THE cook, the dinosaurs, the pots and the mums serve up a week of cultural contrasts, as recommended by Charles Hutchinson.
Exhibition of the week: Lincoln Lightfoot, Grand Opera House, York, until May 31
ALIENS, dinosaurs, UFOs, even King Kong, invade the Grand Opera House box office as York artist Lincoln Lightfoot explores surreal concepts reminiscent of the poster art for the Fifties and Sixties’ B-movie fixation with comical science-fiction disasters.
Depicting unusual happenings with large beasts, staged in familiar settings and on iconic architecture, from York Minster to the Angel of the North, Lightfoot’s artwork escapes from everyday problems to tap into the fears perpetuated by the news media and politicians alike in a post Covid-19 world.
The gig of the week: Courtney Marie Andrew, Leeds Brudenell Social Club, Wednesday, doors 7.30pm
PHOENIX singer, songwriter, poet and artist Courtney Marie Andrews initially approached making her latest album, Loose Future, by composing a song every day. Feeling “the sounds of summer” flowing through her writing in a Cape Cod beach house, she collected material imbued with romance, possibility and freedom for recording at Sam Evian’s Flying Cloud Recordings studio in the Catskill Mountains, New York State.
Dipping in the creek every morning before proceeding, she wanted to embody the feeling of letting love in after the break-up reflections of 2020’s Old Flowers. Hear the results in Leeds. Box office: brudenellsocialclub.co.uk.
Topical monologue of the week: Black Treacle Theatre in Iphigenia In Splott, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, Wednesday to Saturday, 7.30pm and 2.30pm Saturday matinee
GREEK myth meets modern reality in Gary Owen’s “horribly relevant” one-woman drama Iphigenia In Splott, set in contemporary Cardiff and rooted in the ancient tale of Iphigenia being sacrificed by her father to placate the gods.
Under the direction of Jim Paterson, York company Black Treacle Theatre presents Livy Potter in this 75-minute monologue about Effie, whose life spirals through a mess of drink, drugs and drama every night, and a hangover worse than death the next day, until one incident gives her the chance to be something more. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.
Food for thought: Prue Leith: Nothing In Moderation, Grand Opera House, York, Thursday, 7.30pm
“I’M probably nuts to try it, but it’s huge fun,” says Dame Prue Leith as she mounts her debut tour at the age of 83. Nothing is off the menu as she shares anecdotes of the ups and downs of being a restaurateur, food writer, novelist, businesswoman and Great British Bake Off judge.
For the first time, Dame Prue tells tales of how she has fed the rich and famous, cooked for royalty and even poisoned her clients, while singing the praises of food, love and life. Audience questions will be answered post-interval. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.
The show that comes with strings attached: Chloe Bezer in The Slow Songs Make Me Sad, York Theatre Royal Studio, Friday, 7.45pm
CELLIST, writer and theatre maker Chloe Bezer’s “rollicking night of cabaret storytelling about post-natal depression” is her chance to make her mark, deal with the big stuff, and leave an inheritance before she is an ex-cellist and theatre maker.
Refusing to stay silent over the stuff usually kept quiet, and resolutely life affirming, Bezer addresses unrecognised hardships faced by new mothers, complicated relationships with making music and the question of what we leave behind. Cue clowning, heartfelt stories and raucous cello songs. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.
Mum’s the word: Mumsy, Hull Truck Theatre, Thursday to March 25
AS part of Hull Truck’s 50th anniversary programme, Hull playwright Lydia Marchant delivers the world premiere of Mumsy, wherein Sophie (Jessica Jolleys), her mum Rachel (Nicola Stephenson) and nan Linda (Sue Kelvin) battle through the friendship, drama and love of mother-daughter relationships.
“What a privilege to be directing this funny, warm, authentic new play,” says director Zoe Waterman. “Crammed into a one-bed flat in Hull with rising bills and decreasing wages, three generations of women push at their circumstances – and sometimes each other – to let their dreams soar.” Box office: 01482 323638 or hulltruck.co.uk.
Top of the pots: York Ceramics Fair, York Racecourse, March 4 and 5,10am to 5pm
THE Craft Potters Association has curated artworks from 60 prominent British ceramicists and potters, hailing from Cornwall to Scotland, for the return of York Ceramics Fair after a Covid-enforced short break.
Among the Yorkshire makers there will be Ruth King, Loretta Braganza and Emily Stubbs, from York, Katie Braida, from Scarborough, Penny Withers, from Sheffield, and fair chair Anna Lambert, from Keighley. Both Emily and Katie will be giving a demonstration. For tickets and a full list of exhibitors, go to: yorkceramicsfair.com.
High old time of the week: Attic Theatre Company presents James Rowland in Learning To Fly, Helmsley Arts Centre, March 4, 7.30pm
COMBINING theatre, comedy and music in his new show, James Rowland tells the story of a remarkable friendship he made when he was a lonely, unhappy teenager with the scary old lady who lived in the spooky house on his street.
“It’s about connection, no matter what the obstacles; about love’s eternal struggle with time; about music and its ability to heal,” says Rowland. “It’s also about her last wish: to get high once before she dies.” Box office: 01439 771700 or helmsleyartscentre.co.uk.
Comedy coupling incoming: An Evening Shared With Jasper Carrott and Alistair McGowan, Grand Opera House, York, April 16, 7.30pm
COMEDIANS Jasper Carrott and Alistair McGowan join forces to “split the bill and your sides” with a night of stand-up and impressions.
Their pairing for a one-off festival appearance turned out to be a match made in comedy heaven, prompting the decision to tour together. They first played the Grand Opera House in November 2018, when McGowan’s opening set prompted Carrott to say, “I said ‘warm them up’, not boil them!”. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.