Ilkley Playhouse

IF you are looking to enjoy a bit of original theatre this weekend, then head to Ilkley Playhouse. On Friday and Saturday night National Theatre acclaimed actor William Ilkley returns to his home town of Ilkley to premiere Alexa – Cry Me a Dance. In the play, Trevor journeys through the present dark, towards a distant light, with a curious companion, cementing the past to the present, and connecting memories of love and music as he dances with hope towards our new normal future. Trevor is an ordinary 60 year old man, living through extraordinary times. His story is one that every man can identify with. As he travels through the darkest dark, unexpectedly finding the brightest light, he treads the path of a time walker, with the belief that this too will pass if we can all walk and talk together, beyond the present, unafraid of a different and changed future. Although a modern tragedy, the play looks beyond the bleak, by spreading joy through the music, the dance and the humour, illustrating the resilience and hope of the human spirit.

Trevor’s journey is a tale of our time, performed as a one man show in the safe and intelligent hands of William Ilkley, who for three years played Arthur Narracott in the UK and World Tour of War Horse. His extensive career has now spanned forty years after starting out at Ilkley Grammar School and Ilkley Playhouse. Both performances will be followed by a Q&A with William.

In December the Wharfeside theatre will be transformed into the high seas when our Greenroom students storm the stage in our swashbuckling Christmas production Treasure Island. Written by Robert Louis Stevenson and adapted by Phil Willmott, this is the first adaptation of Treasure Island with both male and female performers. Expect a rollicking, timber-shivering production, including audience participation, swordfights, a little dance and some sea shanties. You can consider it a pantomime as much as a play and it will provide perfect family entertainment. The play runs from the 9th to the 18th December and includes two matinee performances and two socially distanced performances.

The Ilkley Playhouse annual Christmas fair returns on Saturday 4th December. Doors open at 9.30am and there will be mince pies, warming drinks, the opportunity to see friends, browse our Christmas stalls and enter our famous raffle. A highlight of the fair is the Greenroom performance: from 10am everyone is invited to the Wharfeside theatre to watch our talented Greenroom students perform seasonal sketches and individually prepared pieces of theatre.

Here is a date for your 2022 diary: the rescheduled Frost/Nixon opens in the Wharfeside theatre on Thursday 13th January. The play, first performed in 2006, is written by screenwriter and dramatist Peter Morgan, whose writing credits include ‘The Queen’, ‘The Last King of Scotland’ and ‘The Damned United’. The play is based on the true story of how David Frost approached Nixon’s office to be given the exclusive right to interview the disgraced President Nixon in the wake of his resignation after Watergate. Whether you know anything about the Watergate scandal or the history of the Frost/Nixon TV interview, this play is a must-see, exposing the vanity of politics, corruption and power. Please note that there will be two socially distanced performances: Thursday 13th January (opening night) and Monday 17th January.

For details of all our plays and events and to book tickets visit or contact Ilkley Playhouse box office on 01943 609539.