Ilkley Playhouse

NOTHING makes it to the stage without a lot of teamwork and community spirit, and a group of very different people all pulling in the same direction.

This is true for every production at Ilkley Playhouse; as a case in point, the care and attention given to the next Wharfeside production, Alice Nutter’s Barnbow Canaries, can be felt in the back row.

By staging Barnbow Canaries, director Paul Chewins, the cast and crew are giving voice to a lesser known aspect of war work and sacrifice during World War One. Set in the secret Barnbow munitions factory in Leeds, the story is based on the community of women workers, whose array of sacrifices are revealed through the narrative arc.

The production is brought to life with great affection.

The backstage team, and those on stage, have created an unmistakable camaraderie and community feel, which feeds into the sense of shared experiences among the characters on stage.

The Playhouse has a reputation for interesting, innovative and effective sets; this one too has been crafted with care and attention. The set and props work as hard as the actors (and those involved in stage management!).

Set in Leeds, it’s a very Northern play, brimming with gumption, grit and brass.

There’s genuine affection – and great banter – not least from the sisters, Agnes and Edith, who are central to the story.

The addition of period music and songs also enrich the play, helping to make it both hearty and heartfelt. Come and see it. You’ll leave enriched and touched by this moving tale.

Barnbow Canaries runs from Thursday, November 1 to Saturday, November 10.

Come and join us on Saturday, November 17 for an uplifting evening of music and at the same time you’ll be supporting some wonderful local causes.

The Wildman studio will be playing host to local musicians The Guiseley Brothers and Otley Brass Band.

Proceeds will go to the Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice and Friends of Clockhouse, a respite facility for children with complex health and disabilities based in Keighley.

The Guiseley Brothers are a collection of singer-songwriters, producers and session musicians playing acoustic versions of classic pop songs from 1965 to 1985, including songs by Prince, Elvis Costello, Squeeze, The Rolling Stones, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Fleetwood Mac, The Isley Brothers and more.

Otley Brass Band are… well... a brass band from Otley and promise to raise the roof!

For more information and tickets for Barnbow Canaries and The Guiseley Brothers and Otley Brass Band go to or call the box office on (01943) 609539 during box office opening hours.