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What's on at Ilkley Playhouse

The Revlon Girl opens on Thursday 9th March

Caroline Mutton take a look at what's coming up at Ilkley Playhouse starting with the next production which opens in March.

Our next Wharfeside production The Revlon Girl opens on Thursday 9th March. Winner of the 2018 Offie (Off West End) Award for Best New Play and nominated for a 2018 Olivier Award, The Revlon Girl is a story of grief, hope, guilt and make-up in the aftermath of the 1966 Aberfan disaster. In this tragic incident, 144 people, including 116 children, were killed when a mountain of coal waste crushed homes and a primary school in the small Welsh mining town. The play is set eight months after the disaster and depicts four bereaved mothers who meet with a Revlon make-up artist in a leaky room above The Aberfan hotel to talk, cry, and even laugh without feeling guilty – all while navigating how to cope with heart breaking loss. Touching, tender and occasionally raw, this is a play that looks into the human heart of disaster and celebrates the humanity that survives. The play runs until Saturday 18th March.

Ilkley Playhouse is hosting a 6-week History of Modern Art course started 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.

Performed as part of the National Theatre Connections Festival by a cast of twenty-two young people, (Circle Dreams Around) The Terrible Terrible Past is about expectations of life and the circularity of human existence. Poetic, funny, surreal and disturbing in equal measure, it is a play about being young in the fields and towns that feel far away from where things might be happening. Every year since 1995 around three hundred companies of teenagers nationwide have participated in the National Theatre Connections project. This year, for the third time, Ilkley Playhouse will be taking part and this is our designated play. A piece of brand new, specially commissioned writing, it is truly immersive theatre. Come and support our young people and explore the circularity of life as you have never seen it before. The play runs from 2nd to 4th March in the Wildman Studio.

On Wednesday 8th March Argentine Tango dancers Celeste Cimino and Luciano Millaqueo make a debut appearance in An Evening in Buenos Aires. Supported by dancers from the British tango community, this intimate production celebrates the history and music of Argentina’s iconic dance. In a program of live dance, music, film and images, you will be transported from the birth of tango in the first decade of the twentieth century to the golden age of the 1930s and 1940s.

Based on the award winning BBC Radio 4 drama series, Flying Visits has been adapted for the Ilkley Playhouse stage as a fringe production. It is a love letter to care workers, the unsung heroes of our time. The Council allocates fifteen minutes for a home care visit – “flying visits” they call them. Care worker Hayleigh thinks fifteen minutes is not nearly enough. This play is tender, heart-warming and occasionally heart-stopping. The play runs from 23rd to the 25th March.

On Friday 31st March we celebrate the music of Roy Orbison, with the amazing Oliver Harris, whose vocal talent has been compared to legends such as Roy, Elvis and Elton. With a live band of talented musicians, The Roy Orbison Experience is an evening you do not want to miss. It will take some of you down memory lane with hits including Pretty Woman, In Dreams, Blue Bayou, Only the Lonely and I Drove All Night. This is not a look-a-like tribute act, but rather a special live performance faithfully replicating the unique unrivalled sound of Roy Orbison.

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


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