FOLK singer Rachael McShane will play her debut show at Otley Courthouse this month.

The musician - who plays cello, fiddle and viola - is set to take the stage with her band, The Cartographers, on Saturday, March 21. Based in the North East of England, Rachael is an original member of folk big band Bellowhead who she toured internationally with and also made several TV appearances.

Bellowhead recorded five studio albums and won a total of eight BBC Folk Awards during their 12 years together.

More recently, Rachael has been singing the role of Susannah Holmes in an adaptation of The Transports alongside The Young’uns, Faustus, Nancy Kerr, Greg Russell and Matthew Crampton.

The Transports is a folk ballad opera that tells the story of a family that is destroyed by poverty and crime but gets a new lease of life after being exiled to Australia in the 1780s.

It was written and released by Peter Bellamy in 1977 but the latest production - a 2017 tour followed by an album - featured a fresh script and new musical arrangements to give the story a modern twist.

Rachael teamed up with The Cartographers, featuring guitarist Matthew Ord (Assembly Lane) and melodeon player Julian Sutton (Kathryn Tickell, Sting), to produce her latest album When All Is Still. Released in 2018, the album features reworkings of traditional songs and has been hailed as ‘unmissable folk fare’.

Looking forward to the Otley show, a Courthouse spokeswoman said: “This will be a fantastic evening from one of England’s most talented folk musicians.” The music will start at 8pm and tickets cost £14.

Comedy fans, meanwhile, can look forward to seeing a stand-up comedian and writer who took part in a recent edition of I’m a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! Shappi Khorsandi will present Skittish Warrior - Confessions of a Club Comic at the Courthouse on Sunday, March 15.

A regular on BBC Radio 4, Shappi’s television appearances have included spots on Have I Got News For You, QI, Live at the Apollo and Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow.

Her new show is described as ‘a brand new hour of sharp-tongued gags, cultural observation and whatever else is in her easily distracted mind’. The performance starts at 8pm and tickets cost £15.

To book places for either event visit, call (01943) 467466 or pop into the Courthouse on Courthouse Street, Otley.