OUR next play to open in the Wharfeside Theatre on Thursday, March 7 is Jeeves and Wooster in ‘Perfect Nonsense.’ This is an inventive, fast-paced comedy featuring P.G. Wodehouse’s iconic double act.

When a country house weekend takes a turn for the worse, Bertie Wooster is unwittingly called on to play matchmaker – reconciling the affections of his host’s drippy daughter Madeline Bassett with his newt-fancying acquaintance Gussie Fink-Nottle. If Bertie, ably assisted by the ever-dependable Jeeves, can’t pull off the wedding of the season, he’ll be forced to abandon his cherished bachelor status and marry the ghastly girl himself! Based on P.G. Wodehouse’s delightfully bonkers stories, the Goodale Brothers’ dramatization premiered at the Duke of York’s Theatre in the West End. Join us for an evening of laughter, silliness and theatrical invention. The play runs until Saturday, March 16.

The first of our two fringe productions of the Spring/Summer season is The IT performed by our senior Greenroom students, from March 21 to 23 in the Wildman Studio. A teenage girl has something growing inside her. She knows it’s not a baby. It expands. It has claws. Eventually it takes over the entirety of her body. No one must know about it. She pulls away from her friends, she refuses to speak, but she can’t contain it forever. Sooner or later something’s got to give….This is a darkly comic piece, exploring mental health and the rage within.

Performing for the first time at Ilkley Playhouse on Friday, April 5 is the Yorkshire Gypsy Swing Collective. Featuring some of the region’s hottest gypsy jazz and swing players, playing music inspired from legendary musicians Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli of the “Quintette du Hot Club de France” and more! Expect fiery solos, foot-stomping rhythms and even some jazz standards to sing along to.

The Roy Orbison Experience returns to Ilkley Playhouse on Friday, April 26, fronted by the incredible voice of Oliver Harris, to play their own tribute to “the Big O”. From Oh Pretty Woman, You Got It, I Drove All Night, Penny Arcade and everything in between, this tribute show captures the essence of Roy Orbison’s timeless classics. Expect to be swept away by the powerful vocals, the dazzling instrumentation and the sheer energy of the performance. This is not a look-a-like tribute act, but rather a special live performance faithfully replicating the unique unrivalled sound of Roy Orbison.

Ilkley Gazette: Alex MitchellAlex Mitchell (Image: submitted)

You can look forward to our next Stagefright Comedy Club on Saturday, April 27 when you will be treated to an evening of hilarity from comedians Aaron Simmonds, Phil Pagett, Alex Mitchell, Helen Brooks and Gareth Williams. Aaron Simmonds, who is frontlining the event, is fresh from a solo UK tour. His credits include The Russell Howard Hour, Breaking The News, Guessable and The Stand Up Sketch Show. He has a talent for weaving an overarching story into multiple anecdotes, calling back to them masterfully throughout his performance. Joining him is Birmingham based Phil Pagett who has been performing since 2010 and his act features a heady combination of clever, sharp one-liners and bone-dry observations. In addition to his live work he has written for Mock the Week and BBC Radio 4. Also performing is Helen Brooks who, in her own words, looked to comedy as a way of turning her problems into punch lines. Expect a heady mix of self-depreciation, social commentary and green sequins. She is a comedy writer on BBC Radio 4 ‘The Skewer’ and BBC Scotland ‘Noising Up’. Gareth Williams, another talented comedian joining the line-up, has been described as ‘fabulously confident and instinctively funny’ (Derbyshire Times). He is winner of the Komedia Comedy LaunchPad and ‘wins over audiences with his “Did he really just say that?” humour. Finally, Alex Mitchell ‘brings a breath of fresh air to any comedy night. He has strong material from the start and the crowd instantly warm to him.’ (Lairy Laughs Comedy). What a line-up! The evening will be compered by the fabulously talented Anthony J. Brown.

Ilkley Gazette: CillaCilla (Image: submitted)

There are more musical events to look forward to in May. Returning to Ilkley Playhouse on Friday, May 3 is Cilla and the Swinging Sixties. This is a highly entertaining show, stylishly celebrating the life and music of the legendary Cilla Black, as well as some of her well-known contemporaries including Dusty Springfield, Lulu, Petula Clark, The Beatles and more.

Join Britain’s leading hot-fingered mandolin virtuoso Simon Mayor, and silver-voiced songstress Hilary James, for an unmissable evening of musical fun on Saturday, May 4. Well-known for the diversity of their repertoire: from folk songs to blues, classical mandolin showstoppers, hot swing fiddle, quirky poems, limericks and comic songs. Simon’s unique brand of off-beat humour and Hilary’s honey-dripping voice and amazing bass mandolin, makes for a hugely entertaining evening.

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