Busy weeks ahead at Ilkley Playhouse


When you enter a theatre, it’s like going into a different world. When the curtain goes up you’re thrown straight into the action and for a couple of hours you can sit back, relax and enjoy the story unfold in front of you. Our current play Ladies in Lavender will transport you to 1930s Cornwall and you can escape your own world for a while. The set for this play is a visual delight, a cleverly layered masterpiece which incorporates the Widdington sisters’ living room, cottage garden, bedroom and of course, the beach. Sound and music play a big part in this production and there are some wonderful creative additions which help the play come to life. The play is based on two spinster sisters, Ursula and Janet, whose lives are irrevocably changed when they discover a young man washed up on the beach near their home. The sisters take him under their wing and nurse him back to health but his presence touches both their lives in unexpected ways, stirring up emotions long thought lost. The play is tender and absorbing, it’s about lost youth, lost love, private agonies and thoughts of what might have been. Expect a gentle evening out, a night of pure indulgence but also a night of laughter. The comic timing in this play shines through at all the right moments. The play runs from the 5th March to the 14th March in the Wharfeside Theatre.


Also in March we welcome local band the Two Rivers Swing Band into our Wildman Studio.Directed by trumpeter and jazz arranger Trevor Vincent, their performance will include well known numbers by the great band leaders Glenn Miller, Count Basie and Duke Ellington. Expect sparkling vocals, tight ensemble playing and exciting solos. Please note that this is a seated event with limited dancing space.


If you want to get something in the diary for April, our next Wharfeside production Frost/Nixon opens on 16thApril. The play is based on the true story of how David Frost approached Nixon’s office to be given the exclusive right to interview the disgraced President Nixon in the wake of his resignation following the Watergate scandal. Written by Peter Morgan (who wrote the films The Queen, Last King of Scotland and The Damned United), this play was turned into an Oscar and Bafta nominated film starring Michael Sheen.


We have our next instalment of Stagefright comedy on Saturday 4th April featuring comedian Tom Binns (as himself) and his hospital radio DJ character Ivan Brackenbury. Tom Binns is New Zealand Comedy Festival Award winner and is the co-writer of BBC1’s Hospital People. Binn’s character Ivan Brackenbury can be seen on the BBC sitcom Hospital People and 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown. He has been described by Chris Evans as ‘absolute comic genius’.


Saturday 11thApril sees the return of our very popular vintage fair organised by Jill Coulson, of locally based vintage firm Alfie Robot Retro. Vintage lovers will have the opportunity to explore the 20 stalls of vintage clothing, homeware, kitchenware, furniture, toys, vinyl and many more items from the 1920s to the 1980s. Come and browse the goods on sale, have your hair styled in a retro fashion and relax with one of the many tempting cakes on offer from the tea room.


Tickets for all Ilkley Playhouse productions and events can be bought at www.ilkleyplayhouse.co.uk or during box office hours on 01943 609539.


Caroline Mutton

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