OPENING this Thursday in the Wharfeside Theatre is The Haunting, adapted for the stage by Hugh Janes from the ghost stories of Charles Dickens. Be warned, this play is not for the faint-hearted!

As the wind howls across a lonely moor, a young man arrives at an ancient manor house. There to organise the estate of the late owner, David Filde begins to work whist the storm rages outside. Distracted by strange sounds and eerie apparitions, David becomes convinced the house is haunted by a ghostly figure. To solve the mystery, he must convince the new Lord Gray to journey with him to the darkest corners of terror and discover the truth. The Haunting combines all the essential hallmarks of a great Victorian ghost story with a terrifying mystery and will have you gripping onto the edge of your seats until the thrilling end! The play runs until Saturday 27th January.

Throughout January we have three new courses available for you to enjoy. Firstly, a 10-week poetry and short fiction course starts at Ilkley Playhouse on Thursday 11th January where you can study and enjoy poems and short stories by pioneering figures like TS Eliot, DH Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, Katherine Mansfield, WB Yeats, Siegfried Sassoon, Edmund Blunden, Amy Lowell, among others.

If you have ever thought about reading Proust but worried about feeling overwhelmed and intimidated, then this five-week course is just for you. Starting on Thursday 25th January, the course takes place in a friendly, supportive and encouraging environment where along with Dr Robert Hemmings, you will work through Swann’s Way - the first volume of In Search of Lost Time.

A 6-week History of Modern Art course starts on Wednesday 31st January. The course focuses on major artists who are less well known and 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.

Stagefright Comedy Club returns to Ilkley Playhouse on Saturday 3rd February. The evening will be frontlined by Gavin Webster. Voted ‘Comedian’s Comedian’ in a national poll of his fellow stand-ups, his long list of media credits include Never Mind the Buzzcocks, The Stand-Up Show, Edinburgh Nights, Ken Loach’s Palme d’Or-winning I, Daniel Blake and the Radio 4 sketch show The Show What You Wrote. Joining him is Tom Little, Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year and Edinburgh Festival award nominee. The utterly inventive Tom is a former BBC New Comedy Award finalist with his gut-wrenchingly insightful material and hilariously awkward delivery. His web series Don’t Overthink It has been recently nominated for four awards at the esteemed NYC Web Fest. Also performing is Melina Fiol, one of the fastest rising new acts emerging from the Northwest comedy scene today. Her sharp wit, confident delivery and relatable self-awareness has been disarming audiences across the UK. Beat the Frog winner Kie Carson will also be on stage, a charismatic and endearing performer with thought provoking material. The evening will be compered by the talented Anthony J Brown.

Our first production of the Spring/Summer season is Things I know to be True, opening on Tuesday 13th February in the Wildman Studio. Bob and Fran Price have four adult children, each with their own unique struggles and secrets that that they want to hide. As they try to redefine themselves separately from the hopes and dreams of their parents, Bob and Fran must redefine their relationships with their children and with each other. Things I Know To Be True is Andrew Bovell’s complex and intense portrait of the mechanics of a family – and a marriage – through the eyes of their four siblings. This play is ‘an intricate, inventive study of family life. Genuinely beautiful’ (The Evening Standard). The play premiered in Adelaide, Australia, as a co-production between Frantic Assembly and the State Theatre Company of South Australia. It received its British premiere in 2016 at the Lyric Hammersmith. The play runs until Saturday 17th February.

On Friday 23rd February The Rob Dylan Band perform in the Wildman Studio. Formed by a group of musicians who share a passion for the music of Bob Dylan, their performance captures the spirit of the Rolling Thunder Revue with exciting and dynamic playing and powerful vocals.

The following night, on Saturday 24th February, The Jon Palmer Acoustic Band returns to Ilkley Playhouse. Based in Otley, this high energy, folk, roots and rock and roll band is best described as “exploding out of the same box as The Pogues, The Saw Doctors and The Waterboys.” They have a great reputation for finishing off the night in a joyful, energetic and chorus filled way.

Ilkley Gazette: Celeste Cimino and Luciano MillaqueoCeleste Cimino and Luciano Millaqueo (Image: submitted)

On Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd March you can enjoy An Evening in Buenos Aires where rising stars of the Argentine tango, Celeste Cimino and Luciano Millaqueo, will recreate the ambience of a Buenos Aires nightclub. This intimate production will celebrate the history and music of Argentina’s iconic dance: the tango.

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