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Broadway classic opens next week at Ilkley Playhouse

Guys and Dolls opens at Ilkley Playhouse on 10th January

If you are suffering with post-Christmas holiday blues, then the forthcoming production at Ilkley Playhouse couldn’t come at a better time as Caroline Mutton explains.

The Broadway classic Guys and Dolls opens on Tuesday 10th January and promises to bring you pure, unadulterated joy. Featuring unforgettable songs like Luck Be a Lady, Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat and My Time of Day, Guys and Dolls is a hugely entertaining musical set in the hustle and bustle of 1950s New York. It tells the over-lapping story of high roller Sky Masterson who falls in love with Sarah Brown, a missionary worker. Fellow gambler and loveable rogue Nathan Detroit has been engaged to Miss Adelaide, a headliner at the Hot Box Club, for fourteen years. Sky is challenged to raise $1000 to finance an illegal crap game by taking Sarah to Havana. But of course they fall in love and the real reason for the bet is revealed. All characters must resolve the dilemma and try and evade the clutches of the police. This is a perfect musical comedy – well known for its fun storyline, colourful characters and memorable Frank Loesser songs. It works as well today as it did when it opened to rave reviews in 1950. The backdrop in the Wharfeside Theatre is a jigsaw puzzle of dice, against which our fabulous cast generate all the energy, chaos and romance of the Big Apple, kicking and flicking their way through Ted Oxley-Kirk’s wonderful musical staging and choreography. Tickets are selling fast. Guys and Dolls runs until Saturday 21st January.

The Rob Dylan Band returns to Ilkley Playhouse on Friday 27th January. Formed by a group of musicians who share a passion for the music of Bob Dylan, their performance captures the spirit of the Rolling Thunder Revue with exciting and dynamic playing and powerful vocals. It was a sell-out performance the last time they performed at Ilkley Playhouse so book your tickets early!

Kick of the New Year with a laugh! Stagefright Comedy Club returns on Saturday 28th January. Frontlining this event is Matt Richardson, a brash but self-deprecating, multi award winning comedian, delivering every memorable punchline with an irresistible twinkle. His TV credits include Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Celebrity Juice, Pointless Celebrities, and Dancing on Ice. He also has his own critically acclaimed show on Virgin Radio. Joining him is Masai Graham, twice winner of the Funniest Joke of the Edinburgh Fringe Award and former UK Pun Championship winner. Expect puns, one liners and dizzying wordplay. Also performing is Percy Savage, a middle class Cumbrian with a plethora of inventive and effortlessly rib-tickling perspectives. And Eddy Midgley, an endearing chap in his early twenties making sense of the bizarre world of grown-ups with devastating comedic aplomb. This is all fabulously compered as usual by Anthony J Brown.

Our first Wildman production of the season opens on Tuesday 7th February with Three Mothers, written by Matilda Velevitch. Given what is happening in the world at the moment, this is most certainly a play of our time. Set in present day and post-World War Two, the audience is immersed in the personal lives and dilemmas facing three female characters. We follow the stories of Kardy, Gisella and Erika as they make difficult decisions that despite risking everything they know, might change their lives forever. This is outstanding storytelling. There is pathos, nostalgia and some laughter. You will leave feeling uplifted and inspired.

Following a stunning debut performance at Ilkley Playhouse earlier in the year, the Jon Palmer Acoustic Band returns on Saturday 18th February. 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.

We have a ten-week twentieth century poetry course starting on Thursday 12th January. The course is aimed at anyone who enjoys reading and discussing poetry, focusing on the latter half of twentieth century poetry in English. You will have the opportunity to hone your reading skills and consider how the poems you read relate to your own lives. This course welcomes newcomers and learners from our previous course last Autumn. Each session starts at 10.30am, finishing at 12pm. The course runs each Thursday until 30th March and is £70 for the 10 weeks.

Ilkley Playhouse is hosting a 6-week History of Modern Art course starting on Wednesday 22nd February. This course offers a selective introduction to the history of modern art focusing on major artists who are less well known. Each session addresses a specific artist and art movement and its related themes and contexts. Topics covered include Camille Pissarro and Impressionism; Maurice de Vlaminck and Fauvism; Francis Picabia and Dada; Philip Guston, Abstract Expressionism and after; Ed Ruscha and Pop Art; Gerhard Richter, photorealism an abstraction. Each session offers an introduction to an aspect of modern art and will address specific themes, contexts and artists. The sessions will typically consist of two halves: the first giving a broader overview of an artist’s career; the second a more in depth discussion of a particular issue or work.

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


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