Ilkley Playhouse

AFTER a brief rest over the summer, Ilkley Playhouse is ready to act, sing, dance and swing its way into a new season.

We start though with a public health announcement. It has been noted that plays by a Mr Alan Ayckbourn are very popular and we feel it’s our duty to give you fair warning that one such play will be performed at the Playhouse in September. To avoid the common symptoms of stress when booking a sought-after ticket (heart palpitations, nausea, sweaty palms) we recommend the following medication: make your way to your nearest device that will give you internet connection; go to and book tickets. Or just call 01943 609539.

Now, if the writer’s name alone isn’t enough to make you book, then read on for more on Intimate Exchanges, Volume I: A Garden Fete…

Ayckbourn can be relied on to bring out the black humour in any situation. Written between 1982 and 1983, Intimate Exchanges consists of eight diverging stories all originating from a single opening scene. The story explored in Volume I takes us from Celia and Toby’s garden to meet Lionel Hepplewick and his aged father, Joe. Finally, we arrive in a graveyard where we learn about Sylvie’s future.

The play was nominated for the 1984 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy, and a 2006 revival was nominated for the 2008 Drama Desk Award. A great night out! Intimate Exchanges, Volume I: A Garden Fete runs from September 12 to 21.

September brings twin bursts of sonic Americana to the Playhouse. On September 7 it’s West Yorkshire five-piece band The 309s. Blending swing, country and jive, they’ll lift you up and put a smile on your face.

Then on Friday, September 27 it’s An Evening with Dolly Parton. Not the real Dolly, but the next best thing: Miss Julie Martin, award-winning Dolly Parton impersonator, reconstructs the highlights of Real Dolly’s astonishing repertoire at the Playhouse, including classics such as I Will Always Love You, Jolene, Nine To Five, Islands In The Stream, and many others. It’s in the imtimate Wildman Studio, with it’s near-surround seating a terrific, perfectly sized venue for live music.

Finally, if – whatever your age – you fancy some back-to-school-time learning in September, we have Poetry and The Novel, which after the great success of the first course earlier this year will return on Thursday, September 12.

For more on our events, productions and courses, go to our website at, or call 01943 609539.

by Claire Emmott