What's coming up at Ilkley Playhouse, Caroline Mutton takes a look.
If you are looking for something to do this coming weekend, then head down to Ilkley Playhouse where we have a line-up of music, comedy and film to entertain you. On Friday night the popular Acoustic band Laurel Canyon Union return to Ilkley Playhouse. Formed in the summer of 2015 by US Grammy Nominated ex Acoustic Alchemy drummer John Shepard, this union of fully professional, experienced musicians take their inspiration from the late 60s/early 70s American West Coast singer songwriter era, playing well know songs from artists such as Jackson Browne, Neil Young, Eagles, James Taylor and Buffalo Springfield. Rewind to the Counterculture Woodstock Generation and enjoy a great playlist of Cool California Country Rock.
On Saturday night Stagefright Comedy Club will once again be entertaining Ilkley Playhouse audiences. The event will be frontlined by Jonny Pelham who has delighted audiences at Ilkley Playhouse before and is one of the most exciting stand-up comedians in the UK. He has appeared on Live at the Apollo, Mock The Week, Alan Davies As Yet Untitled, Russell Howard’s Stand-up Central, Live from the BBC and Bobby and Harriet Get Married. Beyond The Fringe Edinburgh Festival Award winner, double-nominated for Chortle Comedy Awards Best Show and Breakthrough Act 2020. He’s written and starred in his own scripted comedy projects; Late Bloomer, for Sky Comedy Short Season and Brad Boys for Channel Four Comedy Blaps, as well as working as a script consultant for BAFTA winning sitcom, Alma’s Not Normal. Joining him is Nick Doody - inspired invective from The World Stands Up, The Mark Thomas Comedy Product and The Now Show. Nick has been performing comedy since the 1990s when, as a student he got off to a pretty good start by supporting the legendary Bill Hicks, at Bill's request. Since then he has performed all over the world from Switzerland to Hong Kong. He has written material for Joan Rivers, Lenny Henry, the late Dame Edna Everage and many of the cast of Mock the Week. He was also the creator and head writer of Bigipedia, the critically acclaimed Radio 4 show. Also performing is Jane Postlethwaite, Audience Choice Award Nominee at Brighton Fringe and Funny Women Finalist. Comedian Tegan Marlow, who was nominated as Breakthrough Act in the 2022 Northwest Comedy Awards and was a semi- finalist in the 2021 Funny Women Awards, will also be entertaining on that night. She has quickly taken the Northwest comedy circuit by storm, regularly performing alongside pro acts all over the North. Also taking to the stage will be Jack Kelly, described as having 'a natural stage presence and well-written gags which are perfectly timed' (Small & Shouty Comedy Club). The guest compere for the evening will be Jim Bayes. Endearing and likeable, Jim is a frustrated young man with the ability to make excellent and thoughtful observations as well as having an eye for the absurd.
On Sunday 25th June, as part of Refugee Week 2023, Wharfedale Amnesty is delighted to be showing the film Aisha. The film tells the story of a young Nigerian woman (Letitia Wright) seeking protection in Ireland. Caught in limbo for years in the immigration system, she forms a friendship with a security guard Conor (Josh O’Connor). Although fictional, the events portrayed are constructed from real-life and demonstrate the nightmare of bureaucracy. The two leading actors give brilliant performances. Tickets are £10 (£6 for students). Please note that all surplus funds will go to Amnesty International UK, There will be an information stall from Wharfedale Amnesty beforehand (doors open 7pm) and the bar will be open before and after the film, with the opportunity for a discussion about the film afterwards.
Our final production of the Spring and Summer season is Abi Morgan's Lovesong, running from 6th to the 15th July in the Wharfeside Theatre. This love story time-warps us through the forty years‘ marriage of Maggie and Billy. Their sometimes bumpy relationship is drawing to a close as Maggie’s increasing and terminal frailty forces the couple into making some drastic preparations. The powerful poignancy of the play is ratcheted up by the presence of their younger selves about to begin their journey into a long and childless marriage. Pain is never far away and the constancy of their relationship is tested as the years march on. The two couples share the stage as past and present melt into one. The play, based on the TS Eliot poem ‘The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock’, is a playful, heart-warmingly funny and tragic drama. It speaks to all ages with its exploration of ageing and falling in love, the highs and lows of relationships and making every day count. The director of the play, Paul Chewins, says “there are plays that you read or see, that stay with you – for months, for years, forever. I first watched Lovesong in 2012 and it has stayed with me ever since. I say ‘watched’ but frankly I could only gaze at the play through tearful eyes; it is deeply moving without being in the least sentimental, achingly sad without being morbid.” Watch in wonder as Abi Morgan’s beautifully-observed, thought-provoking play unfolds, touching the very heart of the human condition.
Prepare for a summer feast of Shakespeare with our fringe production Bard in the Yard, returning for the third year. Ilkley Playhouse will be presenting a half hour version of “Hamlet” directed by Dick Hebbert plus half an hour of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” directed by Andrew Leggott. Performances will take place at 7.30pm on Saturday 26th August in the Wildman Theatre and at 2pm in the Manor House Yard on Sunday 27th and Monday 28th August (Bank Holiday). Please note that to book for the Manor House performances, please book via their website www.ilkleymanorhouse.org
To book tickets for all our plays and events visit www.ilkleyplayhouse.co.uk or contact Ilkley Playhouse box office on 01943 609539.