Ilkley Playhouse

AS I write this article, John Godber’s hilarious Teechers is in full swing, being performed to sell out audiences every night. We are thrilled with the response that we have had for this play and delighted that we can entertain audiences in Ilkley to such a high standard. Teechers is fast-paced and high energy, quite different to our next play Ladies in Lavender which runs from March 5 to14 in the Wharfeside Theatre. Based on Charles Dance’s critically acclaimed film starring Judi Dench and Maggie Smith, Ladies in Lavender tells the tale of two sisters Ursula and Janet whose lives are transformed by the discovery of Andrea, a young Polish violinist who has been washed ashore on a Cornish beach near the sisters’ cottage. This is an evocative, heart-warming story of unfulfilled dreams and unrequited love.

The first of our fringe productions, We’re Not Going Back tells the story of sisters Olive, Mary and Isabel who support the local miners by setting up a branch of Women Against Pit Closures. Set in Yorkshire during the miners’ strike in 1985, this hard-hitting but very funny play celebrates the power of community and ordinary people resisting a government intent on destruction. The play will be complemented by live music from musicians Lorna Bird and Mairead O’Donnell. The play is written by Boff Whalley who is perhaps best known as the former lead guitarist for the punk and folk band Chumbawamba. He is now an acclaimed playwright and founder of Commoners Choir. On the opening night of this play, Thursday, February 27 Boff will be joining us for a Q&A session following the performance. The play runs for just three nights.

If you are an actor or would like to become one, then please read on! Our fringe committee has cleverly produced three 30 minute versions of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Twelfth Night and The Taming of the Shrew which will be performed over the summer. There will be an open casting reading for all three of these plays on Wednesday, February 19 at 7.30pm in the Wildman Studio. All are welcome to attend, including actors under the age of 18. Rehearsals will commence in July and there will be only one rehearsal per week until the final week before performances in the Wildman Studio on Saturday, August 29 and in the Manor House Yard on Monday, August 31. If you are interested but cannot attend the play reading on February 19, please notify us by contacting the Playhouse Box Office on 01943 609539.

On Saturday, March 21 the Two Rivers Swing Band will be ‘letting the good times roll’ in the Wildman Studio. Directed by trumpeter and jazz arranger Trevor Vincent, their performance will include well known numbers by the great band leaders Glenn Miller, Count Basie and Duke Ellington. Please note that this is a seated event with limited dancing space.

Don’t forget our Stagefright Comedy Club on Saturday, February 15 at 8pm. Noel James and Meryl O’Rourke will feature alongside full support. The bar will be open and we promise a fun and relaxing evening.

For more information and to book tickets visit:

Caroline Mutton