Bottom’s up for love & looning in More Things To Do in Ryedale, York & beyond. Hutch’s List No. 9, from Gazette & Herald

Rebecca Banatvala, back, AK Golding, middle, and Sam Newton, front, in Northanger Abbey at the SJT, Scarborough. Picture: Pamela Raith

GOTHIC Austen, a clowning Bottom, dark pop chat, vintage blues and harmonious folk feature in Charles Hutchinson’s suggestions for a busy diary.

Play of the week outside York: Northanger Abbey, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, until April 13, 7.30pm plus 1.30pm Thursday and 2.30pm Saturday matinees

ZOE Cooper adapts Jane Austen’s coming-of-age satire of Gothic novels in a co-production by the SJT, Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond, Octagon Theatre, Bolton, and Theatre by the Lake, Keswick, starring Rebecca Banatvala (Cath), AK Golding (Iz) and Sam Newton (Hen) under Tessa Walker’s direction.

In a play fizzing with imagination, humour and love, Cath Morland knows little of the world, but who needs real-life experience when you have books to guide you? Cath seizes her chance to escape her claustrophobic family life and join the smart set in Bath. Between balls and parties, she meets worldly, sophisticated Iz, and so Cath’s very own adventure begins. Box office: 01723 370541 or

Megson: Folk duo Debs and Stu Hanna at Helmsley Arts Centre

Folk concert of the week: Megson, Helmsley Arts Centre, Saturday, 7.30pm

BRITISH folk duo Megson combines Debs Hanna’s vocals, whistle and piano accordion with Stu Hanna’s guitar, mandola and banjo on songs filled with perceptive lyrics and exquisite musicianship. An infectious mix of heavenly vocals, lush harmonies and driving rhythmic guitars mark their concerts, topped off with northern humour between numbers.

Chalking up 13 studio albums in 20 years, the four-time BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominees and two-time Spiral Earth Award winners will be showcasing their latest release, March 2023’s What Are We Trying To Say?. Box office: 01439 771700 or

Red, a dare: Tweedy’s Bottom, clowning around and chancing his luck in love in the Everyman Theatre Company’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, on tour at York Theatre Royal. Picture: Andrew Huggins/Thousand Word Media

York play of the week: Cheltenham Everyman Theatre in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, York Theatre Royal, April 9 to 13, 7pm plus 2pm Thursday and 2.30pm Saturday matinees

THE Everyman Theatre Company staging of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream puts a new twist on the familiar tale by casting comedy clown Tweedy as Bottom and making him “comedy advisor” on Paul Milton’s production to boot.

The night’s magic, mischief, and mayhem unfold in an enchanted forest in Athens, intertwining the romantic misadventures of four young lovers, the playful meddling of mischievous fairies and the comedic antics of amateur actors, culminating in a tale of love, mistaken identity and reconciliation engineered by Jeremy Stockwell’s meddlesome Puck. Box office: 01904 623568 or

John Robb: Rock’n’roll tales at Pocklington Arts Centre

Pop chat of the week: John Robb: Do You Believe In The Power Of Rock’n’Roll?, Pocklington Arts Centre, April 11, 8pm

JOHN Robb discusses his life in music; his pop culture book Art Of Darkness: The History Of Goth; being the first person to interview Nirvana; inventing the word Britpop and his adventures on the post-punk frontline.

Blackpool-born Robb is an author, musician, journalist, television and radio presenter and pundit, music website boss, publisher, Louder Than Words festival boss, eco-warrior and talking-head singer of The Membranes. His special guest is The Sisters Of Mercy co-founder Gary Marx. Box office: 01759 301547 or

Pianist Robert Gammon: Performing with Maria Marshall and Alison Gmmon at musical tea concert

Dementia Friendly Tea Concert: Maria Marshall, Robert Gammon and Alison Gammon, St Chad’s Church, Campleshon Road, York, April 182.30pm

CELLIST Maria Marshall opens this Dementia Friendly Tea Concert with Faure’s Elegy, accompanied by pianist Robert Gammon, who then plays two short solo Grieg piano pieces. Alison Gammon joins them for Beethoven’s trio Opus 11 for clarinet, piano and cello.

The relaxed 45-minute concert, ideal for people who may not feel comfortable at a formal classical concert, will be followed by tea and homemade cakes in the church hall. Seating is unreserved; no charge applies to attend but donations are welcome for hire costs and Alzheimer’s charities. On-street parking along Campleshon Road complements the church’s small car park.

The Nightcreatures’ Henry Botham and Tom Davies: Blues songs and stories at Milton Rooms, Malton

Blues gig of the week: The Nightcreatures, Farewell To Storyville, Songs and Stories from New Orleans, Milton Rooms, Malton, April 12, 8pm

THE Nightcreatures duo of pianist Henry Botham and guitarist and singer Tom Davies take a journey to old New Orleans for a night of songs and stories, serving up a spicy gumbo of filthy blues, funky grooves and classic tunes.

Old blues, Mardi Gras songs and vintage New Orleans material are explored, drawing on the heritage of Dr John, James Booker, Professor Longhair, Allen Toussaint and the great Louisiana bluesmen. Jenny Wren and Her Borrowed Wings, a trio led by singer and double bassist Jenny Trilsbach, support. Box office: 01653 696240 or

Sam Jewison: Interpreting the Great American Songbook at the SJT

Jazz gig of the month: Sam Jewison, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, April 27, 7.30pm

JAZZ singer and pianist Sam Jewison returns to the SJT after a sold-out show in 2023 to perform his interpretation of the Great American Songbook in a fusion of jazz, classical and popular music.

Expect to hear new treatments of songs from the Broadway stage, Hollywood screen and golden age of American popular music, made famous Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and Oscar Peterson, from the pens of Cole Porter, Leonard Bernstein and George Gershwin. Joining Jewison will be Fraser Smith (tenor saxophone), Harry Sankey (guitar), Harry Evans (double bass) and Joe Dessauer (drums). Box office: 01723 370541 or 

Lucy Worsley: Revelations from the life of Jane Austen at York Barbican

Show announcement of the week: An Audience with Lucy Worsley on Jane Austen, York Barbican, October 14,

FOLLOWING up her Agatha Christie tour, historian Lucy Worsley’s latest illustrated talk steps into the world of Jane Austen, one of English literature’s most cherished figures as the author of Pride And Prejudice, Sense And Sensibility and Persuasion. 

Through the houses, places and possessions that mattered to Austen, Worsley looks at what home meant to her and to the women like her who populate her novels. Austen lived a “life without incident”, but with new research and insights Worsley reveals a passionate woman who fought for her freedom. Box office:

More Things To Do in Ryedale, York and beyond Easter. Magical thoughts in Hutch’s List No 8, from the Gazette & Herald

Four sigils or “spell tokens” from the Believe It Or Not? exhibition at Ryedale Folk Museum, Hutton-le-Hole. Picture: Olivia Brabbs

MAGICAL thinking and life 11,000 years ago, Shakespeare mischief making and nightclub trouble-spotters, a comedian’s needs and a painterly musical outweigh the delights of chocolate at Easter for Charles Hutchinson.

Ryedale exhibition launch of the week: Believe It Or Not?, Ryedale Folk Museum, Hutton-le-Hole, until November 17, from 10am daily except Fridays

RYEDALE Folk Museum’s new exhibition turns the spotlight on folk beliefs through a selection of more than 200 objects. Believe It Or Not?’ explores the traditions and rituals of our ancestors, pondering whether whether we are still “magical thinkers” today.

Featuring heavily are stories of those accused of witchcraft, represented through their own objects, such as a crystal ball passed down by those seeking to foretell the future and four sigils or “spell tokens”, likely created as a form of “love magic” by a magical practitioner or service magician. Tickets:

Curators Andrew Woods, left, Adam Parker and Emily North with Mesolithic remains of a wooden platform and materials used for fire-making in the Yorkshire Museum’s Star Carr exhibition. Picture: Anthony Chappel-Ross

York exhibition opening of the week: Star Carr: Life After The Ice, Yorkshire Museum, Museum Gardens, York; open Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm

EXCAVATED in the Vale of Pickering, the Star Carr archaeological site provides the first evidence in Britain of the beginnings of home, a place where people settled and built places to live.

The Yorkshire Museum’s interactive exhibition brings together artefacts from “the Mesolithic equivalent of Stonehenge” to give an insight into human life 11,000 years ago, a few hundred years after the last Ice Age. On display are objects from the Yorkshire Museum collection, from antler headdresses and a decorated stone pendant to the world’s oldest complete hunting bow and the earliest evidence of carpentry from Europe. To book tickets, go to:

Hoglets Theatre’s Gemma Curry, left, Claire Morley and Becky Lennon in A Midsummer Night’s Mischief, visiting Helmsley Arts Centre on Saturday

Children’s show of the week: Hoglets Theatre in A Midsummer Night’s Mischief, Helmsley Arts Centre, Saturday, 2.30pm

THE forest fairies are starting a fight, but which side are you on? Team Titania or Team Oberon? York company Hoglets Theatre presents founder Gemma Curry’s interactive, fun and larger-than-life show for children aged five to 11 based on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Expect wild characters, raucous singalong songs, puppets, stunts and some frankly ridiculous disco dancing in the company of Curry, Claire Morley and Becky Lennon. At 3.30pm, Gemma will be running a children’s workshop, showing how to make a paper boogie-woogie puppet of Shakespeare’s donkey-headed character Bottom. Box office: 01439 771700 or

Jessica Fostekew: On her Mettle at Pocklington Arts Centre

Comedy gig of the week: Jessica Fostekew, Mettle, Pocklington Arts Centre, April 4, 8pm

IN her new stand-up show of passion, pace and purpose, Jessica Fostekew’s son has joined a cult and her cat has learnt to talk. Nevertheless, she feels fine. In fact she is hurtling faster and hustling harder than ever for the things that she wants and needs.

Fostekew appeared in the sitcom Motherland and Sundance Festival Grand Jury prize-winning film Scrapper and is a regular co-host of The Guilty Feminist podcast, host and creator of her own podcast about eating, Hoovering, and the star and writer of BBC Radio 4’s Sturdy Girl Club. Box office: 01759 301547 or

The four doormen of the apocalypse: John Godber Company in Bouncers, on tour at York Theatre Royal

York play of the week: John Godber Company in Bouncers, York Theatre Royal, April 5, 7.30pm; April  6, 2.30pm and 7.30pm

MEET Lucky Eric, Judd, Les and Ralph, the original men in black, as they tell the torrid tale of one Eighties’ night in a Yorkshire disco in John Godber’s northern parody of Saturday Night Fever. All the gang are out on the town, the lads, the lasses, the cheesy DJ, the late-night kebab man, and the taxi home, all under the watchful eyes of the Bouncers (Nick Figgis, George Reid, Frazer Hammill and newcomer Tom Whittaker).

“We’re delighted to be taking Bouncers back to the heyday of disco and the 1980s,” says Goober. “Looking back, there was so much wrong with the decade but also so much to celebrate; this new production dances a balance between what was great and what is cringe-worthy now!” Box office: 01904 623568 or

Putting themselves in the picture: Pick Me Up Theatre cast members James Willstrop (as Jules), left, Neil Foster (as Soldier), Natalie Walker (as Dot) amd Sanna Jeppsson (as Yvonne), front, set the scene for Sunday In The Park With George

York musical of the week: Pick Me Up Theatre in Sunday In The Park With George, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, April 5 to 13, 7.30pm except April 8; 2.30pm, April 6, 7 and 13

STEPHEN Sondheim and James Lapine’s musical follows painter Georges Seurat (played by Adam Price) in the months leading up to the completion of his most fanous painting, A Sunday Afternoon On The Island Of La Grande Jatte. 

Consumed by his need to “finish the hat”, Seurat alienates the French bourgeoisie, spurns his fellow artists and neglects his lover Dot (Natalie Walker), not realising that his actions will reverberate through the next 100 years. Box office:

The Moondogs: Paying tribute to Fifties and Sixties favourites at Milton Rooms, Malton

Tribute show of the Easter break: The Moondogs, Milton Rooms, Malton, April 6, 8pm

PREPARE to be transported back in time to the late-1950s and Swinging Sixties as The Moondogs bring their raw energy to the hits of Chuck Berry, The Everly Brothers, Cliff Richard, The Searchers, The Swinging Blue Jeans, The Beatles, The Who, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones and more. Box office: 01653 696240 or

Fairground Attraction: Mark Nevin, left, Roy Dodds, Eddi Reader and Simon Edwards reunite after 35 years for a York-bound tour and new album

Gig announcement of the week: Fairground Attraction, York Barbican, October 1

AFTER an absence of 35 years, all four original members of short-lived late-Eighties’ band Fairground Attraction are reuniting for a 14-date British tour and an as-yet-untitled new studio album, preceded by first single What’s Wrong With The World?, out now.

Best known for their chart-topping debut, Perfect, winner of the Best Single prize at the 1988 Brit Awards, Fairground Attraction return with their country-pop line-up of singer Eddi Reader, guitarist Mark Nevin, guitarrón bassist Simon Edwards and drummer Roy Dodds. Tickets go on sale on Friday at 10am at

REVIEW: Le Navet Bete in King Arthur, York Theatre Royal, today, 2.30pm & 7.30pm ****

In the wink of an eye: Matt Freeman’s Guinevere in Le Navet Bete’s King Arthur. Picture: Craig Fuller

LE Navet Bete translates as “the daft turnip”. Cue fruit and vegetables being lobbed at the stage at the outset of this latest comic caper of precisely organised chaos from a trio of Exeter theatre-makers who met in student days and retain that anarchic spirit in the tradition of Rik Mayall and Ade Edmondson in The Young Ones and Bottom.

Making their fifth visit to York Theatre Royal, this one finds company regulars Nick Bunt, Al Dunn and Matt Freeman working with Peepolykus’s like-minded John Nicholason as co-writer and director, conjuring a re-telling of the legend of King Arthur as never told before, played faster and looser than all those Horrible Histories.

What’s the story, more daft than gory? King Arthur “knows that if he fails to turn things around, this civilization will be known as nothing more than a rather dull time in British history. But when three hapless squires approach him about changing that legacy…a legend in born.”

From a camper-than-camp opening pastiche of Queen’s infamous I Wanna Break Free video, through Kelis’s re-shaken Milkshake to The White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army in the interval, the pop hits repurposed medieval style kept on coming as the plot not so much thickens as chases itself around a tree like a squirel.  

Add prog-rock, jazz fusion, orchestral score, medieval sitcom segues and re-imaginings of Cher, and no wonder composer and sound designer Jonny Wharton sums it up as ridiculous.

Thwack attack: Al Dunn, left, Matt Freeman and Nick Bunt in Le Navet Bete’s smash-hit King Arthur. Picture: Craig Fuller

Monty Python And The Holy Grail comes to mind as another influence, but like those cycling Shakespeareans The HandleBards, Le Navet Bete have developed their own style of physical comedy, one founded in the fast-moving, faster-witted comic camaraderie and delightful tomfoolery of the multi-role playing Bunt, Dunn and Freeman.

For all the measured order behind their comical disorder, they revel in the unpredictable nature of breakneck live theatre, the mishaps and malfunctions beyond the mayhem, the ad-libbing and the corpsing, joined gleefully by set and costume and designer Fi Russell on constant stage management duty, popping on in stealthy Milk Tray advert black to remove a mis-thrown stool at one point.

Le Navet Bete cram a lot into their Camelot, here represented in a castellated design by the playful Russell with doors aplenty in farce tradition, a water trough and a bucket on a rope: all signposts of pratfalls and slapstick to come.  

More than 50 costumes, even a pantomime horse, play their part as the likes of Guinevere, Lancelot, Merlin and Percival are woven into a plot that spins ever more plates – and when a frying pan is to hand, what else would you do but belt someone in the face with it?! Pan-tomime of a different kind.

Should you miss day three of this riotous romp in York today, head to Cast in Doncaster on June 8, 7pm, or June 9, 11am and 3pm. Box office: York, 01904 623568 or; Doncaster, 01302 303959 or Suitable for legend-loving children and adults alike.

REVIEW: Cluedo 2. Who? The usual suspects. With? More swagger than dagger. Where? York Theatre Royal, till Saturday ***

Weapons at the ready in Cluedo 2: from left, Ellie Leach’s Annabel Scarlett (with the candlestick); Edward Howells’ Professor Plum (spanner); Gabriel Paul’s Reverend Hal Green (lead piping); Hanah Boyce’s Lady Celestine Peacock (rope); Dawn Buckland’s Mrs White (dagger) and Jason Durr’s Colonel Eugene Mustard (gun). Picture: Dave Hogan 

CLUEDO 2 is far outselling last week’s remarkable York Theatre Royal touring show, Blue Beard, despite a raft of five-star reviews for Emma Rice’s feminist wonder tale for those regular York visitors Wise Children.

So much so, you might have to kill for a ticket for Cluedo 2, whether with a candlestick, lead piping, revolver, dagger, rope or spanner, in the box office.

Cluedo 2 is the sequel to, surprise, surprise, Cluedo, the stage revamp of Jonathan Lynn’s 1985 film Clue, based once more on the ever-popular Hasbro board game, whose familiar board design forms the backdrop to David Farley’s witty set to mark the game’s 75th anniversary.

Cut-outs of the board design’s borders form a picture framework within the Theatre Royal’s proscenium arch structure, while a doll’s house of Graveny House is a regular reminder of the new play’s setting. As ever, the whodunit will play out in the kitchen, conservatory, dining room, ballroom, study, hall, lounge, library and billiard room.

Red alert: Ellie Leach’s Miss Scarlett, Bloody Mary cocktail et al, in Cluedo 2. Picture: Dave Hogan

This new “game for a laugh” whodunit takes the form of a broad comedy, one that brings together veteran Birds Of A Feather and Goodnight Sweetheart screen and stage-writing joke factory Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, teamed with Mark Bell, the director of Mischief Theatre’s catastrophe-defying physical theatre capers The Play That Goes Wrong and The Comedy About A Bank Robbery.

Then add the social media intrigue of seeing 2023 Strictly Come Dancing champion Ellie Leach in her “stage theatre debut” after 13 years as Faye Windass in Coronation Street, replacing the originally announced fellow former Corrie star Helen Flanagan.

Her white boots and mini-dress affirm the Swinging Sixties’ setting for a Cluedo tale of murder, mystery and secret passageways with a “new house, new bodies, new suspects”. Or, more precisely, all the usual suspects, gathered one dark and stormy evening in 1968.

Faded rock’n’roll legend Rick Black (Liam Horrigan) will do anything to regain his fame and fortune, especially now he has newly acquired a country manor house, not too far from London. 

What did the butler see? Hannah Boyce’s Lady Celestine Peacock, left, Jack Bennett’s Wadsworth, Edward Howells’ Professor Plum, Ellie Leach’s Annabel Scarlett and Jason Durr’s Colonel Eugene Mustard in Cluedo 2. Picture: Alastair Muir 

A long-awaited new album is his last hope, and so he has assembled the familiar names to pass judgement: his supermodel wife, the Honourable Celestine Peacock (Hannah Boyce); his nod-to-Colonel Parker American South manager, Colonel Eugene Mustard (Jason Durr, from Heartbeat and Casualty); long-time roadie “Professor” Alex Plum (Edward Howells) and blossoming northern interior designer Annabel Scarlett (Leach).

Blunt-speaking housekeeper Mrs White (Audrey Anderson, understudying ably for Dawn Buckland) comes with the house and knows all its secrets. Enter the butler, or rather a very, very thespian actor, Wadsworth (Jack Bennett), who has arrived a day early for filming for his role as a butler in a film that will star Rick Black, setting in motion a running gag about being/not being the butler.

Making a late entry is Black’s former song-writing partner “The Reverend” Hal Green (Gabriel Paul, from The Play That Goes Wrong and Northern Broadsides’ Quality Street)), not to be mistaken for soul singer the Reverend Al Green, but you know that gag will be played more than once.  Green had disappeared mysteriously just as Black’s career went pear-shaped.

 In further roles for Horrigan, film director Mr Grey and an easily distracted detective, plus Tiwai Muza’s PC Silver, will play their part two in a play that is done and dusted in two hours with an interval.

The comedy has two opposing forces: Marks and Gran’s humour is more laboured, slower to click, clunkier, than the fast pace that Bell favours from his Mischief exploits. The gap between the two styles is too big in Act One, but gradually they elide in the far superior Act Two, where the physical comedy, knowing nods to Cluedo’s conventions and even a pantomimic set-piece involving Mrs White’s assorted pastries reap rewards.

Murder most foul: Who could have killed rock star Rick Black (Liam Horrigan, second from right)? Ellie Leach’s Annabel Scarlett, left, Edward Howells’s Professor Plum, Dawn Buckland’s Mrs White, Hannah Boyce’s Lady Celestine Peacock and Jason Durr’s Colonel Eugene Mustard are all in the frame. Picture: Dave Hogan

Durr’s Colonel is mustard throughout; Leach grows into her on-trend Sixties’ role with its sudden twist, vibes of The Persuaders! and a couple of Strictly dance steps, matched by Lady Peacock’s shock revelation. All the while, Paul revels in Reverend Green’s American bafflement at English ways.

Nevertheless, the verbal humour remains a touch heavy handed and obvious, by way of contrast with the swift-moving set changes engineered by the cast on a set cleverly devoid of walls, but with a labyrinth of improvised manor-house corridors and secret passageways instead.

Bell’s direction is rooted in telling the story as much in pictures as words, and his mission is aided considerably by the show’s prize asset: the stylish movement direction of Anna Healey, which puts the ‘swing’ into the Swinging Sixties and makes amusing play of picture frames.

Not a patch on Blue Beard, but Cluedo 2 does improve as the bodies pile up. 

JAS Theatricals in Cluedo 2, York Theatre Royal, today, 2pm, 7.30pm; tomorrow, 7.30pm; Saturday, 2.30pm, 7.30pm. Box office: 01904 623568 or

More Things To Do in Ryedale, York and beyond as legends abound. Here’s Hutch’s List No. 6, from the Gazette & Herald

History with a comical twist: Le Navet Bete in King Arthur at York Theatre Royal

COMEDY legends and Arthurian tales, Welsh rock firebrands and an Italian dance champion, a Scottish folk queen and a school talent troop have Charles Hutchinson reaching for his diary.

Legend of the week: Le Navet Bete in King Arthur, York Theatre Royal, March 21 to 23, 7.30pm and 2.30pm Saturday matinee

AFTER Treasure Island and Dracula: The Bloody Truth, Le Navet Bete head back to York Theatre Royal for a retelling of the Arthurian legend, King Arthur, in their inimitable comedic style. Camelot is in trouble, and Arthur knows that if he fails to turn things around, this civilisation will be forgotten and be known as nothing more than a rather dull time in British history.

When three hapless squires approach him about changing that legacy, however, a legend is born in a new comedy for the ages, suitable for the whole family. Box office: 01904 623568 or

The poster for Feeder’s Black/Red Tour 2024, playing York and Leeds

York gig of the week: Feeder, supported by Girlband!, York Barbican, March 19, 8pm

ANTHEMIC Newport rock band Feeder mark their 30th anniversary with a spring tour and the April 5 release of a new studio double album, Black/Red, on Big Teeth Music.

Accruing seven million record sales, Grant Nicholas and Take Hirose’s group chalked up 20 Top 40 hits from 1997’s High to 2008’s We Are The People, and the likes of Just The Way I’m Feeling, Buck Rogers, Feeling A Moment, Tumble And Fall, Just A Day, Fear Of Flying and Lost And Found will surely feature in their set. Leeds Brudenell Social Club awaits on April 7 at 8pm. Box office: York,; Leeds,

The Talent Troop from Welburn Hall School, performing at Helmsley Arts Centre tomorrow

Community show of the week: Welburn Hall presents The Talent Troop, Helmsley Arts Centre, tomorrow (14/3/2024), 7pm

A SELECTION of students from Welburn Hall School, near York, takes to the stage once more for a variety performance. Prepare to be amazed by The Talent Troop in a fun-filled evening of music and dancing guaranteed to bring out the smiles. Look out for a fund-raising raffle and cake stall too. Box office: 01439 771700 or

The Pink’un: Vicky Jackson’s tribute show to an American pop icon at the Milton Rooms, Malton

Tribute show of the week: Vicky Jackson: Pink!, Milton Rooms, Malton, Friday, 8pm

VICKY Jackson has been wowing audiences with her energetic portrayal of Pink, the Grammy-winning singer and songwriter from Doylestown, Pennsylvania, for more than a decade.

In bespoke costumes and accompanied by her five-piece touring band, Jackson presents all of Pink’s major hits from her 24-year career. Box office: 01653 696240 or

Roll out the barrel of laughs: Al Murray, the Pub Landlord, at Grand Opera House, York

Comedy at the treble at the Grand Opera House, York: Al Murray, Guv Island, Sunday, 7.30pm; An Evening With The Fast Show, March 19, 7.30pm; Frank Skinner, 30 Years Of Dirt, March 21, 7.30pm.

STANDING up so you don’t have to take it lying it down anymore, Al Murray, the Pub Landlord, is back “to make sense of the questions you probably already had the answers to” in Guv Island.

An Evening With The Fast Show sold out suitably fast. Original cast members Simon Day, Charlie Higson, John Thomson, Paul Whitehouse, Mark Williams and Arabella Weir mark their 30th anniversary with behind-the-scenes insights into their television characters and catchphrases, recreating favourite moments too. Two nights later, Brummie comedian and TV and radio presenter Frank Skinner reflects on his own 30-year landmark. Box office:  

Beneath The Layers: A work by Anne-Marie Magson from her Helmsley Arts Centre exhibition

Exhibition of the week: Anna-Marie Magson, Beneath The Layers, Helmsley Arts Centre, until May 3

FROM her home studio in York, Anna-Marie Magson creates ceramics and artworks. Trained in fine art painting at Liverpool College of Art, she worked initially with clay, exploring surface decoration and textured pattern on tiles and panels.

Latterly, she has returned her focus to two-dimensional work, expanding her practice to encompass abstract collages, printmaking and painting to reflect her long-standing love of printed textiles and quilt designs and mid-20th century art.

The poster for Leigh Francis’s debut tour, My First Time

Yorkshire comedian of the week: Leigh Francis, My First Time, York Barbican, March 20, 7.45pm

LEEDS comedian, radio presenter and Bo’ Selecta! sketch show regular Leigh Francis is the scabrous, scatological, sometimes rubber-faced humorist behind the characters Keith Lemon, The Bear, Avid Merrion and Amanda Holden’s ‘gran’, Myrtle, along with celebrity impressions of David Dickinson, Ant and Dec and Louis Theroux.

All feature in Francis’s debut venture into the live environment in a tour show that combines sketches with buckets of audience interaction. “Come see me being other people live for the first time!” he says. Box office:

Giovanni Pernice: Let him entertain you at York Barbican

Dance show of the week: Giovanni Pernice, Let Me Entertain You, York Barbican, March 21, 7.30pm

GIOVANNI Pernice, the Sicilian dancer from Strictly Come Dancing and BAFTA winner, returns to York Barbican on his 2024 tour, Let Me Entertain You.

Pernice, dancer, performer, showman and Guinness World Record holder for jive kicks and flick to boot, will be joined by fellow professional dancers and West End performers in a show of non-stop action. Box office: 

Barbara Dickson: All Saints Church autumn concert with Nick Holland in Pocklington

Gig announcement of the week: Barbara Dickson & Nick Holland, All Saints Church, Pocklington, October 4, 7.30pm

IN this special acoustic performance, Scottish folk singer Barbara Dickson and her pianist Nick Holland will explore her catalogue of songs in the intimate and historic setting of All Saints Church.

The pair let the words and melodies take centre stage as they perform material drawing on Dickson’s folk roots, contemporary greats and her classic hits, Answer Me, Another Suitcase In Another Hall, Caravan and I Know Him So Well. Box office:

Cocktails and torrid tales as Rowntree Players shake up Shakers for a Saturday night from hell bar none at the JoRo

In the mixer: Sophie Bullivant, Abi Carter, Holly Smith and Laura Castle in Rowntree Players’ Shakers

YORK ghost-walk host, actor, voiceover artist, filmmaker, tour guide and pantomime villain Jamie McKeller had not directed a play for 15 years when he took the reins for Teechers Leavers ’22 last March.

Among the Rowntree Players’ cast of three for former teacher John Godber’s state-of-the-nation’s-education play were Sophie Bullivant and radio presenter Laura Castle, who now return for another slice of Godber physical theatre, Shakers, this one co-written with his wife, Jane Thornton.

The sister to Godber’s northern nightclub comedy-drama Bouncers, Shakers dives head first into the worst bar in town, where everyone wants to be seen, at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, from Thursday to Saturday.

Here, Sophie’s Carol, Laura’s Mel, company newcomer Holly Smith’s Niki and Abi Carter’s Adele face the Saturday shift from hell. Lights, neon; music, loud; trainers, not allowed. Smart shoes only.

Thornton and Godber expose nightlife both sides of the sticky-floored bar, not only the cocktail-bar waitresses but the clientele too. Here come the girls, the lads, the yuppies and the luvvies, all played by Bullivant, Castle, Smith and Carter.

“I think this play is funnier than Bouncers, though I’ll still be going to Bouncers when it comes to York Theatre Royal in April,” says Jamie, who can draw on his own experiences to make his comparison.

“I’ve done Bouncers three times! I played Judd when I was 21; Les in my late-20s. They were both professional productions; then I was Ralph in my mid-30s in an amateur one at the Westwood Theatre in Scarborough.

“So the idea is, in ten to 15 years’ time, when my panto dame days are done, I’ll finally do Lucky Eric to complete the full Bouncers set!”

Whereas Jamie decided to present Godber’s updated 2022 version of Teechers, he will stick with 1987 vintage Shakers, not the 2022 remix, Shakers: Under New Management!. 

“Initially we were looking at doing the final version of Bouncers, quite a grotesque version,” he recalls. “But once I read Shakers, I really wanted to do it, and do the earlier version, which even after more than 30 years still hits hard, when things aren’t necessarily better now…”

… “Things are just different,” says Laura. “This version of the play is a bit more spicy, and I like that!”

She is enjoying renewing her stage partnership with Sophie and teaming up with Abi and Holly too after they were picked from Jamie’s auditions. “Me and Sophie – and Sara [Howlett] – created quite bond in Teechers, and having done Godber before and Godber under Jamie’s direction before, that’s made it slightly easier for the whole cast in rehearsals,” says Laura.

“That gave us a head start as to just how pacy it is. Abi and Holly are super-talented and picked up the style very quickly. They’ve learned things from us, we’ve learned things from them, which has worked out really well.”

Jamie has been struck by Shakers’ abiding relevance, its stark message, for all its humour. “That humour is grotesque and amplified. The piece changes gear very rapidly, but it’s all grounded in the four monologues, one for each of them, that are staged with naturalism, with each speech becoming more serious,” he says.

“Shakers stands up and makes its stand. As a bloke, you find yourself thinking, ‘how do I feel about this?’, and it’s been very interesting to draw on the cast’s own experiences.”  

Jamie will restrict the capacity to 100 per performance to lend his production a studio atmosphere in keeping with the play’s roots. “It will help to have the audience close up,” says Laura. “With everyone packed into the front, it will feel busy.” Like in a bar on a Saturday night.

Staging will be minimalist too, in Bouncers tradition, with four mini-bars on wheels on a neon and chrome set. “We’ve made the decision to mime most of the props, apart from a huge blow-up phone, but with little signifiers for the different characters we play, like shades or jackets, or a change of voice. We’ve chosen everything to make an impact.”

This complements the tone of Thornton and Godber’s play. “You won’t feel like you’ve bene lectured! What works is the contrast between being grotesque and comedic one moment, and then we hit you with real truths and that makes Shakers’ impact all the greater,” says Laura.

“Both this play and Teechers end on a downer, but that’s the harsh reality of life. We want you to have a good time but to leave thinking about the message we’ve put across in 80 minutes.”

Rowntree Players in Shakers, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, March 14 to 16, 7.30pm and 2.30pm Saturday matinee. Box office: 01904 501935 or

More Things To Do in York and beyond from March 9 onwards. Hutch plays his cards for List No. 11 for 2024, from The Press

2023 Strictly champ Ellie Leach’s Miss Scarlett, front right, with her fellow colourful characters in the new whodunit comedy Cluedo 2, on tour at York Theatre Royal. Picture: Alastair Muir

A WHODUNIT comedy, mischievous theatre as a team game, a wicked return, cocktail-bar tales, political satire and one-liners and a very muddy pig are Charles Hutchinson’s clues to the best upcoming shows.

Whodunit, with what and where, of the week: Cluedo 2, York Theatre Royal, March 12 to 16, 7.30pm plus 2pm Thursday and 2.30pm Saturday matinees

STRICTLY Come Dancing 2023 champion and Coronation Street star Ellie Leach is making her stage acting debut as Miss Scarlett in the world premiere British tour of Cluedo 2, marking the 75th anniversary of the Hasbro boardgame. Next stop, York.

This follow-up to the original play (based on Jonathan Lynn’s 1985 film Clue) is an original comedy whodunit, set in the Swinging Sixties, with a script by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran (Birds Of A Feather, Goodnight Sweetheart and Dreamboats And Petticoats) and direction by Mark Bell (Mischief Theatre’s The Play That Goes Wrong). Box office: 01904 623568 or

Ash Hunter’s Macbeth and Jessica Baglow’s Lady Macbeth in Amy Leach’s revival of Macbeth at Leeds Playhouse. Picture: Kirsten McTernan

Something wicked this way comes…again: Macbeth, Leeds Playhouse, until March 23

AMY Leach reactivates her 2022 Leeds Playhouse production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth with a wickedly good cast, now led by Ash Hunter, who returns to Yorkshire after his terrific Heathcliff in Emma Rice’s Wuthering Heights at York Theatre Royal.

“Macbeth investigates the nature of belief, love, ambition and desire, asking us to root for two humans who drive each other to do utterly terrible things,” says Leach. Box office: 0113 213 7700 or   

Let the games begin: Gemma Curry, left, Claire Morley and Becky Lennon in Hoglets Theatre’s A Midsummer Night’s Mischief at York Theatre Royal Studio

Shakespeare shake-up of the week: Hoglets Theatre in A Midsummer Night’s Mischief, York Theatre Royal Studio, March 9, 10.30am

EVERYTHING is kicking off as the fairies in the forest start a fight, but which side will you be on? Team Titania or Team Oberon? York company Hoglets Theatre presents an interactive, fun, larger-than-life production for young children, based on Shakespeare’s comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Expect wild characters, raucous singalong songs, puppets, stunts and some frankly ridiculous disco dancing from director/writer Gemma Curry and fellow cast members Claire Morley and Becky Lennon. Box office: 01904 623568 or

Comedian Matt Green: “Trying to make sense of the world”. Picture: Karla Gowlett

Political satire of the week: Matt Green: That Guy, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, March 10, 8pm

THE debut national tour by That Guy (@mattgreencomedy) is a stand-up show full of jokes both political and non-political after he achieved millions of views for his online satirical videos launched in lockdown.

Green is touring his first show “since the madness of Covid/Johnson/Truss/Lord-knows-what-else began”, trying to make sense of the world in another year of elections and culture wars. Box office:

Jake Bugg: Playing our city on his Your Town Tour

Singer-songwriter of the week: Jake Bugg, Your Town Tour 2024, York Barbican, Tuesday, doors 7pm

ON his 15-date tour, Nottingham singer-songwriter Jake Bugg is performing two sets per night, first acoustic, then electric, as he rattles through his biggest hits, plus songs from 2021’s top three-charting Saturday Night Sunday Morning.

Two nights earlier, founder member Graham Gouldman leads art pop and soft rock innovators 10cc on their Ultimate Ultimate Greatest Hits Tour 2024 at 7.30pm. Ticket availability is limited. Box office:

Peppa Pig’s Fun Day Out: Songs, muddy puddles and snorts at the Grand Opera House

Children’s show of the week: Peppa Pig’s Fun Day Out, Grand Opera House, York, Wednesday, 1pm and 4pm, and Thursday, 10am and 1pm

PEPPA Pig is joined by her family and friends as they head to the zoo and the beach for a special party, with the promise of a fun-packed day. Prepare to sing with colourful scarecrows, feed the penguins, build big sandcastles and even swim in the sea in a show packed with songs, dancing, muddy puddles, giggles and snorts. Box office:

Facing the shift from hell in the worst bar in town: Sophie Bullivant, Abi Carter, Holly Smith and Laura Castle in Rowntree Players’ Shakers

Comedy play of the week: Rowntree Players in Shakers, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, March 14 to 16, 7.30pm and 2.30pm Saturday matinee

WELCOME to Shakers, the worst bar in town where everyone wants to be seen. Carol, Adele, Niki and Mel face the shift from hell. The lights are neon, the music is loud, and shoes must be smart. No trainers.

Jane Thornton and John Godber’s 1984 comedy exposes the sticky-floored world behind the bar on a busy Saturday night. Here come the girls, the lads, the yuppies and the luvvies, all played by Sophie Bullivant, Laura Castle, Abi Carter and Holly Smith under the direction of Jamie McKeller, who worked previously with Bullivant and Castle on Godber’s Teechers in 2023. Box office: 01904 501935 or

Rebecca Vaughan in Dyad Productions’ Austen’s Women: Lady Susan, scheming at Theatre@41 for two days

Solo show of the week: Dyad Productions in Austen’s Women: Lady Susan, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, March 15, 7.30pm and March 16, 2.30pm

FROM the creators of I, Elizabeth, Female Gothic, Christmas Gothic and A Room Of One’s Own comes a new Austen’s Women show, based on Jane Austen’s first full-length work from 1794, performed by Rebecca Vaughan.

Created entirely from letters, this one features the devil-may-care Lady Susan, the coquettish, scheming black widow, hunting down not one, but two, fortunes. Then add oppressed, rebellious daughter Frederica; long-suffering sister-in-law Catherine; family matriarch Mrs De Courcy and insouciant best friend Alicia in this darkly comic tale of Georgian society and the women trapped within it. Box office:

Shock in shirts: Comedian Milton Jones will be displaying his sartorial eloquence in his Ha!Milton tour show

Gig announcement of the week: Milton Jones, Ha!Milton, Grand Opera House, York, September 7; Sheffield, City Hall, December 4; King’s Hall, Ilkley, December 8

MILTON Jones, the shock-haired master of the one-liner, will take his 2024 tour, Ha!Milton, on the road from September 3 to December 15. “This is not a musical,” says Jones, in a nod to the title.

“I am tone deaf and have no sense of rhythm, but at least I don’t make a song and dance about it. This is a whole new show of daftness. You know it makes sense.” Topics will include giraffes…“and there’s a bit about tomatoes”. Box office:; York,; Sheffield,; Ilkley,

In Focus: Navigators Art & Performance, GUNA: Views and Voices of Women, City Screen Picturehouse, York

Collaborative banner by Navigators Art workshop group, including first-time artist
s, for York International Women’s Week 2024

YORK collective Navigators Art & Performance presents GUNA: Views and Voices of Women, at City Screen Picturehouse, Coney Street, York, from March 10 to April 5.

Run in association with York International Women’s Week 2024, this exhibition explores and celebrates the creativity of women and non-binary artists.

On show in the cafe and the upstairs gallery is an array of paintings, textiles, collages, photographs and more by 20 emerging and established York makers, curated by York artist Katie Lewis.

Navigators Art & Performance’s poster for GUNA: Views and Voices of Women

“Women have used textiles as an art form to tell their stories and express views for centuries,” says Katie. “Many of the artists are using recycled fabrics that give further meaning to their work.”

The official launch night event on March 11 offers the chance to meet the artists over a complimentary drink from 6pm.  All are welcome, with no need to book; more details at

The exhibition is free to enter every day during cinema hours. City Screen is fully accessible.

Suffragette City, by Katie Lewis

NAVIGATORS Art & Performance will co-host GUNA: An Evening of Music, Spoken Word, Performance Art and Comedy to complement the exhibition and further celebrate the creativity of women and non-binary artists in The Basement at City Screen on March 23 from 7pm to 10.45pm.

GUNA is a version of the ancient Greek word for ‘woman’, leading to a line-up of
poets Danae, Olivia Mulligan and Rose Drew; performance artist Carrieanne Vivianette; global songs and percussion from Soundsphere; original music from Suzy Bradley; comedy from Aimee Moon; and a rousing appearance by the multi-faceted singer, author and artist Heather Findlay.

“The venue is small and our shows often sell out, so book soon,” advises Navigators’ organiser, Richard Kitchen. Full details and TicketSource booking are available at

Strictly champion Ellie Leach turns Scarlett for theatre debut in comedy whodunit Cluedo 2 at York Theatre Royal

Ellie Leach, front right, as interior designer Annabel Scarlett with fellow cast members Hannah Boyce, Jack Bennett, Edward Howells and Jason Durr in Cluedo 2, on tour at York Theatre Royal fromTuesday to Saturday. Picture: Alastair Muir

WHAT did 2023 Strictly Come Dancing champion Ellie Leach do next?

The answer: Make her stage acting debut as Miss Scarlett in the world-premiere British tour of the comedy whodunit Cluedo 2, marking the 75th anniversary of the Hasbro boardgame.

Next stop, York Theatre Royal, from March 12 to 16, a run that will coincide with Manchester-born Ellie’s 23rd birthday next Friday.

She replaced Helen Flanagan in the five-month tour after her fellow former Coronation Street star was advised to withdraw for medical reasons. “It all happened very quickly,” says Ellie. “I went into rehearsals while I was doing the last week of the Strictly tour. They were already in their second week when I joined.

“It was very hectic, but as soon as I arrived, everyone made me feel so welcome. I’ve been having lots of fun!”

She jumped at the chance to take to the stage in her first role since playing Faye Windass in the ITV soap from 2011 and 2023.

Scarlett fervour: After Coronation Street and Strictly Come Dancing, Ellie Leach is enjoying the new challenge of her stage theatre debut in Cluedo 2. Picture: Alastair Muir

“Cluedo is such an iconic board game, isn’t it. Everyone enjoys playing it,” says Ellie. “I read the script and I loved it. The writers have an amazing track record.”

Those writers are the BAFTA Award-winning stage and screen-writing duo Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, of Birds Of A Feather, Goodnight Sweetheart and Dreamboats And Petticoats fame no less. Then add a director with comedy clout too: Mark Bell, who directed Mischief Theatre’s alarmingly funny catastrophic capers in The Play That Goes Wrong and The Comedy About A Bank Robbery. “The team behind this show is incredible,” says Ellie. “Who wouldn’t want to work on it?!  I feel very lucky to be part of the show’s journey.”

Cluedo 2 – The Next Chapter, the follow-up to the play based on Jonathan Lynn’s 1985 film Clue, is an original comedy whodunit, set in the Swinging Sixties. Cue new house, new bodies, new suspects, in a tale of murder, mystery and secret passageways.

What happens?  Fading rock’n’roll legend Rick Black (Liam Horrigan) is broke, desperate for cash to run his expensive new home, Graveny Manor, and prepared to do anything to regain his fame and fortune.

Excited to reveal his long-awaited comeback album, Black has assembled his supermodel wife, the Honourable Emerald Peacock (Hannah Boyce); his manager, Colonel Eugene Mustard (Jason Durr, from Heartbeat and Casualty); long-time roadie “Professor” Alex Plum (Edward Howells), trusted interior designer Annabel Scarlett (Leach) and housekeeper Mrs White (Dawn Buckland), who came with house and who knows all its secrets.

However, someone is missing: Black’s former song-writing partner “The Reverend” Hal Green (Gabriel Paul), who disappeared mysteriously at the same time that Black’s career went downhill. What’s more, where did that butler, Wadsworth (Jack Bennett) come from?

First meeting: Jason Durr’s Colonel Eugene Mustard introduces himself to Ellie Leach’s Annabel Scarlett in the comedy whodunit Cluedo 2. Picture: Alastair Muir

As the bodies start to pile up, the ever-colourful characters move from room to room trying to escape the murderer and survive the night, while PC Silver (Tiwai Muza) and audience alike look for the clues to unravel the secrets, seeking to work out whodunit, with what, and where!  

“What’s really fun is playing a character that’s evolved from a board game,” says Ellie. “You can do a lot with it, and there’s so much that’s different about Miss Scarlett from the first play.

“Every Cluedo character is iconic but you can put your own stamp on it; there’s lots of layers to each one and it’s been interesting to delve into them: how they are when they’re together; how they are when they’re on their own.”

Miss Scarlett by name, but is she scarlet by nature? “People may have that perception of her, but she has more to her than that,” says Ellie, as the company continues rehearsals under Bell after opening the tour in Richmond, Surrey, on February 29. “There’s hints of scarlet, but other things too!”

Ellie is “so excited to join the cast of Cluedo 2 after an incredible year”, the year when she waltzed her way to winning Strictly Come Dancing with Italian dancer Vito Coppola last December. “It was an absolute dream come true to take part but for us to lift the Glitterball Trophy with Vito was something I will cherish for the rest of my life,” she says. “I treasure that feeling of joy at the public voting for us each week.”

Cluedo 2 runs at York Theatre Royal, March 12 to 16, 7.30pm plus 2pm Thursday and Saturday matinees. Box office: 01904 623568 or

In the red: Ellie Leach’s Miss Scarlett looks alarmed in Cluedo 2. Picture: Dave Hogan

REVIEW: Wise Children in Emma Rice’s Blue Beard at York Theatre Royal *****

Tristan Sturrock’s Blue Beard versus Katy Owen’s Mother Superior in Wise Children’s Blue Beard

PRESS night for Wise Children’s Blue Beard coincided with Thursday’s release of the findings of Lady Elish Angiolini’s inquiry into the murder of York-born Sarah Everard by Met Police officer Wayne Couzens.

That murder was among the triggers for Wise Children writer-director Emma Rice deciding to write her version of the fairy tale Blue Beard, a gruesome tale of controlling women that she had previously avoided and never liked, “not wanting to add to the number of dead women scattered throughout our literature and media”.

Haunted by “the regular and painful chime of murdered woman in the news”, Rice woke one morning with the story knocking powerfully at her dreams. She duly wrote what she calls a wonder tale of vibrant, flawed, joyful living women, working together to turn the tables on the violent aggressor, “taking down the ones who threaten us” in a revenge story of female friendship, intellect and survival that is both defiant and hopeful.

The review to this point is quoting in depth from Rice’s interview, outlining her need, brought on by anger, to use her craft, platform and experience to make a small difference. Her motive was not to understand or excuse Blue Beard but to breathe life into the women he sought to control, celebrating them in “all their wild and surprising glory”, saying “enough is enough; we will not be afraid anymore.”

Emma Rice: The snap, crackle and pop of modern theatre

“It certainly won’t be boring,” she promised. Boring? Has any Emma Rice production, whether for the pioneering Kneehigh Theatre or now Wise Children, ever been boring, whether Brief Encounter, Malory Towers or Wuthering Heights?!

Blue Beard, her fifth supernova of a Wise Children show, is everything modern theatre should be: intelligent, topical, provocative, surprising; full of music, politics, “tender truths”, mirror balls and dazzling costumery; comedy as much as tragedy; actors as skilled at musicianship as acting and dancing to boot; embracing the Greek, Shakespearean, cabaret, kitchen sink and multi-media ages of theatre.

Seamless scene changing too by designer Vicki Mortimer, with a combination of furniture on wheels, doors centre stage, and curtains being closed and opened to conceal and reveal as if by magic. That’s how to stage a show. Then add Rice’s Blue Beard (Tristan Sturrock) now being a magician. Cue knife-throwing with a real point to it.

Emma Rice makes audacious theatre, full of mischievous imagination and stylish innovation in her vow to “entertain, move and transport”. She does so with a bravura flourish that means broad comedy and terror, a potty-mouthed nun and a filmic slow-motion climactic fight, a dig at Jamie Oliver cookbooks and CCTV film footage of the lead-up to a murder can collide and elide in one play, replete with gutteral physicality and grace.

Welcome to the Convent of the Fearful, the F****d and the Furious, where the nuns all wear shades and the terrific Katy Owen’s blue-bearded Mother Superior rules with waspish wit, fearless frankness, frightening zeal and a shrill referee’s whistle.

Revenger’s tragicomedy: Patrycja Kujawska’s Treasure wreaks vengeance on Tristan Sturrock’s Blue Beard in Wise Children’s Blue Beard

Into Rice’s overlapping stories are woven the young, modern-day Adam Mirsky’s Lost Brother and Mirabelle Grimaud’s guitar-playing Lost Sister, and the timeless triumvirate of sisters Lucky (Robyn Sinclair), Trouble (Stephanie Hockley) and their mother, Treasure (Patrycja Kujawska), reminiscent of the Witches in Macbeth.  Enter Blue Beard, whom Trouble will marry – and if he’s looking for Trouble, he’s in the right place, as he meets his match. 

All the while, be beguiled by the playing of Stu Barker’s Sister Susie of the Dulcimer and the superb movement direction and choreography of Etta Murfitt.

In the words of Rice: “Using music, dance, and storytelling, I want the production to seduce with high comedy, tragedy, magic, romance and just a sprinkle of spine-tingling horror. It’s a blockbusting rollercoaster!”

Couldn’t put it better! Rice’s Blue Beard is bloody funny, but shocking; violent, furious, dark yet enlightening; as romantic and joyful as it is fearful; empowering in its feminism, pulling reality from fantasy, haunting yet hopeful at the last. Remarkable, breathtaking theatre for today yet rooted in the ages, demanding a better tomorrow. You MUST see Blue Beard. It’s certainly not boring, Emma.

Wise Children presents Blue Beard at York Theatre Royal until March 9, except Sunday and Monday. Performances: 7.30pm plus 2pm Thursday and 7.30pm Saturday matinees. Box office: 01904 623568 or