What’s On in Ryedale, York and beyond when Monet…that’s what you want. Here’s Hutch’s List No. 15, from Gazette & Herald

Florally attired York Art Gallery senior curator Dr Beatrice Bertram stands by Claude Monet’s The Water-Lily Pond, on loan from the National Gallery. Picture: Charlotte Graham

FROM Monet to Martin Carthy, a Shakespeare play in a day to Henry VIII’s life and loves, teenage blues to country rambles, Charles Hutchinson sees how the cultural land lies.

Exhibition of the summer: National Treasures: Monet In York: The Water-Lily Pond, York Art Gallery, in bloom until September 8

FRENCH Impressionist painter Claude Monet’s 1899 work, The Water-Lily Pond, forms the York centrepiece and trigger point for the National Gallery’s bicentenary celebrations in tandem with York Art Gallery. 

On show are key loans from regional and national institutions alongside York Art Gallery collection works and a large-scale commission by contemporary artist Michaela Yearwood-Dan, Una Sinfonia. Monet’s canvas is explored in the context of 19th-century French open-air painting, pictures by his early mentors and the Japanese prints that transformed his practice and beloved gardens in Giverny. Tickets: yorkartgallery.org.uk.

Steven Arran: Directing Shakespeare’s Speakeasy’s debut play in a day in York at Theatre@41, Monkgate

York debut of the week: Shakespeare’s Speakeasy, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, tonight (16/5/2024), 7.30pm

SHAKESPEARE’S Speakeasy is heading from Newcastle to York for the first time, making its Theatre@41 debut under the directorship of Steven Arran. “It’s Shakespeare, but it’s secret,” he says. “Can a group of strangers successfully stage a Shakespearean play in a day? Shakespeare’s Speakeasy is the place for you to find out.”

After learning lines over the past four weeks, the cast featuring the likes of Claire Morley, Esther Irving and Ian Giles meets for the first time on Thursday morning to rehearse an irreverent, entertaining take on one of Bill’s best-known plays, culminating in a public performance. Which one? “Like all good Speakeasys, that’s a secret,” says Arran. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.

Sarah McQuaid: Playing Helmsley Arts Centre on Friday

Folk gig of the week: Sarah McQuaid, Helmsley Arts Centre, Friday, 7.30pm

BORN in Madrid to a Spanish father and folk-singing American mother, raised in Chicago and holding dual Irish and American citizenship, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sarah McQuaid is long settled in west Cornwall.

She has released six albums, When Two Lovers Meet (1997), I Won’t Go Home ’Til Morning (2008), Crow Coyote Buffalo (written and recorded with Zoe Pollock under the name Mama, 2008), The Plum Tree And The Rose (2012), Walking Into White (2015), If We Dig Any Deeper It Could Get Dangerous (2018) and The St Buryan Sessions (2021). Box office: 01439 771700 or helmsleyarts.co.uk.

Jack Abbot’s Henry VIII: Regal performance in Divorced, Beheaded, Died at Milton Rooms, Malton

History lesson of the week: Divorced, Beheaded, Died – An Evening With King Henry VIII, Milton Rooms, Malton, Friday, 7.30pm

THE year is 1544, when King Henry VIII is engaged on royal progress about his realm, halting in Malton on Friday to afford his loyal subjects the opportunity to have “audience” with their sovereign lord and king.

In Select Society Theatre Company’s one-man, two-act show, Jack Abbot’s Henry recounts the events of his life and long reign with tales of his wives and children, concluding with an audience Q&A. DNA tests, by the way, have revealed that Jack is Henry’s 21st cousin, six times removed. Box office: 01653 696240 or themiltonrooms.com.

Toby Lee: Blues prodigy heads to the Fulford Arms on Saturday

Blues gig of the week: Toby Lee, Fulford Arms, York, Saturday, 7.30pm

BLUES rock prodigy Toby Lee, the 19-year-old Oxfordshire guitarist and singer, will be playing 100 shows home and abroad this year, 40 of them his own headline gigs, 60 as a special guest of boogie-woogie pianist Jools Holand.

The 2023 Young Blues Musician of the Year learned his trade playing Zack Mooneyham in the first West End production of School Of Rock and has since shared stages with his hero Joe Bonamassa, Buddy Guy, Peter Frampton and Slash. First up, Fulford Arms on Saturday, then come Jools engagements at York Barbican on December 1 and Leeds First Direct Arena on December 20. Box office: ticketweb.uk/event/toby-lee-the-fulford-arms-tickets/13366163.

A seascape by artist Ione Harrison, who leads Sunday’s workshop at Helmsley Arts Centre

Workshop of the week: Seascapes with artist Ione Harrison, Helmsley Arts Centre, Sunday, 10am to 1pm

ARTIST Ione Harrison hosts a workshop suitable for all levels, from beginners to anyone wanting to explore new techniques, exploring the magic of watercolour in a mindful and playful way – no drawing needed.

Participants will create two atmospheric seascapes of the North Yorkshire coast, with room for artistic licence, using a limited but vibrant palette, trying out fun techniques, such as cling film, spatter and wax resist, plus raditional washes and wet-on-wet painting. Refreshments will be available. Bookings: visit ioneharrison.co.uk/book-online. 

Mikron Theatre cast members Eddie Ahrens, left, Mark Emmon, Georgina Liley and Lauren Robinson: Presenting an outdoor performance of Common Ground at Scarcoft Allotments, York, on Sunday afternoon. Picture: Robling Photography

Touring play of the week: Mikron Theatre in Common Ground, Scarcroft Allotments, Scarcroft Road, York, Sunday, 2pm

ON tour on narrow boat and canal, van and land until October 18, Marsden company Mikron Theatre present Common Ground, writer and lyricist Poppy Hollman’s hike through the history of land access in England, where only eight per cent of land is designated “open country”.

Under the direction of Gitika Buttoo, actor-musicians Eddie Ahrens, Georgina Liley, Lauren Robinson and Mark Emmon tell the tale of the fictional Pendale and District Ramblers as they look forward to celebrating their 50th anniversary walk, but the path has been blocked by the landowner. How will they find their way through? No reserved seating or tickets required;  a “pay what you feel” collection will be taken post-show.

Martin Carthy: Folk trailblazer

Gig announcement of the week: Martin Carthy, The Band Room, Low Mill, Farndale, July 27, 7.30pm

“WHAT we like most about Martin Carthy is that to us he’s a local hero who will once again take the high road from Robin Hood’s Bay to Farndale, jewel in the crown of the North York Moors National Park, to renew his acquaintance with The Band Room,” says gig promoter Nigel Burnham.

Carthy, 82, who has enjoyed trailblazing folk partnerships with Steeleye Span, Dave Swarbrick, wife Norma Waterson and daughter Eliza Carthy, brings to the stage more than half a century of experiences and stories as a ballad singer, groundbreaking acoustic and electric guitarist and insatiably curious interpreter and arranger of other artists’ material and trad songs. Box office: thebandroom.co.uk.

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