More Things To Do in and around York: when the love of music and food combine, plan on. List No. 99, courtesy of The Press

Over the Moon: Chef Stephanie Moon, delighted to be cooking in the York Food and Drink Festival demonstration kitchen on Wednesday at 1pm

FOOD for thought from Charles Hutchinson as he contemplates what’s on the menu for autumn days and nights out. 

Festival of the week: York Food and Drink Festival, Parliament Street and St Sampson’s Square, York, packed with flavour until October 2

IN its 26th year, York Food and Drink Festival offers demonstrations and hands-on participation, taste trails and wine tastings, markets and street food, with two marquees and live music until 9pm.

Look out for the free Food Factory cookery classes in the Museum Gardens and the Coppergate Centre; trails through the doors of artisan food producers, delicatessens and restaurants; Bedern Hall crowning York’s finest pork pie at its York Pork Pie competition and York Mansion House hosting a week-long tea exhibition and tasting. Head to for the full five-course details.  

For the love of Nina Simone: Apphia Campbell in Black Is The Colour Of My Voice, Grand Opera House, York, Monday, 7.30pm

Apphia Campbell: Brings her play to York on Monday

INSPIRED by the life of Nina Simone, writer, director and performer Apphia Campbell’s play follows a successful jazz singer and civil rights activist as she seeks redemption after the untimely death of her father. 

Complemented by many of Simone’s most iconic songs sung live, she reflects on the journey that took her from a young piano prodigy, destined for a life in the service of the church, to a renowned jazz vocalist at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement. Box office: 0844 871 7615 or

Cameron Sharp: Confirmed for Stacee Jaxx role in Rock Of Ages

Musical of the week: Rock Of Ages, Grand Opera House, York, Tuesday to Saturday, 7.30pm; 2.30pm Saturday matinee

CAMERON Sharp returns to the rock demi-god role of Stacee Jaxx on the latest tour on Rock Of Ages after earlier appearances in the West End and on the road. He joins Coronation Street legend Kevin Kennedy, playing ornery Bourbon Room owner Dennis Dupree once more in this tongue-in-cheek musical comedy kitted out with classic rock anthems galore, from The Final Countdown to We Built This City, all played loud and proud.

The storyline invites you to “leave it all behind and lose yourself in a city and a time where the dreams are as big as the hair, and yes, they can come true.” Box office:0844 871 7615 or

Lucy Worsley: Uncovering the real, revolutionary, thoroughly modern Agatha Christie

History meets mystery: An Evening With Lucy Worsley On Agatha Christie, York Theatre Royal, Monday, 7.30pm

THE Queen of History will investigate the Queen of Crime in an illustrated talk that delves into the life of such an elusive, enigmatic 20th century figure.

Why did Agatha Christie spend her career pretending that she was just an ordinary housewife, a retiring Edwardian lady of leisure, when clearly she wasn’t? Agatha went surfing in Hawaii, loved fast cars and was intrigued by psychology, the new science that helped her through mental illness. 

Sharing her research of the storyteller’s personal letters and papers, writer, broadcaster, speaker and Historic Royal Palaces chief curator Lucy Worsley will uncover the real, revolutionary, thoroughly modern Christie. Box office: 01904 623568 or

Steve Hackett: Revisiting his Genesis past in Foxtrot At Fifty at York Barbican

Golden celebrations of the week: Steve Hackett, Genesis Revisited – Foxtrot At Fifty + Hackett Highlights, York Barbican, tonight, 7.30pm; Don McLean, 50th Anniversary of American Pie, York Barbican, Wednesday, 7.30pm

GUITARIST Steve Hackett, 72, revisits Genesis’s landmark 1972 prog rock album Foxtrot, the one with the 23-minute Supper’s Ready, preceded by an hour of highlights from his six years in the band and his solo career.

New Rochelle troubadour Don McLean, 76, marks the 50th anniversary of his 1971 album American Pie and its 1972 top two single, the poetic 8 minute 36 sec title track, a double A-side that had to be split over two sides of the vinyl with its mysterious, mystical tale of lost innocence “the day the music died”. Expect Vincent, Castles In The Air and  And I Love You So too. Box office:

Missus in action: Katherine Ryan mulls over life, love, marriage and motherhood at York Barbican

Comedy gig of the week, Katherine Ryan, Missus, York Barbican, Thursday, 8pm

AFTER previously denouncing partnerships, Canadian-born comedian, writer, presenter, podcaster and actress Ryan has since married her first love…accidentally.

“A lot has changed for everyone,” says the creator and star of Netflix series The Duchess and host of BBC Two’s jewellery-making competition All That Glitters, who looks forward to discussing her new perspectives on life, love and what it means to be Missus. Box office:

Budge up! Everyone tries to find Room On The Broom in Tall Stories’ staging of Julia Donaldson and Alex Scheffler’s picture book. Picture: Mark Senior

Children’s show of the week: Tall Stories Theatre Company in Room On The Broom, York Theatre Royal, Tuesday, 1.30pm and 4.30pm; Wednesday, 10.30am and 1.30pm

IGGETY Ziggety Zaggety Boom! Jump on board the broom with the witch and her cat in Tall Stories’ adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s picture book.

When they pick up some hitch-hikers – a friendly dog, a beautiful green bird and a frantic frog – alas the broomstick is not meant for five. Crack, it snaps in two  just as the hungry dragon appears.

Will there ever be room on the broom for everyone? Find out in this 60-minute, magical, Olivier Award-nominated show for everyone aged three upwards. Box office: 01904 623568 or

Wild Murphys, wild times: Tribute band revel in Irish bar favourites in One Night In Dublin

Irish craic of the week: One Night In Dublin, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, Thursday, 7.30pm

IRISH tribute band The Wild Murphys roll out the Irish classics, Galway Girl, Tell Me Ma, Dirty Old Town, The Irish Rover, Brown Eyed Girl, Seven Drunken Nights, Whiskey In The Jar, Wild Rover and Molly Malone.

Kick back in Murphy’s Pub, sing along and imagine being back in Temple Bar as Middi and his band roar into York. “Ah, go on, go on, go on!” they say. Box office: 01904 501935 or

Tom Robinson at 72: Sing if you’re glad to be grey at The Crescent

2-4-6-8, don’t be late: Tom Robinson Band and TV Smith (solo), The Crescent, York, Friday, 7.30pm

PUNK veteran, LGBTQ rights activist and BBC 6 Music presenter Tom Robinson returns to The Crescent with his band to reactivate 2-4-6-8 Motorway, Glad To Be Gay, Up Against The Wall, The Winter Of ’79 and the cream of his early albums, 1978’s Power In The Darkness, 1979’s TRB Two, and beyond, maybe War Baby.

Support comes from  TV Smith, once part of Seventies’ punks The Adverts, of  Gary Gilmore’s Eyes notoriety. Box office:

Don McLean: Marking American Pie’s golden landmark at York Barbican on Wednesday

Yorkshire International Tea Festival turns over new leaf in week-long event in York

Everything starts with tea at new festival in York

THE inaugural Yorkshire International Tea Festival begins this weekend as part of York’s autumn Food and Drink Festival.

Running from Sunday to October 2, it will provide the backdrop to celebrate the nation’s favourite beverage with tea companies from across the globe joining forces to champion tea.

York Mansion House, in St Helen’s Square, will act as the event’s hub, hosting a VIP launch from 5.30pm to 9.30pm on Sunday in an evening of exploration with the chance to learn more about the history of tea and explore tea exhibits from across the world.

York Mansion House will be presenting a photography exhibition by the historic Keemun Tea Factory in China all week.

Look out too for the Yorkshire International Tea Festival Tea Trail around the city. Businessman and City of York ambassador Will Zhuang, the festival’s co-founder, says: “Tea is a crucial part of Yorkshire’s story and heritage and so it’s fantastic to see the very first Yorkshire International Tea Festival take place in York.

Yorkshire International Tea Festival: Championing the cuppa from September 25 to October 2

“Local businesses have backed the idea, but to have already gained international interest from Keemun Tea Company is even more amazing. The festival will run concurrently with York’s hugely successful Food and Drink Festival, and our engaging Tea Trail will be fun for residents and visitors alike.”

The Tea Trail’s route takes in myriad York tea-drinking establishments and flavours. “Unveil and sample unique flavours at Hedben Tea in Shambles or at Minster Gate, relax with a sparkling afternoon tea in No. 1 by GuestHouse on Bootham, or at Middlethorpe Hall, or the award-winning afternoon tea at The Grand, and experience the Gyokuro or Koucha in Ippuku Japanese Tea House in Blake Street,” advises the festival.

“Visit the website to browse the full tea trail, which also features Earl Grey-flavoured gin at York Gin, Whittard of Chelsea, in Parliament Street, and special offers at Harlequin Café, in King’s Square, The Earl Grey Tea Rooms, in Shambles, and more.”

Those following the Tea Trail can visit The Yorkshire Tea Ceremony, running at York Art Gallery until next April, featuring the collection of W.A. Ismay MBE (1910-2001), Britain’s most prolific collector of post-war British studio pottery. Ismay accumulated 3,600 pieces by more than 500 potters between 1955 and 2001 and the display explores his remarkable life.

Visit the website for more details on “how to get involved” in the festival.

Pocklington Arts Centre lines up Busking In The Bar return from December. Who plays?

Alice Simmons: Busking in the Pocklington Arts Centre bar on February 25 2022

BUSKING In The Bar returns to Pocklington Arts Centre from next month for a new series of of free Friday night performances by emerging artists. 

Lexi Rae Walker is booked in for December 10; Lily Honey, January 28; Alice Simmons, February 25, and Tim O’Connor, March 25, all starting at 8pm with the bar opening at 7pm.

Past sessions have featured Jess Gardham, Katie Spencer, Dan Webster, Beth McCarthy, Rachel Croft, Boss Caine, Dave Keegan, Charlie Daykin and Ava Rose. 

Director Janet Farmer says: “We’re incredibly excited to be bringing back Busking In The Bar. What can be better than spending a Friday night enjoying a drink with friends and experiencing some free live music? 

Lexi Rae Walker, performing with Busking In The Bar curator Charlie Daykin

“We have some truly talented artists lined up for you, so why not come along to soak up the atmosphere and discover some fantastic talent.”

Charlie Daykin, who has helped to curate the winter line-up, says: “It’s so exciting to see the next generation of singer-songwriters performing in the intimate setting of the Pocklington Arts Centre bar. Prepare to be amazed by the quality of this diverse line-up of talented musicians”.

York singer-songwriter Lexi Rae Walker, 18, is studying at the Access Creative College, York, and names Adele and Amy Winehouse among her influences.

“Singing is my biggest passion and I’m pretty sure I was singing before I could even talk properly,” says Lexi Rae, who performed on the main stage at this season’s York Food and Drink Festival.

Lily Honey: Booked to busk on January 28 2022

Yorkshire singer-songwriter, pianist and guitar player Lily Honey has performed at The Fulford Arms, in York, and such festivals as Latitude, Pocklington’s Platform Festival and York Food and Drink Festival. Since the August 2020 release of her debut single Leaving All My Love, Lily has enjoyed airplay on BBC Introducing.

Alice Simmons wraps her songs in electric piano, heavy bass lines, delicate guitar and smoky vocals, drawing comparisons with London Grammar’s Hannah Reid, Portishead’s Beth Gibbons and Florence + The Machine.  She has played Latitude, Humber Street Sesh and Beyond The Woods festivals.

Tim O’Connor is a troubadour for the 21st century, crafting insightful, heartfelt, contemporary yet timeless songs, influenced by The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Tom Waits, Johnny Cash and traditional Irish music. He has worked with many great musicians, among them the late Maartin Allcock, from Fairport Convention.

For more information, go to or contact 01759 301547.  

Tim O’Connor: Busking on March 25 2022