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What’s On in Yorkshire during February

PUBLISHED: 00:00 01 February 2018

Opera North's Don Giovanni  Photo Robert Workman

Opera North's Don Giovanni Photo Robert Workman

© Robert Workman

Events and entertainment around the county chosen for you by Tony Greenway

MUSICALS

February 5th-10th

Sunset Boulevard

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s pleasingly spiky musical (with lyrics by Don Black) about a down- on-his-luck Hollywood screenwriter who pitches up at the home of an ageing silent movie star. Based on the Billy Wilder film, the songs include With One Look, A Perfect Year and As If We Never Said Goodbye. It’s rather haunting, too. The show plays Sheffield in April.

The Alhambra, Bradford 01274 432000 bradford-theatres.co.uk

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February 12th-17th

Fat Friends

A first from Leeds girl Kay Mellor: a musical based on her hit TV show of the same name.

The Lyceum, Sheffield 0114 249 6000 sheffieldtheatres.co.uk

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February 27th-March 17th

Mamma Mia

When you think about it, this musical, which is set in Greece and features the music of two Swedes, should be terrible. And, indeed, it is terrible — but in a charming way. Mamma Mia is also strangely compelling and a lot of fun and, if you’ve seen the film, you’ll know exactly what to expect. And, boy, are you going to get it when the stage musical comes to Sheffield for the very first time. What took it so long, by the way? It made its West End debut 19 years ago.

The film reviewer Mark Kermode (hello to Jason Isaacs, by the way) once pointed out that Mamma Mia works because Abba’s songs are bulletproof; it means they can’t be destroyed, even when Pierce Brosnan sings them. And you better buckle up because the cinematic sequel to Mamma Mia — called, rather brilliantly, Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again — opens this summer, co-starring none other than Cher...

The Lyceum, Sheffield 0114 249 6000 sheffieldtheatres.co.uk

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THEATRE

February 14th–March 10th

War Horse

This pioneering National Theatre production, based on Michael Morpurgo’s novel, makes brilliant use of on-stage puppetry to tell a moving story about a horse’s journey from the fields of Devon to the battlegrounds of First World War France. It’s so engrossing that, after a while, you forget the puppeteers are physically on stage.

Alhambra Theatre, Bradford 01274 432000 bradford-theatres.co.uk

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February 6th-10th

Turning the Tide

On the 50th anniversary of the 1968 triple trawler tragedy, testimony and spoken word combine to tell the story of the Hull women who fought for change in the nation’s fishing industry.

Hull Truck 01482 323638 hulltruck.co.uk

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February 16th–March 3rd

Brighton Rock

If you’ve seen the 1947 noir thriller Brighton Rock (directed by John Boulting and based on Grahame Greene’s novel), you’ll have marvelled at Richard Attenborough’s terrific — and uncharacteristically nasty — portrayal of Pinkie, a murderous, screw-loose, delinquent gang leader. However, Yorkshire-born playwright Bryony Lavery — who was brought in to adapt the book for this stage production — wanted to steer well clear of the film in case she was unduly swayed by it. ‘I always go to the source and try not to be influenced by anything else,’ she explains. ‘Whenever I adapt anything for the stage, I think that my co-writer is the person who wrote the novel... and they probably know best.’

Pinkie is a fascinating character. ‘He’s the most extraordinary creation in literature,’ insists Lavery. ‘I don’t want to put labels on him until we see how we’ll be playing him on stage... but the word I was going to use to describe him was “psychopath”. Yet that’s not helpful or attractive. Instead I’d say he’s this very prickly, dangerous, murderous boy who sort of falls in love with the character of Rose. And their relationship is a bit sadomasochistic.’ This classic tale — a co-production between York Theatre Royal and Pilot Theatre — comes to Hull Truck next month.

York Theatre Royal 01904 623568 yorktheatreroyal.co.uk

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February 22nd–March 17th

Frost/Nixon

It’s hard to think of a US president more justly reviled than Richard Nixon (ooh, no... actually, hang on, I’ve just thought of one). But back in 1974, after the Watergate scandal, Tricky Dicky was toxic: disgraced and discredited after having to resign from office in shame. In 1977, he went on TV to explain himself to David Frost and the result was a media sensation. Spoiler alert: this Peter Morgan play about the Frost/Nixon interviews does — it seems to me, anyway — over-dramatise the ‘apology’ somewhat (in real life, it was much longer with lots of caveats); but it remains an electric piece of theatre.

Crucible Theatre, Sheffield 0114 249 6000 sheffieldtheatres.co.uk

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OPERA

February 3rd, 10th & 22nd

Un ballo in maschera (A Masked Ball)

Former Opera North music director Richard Farnes returns to the company to conduct this new production of Verdi’s love triangle, with Rafael Rojas (from past ON productions of Andréa Chenier and Turandot) in the lead role.

Leeds Grand Theatre 0844 848 2720 operanorth.co.uk

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February 17th, 21st & 23rd

Don Giovanni

Part of the Fatal Passions season, this is an ‘eclectic, time-travelling production’ of Mozart’s masterwork, with William Dazeley as Don, Alastair Miles as Leporello, Elizabeth Atherton as Donna Elvira, and Kathryn Rudge as Zerlina.

Leeds Grand Theatre 0844 848 2720 operanorth.co.uk

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ART

February 17th–June 10th

Hope is Strong

This exhibition explores the power of art to question the turbulent state of the world, and features work from Ai Weiwei and Jeremy Deller.

Millennium Gallery, Sheffield 0114 278 2600 museums-sheffield.org.uk

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January 6th-April 15th

Revolt & Revolutions

Pictures from the Arts Council Collection investigating the countercultural and anti-establishment movements of recent times. Power to the people...

Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, Wakefield 01924 832631 ysp.org.uk

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February 16th–June 3rd

Anthony McCall: Solid Light Works

McCall — best known for large scale sculptural light installations — describes himself as ‘existing in the space where cinema, sculpture and drawing overlap’. This is the first major UK exhibition of his work for more than 10 years.

Hepworth Wakefield 01924 247360 hepworthwakefield.org

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EVENTS

February 8th

George Monbiot

The green Guardianista comes to Leeds with a show based on his latest book, Out of the Wreckage, which examines how ‘communities can be rebuilt, how economies can be recharged without destroying the living planet and how politics can once more inspire and thrill’.

Howard Assembly Room, Leeds 0844 848 2720 operanorth.co.uk

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February 10th

Dr John Cooper Clarke

The anti-establishment punk performance poet with the tidy turn of phrase and shock of unruly jet black hair takes to the stage in Harrogate, of all places. Then again, his poems can be found on the school syllabus now...

Harrogate Theatre 01423 502116 harrogatetheatre.co.uk

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February 10th - 25th

Dinosaurs

Meet the T-Rex, an impressive animatronic dinosaur, as well as an adorable baby Triceratops, follow the dinosaur trail, take a free tractor trailer ride (watch out for escaped dinosaurs!), take part in dinosaur crafts and games, and get involved in a full day of animal encounters.

Tropical Butterfly House, Wildlife & Falconry Centre, Sheffield

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February 11th

The Big Beverley Pancake Race

The ‘Big Beverley Pancake Race’ is back and the call is going out for restaurants, cafes, shops, businesses and groups to get together a team of four willing pancake tossers, who can enter the relay race of approximately 80 metres

Please contact Helen Watson, Town Clerk for more details at clerk@beverley.gov.uk or call 01482 874096.

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February 23rd

Strange Face: Adventures with a Lost Nick Drake Recording

Nick Drake was a bit like the Ed Sheeran of his day (and before Nick Drake fans go mad and start writing angry letters in green ink, I mean he was a folk-influenced singer-songwriter and solo artist who played acoustic guitar. Seriously, chill out).

Unlike Ed, however, Nick never found a wide audience in life although, after his death by suicide in 1974, Drake’s recordings became cult classics appreciated by growing numbers of people and he’s now thought of as one of the most influential singer-songwriters of the last half century.

One of his fans is Michael Burdett, a TV composer who wrote the theme tunes for (wait for it) BBC’s Masterchef and Homes Under the Hammer. In the 1970s, when working at Island Records, Burdett rescued some old tapes he found in a skip and, when he played them more than 20 years later, discovered an unknown version of Cello Song, one of Drake’s greatest works.

What happened next is brilliantly bizarre. Burdett travelled the UK offering to play Cello Song to 200 people from all walks of life in exchange for photographing them, meeting some famous faces along the way such as Noel Fielding, Billy Bragg, Ross Noble, Fearne Cotton, Danny Baker and Martin Freeman. Burdett turned his experiences into a book and later into this funny and warm award-winning stage show which was a big hit at the Edinburgh Fringe. If you’re a fan of Nick Drake (and even if you’re not), don’t miss it. It plays the Pocklington Arts Centre on March 1st.

Square Chapel, Halifax 01422 349422 squarechapel.co.uk

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FILM

February 14th

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Here’s a bit of a treat: the ravishing and iconic film version of Truman Capote’s story with Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard and Henry Mancini’s Moon River. Who could want for more?

Howard Assembly Room, Leeds 0844 848 2720 operanorth.co.uk

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February 14th

Brief Encounter

Stiff upper-lips are all a-trembling as Trevor Howard meets married Celia Johnson at a train station and falls terribly, terribly in love with her. Noel Coward’s bitter-sweet tale is given the David Lean treatment, and the result is a classic British movie.

Square Chapel, Halifax 01422 349422 squarechapel.co.uk

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CONCERTS

February 8th

Paul Young & China Crisis

A double bill of 1980s musical nostalgia with Paul ‘Wherever I Lay My Hat’ Young and China ‘King in a Catholic Style’ Crisis.

Foundry, Sheffield foundrysu.com

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February 9th

Dhrupadhamar: The Music of Gods and Kings

SAA-uk (South Asian Arts-uk) is hosting an evening concert of the duo Dhrupadhamar, composed by musicians and early music scholars Jasdeep Singh and Kirit Singh with an introductory talk and will be followed by the intense vocal and percussion performance.

Seven Arts, 31A Harrogate Rd, Leeds LS7 3PD http://saa-uk.org

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February 9th

Zara McFarlane

The sublime East London jazz and soul singer — the possessor of an astoundingly pure voice and three critically acclaimed albums — comes to Leeds for a gig at the Howard Assembly Room. Musical perfection.

Howard Assembly Room, Leeds 0844 848 2720 operanorth.co.uk

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February 17th

The Pointe Art Troupe Chinese New Year Concert

A showcase of Eastern and Western music the event features a host of local children alongside celebrated musician Cecilia Xiying Huang an award-winning piano lecturer at the School of Music, South China Normal University who gained her masters degree in music at the University of Hull.

Hull City Hall, Queen Victoria square, Hull, HU1 3RQ www.hulltheatres.co.uk

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February 18th

Vonda Shepard

Shepard sprang to a short-lived global fame years ago when she was chosen to compose music for the Ally McBeal TV show. Now she’s returning to the UK with a full band to play songs on and off the McBeal menu.

Pocklington Arts Centre 01759 301547 pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk

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February 23rd

Paul Weller

The man from The Jam celebrated the 40th anniversary of the band’s first album In the City last year, so is there any chance he might include the title track in the set list for this show? Maybe, but Weller isn’t a man who enjoys looking back, so no promises. He’ll certainly be showcasing tracks from his latest CD, A Kind Revolution, though...

First Direct Arena, Leeds 0844 248 1585 firstdirectarena.com

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February 23rd

Table Scraps and The Hipshakes

Table Scraps are a band that create black-hearted garage punk which fully embraces the good, the bad and the ugly of rock’n’roll’s twisted lineage and various mutations, have just announced their new album ‘Autonomy’ which launches on the same day.

Foodhall, 121 Eyre Street, S1 4QW, Sheffield

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February 24th

Morrissey

Was the former Smiths’ frontman being deliberately provocative with some of his more recent statements? Well, no change there really, and it doesn’t seem to have dented his fan base or the sales of his latest CD, Low in High School. Misery in human form.

First Direct Arena, Leeds 0844 248 1585 firstdirectarena.com

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