What’s On in Yorkshire during December 2018

PUBLISHED: 10:45 30 November 2018 | UPDATED: 10:46 30 November 2018

Christmas at Burton Agnes Hall

Christmas at Burton Agnes Hall

supplied

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

THEATRE

December 7th–January 12th

Kiss Me Kate

Cole Porter’s rollicking Broadway musical, featuring the songs So in Love, Brush Up Your Shakespeare, Another Op’nin’, Another Show and Too Darn Hot.

Sheffield 0114 249 6000 sheffieldtheatres.co.uk

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December 18th–January 6th

Shrek the Musical

The comedy crowd-pleaser returns, based on the box office-shattering Dreamworks cartoon about a green (and strangely Scottish) ogre falling for the beautiful Princess Fiona, who may not be all she seems. Spare a thought for the actor playing diminutive villain Lord Farquaad, who traditionally has to perform the entire part on his knees.

Leeds Grand Theatre 0844 848 2720 leedsgrandtheatre.com

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Until January 19th

A Christmas Carol

Last year’s Christmas show when the Leeds Playhouse was called the West Yorkshire Playhouse was an excellent production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. This outing for the Dickens seasonal classic has big shoes to fill.

Leeds Playhouse 0113 213 7700 leedsplayhouse.org.uk

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CONCERTS

December 7th

The Human League

The Human League formed in Sheffield in 1977, but their back catalogue is pure 1980s’ gold: Mirror Man, Human, Tell Me When, (Keep Feeling) Fascination, Love Action and — of course Don’t You Want Me which, for some reason, became their most famous song.

Sheffield Arena 0114 256 5656 flydsaarena.co.uk

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December 8th

The Grand Old Uke of York Christmas

This sparky Yorkshire ukelele collective formed eight years ago and has cultivated a strong following on the gig and festival circuit.

Pocklington Arts Centre 01759 301547 pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk

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December 9th

The South

Former members of The Beautiful South including singer Alison Wheeler and sax player Gaz Birtles, Carry on Regardless.

Barnsley Birdwell 0844 478 0898 seetickets.com

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December 10th

Mariah Carey

Yes, it’s herself and guess what she’s definitely going to be belting out in this run through of her greatest hits, plus grab-bag of festive numbers? Here’s a clue. The evening is subtitled the All I Want for Christmas is You concert.

First Direct Arena 0844 248 1585 firstdirectarena.com

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December 12th

Fish

You might remember Fish if you were around in the 1980s because that was when he was lead singer of Marillion, a Genesis-a-like outfit that had a massive hit with a song called Kayleigh, and then slightly less success with the follow-up single, Lavender. They also released albums with wonderfully pretentious proggy names, including Script for a Jester’s Tear and Fugazi. Fish — real name Derek Dick, so you can see why he changed it — left Marillion ages ago but he hasn’t stopped writing and performing and recently released a new EP called A Parley with Angels (you can see he hasn’t lost his touch with the titles). He’ll be performing music from his solo career and the entire Clutching at Straws album from his Marillion days.

Actually, I’ve just remembered. Jeremy Clarkson has talked about his love of prog rock in general and Genesis in particular. Damn. It’s still not cool at all, is it?

Hull New Theatre 01482 300306 hulltheatres.co.uk

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December 13th

Roy Wood Rock and Roll Band

He’s going to have to do it, isn’t he? I mean, can you imagine going to see Roy Wood in concert at this time of year and then not hear him play I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day? Also at York Grand Opera House (4th) and Sheffield City Hall (20th).

Hull New Theatre 01482 300306 hulltheatres.co.uk

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December 14th

Def Leppard

Another big, famous Sheffield band that formed in 1977 (maybe there was something in the city’s water that year). Unless you’re of the hard rockin’ persuasion you may only know the big hits, which are, nevertheless, considerable: Animal, Let’s Get Rocked and Pour Some Sugar on Me.

Sheffield Arena 0114 256 5656 flydsaarena.co.uk

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December 20th

Kate Rusby

Yorkshire’s folk queen returns with her popular Christmas show, where she performs traditional South Yorkshire versions of well-known carols. She is also appearing at Sheffield City Hall (December 8th), Huddersfield Town Hall (December 9th) and York Barbican (December 18th).

Royal Hall, Harrogate 01423 502116 harrogatetheatre.co.uk

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JAZZ

December 9th

Jacqui Dankworth and Charlie Wood

Jazz royalty turns up in Halifax when Jacqui D (daughter of Johnny Dankworth and Cleo Laine) performs songs with her pianist/vocalist husband, Charlie Wood. On the bill are numbers by Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, George and Ira Gershwin, James Taylor and Carole King and more.

The Piece Hall, Halifax 01422 525200 thepiecehall.co.uk

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BALLET

December 4th-16th

The Nutcracker

Christmas isn’t Christmas without a production of the Tchaikovsky classic. This one is performed by Northern Ballet, with the score played live by Northern Ballet Sinfonia.

Leeds Grand Theatre 0844 848 2720 leedsgrandtheatre.com

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CHRISTMAS EVENTS

Various dates in December

Burton Agnes Hall

Have a country house Christmas with various festive events including Christmas Craft Wednesdays, a talk about Christmas through the ages at Burton Agnes (December 6th), a Christmas twilight weekend (December 7th, 8th, 9th) and twilight carols by the fireside (December 19th).

Burton Agnes Hall 01262 490324 burtonagnes.com

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December 1st, 2nd, 8th, 9th

Grassington Dickensian Festival

Take a trip to the Yorkshire Dales town during this excellent Dickensian event and see if you can spot much-loved characters such as Mr Budfuddery, Uncle Chuggleflinch, Magistrate Fumblechook, Bob Scratchit and Reverend Sherrydingle. Actually, you won’t find them anywhere because I’ve just made all of those names up. It’s still well worth going, though, because the whole town gets in on the fun with entertainers in Victorian costume, a brass band, a Christmas market and other Dickensian delights.

grassingtondickensian.co.uk

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CHRISTMAS CONCERTS

December 13th & 14th

Christmas Carol Concerts

This is a landmark event in York Minster’s annual calendar, with the York Minster Choir ‘performing a mixture of classical and popular Christmas music’. Hugely popular, too so don’t delay if you haven’t got a ticket.

York Minster 01904 557200 yorkminster.org

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December 15th

Christmas Starts Here

The Inspiration community choir and the Orchestra of Opera North perform favourite carols and songs.

Leeds Town Hall 0113 376 0318 leedstownhall.co.uk

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December 19th

Tallis Scholars

This was sold out the last time I looked. But if you have a ticket, you’ve an appointment with ‘the rock stars of renaissance vocal music’ performing a Christmas programme. Naturally.

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

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December 21st

Carols by Candlelight

A concert staged in a ‘candle-lit style setting’, with performers including soprano Rowan Pierce and the Mozart Festival Orchestra in full 18th century costume. Expect the Christmas Sequence from Messiah, Joy to the World, I Saw Three Ships, In dulci jubilo and many others.

Hull New Theatre 01482 300306 hulltheatres.co.uk

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CHRISTMAS MARKETS

Until December 22nd

Leeds Christkindelmarkt

Who doesn’t like a Christmas market? They’re atmospheric, twinkly, a bit twee in their own wooden-chalet-type way, full of festive cheer, Glühwein and piped Christmas music (Perry Como seems to be a favourite). The Leeds Christkindelmarkt on Millennium Square, which was established in 2002, is particularly good. It’s fairly large (with over 40 stalls), German (the name may have given you a clue) and features hand-crafted goods (which may come in handy if you have yet to do your Christmas shopping) and lots of tasty Euro-delicacies. Every Saturday and Sunday morning children and families have the chance to join Santa for breakfast in the Alp Chalet while a children’s show also takes place each Sunday morning on the market square stage. Banish all thoughts of Brexit from your mind for a change and just enjoy the vibe.

Of course, the Leeds Christkindelmarkt isn’t the only Christmas market in Yorkshire. There are loads of them at this time of year. In date order just some of my favorites include York’s St Nicholas Fair (until December 23rd), Richmond Town Christmas Market (December 2nd), Otley Victorian Fayre and Christmas Market (December 2nd), Skipton Christmas Market (December 2nd and 9th), Malton Christmas Food and Gift Market (December 8th & 9th), Beverley Festival of Christmas (December 9th), a Christmas Market at the beautiful Piece Hall in Halifax (until December 31st) and Sheffield Christmas Market (dates to be confirmed at the time of writing). Check dates and times before travelling.

leeds.gov.uk/christmasmarket

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PANTOMIMES

December 13th-February 2nd, 2019

The Grand Old Dame of York

This is the legendary dame Berwick Kaler’s 40th pantomime at the York Theatre Royal. He writes, co-directs and stars in the production packed with jokes, songs, fabulous costumes, amazing sets and choreography, all bound to thrill and complete Christmas for the whole family.

York Theatre Royal 01904 623568 yorktheatreroyal.co.uk

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December 7th-January 6th, 2019

Peter Pan

This year’s show is written once more by Paul Hendy and promises to be every bit as entertaining as last year’s Mother Goose, winner of the Pantomime of the Year at the Great British Pantomime Awards. Peter Pan stars Shaun Williamson, Wendi Peters, Damian Williams and Cbeebies’ Gemma Hunt and Milkshake’s David Ribi.

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

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Until January 6th, 2019

Cinderella

Another smash hit from the team who produced pantomime productions of Dick Whittington, Sleeping Beauty and Aladdin. This show promises dazzling costumes and fabulous sets plus a magical fairy godmother to complete the festive entertainment.

Theatre Royal Wakefield
 01924 211311 theatreroyalwakefield.co.uk

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November 23rd-December 31st

Beauty and the Beast

A magical performance of Beauty and the Beast is promised with spellbinding special effects, glittering sets and beautiful costumes. All the ingredients needed for an enchanting Christmas fairy tale.

The Carriageworks, Leeds 
0113 376 0318 carriageworkstheatre.co.uk

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December 13th-
January 5th, 2019

Snow White

There is no escaping the Magic Mirror as it declares Snow White the fairest of them all, thoroughly upsetting the Wicked Witch. This production has all the ingredients for an entertaining family pantomime with a dastardly villain and a hilarious Dame plus spectacular sets and costumes, and plenty of slapstick of course.

The Victoria Theatre, Halifax 01422 351158 
victoriatheatre.co.uk

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December 8th-

January 20th, 2019

Aladdin

Wonderful family entertainment with Billy Pearce as Wishee Washee in his twentieth Alhambra Theatre pantomime alongside Christopher Biggins who makes his ninth trip to the laundry at Old Peking as Widow Twankey with newly married Simon Webbe (of Blue fame) in the leading role of Aladdin.

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

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December 6th-30th

Alice in Wonderland

Here is something different from the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough for the festive season. The team that brought family audiences A (Scarborough) Christmas Carol and Pinocchio now want you to follow Alice as she falls down a rabbit hole once again to discover she is still a child in Wonderland…but Wonderland has changed. And not necessarily for the better.

Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough 01723 370541
 sjt.com

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Until December 31st

Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood

A production filled with mischief and derring-do to entertain you at Christmas. Robin and his Maid Marion have all on to outwit the dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham and rescue the babes. They have at least Robin’s all-singing, all-dancing Merry Men on their side.

The Cast, Doncaster 01302 303959 castindoncaster.co.uk

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December 7th- January 13th, 2019

Sleeping Beauty

This is a traditional tale for all the family to enjoy with the promise of star-quality performances, sing-along songs, dazzling special effects and heaps of hilarious fun. One not to be missed.

The Georgian Theatre Royal, Richmond, North Yorkshire 01748 825252 georgiantheatreroyal.co.uk

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More from Out & About

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Enjoy the views into the Yorkshire Dales and, dare we say it, towards Lancashire during this lovely walk

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Friday, November 30, 2018

It’s an all-year-round project putting together a merry welcome at one family country house

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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

George and Gerald are determined not to go to sleep on Christmas Eve. Tucked up snugly in bed, they want to stay awake to see if Father Christmas brings them a little something for being good boys all year long. Gerald has his fingers (and toes) crossed for a fire engine.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Banish the loneliness of the digital world and head for real life retail therapy at a historic market place, says Richard Darn

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Monday, November 26, 2018

What next for a former Harrogate spa hotel and public house?

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RHS Harlow Carr
Friday, November 23, 2018

When the festive frenzy gets too much, just head out of town.

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Fountains Abbey
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Treat yourself to a luxury break while exploring the beautiful area surrounding the North York Moors national park.

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Friday, November 16, 2018

Depending on wwho you ask, Hebden Bridge is a place for artists, commuters and hippies. Walkers also love this market town for its proximity to some fine West Yorskhire countryside.

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Hebden Bridge
Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Bizarre shapes and many different sizes of rock make this as fascinating for walkers as it is for climbers

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Pateley Bridge

Topics of Interest