Theatre blog: The plays to see in York in February 2014

5 Feb 2014 @ 9.47 am
| News
Bold as brass… Brassed Off, coming to York Theatre Royal
Bold as brass… Brassed Off, coming to York Theatre Royal

andy-curry-headshotA cracking Yorkshire story, a new drama about bravery and friendship and a play in the pub – lots to see this month says Andy Curry

Ahhhh February! Everything’s a little colder, the excitement of Christmas has well and truly died down but you still have to wrap up. What you’ll also find is the York theatre scene grinding itself back into rhythm. So without further ado – here’s what springs out in February.

Brassed Off

In rehearsal, with York actor Andrew Dunn on trombone. Photograph: York Theatre Royal / Sam Atkins
In rehearsal, with York actor Andrew Dunn on trombone. Photograph: York Theatre Royal / Sam Atkins

York writer and director Mark Herman made the utterly remarkable feature film Brassed Off in 1996.

It stands as one of my favourite films – both hilarious, fiercely political and heartbreaking. If you haven’t seen it – go rectify this now! Go on. We’ll wait…

Done it? See what I mean.

So you’ll understand my excitement at the prospect of the stage version of this most Yorkshire of stories making it’s way to the York Theatre Royal – accompanied by a full live brass band. Completely essential.

Ghost Town


Meanwhile in The Studio, York theatre wonders Pilot Theatre – fresh from their triumphant Blood + Chocolate – return indoors with Ghost Town.

Directed by the consistently excellent Katie Posner, Ghost Town is a new play about lost friendship, memory and what it means to be courageous, written by Nick Darke Award winner Jessica Fisher.


The next generation of thespians
The next generation of thespians

If you’ve got tiny little ones who have a penchant for the dramatic then York-based actress Gemma Sharp might well have the perfect thing for you.

Hoglets – her new children’s theatre company – is running weekly drama and storytelling classes for children under four and their parents.

It’s a fantastic concept – Gemma guides the children through drama games, craft, songs and fun whilst teaching the parents drama tips and tricks to help enhance storytime at home.

Each class is crowned with a magical story performance by Gemma’s alter-ego Mama Hoglet.

Classes run every Monday and Tuesday at children’s centres across the city.

A Winter’s Tale


Now this is interesting looking. York writer and actress Hannah Davies has been working with Tom Cornford and Common Ground Touring Theatre to adapt this unique production of Shakespeare’s classic.

In their own words the show is “an evening of story and song, a jam session, a dance off and a booze-up, a tale of teeth-grinding spite and sweet soul-revival, and sheep grazing in green fields…”

And it’s taking place in a series of York pubs – which makes it just about awesome in my eyes.

If you’ve never experienced the intimacy and atmosphere of theatre in a pub before (and we’re not talking about a pub that has a theatre but actually in a normal pub – big difference) then I urge you to see for yourself. Nothing quite compares.

Catch the show at

The Fauconberg Arms, Coxwold – Friday, February 7
Dunnington Village Hall Saturday, February 8, York
The Yorkshire Terrier, Stonegate, York – Thursday, March 6
The Gillygate, Gillygate, York – Friday, March 28

Six Lips Cabaret Fundraiser

The ladies of Six Lips Theatre are back and they want your money! They are, of course, prepared to dazzle you for it, with their upcoming fundraiser cabaret show.

The York theatre company are raising funds to enable them to tour their new piece House Of Tragic She to festivals across the country – including a return to the Edinburgh Festival.

The Valentines Caberet is a 1940s themed night of entertainment, fun and games.

Come on down to City Screen’s cosy Basement Bar off Coney Street for a gorgeous night of Forties warbling, ugly cakes, raffles and lifestyle tips from your four favourite women. It all kicks off on Friday, February 14, from 8pm. Tickets available from the City Screen box office.

That should keep you all out of trouble!

If anyone has anything they’d like me to mention in the March diary then drop me an email by clicking here.