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Final production of the Ilkley Playhouse season

The York Realist opens at Ilkley Playhouse on 7th July

Ilkley Playhouse is getting ready to open its final production of the 2021-22 season, Caroline Mutton looks at The York Realist and other events in July.

Opening on Thursday 7th July is Peter Gill’s overwhelmingly beautiful play The York Realist. Written and first performed in 2001, the play had successful West End runs both then and when revived in 2018. Middle class Londoner John has come to York to work as Assistant Director on an amateur staging of the Mystery plays and meets the working class George, who is acting in it. What follows is a tender and complex love story between two young men of very different backgrounds. John desperately wants George to return to London with him. It is a play packed with conflict; class, sex, location, occupation, lifestyle and, above all, relationships. This warm, witty and sharp piece of writing is ultimately intensely moving as George and John struggle to reconcile the differences between their lives and find a future together. At its core The York Realist is a story about the ruptures in English existence – the same divisions in class, politics and culture still shape our nation now. But in the romance between George and John, these ideas of difference shine with life and love. The result is at once gentle and deeply moving. Peter Gill is one of the key figures of British theatre and has directed many productions at the Royal National Theatre and the RSC. The York Realist runs until Saturday 16th July in the Wharfeside Theatre.

Stagefright Comedy Club returns to Ilkley Playhouse on Saturday 2nd July frontlined by Justin Moorhouse (as seen as Young Kenny with the tiger striped face on Phoenix Nights, plus Live At The Apollo, 8 Out of 10 Cats, Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow, Dave's One Night Stand, Coronation Street and his own acclaimed Radio 4 show Everyone Quite Likes Justin). Also performing is Jack Campbell (former winner of the prestigious English Comedian of the Year award). Supporting them is Kevin Daniel (nominated for Midlands Comedy New Act Of The Year for 2019 and Midlands Comedy Breakthrough Act in 2021) and Jacob Nussey (Beat the Frog and Won Ten Feet Tall Gong winner with clever sharp jokes and hilariously ill-fated anecdotes). All wonderfully compered by the talented Anthony J Brown.

July’s film club is The Sting on Tuesday 19th July, afterwards you can chat about the film over tea and cake. The box office opens at 1pm, the film starts at 1.30pm. Tickets are £5.

We are excited to announce our 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. You can either choose your preferred day of the week and seat number for the entire season or opt for the flexible season ticket and book whichever days of the week and seat number that suit you best for each production. This offer ends on Saturday 24th September.

For details about this and about all our plays and events and to book tickets visit or contact Ilkley Playhouse box office on 01943 609539.


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