FOR National Dementia Awareness Week, the Ilkley Playhouse is delighted to announce that we now have accreditation from Dementia Action Alliance and are working to become an official dementia-friendly venue.

As part of this process we are fortunate to have support from both Dementia Friendly Ilkley, and from the Alzheimer’s Society in Bradford. With their help we are proud to announce that our first Dementia Friendly performance will be Kiss Me Kate on Tuesday, June 6. As preparation for this, last week the cast had a training and information evening about what Dementia Friendly performances entail.

We want to make this event as accessible as possible to groups and individuals living with dementia. For this, we’re making adaptations to certain technical aspects of the show, and using flexible seating options and a relaxed attitude to audience responses and movement in the auditorium. In our coffee bar area we will have a quiet room, clearer visual markers and signs, and additional front-of-house volunteers trained to sensitively and respectfully welcome and assist people living with dementia, as well as their supporters.

If you know anyone suffering from dementia who might like the opportunity to see this very entertaining production, if you would like more information, or even if you would like to offer your help, please get in touch!

Kiss Me Kate is a delightful, joyous show and is proving popular already with ticket buyers. We want the audience to sing along with the cast – it includes old favourites such as “Too Darn Hot”, “Always True to you (in my fashion)” and “Brush up your Shakespeare”, which will have everyone joining in!

Kiss Me Kate runs from June 5 until June 17. There will be a matinee performance on June 10.

Tonight, and tonight only, we welcome the Paper Zoo theatre company to the Wildman Studio for their updated production on Billy Liar. Still as relevant as it was when Keith Waterhouse wrote it in the 1950s, this performance is marked by its naturalistic style, in contrast with the more usual common parody of northern working-class life. Paper Zoo’s Martin Sherlock-Knowles says: “Ultimately, the play is about ordinary people – whatever that means! – trying to make sense of life. Billy Liar is also about being trapped but not really knowing how, or having the supporting mechanism to break free. I believe that most people can relate to these issues.” It's also very funny. Tickets are available on the door.

Music will be in the air on Saturday, May 27 as we welcome Gracie Falls back to Ilkley Playhouse. Gracie is a singer songwriter who is hard to describe by fitting her into a genre. Her music is Country based, fans of the Haley Sisters may be interested to hear, but she includes upbeat as well as reflective self-penned songs. Bob Harris, of Radio 2, Country show, is a fan, describing her voice as “transfixing”.

Finally, for the Stagefright comedy night on Saturday, June 3, we’re joined by Seymour Mace, who’s been described as both “manic and gripping”, and “a truly bizarre hybrid of Harry Hill, Half Man Half Biscuit and Viz comic”. He’s supported by Hayley Ellis, an accomplished ‘ad-libber; Ryan Brown, a classic one-liner gag-smith; and promising newcomer Stu Woodings. Enter our catchphrase competition for the chance to win two tickets to the next Stagefright Comedy Club (Edinburgh Fringe Reviews) on July 8, 2017.