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What's on at Ilkley Playhouse

Caroline Mutton takes a look at the next Ilkley Playhouse production, Blithe Spirit, which opens in June, plus reviews musical entertainment and comedy.

Tonight (Friday 19th May) is the start of a month of musical entertainment at Ilkley Playhouse starting with Chris Bannister’s ‘The Music of John Denver’. He will perform favourites including Sunshine On My Shoulders, Take Me Home Country Road, Leaving On A Jet Plane and of course Annie's Song. There are only a few tickets available so don’t delay!

Tomorrow, Saturday 20th May, former West End singer Sandy Smith brings you A Night of the Stars. This show will take you on a journey through the decades from some of the legendary artistes of all time. From Shirley Bassey and Tom Jones, Cilla Black and Dusty Springfield, Barbara Streisland and Elaine Paige, right up to Whitney Houston, Celine Dion and many more. Each track is handpicked to wow and entertain you.

On Friday 26th May Brotherhood of Troubadours return to Ilkley Playhouse. Three acclaimed singer/songwriters share the stage. Each has an established pedigree of performing solo, and with bands. When they share the stage to sing their own songs, a kind of magic happens which doesn't occur in a solo performance. Spontaneous backing vocals and accompaniment break forth, as well as a fair amount of banter and anecdotes, and possibly a rousing, foot-stomping ensemble number at the end. It's certainly a great way to experience their music.

Stagefright Comedy Club returns on Saturday 27th May frontlined by Edinburgh festival nominee Chris Washington. His mischievous Northern wit and amenable manner laced with subversive charm has been seen on Mock the Week, Live from the BBC, The Stand Up Sketch Show, Pointless Celebrities and House of Games. Joining him is Noel James from Britain’s Got Talent and The Stand Up Show. Jon Richardson (from 8 out of 10 Cats) says of him ‘Noel lives and dies by wordplay, his delivery a gabble of consciousness that skips from pun to giddy flights of fantasy. He betrays the soul of a poet and accomplishes it with such rare panache and commitment that it approaches art’. Supporting them is Rachel Robbins who is described as ‘having a warmth and natural charm that has an audience captivated from the start’ (Yellow Arch Comedy) and Louis Etienne who ‘has the swagger of an experienced act who is confident in his abilities’ (Notts Comedy Review). The evening will be compered by Anthony J Brown, former tour support for Alan Carr and Justin Moorhouse.

On Friday 2nd June, Yorkshire’s very own Celtic folk rock band, Gaelforce, will be treating audiences to their debut performance in the Wildman Studio. Currently taking the folk scene by storm, you can expect traditional and original songs in a folk rock style with rocked up jigs and reels.

Our next play opening in the Wharfeside Theatre on Thursday 8th June is the classic comedy Blithe Spirit written by Noel Coward. Accomplished mystery writer Charles Condomine invites the rather eccentric medium Madame Arcati to his delightful home in Kent, for dinner and a séance. The invitation is under false pretences, however, as Charles is really only interested in acquiring material for his next novel. The evening takes a spectacular turn when Charles’ first wife Elvira returns unexpectedly, demanding Charles’ attention. This has ominous and hilarious consequences for Charles’ second wife Ruth; particularly since Elvira has been dead for seven years. Noel Coward’s classic improbable farce has never fallen from popularity since its first performance in 1941 and continues to be performed all over the world. Intensely funny, Blithe Spirit combines farce, emotion and wit to great effect. The play runs until Saturday 17th June. This play will also travel to The Minack Theatre in Cornwall from 23rd to 27th July.

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


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