BIG beards, food and funfairs galore, Irish whimsy, postcard art, tree theatre, Moronic music, female folk and a year’s notice of camp comedy catch Charles Hutchinson’s eye.
York Spring Festival and Food Fair, Clocktower Enclosure, York Racecourse, Knavesmire, York, running until June 5
IN its second year at York Racecourse, this event takes in the Platinum Jubilee long weekend celebrations to complement the 15 vintage funfair rides, food stalls, live music and family entertainment, highlighted by the lighting of York’s Jubilee Beacon on Thursday evening.
Look forward to 6.30pm performances by York musicians Huge, The Y Street Band, Hyde Family Jam and New York Brass Band, plus Wales’s Old Time Sailors.
Busiest of all will be York children’s entertainer, “balloonologist”, juggler and magician Josh Benson, performing his high-energy Just Josh show four times a day. Tickets: ticketsource.co.uk/yorkspringfair.co.uk.
Half-term festival of the week: Jorvik Viking Festival, York, today until Wednesday
NEARLY two and a half years after hordes of Viking warriors and settlers last descended on the city, York is ready for five days of Norse-themed fun and entertainment.
Moved from February to fit into the summer half-term holiday, the 2022 festival sees the return of a living history encampment, March to Coppergate, Strongest Viking and Best Beard contests and Poo Day at DIG, as well as a new arena event this evening, The Jorvik Games. For full festival details and tickets, go to: jorvikvikingfestival.co.uk. See full preview below.
Comedy gig of the week: Dylan Moran, We Got This, Grand Opera House, York, tonight, 8pm
DROLL Irish comedian Dylan Moran promises a joyously furious romp through the frustration and folly of modern-day life in his new tour show.
“These times have not been easy,” he says. “Learn how to make breakfast not even knowing you are out of bed. Diagnose the mirror, reason with the mice and boil yoghurt blindfolded. Enjoy the fruits of hurtling cognitive decline and your neighbours’ sprawling ghastliness, absence of humanity and so, so much more.” Box office: 0844 871 7615 or atgtickets.com/York.
Art event of the weekend: PICA Postcard Show and Sale, PICA Studios, Grape Lane, York, today and tomorrow, 10am to 4pm
THE artists at the PICA Studios workshop are branching out into one-off postcard artworks for one weekend only. Each postcard will sell for £25 to raise funds towards improving the studio space and to create a gallery in the foyer.
Taking part will be Lesley Birch, Evie Leach, Emily Stubbs, Katrina Mansfield, Ealish Wilson, Sarah Jackson, Ric Liptrot, Jo Edmonds, Lisa Power, Amy Stubbs, Mick Leach, Rae George, Lesley Shaw Lu Mason and Kitty Pennybacker. Purchases also can be made online via instagram@picastudios.
Family drama of the weekend: Badapple Theatre Company in Yorkshire Kernel, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, today, 2.30pm and 7.30pm
JAMES’S Grandad is at death’s door, but he has one last mission: to find a tree. Many trees in fact, scattered around the country in memory of his Second World War comrades. So begins writer, performer and puppeteer Danny Mellor’s play for Green Hammerton company Badapple.
Divided between being haunted by his plain-speaking grandfather, his mother rekindling her romance with an old flame, and James’s pregnant partner, Rosie, thinking he is cheating on her, Mellor’s “bonkers” solo show undertakes a journey of Yorkshire wit and grit through one man’s determination to leave a long-lasting legacy. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.
Cracking gig of the week: The Lovely Eggs, supported by Arch Femmesis and Thick Richard, The Crescent, York, tomorrow, 7.30pm
PROUDLY independent northern psychedelic punk rock duo The Lovely Eggs do not give up. After re-scheduling the tour to promote April 2020’s release of their I Am Moron album seven times, they play The Crescent at last this weekend.
Iggy Pop, no less, contributed to their track I, Moron. “For him just to say nothing but ‘moron’ over and over again fitted in with the sentiment of the song perfectly,” says Lovely Egg Holly Ross. “He just got it. We are all morons. In a world of moronic things. In a world of moronic ideas. You are Moron. I am Moron. We are Moron.” OK, Morons and Eggheads, tickets are on sale at thecrescentyork.com.
Folk gigs of the week: The Unthanks, Sorrows Away Tour, York Barbican, Tuesday, 7.45pm; Katherine Priddy, supported by George Boomsma, National Centre for Early Music, York, Wednesday, 7.30pm
RETURNING to touring after two years off the road, Northumbrian folk musicians The Unthanks will be previewing their upcoming autumn album Sorrows Away in their York Barbican debut with an 11-piece ensemble. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.
The following night at the NCEM, finger-picking guitarist and haunting singer Katherine Priddy performs enchanting songs on the theme of childhood, distant memories and whatever will follow next from last June’s debut album, The Eternal Rocks Beneath. Box office: 01904 658338 or ncem.co.uk.
Gig launch of the week: Tom Allen, Completely, York Barbican, May 28 2023
YOU will have to wait 12 months for comedian, raconteur, arch television jester and radio presenter Tom Allen’s new show, Completely, to arrive in York. Tickets go on sale rather sooner, from 10am on Monday at yorkbarbican.co.uk.
At 38, Bromley-born Allen has finally moved out of his parents’ house, prompting his eagerness to share his life updates, gain audience opinions on his vegetable patch and delve into the protocol of inviting friends with children for dinner.
Jorvik Viking Festival returns with more fun and games…
TENTS for an encampment are being set up in Parliament Street and screens installed at the Eye of York. Traders are transporting their wares to the Guildhall and St Sampson’s Square and a faint smell of mead is wafting through the air. Welcome to the return of the Jorvik Viking Festival.
Nearly two and a half years after hordes of Viking warriors and settlers last descended on the city, York is preparing for five days of Norse-themed fun and entertainment, starting today (28/5/2022).
Postponed from February to fit snugly into the half-term holiday before the Jubilee bank holiday, this year’s festival will see the return of such favourite events as a living history encampment, the March To Coppergate and the Strongest Viking and Best Beard contests, alongside a new arena event at 6.45pm this evening, The Jorvik Games.
“In February, our evening spectacular is usually a dramatic presentation of a Viking story, but with the evenings being so much lighter in May, our event will also be a little more fun,” says event manager Gareth Henry.
“The Viking Games will pit the finest warriors from four teams against each other, with spectators invited to pick their champion and cheer them on to victory. Henry. Of course, being Vikings, they might not always play by the rules – and with their own horde of supporters behind them on the arena field, sparks will fly with skirmishes inevitable!”
Tickets for The Jorvik Games are still available, priced £15 for adults and £11 for concessions, with family tickets also available at jorvikvikingfestival.co.uk.
While Saturday will be the festival’s busiest day, visitors from Sunday to Wednesday will enjoy a host of events and activities too. On Sunday, at 29/31 Coney Street, visitors can meet Vikings from all over Europe, brought together under the Erasmus scheme, including fun crafting activities.
Young warriors can hone their skills in Have-A-Go Sword sessions on the Parliament Street stage and the Ting Tang re-enactors will bring theatre to the stage every day too.
The last few places remain on crafting workshops taking place Monday to Wednesday at York Medical Society, on Stonegate, including Nalebinding (Viking knitting), Trichinopoly (wire weaving) and tablet weaving.
On Wednesday, Jorvik’s sister attraction, DIG in St Saviourgate, will host the ever-popular Poo Day, a chance for children (and adults!) to try their hand at making a replica Viking poo, based on the world-famous Lloyds Bank Coprolite (fossilised poo, should you be wondering).
Jorvik Viking Centre’s exhibition of items from the Silverdale Hoard, on loan from Lancashire County Museums, is also expected to be popular, with tickets for the attraction selling out for many time slots throughout the half-term break.
“With good weather forecast for the weekend, we’re expecting York to be particularly busy, so would urge visitors to pre-book their tickets wherever possible to avoid disappointment,” says Henry.
Full details of all Jorvik Viking Festival events can be found at jorvikvikingfestival.co.uk.