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Autumn/winter season starts this month at Ilkley Playhouse

Anna Thomas is on the line-up for Stagefright Comedy on October 1st

Caroline Mutton takes a look at the new season at Ilkley Playhouse which kicks off with George Bernard Shaw’s Mrs Warren’s Profession on 15th September.

Mrs Warren’s daughter Vivie has never really known much about her mother. A sensible young woman, she has enjoyed a comfortable upbringing, a Cambridge education, a generous monthly allowance and now has ambitions to go into Law. Is it conceivable that her privilege and respectability have been financed from the profits of the world’s oldest profession? How will Vivie react when she finds out the truth about her mother’s empire? Banned, censored and controversial during George Bernard Shaw’s lifetime, this play resonates in new ways for today’s audience. The play has been updated by director Rick Hyland to 1960s Manchester to highlight the ever-relevant issues the play deals with. He takes inspiration from the famous Profumo affair and there are many moments that will deeply resonate with our modern audiences. The play is witty, provocative and deeply touching and will be performed by a talented mix of new and familiar faces to Ilkley Playhouse. The play runs until Saturday 24th September.

Our Poetry Course is back by popular demand, starting on 15th September. The course is aimed at anyone who enjoys reading and discussing poetry, focusing on twentieth century poetry from England and elsewhere. Working chronologically through this thrilling poetic century, you will have the opportunity to hone your reading skills and discuss some familiar and unfamiliar voices, including Rupert Brooke, Edmund Blunden, H.D., Keith Douglas, Margaret Atwood, Carol Ann Duffy, Imtiaz Dharker, Billie Collins, Jackie Kay, among others. The sessions take place every Thursday morning until 8th December. The cost is £70 for 10 weeks.

Our first Stagefright Comedy Club of the season takes place on Saturday 1st October frontlined by Jonny Pelham and Anna Thomas. Jonny Pelham 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. Anna Thomas is a Welsh comedian and winner of BBC’s New Comedy Awards 2021. UK Comedy Guide Chortle describes her ‘distinctive rhythms and charmingly dotty attitude that wins our affections with a convivial daftness. She has the appealing air of not quite being of this world. But whatever planet she’s from, they know funny’. Supporting them is Benny Shakes - a powerhouse of ‘funny’ built on a foundation of clever joke writing, from the daily struggles of living with a disability to his observations on red neck life. Benny is a relatable and affable comic who ‘raises the roof’ every time. Also supporting is Midlands Comedy Award winner Tommy Tomski. He has been described as ‘an imaginative weaver of narrative with a machine gun style delivery of punchlines’. The line-up for the evening will be brilliantly compered by Anthony Brown.

We have plenty of events going on to see you through Autumn before Christmas festivities begin. We have a wonderful new event lined up on 13th November: AbidA – A Feast for the Senses. Based on a traditional North African ritual, the performance consists of seven scenes which present evocations of each of seven colours through dance, sound, text, imagery and fragrance. Each scene has its own particular ensemble of musicians and dancers.

On 18th November we see the debut performance of Celtic folk trio Roisin Ban, playing a mix of mainly traditional Irish and Scottish folk songs and tunes. Award winning tribute artist Richard Griffin performs Elvis – The Songbook on 19th November, singing many of Elvis’ classic hits including My Way, Suspicious Minds, Blue Suede Shoes and many more. The Soul Train Experience returns on 26th November, to delight audiences with their fantastic renditions of timeless Soul and Motown classics.

We have a new season ticket offer. Buy your tickets for all eight Wharfeside 2022/2023 productions at the same time and get one play free, saving you up to £12. Please note that the offer ends on Saturday 24th September so take advantage of this great offer soon.

To book tickets for all our plays and events visit www.ilkleyplayhouse.co.uk or contact Ilkley Playhouse box office on 01943 609539.

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