What's On in Yorkshire - September 2021

Joseph Taylor as Valmont and Antoinette Brooks-Daw as Madame de Tourvel in Dangerous Liaisons

Joseph Taylor as Valmont and Antoinette Brooks-Daw as Madame de Tourvel in Dangerous Liaisons - Credit: Emma Kauldhar

Whether you call it freedom or otherwise, times are changing when it comes to our cultural venues - so here's a look at what's booking for later summer and early autumn days and nights

September 1st - 4th
The Girl Next Door
Alan Ayckbourn's 85th — 85th! — full-length play returns for a limited run. It's an out-of-time love story (of sorts) about a TV actor, stuck at home during lockdown, who discovers that he's living next door to a young woman from the 1940s. “The theme of the play is... love carries on,” Ayckbourn told the Today programme.
Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough 01723 370541 sjt.uk.com

September 2nd – October 16th
Typical Girls
You're not sure whether to laugh or cry at this World Premiere from writer Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, which is 'part-gig, part-play', and tells the story of women in a prison's mental health unit who are inspired by the music of punk band, The Slits. The production's driving force is women's theatre company Clean Break, which was founded by two inmates from Yorkshire's Askham Grange prison. It's a co-commission with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Crucible Theatre, Sheffield 0114 249 6000 sheffieldtheatres.co.uk

September 2nd - 11th
Dangerous Liaisons
Northern Ballet's take on the Choderlos de Laclos epistolary novel ('Sex! Power! Cruelty! Deceit!') is thrillingly set to Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, played live by Northern Ballet Sinfonia. If you miss this live outing, don't worry: the production (choreographed by Northern Ballet's Artistic Director, David Nixon) has been filmed and will appear in cinemas from September 14th.
Leeds Playhouse 0113 213 7700 leedsplayhouse.org.uk

September 3th – 5th
Picnic Proms
Three evenings of live music come to Harewood House, so grab a picnic (and I'd take a blanket, if I were you). Alfie Boe kicks proceedings off on the 3rd; there's an evening of opera and classical favourites featuring Sir Willard White and Tenors Unlimited on the 4th; plus Queen music — symphonic-style — on the 5th.
Harewood House, Leeds, Tenors Unlimited 0113 218 1010 harewood.org

Epic adventures - The Banff Film Festival is at venues across Yorkshire 

Epic adventures - The Banff Film Festival is at venues across Yorkshire - Credit: Brice Ferre Studio - Vancouver

September 4th
Banff Mountain Film Festival
A series of adrenaline-fuelled short movies from the world's most famous mountain film festival, including a 34-minute documentary about what happened when four friends travelled to Baffin island in the Arctic Circle. More Banff films are screened next month in Leeds (October 5 & 6), York (October 12), Hebden Bridge (October 20) and Yarm (October 21).
Royal Hall, Harrogate harrogatetheatre.co.uk/banff-uk.com

September 4th
The South
No longer Beautiful, The South is the latest iteration of the chart-topping group that gave us Perfect 10, Old Red Eyes is Back, Rotterdam, Good as Gold, Don't Marry Her and You Keep it All In, before splitting in 2007 'due to musical similarities'. Alison Wheeler (who joined The Beautiful South in 2003) remains on vocal duties.
Whitby Pavilion whitbypavilion.co.uk

September 7th - 11th
Groan Ups
A slightly new departure for Mischief Theatre, the people who brought you The Play That Goes Wrong and A Comedy About a Bank Robbery (both of which were fabulously inventive, astonishingly intricate and gasp-inducingly funny). This time the plot is about the perils of growing up, and follows the lives of children — all played by adult actors — from the age of six through to adulthood. “Very funny farce... there's no resisting gags of this calibre” — The Sunday Times
Lyceum Theatre Sheffield 0114 249 6000 sheffieldtheatres.co.uk

September 7th - 18th
School of Rock
True, this show — based on a brilliantly funny Jack Black movie — has a suspect-sounding plot: a slobby, down-on-his-luck guitarist poses as a music teacher at a posh school, and surreptitiously forms a band with the 10-year-olds in his class. It is, though, a fabulously entertaining night at the theatre. In fact, School of Rock, with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, delivers on every level, and the insanely talented kids on stage really are playing their instruments live. It comes to Bradford next month.
Hull New Theatre 01482 300 306 hulltheatres.co.uk

A world premiere one-man show charting the rise and fall of Zimbabwe president, Robert Mugabe

A world premiere one-man show from writer and performer Tonderai Munyevu, charting the rise and fall of Zimbabwe president, Robert Mugabe - Credit: York Theatre Royal

September 9th - 18th
Mugabe, My Dad and Me
A world premiere one-man show from writer and performer Tonderai Munyevu, charting the rise and fall of Zimbabwe president, Robert Mugabe. This powerful mix of storytelling and live music from a Gwenyambira (a female mbira player) explores familial love, identity and what it means to return 'home'.
York Theatre Royal 01904 623568 yorktheatreroyal.co.uk

September 11th & 12th
Bridlington Kite Festival
This free-to-attend festival — back after last year's Covid-induced cancellation — features the world's largest inflatable kites soaring above the East Yorkshire coast. It runs from 10am to 5pm on both days — so what are you waiting for? Let's go fly a kite. More information about the festival 

September 14th - 18th
Waitress
Something of a phenomenon in the US, Waitress was — until Covid hit — serving up a generous slice of stage success in the West End. The cast for this UK tour includes X Factor and Eurovision's Lucie Jones, Sandra Marvin from Emmerdale, Evelyn Hoskins from Casualty and Matt Willis from Busted. The songs are by Grammy award-winning Sara Bareilles.
Leeds Grand Theatre 0113 243 0808 leedsheritagetheatres.com

September 14th – 18th
Heathers: the Musical
When the movie Heathers was released in 1988, it bombed at the box office. But then a funny thing happened: video and DVD rentals made this dark satire — about murderous goings-on among the cliquey pupils of a US high school — a cult hit. Now it's found yet another life, morphing into an equally dark stage musical. The great songs are an added bonus.
Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield 0114 249 6000 sheffieldtheatres.co.uk

September 16th
John Bishop
Everyone's favourite Scouse comedy superstar gets back into the stand-up routine, kicking off a mammoth UK tour that was rescheduled from last year. Bishop also appears this month at Royal Hall Bridlington (17) and Victoria Theatre Halifax (18), before returning to various Yorkshire venues from October and into 2022.
St George's Hall, Bradford 01274 432000 bradford-theatres.co.uk

September 17th
Duran Duran
In their Eighties pomp, when they were wearing pastel-coloured suits, dating supermodels and fooling about on yachts, we're betting that a seaside resort on the North Yorkshire coast wouldn't have featured on Duran Duran's tour schedule. But now look: the former New Romantic pin-ups have swapped Rio for Scarbados. You have to hand it to them, too. Rather than simply regurgitate old hits and become a tribute band to themselves, Simon Le Bon and the boys continually write and perform new material.
Scarbough Open Air Theatre scarboroughopenairtheatre.com

September 23rd
Orchestra of Opera North: Triumph Over Tragedy
Garry Walker conducts his first Kirklees Concert as Opera North's Music Director. The programme features Elgar's Cello Concerto (performed by former BBC Young Musician of the Year, Guy Johnston), Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony and Benjamin Britten's A Time There Was. 'The last year has been incredibly tough for us all — for Opera North, for our audiences and for our communities — so it is with a real sense of enthusiasm that we return to live music-making with audiences,' says Walker. 
Huddersfield Town Hall 01484 225755 operanorth.co.uk/kirklees.gov.uk

Annie Morris, portrait with stack 9 ultramarine blue

Annie Morris, portrait with stack 9 ultramarine blue - Credit: Stephen White

September 18th – February 6, 2022
Annie Morris: When a Happy Things Falls
Gravity-defying sculpture and vibrant textiles feature in this show from British artist Annie Morris, including a set of precariously balanced coloured spheres, which she calls 'The Stacks'. “My sculptures are about holding onto something that's fallen, and to express the hope and defiance of life,” explains Morris. Good timing, then.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park 01924 832631 ysp.org.uk

September 24th & 25th
Richard II: The UK Tour
It's Shakespeare, but not as we know it. In fact, this production from female-led Quandary Collective — at Stage @TheDock — is billed as a cross between Mad Max Fury Road and an episode of Game of Thrones. In other words, expect bloody violence, full frontal nudity and live electronic music. You didn't get that in your English Lit GCSE, did you?
Hull Truck 01482 323638 hulltruck.co.uk

Matt Prendergast in rehearsals for Dracula The Untold Story

Matt Prendergast in rehearsals for Dracula The Untold Story - Credit: Ed Waring

September 25th – October 9th
Dracula: The Untold Story
Imitating the Dog's updating/re-telling of the creepy Bram Stoker gothic novel makes inventive use of digital tech, so that the production unfolds “on stage as a live graphic novel.” And 'graphic' is the operative word: this is Count Dracula we're talking about, after all. Age guidance is for 14 years and over.
Leeds Playhouse 0113 213 7700 leedsplayhouse.org.uk

September 29th
Jonathan Pie
Tom Walker was a struggling actor before he invented comedy character Jonathan Pie, a TV news correspondent who, between broadcasting live to the studio, delivers furious, foul-mouthed rants down the camera at his 'producer'. Pie's videos, which regularly go viral on YouTube, take swipes at Brexit, Trump and the Westminster old boys' network — but also at 'wokism' and the right to protest and offend. Ricky Gervais, no less, called Pie/Walker “brilliant, brave, raw and analytical without forgetting to be funny.” Which sums up this evening perfectly.
St George's Hall Bradford 01274 432000 bradford-theatres.co.uk