On Saturday Ilkley Playhouse welcomes John Watterson, also known as ‘Fake Thackray’, who will be performing his acclaimed tribute act to the late Jake Thackray, famous for his hilarious, satirical, irreverent and witty songs.

A Leeds teacher, Jake was a true craftsman of the English language, and his legacy of scores of songs continues to delight audiences of all ages today.

A perfect way to begin the Christmas festivities, the show starts at 7.30 pm and tickets are £10.

“We can’t have Jake back but this is the next best thing – a real tribute,” says Mike Harding. “It is marvellous that Jake Thackray’s treasured songs ride again.

They are in safe hands,” comments folk legend Ralph McTell.

The following day – Sunday, December 23 – there will be a Christmas film showing of the 1947 classic Miracle On 34th Street at 2.30pm. This is the first movie showing at the playhouse following their successful application for a commercial cinema licence. Tickets are £3, with sweets and refreshments available. A perfect family occasion The first play of the new year will be Woody Allen’s Play It Again Sam, from Wednesday, January 16, to Saturday, January 26. This American comedy, set in New York, follows the fortunes of recently divorced Alan Felix, played by Woody Allen in the hugely-popular movie version. His friends Dick and Linda are trying to persuade him to get back on the dating scene and famously, Alan’s hero Humphrey Bogart keeps popping up to offer him advice on improving his love life... There will be a signed performance on Monday, January 21, interpreted by BSL interpreter Keren Seabrook. Keren knows the playhouse well as she interprets for the Ilkley Literature Festival and has previously given signed performances of our plays, most recently Absent Friends in March this year.

Stagefright Comedy Club returns to the playhouse on Saturday, January 12, with a fantastic line-up to welcome in the New Year and with two headline acts for the price of one! Ivan Brackenbury has been described as “funnier than an entire series of Alan Partridge” – Daily Telegraph and “Laughs per minute the funniest show in Edinburgh” – Time Out.

Chris Evans described him as “a comedy genius”, in his role as a hospital radio DJ with delusions of grandeur. His show created a frenzy at the Edinburgh Festival where Ivan won the coveted Spirit Of The Fringe Award and was nominated for the If.comedy Best Show Award. Ian D Montfort was also a monster hit at the Edinburgh Fringe with his metaphysical magic act with “mind-blowing spirit medium skills.” The show was a critical success and one of the most talked-about cult hits of the festival.

This month’s compere is Lewis Charlesworth. Lewis has established himself as one of the most upbeat, high-energy, engaging and silly acts on the circuit.

To book playhouse events call 01943 609539 from 9.30-11.30am and 1-6.30pm, Monday to Friday.

For further information, visit the website at www.ilkleyplayhouse.co.uk