What's On in Yorkshire - December 2021
- Credit: SJT
From musical Madness to the most calming of choral Christmas, Tony Greenway finds something to please everyone this festive season.
November 13 - February 6
Mark Hearld, Raucous Invention: The Joy of Making
A brand new body of work from York-based artist Mark Hearld, featuring collages, lino cut prints, letter press prints and a large-scale mural. The exhibition is a collaboration with Leach Pottery in St Ives, which is presumably why it also includes a series of decorated hand-thrown platters.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Madness + Squeeze
How about this for a musical match made in heaven: north London nutty boys Madness with south London superstars Squeeze in support.
Prepare for a cornucopia of hits including Up the Junction, Pulling Mussels from the Shell, Cool for Cats and Tempted (from Squeeze) and One Step Beyond, Lovestruck, It Must be Love and Our House (from Madness).
Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel
Readers of a certain age will remember Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel's greatest hit, Come Up and See Me (Make Me Smile) which has become one of the most played songs on British radio, according to copyright collective, PRS. This is Harley's 48th year in the biz of music, and he's touring with a six-piece rock band.
Harrogate Royal Hall
The James Bond Spectacular
Feast your ears on Q the Music, a band that plays the music of Bond... James Bond. But this isn't just any old tribute act. Musical director Warren Ringham makes sure the songs and cues sound as close to the originals as possible. What's more, the concert is compered by Caroline Munro (from The Spy Who Loved Me).
St George's Hall
Until February 13th
This exhibition features 25 landscape drawings — presented alongside related paintings — that were only discovered to be the work of Thomas Gainsborough in 2013 (so just the 225 years after his death, then). They've been lent by the Queen from the Royal Collection, and are said to have transformed artistic understanding of Gainsborough's approach to landscape.
York Art Gallery
December 11–January 15
She Loves Me
Is She Loves Me a forgotten musical? On paper, it shouldn't be, because its book is by Joe Masteroff, the writer of Cabaret; its songs are by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, the team behind Fiddler on the Roof; it has won armfuls of Tony Awards and its plot crops up in the classic movies The Shop Around the Corner and the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan rom-com, You've Got Mail. Bet you can't name one song that features in it — but here's a chance to change that...
0114 249 6000
The Magical Music of Harry Potter
The award-winning soundtracks from the most successful film series in cinema history weren't the work of just one person. True, its well-known main theme was composed by the legendary John Williams; but later HP movies included music from composers Alexander Desplat, Patrick Doyle and Nicolas Hooper. In this concert, the London Symphonic & Philharmonic Film Orchestra gets to grips with the most familiar sounds from the wizarding world. Also at the Octagon Centre, Sheffield (11th) and York Barbican (13).
Hull City Hall
Love Actually in Concert
It's strange that Love Actually has become such a Christmas classic. Yes, OK, the action takes place during Christmas, but the storylines aren't particularly festive. They include British PM (Hugh Grant) falling for his secretary; Andrew Lincoln's unrequited love for his best friend's wife (Keira Knightley); and a nude body double (Martin Freeman) who... actually, we can't talk about that one because it's too rude. Richard Curtis' script is a cracker, though. The movie gets a screening in Sheffield with a live orchestra playing the soundtrack.
Sheffield City Hall
December 13- 23
The Giant Who Had it All – and Then Lost It
An enchanting Christmas show for 0-5 year olds about a giant called Jemima who loves exploring and picks up one of everything on her travels (she's got 'gizmos', 'thingummyjigs', 'whatsits' and even a 'whatchamacallit' in her collection, apparently). Unfortunately, her keepsakes are continually disappearing, so she needs help to find them. And you know what that means. Yep. Audience participation. Written and directed by Cheryl Govan and performed by CU Scarborough Acting students.
Stephen Joseph Theatre
Phoenix Dance Theatre: 40th Celebration Gala
The Leeds-based dance company is 40 years young and, to celebrate, is holding a gala event which includes performances from the likes of Motionhouse, ACE Dance, National Dance Company Wales, Ballet Black, Scottish Dance Theatre and Northern Ballet. A new collaborative work will also make its debut, choreographed by Phoenix founder David Hamilton MBE and Artistic Director Dane Hurst.
0113 213 7700
This classical quartet was put together by X Factor supremo Simon Cowell, no less: but don't let that put you off, because they've sold out six world tours and performed for former US presidents George Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Ooh, and Her Maj the Queen, too. Also at Harrogate Convention Centre (December 11th).
Hull Bonus Arena
Great Yorkshire Chorus Christmas Spectacular
A concert that's more Christmassy than an extra big slice of figgy pudding with holly on top. The Saltaire-based Great Yorkshire Chorus are in fine seasonal fettle for their biggest show of the year, which features Yuletide songs, carols and special guests The Bradford and Airedale Youth Choir. Feeling festive yet?
St George's Hall
The Wetherby Choral Society is back in business after a year-and-a-half of enforced silence, due to Covid restrictions. Here, the group — with the Wetherby Pro Musica orchestra and conducted by John Dunford — performs Handel's Messiah, featuring soloists Angela Hicks (soprano), Rachel Gilmore (alto), Stephen Newlove (tenor) and Charlie Murray (bass). Tickets are £18 but free to those under 18.
St James' Parish Church
07860 454894/01937 585233
Orchestra of Opera North: The Snail and the Whale & Stick Man
A double bill of animated films from the brilliantly inventive minds of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, the storytelling team behind classics such as The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom. Opera North's full orchestra plays live, conducted by Terry Davies.
Huddersfield Town Hall
Orchestra of Opera North: Viennese Whirl
New Year wouldn't be New Year without some Viennese magic from Strauss, including the Blue Danube Waltz and the Radetzky March. Featuring Irish soprano Máire Flavin — who played the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro for Opera North — and Nil Venditti, Principal Guest Conductor of Orchestra della Toscana. Also at Hull City Hall on December 31st.
Huddersfield Town Hall
Until December 19
Park Hill at 60: Photographs by the Residents
The last chance to see a small photography display by the residents of the brutalist Park Hill estate — an initially unloved but now reborn Sheffield landmark that received listed status in 1998. As the blurb notes “today, a revitalised Park Hill hosts a mixed and growing community of residents, students and businesses.”
Weston Park Museum
0114 278 2600