TUESDAYS with Morrie is running for a few more nights at the Ilkley Playhouse; if you’re lucky there may be a few tickets left for this beautiful and touching comedy about friendship, mentors and life. Adapted by Mitch Albom (with Jeffrey Hatcher) from his own memoir, this stage production is one not to miss. If there are no tickets available online it’s always worth going to the theatre box office on the night in case we have any returned tickets.

In particular, members of any local book groups may want to invite everyone along. Fans of the book often call it a ‘life-changing’ story so there will be plenty to discuss in the bar afterwards, or over a cup of tea when you get home!

Looking ahead, our next two productions bring something new to the Playhouse. They’re very different productions, but both, we feel, will prove very popular so some early explanation of what’s coming up should give audiences enough time to get tickets.

First is the comedy Steaming, by Nell Dunn. Set in the steam room of a Turkish baths in the East End of London in 1979, the play revolves around six women of various ages and backgrounds and sees them chat about life, sex and men. The setting of the baths is a great leveller, as the women leave any signs of status behind, creating a world where they can be open with each other. When their beloved baths are threatened with closure they pull together and won’t let their special place be shut down – at least, not without a fight!

The playwright Nell Dunn may be a familiar name: she is probably most famous for writing Up the Junction, and Poor Cow for the BBC Play for Today series. She portrays women with affection and understanding, and while the play has an undeniably female focus, men will love the characters and humour too. Please be aware when booking that there will be mild adult references in the play, as well as (brief and tasteful) nudity.

Steaming opens on Wednesday, June 5 until Saturday, June 15 with a matinee performance on Saturday, June 8.

Next, there’s something innovative, educational and entertaining for children aged three to seven on Sunday, June 16, when we welcome Mambo Jambo to the Wildman Studio. They will bring a vast array of instruments and nonsense props, to create some nonsense songs and music and just create a lot of nonsense in general! The audience are invited to join in, singing along with choruses, rapping, and generally just sharing in songs and silliness, exploring the Octopus’ Garden, and making a Nonsense Stew!

The Mambo Jambo duo are a unique two-piece, playing a joyous mash-up of sounds from roots, world, jazz and folk, plus their own compositions. They comprise of Frankie on sax, vocals, clarinet, flute, guitar and spoons and other percussion, and Pete on guitar, vocal, ukulele, tres (a traditional Cuban guitar), banjo, accordion, and… suitcase!

Pete and Frankie have been gathering admirers at shows and festivals the length and breadth of the country, and we’re fortunate to bag a show with then in Ilkley! Children must be accompanied for this event.

Tickets for this show on Sunday, June 16 and all our productions can be bought at www.ilkleyplayhouse.co.uk or, during box office hours, on 01943 609539.

Claire Emmott