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Music & laughter this weekend at Ilkley Playhouse

Tom Wrigglesworth at Ilkley Playhouse on Saturday

by Caroline Mutton

This coming weekend Ilkley Playhouse will be buzzing with music and laughter.

On Friday 17th November, Roisin Ban return to Ilkley Playhouse following a sell-out show last year. Meaning White Rose in Gaelic, Roisin Ban is a Celtic folk trio playing a mix of mainly traditional Irish and Scottish folk songs and tunes. This accomplished, professional band is well respected on the UK folk scene, having performed at numerous folk festivals in the UK, including their annual fixture at the Whitby Folk Week where they play for the set dance night as well as other concerts. Join this talented trio for an evening of lively Celtic folk music and song. The bar will be open from 7pm, the performance starts at 7.30pm. Tickets are £10.

On Saturday 18th November, Stagefright Comedy Club returns to the Wildman Studio. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Stephen Bailey is now unable to frontline this event as planned. However we have been very fortunate to secure another fantastic comedian, Tom Wrigglesworth, described as ‘constantly hilarious with an unrivalled turn of phrase’ (The Guardian). Tom has featured on Russell Howard’s Good News, Comedy Central and the Comedy Store, Live from Sydney Comedy Festival, Edinburgh Comedy Fest and Electric Dreams. He is Sony Award winner for his critically acclaimed Radio 4 series Open Letters. ‘The Gods of comedy chose greatness for Tom’ (The Scotsman).

Joining him is Ant Dewson, a piano playing comedic tour de force with his incessantly hilarious songs and witty asides. Ant has written comedy for BBC Radio 4 and Sky TV. He performs on BBC Radio London and is the co-host of Carpet Martin’s Comedy Market on Riverside Radio. Also performing is Welsh comic Vix Leyton. Discovered by Mark Watson on Twitter in 2019, she is an affable and ebullient storyteller with a keen eye for observation. Her panel show podcast 'The Comedy Arcade' is both an audio success and compelling live show. She picked up a nomination for Leicester Comedy's best podcast in 2021 and is racking up sell-out shows at Edinburgh Fringe. Helen Rice will also be performing on the night. Helen has been Showing Off at various venues around Yorkshire and the Midlands for the past four years and within her home city of Sheffield she has developed something of a cult following. She writes quirky songs and poems exploring a broad range of themes and reflecting on her experiences as a middle-aged disabled woman who ‘likes bread a bit too much’. She plays the accordion, keyboard and guitar in her own ‘unique, lo-fi style’. Her work is hard to categorise but usually results in equal amounts of amusement, bemusement and general musement. Northern comic Ben Silver will be joining this line-up of talented comedians. He will deliver tales of the human spirit through an absurd kaleidoscope of impressions, mis-directions and sprawling vignettes. The evening will be compered by the fabulous Anthony J Brown.

Opening on Thursday 23rd November in the Wildman Studio is our second fringe production of the season, Constellations. Roland (a bee keeper) and Marianne (a theoretical physicist) meet at a party. In that single moment, an unfathomable multitude of possibilities unfold. Their chance meeting might blossom into a meaningful relationship or a brief affair; it might lead to nothing at all. Each step along those possible paths in turn offers a new series of potential outcomes: a marriage can exist alongside a breakup and a tragic illness can exist on a parallel plane to a happily ever after. In this clever, eloquent and moving story, Marianne and Roland’s romance plays out over a myriad of possible lifetimes, capturing the extraordinary richness of being alive in the universe.

Christmas is coming and the Ilkley Players are getting ready to put on a play that will put everyone in a festive mood. The Vicar of Dibley, adapted from the popular 1990s TV comedy written by Richard Curtis and Paul Mayhew-Archer is set in the sleepy village of Dibley, where the elderly local vicar has just died and the parish council members are waiting to greet his replacement. They are definitely not expecting anyone like Geraldine Granger - ‘a babe with a bob cut and a magnificent bosom!’ Nevertheless, kind-hearted and irrepressibly cheerful Geraldine soon wins over the hearts and minds of her flock. This stage adaptation brings a selection of the best episodes of this multi-award winning show to our theatre. All of the show’s favourite characters feature in the play: the loveable Alice and Hugo, the colonically-challenged farmer Owen and David Horton, the pompous and opinionated chairman forever trying to make sense of his bizarre parish council. The play runs from Thursday 7th December to Saturday 16th December with a matinee on Saturday 9th December. There is also a relaxed performance matinee on Saturday 16th December when the play will be slightly adapted - the sound will be turned down a little and the theatre lights turned up. A relaxed performance always includes a relaxed attitude to noise and movement (voluntary and involuntary) in the auditorium. There will be a special ‘quiet’, safe and supervised zone for anyone who might feel uncomfortable or overwhelmed at any point in the performance.

The Vicar of Dibley opens on 7th December

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


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