Stagefright Comedy Club returns to Ilkley Playhouse this coming Saturday frontlined by Edinburgh festival nominee Chris Washington. His mischievous Northern wit and amenable manner laced with subversive charm has been seen on Mock the Week, Live from the BBC, The Stand Up Sketch Show, Pointless Celebrities and House of Games. Joining him is Noel James from Britain’s Got Talent and The Stand Up Show. Jon Richardson (from 8 out of 10 Cats) says of him ‘Noel lives and dies by wordplay, his delivery a gabble of consciousness that skips from pun to giddy flights of fantasy. He betrays the soul of a poet and accomplishes it with such rare panache and commitment that it approaches art’. Supporting them is Rachel Robbins who is described as ‘having a warmth and natural charm that has an audience captivated from the start’ (Yellow Arch Comedy) and Louis Etienne who ‘has the swagger of an experienced act who is confident in his abilities’ (Notts Comedy Review). The evening will be compered by Anthony J Brown, former tour support for Alan Carr and Justin Moorhouse.

Ilkley Gazette: GaelforceGaelforce (Image: submitted)

On Friday 2nd June, Yorkshire’s very own Celtic folk rock band, Gaelforce, will be treating audiences to their debut performance in the Wildman Studio. As 2023 winners (by public vote at the Introducing stage at The Great British Folk Festival), they are currently taking the folk scene by storm. You can expect traditional and original songs in a folk rock style with rocked up jigs and reels.

Our next play opening in the Wharfeside Theatre on Thursday 8th June is a theatrical classic – Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit. Written in 1941 and with 1,997 consecutive performances, it broke box office records for the run of a West End comedy and was also produced on Broadway. The play tells the story of Charles Condomine, a writer who invites a psychic medium, Madame Arcati, to his home to conduct a séance as research for his new book. However, the séance goes awry, and the ghost of Charles’ first wife Elvira is summoned back from the dead. Elvira is visible only to Charles and causes chaos in his life by attempting to disrupt his second marriage to his current wife, Ruth. Charles’ attempts to rid himself of Elvira only lead to more problems and soon Ruth becomes suspicious of his behaviour. Madame Arcati tries to help, but her efforts only complicate things further, and Charles finds himself caught between the two women and between life and death as he struggles to keep his sanity intact. The play runs until Saturday 17th June. This play will also travel to The Minack Theatre in Cornwall from 23rd to 27th July.

Laurel Canyon Union return to Ilkley Playhouse on Friday 23rd June. Formed in the summer of 2015 by US Grammy Nominated ex Acoustic Alchemy drummer John Shepard, this union of fully professional, experienced musicians take their inspiration from the late 60s/early 70s American West Coast singer songwriter era, playing well know songs from artists such as Jackson Browne, Neil Young, Eagles, James Taylor and Buffalo Springfield. Rewind to the Counterculture Woodstock Generation and enjoy a great playlist of Cool California Country Rock.

Our final production of the season is Abi Morgan's Lovesong, running from 6th to the 15th July in the Wharfeside Theatre. Lovesong is the story of one couple, told from two different points in their lives: as young lovers in their twenties and as worldly companions looking back on their relationship from old age. Time is fluid as their past and present selves collide in this emotional drama. Love is a leap of faith and the optimism of youth becomes the wisdom of experience. Abi Morgan is an award winning writer whose plays have been performed across the country.

To book tickets for all our plays and events visit or contact Ilkley Playhouse box office on 01943 609539.