Archive | Arts & Culture

The King is Dead, Long Live the….


The terrible Tudors take over the Royal Armouries on 16th/ 17th September, 10am – 5pm in an exciting Tudor-themed event.

To mark the 470th anniversary of the death of King Henry VIII (1491-1547), the museum will stage an action-packed weekend of dramatic performances, combat demonstrations, historical music and family activities to bring the period to life.

The death of King Henry VIII was a tense and dangerous time in England’s history. With wars in Scotland and France, insurrection at home, a boy king, and a succession of courtiers battling for power – the saga has all the makings of a Shakespearian tragedy.

There will be a number of fight demonstrations on display over the weekend, including a unique Elizabethan barrier combat and a two-handed sword combat, popular amongst courtiers in the Tudor and Stuart periods.

As well as a range of activities to entertain all of the family, the museum also houses a number of significant objects from the Tudor period.

Highlights include the Foot Combat and Tonlet Armours of a young King Henry VIII, the famous Horned Helmet gifted to Henry by Emperor Maximillian I, and the elaborate armours of Queen Elizabeth I’s courtiers, including that of the Queen’s favourite, the Earl of Leicester.

“The founding of the Royal Armouries collection dates from the reign of Elizabeth I in the 16th-century and the Tudor items we have on display are remarkable,” said Mark Jackson, Events and Informal Learning Manager. “The Interpretation Team at the museum have been busy learning new styles of combat from the period which visitors will be able to see over the weekend.

“The weekend promises to be thoroughly entertaining, and will be of special interest to families with children studying the Tudors at school, as many of the talks and presentations are designed to fit in with the history curriculum. We hope the activities will give visitors a new and unique insight into one of England’s most notorious royal dynasties”

For more information on the Tudor Weekend at the Royal Armouries, visit:


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Skipton Puppet Festival – a Weekend to Inspire and Delight



Skipton International Puppet Festival, a weekend to inspire, delight, amaze and enthral, returns from 29th September – 1st October with puppets galore, from the very tall to the very small. There’ll be life-sized giraffes grazing at the Canal Basin, and a flea circus itching to tell you about its latest stunts.

The festival draws performers from across Europe and even as far away as Brazil, but the event is firmly rooted in Skipton with community support at the core of its success.

As always, there will be a blend of traditional and experimental puppetry. The hugely popular giant Puppet Parade will dance through the town centre on Sunday, celebrating the amazing puppet creations constructed in community workshops. A ‘Lost and Found’ theme will see performances give new life and character to the unexpected and overlooked.

The Festival, now in its seventh edition, relies on the generous support of Skipton BID, Skipton Town Council, Craven District Council and the Arts Council, as well as the town’s generous and welcoming community.

“We hugely value the energy given by the people of Skipton to create a brilliant, welcoming festival”, said Liz Lempen, one of the Festival’s Directors. “We’re always thrilled by the level of community participation. We’re looking forward to the artistic talent, excitement, and smiling faces at the event.”

For individuals and families who fancy getting stuck in, there will be free parade puppet making workshops over the weekends of 16th /17th and 23rd /24th September, run in partnership with Handmade Parade, and more drop-in puppet making opportunities at the festival itself.

Over sixty per cent of shows at Skipton Puppet Festival are free, so everyone can experience puppetry magic and enjoy performances – from world-class established puppeteers to student and experimental work.

For further information, visit


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Avenue Q at The Carriageworks


The smash hit musical Avenue Q (think a filthy, irreverent Sesame Street for grown ups) comes to the Carriageworks from Wednesday 27 – Saturday 30 Sept.

This bawdy comedy conveys life’s tough lessons through the trials and tribulations of Princeton, a bright eyed college graduate, who is anxious to discover his purpose in life; but first, he must find an apartment and a job, with no work experience — just like the other characters living on Avenue Q! He soon discovers that although the residents seem nice, it’s clear that this is not your ordinary neighbourhood.

Filled with gut-busting humour and a delightfully catchy score, not to mention puppets, Avenue Q is a truly unique show that has quickly become a favourite for audiences everywhere.

Tickets for Avenue Q are £24 (£23 concessions), and can be booked on 0113 376 0318 and at

Avenue Q contains mature themes and language and is recommended for theatergoers 14 years and over.

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Phill Jupitus Comes to City Varieties


Comedian Phill Jupitus comes to Leeds City Varieties on Thursday, 28 September .

Is there anything Phill Jupitus hasn’t done? He was a DJ on BBC 6 Music, team captain on Never Mind The Buzzcocks, poet who supported Billy Bragg in the 1980s, TV and film actor, improv player, and musical star of Hairspray and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and now he’s returning to the live arena for a new stand-up tour in which he gets to be two people.

“I have a lot of material to choose from for this tour”, said Phill about his pun-loving stand-up, poetry and music show, Juplicity. “The thing that really works for me is that I support myself as Porky The Poet, so he goes out and does 40 minutes to start the evening. Because of Buzzcocks and other jobs, I let Porky and the poetry slide but after about a decade I came back to it, often just chucking stuff out on Facebook for mates to read. Combined with the old poems, and factoring in chit-chat between them, I had about an hour of material.”

Phill also has a proven track record of live music behind him from his time with the all-star Idiot Bastard Band. “The songs for this tour are solid; which all comes from the time I was in the band with Neil Innes and Ade Edmondson. Because I’ve spent time away from touring stand-up, you get better at doing it by building the source material. For the autumn tour I’ll do two hours: 40 minutes poetry, quarter of an hour of songs, and the rest is stand-up.”

Juplicity draws on Phill’s life, which he describes as both ‘chaotic’ and ‘flaky’. “Sean Lock has a phrase, that is both inspiring and worrying, about comedians mining their own personalities for material and then negotiating how much to keep back. Initially there was some resistance to me discussing things about my family.  As a comedian you are a person in a society within the world; all you have to do is look at things and shift your camera angle, then put a wider lens on the situation so that it resonates with people.”

It’s hard to know exactly what’s down the road for the ever-adaptable Mr Jupitus, but for now he’s enjoying the cut, thrust and edge-of-the-seat jeopardy that only live comedy can truly provide. “I think I’ve found a way of monetising a social dysfunction. I’ve always maintained that there’s something slightly wrong with arts and crafts types putting themselves in the most confrontational situation, which is standing in front of strangers and trying to get them on side.”

For tickets visit

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Northern Broadsides Present World Premiere of Blake Morrison’s For Love or Money at WYP



Barrie Rutter

Northern Broadsides and the Skipton-born playwright, poet and novelist Blake Morrison have joined forces to stage the World Premiere of For Love or Money, Morrison’s new adaptation of Alain-Rene Lesage’s savage eighteenth-century comedy Turcaret. Barrie Rutter directs in this his final touring production ahead of stepping down from his role as the  Broadsides Artistic Director in April 2018. The production plays at West Yorkshire Playhouse from 26 – 30 September.

Sarah-Jane Potts

A small town in Yorkshire sees a beautiful widow wooed by two suitors, one old and wealthy, one young and deceitful. Throw in a bailiff, a drunkard, a vamp, a second-hand clothes dealer and two upwardly mobile servants, and watch a comedic tale of monstrous wealth and whopping lies begin to unfold.

Blake Morrison

“It is 21 years now since my first collaboration with Barrie Rutter”, said Blake Morrison. “It was The Cracked Pot, an adaptation of a Kleist play in which, as well as directing, he took the leading role. By my count there have been seven collaborations since, with adaptations of plays written in German, Italian, Russian and Ancient Greek, plus one in Geordie which required only minor adjustments to be Yorkshire-fied. That is the pattern: wherever and whenever the original play is set I try to render it in a language that’s true to Rutter’s allegiance to Northern speech. Instead of RP it becomes NBI, Northern Broadsides Idiom.”

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Rich Hall’s Hoedown at WYP


Rich Hall and his Hoedown band are coming to The West Yorkshire Playhouse on Saturday 7th October.

Never has there been a better time to be an American comedian in the UK. Hall’s precision dismantling of the tenuous relationship between the two countries is as freewheeling and deadly accurate as ever.

This Hoedown begins as a withering dissection of Trump’s America with all its twists and turns, but ends up in a celebration of Americana. There’s stand-up, improvised ballads, cracking good musicianship, and ultimately a hilarious, foot-stomping good time to be had by all. Even if you don’t own a hoe.

Rich Hall’s grouchy, deadpan style has established him as a master of absurdist irony and the king of rapid-fire wit. His critically acclaimed BBC Four documentaries, ‘Rich Hall’s Countrier Than You’ and ‘Rich Hall’s Presidential Grudge Match’, and his BBC Radio 4 series Rich Hall’s (US Election) Breakdown, have built him a whole new legion of followers, as have regular appearances on  Have I Got News For You and  QI.

Tickets are available from 0113 213 7700 or online at



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Artists Brushing Up for Ilkley Art Trail


Coinciding with its literary festival, Ilkley’s Art Trail runs from 5th to 8th October and will showcase the work of 64 contemporary artists exhibiting in their own homes as well as more unusual venues across the town. This year the Trail features major work by 20th century artist greats, Graham Sutherland, Edward Burra and William Roberts, loaned by the Methodist Modern Art Collection, and displayed in the two main Methodist churches in Ilkley.

Visitors can see examples of work by every exhibiting artist in the Town Hall and plan their route from there, as well as chat to an Ilkley Arts host about what is happening and how to get the best out of their visit.

“We are thrilled that we have been able to select some of the best Yorkshire and northern-based painters, print-makers, sculptors, textile and glass-makers, jewellers, ceramicists and photographers to exhibit at the event,” said Sarah Thomas, Chair of Ilkley Arts. “There really is something for everyone. The highlights from the Methodist Art Collection will make the Trail even more enticing and we are also delighted to be associated with Ilkley Literature Festival’s exhibition at Ilkley’s historic Manor House, of the sculptures, inscriptions and images by Ian Hamilton Finlay, the Scottish poet, conceptual artist and gardener, loaned to the Festival by local art collector Ronnie Duncan.”

This year also sees a new collaboration between Ilkley Arts and Nell Bank education centre situated on the outskirts of Ilkley.  41 artists are creating their interpretation of ‘leaves’ that will form a stunning leaf trail round the grounds and outdoor buildings on the beautiful Nell Bank site over the weekend of the Trail.

Artists not only show, but sell their work and prices start from as little as £1.00 for a card and go up to £3,000.00 for internationally renowned artist Joanne Tinker’s mixed media art work.

Jo Tinker’s joyful re-use of thrown-away objects chimes well with these recycling times. Tiny, miniature goblets made from brightly-coloured sweet wrappers, miniature chairs made from champagne tops, or jewellery and clothing stitched together from tin cans and bottle tops form her collections.  Her work has appeared at the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition and at the New York Museum of Art and Design.  Jo will be opening her home to Trail visitors and also exhibiting the work of Pippa Hamilton who uses textiles and mixed media in her art; Kit Hemsley, an applauded ceramicist who makes delicate and tactile bowls, candle holders and sculptures and Thelma Russell, a felt-maker who likes to make “beautiful, functional objects such as book covers, table mats and vases”.

Joy Godfrey has been exhibiting since the first Trail in 2011.  Well known for her bronze sculptures, silk screen prints, watercolours and drawings, in particular of Ilkley Moor, Joy will be showing her pieces at the studio she shares with glass-maker Chris Bailey, and ceramicists Dan Hogan, Linda King and Jackie Knight.

A full list of artists and venues can be found on the Ilkley Art trail website:

Programmes also are available from visitor Information centres and keep an eye out for information about demonstrations and other activities.

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Queen of Chapeltown: West Yorkshire Playhouse Celebrates Leeds West Indian Carnival 50th Anniversary



Queen of Chapeltown, a vibrant new production paying homage to Leeds’ rich heritage, is at West Yorkshire Playhouse Tue 12 – Fri 15 September 2017

Inspired by original, first-hand accounts from the West Indian community, Queen of Chapeltown weaves recognisable Leeds voices from the real life events of Carnival’s birth in 1967 into an exuberant snapshot of this significant moment in British history.

Following four West Indians as they arrive in Leeds, including founding Carnivalist Arthur France MBE, the production spans a journey through time seeing the Quarry Theatre transform from post-war Britain to the jubilant hosting of the first ever King and Queen Show. Surrounded by a company of community actors, a professional cast of five will share stories inspired by those involved in the inaugural Leeds West Indian King and Queen Show at Leeds’ Jubilee Hall.

Director Amy Leach

This newly commissioned play is written by leading BBC Radio Producer, author and historian Colin Grant and directed by West Yorkshire Playhouse Associate Director Amy Leach, with dramaturgy by actor and broadcaster Burt Caesar, and movement direction by West Yorkshire Playhouse Associate Artist Pauline Mayers.

Queen of Chapeltown


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Award Winning Broadway Musical RENT Comes to The Carriageworks


LIDOS bring to life the revolutionary rock opera RENT at Carriageworks Theatre on Tuesday 12 – Saturday 16 September.

A modern spin on Puccini’s opera La Boheme, Rent tells the tale of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive in the wildly bohemian days of New York in the early 1990s. It was an immediate hit when it premiered off Broadway in 1996 and went on to win every major musical award, including the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize for drama.

This landmark musical tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists in New York City’s East Village. Over the course of a year, the group deals with love, loss, and modern day life in one truly powerful story. Facing the problems head on, they make personal self-discoveries and find what really matters most in life.

While Rent’s storyline delves into serious social issues of the times such as drug addiction, homophobia and the AIDS epidemic, its exuberant, high-energy music reveals the underlying message that love can prevail despite all odds.

Tickets for RENT are £16 (£14 concessions), and can be booked on 0113 376 0318 and at

RENT contains mature themes and language and is recommended for theatergoers 16 years and over.



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‘Walk of ART’ Sessions Aim to Help Early Years Teachers Teach Art


Early Years and Key Stage 1 teachers are being invited to learn about teaching art, whilst helping to raise funds for Horsforth Walk of ART 2018.

The weekly evening sessions will be run by local artist Penny Rowe, in collaboration with Horsforth Walk of Art founder Lara Rule and the art charity SKIPPKO. The first term will run from September to December 2017 and will cost just £5 per session. The money will go directly into the Walk of ART Schools project.

Participants will learn about a different artistic principle each week and about how that principle can be adapted to the classroom.

The sessions will be led by Penny Rowe who has spent the last four years organising and running art clubs in schools, and has been working with the Aspire School Partnership for the past two years on a multi-school sculpture project.

“Assisting individuals, whatever their age, to understand their own artistic process has become my strongest drive”, said Penny. “I know that if children in particular can understand how creation works, they will grow in confidence and develop skills that will inevitably effect culture in a positive way.”

Lara Rule welcomes the chance to help more people learn about art whilst raising money for Walk of Art preojects. “As an Early Years Teacher myself, I am keen to nurture children’s innate drive to express themselves, to test the world and its materials, and to create. I want to be able to use the creative arts to build language, mathematical, technical and scientific skills. With this course, we are creating a space for teachers of any artistic ability to learn specific skills, and be able to discuss how to use these skills.”

The sessions will take place at Greatminster House, Lister Hill, Horsforth, on Mondays at 7.30pm from September. This is one of SKIPPKO’s Blank Canvas’ properties which bring empty commercial buildings back into use for the benefit of local artists and people.

The next Walk of ART will run from 7th – 9th July 2018. It is free to attend, exhibit and participate in, with participants being encouraged to give something free to the community. It uses creativity as a platform on which to create meaningful and lasting community relationships. The three-day event aims to showcase local talent and encourage people to try something different.

For further information regarding the art classes, or to book a space, please email or send a message on Facebook –

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