20 things to see and do in Yorkshire in August

Outdoor cinema at dusk

Daniel Craig by moonlight ? See bond at Bolton Abbey - Credit: Luna Cinema

A look ahead to the month's best things to see and do in Yorkshire and beyond

July 26 – August 4
School of Rock
A raucously fun night out at the theatre, with the kids in the cast playing their own instruments. Based on the Jack Black comedy, and with a score by Andrew Lloyd Webber, it's the story of a slobby, failed musician who masquerades as a supply teacher at a private school and forms a band with a class-full of smart-mouthed pupils. That closing number — borrowed from the movie — is terrific; but the song that sees out the first half (Stick It To the Man) comes a close second. Don't miss.
Lyceum Sheffield 0114 249 6000

July 29–August 4
The Railway Children Return
It's taken them long enough to return: 52 years, to be precise. To celebrate Yorkshire Day, the Stephen Joseph Theatre is screening this family drama about three children who are evacuated to a cottage in Yorkshire during World War Two. 'Inspired' by E Nesbit's classic novel, it features Jenny Agutter (from the original 1970 movie), Tom Courtney and Sheridan Smith — but the real star is that gorgeous countryside around the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway.
Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough
01723 370541

August 2
Christina Aguilera
Well, Britney Spears played Scarborough in 2018, so why not the Grammy Award-winning Christina Aguilera in 2022? Yes, Aguilera has sold 43 million records and was named by Rolling Stone as one of the greatest singers ever. But has she ever had a tray of cockles from a stall on Scarborough seafront, followed by a knickerbocker glory at the Harbour Bar? Thought not. By the by, Lewis Capaldi (let's just call him 'blunt speaking') appears at the Open Air Theatre on the 11th. Don't take granny.
Scarborough Open Air Theatre

August 3
The Gunpowder Plot
This promises to be 'an explosive evening of short fuses and tall tales' as theatre company Three Inch Fools tells the tale of Guy Fawkes and his less-than-merry band of gunpowder plot conspirators. Think Horrible Histories, but quirkier — and presented outdoors in the Lawrence Batley Theatre courtyard.
Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield 01484 430528

August 5
Gilbert O'Sullivan
In the mid-1970s, O'Sullivan — who wrote hit songs including Nothing Rhymed, Get Down, Clair, and Alone Again (Naturally) — was all but dismissed by the music press. As a result, despite his fierce talent, top 10 singles and three Ivor Novello Awards, O'Sullivan saw his star profile dwindle. There is a happy ending, though. In recent years, his work has been re-evaulated (his fans include Morrissey, Glenn Tilbrook, Paul Weller and Neil Diamond) — and here he is in Leeds, playing songs from his new album and back catalogue.
City Varieties
0113 243 0808

August 6
Road to Trojan
This concert — part of the Out of Many Festival, a Leeds-based event celebrating 60 years of Jamaican independence — really shouldn't be missed if you're a fan of reggae. On the bill are legendary singer Freddie McGregor and pioneering DJ and producer Dennis Alcapone; the 17-piece Jazz Jamaica All Stars' History of Trojan spectacular, featuring Aswad's Brinsley Forde; and Noel McKoy and vocal trio Dem Threealong with the Out of Many Community Choir, led by Paulette Morris and choreographed by Donald Edwards.
Leeds Playhouse
0113 213 7700

Artist Roger Hiorns transforms the YSP landscape at various points in the day with clouds of bubbles

Artist Roger Hiorns transforms the YSP landscape at various points in the day with clouds of bubbles - Credit: James Richards IV

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August 6-September 4
Roger Hiorns: A Retrospective View of the Pathway
Artist Roger Hiorns transforms the YSP landscape at various points in the day with clouds of bubbles, generated by a compressor. Yes, this fabulous foamy installation poses questions about our perspective of the physical world. Or something. But, even better, kids (and big kids) can interact with it. Yay!
Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton. Wakefield
01924 832631

August 9
The Importance of Being Earnest
Outdoor theatre company Slapstick Picnic invite you to into the Lawrence Batley Theatre courtyard where you can enjoy a performance of the whole of Oscar Wilde’s classic comedy, but with just two actors. Seeing is believing, so “grab a bottle, grab a friend, and seek out some silliness.”
Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield, 01484 430528

August 10
Magic Circus
A highly visual matinee show with a circus theme from the ever-creative Magic Carpet Theatre. The premise is simple: when all his circus acts disappear, the grumpy Ringmaster is left with just one clown — and the kids watching the show, of course. An afternoon of “audience participation, magical illusions, circus skills, appealing puppets and loads of comedy.” 
Pocklington Arts Centre
01759 301547

August 10th-21
International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival
Not to be confused with Gilbert O'Sullivan (oh, come on: we've all done it) — who, by complete coincidence, plays City Varieties in Leeds this month. Instead, this is Harrogate's annual light opera festival, which returns looking better than ever. Highlights include an evening with the former members of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company; the National Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company performing new productions of The Pirates of Penzance, Utopia Limited and Iolanthe; and Opera della Luna's production of HMS Pinafore.
Royal Hall, Harrogate. 01422 323252

August 19/20
Kevin Bridges
It's been a while since Bridges has been out on the road, so no wonder he's subtitled this show 'the overdue catch-up'. This is spiky, uncompromising humour with a Clydebank accent, and strictly for those aged 14 and over. In fact, the event information notes that there is 'likely to be swearing and adult content'. Um... you think?!
Sheffield City Hall

August 20 
Castle Howard Proms
Wave a flag make some noise, be your patriotic best in the magnificent grounds of Castle Howard. This classical concert will be a night to remember for the whole family. Guest soloists Wynne Evans and Marisha Wallace will be joined on stage by the London Gala Orchestra conducted by Stephen Bell. Rousing favourites from the Proms including Jerusalem, Rule Britannia and Pomp & Circumstance No.1. With a Spitfire flyover, stunning lasers and spectacular firework finale.

August 21
Jane McDonald
When she's not swanning around the globe presenting her entertaining travel programmes for Channel 5, the vivaciously likeable Jane McD reverts to her day job: singing for her supper with a live band and backing singers, and bantering with audiences. About as Yorkshire as it's possible to be without requiring subtitles.
Leeds Grand Theatre
0113 243 0808

Jane McDonald: My favourite Yorkshire places

Jane McDonald - Bridlington Beach Credit Channel 5

Jane McDonald reveals the places she spends her time-off in Yorkshire 

 Jane McDonald: My favourite Yorkshire places

August 23
No Time To Die
Chances are you've already seen this latest Bond movie — Daniel Craig's last — which sees 007 exploding into action in Italy, Jamaica and Cuba to foil a bio-warfare plot. Still, you've never seen it like this, in the open air against the magnificent backdrop of Bolton Abbey. Also screening on August 30 at (the equally magnificent) York Minster.

August 26
Stiff Little Fingers
This Belfast band rode the wave of punk in 1977 — alongside The Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Stranglers — and initially wrote about growing up during The Troubles with songs like Suspect Device and Wasted Life. Here, they'll be playing a mix of old and new songs. "You have to strike a balance,” explains frontman Jake Burns.
The Welly, Hull

August 27-29
Malton Food Lovers Festival
This family-friendly and free-to-enter food festival is one of the tastiest events in Malton's calendar, and features the usual array of chef demos, street food, more than 120 stalls, artisan producers, talks, tastings, a festival bar, live music, and entertainment. The website says “we recommend you come hungry” which sounds like good advice.
Malton town centre

August 29 & 30
We Will Rock You
Queen's fizzy jukebox musical rides again. OK, so Ben Elton's plot is questionable — something about Ga Ga Kids Galileo and Scaramouche taking on a villain known as Killer Queen (we see what Ben did there) — but those songs are stone-cold classics. They include Under Pressure, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Don't Stop Me Now and, of course, Bohemian Rhapsody.
Sheffield City Hall

August 31
White Sun
White Sun, performed by Will Dickie, is described as a 'lo-fi solo symphony of words and movement.' And, certainly, Dickie doesn't stop moving. In fact, he's a ball of nervous energy as he explores themes of white, middle-class privilege and his relationship with his father — but in an intriguing and often amusing way. Switch off your preconceptions.
Hull Truck
01482 323638

August 31
The Story of Soul
A show that does exactly what it says on the tin: performers sing some of soul's biggest hits. Featuring songs by Aretha Franklin, Earth Wind and Fire, James Brown, Wilson Pickett, Sam and Dave, Chaka Khan, Tina Turner, The Pointer Sisters, Luther Vandross, Whitney Houston, Ben E King, Barry White and more.
Grand Opera House, York

August 31–September 3
Happy Meal
A play from Tabby Lamb (directed by Jamie Fletcher, who was behind the recent acclaimed production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch at Leeds Playhouse), described as “a funny and moving story of transition” and “a queer rom-com for the MySpace generation... where Millennial meets Gen Z and change is all around.”
York Theatre Royal
01904 623568