Ilkley Playhouse

Noel Coward’s classic and most well-known play Blithe Spirit is now into its second week at Ilkley Playhouse and is receiving rave reviews. On stage in the Wharfeside Theatre until Saturday 17th June, the play concerns the socialite and novelist Charles Condomine, who invites the eccentric clairvoyant Madame Arcati to his house to conduct a séance, hoping to gather material for his new book. The scheme backfires when he is haunted by the ghost of his wilful and temperamental first wife, Elvira. When the ghost of Elvira appears, visible only to Charles, and determined to sabotage his current marriage, life – and the afterlife – get complicated. If you don’t get a chance to see Blithe Spirit in Ilkley, then you can always take a trip to Minack theatre in Cornwall where Ilkley Players will perform this wonderful and very funny play – this time in the open air - 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.

On Saturday 24th June Stagefright Comedy Club will once again be entertaining Ilkley Playhouse audiences! The event will be frontlined by Jonny Pelham who has delighted audiences at Ilkley Playhouse before and is one of the most exciting stand-up comedians in the UK. He has appeared on Live at the Apollo, Mock The Week, Alan Davies As Yet Untitled, Russell Howard’s Stand-up Central, Live from the BBC and Bobby and Harriet Get Married. Beyond The Fringe Edinburgh Festival Award winner, double-nominated for Chortle Comedy Awards Best Show and Breakthrough Act 2020. He’s written and starred in his own scripted comedy projects; Late Bloomer, for Sky Comedy Short Season and Brad Boys for Channel Four Comedy Blaps, as well as working as a script consultant for BAFTA winning sitcom, Alma’s Not Normal. Joining him is Nick Doody - inspired invective from The World Stands Up, The Mark Thomas Comedy Product and The Now Show. Nick has been performing comedy since the 1990s when, as a student he got off to a pretty good start by supporting the legendary Bill Hicks, at Bill's request. Since then he has performed all over the world from Switzerland to Hong Kong. He has written material for Joan Rivers, Lenny Henry, the late Dame Edna Everage and many of the cast of Mock the Week. He was also the creator and head writer of Bigipedia, the critically acclaimed Radio 4 show. Also performing is Jane Postlethwaite, Audience Choice Award Nominee at Brighton Fringe and Funny Women Finalist. Comedian Tegan Marlow, who was nominated as Breakthrough Act in the 2022 Northwest Comedy Awards and was a semi- finalist in the 2021 Funny Women Awards will also be entertaining on that night. She has quickly taken the Northwest comedy circuit by storm, regularly performing alongside pro acts all over the North. Also taking to the stage will be Jack Kelly, described as having 'a natural stage presence and well-written gags which are perfectly timed' (Small & Shouty Comedy Club). The guest compere for the evening will be Jim Bayes. Endearing and likeable, Jim is a frustrated young man with the ability to make excellent and thoughtful observations as well as having an eye for the absurd.

As part of Refugee Week 2023, Wharfedale Amnesty is delighted to be showing the film Aisha on Sunday 25th June. The film tells the story of a young Nigerian woman (Letitia Wright) seeking protection in Ireland. Caught in limbo for years in the immigration system, she forms a friendship with a security guard Conor (Josh O’Connor). Although fictional, the events portrayed are constructed from real-life and demonstrate the nightmare of bureaucracy. The two leading actors give brilliant performances. Tickets are £10 (£6 for students). Please note that all surplus funds will go to Amnesty International UK, There will be an information stall from Wharfedale Amnesty beforehand (doors open 7pm) and the bar will be open before and after the film, with the opportunity for a discussion about the film afterwards.

Our final production of the season is Abi Morgan's Lovesong, running from 6th to the 15th July in the Wharfeside Theatre. Lovesong, based on the TS Eliot poem ‘The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock’, is a playful, heart-warmingly funny and tragic drama. It speaks to all ages with its exploration of ageing and falling in love, the highs and lows of relationships and making every day count. The optimism of youth becomes the wisdom of experience. Lovesong intertwines a couple in their 20s with the same man and woman a lifetime later. Their past and present selves collide in this haunting and beautiful tale of togetherness. Abi Morgan first started writing for television on shows such as ‘Peak Practice’ and the adaptation of Sebastian Faulk’s novel Birdsong. She has since written screenplays for films including The Iron Lady, Brick Lane and Suffragette. Watch in wonder as Abi Morgan’s beautifully-observed, thought-provoking play unfolds, touching the very heart of the human condition.

Prepare for a summer feast of Shakespeare with Bard in the Yard, returning for the third year. Ilkley Playhouse will be presenting a half hour version of “Hamlet” directed by Dick Hebbert plus half an hour of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” directed by Andrew Leggott. Performances will take place at 7.30pm on Saturday 26th August in the Wildman Theatre and at 2pm in the Manor House Yard on Sunday 27th and Monday 28th August (Bank Holiday). Please note that to book for the Manor House performances, please book via their website

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