements exclusive to Wannabe, iconic dance routines and stunning visual flair”. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.

Richard Hawley: Made in Sheffield, performing in Scarborough

Yorkshireman of the week: Richard Hawley, Scarborough Spa, June 20, 7.30pm

ON the heels of his Olivier Award-winning Sheffield musical Standing At The Sky’s Edge opening a six-month West End run at the Gillian Lynne Theatre, Richard Hawley showcases his May 31 album In This City They Call You Love on his spring tour. Scarborough hosts the closing night. James Bagshaw supports. Box office: scarboroughspa.co.uk.

Nile Rodgers: Turning Dalby Forest into a disco floor with CHIC next Saturday, when Sophie Ellis-Bextor & Deco will be on the bill too

Welcome return of the week: Forest Live at Dalby Forest, near Pickering, Bryan Adams, June 21; Nile Rodgers & CHIC, June 22; Richard Ashcroft, June 23; gates 5pm

FORESTRY England revives Forest Live at Dalby Forest for the first time since 2019 for three nights of open-air concerts in aid of woodland conservation. Canadian rocker Bryan Adams, he of forest fame from (Everything I Do) I Do It For You for Robin Hood Prince Of Thieves, on Friday night will be followed by disco icons Nile Rodgers & CHIC next Saturday and the Wigan singer, songwriter and The Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft next Sunday. Box office: forestlive.com.

Alison Moyet: 40th anniversary album and 2025 tour, visiting York Barbican next February. Picture: Naomi Davison

Gig announcement of the week: Alison Moyet, York Barbican, February 20 2025

MARKING 40 years since she left Yazoo to launch her solo career, Essex soul singer Alison Moyet will play York Barbican on her 25-date 2025 itinerary, her first headline tour since 2017.  

After graduating from Brighton University in 2023 with a first-class degree in fine art printmaking, Moyet will combine art and music on her 18-track October 4 album, Key, creating the artwork as well as reworking singles, fan favourites and deep cuts, complemented by two new songs. Box office from 10am on June 21: yorkbarbican.co.uk/whats-on/alison-moyet-2025/.

In Focus: British Wildlife Photography Awards exhibition, Nunnington Hall, Nunnington, near Helmsley

What’s All The Fuss About?, Will Palmer’s photo of Arctic walrus Thor on the Scarborough harbour slipway, from the British Wildlife Photography Awards exhibition at Nunnington Hall. Courtesy of National Trust

THE British Wildlife Photography Awards exhibition at Nunnington Hall aims to raise awareness of British biodiversity, species and habitats.

On display are award-winning images selected from 14,000 entries in more than a dozen categories, including film and three for juniors, all in celebration of the diversity of British wildlife and wild spaces.

In particular, look out for What’s All The Fuss About?, taken by Scarborough photographer Will Palmer, who captured the headline-making Thor as the Arctic walrus rested ashore on the harbour slipway cobbles on December 31 2022.

Scarborough photographer Will Palmer with his photograph of Thor, the Arctic walrus, at Nunnington Hall

Will’s image was judged the runner-up in the Urban Wildlife category. “It’s always a huge privilege to be recognised for your work and especially when the awards are as prestigious as this,” he says.

“I captured the image by laying on the cobbles to capture Thor at eye level with the harbour behind. I was very fortunate to get there early and capture the moment at night and before the crowd arrived.”

Nunnington Hall is the nearest National Trust property to the Scarborough coastline. “It’s really special to see the image included in the exhibition and especially at Nunnington Hall, with such a wonderful exhibition space and grounds to boot.

“I’ve hugely appreciated seeing all the effort that’s gone into the exhibition, and with it being on my doorstep, I’m looking forward to visiting it again soon.”

Ocean Drifter, overall winner in the British Wildlife Photography Awards, by Ryan Stalker. Courtesy of National Trust

Laura Kennedy, experience & programming manager at Nunnington Hall, says: “We’re delighted to offer our visitors the opportunity to see this year’s selected images. They are always of such a high quality and the variation of categories means there’s something for everyone.

“More than 14,000 images were submitted into this year’s competition, so you really are seeing the very best of British wildlife photography when you visit the exhibition here at Nunnington.”

British Wildlife Photography Awards exhibition, Nunnington Hall, Nunnington, near Helmsley, until July 7. Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10.30am to 5pm; last entry at 4.15pm. Tickets: nationaltrust.org.uk/nunnington-hall. Normal admission prices apply, which includes entry to the exhibition, with free entry to National Trust members and under-fives.

For more information on the British Wildlife Photography Awards, visit www.bwpawards.org.

British Wildlife Photography Awards’ Hidden Britain winner: Ross Hoddinott’s Three’s A Crowd. Courtesy of National Trust

What’s On in Ryedale, York and beyond when artists open studios. Here’s Hutch’s List No 18, from Gazette & Herald

Into the woods: George Stagnell as Dennis “Hank” Haydock in In The Footsteps of Hank Haydock, premiered at Helmsley Arts Centre on Saturday

WARTIME memoirs and Catholic women trailblazers, open studios and open-air Status Quo lead off Charles Hutchinson’s recommendations.

Double bill of the week: Everwitch Theatre, Bomb Happy D-Day 80, In The Footsteps Of Hank Haydock (film premiere) and Sleep/Re-live/Wake/Repeat (theatre), Helmsley Arts Centre, June 1, 7.30pm

TO commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day, Bomb Happy playwright Helena Fox has created two poignant, lyrical new works telling the stories of two Yorkshire Normandy veterans from conversations and interviews she held with them in 2016.

Featuring York actor George Stagnell, the short film In the Footsteps of Hank Haydock: A Walk In The Park was shot on location in the Duncombe Park woodland with its lyrical account of Coldstream Guardsman Dennis “Hank” Haydock’s experiences in his own words. In Sleep/Re-Live/Wake/Repeat, playwright Helena Fox and vocalist Natasha Jones bring to life the first-hand experiences of D-Day veteran Ken “Smudger” Smith and the lifelong impact of PTSD and sleep trauma through spoken word and a cappella vocals. Box office: 01439 771700 or helmsleyarts.co.uk.

Mary Ward (Augsberg portrait): Foundress of the Bar Convent, as featured in the Trailblazers audio trail

York exhibition of the week; Trailblazers of the Bar Convent, Bar Convent Living Heritage Centre, Blossom Street, York, until September 30, 10am to 5pm; last entry 4pm

AS part of the citywide York Trailblazers sculpture trail, the Trailblazers of the Bar Convent audio trail uncovers tories behind key characters down the years at the oldest surviving Catholic convent in Great Britain.

Using QR codes, visitors will discover more about the trailblazing women whose bravery and determination made history locally, nationally and around the world. Among them are foundress Mary Ward, who believed that girls deserved an equal education to boys; Mother Superior Ann Aspinal, who determined to build a secret chapel totally hidden from the outside world, and Sister Gregory Kirkus, who set up the convent’s first ever museum. Tickets: barconvent.co.uk.

Kathyrn Williams & Withered Hand: Heading to Selby Town Hall tonight

Duo of the week: Kathryn Williams & Withered Hand, Selby Town Hall, tonight, 8pm

KATHRYN Williams is the Liverpool-born, Newcastle-based, Mercury Music Prize-nominated singer-songwriter with 16 albums to her name. Withered Hand is singer-songwriter Dan Willson (CORRECT), from the Scottish underground scene.

They first met in 2019 in an Edinburgh Book Festival spiegeltent, prompting Williams to tweet Willson: “What kind of songs would we write together and what would they sound like?” The results can be heard on the album Willson Williams, released on One Little Independent Records, and in concert in Selby. Box office: selbytownhall.co.uk.

The poster for the three-day Drawsome! 2024 festival in York

York festival of the week: Drawsome! 2024, Young Thugs Studio, May 31; The Crescent, June 1; Arts Barge, Foss Basin, York, June 2

DRAWSOME! combines exhibitions and workshops with live music each evening. Things Found and Made is exhibiting at The Golden Ball, Cromwell Road, from May 31 and Greek-Australian graphic novel artist Con Chrisoulis for one night only at Young Thugs Studio, Ovington Terrace, on May 31 from 7pm, when Ichigo Evil, Plantfood, Mickey Nomimono and Drooligan will be performing.

On June 1, Bonneville, Lou Terry, Captain Starlet and Leafcutter John play at The Crescent community venue, where workshops run from 1 to 4pm, featuring Bits and Bots Recycled Robot, with Tom Brader, and Creative Visible Mending, with Anna Pownall, complemented by Zine Stalls hosted by Things Found and Made, Adam Keay and Teresa Stenson. 

On June 2, the Arts Barge presents Dana Gavanski, Kindelan, Moongate and We Are Hannah, after three 11am to 2pm workshops: Poem Fishing with Becca Drake and Jessie Summerhayes, Adana Letterpress and lino printing, and Screenprinting with Kai West. 

Sarah Sharpe: Opening her studio at Viriditas Nook, Mill Beck House, 2 Pinewood, Norton, Malton, for North Yorkshire Open Studios

North Yorkshire Open Studios 2024, June 1 and 2, 8 and 9, 10am to 5pm

STRETCHING from the coast to the moors, dales and beyond, 169 artists and makers from North Yorkshire’s artistic community invite you to look inside their studios over the next two weekends.

The event is organised by the artist-run collective North Yorkshire Open Studios, which supports painters, sculptors, printmakers, jewellers, ceramicists and photographers. Taking part in the Malton area will be Angela Cole (Westow), Catriona Stewart (Norton), Sandra Oakins (Norton), Jo Naden (Scagglethorpe), Sarah Sharpe (Norton) and Jonathan Moss (Malton). For full details, go to: nyos.org.uk. A full brochure is available.

Status Quo: Francis Rossi, left, leads his legendary band at Scarborough Open Air Theatre

Coastal gig of the week: Status Quo, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, June 2, gates 6pm

DENIM rock legends Status Quo open the 2024 season at Scarborough Open Air Theatre, where they played previously in 2013, 2014 and 2016. Led as ever by founder Francis Rossi, who turns 75 today, they must pick their set from 64 British hit singles, more than an any other band. The support act will be The Alarm. Box office: scarboroughopenairtheatre.com/statusquo.

Georgia Lennon as Paula Pokrifki and Luke Baker as Zack Mayo in An Officer And A Gentleman The Musical. Picture: Marc Brenner

Musical of the week: An Officer And A Gentleman The Musical, Grand Opera House, York, June 4 to 8, 8pm, Tuesday, 7.30pm, Wednesday to Saturday, plus 2.30pm Wednesday and Saturday matinees

NORTH Yorkshireman Nikolai Foster directs Leeds-born actor Luke Baker as fearless young officer candidate Zack Mayor in the Curve, Leicester touring production of An Officer And A Gentleman.

Once an award-winning 1982 Taylor Hackford film, now Douglas Day Stewart’s story of love, courage and redemption comes re-booted with George Dyer’s musical theatre arrangements and orchestrations of pop bangers by Bon Jovi, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Blondie and the signature song (Love Lift Us) Up Where We Belong. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.

Graffiti Classics!: “Making classical music wickedly funny and fantastically exhilarating” at Milton Rooms, Malton

Breaking boundaries: Graffiti Classics!, Milton Rooms, Malton, June 14, 8pm

GRAFFITI Classics! is not only a classical concert but also a gypsy-folk romp, an opera, a stand-up comedy set and dance show rolled into one uplifting, virtuosic experience.

Bursting the “elitist boundaries of the traditional string quartet”, Graffiti Classics! embraces Beethoven to bluegrass, baroque to pop, Mozart to Elvis, Strauss to Saturday Night Fever, as 16 strings, eight dancing feet and four voices combine with one aim: “to make classical music wickedly funny and fantastically exhilarating for everyone, young and old”. Box office: 01653 696240 or themiltonrooms.com.

More Things To Do in York and beyond when saying Yes to a love of food and music. Hutch’s List No. 22, from The Press

Malton Spring Food Lovers Festival: Look out for the festival guide and map on site

FOOD for thought on the arts and culture front, from street cookery to dance, trailblazing women to Drawsome! artists and musicians, prog-rock and folk greats to coastal Dexys, as Charles Hutchinson reports.

Flavour of the week: Malton Spring Food Lovers Festival, today, from 9am; tomorrow and Bank Holiday Monday, from 10am

ON the streets of “Yorkshire’s Food Capital”, Malton Food Lovers Festival celebrates Yorkshire’s supreme produce and cooking over three days of 120 artisan stalls and street food vendors, talks, tastings, chef demonstrations, brass bands and buskers, festival bar, food shops, sculpture trail, entertainment, blacksmith workshops, vintage funfair and family fun with Be Amazing Arts’ Creativitent, Environmental Art’s Creative Chaos and Magical Quests North.

The live musicians will be: today, Malton White Star Band, 11am to 1pm, The Rackateers, 1pm to 3pm, and Oz Ward, 6pm to 8pm; tomorrow, White Star Training Band, 11.30am to 12.30pm, and The Rackateers, 1pm to 3pm, and Monday, The Acoustic Buddies, 11am to 12pm and 2pm to 3pm. Festival entry is free.

Mary Ward (Augsberg portrait): Foundress of the Bar Convent, featuring in the Trailblazers audio trail

Exhibition launch of the week; Trailblazers of the Bar Convent, Bar Convent Living Heritage Centre, Blossom Street, York, opening today

THE Trailblazers of the Bar Convent audio trail focuses on uncovering the stories of key characters from the history of the oldest surviving Catholic convent in Great Britain.

Among them are foundress Mary Ward, who believed that girls deserved an equal education to boys; Mother Superior Ann Aspinal, who determined to build a secret chapel totally hidden from the outside world, and Sister Gregory Kirkus, who set up the convent’s first ever museum. Tickets: barconvent.co.uk.

What a hoot: Gemma Curry and her owl puppet in Hoglets Theatre’s Wood Owl And The Box Of Wonders

Pre-festival show of the week: Hoglets Theatre in Wood Owl And The Box Of Wonders, Fountains Mill, Fountains Abbey, near Ripon, tomorrow, 11am and 2pm

IN an Early Bird event for the 2024 Ripon Theatre Festival, York company Hoglets Theatre presents director Gemma Curry’s solo show Wood Owl And The Box Of Wonders for age three upwards.

A lonely little owl wants nothing more than to fly into the night and join his friends, but how can he when he is made from wood in Gemma’s magical half-term journey of singing owls, fantasy worlds, friendship and an age-old message about love?  The 40-minute show featuring beautiful handmade puppets and original music will be complemented by an optional puppet-making activity. Box office: ripontheatrefestival.org.

Lesley Ann Eden and her York School of Dance and Drama pupils: Presenting Pinocchio And Ponchetta at Joseph Rowntree Theatre. Picture: Nigel Holland

Dance show of the week: York School of Dance and Drama in Pinocchio And Ponchetta, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, tomorrow, 6.30pm

YORK choreographer and dance teacher Lesley Anne Eden presents her 50th anniversary York School of Dance and Drama show with a company ranging in age from six to 70.

Pinocchio And Ponchetta is Lesley’s take on the old story of Pinocchio and his sister, “full of fabulous dancing and great fun for all the family”, with the promise of her trademark quirky props. Box office: 01904 501935 or josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.

The cover artwork for York Barbican-bound Richard Thompson’s new album, Ship To Shore

Folk luminary of the week: Richard Thompson, York Barbican, May 27, doors 7pm

GUITARIST, singer and songwriter Richard Thompson showcases his 20th solo album – and first since 2018’s 13 Rivers – ahead of the May 31 release of Ship To Shore on New West Records.

Notting Hill-born Thompson, 75, who made his name with folk rock pioneers Fairport Convention before forming his Seventies’ duo with Linda Thompson, will be performing with a full band. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.

Yes: Playing York Barbican on Tuesday

Rock gig of the week: Yes, The Classic Tales Of Yes Tour 2024, York Barbican, May 28, 8pm

PROG-ROCK legends Yes perform iconic songs from more than 50 years of groundbreaking music-making, definitely including a 20-minute medley from their 1973 album Tales From Topographic Oceans and “possibly” from latest album Mirror To The Sky too.

In the line-up will be Steve Howe, guitars and vocals, Geoff Downes, keyboards, Billy Sherwood, bass guitar and vocals, Jon Davison, vocals and acoustic guitar, and Jay Schellen, drums. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk. 

Kathryn Williams and Withered Hand: Teaming up at Selby Town Hall

Duo of the week: Kathryn Williams & Withered Hand, Selby Town Hall, May 29, 8pm

KATHRYN Williams is the Liverpool-born, Newcastle-based, Mercury Music Prize-nominated singer-songwriter with 16 albums to her name. Withered Hand is singer-songwriter Dan Willson, from the Scottish underground scene.

They first met in 2019 in an Edinburgh Book Festival spiegeltent, prompting Williams to tweet Willson: “What kind of songs would we write together and what would they sound like?” The results can be heard on the album Willson Williams, released on One Little Independent Records on April 26, and in concert in Selby (and Otley Courthouse on May 30). Box office: selbytownhall.co.uk.

Dexys: Heading to the Yorkshire coast on May 30

Coastal trip of the week: Dexys, Scarborough Spa Grand Hall, May 30, doors 7pm

AFTER playing York for the first time in their 45-year career last September, Dexys return to North Yorkshire on the latest leg of The Feminine Divine Live!

Led as ever by Kevin Rowland, Dexys open with a theatrical presentation of last year’s album, The Feminine Divine, to be followed by a second soulful set of beloved hits, from Come On Eileen and Jackie Wilson Said to The Celtic Soul Brothers and Geno. Box office: 01723 376774 or scarboroughspa.co.uk.

Bonneville (York singer-songwriter Bonnie Milnes) promotes her debut album New Lady at Drawsome! 2024 gig at The Crescent

York festival of the week: Drawsome! 2024, Young Thugs Studio, May 31; The Crescent, June 1; Arts Barge, Foss Basin, York, June 2

DRAWSOME! combines exhibitions and workshops with live music each evening. York multi-disciplinary artist Rowan Jackson will be exhibiting at Angel on the Green, Bishopthorpe Road, from 7pm on May 27; Things Found and Made at The Golden Ball, Cromwell Road, from May 31 and Greek-Australian graphic novel artist Con Chrisoulis for one night only at Young Thugs Studio, Ovington Terrace, on May 31 from 7pm, when Ichigo Evil, Plantfood, Mickey Nomimono and Drooligan will be performing.

On June 1, Bonneville, Lou Terry, Captain Starlet and Leafcutter John play at The Crescent community venue, where workshops run from 1 to 4pm, featuring Bits and Bots Recycled Robot, with Tom Brader, and Creative Visible Mending, with Anna Pownall, complemented by Zine Stalls hosted by Things Found and Made, Adam Keay and Teresa Stenson. 

On June 2, the Arts Barge presents Dana Gavanski, Kindelan, Moongate and We Are Hannah, after three 11am to 2pm workshops: Poem Fishing with Becca Drake and Jessie Summerhayes, Adana Letterpress and lino printing, and Screenprinting with Kai West. Drawsome! is run in aid of Bowel Cancer UK.

The poster for Drawsome! 2024

In Focus: Showstopper! The Improvised Musical, York Theatre Royal, May 29 and 30, 7,30pm; The Showstopper Kids Show, May 30, 2pm

SHOWSTOPPER! The Improvised Musical heads back to York Theatre Royal in an expanded format with a children’s version of the spontaneous musical comedy for half-term week.

The Showstoppers have 14 years behind them at the Edinburgh Fringe, to go with a BBC Radio 4 series, a West End run and an 2016 Olivier Award for their blend of comedy, musical theatre and, wait for it, spontaneity. 

Each Showstopper show is created live on the spot from audience suggestions, resulting in a new musical comedy at each performance, which is then named by the audience. 

The cast takes suggestions for the setting, genre and style to transform them into an all-singing, all-dancing production with humorous results. Anything can be expected at a Showstopper show, so if the audience fancies Hamilton in a hospital or Sondheim in the Sahara, The Showstoppers will sing it.

Thursday’s Showstopper Kids Show is for children of all ages, who will see their own ideas being turned into a fully improvised musical right in front of them. 

The children will decide where the story is set, what happens next and who the characters are. The Showstoppers will create whatever is suggested, so the characters could be anyone, such as the children’s favourite TV show characters, and the show could be set under the sea or in a doll’s house. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

REVIEW: Paul Rhodes’s verdict on Katherine Priddy, The Crescent, York

Katherine Priddy at The Crescent: “You simply believe her and that’s a key part of the magic,” says revewer Paul Rhodes. Picture: Paul Rhodes

CERTAIN artists have ‘it’, an intangible something that allows their music to escape whatever genre they inhabit and reach a wider audience. Katherine Priddy is ostensibly a folk musician but her winning voice and modern takes on timeless themes of love, kin and connection see her poised for much greater success.

Performing as a trio, Priddy benefited from having two very talented performers on her side:  George Boomsma on guitars (from Northallerton, by way of Holland and Birmingham) and Harry Fausing Smith on violin and guitar.

Boomsma teed her set up perfectly with his winning opening set. Precise in appearance, style and delivery, his mostly melancholy songs were capped off with a dry sense of humour that we readily embraced. He’d already sold his stash of Promise Of Spring albums, so his warm reception was  clearly not a one-off. Something of a whistling wizard it turns out too.

Northallerton musician George Boomsma performing his solo set. Picture: Paul Rhodes

They have all known each other and played together for years, and this rapport was obvious. Boomsma was alongside Priddy when she last played in York at the National Centre for Early Music in 2022.

All three sang, between them creating an excellent version of the soundscapes crafted on Priddy’s sophomore album, The Pendulum Swing. While note perfect (as the tour nears its end), it never felt slick or rote.

The Pendulum Swing leaves behind the classical interests of her debut, rooting itself in home and family. First House On The Left memorialises a normal home while A Boat On The River takes her dream of living on a houseboat to elegiac heights. With her travelling lifestyle, you wonder if that boat is probably always around the next bend.

Katherine Priddy: “Winning voice and modern takes on timeless themes of love, kin and connection”

Priddy is careful not to get too sentimental. A highlight was her ode to tipsy 3AM calls to an ex- partner, Anyway, Always. Played as though leaving an answerphone message, her poise was as impeccable as ever, with no hint whatsoever of any slurring!

There was enough variation to keep us on our toes. Does She Hold You Like I Did and Letters From A Travelling Man kicked up the tempo, with lovely melodies to carry them.

The beating heart of the set was of course Priddy herself, a Warwickshire native with age-old preoccupations. Like Kate Rusby, she can connect with an audience, not so much with humour but with openness and sharing just enough to draw you in. You simply believe her and that’s a key part of the magic.

Harry Fausing Smith on violin, performing in Katherine Priddy’s trio at The Crescent. Picture: Paul Rhodes

The seated, sold-out Crescent audience were in her thrall from the beginning, each song met with loud applause and more polite exhales of “lovely”and “wonderful”.

As the trio left the stage, following the well-chosen Ready To Go, like the May blossom she was gone. Fortunately, there is no need for a 12-month wait, as Priddy is playing at July’s Deer Shed Festival where she should go down a storm (probably in a storm).

Review by Paul Rhodes, 15/5/2024

Katherine Priddy plays Deer Shed Festival, Baldersby Park, Topcliffe, near Thirsk, on July 26.  Box office: deershedfestival.com

Until next time: Katherine Priddy, George Boomsma and Harry Fausing Smith take a bow at the close of their gig at The Crescent, York. Deer Shed Festival awaits in July. Picture: Paul Rhodes

News just in….

KATHERINE Priddy will play Pocklington Arts Centre on Wednesday, February 26 2025 on her final run of The Pendulum Swing Tour. Tickets for the 8pm show are on sale at pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk or on 01759 301 547.

Wonderful opportunity to enjoy the light and dark of poet Harry Baker in Say Owt gig

“I am more fascinated and amazed by the world around me than ever before,” says poet Harry Baker

ONCE the youngest World Poetry Slam champion, Harry Baker has a new poetry collection to spin on his Wonderful tour.

Tonight his 30-date itinerary brings the Bath-born poet, mathematician, stand-up comic and writer to The Crescent, in York, to reflect on “important stuff”, whether hope, dinosaurs or German falafel spoons, as found in Wonderful, published in paperback by Burning Eye Books on May 7.

The “maths-loving, TED-talking, German-speaking, battle-rapping, happy-crying, self-bio-writing unashamed human” releases his signature playfulness and poignancy in new poems about wellies, postcodes, sunflowers, sticky toffee pudding and his favourite German wheat beer.

“After the mental health struggles I shared in my last show, this time around the plan was to have a fun time touring a fun show full of fun poems to celebrate coming out of the other side. But it hasn’t quite worked out like that,” says Harry, who will be a completing a hattrick of appearances at The Crescent.

“For the first time ever, I have been to more funerals than weddings in the last year. I have hit the age where everyone around me is either having babies or talking about having babies or definitely not having babies and found out first-hand how complicated and painful that can be. And yet I am more fascinated and amazed by the world around me than ever before.”

Harry continues: “From the transformational power of documenting moments of everyday joy to the undeniable raw energy of performing a garage song about Greta Thunberg, I am learning more than ever that life can indeed be incredibly hard sometimes, but that doesn’t make it any less incredible.

“If anything, it is the darkness that helps us to appreciate the light, just as it is the puddles that help us to appreciate the wellies.”

As with his Unashamed show in February 2023, Harry is being brought to The Crescent by Say Owt, the York collective of “gobby northern poets” that plays host regularly to slams, workshops, scratches, open-mic nights and stellar spoken-word guests.

“I loved The Crescent so much that I’m coming back,” he says. “Working out where to go on this tour, I knew there was a readymade audience there from the Say Owt shows – they’re a brilliant organisation.”

He thrives on performing in such settings as a Say Owt gig. “Some like to call it ‘slam poetry’ because it sounds more exciting, or ‘spoken word’ because it takes in something more theatrical, but we’ve been sharing words for centuries, whatever you call it. 

“So, bringing words alive in front of an audience has always been important for me. When you see poetry performed, what’s amazing is it can make you laugh, it can make you cry.

“Reading poetry on the page is a very personal experience but hearing poetry being performed feels a very collective experience.”

The Wonderful show will combine joy with sadness. “Poetry is not frightened to be vulnerable, so rather than focusing only on fun things, I’m acknowledging that we have deeper moments and I share these in the poems,” says Harry, who has sought to find silver linings from the pandemic. “There are people I know who died from Covid, so it makes you treasure relationships.”

He continues: “I will always have fun in my shows, highlighting funny things, but I’ve found that people are responding to the things that are more serious and cathartic. Even my favourite stand-up comedians have those moments of rawness.”

Harry writes his poems to be performed out loud. “The first two books came out after tours, so they felt like a transcription of the shows, but this time I’ve written the book first, and the stuff in between the poems will evolve as I perform,” he says. “The new book is like the studio version of an album; the live album will follow on the road!”

Harry is as much a mathematician as a poet, but can he see a connection between the two disciplines? “I used to be massively in denial about this, seeing them as opposite,” he says.

“I loved the definite answers in Maths, that were either right or wrong, and the ambiguity in poems, but actually they’re both trying to work the world out.

“There’s something about the rhythm and rhyme of poetry, slotting the words into the right place, that does feel like mathematics. You can be light and playful but seek to push the form to the limits.”

In the wake of publishing his third volume, Harry reflects: “I think I’ve learned that my poems are snapshots of moments in time that don’t have to solve the world’s problems, but you hopefully make some points within them,” he says.

Those points strike a balance between light and darkness. “One of my all-time favourite lyrics is by Leonard Cohen, where he says, ‘there is a crack, a crack in everything/That’s how the light gets in’,” says Harry.

“My first book was called The Sunshine Kid, but when you write with acknowledgement that there is darkness too, it has greater weight. When we share laughter with other people just after crying, it’s about embracing the murkiness, and then we get to appreciate the full richness of joy.”

Say Owt presents Harry Baker: Wonderful, The Crescent, York, May 20, 7.30pm. Box office: thecrescentyork.com

In the words of Harry Baker:

“One thing that I know that I will always find amazing

Is what a thing it is to live a life.

P.S. Let’s also do this loads before we die.”

Harry Baker: back story

Harry Baker: Poet, mathematician, comedian, slam champ and writer

Born: March 19 1992.

Occupation: Poet, mathematician, stand-up comedian, writer and word warrior on UK rap battle scene.

Poetry style: Honest. Heartfelt. Hopeful.

Record breaker: Became youngest ever World Poetry Slam Champion when winning in 2012.

Global impact: Poetry translated into 21 languages.

Social media impact: Reached ten million people on Instagram and TikTok.

Festivals: Played Glastonbury, Latitude and his spiritual home, Greenbelt.

Did you know? Performed on Dubai Opera House bill with poet laureates Carol Ann Duffy and Simon Armitage.

Did you know too? His last gig before Covid lockdown was at The Crescent, York, on March 15 2020,

Talk the talk: On TED.com

Favourite place: On stage.

Regular contributor: BBC Radio 2’s Pause For Thought.

Appeared on: The Russell Howard Hour, as part of comedy-rap-jazz duo Harry and Chris.

Books: The Sunshine Kid, 2014; Unashamed, 2022; Wonderful (Burning Eye Books, May 7  2024).

More Things To Do in York and beyond when the wonderful and the wicked await. Here’s Hutch’s List No. 21, from The Press

Mikron Theatre cast members Eddie Ahrens, left, Mark Emmon, Georgina Liley and Lauren Robinson: Presenting an outdoor performance of Common Ground at Scarcoft Allotments, York, on Sunday afternoon. Picture: Robling Photography

FROM land access tales to the Yellow Brick Road, wonderful words about wellies to a journey through isolation, show song heights to a soulful heaven, Charles Hutchinson follows the path to cultural discovery.

Touring play of the week: Mikron Theatre in Common Ground, Scarcroft Allotments, Scarcroft Road, York, May 19, 2pm

ON tour on narrow boat and canal, van and land until October 18, Marsden company Mikron Theatre present Common Ground, writer and lyricist Poppy Hollman’s hike through the history of land access in England, where only eight per cent of land is designated “open country”.

Under the direction of Gitika Buttoo, actor-musicians Eddie Ahrens, Georgina Liley, Lauren Robinson and Mark Emmon tell the tale of the fictional Pendale and District Ramblers as they look forward to celebrating their 50th anniversary walk, but the path has been blocked by the landowner. How will they find their way through? No reserved seating or tickets required; a “pay what you feel” collection will be taken post-show.

Harry Baker: Wonderful words by the slam champ at The Crescent

Spoken word gig of the week: Say Owt presents Harry Baker: Wonderful, The Crescent, York, May 20, 7.30pm

WORLD Poetry Slam champion Harry Baker is a poet, mathematician, stand-up comic and writer who reflects on “important stuff”, whether hope, dinosaurs or German falafel spoons, as found in his new poetry collection, Wonderful, published by Burning Eye this month.

On his 30-date Wonderful tour, the “maths-loving, TED-talking, German-speaking, battle-rapping, happy-crying, self-bio-writing unashamed human” brings his signature playfulness and poignancy to new poems about wellies, postcodes, sunflowers, sticky toffee pudding and his favourite German wheat beer. Box office: thecrescentyork.com.

Jeanette Hunter: Heading to the dark side as the Wicked Witch in York Musical Theatre Company’s The Wizard Of Oz

Musical of the week: York Musical Theatre Company in The Wizard Of Oz, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, May 22 to 25, 7.30pm plus 2.30pm Saturday matinee

YORK stage stalwart Jeanette Hunter will play a villain for the first time next week, starring as the Wicked Witch in York Musical Theatre Company’s The Wizard Of Oz.

Following the Yellow Brick Road will be Sadie Sorensen’s Dorothy, Rachel Higgs’s Scarecrow, Zander Fick’s Tin Man and Daan Janssen’s Lion, while further principal roles will go to Liz Gardner as Glinda, Marlena Kellie as Auntie Em and Martin Hunter as the Wizard. Box office: 01904 501935 or josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.

Miranda Sykes: Songs of isolation, illness and recovery at Black Swan Folk Club

Folk gig of the week: Miranda Sykes, Out Of The Woods Tour, Black Swan Folk Club, Black Swan Inn, Peasholme Green, York, May 23, 7.30pm

SHOW Of Hands and Daphne’s Flight member Miranda Sykes promotes her pandemic-scarred March album Out Of The Woods in her debut Black Swan solo gig, showcasing songs that chart her journey through isolation, illness and recovery with the aim of bringing comfort after such turbulent years.

“Life is many faceted; like most people I’ve had good times and hard times,” says the Lincolnshire-born singer, double bass player and guitarist. “I’ve taken some forks in the road I shouldn’t have done and I’ve had some knocks, but it’s all part of who I am now.”  Box office: blackswanfolkclub.org.uk.

Velma Celli’s Show Queen: Celebrating the best of West End and Broadway musical theatre at York Theatre Royal. Picture: Sophie Eleanor

Cabaret celebration of the week: Velma Celli’s Show Queen, York Theatre Royal, May 23, 7.30pm

DRAG diva Velma Celli, the alter ego of York actor Ian Stroughair, goes back to Ian’s roots in Cats, Chicago, Fame and Rent for a new celebration of the best of London’s West End and Broadway musical theatre hits.

The show “takes us to every corner of the fabulous genre, from Kander & Ebb and Lloyd Webber to Stephen Schwartz’s Wicked and Schönberg’s Les Miserables and many more,” says Velma. “Like, more than Six!”. Special guests will be burlesque star Miss Betsy Rose and belting York singer Jessica Steel. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

Rebecca Ferguson: Final album and tour at 37

Soul gig of the week: Rebecca Ferguson, Heaven Part II Tour, York Barbican, May 24, 7.30pm

LIVERPOOL soul singer and The X Factor alumna Rebecca Ferguson is touring her fifth and final album, Heaven Part II, released last December 12 years to the day since her debut, Heaven.

Working with new contributors and original Heaven writers and producers, Ferguson sings of love, family, joy, liberation and her journey to happiness over the past seven years. She is, however, calling time on recording and touring to “find a way to have a relationship with music which is positive”. Friday’s support acts will be York country singer Twinnie and Eloise Viola. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.

Anton Lesser in Red Sky At Sunrise, Laurie Lee in Words and Music at Grand Opera House, York

Literary event of the week: Red Sky At Sunrise, Laurie Lee in Words and Music, Grand Opera House, York, May 26, 7.30pm

AUTHOR Laurie Lee’s extraordinary story is told in a captivating weave of music and his own words in Red Sky At Sunrise, performed by actors Anton Lesser and Charlie Hamblett, accompanied by David Le Page’s musical programme for Orchestra Of The Swan.

Together, they celebrate Lee’s engaging humour, as well as portraying his darker side, in a performance that has startling resonance with modern events, tracing Lee’s path through Cider With Rosie, As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning and A Moment Of War as he ended up fighting with the International Brigades against General Franco’s forces in the Spanish Civil War. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.

Home Is Where The Heart Is, seascape, by Carolyn Coles, from her exhibition at Bluebird Bakery, Acomb

Exhibition launch: Carolyn Coles, Home Is Where The Heart Is, Bluebird Bakery, Acomb, York, May 30 to August 1

CREATING atmospheric, impressionistic and abstract seascapes, South Bank Studios artist Carolyn Coles paints mostly with acrylics on stretched canvasses, using an array of techniques and implements.

Known for evoking emotional responses, Carolyn reflects her love for the Yorkshire landscape, offering a direct response to the feelings and connections to places that feel like home. Everyone is welcome at the 6pm to 9pm launch on May 30, when Carolyn will be happy to answer questions.