Once the Musical: diasporic love raises its hopeful voice

Based on the cult 2006 Irish indie feature, Once tells the uplifting, yearning story of a part-time Dublin guitarist busker (dayjobbing in his dad’s hoover repair shop) who falls unexpectedly in love with a fellow musician. Spanning their fleeting chance connection across five short days, the story sees big changes happen to both of them in little ways. Continue reading

John Shuttleworth’s Back!: comedy preview

When John Shuttleworth last toured in 2017, he was on the brink of retirement. 2016 had wreaked its deathly toll on major celebrities (Rickman, Bowie, Wogan et al.) and Shuttleworth was feeling grimly vulnerable to the reaper’s scythe. We all thought he was packing it all in, that the superstardom he’d always imagined was tantalisingly just out of reach would never be his. Continue reading

Charles Dickens’ Ghost Stories for Christmas: The Chimes

Fresh from his run at London’s Charles Dickens Museum, James Swanton (Irving Undead; Dracula; Sikes & Nancy) returns his wildly popular rendition of Dickens’ Christmas books to York Medical Society for another sell-out run. Continue reading

Sleeping Beauty: theatre review

York Theatre Royal’s pantomime dame retired last year after 40 years of extraordinary success. Given what Berwick Kayler’s panto must have brought to the theatre’s coffers, I’d imagined this loss sparking a panicky but exciting meeting, with acres of sugar paper dedicated to mapping out the fresh start. How to sell loyal fans a new dame? Continue reading

The Nutcracker by Vienna Festival Ballet: dance review

Presented in the traditional style of a gouache Victorian Christmas card, Vienna Festival Ballet’s The Nutcracker fills the stage in York’s Grand Opera House with the height of Caucasian kitsch. Continue reading

Ballet Black: INGOMA, PENDULUM and CLICK!

London-based company Ballet Black, celebrating their eighteenth year, return to York Theatre Royal following last year’s successful debut with a Triple Bill featuring INGOMA, contrasting dramatic and inventive storytelling in a lively showcase of modern ballets. Continue reading

Hello and Goodbye: “When the time comes…”

Marking the return of in-house productions to the Studio, York Theatre Royal Associate Artist John R. Wilkinson – Genesis Future Director Award 2018 (Young Vic) – directs internationally acclaimed playwright Athol Fugard’s deceptively simple domestic drama Hello and Goodbye. Continue reading

Nigel Slater’s Toast: a sweet treat to pass along

From making the perfect sherry trifle, waging war over cakes through to the gender politics of sweets and the rigid rules of restaurant dining, Nigel Slater’s Toast is a moving and evocative tale of love, loss and… toast. Continue reading

When The Rain Stops Falling: inherited tragedies

A York premiere and launch production for new theatre company Rigmarole, Andrew Bovell’s award-winning 2008 play When the Rain Stops Falling addresses the most important issue of our times: “Are we prepared to pass on the damage from the past to our children?” Continue reading