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Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Ayckbourn gets his talk off to a tea

Sir Alan Ayckbourn.
World-renowned playwright Alan Ayckbourn is in the spotlight during a tea time talk at Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre on Thursday 29 September.

The writer and director will be in conversation with broadcaster and novelist Kate Fenton at 4.30pm in the theatre’s Round auditorium. The audience will then have the opportunity to ask questions.

Phinn-tastic evening at Milton Rooms

Best loved raconteur ... Gervase Phinn.
Photo by Richard Murphy.
Gervase Phinn, one of Britain's best-loved comic writers and raconteurs, will be entertaining an audience at Malton's Milton Rooms on Friday (9 September).

With a keen ear for the absurd and sharp eye for the ludicrous, Phinn has delighted audiences throughout the UK with stories drawn from his experiences as a teacher and then school inspector in the Yorkshire Dales.

He taught in a range of schools for fourteen years before becoming an education adviser and schools inspector. He is now a freelance lecturer, broadcaster and writer, a consultant for the Open University, honorary fellow of St. John's College, York and the fellow and visiting professor of education at The University of Teesside. He has published many articles, chapters and books and edited a wide range of poetry and short story collections.

Further information:

Thursday, 1 September 2016

A Carmen influence for Bizet fans

Harrogate, Scarborough and York are the three North Yorkshire venues lined up for performances of Carmen by the acclaimed Russian State Opera this month.

The production promises the thrill and passion of love, jealousy and violence of 19th Century Seville in one of Bizet’s most popular pieces.

Its mix of passion, melodies, dramatic confrontations and musical wit has found favour all over the world almost since its first performance in 1875.

The production can be seen at Harrogate Theatre on 21 September; York Barbican 28 September and Scarborough Spa 29 September.

Further information:

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

A classic comedy return to the SJT

Alan Ayckbourn’s classic comedy Henceforward returns to the Stephen Joseph Theatre this autumn in a brand new production directed by the author.

Jessie Hart and Jacqueline King in rehearsals.
Photo by Tony Bartholomew.
In an isolated, derelict suburban tower block, avant garde composer Jerome struggles vainly to complete his life’s masterwork about love. With the help of a deranged android childminder, he hatches a plan to retrieve his source of artistic inspiration, his beloved daughter Geain, from his hostile and estranged ex-wife.
Henceforward… premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in 1987, then at London’s Vaudeville Theatre a year later in a production which won the Evening Standard Best Comedy Award.

This year’s Scarborough revival follows a hugely successful production last year at a theatre in Germany. The production at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg opened in February 2015 and was so popular, regularly playing to full houses in the 1200-seat theatre, that the run was extended and the show ended up playing for over a year.

The production runs from Thursday 8 September to Saturday 8 October 2016

Further information:

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Georgian festival talk opener will delight antique lovers

Antiques from the Georgian  period
will be looked at as part
of  Richmond's GeorgeFest,
Antique and history lovers will make a beeline for Richmond.

On Monday (15 August) at 7.30pm, valuer and auctioneer David Elstob of Thomas Watson’s auction house treads the boards at The Georgian Theatre Royal with a talk about Georgian inventions and antiques.

This is the first event in the town’s Georgian festival which runs until 2 September and the talk will be followed by an open ‘roadshow-style’ session where members of the audience are invited to present their own antiques for valuation and discussion.

The talk explores the legacy of Georgian inventions. It was a time of great innovation and technological advancement and many of the objects that we take for granted today such as Wellington boots, accurate clocks, flushing toilets and security locks.

On Friday 19 August, David hosts a valuation day at The Station from 10am until 3pm where the public can drop in to discover what their treasures might be worth.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Richmond visitor attractions get cash vote of confidence

Uniform success: Green Howards museum
director Lynda Powell in the costume store
with a rare 18th century militia uniform.
Two Richmond visitor attractions are in line for more than £100,000 Arts Council funding.

The Green Howards Museum and The Georgian Theatre Royal will benefit from the second round of the the council's Museum Resilience Fund, which has seen £12m donated to 94 museums and organisations across the country.

The theatre has received £38,630 to fund a post to support its Georgian Theatre Experience while the museum will use its £65,304 to develop the way it manages its extensive collection of uniforms. Some collection pieces are rare and include a complete soldier’s uniform worn during the Crimean War.

Educating Rita Esk Valley Style

A professional theatre company located in the North York Moors National Park is presenting one of the UK’s best-loved comedies this summer, Willy Russel's Educating Rita from today until 3 September.

An education ... Amy Spencer and Ian Crowe during reheasals.
Photo by Tony Bartholomew.
Glaisdale-based Esk Valley Theatre has turned its attention to the 1980 Society of West End Theatre comedy of the year winner. The the film version saw stars Michael Caine and Julie Walters nominated for Oscars, and winning Golden Globes and Baftas.

The production is directed by Mark Stratton while Frank and Rita are portrayed by Ian Crowe, who local theatregoers may remember from his role as the flamboyant Sven Gali in Aladdin at Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre at Christmas 2014, and a young talent from Liverpool, actress Amy Spencer.

Mark said: “We all like to root for the underdog who overcomes adversity, and that’s a great reason to do a play like Educating Rita.

Now in its 12th summer season, the theatre is located in the Robinson Institute in Glaisdale, eight miles west of Whitby.

Further information:

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Ballet demand secures second performance at the Pavilion

Local demand has prompted a second performance of The Nutcracker at Whitby Pavilion, organisers have confirmed.

Vienna Festival Ballet’s performance on Thursday 1 December has already sold out and a 3pm matinee performance has now been scheduled.

It is the venue’s second sold-out ballet show of the year after a sell-out crowd enjoyed the company’s performance of Swan Lake in June.

Pavilion operations and events manager Jill Gomez-Mannion said: “We knew bringing a touring ballet company back to the venue would be popular but we have been overwhelmed with the demand and we hope the afternoon performance will help people who couldn’t attend the evening show.”

Further information:

Monday, 18 July 2016

Innovative poet Hegley's Bistro date

Scarborough return: John Hegley.
Performance poet and comedian John Hegley makes a return visit two years since he was last at Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre with his new show Deceit, Desire and the Goldfish in the Bistro on Tuesday 26 and Wednesday 27 July.

The new tale will be informally told in verse, song, and the odd drawing. The piece, to be adapted for radio, is aimed at adults, and tolerable to younger teenagers.

Hegley is a regular sell-out at the Edinburgh Festival. He has performed at the Montreal Comedy Festival, the USA Comedy Festival in Aspen, with Ulrika Jonsson and Anita Dobson in The Pyjama Game and on BBC Radio 4’s Hearing with Hegley.

He's widely known as one of the country’s most innovative comic poets, with several best-selling volumes of poetry to his name. Further information:

Friday, 8 July 2016

Keeping mum about new production

The new Mum’s the Word 2 production heads to Scarborough Spa’s theatre on Thursday 13 October, as part of the UK tour.

Older and wiser? Gemma Bissix in the new show.
The updated version of the hit show stars Michelle Heaton (Liberty X) Gemma Bissix (EastEnders/ Hollyoaks), Rebecca Wheatley (Casualty), Polly Highton and Sarah Lawn.

The mums are now “older and wiser” and continuing journey into their new parenting nightmare that is teenagers.

Further information:

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Plum ballet production that's selling out

Vienna Festival Ballet’s next performance in December at Whitby Pavilion is already heading to a sell-out, according to organisers.

After a well received performance earlier this month of Swan Lake, the ballet company announced it would return to perform The Nutcracker on Thursday 1 December.

Early demand has meant that there are just under 100 tickets remaining and ballet fans are being urged to book sooner rather than later to avoid disappointment.

Pavilion operations and events manager Jill Gomez-Mannion said, “We have had some outstanding comments about the performance of Swan Lake which was one of our most successful theatre shows we have ever had. It’s looking like The Nutcracker will be very much the same.”

The Nutcracker is one of the best-loved ballets and centres around Clara and her nutcracker doll, which magically transforms into a princely soldier. Their adventures see the Prince and Clara combat the Mouse King and join the Sugar Plum Fairy for a trip to a kingdom made entirely of sweets.

Further information:

Monday, 20 June 2016

The play standing at Platform Two relives teenage battlefield moments

The North Yorkshire Moors heritage railway is working with York Normandy Veterans and Everwitch Theatre to create a verbatim play as part of the annual Railway in Wartime event.

Based on first hand experiences of D-Day and the battles to liberate France by the last five Bomb Happy will be performed each evening on 12, 13 and 14 October at Pickering Station, Platform Two, in a 1930’s railway carriage.

This production draws on the memories of teenage conscripts involved in the Normandy Landings.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Torben's teatime talk

Award-winning playwright Torben Betts will be the focus of the first of a series of teatime talks at the Scarborough's Stephen Joseph Theatre.

The writers of the theatre's 2016 summer festival world premiere productions – Torben Betts, Vicky Ireland and Alan Ayckbourn – will each be in conversation in late afternoon sessions throughout the summer, followed by a Q&A session for the audience to put their own questions.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

On the RAZ with Cartwright

Jim's son James in RAZ.
Photo by Oliver Rosser.
A new play by Jim Cartwright, the writer of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice visits Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre at the end of the month.

The Riverside Studios and Assembly Festival Fringe First-winning production of RAZ, which had an acclaimed run at last year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, comes to the town on Saturday 28 May as part of a UK tour.

Described as a itingly funny, heartbreaking and heartwarming play, the production is about a night out in modern Britain and a generation that lives for the weekend whilst still living at home with their parents.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

At your convenience ... Santa needs a wee during Scarborough Spa visit

TaleGate Theatre Productions brings the musical Father Christmas Needs a Wee! to Scarborough Spa on Friday 18 November.

At every house Father Christmas eats and drinks the tasty treats that have been left for him. But when he reaches number ten he desperately needs a wee.
Adapted from Nicholas Allan’s book by duo James Worthington and Kate Lindsey, it's a magical journey for all ages using original songs, puppets and imaginative scenery trickery. The musical premiered in August 2013 and saw success in a sell-out run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe followed by a sell-out UK tour across number one theatre venues in 2014.

Further information: .

Monday, 25 April 2016

They're a mystery and they're back at minster after 16 year-gap

York Minster's nave will be transformed into a 1,000-seater theatre this summer as the Mystery Plays return to the stage.

The plays dramatise the greatest story ever told – from the creation of heaven and earth to the last judgement. But it’s the first time in 16 years and only the second time in their near 700 year history that the plays have been performed at the minster, following sell-out performances in 2000.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

All's well for Shakespeare fans

Craig Fuller as Bertram in All's Well
 That Ends Well.  Photo by Mark Douet.
Scarborough's Stephen Joseph Theatre joins in the celebrations to mark the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare with productions of Hamlet and All's Well That Ends Well. 

Probably the most famous play in the world, Hamlet brings together politics, madness, sex and murder in a drama that is regarded as much a thriller as it is a profound meditation on the human condition. It can be seen from Tuesday 17 to Saturday 21 May.

In All’s Well That Ends Well, a young woman, using skills bequeathed to her by her father, saves the French king’s life and is rewarded with the right to choose her own husband. It can be seen on Thursday 19 and Friday 20 May.

The productions come courtesy of Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory and Tobacco Factory Theatres. A single cast of 15 actors will perform the two plays. 

Further details:

Saturday, 16 April 2016

The Bard's Merry Wives at SJT

Northern Broadsides’ new version of Shakespeare’s medley of comedy and farce The Merry Wives comes to Scarborough's Stephen Joseph Theatre from 26 - 30 April.

Artistic director Barrie Rutter features in the role of Sir John Falstaff. It’s set in the 1920s in the North of England and Sir John is past his prime and skint and clumsily attempts to seduce a couple of well-to-do wives.

Northern Broadsides has previously staged production in 1993 and 2001 and has joined forces with the award-winning New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme, to stage this latest version.

Further information:

Eduardo fired up for Scarborough date

North Yorkshire-based flamenco jazz virtuoso and composer Eduardo Niebla is set to play Scarborough's Stephen Joseph Theatre on Thursday 5 May. He will be accompanied by Matthew Robinson on guitar, Dharmesh Parmar on Indian tabla and the theatre choirs.

Eduardo’s fuses flamenco gypsy jazz with classical and Indian nuances. Over the years he has collaborated with musicians across the globe including sitar maestro Nishat Khan, the Dante String Quartet, the late sax player Lol Coxhill, Palestinian oud player Adel Salameh, trance phenomenon Juno Reactor and pop musicians George Michael and Craig David.

He has recorded 23 albums of his original compositions and written music for films, documentaries and plays, including for the BBC, as well as festival commissions for guitar, brass bands, choirs and church organ.

Eduardo was born in Morocco in 1955, the seventh of 11 children. In 1960 the family became refugees and settled in Girona, Spain, where he grew up. In 1973 he turned professional with his symphonic rock band Atila and later moved to Paris. In 1978 he arrived in London to pursue a solo career, performing with Mother Gong at Glastonbury in 1979, and has since been regarded as one of the outstanding guitarists of his generation. He now lives in North Yorkshire where he has his recording studios.

Further information:

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Last words and last meal gives audience something to tuck into

If you've wondered what Marilyn Monroe or Elvis’s last words were, or what the final meal of a condemned prisoner tastes like, then a unique show at Scarborough's Stephen Joseph Theatre might help.

Part performance, part meal, The Last Supper is billed as an intimate dinner, on-stage in The Round auditorium, for 39 guests who will hear the last words and thoughts of the departed and be served a mixture of dishes.

The show has been performed worldwide by Anglo-Belgian company Reckless Sleepers, which has been producing contemporary performances for over 20 years. The company creates original theatre pieces, installation projects and interventions for theatres, galleries, museums and projects to entertain and challenge audiences, viewers and participants.

The Last Supper can be seen at the theatre at 6pm and at 8.30pm on Sunday 14 February as part of this year’s annual Scarborough arts festival, Coastival. Further information: