What's On in Yorkshire - August 2021

Presenter Jules Hudson - 5 on the Farm 

Presenter Jules Hudson will be at the 5 on the Farm Festival - Credit: Channel 5

Outdoor events, festivals and fun on the farm - the best of summer events are here 

July 31 – October 31
Kedisha Coakley
As an artist, Coakley — the recipient of the 2020 Yorkshire Graduate Award who recently completed her BA in Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam University — focuses on challenging racial and cultural stereotypes. This exhibition features her sculpture, photography and printmaking work that encourages viewers to “reconsider social-historical narratives.”
Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 01924 832631 ysp.org.uk

August 5
An Evening with Bruce Dickinson
Years ago, if you'd enjoyed an evening with Bruce Dickinson, the chances are you would have woken up with the mother of all hangovers and absolutely no memory of the night before. Now Bruce has calmed down somewhat (he's a well-known polymath and pilot for a start, who enjoys a spot of fencing and beer-brewing), and is adept at telling entertaining tales from his extraordinary career as rock frontman for pioneering heavy metal outfit, Iron Maiden.
St George's Hall, Bradford, 01274 432000 bradford-theatres.co.uk

August 6 - 8
Gateways Festival
Can we all get together in a field now and jump around for a few days? It seems as though we can. Cue, then, the Gateways Festival, which includes live music (from the likes of Razorlight, Scouting for Girls, Feeder, Lightning Seeds, Buzzcocks and Toploader), outdoor cinema (The Greatest Showman and Bohemian Rhapsody), a fairground, street food, bars and stalls.
Aireville Park

August 8 - 18
International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival
It was cancelled last year — something to do with a global pandemic, apparently — but the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival is back and raring to go for 2021 (all things being equal).  Performances include HMS Pinafore, The Mikado and a brand-new production of Patience; plus The Pirates of Penzance and The Yeomen of the Guard from Forbear! Theatre.
Royal Hall, Harrogate, 01422 323252 gsfestivals.org

From The Specials

From The Specials - Credit: From The Specials

August 8
From The Specials
Neville Staple — formerly of The Specials and Fun Boy Three — is out on the road to celebrate 40 years of being a Rude Boy (in the nicest possible way, of course), and that includes appearing at the Leeds Ska and Mod Festival. By the by: the actual Specials are playing The Piece Hall, Halifax, on August 29th.
Millennium Square, Leeds, 0113 378 6988, millsqleeds.com

Judge Jools is among the line up at NY Music Festival 

Judge Jools is among the line up at NY Music Festival - Credit: NYMF

August 13 - 15
North Yorkshire Music Festival
The fate of this summer's music festivals has looked rather precarious, thanks to You Know What; yet this three-day event seems to be going ahead at the time of writing. That's good, because the excellent line-up of DJs and bands includes Judge Jools, Danny Rampling, Toploader, The Hoosiers and Lawson.
Canada Fields park


Mamma Mia, here we go.... - Credit: Brinkhoff-Moegenburg

August 13 – 30
Mamma Mia!
This is the first time that the original Mamma Mia! stage show has been performed in the open-air. If you've only ever seen the film, you'll notice that it features the same threadbare plot. But who cares when you're bathing in the glow of some of the most magical pop songs ever written, including SOS, Supertrouper, and Dancing Queen?
Harewood House, 0113 218 1010 harewood.org

August 14
Culture Club
When Culture Club first burst onto the music scene in 1982, it was obvious that the band was destined to become a pop phenomenon. At least, it was obvious to me from the moment my dad peered at Top of the Pops over his newspaper, perused Boy George for a few seconds and announced: 'Tcha. What DOES he look like?' Forty years later, they're still chipping away at the musical coalface, and turn up in Scarborough to canter through their greatest hits.
Scarborough Open Air Theatre scarboroughopenairtheatre.com

August 14 
Magpies Festival 
Transatlantic folk group The Magpies host their inaugural Magpies Festival in the grounds of Sutton Park stately home, ten miles north of York.  This family friendly festival line-up includes some of the UK’s finest folk musicians. A range of food and drink will be on offer, including a bar provided by Yorkshire brewery Brass Castle and a BBQ served by Sutton-on-the-Forest’s The Rose &  Crown pub. Camping overnight is permitted on Saturday night. 
themagpiesfestival.co.uk Instagram: themagpiesfestival  

August 15
The Prodigal Son
Opera on Location's remit is to bring the people of Sheffield high-quality, affordable opera in unique locations. This time, Debussy's The Prodigal Son gets the open-air treatment, with a newly commissioned English libretto written by the production’s director, Ashley Pearson, and music performed by a 10-piece instrumental ensemble. “We are absolutely delighted to have secured funding to enable us to return to live performance for the first time since the pandemic started,” says Opera on Location's Co-Artistic Director, Gareth Lloyd.
Kelham Island Museum operaonlocation.co.uk

August 18 - 21
The Promise of a Garden
The Quarry Theatre at the Leeds Playhouse is being transformed into “a horticultural haven” for a show which celebrates “what nature has meant to us during the last difficult year”. Locals have been asked to contribute to the production by making flowers out of scraps of material — or by gifting real ones.
Leeds Playhouse, 0113 213 7700, leedsplayhouse.org.uk

August 23– 28
Looking Good Dead
Shock and, indeed, horror. It was reported last year that Adam Woodyatt — aka Ian Beale — was being written out of EastEnders so that the actor could take a break from the soapy rigours of Albert Square (altogether now: “Doof-doof-doof-doof-doof-doof...”). This allows Woodyatt to play the lead in an adaptation of a Peter James thriller about a man who becomes the witness to a vicious murder. Trouble is, reporting the crime to the police only seems to make matters worse. Gulp. Gaynor Faye co-stars.
Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield 0114 249 6000 sheffieldtheatres.co.uk

August 23 - 30
Leeds Opera Festival
This year's festival celebrates the operas of Gustav Holst, and includes a touring production of The Wandering Scholar (which plays eight venues in Leeds and West Yorkshire), plus a double bill of At the Boar's Head and Savitri (based on a story from the Mahābhārata). What's more, composer Sarah Sayeed and librettist Jaspreet Kaur have written a five-minute work reimagining Savitri for 21st century audiences; and there are free talks, workshops and events, and a new exhibition celebrating 300 years of operatic history in Leeds.
Various venues

Around the World in 80 Days: a 'joyful, very energetic, very silly and highly acrobatic re-telling of the story'

Around the World in 80 Days: a 'joyful, very energetic, very silly and highly acrobatic re-telling of the story' - Credit: York Theatre Royal

August 25 - 28 
Around the World in 80 Days
This production of the Jules Verne classic tours to three outdoor venues in York — Carr Junior School (August 6-8), Archbishop Holgate School (August 14-16) and Joseph Rowntree School (August 18-21) — before ending up indoors on stage at the Theatre Royal. It's been adapted by the YTR's Creative Director Juliet Forster, who calls it a 'joyful, very energetic, very silly and highly acrobatic re-telling of the story, delivering the kind of experience that live theatre does best.
York Theatre Royal, 01904 623568, yorktheatreroyal.co.uk

August 28
Shed Seven
How about this for an all-Yorkshire indie line-up? It's an outdoor gig that starts with Leeds bands The Wedding Present and Pigeon Detectives, and ends with York Britpop survivors Shed Seven (you know their hits: Going for Gold, Disco Down, Chasing Rainbows, etc). Local lads Skylights also make an appearance.
The Piece Hall, Halifax, 01422 525200 www.thepiecehall.co.uk

Presenter Jules Hudson - 5 on the Farm 

Presenter Jules Hudson will be at the 5 on the Farm Festival - Credit: Channel 5

August 28 - 30
5 on the Farm Festival
Ooh-arrr. Channel 5's new farmy festival at Cannon Hall features an impressive agricultural line-up including Ben Fogel, Amanda Owen, Peter Wright and Julian Norton (of course), Helen Skelton and... er... Peppa Pig. Various Milkshake presenters (Kemi Majeks and York-born Jen Pringle) also get in on the act.
Cannon Hall Farm, Cawthorne, Barnsley 5onthefarm.com

August 31 – September 4
Educating Rita
A Liverpudlian hairdresser takes an Open University course and crash-lands into the life of an embittered alcoholic lecturer. Willy Russell's sparky Pygmalion-style play was made into an award-winning film with Julie Walters and Michael Caine. Now, to celebrate its 40th anniversary, it's touring theatres again, with Stephen Tompkinson and Jessica Johnson in the lead roles.
York Theatre Royal, 01904 623568 yorktheatreroyal.co.uk

Details correct at the time of going to press. Please check all events on appropriate prior to travelling and following Covid guidelines