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What's on at Ilkley Playhouse

Stagefright Comedy Club returns on Saturday 9th September

Bard in the Yard returns to Ilkley Playhouse this summer, Caroline Mutton looks at what's on in the coming months for Ilkley Chat.

This Summer, returning for the third year, is our popular fringe production Bard in the Yard. This year Ilkley Playhouse will be presenting a half hour version of “Hamlet” directed by Dick Hebbert plus half an hour of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” directed by Andrew Leggott. Performances will take place at 7.30pm on Saturday 26th August in the Wildman Theatre and at 2pm in the Manor House Yard on Sunday 27th and Monday 28th August (Bank Holiday). Please note that to book for the Manor House performances, please book via their website

On Sunday 3rd September there will be a 65-minute video performance of (Circle Dreams Around) The Terrible, Terrible Past performed by the Greenroom students at the Dorfman Theatre, London, on 20th June this year. The video has been produced by the National Theatre. The event will be followed by a short Open Forum about the play and the process leading up to this event. The event is free but we ask that you book your seats in advance. Please note that the advisory age is 14 plus. The screening will take place on the big screen in the Wharfeside Theatre at 7.30pm.

Stagefright Comedy Club returns on Saturday 9th September. The event will be frontlined by Phil Ellis, award-winning comedian who has entertained audiences of all ages with his amalgamation of off-beat observational material and physical comedy. Phil has written and starred in three series of his radio sitcom ‘Phil Ellis is Trying’ on BBC Radio 4 and nominated for Best Scripted Comedy in the BBC Audio Drama Awards 2020. His TV appearances include Roast Battle, The Russell Howard Hour, The Tez Show and Drunk History. Joining him is Jack Carroll, Britain’s Got Talent runner-up, star of Live at the Apollo, QI, Sunday Night at the Palladium and Trollied. David Walliams describes him as “comedy genius”. Also performing is Jenny Laville, Bath New Act Finalist and Beat the Blackout winner. Jenny is a stand-up and comedy writer with credits including The News Quiz and Mock the Week. They will be joined by Edd Jefferson – ‘a tall, thin self-effacing scientist with an infectious line in gently twisted observational humour’. The evening will be brilliantly compered by Anthony Brown.

Ilkley Playhouse is hosting a 6-week History of Modern Art course starting on Wednesday 13th September. This course offers a selective introduction to the history of modern art. Each week examines a major movement in twentieth-century art and addresses specific themes, contexts and artists. Sessions are typically divided into two halves, with the first half offering a general introduction to a particular art movement and the second looking at a specific artist or work. The course tutor is Dr Simon Marginson, an independent art historian and curatorial researcher. He specialises in twentieth century art and has published on various aspects of British and European modernism. Each session starts at 10.30am and finishes at 12pm. The course fee is £42.

Starting on Thursday 14th September Ilkley Playhouse is hosting a 10-week Poetry and Fiction course focusing on the family. In this course a range of short fiction and poetry about the complex relationships produced by families will be discussed. Literature about family is something all of us can relate to in some form or another. Through reading how writers like Mansfield, O’Connor and Munro convey the lives of their families and the imagined lives of others, we can learn more about our own. Each session starts at 10.30am and finishes at 12pm. The cost is £75 for 10 weeks.

Our Autumn/Winter programme of plays and events is out now and you can get your hands on a copy at Ilkley Playhouse, in local libraries, Ilkley Tourist information Office and the Clarke Foley Centre. All the information is of course available on our website too. The Autumn/Winter season begins with Laura Wade’s Home, I’m Darling, opening on 14th September. This is a thought-provoking comedy about a woman who lives like a 1950s housewife in the 21st Century. Laura Wade’s clever play doesn’t so much sing the praises of the good old days as shows us that “nostalgia ain’t what it used to be.” The play was first staged at The National Theatre in 2018, winning the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy and was nominated for the UK Theatre’s Best New Play. The play runs until Saturday 23rd September in the Wharfeside Theatre.

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


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