Ilkley Playhouse

IT is the month of Advent and calendar doors are being opened to reveal a feast of festive delights.

On Thursday night we will be revealing our festive family show with Alan Bennett’s adaptation of Kenneth Grahame’s classic The Wind in the Willows. The combination of a wonderful cast, our incredibly skilled Director Damien O’Keeffe, the visual delights constructed by our talented set designers and builders, Inga Moore’s backdrop that perfectly captures Grahame’s rural idyll and Bennett’s witty dialogue really do make for a delightful family Christmas treat. Bennett’s astute writing and wry humour that we are very familiar with at Ilkley Playhouse, reshapes the adventures of Mole, Ratty, Badger and Toad into a funny and whimsical tale that will be appreciated by the young and old. Alan Bennett has created a brilliant play and the appeal is that this isn’t a

pantomime or a children’s show but something for all the family.

We are opening our doors to you this Saturday at our annual Christmas Coffee Morning. Doors open at 9.30am and you can browse our Christmas stalls, have a go at the raffle and enjoy a warm drink and a mince pie whilst catching up with friends. Our junior, senior and adult Greenroom actors will be performing sketches with a seasonal theme throughout the morning so come along and support them and enjoy the festive cheer.

If you are on the look out for Christmas present ideas that deliver a memorable experience, we have just the ticket! We have a new History of Art course starting on 8th January which will examine the Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern foundations of Western art in their broader historical context. It will focus on works of art, sculpture and architecture from the Bronze Age to

Classical Greece; Romanesque and Gothic; the Northern, Florentine and High Renaissance, including Venice. The cost is £65 for 10 weeks bookable in advance, plus a one-off £3 charge payable on the first session for the course handouts. The course takes place on Wednesday mornings from 10.30am till 12pm.

On 26th January David Harper will be coming to Ilkley Playhouse with his Unexpected Tales! David is well-known in television, appearing in Bargain Hunt, Antiques Roadtrip, Celebrity Eggheads, Flog It, For What It’s Worth, Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is, Celebrity Masterchef and Through The Keyhole. The show will feature funny, behind the scenes anecdotes from TV, live auctions, exciting antique finds and stories from celebrity TV appearances.

Following a very successful evening with A Murder of Crows last December, our Murder Mystery Event returns on Saturday 18th January with Murder on Air by Andrew Hull, directed by our Artistic Director Jay Cundell-Walker. It’s 1957. A major radio soap star is being axed. The cast have worked together a long time. They know each other’s secrets. Which member of the cast and crew

will not live to tell the tale? Dress up in your best 50’s vintage gear, be a detective for the night and enjoy a pie and pea supper.

Back by popular demand, Mambo Jambo will be entertaining children ages 3-7 and their families on Tuesday 18th February. Come and join them during the half-term holiday for an afternoon of nonsense songs and music. This is a truly unique two-piece with their joyous mash-up of sounds from roots, world jazz and folk, plus their own compositions. Pete and Frankie have been

gathering admirers at shows and festivals the length and breadth of the country. A fabulous musical treat is in store wherever they roll up, their tour bus packed to the brim!

Finally, a big thank you to all those who attended our open evening last week. Our current members and volunteers did a wonderful job welcoming people into our theatre and there was a fantastic atmosphere! We look forward to working alongside our new volunteers and welcoming them into the Ilkley Playhouse family.

Bookings for all productions and events can be made at or by calling 01943 609539.

Caroline Mutton