What’s On in Yorkshire - May 2014

Breakin convention

Breakin convention - Credit: Belinda Lawley

A guide to some of the best entertainment around the county this month compiled Tony Greenway


May 19th- June 7th


In the past, Enjoy has been described as an Alan Bennett play ‘for the Big Brother age’. It tells the story of Wilf and Connie Craven, an old couple who have lived their whole lives in a Leeds back-to-back. Soon, though, their estate will be demolished and they’ll have to move into a brand new maisonette with “a waste disposal unit and non-slip vinyl flooring.” In the middle of the Cravens’ bickering (he wants to go, she doesn’t), a social worker turns up to sit in the corner of the room and observe their daily routine.

West Yorkshire Playhouse

0113 213 7700

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May 30th – June 14th

Last Train to Scarborough

A creepy tale running as part of the Yorkshire Festival and based on one of the Jim Stringer mystery novels by Yorkshire-born author Andrew Martin. Set in 1914, Stringer investigates the disappearance of a railway fireman who worked on the last train from York to Scarborough. A cast of suspects emerge at a local guest house but — gulp — will Stringer be next in line for the same treatment? Billed as ‘a unique multimedia theatrical experience featuring film sequences shot in the National Railway Museum and on location in North Yorkshire’.

Stephen Joseph Theatre


01723 370541


May 14th

War Correspondents

This powerful production, created by composer Helen Chadwick and choreographer Steven Hoggett, was inspired by a meeting Chadwick had with a photographer Jon Spaul, who worked in the first Chechen war. The result is a blend of testimony, music and choreography to tell incredible stories of a rare breed of journalist.

Harrogate Theatre

01423 502116


May 1st-3rd

Kissing Sid James

Now THERE’S a title that grabs your attention. It’s a romantic comedy two-hander from Robert Farquhar about Eddie, a stationery salesman, and Crystal, the gorgeous, funny and confident croupier at the local casino, who also happens to be the girl of his dreams. The title? It comes from an old flame of Eddie’s who — he remembers at one point — wasn’t impressed with his snogging technique. Kissing him, she had said, was like kissing Sid James. Ouch. What does that do for a man’s confidence?

Harrogate Theatre

01423 502116


May 14th - 24th

One Man, Two Guvnors

This award-winning National Theatre production — a huge hit in London and on Broadway, where it starred James Corden — has become one of the most talked about plays of recent years. The plot is about a man working for two bosses at the same time: a gangster (who isn’t all he seems) and a posh criminal. Audience participation is part of the show, so don’t sit too close to the stage or you might find yourself roped into the action. The tour comes to Hull in June and Bradford in July.



0114 249 6000


The Hoarder

A few years ago, a Channel 4 documentary told the story of Richard Wallace, a real life chronic hoarder who filled his home with tonnes of rubbish. That was the inspiration for this play, which outlines the friendship between Richard and the gardener who slowly gained his trust.

May 1st -3rd

Stephen Joseph Theatre


01723 370541



May 9th

The Square Chapel


01422 349422



May 13th & 14th

Lawrence Batley Theatre


01484 430528



May 22nd



0113 224 3801



May 29th

Hull Truck Studio

01482 323638



Until July 6th

Yorkshire Festival

Now well under way in the run-up to Le Grand Départ (you must have been living down t’pit if you didn’t know that Tour de France is coming to Yorkshire in July), this massive festival promises music, dance, theatre, film, art, sculpture and “one or two art forms there probably isn’t a name for yet.” That means everything from African drumming workshops to a production of Noel Coward’s Hayfever, and open air film screenings to performances by string quartets. One of the many highlights this month includes Graham Watson and Bernard Thompson’s photography of Le Tour at The White Cloth Gallery in Leeds.

Various venues

0113 322 3500


May 24th – June 7th

Swaledale Festival

It’s — oh dear, sorry — full steam ahead for the Swaledale Festival when the Pacific locomotive 4464 Bittern launches the event with three outings on the Wensleydale Railway. There are lots of excellent artists on the programme once things get going: flamenco guitarist Nick Wilkinson, glam cellist Natalie Clein, the Britten Oboe Quartet and the Cleveland Chamber Orchestra to name a few. Our favourite, though, has to be the billing for the Reeth Lecture which reads ‘Michael Fish: The Ultimate Weapon of Mass Destruction.’ Not Fish himself, of course; he’s talking about climate change.

Various venues

01748 880019


May 3rd-5th

Dales Festival of Food & Drink

Apart from all the top local goodies on display, the festival will include Gary Verity, CEO of Welcome to Yorkshire, speaking about Tour de France Grand Départ freewheeling through Leyburn in July. Also expect a beer tent and wine bar, plus guests including Gervase Phinn and Neil Hanson — author of The Inn at the Top — who has tales of running the highest pub in Britain.



07909 586 358


May 21st - 25th

Beverley & East Riding Early Music Festival

Artists include Elin Manahan Thomas and lutenist David Miller (21st); the Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments with dancer Steven Player (22nd); vocal ensemble I Fagiolini directed by Robert Hollingworth (23rd), appearing as part of the Yorkshire Festival; internationally acclaimed harpsichordist Andreas Staier (24th), and the choral ensemble Magnificat (24th).

01904 658338


May 24th & 25th

Malton Food Lovers Festival

Now with a burgeoning reputation as a top spot for food-lovers, Selina Scott’s favourite market town (she has her sock shop there, you know) features a host of tasty delights including producers’ stalls, live cookery demos, street food, a festival bar, plus guest chefs Jean-Christophe Novelli, James Mackenzie and Andrew Pern (who are also patrons). What are you waiting for? Dig in.

Town centre and venues


May 4th-12th

Pocklington Tulip Festival

Have you ever been to Burnby Hall Gardens in Pocklington? You should. The grounds are lovely and, this month, become the setting for the Pocklington Tulip Festival. Then there’s the small but fascinating Stewart Museum, which is dedicated to the travels of the late owner of Burnby Hall, Major Percy Stewart. In his writings, the major recalls how his wanderlust began. ‘I suddenly said to my wife: “We’re terribly dull people, let’s travel around the world and then we shall have something to talk about”’. So, often accompanied by his other half, the major visited remote regions of every continent between 1906 and 1926 in search of adventure. These were different times, of course, and if Stewart saw an animal in the wild he’d invariably try to shoot it; the heads of his various kills are displayed all around the walls. It’s like stepping into another — very un-PC — era. Before the Burnby Hall festival there’s a Tulip Festival (also run by the Wakefield and North of England Tulip Society) in another gorgeous setting of Constable Burton Hall in Wensleydale, with its impressive gardens featuring 6,500 tulips.

Burnby Hall Gardens




May 3rd - 5th

Constable Burton Hall Tulip Festival


01677 450428



May 10th

Breakin’ Convention

If a quick step is your idea of an edgy dance, you might want to stay away from this Sadler’s Wells production which launched 11 years ago as a celebration of hip hop culture. For everyone else, though, it’s a lot of fun and features performances, DJs, dancers, demonstrations and workshops.

Doncaster CAST

01302 303 959



May 15th-17th

Museums at Night 2014

You know that Ben Stiller movie where all the exhibits in the natural history museum come spookily to life at night? Well, this annual UK-wide night-time festival of arts, heritage and culture is NOTHING like that. Obviously. Although, if you go to the event at Yorkshire Museum and Gardens on May 15th, you should get a glimpse of an exotic creature rarely seen around these parts. Yep: potter Grayson Perry will feature in a special Teddy Bear-themed evening. Lots of Yorkshire venues are taking part in Museums at Night, from Harewood House and Fairfax House to Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the Craven Museum and Gallery in Skipton. Log onto the website for a full rundown.

Various venues



May 10th

Miley Cyrus

Once, Miley Cyrus — daughter of Billy ‘Achy Breaky Heart’ Cyrus — was a squeaky-clean teen pop princess from harmless but annoying kids’ TV series, Hannah Montana. Then she grew up and there was all that twerking business (yes twerking, Google it) at an awards ceremony last August and, suddenly, she was on the front page of every newspaper in the world, leaning forward with her tongue sticking out. Now she’s coming to Yorkshire where she will no doubt twerk again, like she did last summer. If two hours of that is your kind of thing, do have fun.

First Direct Arena


0844 248 1585


May 23rd

Katy Perry

She’s one of the biggest recording stars in the world at the moment – factoring in Lady Gaga and Beyonce, of course — and her latest album, Prism, has been a hit of epic proportions (although its lead single, Roar, got pretty annoying, especially if you live with a 12-year-old who plays it every five minutes on average). Is there any stopping Katy Perry now? Actually, no. We don’t think there is.

Sheffield Motorpoint Arena

0114 256 5656


May 21st

Blair Dunlop

Who is Blair Dunlop? Good question. In fact, he’s a 22-year-old BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards winner who’s been a regular at folk festivals in the UK and abroad, and who tours as a solo artist and as the front man of The Albion Band. He has a new album out this month, too, which he’ll be showcasing at gigs in York, Sheffield and Hull. Blair is the young folk generation. The Seekers — you know, Judith Durham and all — are the older folk generation, and they’re playing The Barbican in York on May 18th. It’s their 50th year and final tour. Thought you ought to know.

The Basement


0871 902 5726



May 24th



01482 221113



May 28th

The Greystones


01142 665 599


May 10th

Spires & Boden

Harrogate Theatre

01423 502116


Spiers and Boden are the founders and and frontmen of folk superstars Bellowhead; although on, their website, the pair say that this is their ‘last set of performances together as a duo for the foreseeable future.’ Better get them while they’re hot, then.