What’s on in Yorkshire - June 2014

Alan Bennett

Alan Bennett - Credit: Archant

THEATRE

Throughout June

Alan Bennett Season

Where better to have a season of Alan Bennett plays than Leeds? He was born in Armley, after all. Enjoy is a satire about northern working-class life set in Armley and runs from May 19th-June 7th. Untold Stories (June 2nd - 21st), also set in Armley, premiered at the National in London last year, and is ‘a personal piece about love, family, music and loss’; Betty Blue Eyes (June 11th - July 5th) is a musical based on the screenplay for Bennett’s porky comedy, A Private Function, and Talking Heads (June 23rd-July 5th) is a collection of much-loved television monologues, re-imagined for the stage. Oh, and on June 8th there’s an audience with the great man himself.

West Yorkshire Playhouse 0113 213 7700 wyp.org.uk

June 30th-July 19th

Beryl

Most Read

Actress Maxine Peake (from Shameless and Silk) makes her stage writing debut with this production (based on her Radio 4 play from 2012). And guess what? It’s about cycling. The Beryl of the title is Morley-born Beryl Burton, who was five times world champion, 13 times national champion and twice road-racing world champion. She was, basically, just champion.

West Yorkshire Playhouse 0113 213 7700 wyp.org.uk

June 16th - 21st

Last of the Duty Free

Remember Duty Free, the ITV sitcom from the 1980s, recorded in a Yorkshire Television studio pretending to be Spain? Written by Eric ‘Rising Damp’ Chappell and Jean Ware, it was a ratings hit that probably went on for a bit longer than it should. Now the cast — Keith Barron, Gwen Taylor and Neil Stacy — is back again in this 30 years-later stage show. Joanna Van Gyseghem, who played Barron’s bit on the side love interest in the original series, wasn’t able to appear, so glamour-puss actress Carol Royle is taking her place.

Lyceum Sheffield 0114 249 6000 sheffieldtheatres.co.uk

June 25th-July 19th

Krapp’s Last Tape

Fancy a bit of Beckett? Old Samuel was certainly an acquired taste (see Endgame and Waiting for Godot), but if nihilism is your thing, he’s your man. Here, Richard Wilson, no less, stars in a one-man, one-act play about a character, Krapp, sitting alone on his 69th birthday, listening to a tape recording he made 30 years earlier. In the past, Krapp has been played by everyone from Max Wall and John Hurt to Harold Pinter and Michael Gambon, so it’ll be interesting to see how Wilson takes on the part without the spectre of Victor Meldrew interfering.

Studio Sheffield 0114 249 6000 sheffieldtheatres.co.uk

June 17th-21st

Jacqueline Wilson’s Hetty Feather

The woman who gave us Tracy Beaker spins another children’s adventure about a young girl in a foster home, but this time in Victorian London. Mixing ‘live music, circus skills and a huge heart’ it’s recommended for children of seven and over.

Crucible Sheffield 0114 249 6000 sheffieldtheatres.co.uk

June 16th-21st

Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap

The Mousetrap is famous around the world and has been running for 273 years. Actually, I might have got that figure wrong; but it’s certainly the longest running show of any kind in the history of British theatre (I’ve just checked: this is actually its 60th year, which is why it’s celebrating with a national tour). Go along and join the club of people who have seen it — but don’t tell anyone whodunit…

Harrogate Theatre 01423 502116 harrogatetheatre.co.uk

June 5th-7th

2’s Company

Here are a number of shows that might be small in scale but are big on ideas and originality. They include an outdoor performance for one, on the theatre roof (Hurtling); a participatory show about contactability from Hannah Jane Walker and Chris Thorpe (I Wish I Was Lonely); a gig that comes to you (Tom Adam’s Lounge Gigs); an intimate story telling experience gathered around a miniature snowbound village (An Icy Man) and an immersive fantasy bike ride (Le Grand Voyage).

Harrogate Various locations 01423 502116 harrogatetheatre.co.uk

June 24th & 25th

The Book

Using movement, live music and projection, Yorkshire-based theatre company Flying Cloud explore friendship, identity and possibility and demonstrate the power of the written word.

Harrogate Theatre 01423 502116 harrogatetheatre.co.uk

COMEDY

June 5th - 8th

Dawn French

Dawn French is used to appearing on stage — but she usually does so with her long-time comedy partner Jennifer Saunders. This is her first ever solo show, and it’s directed by Michael Grandage.

Lyceum Sheffield 0114 249 6000 sheffieldtheatres.co.uk

FILM

June 28th

Bicycle Thieves

Students of film will tell you that this isn’t just one of the best-known Italian neo-realist movies — it’s one of the best films ever made. Directed by the great Vitorrio De Sica, it tells the story of a poor father (Lamberto Maggiorani) in post World War II Rome who uses a bicycle for his work — and what happens to him when it’s stolen by a young opportunist. I see Hollywood re-making this in 3-D with Johnny Depp in the lead role and Cameron Diaz as his love interest — but set in an apocalyptic future populated by killer robots. (No, OK. I don’t really).

Howard Assembly Room Leeds 0844 848 2700

June 12th

Philomena

Steve Coogan has given us Alan Partridge, Saxondale, The Trip with Rob Brydon and a sterling turn at the Leveson Inquiry; but this is, without doubt, his finest moment. Based on the book by journalist Martin Sixsmith, it tells the true story of how Sixsmith (played by Coogan) helps Irish mother Philhomena Lee (a fantastic-as-always Judi Dench) track down the son she was forced to give up by Catholic nuns. Funny, moving and Oscar and BAFTA-nominated.

Lawrence Batley Theatre Huddersfield 01484 430528 thelbt.org

FESTIVALS

June 13th-28th

Grassington Festival

Grassington is a jewel in Yorkshire’s festival crown. Apart from the range and quality of the artists it attracts every year, its setting is insanely pretty. The line-up is stellar too: expect Heather Small, ex-Rolling Stone Bill Wyman (appearing with his Rhythm Kings), Only Men Aloud, The Bad Shepherds featuring Adrian Edmondson, comedian Omid Djalili and broadcaster Kate Adie. For classical music fans there’s the Gala Concert at the Town Hall, Nicholas Daniel and the Carducci String Quartet, Violin duo Retorica and soloist Bone Boneventura. The Food Festival returns too, plus the Festival in the Square Saturdays, with live music and street theatre. And did we mention that gorgeous setting?

Various venues 01756 752691 grassington-festival.org.uk

June 20th-22nd

Beverley Folk Festival

Now firmly established as a major music and arts event with line-ups that keep getting bigger and better. This year, artists include Billy Bragg, Chas and Dave, Thea Gilmore, Home Service, Martin Carthy and Eliza Carthy, comics Mitch Benn and Sean Hughes, poet John Hegley, broadcaster Andy Kershaw and author Michael Morpurgo reading from War Horse. Seriously good.

Beverley Racecourse 01377 217569 beverleyfestival.com

June 27th - July 5th

Hebden Bridge Arts Festival

At the time of writing, the festival’s programme was under wraps but you can expect headline events, street theatre, a youth festival, a picnic prom, the Hebden Shorts and — in honour of Le Grand Depart — something of a cycling frenzy.

Various venues 01422 417373 hebdenbridgeartsfestival.co.uk

June 28th & 29th

Leeds Waterfront Festival

The festival weekend is the one before Le Grand Depart — so there’s going to be a sense of celebration in the air this year. Events will take place along the waterfront from Thwaite Mills, Leeds New Dock, Brewery Wharf, The Calls, Minster, Victoria Wharf to Granary Wharf, and the programme includes the spectacular Dragonboat Race on Saturday.

leedswaterfrontfestival.com

June 29th

Homegrown Food Festival

A free event celebrating local food and the people who produce it. There’ll be stalls and live music, plus Brian Turner in the Food Theatre, along with James Cooper, head chef from the Cleveland Tontine and Jason Moore from the Provenance Inns group.

Northallerton homegrownfoodfest.co.uk

June 1st

Le Petit Depart

Not Le Grand Depart, you notice — that’s next month. No, this is a new cycle event celebrating the majesty of the Yorkshire Dales that follows much of Le Grand Depart route. There are two to choose from: a relatively flat 33-mile recreational ride up and back down the Upper Wharfedale valley and a 78-mile version over hill and dale (literally).

Yorkshire Dales (Starting from Skipton) lepetitgranddepart.co.uk

CONCERTS

June 16th & 17th

Robbie Williams

The ego has landed. You might not like Robbie Williams — has he faced a backlash of late? — but someone is buying his albums: he’s sold over 70million of them, had seven number ones and his first seven CDs reached number one in the UK, putting him on a level with — wait for it — Elvis. This tour features songs from his latest album, Swings Both Ways, a sequel of sorts to Swing When You’re Winning.

First Direct Arena Leeds 0844 248 1585 firstdirectarena.com

June 14th

Kings of Leon

This American ‘rawk’ band — comprised of the Followill brothers — has been a mega-success all around the world (and rumour is that Brad Pitt, no less, wants them to play at his wedding to Angelina Jolie. My invitation hasn’t yet arrived for some reason). Earlier this year they released their Grammy-nominated No.1 album Mechanical Bull and set off on a massive European tour (of which this is part). Like, totally, dude.

Motorpoint Arena Sheffield 0114 256 5656 motorpointarenasheffield.co.uk

June 3rd

Billy Ocean

People over 45: here’s my question of the month for you. Whatever happened to Billy Ocean, the Trinidad-born star who had hits in the 1970s and 1980s with Red Light Spells Danger, Caribbean Queen and When the Going Gets Tough (The Tough Get Going)? Answer: nothing. He’s still on the scene, still plugging away. And, to prove it, he turns up in Harrogate this month and brings his calypso beats with him. Fab.

Royal Hall Harrogate 01423 502116 harrogatetheatre.co.uk

June 5th

Magic of Motown

This brand-new 2014 Reach Out Tour arrives in Wakefield celebrating 50 years of UK number one hit singles, with songs like Dancing in the Street, My Girl, Where Did Our Love Go, My Guy and Baby Love which rocketed to the top of the singles charts in 1964. Pure nostalgia.

Theatre Royal, Wakefield 01924 211311 theatreroyalwakefield.co.uk

CONCERTS

June 16th & 17th

Robbie Williams

The ego has landed. You might not like Robbie Williams — has he faced a backlash of late? — but someone is buying his albums: he’s sold over 70million of them, had seven number ones and his first seven CDs reached number one in the UK, putting him on a level with — wait for it — Elvis. This tour features songs from his latest album, Swings Both Ways, a sequel of sorts to Swing When You’re Winning.

First Direct Arena

Leeds

0844 248 1585

firstdirectarena.com

June 14th

Kings of Leon

This American ‘rawk’ band — comprised of the Followill brothers — has been a mega-success all around the world (and rumour is that Brad Pitt, no less, wants them to play at his wedding to Angelina Jolie. My invitation hasn’t yet arrived for some reason). Earlier this year they released their Grammy-nominated No.1 album Mechanical Bull and set off on a massive European tour (of which this is part). Like, totally, dude.

Motorpoint Arena

Sheffield

0114 256 5656

motorpointarenasheffield.co.uk

June 3rd

Billy Ocean

People over 45: here’s my question of the month for you. Whatever happened to Billy Ocean, the Trinidad-born star who had hits in the 1970s and 1980s with Red Light Spells Danger, Caribbean Queen and When the Going Gets Tough (The Tough Get Going)? Answer: nothing. He’s still on the scene, still plugging away. And, to prove it, he turns up in Harrogate this month and brings his calypso beats with him. Fab.

Royal Hall

Harrogate

01423 502116

harrogatetheatre.co.uk

June 5th

Magic of Motown

This brand-new 2014 Reach Out Tour arrives in Wakefield celebrating 50 years of UK number one hit singles, with songs like Dancing in the Street, My Girl, Where Did Our Love Go, My Guy and Baby Love which rocketed to the top of the singles charts in 1964. Pure nostalgia.

Theatre Royal, Wakefield

01924 211311

Theatreroyalwakefield.co.uk

OPERA

June 14th, 18th (& July 12th)

Götterdämmerung

You may need to bring a comfy cushion with you because this performance of Götterdämmerung (or Twilight of the Gods) is a feat of endurance lasting approximately six hours and 15 minutes, with two intervals — one of 30 minutes, and one of 75 minutes. Mind you, you kind of know it’s going to be epic going in. This is the last opera in Wagner’s Ring Cycle, after all. If you need staying power, though, think of the cast: Alwyn Mellor sings the role of Brünnhilde, with American tenor Daniel Brenna as Siegfried and Susan Bickley as Waltraute.

Town Hall

Leeds

0844 848 2700

leedsgrandtheatre.com

MUSICALS

June 10th-July 5th

Wicked

Something Wicked this way comes. In fact, if this award-winning Broadway musical doesn’t watch it, it’s going to become more popular than the all-conquering Wizard of Oz, the tale that spawned it (it’s actually based on the book Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, by Gregory Maguire). The songs, by Stephen Schwartz, are nothing less than fabulous, particularly the quirky and funny Popular and the soaring, rousing Defying Gravity. One of the biggest musical hits of recent times is landing its broomstick in Leeds.

Grand Theatre

Leeds

0844 848 2700

leedsgrandtheatre.com

EXHIBITIONS

June 7th-8th & 14th-15th

North Yorkshire Open Studios

This year, 126 artists will be opening up their studios for free to the public to showcase their talents: everyone from basket makers and blacksmiths, potters and painters, photographers and printmakers, stained glass makers and jewellery makers in spaces ranging from barns and farms to stables and country cottages. Studios are dotted right across North Yorkshire, from the hills of the Upper Dales to the streets of Harrogate, across the Vale of York to the North Yorks Moors and Coast.

Various venues

01756 748529

nyos.org.uk

Third Sunday of each month

Street Art Hull

A group of Hull and East Yorkshire-based artists have teamed up with Gordon Rason, director of a local estate agency, to launch Street Art Hull, a new venture aimed at promoting original art direct to the public. The first one took place over Easter — but exhibitions are planned to run throughout the summer, provisionally to coincide with market days on the third Sunday of each month, in Humber Street.

Humber Street, Hull

0776 800 8382

Until June 20th

A Kaleidoscope of Moths

Shandy Hall — where parson Laurence Sterne wrote the classic Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, in the mid-1700s (made into the film A Cock and Bull Story some years ago) — presents a programme of summer exhibitions. This first one features the work of Richard Lewington, considered to be the world’s finest illustrator of books about butterflies and moths.

Shandy Hall

Coxwold

01347 868465

laurencesternetrust.org.uk

Until January 2015

Ursula Von Rydingsvard

This exhibition from American artist Ursula von Rydingsvard has been in place since April — but if you haven’t seen it yet, now is a good time to go. It includes both drawings and massive installations, most of which are assembled from cedar beams, that are at once majestic, awe-inspiring and rather sinister.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

ysp.co.uk