What’s On in Yorkshire - October 2013

Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil - Credit: Archant

A guide to the best entertainment around the county chosen by Tony Greenway


October 18th-20th

Musicport Festival

Who says DJ music is only for the young? Whatever you do don’t tell that to Derek Morris who turns 72 this year and whose blend of 1960s rocksteady, reggae, ska, dancehall and soul music has made him an icon to many in the music industry, including a host of Jamaican producers and trip hop kings, Massive Attack.

Derek MCs (oh yes, we’re down with the kids here at Yorkshire Life) under the name DJ Derek and has played popular sets at major festivals, including Glastonbury and The Big Chill plus he’s featured in a Dizzee Rascal music video, starring as a DJ in a disco hall for pensioners. No typecasting THERE. Here’s the thing, though, Derek has announced that he’ll be appearing on a festival stage for the last time when he features at this year’s Musicport, so catch him while you can. For the full-line-up of this always entertaining world music event, log onto the website.

Whitby Pavilion Whitby 01947 603475 musicportfestival.com

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October 30th & 31st

Illuminating York

York’s annual light show extravaganza came in for a bit of stick last year from the local press, because there was a) an entry fee and b) the less-than-spectacular content – curated by Vic Reeves – could best be described as ‘quirky’. The theme for 2013 is Illuminating the Past, Enlightening the Future, so fingers crossed for a better show this time around.

York city centre illuminatingyork.org.uk


October 3rd – 20th

Blood + Chocolate

This isn’t just any theatre production. This is the biggest production in the North this year; a large scale, al fresco promenade show from Pilot Theatre, Slung Low and York Theatre Royal, written by Yorkshire-based playwright, Mike Kenny and billed as ‘a citywide adventure through the streets of York’. A cast of 200 will explore the stories of the workers and owners of York’s chocolate factories during the First World War, and audiences will follow the story from the York Theatre Royal through the city’s streets and landmarks. See our feature with Mike Kenny in this edition for more details.

York city centre 01904 623568 yorktheatreroyal.co.uk

October 1st-5th


Great reviews have followed this funny/sad play featuring Maureen Lipman, John Bowe and Harry Shearer (who, of course, provides voices for The Simpsons and starred in the 1984 ‘mockumentary’ This is Spinal Tap). A happy couple are thrown off kilter by the unexpected arrival of a figure from their past. Moral dilemmas soon abound.

Sheffield Theatres 0114 249 6000 sheffieldtheatres.co.uk

October 5th-26th

My Generation

Set in Leeds, this is the story of a family — and a city — viewed through the prism of 40 years of alternative culture. Its author is Alice Nutter (no, it’s not her real name), founder member of Chumbawamba, who first wrote My Generation as play for BBC Radio 3.

West Yorkshire Playhouse 0113 213 7700 wyp.org.uk

October 2nd–November 2nd

The Winter’s Tale

Hot on the heels of an RSC version of Shakespeare’s tragic/comic play (which came to Yorkshire earlier this year), here’s another, directed by Sheffield Theatres’ associate director Paul Miller (The Daughter-in-Law, Democracy, Hamlet).

Crucible Sheffield Theatres 0114 249 6000 sheffieldtheatres.co.uk


October 8th

Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton

You might not like many — or any — of Tim Burton’s movies: Batman and Batman Returns, Edward Scissorhands, Mars Attacks!, Sleepy Hollow, Corpse Bride, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Alice in Wonderland… they can be an acquired taste. But even the most ardent Burton-dismisser would have to admit that the music in his movies is often noteworthy and frequently sublime. The composer Burton always uses to score his films is the brilliant, four-time Oscar-nominee Danny Elfman and, following a world premiere at the Royal Albert Hall, this concert, showcasing these and other Elfman soundtracks, now comes to Leeds (and is the only date in the North). Elfman will make an exclusive special guest performance, too.

First Direct Arena Leeds 0844 248 1585 firstdirectarena.com

October 12th

Bruno Mars

Don’t know your Bruno Mars from your Olly Murs? You’re probably over 35, then. But don’t worry; you can get acquainted with the former’s music when he plays Sheffield Arena this month. Expect performances of Just the Way You Are (not that one: you really ARE over 35, aren’t you?), Grenade and The Lazy Song, among other hits.

Motorpoint Arena Sheffield 0114 256 5656 motorpointarenasheffield.co.uk

October 19th

Jessie J

You know all about Jessie J’s life philosophy by now because she’s told us a million times: it ain’t about the money, money, money. It ain’t about the — oh — c-ching, c-ching; ain’t about the — yeah — b-bling, b-bling. She just wants to make the world dance. (You’ll still need to pay to get in, though.)

Motorpoint Arena Sheffield 0114 256 5656 motorpointarenasheffield.co.uk


October 23rd – 27th

Cirque du Soleil: Alegria

It’s difficult to explain what (or who) Cirque du Soleil is to anyone who hasn’t seen it (or them) but, essentially, it’s an exhilarating mash-up of circus and street entertainment which has dazzled almost 100 million people in 300 cities across five continents since its creation in 1984. This particular Cirque du Soleil show, Alegría, has played to over 10 million people worldwide (it’s a Spanish word that means happiness, joy and jubilation), showcases incredible acrobatics and features a cast of 55 performers and musicians from around the world.

First Direct Arena

Leeds 0844 248 1585 firstdirectarena.com


October 15th & 16th

Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet

The New York-based Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet takes ballet and fuses it with modern and popular dance forms. The company made headlines when Emily Blunt trained with them for her role in The Adjustment Bureau with Matt Damon (terrible film, great dance sequences) and one of the CLCB members, Ebony Williams, featured in Beyonce’s Single Ladies video.

Alhambra Theatre Bradford 01274 432000 bradford-theatres.co.uk


October 6th-19th

Harrogate Comedy Festival

Here’s a funny thing. No, really. It’s a VERY funny thing. The Harrogate Comedy Festival is back with a line-up that includes everyone from Alexi Sayle and Stewart Lee to Pam Ayres and Reginald Perrin writer David Nobbs and if that isn’t the definition of ‘something for everyone’, I don’t know what is. Other comics on the bill include Paul Foot (8th), Josh Widdicombe (13th), Ardal O’Hanlon (16th) and Tony Law (18th). I’ve been asked to say you can follow the festival, too, on Twitter using hashtag #HCF13.

Various venues 01423 502116 harrogatetheatre.co.uk

October 18th & 19th

Bill Bailey: Qualmpeddlar

Bill Bailey isn’t just a stand-up comedian and That Bloke Off Never Mind the Buzzcocks. He’s a gifted keyboard and guitar player, too, cleverly working music into his shows. In this latest one, Qualmpeddlar, he’s on top surreal, witty, caustic and musical form.

Alhambra Theatre Bradford 01274 432000 bradford-theatres.co.uk

Also Leeds Grand Theatre October 28th & 29th

0844 848 2700 leedsgrandtheatre.com And York Barbican October 30th & 31st 0844 854 2757 yorkbarbican.co.uk



October 18th

Joo Yeon Sir & Irina Anrievsky

Joo Yeon Sir is a young Korean-born British violinist who, aged 16, was overall Grand Prix Laureate at Nedyalka Simeonova International Violin Competition in Haskovo, Bulgaria. Since then she’s won numerous competitions and awards in the UK and abroad and, in this concert, will be joined by pianist Irina Anrievsky. The programme includes Mozart Sonata for Violin and Piano in B flat major and Beethoven Sonata No 5 in F major for Violin and Piano. Part of the Chamber season at Bradford Cathedral.

Bradford Cathedral 01274 432000 bradford-theatres.co.uk

October 11th-13th

Leeds Lieder

This is the fifth Leeds Lieder, the biennial weekend festival established to ‘promote the enjoyment, understanding, appreciation, composition and performance of art-song’. For a run-down of the programme and more information, see our feature interview with festival director Jane Anthony in this edition.

Various venues Leeds leedslieder.org.uk


October 6th

Seth Lakeman

Just the thing for folky folk, Seth Lakeman has released six albums including 2005’s Mercury-nominated Kitty Jay through to his latest, Tales from the Barrel House. Here, Seth and his band will play tracks from all his previous studio albums, plus some new songs.

Royal Hall Harrogate 01423 502116 harrogatetheatre.co.uk