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What's coming up at Ilkley Playhouse

The Roy Orbison Experience play Ilkley Playhouse on 26th April

Caroline Mutton takes a look at an assortment of events over the next couple of months at Ilkley Playhouse.

Some of these events are Ilkley Playhouse favourites - always popular with Ilkley Playhouse audiences, with performers returning year after year to entertain to a full house. Some of our forthcoming events are new to our programme and we are delighted to welcome these talented performers to Ilkley Playhouse for the first time.

On Saturday 24th February, The Jon Palmer Acoustic Band will raise the roof again in the Wildman Studio. Based in Otley, this high energy, folk, roots and rock and roll band is best described as “exploding out of the same box as The Pogues, The Saw Doctors and The Waterboys.” They have a great reputation for finishing off the night in a joyful, energetic and chorus filled way. There are just a few tickets available so book soon!

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.

The Roy Orbison Experience returns 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.

Opening in the Wharfeside Theatre on Thursday 7th March is Jeeves and Wooster in ‘Perfect Nonsense.’ Based on the wonderfully eccentric stories of P.G. Wodehouse, this delightful comedy features three actors playing multiple parts. Bertie Wooster begins to tell a simple story in his inimitable style, but soon calls, as always, for his trusty manservant, Jeeves, who steps in to bring sense from confusion. Assisted by Seppings, the butler to Bertie’s Aunt Dahlia, the three men bring to life some of Wodehouse’s best-loved characters.  Join us for an evening of laughter, silliness and theatrical invention. The play runs until Saturday 16th March.

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. A teenage girl has something growing inside her. She knows it’s not a baby. It expands. It has claws. Eventually it takes over the entirety of her body. No one must know about it. She pulls away from her friends, she refuses to speak, but she can’t contain it forever. Sooner or later something’s got to give….This is a darkly comic piece, exploring mental health and the rage within.

You can look forward to our next Stagefright Comedy Club 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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