Opening this Thursday 6th July in the Wharfeside Theatre is Abi Morgan’s beautiful and inspiring play Lovesong. Written by the multi-Emmy and BAFTA award-winning writer of The Split, The Hour, River, Suffragette and The Iron Lady, this is a tender and unforgettable insight into a relationship that spans forty years. It is the story of one couple Billy and Maggie as they look back at the joys and woes of their marriage. We witness their trials, tribulations and triumphs; the tenderness and the heartache of their everyday lives. We see the risks they take and their struggle to conceive as they make a home together. It is told from two different points in their lives – as young lovers in their twenties and as worldly companions in their later years. This is a piece of theatre that is about falling in love, the endurance of relationships and growing old. It is sure to strike an emotional cord within each and every one of its audience members and speaks to all generations. If Lovesong has anything to teach a younger audience, it is to enjoy life to the full, to accept love when it happens, and to understand that relationships are in constant flux. Expect a truly moving tale guaranteed to pull on your heart strings. The play runs until Saturday 15th July.

Ilkley Gazette: Lovesong Lovesong (Image: submitted)

Prepare for a summer feast of Shakespeare with our fringe production 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 Stagefright Comedy Club returns on Saturday 9th September. The event will be frontlined by Phil Ellis, award-winning comedian who has entertained audiences of all ages with his amalgamation of off-beat observational material and physical comedy. Phil has written and starred in three series of his radio sitcom ‘Phil Ellis is Trying’ on BBC Radio 4 and nominated for Best Scripted Comedy in the BBC Audio Drama Awards 2020. His TV appearances include Roast Battle, The Russell Howard Hour, The Tez Show and Drunk History. Joining him is Jack Carroll, Britain’s Got Talent runner-up, star of Live at the Apollo, QI, Sunday Night at the Palladium and Trollied. David Walliams describes him as “comedy genius”. Also performing is Jenny Laville, Bath New Act Finalist and Beat the Blackout winner. Jenny is a stand-up and comedy writer with credits including The News Quiz and Mock the Week. They will be joined by Edd Jefferson – ‘a tall, thin self-effacing scientist with an infectious line in gently twisted observational humour’. The evening will be brilliantly compered by Anthony Brown.

Ilkley Playhouse is hosting a 6-week History of Modern Art course starting on Wednesday 13th September. This course offers a selective introduction to the history of modern art. Each week examines a major movement in twentieth-century art and addresses specific themes, contexts and artists. Sessions are typically divided into two halves, with the first half offering a general introduction to a particular art movement and the second looking at a specific artist or work. The course tutor is Dr Simon Marginson, an independent art historian and curatorial researcher. He specialises in twentieth century art and has published on various aspects of British and European modernism. Each session starts at 10.30am and finishes at 12pm. The course fee is £42.

Starting on Thursday 14th September Ilkley Playhouse is hosting a 10-week Poetry and Fiction course focusing on the family. In this course a range of short fiction and poetry about the complex relationships produced by families will be discussed. Literature about family is something all of us can relate to in some form or another. Through reading how writers like Mansfield, O’Connor and Munro convey the lives of their families and the imagined lives of others, we can learn more about our own. Each session starts at 10.30am and finishes at 12pm. The cost is £75 for 10 weeks.

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