IT’S laughter time at the Ilkley Playhouse on Saturday April 6 with our regular Stagefright comedy night. Pop down to the Wildman Studio to meet our first stand-up comedian Chris Stokes, who wields a sort of scripted/improvisatory style with Izzard-esque tangents. Chris has supported Milton Jones and Jason Manford on tour and appeared on BBC Three, Dave’s One Night Stand, and BBC Radio 4, among others, so his name may already be familiar to you. He’s also performed several critically acclaimed solo shows at the Edinburgh Festival.

Joining him in Ilkley will be Danny Deegan, whose act has been described by BSH Magazine as “blisteringly funny comedy that left us all breathless and aching”. We’re sure he’ll be a hit with the Ilkley crowd. The line-up also includes impersonator Charlie Maurer, who’s hit the 25 million view mark on YouTube. You may recognise his voice as the narrator for Channel 4 and Netflix show Lookalikes, but he’s also a razor-sharp stand-up, and a recent finalist in the Leicester Square Comedy competition.

Finally, there’s more laughs courtesy of Jack Topher and the usual compere Anthony J Brown. Stagefright Comedy nights are strictly for over 16s. The bar’s well-stocked and the welcome is warm, so come down with your friends for an evening of laughter.

And for those who prefer their humour warm, sentimental and nostalgic, come and visit us On Golden Pond in the Wharfeside Theatre from Wednesday, April 17 to Saturday, April 27. Ernest Thompson’s beautiful play centres around Ethel and Norman Thayer returning to their titular summer home for the 48th year. The Thayers are hoping for a quiet summer, but as the metaphorical leaves turn brown, their life is interrupted by an unexpected visitor from a very different generation.

First performed as a play in 1979, On Golden Pond is perhaps best known for the legendary 1981 Hepburn/Fonda film adaptation, for which Katharine Hepburn won her record-breaking fourth Oscar. It’s an ode to families, with all the associated troubles, tribulations, love and friendships that we can all recognise.

A simple, beautiful story, it’s also a thoughtful meditation on the nature of ageing, on the mercurial nature of time, as well as a contemplation of approaching death. Above all, as the director of the Playhouse production Dick Hebbert puts it, it’s about what may be the last chances to put right what Philip Larkin, in his wonderful poem Aubade, describes as:

“ – The good not done, the love not given, the

Time torn off unused…”

Jarring as it is to switch so abruptly from poetry to the pragmatic, but tickets are expected to sell fast, so book yours today to avoid missing out, and we’ll see you On Golden Pond! Tickets for all productions can be bought online at, or by calling 01943 609539 during our opening hours.

by Claire Emmott