Dancing And Ice At The Piece Hall This Christmas

The Piece Hall has announced its spectacular festive programme for 2022, which is set to see the iconic heritage site transformed into a wintry wonderland. This year, the Halifax venue will play host to a stunning ice-skating rink and a series of stellar performances and heart-warming activities, including Winter Makers Markets, live gigs, classical music, comedy shows, brass bands, mini raves, craft workshops and festive family films. Once again, the venue’s 66,000 sq ft courtyard will capture the spirit of Christmas and…

The Temptations And The Four Tops - Still The Life And Soul Of The Party

The Temptations and The Four Tops have had over thirty top ten hits - their recording years on the Motown record label have been the template on how a good soul song should sound. Arriving at the Leeds Arena it was Odyssey which had the task of warming up the audience. The three piece, like the other groups who appeared later on during the night, have only one original member left in the line up. Whilst The Temptations and The Four Tops…

George Ezra - As Good As Gold In Live Northern Return

George Ezra is undoubtedly one of the biggest pop stars in the country at the moment. The likeable artist visited the Sheffield Arena and it was easy to understand why he is so popular: breezy, uncomplicated pop songs with a chorus that the milkman can whistle to as his music is so joyful and uplifting. Arriving on stage to the Tom Jones’ It’s Not Unusual a title apt for Ezra; he has the boy next door look. Anyone For You (Tiger Lily)

Susie Blake Chats About Her Role As Miss Marple In the Mirror Crack’d

In the last of our interviews, Susie Blake, best known for playing the Continuity Announcer in Victoria Wood: As Seen on TV, as well as her regular roles of Bev Unwin in ITV’s Coronation Street and Hillary Nicholson in BBC’s Mrs Brown’s Boys, chats about her role as Miss Marple in Agatha Christie's The Mirror Crack'd. Was Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple always on your wish list of roles to play? Yes, since the 1960s when I saw Margaret Rutherford playing her.…

A Sumptuous And Engaging La Traviata

Have we seen the last of productions where the Director dictates the action and the mise-en-scene? No more leotards, but real costumes for the Chorus? No more lead singers voicing arias into mobile phones? Car wrecks on stage? We need more productions that allow the action to shine through as the composer intended, not shows hijacked into vanity projects. Opera North’s La Traviata invites the audience to make the connections between now and the nineteenth century for itself. Director…

Silver Screen Weekly - What's Coming Up At The Cinema - From 30 September

Our film critic and media correspondent has been looking and trawling the new releases. Here's what you can see on the big screen this week! From 30 September Mrs. Harris Goes To Paris (PG) Based on Paul Gallico’s 1958 novel, this acclaimed comedy drama stars Lesley Manville as the titular Mrs. Harris, a widowed cleaner who, in 50s London, spots a couture Dior dress and absolutely loves it. So much so that she is determined to get one herself. A simple old fashioned…

Poem Of The Week: The Way Through the Woods By Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

The Way Through the Woods They shut the road through the woods Seventy years ago. Weather and rain have undone it again, And now you would never know There was once a road through the woods Before they planted the trees. It is underneath the coppice and heath, And the thin anemones. Only the keeper sees That, where the ring-dove…

Classical Music: Berg Violin Concerto

Alban Berg may not be on your radar, but this new release puts forward a good case as to why he should be. The pairing of James Ehnes with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Andrew Davis opens a sound world that I…

Romance, Horror And Live Piano Accompaniment At City Screen York To launch Local Author’s New Historical Page-Turner

York-based independent publisher Stairwell Books and City Screen York are showing a special gala performance of Lon Chaney’s horror-romance,The Phantom of the Opera (1925). This silent classic will be accompanied by live music from the sensational Neil Brand. The performance is to celebrate the launch of Tim Murgatroyd’s new novel, THE ELECTRIC, described by one reviewer as ‘poignant, charming, and wryly funny, with a cast of beautifully drawn and unforgettable characters. Not to be missed.' Special Gala Silent Cinema Performance The Phantom

Albums: Suede - Autofiction

Sometimes when a band gets back together after a few years the result of any new recordings can be disappointing. Yes there might be glimpses of their former selves though ultimately…

Morrissey Returns To His Northern Roots

“What is a nice boy doing singing in a joint like this?” questioned Morrissey as the singer opened up his superlative concert at The Dome in Doncaster. If you were to ask his fans why they had turned up in their thousands then the answer would, I suspect, be one of pure affirmation and admiration for a man whose legacy on popular music over the last thirty years is without doubt. The former singer of The Smiths has over the…

Idris Elba Voted UK's Choice To Play Bond

Sean Connery crowned the best James Bond of all time with Roger Moore coming in second; Goldfinger came out on top as the nation’s favourite ever Bond film; More than one in ten Brits want the next Bond to be a woman. The name’s Elba…Idris Elba! The UK wants Idris Elba to take up the iconic role of James Bond, new national research has revealed – despite the star distancing himself from the part in recent…

Three Strikes! : The Local By Joey Hartstone

I’ve said before that I’m a fan of John Grisham, especially his legal dramas full of courtroom spectacle and intrigue, with a sharp eye on legal protocol and intricate detail. Well, this debut novel by a well-established script-writer, follows in Grisham’s footsteps. Slightly shorter, slightly easier to read but still with plenty of drama and spectacle and not just in the courtroom. Zawar is not happy with the verdict and in a violent outburst in the courtroom, he threatens to kill…

Concert Of Orchestral ‘Fusion Music’ For Skipton Schools

Music inspired by the exploits of a pair of flawed literary characters dominate two orchestral concerts in Skipton Town Hall this October, one for schools and one to the public. Pupils from several of Skipton’s primary schools are to be treated to music portraying the exploits of Don Quixote, the deluded Spanish nobleman who thinks he’s a mediaeval knight, and Pulcinella, an Italian Mr Punch. The music, by Telemann and Stravinsky, will be performed by Skipton Building Society Camerata, North Yorkshire’s…

Poem Of The Week: They Shut Me Up In Prose By Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

They shut me up in Prose They shut me up in Prose – As when a little Girl They put me in the Closet – Because they liked me ‘still’ – Still! Could themselves have peeped – And seen my Brain – go round – They might as wise have lodged a Bird For Treason – in the Pound – Himself has but to will And easy as a Star Abolish his Captivity – And laugh – No more have I – The inner resource of American poet Emily Dickinson’s imagination,…

Steve Hackett - Keeping The Spirit Of Genesis Live

With the chances of seeing Genesis live again being a very remote possibility, former guitarist in the band Steve Hackett kept the spirit of the band alive with an accomplished set at York Barbican. Hackett left Genesis in 1977 to follow a successful solo career after being part of the band during its formative years when Genesis were pioneers of progressive rock. Hackett’s current tour celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the Foxtrot album. Whilst not the most accessible of the Genesis…

Classical Music: Handel Amadigi

This Handel Opera was first performed in London, in 1715, in the first season under the reign of George 1, at the King’s Theatre on the Haymarket. The libretto has all the ingredients that make a good opera plot full of complex twists where the lovers Amadigi and Oriana are imprisoned by the…

Films: Nope

When it comes to writer/director Jordan Peele (Get Out, Us) you know you are not getting something conventional, so when the equally simply - but ambiguously - titled Nope seemed to bare the trademarks of an alien invasion offering, I expected something a bit different. I expected Nope to be weird and a different spin on things, and yet even I was still taken aback by just how wonderfully odd a cinema experience it was. Telling the story of the…

Album: Cats In Space - Kickstart The Sun

If being in the right place at the right time applied to British rock band Cats In Space then the place would probably be the mid 1970’s rather than in 2022. That is not to…

Classical Music: Anton Bruckner Symphony No 4

On this new recording from the LSO, Sir Simon Rattle gives us two versions…

Films: Elvis

Director Baz Luhrmann is a director of a certain flair, so seeing that grand and exuberant style stung with “The King’s” showmanship was always going to be a cinema event worth purchasing a ticket for. But how well would Baz capture the much larger story behind the on-stage spectacle? Well, as it happens, brilliantly. No wonder audiences can’t help falling in love with this one…which has now become the second highest grossing music biopic behind Bohemian Rhapsody. Charting (so to speak)…

Another Life, Another Way: Constellations Of Eve By Abbigail Nguyen Rosewood

French existentialist philosopher and novelist Jean-Paul Sartre said, “We are our choices”. Perhaps Sartre was echoing the thoughts of his ancestor, Herodotus, who proclaimed that, “The destiny of man is in his soul”. Mankind’s perennating battle with personal autonomy and the capricious forces of Fate has occupied the minds of innumerable luminaries within the Western literary canon. Shakespeare’s Sonnet 29 comes to mind, though Emily Dickinson’s Superiority to Fate strikes me as being directly concerned with the power of individual…

Album: The Clarisse Sisters - Fire & Ice

You might think you have not heard of The Clarisse Sisters before, though if you have seen acts such as Erasure, Basia and Incognito in concert, chances are you will have seen the three sisters, from…

Album: The Clarisse Sisters - Fire & Ice

You might think you have not heard of The Clarisse Sisters before, though if you have seen acts such as Erasure, Basia and Incognito in concert, chances are you will have seen the three sisters, from…

Concert Bands Raise Money For BBC Children In Need

Hot Aire! and Fresh Aire! concert bands are returning to Bingley Arts Centre on Saturday 8th October. They will host two fundraising concerts in aid of the BBC Children in Need Appeal. At the matinee concert at 2.30 pm Hot Aire! will be joined by Fresh Aire!, Ilkley Youth Choir and Bradford and Airedale Youth Choir. Appearing alongside Hot Aire! for the evening show at 6.00 pm will be Fresh Aire!, Ilkley Stage Singers and Hall Royd Band. These fundraising concerts will be…

A Different Kind Of War: The Tin Nose Shop By Don J. Snyder

I sometimes wonder if I am a glutton for punishment, choosing as I so often do, to read novels which reflect on grim details of our past, but I console myself in the belief that we ignore history at our peril if we are to make a better future and, thankfully, most of the books I read end with a promise of better times ahead. So, yet again, I found myself engrossed as I read The Tin Nose Shop in…

Classical Music:Lux Aeterna The Gesualdo Six

Lux Aeterna Cox Keep me as the apple of an eye; Tallis In ieiunio et fletu; McKevitt Lumen; Sir John Tavener Funeral Ikos; Skempton And there was war in heaven; Morales Parce mihi, Domine; Communio ‘Lux aeterna’ from Missa pro defunctis a 5; Byrd Peccantem me quotidie; Purcell Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts; Park Sequence: In Parenthesis; Guest For the Fallen; Daley In remembrance from Requiem; O’Donnell Present yourselves as

Classical Music: Maestoso Organ Music Of Bairstow And Elgar

The Anglo-Catholic parish church of St Matthew Northampton, is famous for its second vicar Walter Hussey, who went on to become Dean of Chichester. His book A Patron of the Arts is…

Ballet Black

Celebrating twenty years, Ballet Black are delighted to present two new works in 2022 – Black Sun and Say It Loud at York Theatre Royal on 11 October. Say It Loud is choreographed and directed by Ballet Black's Founder and Artistic Director, Cassa Pancho, and the BB Company artists. It charts the struggles and inspiration behind the formation of this exciting and pioneering company, from the uncomfortable reasons behind the Company’s existence to the frenetic, creative energy that has seen…

Albums: God's Work LeAnn Rimes

Six years has disappeared since LeAnn Rimes teamed up with Decca…