What’s on in Yorkshire during October

Squeeze in concert at Harrogate Convention Centre

Squeeze in concert at Harrogate Convention Centre - Credit: Archant

Entertainment and events around the region chosen for you by Tony Greenway


October 4th-14th

Pride and Prejudice

Everyone loves Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, don’t they? My favourite part of the novel is when the brooding Darcy — tormented by his unrequited feelings for heroine, Elizabeth Bennet — dives into a lake, and emerges dripping wet in his linen shirt and breeches. I also like the bit in chapter four when the spoiled Lydia Bennet flies into a rage after discovering that her Netflix account has expired and the shocking moment halfway through, as the awful Lady Catherine de Bough reveals that she’s been having breakdancing lessons every Tuesday in the walled garden, and that her real name is Bernard.

No, of course not. None of these things and, spoiler alert, that includes Darcy’s impromptu swimming session, appears in the Austen novel. But, you know, writers who adapt the classics for film, TV and the theatre have been known to take the odd liberty with the source material from time to time (yes, I’m looking at you, Andrew Davies).

This version of Pride and Prejudice — a co-production with the Nottingham Playhouse Theatre Company and the York Theatre Royal — should be different, however. Written by comedian Sara Pascoe (the darling of every television panel show you can think of), the idea is to stay true to the original text, rather than be influenced by any of the other adaptations that have gone before. That’s easy to say, though, and rather harder to do. Initially, adapting a novel which a lot of people love froze Pascoe with fear. ‘It took me a long time to start writing because I was so worried about people being disappointed with it not looking how they pictured it,’ she says. ‘(In the novel) Elizabeth isn’t a punk; but she doesn’t keep her mouth shut and she is opinionated and maybe slightly too loud and quick to judge — so I wanted to go back to that.’ It’s the comic showpiece of the York theatre season, and promises to be a big hit.

Most Read

York Theatre Royal 01904 623568 yorktheatreroyal.co.uk

October 23rd-28th

The Best Man

He won’t thank me for reminding you, but you can currently see Martin Shaw’s earlier acting work every day on ITV4 where The Professionals seems to be on a permanent loop. This is his most recent acting work, however: a revival of a 1960 Gore Vidal play which is Apt with a capital A. Two men run for the US presidency: one is deeply ethical and profoundly liberal the other is a bigot who is fond of spouting populist rhetoric. Sound like anyone we know?

The Lyceum, Sheffield 0114 249 6000


September 27th-October 7th

The Kings of Hull

A new comedy written and directed by John Godber (former Hull resident and former leading light of Hull Truck) about three generations of the Kings, a family from the city who are ‘struggling to cope in a changing world’.

Hull New Theatre 01482 300306


October 18th–November 4th

Uncle Vanya

Chekhov’s masterpiece is directed by Tamara Harvey, artistic director of Theatr Clwyd.

Studio Theatre, Sheffield 0114 249 6000


October 17th -21st

It Could Be Any One of Us

Dick and Lottie, the Huddersfield company specialising in the work of Sir Alan Ayckbourn (and why not?), present the old master’s 1983 murder mystery which he wrote with three different endings, and three different murderers. So even if you’ve seen it before, you still might not know whodunit...

Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield

01484 430528 thelbt.org

October 21st-26th

George’s Marvellous Medicine

Roald Dahl’s fabulous and funny story about a boy who tries to treat his horrible granny’s bad attitude with a medicine of his own creation. Don’t try this at home, kids.

Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

01723 370541 sjt.uk.com

October 17th-28th

The Tin Drum

Günter Grass’s surreal and disturbing book was made into an equally surreal and disturbing film in 1979. Here’s Kneehigh theatre’s take on the same tale about a precocious three-year-old who, disillusioned with life and the world around him, decides to stop growing. The company are presenting it as ‘a musical satire: part Baroque opera, part psychedelic white-out, part epic poem. A burlesque, a blitzkreig, a tidal wave about to break.’

West Yorkshire Playhouse

0113 213 7700 wyp.org.uk

September 30th–October 21st

(The fall of) The Master Builder

An intriguing take on Ibsen’s Master Builder from writer Zinnie Harris; a tragedy about a respected middle-aged architect whose life crumbles when he falls for the charms of a younger woman. Reece Dinsdale stars.

West Yorkshire Playhouse

0113 213 7700 wyp.org.uk


October 17th–28th

The Band

You’re either hugely excited about this jukebox musical from Gary Barlow and Tim Firth, or dreading it: I suppose it depends on how much of a Take That fan you might be/are married to or how avidly you watched the BBC’s Let it Shine talent show from earlier in the year which unearthed its cast members. You might remember that there was some kerfuffle about the whole enterprise when it was revealed that the band themselves don’t have any spoken lines of dialogue in the show – they ‘just’ do the singing and dancing.

The Alhambra, Bradford 01274 432000


October 24th-28th


Seriously, what good is sitting alone in your room? Come hear the music play – especially as some of the songs in this legendary Kander and Ebb show (Willkommen, Two Ladies, Money) are sung by Will Young in the role of the Emcee (which he first played on stage in the 2012 London revival). Louise Rednapp plays Sally Bowles and should be able to belt out her numbers: she was once called Louise Nurding and had a career in the nineties girl group, Eternal.

Leeds Grand Theatre 0844 848 2720



October 14th-15th

Flavours Food Festival

After the success of last year’s Flavours fest, the event has been extended to a lip-smacking two days. The star turn this year is Nadiya Hussain, Great British Bake Off champion and host of the BBC’s Bake Off wannabee, the Big Family Cooking Showdown.

Elsecar Heritage Centre, Barnsley

01226 740203 elsecar-heritage.com

September 29th–October 15th

Ilkley Literature Festival

The stars are out in Ilkley for the next two weeks. Opened by Yorkshire royalty – that’s Alan Bennett to you – this year’s event features Sarah Millican, Richard Osman, Shami Chakrabarti, Judy Murray, Richard Dawkins, June Sarpong, Victoria Derbyshire, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Armando Iannucci, Stuart Maconie, Martin Bell, Evan Davies and Tim Vine’s funnier older brother, Jeremy.


October 20th-22nd

Musicport Festival

Three days of indoor music and entertainment from around the world, with headliners Rafiki Jazz (Friday), Afro Celt Soundsystem (Saturday) and Benjamin Zephaniah and the Revolutionary Minds (Sunday).

Whitby Pavilion 01947 603475


October 2nd–8th

Humber Mouth Literature Festival

How about this for good timing? The Humber Mouth reaches its 25th glorious year, neatly tying in with the Hull 2017 celebrations. The event includes appearances by Melvyn Bragg, Monica Ali, Will Self, Sally Gardner, Alex Wheatle and comedian and writer, Sara Pascoe, who has also adapted the new stage version of Pride and Prejudice in York this month.

Hull Central Library and other venues

01482 300300 humbermouth.com

October 2nd-14th

Harrogate Comedy Festival

Big names from the UK comedy circuit converge on Harrogate, like a particularly starry version of Live at the Apollo. Expect Jason Manford, Shappi Khorsandi, Jason Byrne, Stewart Lee, Jimmy Carr, Andy Parsons and the self-lacerating comedy of Simon Amstell.

Harrogate Theatre & Royal Hall

01423 502116



September 27th–November 19th

Space Descent VR with Tim Peake

Now this is brilliant: Tim Peake’s spacecraft – the actual one that blasted him off to the International Space Station – splashes down in Bradford, just in time for the half-term hols (you can still see the char marks on the craft’s outer body from its re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere). A range of activities, including a virtual reality experience, will be displayed alongside Tim’s craft.

National Science and Media Museum

Bradford 0844 856 3797


October 21st & 22nd

The Yorkshire Vet at Countryside Live

The success of Channel 5’s The Yorkshire Vet – the fly-on-the-wall documentary series starring Julian Norton and Peter Wright – means a new look for the annual Countryside Live event in Harrogate. New features include live Yorkshire Vet shows in the Main Ring, an expanded children’s section including Channel 5’s Milkshake Live show and pop-up country pub, plus special guests.

Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate

01423 541000 countrysidelive.co.uk

October 9th

An Evening with Dan Brown

The American thriller writer who shot to global fame with the international hit, The Da Vinci Code featuring the Harvard professor, Robert Langdon, is in Harrogate to launch his new book Origin and discuss his life’s work. The event, his only appearance in the UK, is part of Harrogate International Festivals. which delivers two major literary festivals each year. The arts charity’s literature festivals manager Victoria Ibbertson, said the fact that he and his publishers, Penguin, have chosen to launch book with them was testimony the festival’s reputation for positioning Harrogate as one of the country’s leading literary destinations. Dan Brown, who lives in New England, is the bestselling author of Digital Fortress, Deception Point, Angels and Demons, The Da Vinci Code, The Lost Symbol and most recently, Inferno. Three of his Robert Langdon novels have been adapted for the screen by Ron Howard, starring Tom Hanks.

Royal Hall, Harrogate 01423 562303



September 30th–January 14th

Gordon Snee: The Joy of Seeing

Sculptor Simon Wigglesworth-Baker believes that painter Gordon Snee should be viewed among the great abstract artists of the second half of the 20th century’.

He isn’t, however. In fact, in the art world, the name Gordon Snee remains stubbornly anonymous. Although he studied at the prestigious Slade School of Art in London and painted from the late 1940s to 2013, Snee didn’t exhibit his vibrant abstract paintings often and led — says his website — ‘an unremarkable life’, commuting every day to the Manchester College of Art where he worked as a lecturer.

In fact, it was only after his death that Snee’s body of work became clear: his daughter, Jo, found a huge collection of his paintings that no-one had seen — and they were all remarkable.

In recent years, Jo has been championing her dad’s work, running a couple of pop-up exhibitions in disused buildings in Sheffield’s Kelham Island, and restoring and framing his hundreds of paintings, drawings, wood and lino-cuts. Meanwhile, Sheffield-based Ernest Wright and Son Ltd, one of Britain’s last hand-made scissor factories, donated space for the Snee Studio, where his pictures are stored (and viewed by appointment).

So why wasn’t Snee more successful? His champions point to the CIA’s ‘secret art war’, a global programme of publications, films, concerts and exhibitions that is reported to have promoted American art, music and literature and which succeeded in shifting the world’s art capital from Paris to New York (it’s been claimed that European artists had been deliberately shut out of the professional art market as a result and that included people like Snee.)

So is Snee an undiscovered genius? You can make up your own mind by visiting Dean Clough which is presenting this very first retrospective of his work. Alongside the exhibition there are talks about Snee’s work, a book launch, and projects with The Brooksbank School in Elland and Longley College in Sheffield.

Crossley Mills, Dean Clough, Halifax

01422 250250 deanclough.com

Until October 31st


Three Yorkshire artists – Geoff Hewitt, Angela Bell and Heather Burton – display their work in the Hull branch of House of Fraser to celebrate Hull’s City of Culture year. This includes several paintings inspired by the store, plus work that reflects the trio’s Hull and East Yorkshire links.

House of Fraser, Hull hull2017.co.uk

September 30th-November 30th

Hull International Photography Festival

An annual exhibition which takes place across Hull, attracting professional and amateur photographers, with locations including the Hull International Photography Gallery.

Various venues, Hull


October 20th–January 28th

Alina Szapocznikow

A Polish-Jewish artist who died in 1973 at the age of 47, and whose overlooked work has been reappraised in the last 10 years. Imprisoned for over 10 months in Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps, Szapocznikow’s trademark was to turn casts of body parts into sculptures. This will be the first UK retrospective of her fascinating and unsettling work.

The Hepworth Wakefield 01924 247360


Until November 26th

The Call of the Land

An exhibition of large scale charcoal landscape drawings by John Creighton, an established artist living and working in Ryedale. Entry is free, opening times 10am-4pm and worth a visit.

Ryedale Folk Museum, Hutton le Hole

01751 417367 ryedalefolkmuseum.co.uk


October 28th


Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford, south London’s finest songwriting duo, have always had a winning way with a melody and an arch lyric. This talent helped them shape some of the most enduring songs of the last 40 years: Up the Junction, Cool for Cats, Another Nail in My Heart, Pulling Mussels (from the Shell), Tempted, Take Me I’m Yours and their own personal favourite (although not a big hit), Some Fantastic Place. I could go on. If you have a ticket, lucky you. You’re about to see genius at work.

Harrogate Convention Centre 01423 502116 harrogateconventioncentre.co.uk

October 17th, 27th & 28th

Little Mix

Candy-covered pop from a Simon Cowell supergroup. Yes, love ‘em or loathe ‘em, Little Mix really are the biggest girl band in the world right now and they’re here to play songs from their latest album, Glory Days. Also at the First Direct Arena in Leeds on October 14th.

Sheffield Arena 0114 256 5656


October 5th

Neil Diamond

With a sparkly jacket, hair like Shredded Wheat, a signature voice and a back catalogue that stretches back 50 years (this is the man who wrote I’m a Believer for the Monkees, remember), Neil Diamond returns to the UK to exercise his golden tonsils and run through his greatest hits.

First Direct Arena 0844 248 1585


October 21st

Tubular Bells

Mike Oldfield’s insanely popular 1973 concept album is performed live by Tubular Brass, a 28-piece brass band. As a bonus you also get Mary Casio: Journey to Cassiopeia by electronic artist and composer Hannah Peel that combines synthesizers and brass.

The Barnsley Civic 01226 327000


October 20th

Zoe Rahman

Outstanding jazz piano from the classically trained, Oxford-educated British/Bengali musician who has played with everyone from George Mraz, Courtney Pine and Jerry Dammers’ Spatial AKA Orchestra – and been nominated for the Mercury Music Prize, too. Superb.

The Alhambra, Bradford

01274 432000



October 7th

Trial by Jury

Gilbert and Sullivan’s first operetta is a hilarious courtroom farce and, in the best G&S tradition, it’s also absurdly catchy. Part of the Little Greats season of short opera double bills, it appears at Hull New Theatre on October 27th.

Leeds Grand Theatre 0844 848 2720


October 11th, 14th & 18th

Osud (Destiny)

Leos Janácek’s semi-autobiographical opera, told in three acts. Part of the Little Greats season of short opera double bills.

Leeds Grand Theatre 0844 848 2720


October 11th, 13th & 14th

Trouble in Tahiti

Leonard Bernstein’s first opera is a satire on the American dream. Part of the Little Greats season of short opera double bills, it appears at Hull New Theatre on October 27th.

Leeds Grand Theatre 0844 848 2720


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