By Caroline Mutton

It normally takes a playwright around two years to write a play and get it on to the stage.

But the relentless news about violence against women and the ongoing debate around the issue of women’s safety in the wake of the recent murders of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa compelled Lucy Kirkwood to write Maryland and she did it in just two days.

Within a month the play was being performed at the Royal Court Theatre in London. It has received an extraordinary response and generated lots of interest. The play has very quickly been made been available to theatres, schools and youth theatres and we are delighted that on November 18 and 19 audiences in Ilkley will have the opportunity to see this evocative, dynamic and powerful play.

Kirkwood says about the play: “I hesitate to even call it a play when it is simply a howl, a way of expressing what I feel about a culture of violence against women, but I am sharing it because I wonder if it might express a little of what other people feel about it too.”

The play can be described as an act of protest, about women being heard. This is truly theatre of our time and can hopefully inspire change. The play is 30 minutes in length and staged minimally as a hand in script reading. There will be post-play Q&A following each performance. Please note that Maryland contains emotive content and is suitable for ages 14+.

Rehearsals for Arthur Miller’s masterpiece All My Sons are in full flow and the actors are ready to perform in the Wharfeside theatre from Thursday, November 4. Set-in post-war America where people were being encouraged to be optimistic and strive for the American Dream, the Keller family must face some hard truths.

It is a compelling story that is as fresh, exciting, and relevant now as it was then. A powerful drama, at times profoundly moving, by one of the finest playwrights of the twentieth century. The play runs until Saturday, November 13.

On Saturday, November 20 take a journey on the Soul Train to the sweet soulful years of the 60’s and 70’s Motown era. Expect enthusiastic performances of Soul and Motown classics, tributing legendary artists such as Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Otis Redding, Stevie Wonder and many more.

On November 26 and 27 National Theatre acclaimed actor William Ilkley returns to his home town to premiere Alexa – Cry Me a Dance. In the play, Trevor journeys through the present dark, towards a distant light, with a curious companion, cementing the past to the present, and connecting memories of love and music as he dances with hope towards our new normal future.

Trevor’s journey is a tale of our time, performed as a one man show in the safe and intelligent hands of William Ilkley, who for three years played Arthur Narracott in the UK and World Tour of War Horse. His extensive career has now spanned forty years after starting out at Ilkley Grammar School and Ilkley Playhouse.

For details of all our plays and events and to book tickets visit or contact Ilkley Playhouse box office on 01943 609539.