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Play awarded Best New Comedy Award in 2014 continues at Ilkley Playhouse

Wednesday, 13 March 2024 17:05

By Caroline Mutton, Ilkley Playhouse

Jeeves and Wooster in ‘Perfect Nonsense’ runs until Saturday at Ilkley Playhouse.

When a country house weekend takes a turn for the worse, Bertie Wooster, our lovable hero, is called upon to play matchmaker. He must make a pairing of the host’s daughter Madeline Bassett with his newt-fancying acquaintance, Gussie Fink-Nottle. If Jeeves can’t help his master to pull this off, then poor old Bertie will have to marry the drippy Miss Bassett himself. Jolly japes ensue and all ends farcically ever after. A night of pure entertainment based on a novel from the pen of P.G. Wodehouse, this ‘theatrical delight’ will have you rocking with laughter. Originally starring Stephen Mangan and Matthew Macfadyen, this play won the Best New Comedy Award in 2014. If you love Jeeves & Wooster, the humour and music of the 1930s or farce of any kind then this is a play not to be missed.  

The first of our two fringe productions of the Spring/Summer season is The IT performed by our senior Greenroom students, from 21st to 23rd March in the Wildman Studio. The IT is a play about a teenage girl who has something growing inside her. She doesn't know what it is, but she knows it's not a baby. It expands in her body. It starts in her stomach, but quickly outgrows that, until eventually it takes over the entirety of her insides. No one must know about it. She has to keep its presence, its possession of her, concealed. She pulls away from her friends and refuses to speak in case the IT is heard. Then the IT tries to escape from her body.  She cuts an isolated, weird figure at school, trying to live her life normally; but battling to keep the IT inside of her. But she can't contain it forever, sooner or later something's got to give...Presented in the style of a direct to camera documentary, this is a darkly comic, state-of-the-nation play, exploring adolescent mental health and the rage within, written very specifically for today.

Performing for the first time at Ilkley Playhouse on Friday 5th April is the Yorkshire Gypsy Swing Collective. Featuring some of the region’s hottest gypsy jazz and swing players, playing music inspired from legendary musicians Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli of the “Quintette du Hot Club de France” and more! Expect fiery solos, foot-stomping rhythms and even some jazz standards to sing along to.

Our next play to open in the Wharfeside Theatre on Thursday 11th April is Ladies Unleashed, written by Amanda Whittington. Pearl, Jan and Linda are enjoying a long-awaited break on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, when a surprise visitor turns up. They haven’t seen Shelley for years, and their retreat becomes a reunion and pretty soon, a riot. But a lot has changed since they were last together and cut off from the mainland, tensions rise with the tide. As the sky darkens, the island grows restless with echoes of the past. Will the four still be friends when dawn breaks? Following the smash hit Ladies’ Day and Ladies Down Under, Ladies Unleashed is the third play in her Ladies Trilogy. This is a moving comedy about friendship, growing older and living for today. Amanda Whittington sums up her play in three words: ‘relatable, magical and fun’ and you are sure to delight in the riotous exploits of these ladies. The play runs until Saturday 20th April.

The Roy Orbison Experience returns to Ilkley Playhouse on Friday 26th April, fronted by the incredible voice of Oliver Harris, to play their own tribute to “the Big O”.  From Oh Pretty Woman, You Got It, I Drove All Night, Penny Arcade and everything in between, this tribute show captures the essence of Roy Orbison’s timeless classics. Expect to be swept away by the powerful vocals, the dazzling instrumentation and the sheer energy of the performance. This is not a look-a-like tribute act, but rather a special live performance faithfully replicating the unique unrivalled sound of Roy Orbison.

Stagefright Comedy Club returns on Saturday 27th April when you will be treated to an evening of hilarity from comedians Aaron Simmonds, Phil Pagett, Alex Mitchell, Helen Brooks and Gareth Williams. Aaron Simmonds, who is frontlining the event, is fresh from a solo UK tour. His credits include The Russell Howard Hour, Breaking The News, Guessable and The Stand Up Sketch Show. He has a talent for weaving an overarching story into multiple anecdotes, calling back to them masterfully throughout his performance. Joining him is Birmingham based Phil Pagett who has been performing since 2010 and his act features a heady combination of clever, sharp one-liners and bone-dry observations. In addition to his live work he has written for Mock the Week and BBC Radio 4. Also performing is Helen Brooks who, in her own words, looked to comedy as a way of turning her problems into punch lines. Expect a heady mix of self-depreciation, social commentary and green sequins. She is a comedy writer on BBC Radio 4 ‘The Skewer’ and BBC Scotland ‘Noising Up’. Gareth Williams, another talented comedian joining the line-up, has been described as ‘fabulously confident and instinctively funny’ (Derbyshire Times). He is winner of the Komedia Comedy LaunchPad and ‘wins over audiences with his “Did he really just say that?” humour. Finally, Alex Mitchell ‘brings a breath of fresh air to any comedy night. He has strong material from the start and the crowd instantly warm to him.’ (Lairy Laughs Comedy). What a line-up! The evening will be compered by the fabulously talented Anthony J. Brown.

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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