Our current play Lovesong by Abi Morgan is in its second week at Ilkley Playhouse and is receiving the brilliant reviews it deserves.

Everyone is talking about it. This really is a very special and unique production that will stir powerful emotions. Lovesong is a tender and unforgettable play which gives an insight into a relationship that spans 40 years. It 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 retrospectively on their relationship. Their past and present selves collide in this beautiful tale of togetherness. It is full of the joys of young love, the frustrations of love and the sadness of love. What remains is the power of love. Abi Morgan first started writing for television on shows such as Peak Practice and the adaptation of Sebastian Faulk’s novel Birdsong. She is a BAFTA award-winning screenwriter of The Split, The Hour, River, Suffragette and The Iron Lady. Expect a truly moving production guaranteed to pull on your heart strings.

Ilkley Gazette: Lovesong at Ilkley PlayhouseLovesong at Ilkley Playhouse (Image: Ilkley Playhouse)

Here is what our audience members had to say about it last week: “This is a stunning and very moving play”.

“This play was amazing – the theatre should be bursting with this quality of acting and direction – you’ve got to see it”.

“It has class stamped over it in bucket loads. It is the most wonderful and clever play, superbly and sensitively directed and acted. An absolute joy”.

“Beautifully written, expertly directed, exquisitely acted and wonderfully crewed.”

“It was mesmerising. I loved it all but didn’t take enough tissues.”

“Best thing I have ever seen at Ilkley Playhouse. Tell your friends!”

The play runs until this Saturday 15th July. Don’t miss it!

We have a summer feast of Shakespeare ahead 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 www.ilkleymanorhouse.org

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.

Summer holiday season is barely upon us but here at Ilkey Playhouse plans are well underway for our Autumn/Winter season. Our Autumn/Winter programme of plays and events is out now and you can get your hands on a copy at Ilkley Playhouse, in local libraries, Ilkley Tourist information Office and the Clarke Foley Centre. All the information is of course available on our website too. The Autumn/Winter season begins with Laura Wade’s Home, I’m Darling, opening on 14th September. This is a thought-provoking comedy about one woman’s quest to be the perfect 1950s housewife. Prepare yourself for an evening filled with jukebox classics and a heavy dose of nostalgia. The play runs until Saturday 23rd September.

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