THE Emma Bunton Christmas Show at York Barbican last night was called off at 90 minutes’ notice to ticket holders.
The Spice Girls singer had attended a Meet and Greet earlier but subsequently the 8pm concert could not proceed on doctor’s advice.
A statement from York Barbican said: “Please accept our sincere apologies, The Emma Bunton Christmas Show cannot go ahead tonight. Emma has been advised by her doctor that she is unable to perform. Emma is personally devastated and hopes very much to see you again another time.” Further information was sent to around 800 ticket holders.
Emma, 46, was to have spiced up her Christmas party with solo career hits, Spice Girls staples and festive favourites. Her “secret” special guest last night would have been Will Young, by the way.
The cancelled concert will not be rearranged. Ticket holders will be refunded.
HENRY VIII’s vengeful wives are not the only show in town. Charles Hutchinson finds alternatives aplenty.
Don’t lose your head over this but…SIX The Musical has sold out at Grand Opera House, York,October 11 to 16.8pm, Tuesday to Thursday; 6pm and 8.30pm, Friday; 5pm and 8pm, Saturday; 3pm, Sunday
DIVORCED, beheaded, scuppered. Those without a ticket for York’s hottest theatre show of the autumn are too late. Not one seat, even with a restricted view, is still available for Toby Marlow and Lucy Marlow’s irreverent historical musical romp that began as a Cambridge University show at the Edinburgh Fringe.
Welcome to their Queendom where Tudor queens turn into pop princesses as the six wives of Henry VIII take to the mic to tell their tales, remixing 500 years of heartbreak into a 75-minute celebration of 21st-century girl power.
Take your pick at York Barbican: Uriah Heep, tomorrow, 8pm; Tom Chaplin, Tuesday, 8pm; Will Young: 20 Years Tour, Thursday, 7.30pm; Boyzlife, Friday, 7.30pm
SPOILT for choice at York Barbican in a busy, busy week. British rock titans Uriah Heep’s 50th Anniversary Tour is now taking place in their 52nd year after playing 4,000 shows in 60 countries. Keane frontman Tom Chaplin showcases September’s release of his second solo album, Midpoint, exploring a part of life that everyone goes through: midlife.
On the pop front, singer, radio presenter, actor and writer Will Young marks two decades since his Pop Idol blossoming. No sooner have Boyzlife performed to 20,000 people at the Yorkshire Balloon Fiesta on Knavesmire than their Old School Tour sends the boy band duo of Boyzone’s Keith Duffy and Westlife’s Brian McFadden back to York. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.
Toasting the trailblazers: A Celebration Of Gilbert & Sullivan, Grand Opera House, York, tonight, 7.30pm
A 26-piece orchestra and soloists perform favourites from The Mikado, The Pirates Of Penzance and HMS Pinafore, complemented by less familiar gems in a glorious night at the light opera.
Taking part will be singers from Opera North, English National Opera, Scottish Opera, Welsh National Opera, Carl Rosa and D’Oyly Carte, such as Alexander Robin Baker, Rebecca Bottone, Barry Clark, Siân Dicker, Yvonne Howard, Judith Le Breuilly, Timothy Nelson and Matthew Siveter. Box office: 0844 8717615 or atgtickets.com/York.
House music but not as you know it: Bongo’s Bingo, York Barbican, tonight; doors, 6pm; last entry, 7:30pm; first game of bingo, 8pm
MAKING its York debut only a stone’s throw from the demolished Mecca Bingo, Bongo’s Bingo “rejuvenates a quintessentially quaint British pastime with an immersive live show featuring rave rounds, nostalgia-soaked revelry, dance-offs, audience participation and crazy prizes in a night of pure and unadulterated escapism”.
Looking for a full house, promoter Jonny Bongo promises magic and music, mischief and mayhem in a bingo rave experience. Box office: bongosbingo.co.uk or yorkbarbican.co.uk.
Dance pioneers of the week: Ballet Black, Say It Loud & Black Sun, York Theatre Royal, Tuesday, 7.30pm
CELEBRATING their 20th anniversary, Black Ballet present two new works on tour. Choreographed and directed by founder and artistic director Cassa Pancho and company artists, Say It Loud charts this pioneering company’s progress, from the uncomfortable reasons behind its existence to the frenetic, creative energy that makes it such a necessary part of the British ballet industry.
South African choreographer Gregory Maqoma’s Black Sun, danced to an original score by Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante, extracts energy from the sun and the moon giving rise to descendants of ancestors. These forces only meet to blacken, allowing us to draw from their powers as we prepare for life after life. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.
Bringing death to life: Dr Richard Shepherd, Unnatural Causes theatre tour, York Theatre Royal, Thursday; Leeds City Varieties Music Hall, Friday, both 7.30pm
MEET Dr Richard Shepherd, a forensic pathologist who has solved the mystery of sudden and unexplained deaths aplenty, performed 23,000 autopsies and handled such cases the Hungerford Massacre, the Princess Diana inquiry and 9/11.
In Unnatural Causes, he not only tells the story of the cases and bodies that have haunted him the most, but also reflects on how to live a life steeped in death. Box office: York, 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk; Leeds, 0113 243 0808 or leedsheritagetheatres.co.uk
Festival of the week: Kaizen Arts Agency, United by Design and Dogeatcog unite for York Design Week 2022, Make It Work, October 13 to 17
YORK Design Week turns the spotlight on projects, organisations and people who are breaking and bending rules to create a fairer society, inviting you to explore how we can come together to “Make It Work”. “Let’s find creative and practical solutions to complex problems through collaboration, performance, and play,” say the organisers.
“The idea is to positively shift conversation and behaviour around what design means and how it can offer innovative solutions to knotty problems. Our approach is open, accessible, and seeks to provide space for participants to experience unexpected perspectives and express their own voice.” Full details can be found at: yorkdesignweek.com.
120 years and still going strong: York Musical Theatre Company in A Musical Celebration, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, Thursday and Friday, 7,30pm
YORK Musical Theatre Company’s 120th anniversary will be marked with two evenings of songs from past productions such as West Side Story, Oklahoma, Guys & Dolls, Annie, Acorn Antiques, Jekyll & Hyde, Jesus Christ Superstar and The Pirates Of Penzance, the company’s first show in April 1903.
Company members combine with guest solo artists in a celebratory production directed by John Atkin. Founded in 1902 as York Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society, York’s longest established amateur theatre company changed its name in its centenary year. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.
What did the Romans ever do for us? Badapple Theatre in The Frozen Roman, on tour until November 13
GREEN Hammerton’s theatre-on-your-doorstep proponents Badapple Theatre take to the road this autumn with three actors new to the company: Zach Atkinson, Andrew Purcell and Ellen Carnazza.
In this revival of Kate Bramley’s play, they came, they saw, they built a wall, they went away again….or did they? When hapless villagers try to prevent a housing development being built in their midst, could the discovery of a burial site throw them a lifeline? Expect twists, turns and Latin puns as the situation in the village goes “ballisticus maximus”. For tour details, go to: badappletheatre.co.uk.
Looking ahead: Billy Ocean, The Very Best Of Billy Ocean Tour, Harrogate Convention Centre, March 31 2023
BILLY Ocean will perform a hand-picked set of greatest hits and fan favourites on his 21-date tour next spring.
The Trinidad and Tobago-born British R&B singer, 72, has notched 30 million worldwide record sales and top ten singles on both sides of the Atlantic, such as Love Really Hurts Without You, Red Light Spells Danger, Caribbean Queen (No More Love On The Run), When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going, There’ll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry) and Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car. The tour also takes in Sheffield City Hall on April 6. Box office: harrogatetheatre.co.uk; sheffieldcityhall.co.uk.
WILL Young will celebrate the 20th anniversary of his Pop Idol win with a 22-date tour next autumn, playing York Barbican on the second night, October 13.
Further Yorkshire dates on the 2022 itinerary of the 20 Years Tour will be at Hull Bonus Arena on October 21 and Sheffield City Hall on October 24. Tickets go on sale from 9am on Friday via aegpresents.co.uk and at yorkbarbican.co.uk, bonusarenahull.com and sheffieldcityhall.co.uk.
Since pipping Bradford musical theatre star Gareth Gates to win Pop Idol’s first series in 2002, Young has become the TV talent show’s most successful contestant, chalking up the best-selling single of the Noughties, Evergreen/Anything Is Possible, ten million record sales and eight UK top three albums, topped off by this year’s Crying On The Bathroom Floor.
Pop Idol was broadcast to as many as ten million viewers when it first aired, shooting South Londoner Young to fame and rewarding him with a record deal to release his debut chart-topping album, From Now On, after receiving a 4.6 million votes from the public.
Next year’s anniversary will be marked by the release of 20 Years – The Greatest Hits, a compilation that will span his Pop Idol winner’s single, Evergreen, and the number ones Light My Fire and Leave Right Now to Crying On The Bathroom Floor track Daniel and two new songs, yet to be named.
The album will be available next May on CD, deluxe signed CD & vinyl LP via Sony Music; fans can place pre-orders from today at will-young.myshopify.com to gain exclusive access to the tour pre-sale from Wednesday.
Look out too for Young’s Crying On The Bathroom Floor Remix EP, set for release on Cooking Vinyl with six Sudlow remixes of Will’s interpretations of Daniel, Crying On The Bathroom Floor and latest single Indestructible.
Evergreen Will Young, 42, answers questions on his past, present and future:
What has been keeping you busy, Will?
“I just managed to have a lovely two-week break in Greece. I studied ancient history and was completely excited and overwhelmed at finally being able to visit the Acropolis, the birthplace of democracy.”
Can you believe two whole decades have passed by so quickly since your Pop Idol win?
“I love the phrase ‘time flies when you’re having fun’ and the last 20 years have been more fun than I could ever have imagined. I’ll never forget how people took the time to pick up the phone and vote for me. It’s kept me humble and grateful ever since.”
On reflection, would you have succeeded as a pop star without that ‘sliding doors’ moment of auditioning for Pop Idol?
“I don’t think I would’ve become a pop star at that time without Pop Idol because I don’t think anyone would’ve signed me, an openly gay politics student. That’s what was so beautiful about the show.”
How did it feel how to receive such a mountain of votes from the British public?
“It was such a new experience, not just for me, but also for everyone involved in the TV show. No-one knew it was going to become such a huge success, to the point where it was even debated in parliament! The whole thing was a rollercoaster of fun and laughs and it felt very validating to be voted for by so many people.”
What can fans expect from the 20th anniversary live shows next autumn?
“I’m going to be playing most of my singles from over the last 20 years, possibly in chronological order. I’m also going to have a request section where me and my pianist will have learnt every single one of my songs, including all the B-sides.”
How did you feel to be back on stage at last in front of a live audience for your handful of intimate ‘A Night With’ shows?
“Surprisingly, I didn’t feel like I had been away for that long. I thought I might be more nervous because it had been such a long time due to Covid. However, my muscle memory of gigging kicked in and I absolutely loved interacting with the audience, singing so many of my songs with just a piano. It was a beautiful experience.”
Will songs from this year’s Crying On The Bathroom Floor feature in the 2022 tour show?
“I will definitely be playing the singles from the latest album. I have been so thrilled with how well the whole record has been received. Sometimes things just fall into place and, with the combination of great production plus brilliant artists and songs, it worked out really well. I’m very proud of it.”
Not only did you shine a spotlight on some of your favourite, more leftfield modern female pop artists on this album, but also you wrote to each of them to explain why you recorded their song. Many replied to you – what was the loveliest response you received?
“All of the responses were lovely, but I was particularly moved by Clare Maguire’s response. Her single Elizabeth Taylor is such a special song and she’s such a kind person. I was so pleased that she was really thrilled with my version.”
Your new single is a remix of your version of Swedish pop artist Robyn’s Indestructible. What attracted you to that song and Robyn in general?
“Robyn was very much an artist I wanted to cover; she’s so well respected as a pop artist and songwriter. I felt like Indestructible was the song of hers that I could do a good original-sounding version of.”
Did your dogs and passion for gardening help you during the pandemic lockdowns?
“Animals are a huge passion of mine; having rescue dogs to look after with all their various operations and rehabilitation definitely kept me focused. One of my concerns I’m exploring is how dogs like beagles are tested on in laboratories when they don’t need to be. If I can shine a light on animal cruelty, then I will.
“When it comes to gardening, I absolutely love it and get so much satisfaction out of it. I loved appearing on Gardeners’ World; it’s one of my favourite TV shows.”
After the success of your role as Emcee in Cabaret, do you have any plans to return to acting in the near future?
“I’m very excited as I’ve just signed up with a new brilliant acting agent and I already have some plans in place for next year – more news coming soon.”
Will Young Facts
* Evergreen/Anything Is Possible is officially UK’s fastest-selling debut single of all time.
* Two BRIT Award wins: British Breakthrough Act in 2003 and British Single of the Year for Your Game in 2005.
* Young’s Leave Right Now won 2004 Ivor Novello Award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically.
* Performed at opening ceremony of 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, Nelson Mandela’s Unite The Stars charity concert in South Africa in 2006 and Concert for Diana at Wembley Stadium in 2007.
* Has performed live duets with Elton John, James Brown, Queen and Burt Bacharach.
* Starred in 2005 film Mrs. Henderson Presents alongside Judi Dench and Bob Hoskins.
* Mental health advocate, official ambassador for Women’s Aid and animal rights’ activist.
* Author of 2020 book on gay shame, To Be A Gay Man. Several follow-up books are in the works.
* Regularly guest-presents Jo Whiley Show on BBC Radio 2.
* Performed at Glastonbury Festival three times.
* Co-hosted first two seasons of Homo Sapiens LGBTQI podcast with Christopher Sweeney; new mental health podcast will launch in 2022.
* In his music-making, Young has collaborated with Burt Bacharach, Eg White, Sia, Steve Lipson, Cathy Dennis and Richard X.
* Played Emcee in Cabaret at Leeds Grand Theatre in October 2017.
* Played Dalby Forest, near Pickering, in June 2012 and Scarborough Open Air Theatre in June 2016. Last played York Barbican on Lexicon tour on October 20 2019.
DALBY Forest’s summer concerts, featuring Leeds band
Kaiser Chiefs on June 26 and a double bill of Will Young and James Morrison the
next night, are off.
Indeed, the entire Forest Live series presented by
Forestry England nationwide, has been cancelled, yet another summer calendar
regular chalked off by the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown. Ticket holders will
be refunded automatically.
A Forestry England statement released today explains: “We are sorry to disappoint the Forest Live fans who were hoping to see bands in the nation’s forests this summer, but we have cancelled Forest Live 2020 to keep everyone safe, in line with recent Government guidance on the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak.
“We really hope that everyone’s support to fight COVID-19 means the situation will have improved by the summer. However, as well as our valued customers, we work with a large number of volunteers, artists and contractors, to make these concerts happen and have taken this decision in the interest of safety for everyone involved.”
The statement continues: “Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to reschedule our concerts. Ticket holders will be contacted by their point of purchase and will be automatically refunded. We ask for your patience and understanding at this busy time.
“We would like to send our deepest apologies to everyone who was hoping to see a Forest Live 2020 show. We were very excited to welcome you into forests across England to see some incredible live music.
“Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to welcoming you back to Forest Live in 2021.”
Nationwide,Forest Live 2020 would have featured headline performances by Madness, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Keane, Jack Savoretti and Rag’n’Bone Man, as well as Kaiser Chiefs, Morrison and Young.
These June concerts would have been spread between Dalby Forest, near Pickering; Bedgebury Pinetum, Kent; Cannock Chase Forest, Staffordshire; Sherwood Pines Forest, Nottinghamshire; Thetford Forest, Suffolk, and Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire.
Income from Forest Live concerts helps to sustain Forestry England’s woodland for people to enjoy, wildlife to flourish and trees to grow.
Forestry England, an agency of the Forestry Commission, manages and cares for the nation’s 1,500 woods and forests, welcoming 230 million visits every year and shaping landscapes as England’s largest land manager. For more information, visit forestryengland.uk; for further Forest Live details, go to forestryengland.uk/music.
Did you know?
KAISER Chiefs previously played Dalby Forest in 2016; Will Young in 2012 and James Morrison in 2007.