Musicals make you feel good; they lift your spirits and give you a little escape for a few hours. And we all need a bit of that, especially after the difficulties of the past two years. So we’re delighted that the musical Singin’ in the Rain opens at the Wharfeside Theater on Tuesday 7th June. Rehearsals are in full swing and it promises to be an irresistibly charming production. The stage production of Singin’ in the Rain is based on the classic Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film, consistently voted the most popular musical of all time. Travel to Hollywood glamor during the Roaring Twenties. Silent movie star Don Lockwood has it all, a string of blockbuster movies and a studio-conceived romance with the hottest actress in town. What Don doesn’t know is that the big screen is about to find his voice, and a chance encounter with a talented young backing vocalist ready to steal his heart promises to change both Don and Hollywood, forever. With fabulous costumes, brilliant musical numbers (Good Morning, Make ‘Em Laugh, Moses Supposes, Singin’ in the Rain) and bubbly choreography, it’s a feel-good production for the whole family that will have you humming those famous tunes long after you’ve left the theater. The show runs until Saturday June 18 with matinees on June 11 and 18.

Rehearsals for Singin’ in the Rain

On Friday May 27, Brotherhood of Troubadours perform for the first time at Ilkley Playhouse. Three acclaimed singer-songwriters share the stage; Nick Hall, Jon Palmer and Baz Warne (singer and guitarist of rock band The Stranglers). 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 that doesn’t happen in a solo performance. Spontaneous backing vocals and accompaniments break out, along with a fair amount of banter and anecdote, and perhaps a rousing, stomping ensemble number at the end. Brotherhood of Troubadours is not a band. It may be a “music collective”, certainly a “circle of songwriters”. It’s definitely a great way to experience their music.

Our next Stagefright Comedy Club will be on Saturday May 28 with Steve Royle and Masai Graham. Steve Royle was Britain’s Got Talent 2020 finalist. David Walliams described Steve’s act as ‘one of the funniest performances I have ever seen’. Steve’s wide range of TV credits include Phoenix Nights, Sunday Night At The Palladium, Max And Paddy’s Road To Nowhere, Peter Kay’s Britain’s Got The Pop Factor, Lorraine and Stand-up Britain. He was voted Entertainer of the Year at the inaugural Red Rose Awards and has been described by Peter Kay as “a brilliant comedian”. Masai Graham is the winner of the Edinburgh Fringe Award’s Funniest Joke and is the former winner of the UK Pun Championship (under his pseudonym General Punochet). In an average set, he delivers over a hundred jokes in just half an hour. Expect puns, one-liners and dizzying puns in this 3.3 laughs per minute bargain. Joining them is Abigail Rolling who has a commanding stage presence with a twisted and reassuring take on the roulette wheel of life. She was described as “a misanthropic delight” by Comedy Review. Daniel Lythe will also take the stage. He has “a natural voice for comedy with beautiful punchlines that take a dark turn” (Laughienda Comedy). All of this will be wonderfully interpreted by the talented Anthony J Brown.

On Saturday, June 4, 309 will bring their special brand of swing dance music to Wildman Studio. The band plays songs from the 40s and 50s alongside a slew of self-penned tracks that sound like they were written sixty years ago. Led by two top vocalists and a wild violin player, the band put a smile on everyone’s face with rocking and rolling beats. Please note that this is a seated event with limited space for dancing.

As part of Refugee Week 2022, Wharfedale Amnesty is delighted to present the Danish animated documentary film Flee at the Wharfeside Theater on Sunday 26th June at 7.30pm. Nominated for three Oscars (Best Documentary, Best Animated Feature and Best International Film) and two BAFTA awards, Flee tells the extraordinary true story of a man, Amin, about to be married – which compels him to revealing his hidden past for the first time. Please note that any excess funds will go to Amnesty International UK. The bar will be open before and after the film, with the possibility of discussing the film afterwards.

For details of all our plays and events and to book tickets, visit www.ilkleyplayhouse.co.uk or contact the Ilkley Playhouse box office on 01943 609539.