Select 2021

Things to do on and off line this year

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York

Celebrations have been delayed but Kentmere House Gallery re-opens by marking its 30th anniversary with Jack’s Travels from 12 April. The exhibition showcases the work of Jack Halliwell, an artist famous for painting entirely from memory. He would have celebrated his 100th birthday last year and his 30th year of showing in the gallery.

(kentmerehouse.co.uk)

Online

Manchester-based African-led arts and cultural organisation Amani Creatives presents original online work by four local African artists responding to the theme of change. Ghanaian dance and visual artist Christian Asare and Sierra Leonean musician Papa Sam Alafia feature in the first showcase on 20 April at 6.30pm, on the organisation’s YouTube channel. 

(youtube.com/c/AmaniCreatives)

Blackpool

HiVE Arts puts on F/Stop, a free outdoor exhibition in Blackpool this month, with tram stops along the Golden Mile between South and North Pier becoming mini galleries. Among the 22 female photographers selected by the National Photographic Society are Joanne Fletcher, Kate Yates and Stephanie Cottle (work pictured). 

(hivearts.co.uk)

Carlisle

Outdoor exhibition Alone Together: Our Community in Lockdown, from Tullie House, reflects how the community was affected through the pictures of Carlisle residents. The showcase opens on
12 April and carries on throughout the summer, giving visitors a chance to reflect on how the pandemic has affected them and their communities.

(tulliehouse.org.uk) 

Online

Baltic Music Days 2021 will begin on 22 April with the first edition of the contemporary classical music festival Estonian Music Day. Internationally renowned Estonian composers including Helena Tulve and Timo Steiner will focus on this year’s theme of DNA, exploring the dialogue between genetics, cultural origins, musical thinking and science.

(balticnewmusic.com) 

Online

Sheffield Museums hosts a Facebook live lecture on 21 April by University of Chester professor of archaeology Howard Williams. He will discuss pioneering Victorian archaeologist Thomas Bateman, who uncovered early medieval graves in the Peak District and contributed to Victorian ideas about Anglo-Saxonism – his most famous find being the Benty Grange helmet.

(facebook.com/SheffieldMuseums) 

Online

Leeds Playhouse and Opera North production Orpheus in the Record Shop, on 21 April on BBC Four, is part of the BBC Lights Up Season. Leeds-based rapper and beatboxer Testament explores the relationship between performer and audience through the Greek myth of Orpheus – with a contemporary Yorkshire twist.

(bbc.co.uk/arts) 

Online

TV veterinary surgeon Noel Fitzpatrick hosts How Animals Saved My Life, a live virtual evening with him on 19 April during which he’ll have an open and enlightening discussion with Lorraine Kelly. 

(gigsandtours.com) 

Online

Online exhibition Sounds of Our City, from Abbey House Museum, tells the story of how the different musical styles and places of Leeds interact. It features musical compositions first imagined almost 200 years ago by seven female musicians and never heard by a contemporary audience. 

(museumsandgalleries.leeds.gov.uk/virtual-visit)

Online

A social pharmacy, a photography and writing project in Thatto Heath, crypto embroidery and an exploration of post-colonial language are just some of the works that are free to explore digitally and in print from the 34 artists featured in the 2021 Independents Biennial. Online until 6 June. Pictured: extract from Under the Yuzu Tree by Feiyi Wen. 

(independentsbiennial.com)

Online

With 360° photography the Elizabeth Gaskell team explore the cherished former home of one of Manchester’s most famous authors online on 17 April. As fascinating as the stories about her life are the stories of those Gaskell surrounded herself with, from her shy friend Charlotte Brontë to the tumultuous relationship she had with her publisher Charles Dickens. 

(elizabethgaskellhouse.co.uk/events)

Online

The latest in a series of podcasts from Opera North and the University of Leeds finds two of Yorkshire’s most acclaimed artists, Poet Laureate Simon Armitage and composer Gavin Bryars, in expansive conversation about their respective art forms and what happens when they are brought together.

(operanorth.co.uk/explore-opera/thinking-with-opera)

Online

The Lawrence Batley Theatre and the Dukes co-produce a digital adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s classic comedy The Importance of Being Earnest. Adapted by Yasmeen Khan and directed by Mina Anwar, the production will transpose the original narrative of Wilde’s play to the cobbles and stone walls of the north and follow the story of struggling actor Jamil and rom-com star Algy, who come together in the pursuit of love, being true to yourself and Nando’s.

(importanceofbeingearnest.com)

Online

Oldham Coliseum Theatre and Front Room Productions present Whodunnit at the Coliseum? – a tongue-in-cheek interactive murder mystery set at the theatre in 1954 on the opening night of the Scottish Play and running throughout April. Moments before curtain up and front of house manager Edward Fitch is found dead! Everyone is a suspect – and it’s up to you to figure out whodunnit.

(coliseum.org.uk)

Online

Arts organisation They Eat Culture presents a series of free online workshops inviting participants to Explore The Living City. Throughout April there will be how-to lessons in mindful gratitude journalling, documentary photography led by Claire Griffiths (work pictured), creative collage and textured rubbings, and mixed-media collage. Workshops are free for those with PR postcodes. 

(the-living-city.org)

Online

Three Monday Midnights is a three-part audio series from Jamal Gerard and Heart of Glass. Using prose and poetry, Gerard is transported into a supernatural world where he explores the history of blues and rock ‘n’ roll in the company of spirits, including a fallen angel, a loa, an orisha – and a host of legendary musicians.

(heartofglass.org.uk)

Online

The Theatre by the Lake’s community exhibition Life after Lockdown has been installed in the Theatre Gallery for audiences to experience online. The exhibition, curated by Cumbrian artists Louie Whitemore and Mark Melville, is made up of artwork created by local communities reflecting on 2020, looking forward to the future and starting conversations about people’s hopes for life after lockdown.

(theatrebythelake.com) 

Online

The Lucky Ones is part theatre, part video game, part escape room. The week-long digital experience from Oldham Coliseum and Riptide uses your devices and augments your surroundings, placing you as the main character. You can play in a team (up to four players) or individually and the choices you make at every stage will affect the direction and outcome of the game. 

(coliseum.org.uk)

Online

Opera North presents a programme of online events including a Little School of Music and Orchestral Academy for children, , virtual choir From Couch to Chorus: Sing into Spring, and special personal performances by soprano Bibi Heal for community groups, care homes and anyone in need of some lockdown positivity. 

(operanorth.co.uk) 

Online

Song of the Female Textile Workers weaves together the histories of female textile workers in Leeds and Shanghai through the power of Chinese opera. The online exhibition presents six specially created documentary films, each rediscovering a different facet of the UK-China textile industries as well as telling the stories of industrial and cultural development in Shanghai.

(museumsandgalleries.leeds.gov.uk/leeds-industrial-museum/song-of-the-female-textile-workers)

Online

Manchester Camerata performs Untold, a series of films revealing the intimate personal stories of real people in the community through film, storytelling, prose and music, performed from the Monastery Manchester.

(manchestercamerata.co.uk)

Online

Nine Lives follows Ishamel, fleeing his home where homophobia threatens his life. Dispersed to Leeds, he waits to hear his fate. Exploring the concept of home, this one-man show by Leeds-based Zimbabwean slam poet Zodwa Nyoni is available on YouTube in full.

(tinyurl.com/ybqg9mme)

Online

Shakespeare’s Globe continues to offer a huge back catalogue of productions via its Globe Player. Highlights include former artistic director Emma Rice’s radical Midsummer Night’s Dream, Gemma Arterton’s Duchess of Malfi and an all-male take on Twelfth Night, starring Stephen Fry among others.

(globeplayer.tv)

Wakefield

Yorkshire Sculpture Park has unveiled a series of additional works in the open air this winter. On the Formal Garden terrace is the Bag of Aspirations by Kalliopi Lemos – a vastly scaled-up version of the famous Birkin handbag. Two huge works by Henry Moore – Large Two Forms and Large Spindle Piece – return. The four-metre high Monumental Dancer After Degas captures the muscles and volume of a powerful human figure in movement in bronze by William Tucker. Edward Allington’s From the Sex of Metals IV responds to a question from art critic Stuart Morgan as to what sex his sculptures were. And Gary Hume’s enigmatic Snowman, Two Balls Twinkle White has been installed on the Formal Garden pond. 

(ysp.org.uk) 

Pickering

North Yorkshire Moors Railway is operating the Optimist – a daily service on its heritage railway travelling the 24 miles between Pickering and Whitby.

(nymr.co.uk) 

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