What’s on in Yorkshire during June
PUBLISHED: 09:29 01 June 2017 | UPDATED: 09:29 01 June 2017
Events and entertainment around the region chosen for you by Tony Greenway.
May 30th–June 3rd
Actor and director Barrie Rutter doesn’t care much for RP (or ‘received pronunciation’). He likes and wants his cast members to speak in their own voices whatever it is they are saying and whoever it is they are playing. When he founded Halifax-based theatre company Northern Broadsides in June 1992, it was one of the things he insisted on. Flat vowels have since become a company trademark, whether it’s staging Treasure Island or a no-frills version of The Tempest. Rutter is also suspicious of too many on-stage pyrotechnics and special effects, preferring ‘just a bit of furniture and good actors.’
Take Broadsides’ most recent production: a rip-roaring adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac. Audience members expecting a stage full of either London luvvy or ‘allo, ‘allo-style French accents might have been shocked to hear broad Yorkshire (and Scottish) ones instead, with actors performing in front of a simple but versatile set. It’s this blunt-speaking style that has won Rutter lots of fans — even, surprisingly (or maybe not surprisingly, come to think of it), John Prescott. ‘Barrie’s northern accent, fast-action, factory floor Shakespeare is as far from elitism as can be, though it has never dumbed Shakespeare down,’ he said. ‘What you get is the text, the poetry, the real thing, but with a northern vigour.’
Over the last 25 years, Hull-born Rutter and his team have built up a national profile and are now supported by starry patrons including Lenny Henry, Tom Courtenay, Stephanie Cole, Meera Syal, Sanjeev Bhaskar and playwright Blake Morrison. Henry, in particular, has reason to be grateful as his career was changed by Northern Broadsides when, in 2009, he appeared in the title role of Othello at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds. National newspaper theatre critics came up from London ready to watch a tragedy unfold on stage all right but only because they smelled stunt casting and suspected that a man best known as a stand-up comedy star — and for playing a character called Theophilus P. Wildebeeste — wasn’t up to the job. They were wrong. He was — and then some — and the reviews were universally glowing. Henry has since tackled other major stage roles to similar acclaim.
‘The critic from The Telegraph said he’d come up to Leeds for the expected car crash and witnessed the best Shakespearean debut he’d ever seen,’ remembers Rutter. Yet he admits it was a risk casting Henry in the first place. ‘But I could see Lenny’s burning desire to do it,’ he says. ‘I could see his fear, too. But the most striking thing about him was his sheer modesty and his ability to embrace every piece of help given to him. You could see the child in him — the child that wants to play.’ He pauses. ‘Rehearsing tragedy is fun anyway. It’s got to be. Otherwise you’d go mad.’
Talking of tragedy, the very first 1992 Northern Broadsides production was Richard III which the company staged in Marina Boatshed in Hull, featuring Mark Addy, Rutter (who also directed) and the late Brian Glover. So it’s fitting that, 25 years later, the company is celebrating its silver anniversary with another production of Richard III, this time with Mat Fraser in the title role. After running throughout May at Hull Truck, the show shifts to Broadsides’ base, The Viaduct Theatre at Dean Clough in Halifax. ‘It is with sweet circularity that the 25th anniversary of Northern Broadsides coincides with Hull’s celebrations as UK City of Culture 2017,’ says Rutter. ‘I am a native son, Broadsides was launched in Hull. The new production at Hull Truck Theatre will be exclusive to the city festivities and will be a birthday thank you for 25 years of theatrical support.’
The Viaduct Theatre
Dean Clough, Halifax 01422 250250 deanclough.com
Out of Order
This is what the late, great Victoria Wood would have called a ‘Whoops — there go my bloomers!’ farce but then it was written by Ray ‘Run for Your Wife’ Cooney. The plot sees government minister Andrew Hall trying to spend a few hours... er... ‘relaxing’ with sexy secretary Susie Amy (Chardonnay from Footballers’ Wives) in a London hotel; but let’s just say things don’t go to plan and leave it there. People of a certain age will be delighted/horrified when they realise that silver-haired Hall from Coronation Street once played the teenage son of Wendy Craig in 1970s comedy, Butterflies.
Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield 0114 249 6000 sheffieldtheatres.co.uk
June 8th–July 1st
What’s the first rule of fight club? You don’t talk about fight club. You can talk about this one, though: a play from Amanda Whittington (Ladies Day, Be My Baby, Amateur Girl) which focuses on four female boxers who take part in an unlicensed fight night to raise money when their pub is threatened with closure. It was inspired by the story of Hull-born boxing world champ, Barbara Buttrick.
Hull Truck Theatre 01482 323638 hulltruck.co.uk
June 15th–August 19th
The Rise and Fall of Little Voice
Jim Cartwright’s funny-sad play (written for Jane Horrocks) about an introverted girl in a northern town who finds escape of a kind via her spot-on impersonations of Shirley Bassey, Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland. A bit of trivia: the film version was set in Scarborough, while the play’s location is unspecified.
Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough 01723 370541 sjt.uk.com
June 10th-July 1st
Ode to Leeds
Zodwa Nyoni’s new play is a love letter to the city, inspired by the spoken word poetry group, Leeds Young Authors.
West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds 0113 213 7700 wyp.org.uk
One of the main events at this year’s Doc/Fest has to be the evening with Peter Greenaway, the filmmaker who gave us the Draughtsman’s Contact and The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover, among others. He’s in town to discuss his work, life and art, plus his documentary about German theologian, Martin Luther.
Various venues 0114 276 5141 sheffdocfest.com
Bridlington Old Town 1940s Summer Festival
Being in the real 1940s wouldn’t have been much fun, what with a world war going on and everything. Still, this peacetime recreation of the decade in Brid — featuring re-enactors, traditional, homemade food and drink and music from the likes of Lola Lamour, Marina Mae, a George Formby tribute act, and Jessa Liversidge (one of the MD’s for the York Military Wives Choir) — promises to be a lot more entertaining.
01262 851445 bridlingtonoldtown1940sfestival.com
June 16th–July 1st
This was once a small event with a few minor league names, whose main appeal was its ridiculously gorgeous Yorkshire Dales setting. Now it’s a music and arts monster which has grown so big that it even has its own fringe festival (the Dales setting remains ridiculously gorgeous, however). Jools Holland and his Big Band, Newton Faulkner, Clare Teal and Bananarama (well, two thirds of them anyway) are some of the starry names on the bill; but there’s so much going on that you’ll need to log onto the website for a full rundown.
Various venues 01756 752691 grassington-festival.org.uk
Dales Festival of Food & Drink
This free festival (although there is a car parking charge) attracted 6,000 visitors last year. It hopes to bring even more in for 2017 with a programme featuring locally produced food and drink, local bands, craft exhibitors and a cookery theatre.
June 30th–July 9th
Bradford Literature Festival
This year’s big hitter authors include Joanna Trollope, Lemn Sissay, Germaine Greer, Jenni Murray, Sir Christopher Frayling and — inevitably — Gervase Phinn. A bunch of politicians (Conservative peer Sayeeda Warsi, Harriet Harman and Rachel Reeves) also appear as does journalist, author and broadcaster Gary Younge, talking about the tragedy of US gun culture.
Various venues 01274 238 374 bradfordlitfest.co.uk
June 30th–July 29th
Harrogate Music Festival
Roll up, roll up for a month-long musical extravaganza which includes violinist Savitri Grier, cellist Maria Marshall, the Gould Piano Trio, John Wilson Orchestra and — big name alert — Sir Bryn Terfel.
Various venues 01423 562303 harrogateinternationalfestivals.com
Beverley Folk Festival
Eddi Reader, plus Martin and Eliza Carthy are the main headliners at this year’s folk festival. Having said that, watch out for Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman, Sam Kelly and The Lost Boys, and Edwina Hayes — a Yorkshire based singer songwriter who Nanci Griffith, no less, called ‘the Sweetest Voice in England’.
Beverley Racecourse 07568 593960 beverleyfestival.com
Rory Bremner: Partly Political
Impressions, satire and — hopefully — a sizeable pop at Donald Trump are on the cards this evening. Rory also appears at the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield on June 8th.
Theatre Royal, Wakefield 01924 211311 theatreroyalwakefield.co.uk
You know the story: a teenage girl called Baby falls for a dance teacher at summer camp (much to her dad’s disapproval) and then, wouldn’t you know it, is put in a corner. Well, OK, there’s a bit more to the plot than that but the result is a stage-full of gorgeous-looking people and a hit soundtrack including I’ve Had the Time of My Life. Note: even if you are having the time of your life, under no circumstances attempt to lift your partner above your head halfway through the song. It will end badly.
Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield 0114 249 6000 sheffieldtheatres.co.uk
The versatile Sheridan Smith channels Babs Streisand in this musical about music hall singer Fanny Brice. Songs include People and — of course — Don’t Rain On My Parade.
Alhambra, Bradford 01274 432000 bradford-theatres.co.uk
ART & EXHIBITIONS
Until September 10th
Bill Bailey’s Cabinet of Curiosities
Bill Bailey gets involved in the 2017 Hull UK City of Culture celebrations with an exhibition featuring ‘weird, wonderful and grotesque’ items from historic collections.
Hull Maritme Museum 01482 300300 hullcc.gov.uk
Until November 5th
Viking: Rediscover the Legend
A display of the most significant Viking treasure hoards ever discovered in Britain, including star objects from the British Museum alongside items from the Yorkshire Museum’s own collections.
Yorkshire Museum, York 01904 687687 yorkshiremuseum.org.uk
June 17th–September 17th
Alice Pattullo: Of House and Home
This show, from London-based illustrator Pattullo, focuses on everyday household objects and re-creates a house interior in the YSP’s Upper Space gallery.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield 01924 832631 ysp.co.uk
Until June 11th
Paul Smith to JK Rowling: BP Portrait Award
That title says it all: an exhibition of portraits of cultural figures ‘who have shaped Britain today’.
Brynmor Jones Library, University of Hull hull2017.co.uk
Until August 28th
Masterpieces in Focus from the Royal Collection: Rembrandt
Hull goes Dutch as Rembrandt’s The Shipbuilder and his Wife appears on loan at the Ferens.
Ferens Art Gallery, Hull 01482 300300 hcandl.co.uk/ferens
Scarborough Open Air Theatre
Stellar names come to Scarborough this summer. Last month it was the Beach Boys and the Kaiser Chiefs this time it’s the turn of The Charlatans (June 16th); The Jacksons (June 17th); Michael Ball and Alfie Boe (June 28th); Cliff Richard (June 29th) and UB40 featuring Ali Campbell (June 30th).
Scarborough Open Air Theatre 01723 818111 scarboroughopenairtheatre.com
Jeff Lynne’s ELO
He’s a singer, songwriter, producer, arranger and former member of The Travelling Wilburys but, to me, the ultra-talented Jeff Lynne will always be best known as ‘that bloke with the curly perm from ELO’. Expect hits galore including (naturally) Mr Blue Sky, Wild West Hero, Rockaria, Strange Magic, Sweet Talkin’ Woman, Livin’ Thing, Evil Woman...I could go on. A cracking evening is assured.
Sheffield Arena 0114 256 5656 sheffieldarena.co.uk
Is it me, or is Sir Elton sounding more and more American as he gets older (despite originally coming from Pinner in Middlesex)? You can’t deny his staying power, though or his 50-year-old back catalogue. There is lots of old material, then, plus songs from his new album, Wonderful Crazy Night.
First Direct Arena, Leeds 0844 248 1585 firstdirectarena.com
June 20th and 21st
The Stone Roses
Once, you couldn’t even get the individual members of The Stone Roses to mention each other in the same sentence, such was the bitterness of their break-up. Now Madchester’s finest are — gasp! — sharing a tour bus after their successful 2012 reunion. Just four UK shows figure this time around, though... and Leeds is home to two of them.
First Direct Arena, Leeds 0844 248 1585 firstdirectarena.com
Martha Reeves and the Vandellas
She’s back and she’s brought the Vandellas with her. Classic R&B including (Love is Like a) Heatwave, Jimmy Mack, Nowhere to Run and Dancing in the Street.
Holmfirth Picturedrome picturedrome.net
The Wailers featuring Junior Marvin
Junior Marvin appeared in The Beatles movie Help! and was in the original London cast of Hair but, more importantly, he joined Bob Marley’s band The Wailers in 1977, playing on the classic tracks Jamming, Could You Be Loved, and Exodus. As well as the Wakefield gig, Junior is appearing at Hull’s Welly Club on June 1st.
Warehouse 23, Wakefield 01924 200162 warehouse23.co.uk
Bringing Up Baby: An artist’s perspective on how youngsters are raised in the wild.
From clucky ducks to pushy owls, this new series of paintings by Yorkshire wildlife artist Robert E Fuller explores the wildly different ways animals bring up their broods. Painted in a precise, realistic style, the new art range is the result of months of patient observation of animal parents. Video and photographs that informed the art work and are also on show. Expect to see TV screens streaming live footage from cameras hidden in the nests of garden birds, owls, weasel and stoats. The screens offer a direct window into this wildlife’s secret world as they cope with daily parenting challenges; from messy mealtimes to sibling rivalry. Birdwatching walks, family falconry events and safaris to see badger cubs and owl chicks accompany the show.
The Robert Fuller Gallery, Thixendale, North Yorks