Mixed bag of arts at Woodend


by Dave Barry

Tim Tubbs’ production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s Ruddigore is at the YMCA Theatre.

To introduce it, Tim is giving three talks on the Gothic in English literature.

Arising from the late 18th century Romantic movement, Gothic horror inspired the popular novels of Anne Radcliffe and others (spoofed in Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey). It continued with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Bram Stoker’s Dracula and was an important and dramatic thread in English literature (5 Sep).

Victorian stage melodrama was the popular true-crime horror entertainment of the day, with packed theatres thrilling to wicked squires, village maidens in distress, lovers run mad, honest sailor heroes, curses and hauntings. Gilbert & Sullivan spoofed it all with relish in their 10th Savoy opera Ruddigore, which opened in 1887 (12 Sep).

The silent cinema and then the talkies gleefully inherited Gothic horror and vampire tales from the live stage, recreating iconic images of Frankenstein, Dracula, Nosferatu and so on to the Hammer Horror films, before rock music climbed aboard and Goth culture was born. Bram Stoker would have been astonished (19 Sep).

Carolyn Soutar will share her experiences of larger-than-life entertainers and theatre people (26 Sep, 3 and 10 Oct).

A born and bred Londoner with a Scarborian mother, Carolyn returned to her roots in January and loves it.

Trained at Lamda, she has worked in opera, ballet and straight theatre, and on large events and orchestra tours.

She is the author of The Real Nureyev, a biography of Dave Allen, and Staging Events, a Practical Guide.

The talks start at 1pm.

Tickets cost £5 (concessions £4) or £12 (concessions £10) for all three.

Literary Lunch Hour, a series of events featuring the latest books and authors from Scarborough publishing house Valley Press, concludes with Cath Nichols (7 Sep) and Antony Dunn (14 Sep).

They start at 1pm (£5/£4).

Scarborough Actors Society present a new play by Neil Arnott (7, 8 Sep).

Payback is set on the 73rd floor of Europe’s highest tower block.

A project developer has gathered business partners to show them his gratitude. Events take a sinister turn when the lights start to flicker and the power goes off. Before long the guests’ darkest secrets emerge and it becomes a fight for survival.

Directed by Damon Hotchin, it’s due to start at 7.30pm.

Three rehearsed script-in-hand performances will be presented by Springboard Scriptwriters (15 Sep).

Like Clockwork, by Neil Arnott, won the Yorkshire Script Factor competition in York in July. The five finalists were challenged to write to a 15-minute play on the theme of the 50th anniversary of the opening of the world's first ATM by TV sitcom star Reg Varney.

I Don't Want to go to School Today, by Colin Scales, is a fictional story based around the Aberfan disaster of 1966.

Mermaids of the North Sea, by Jo Reed Turner, is about the exotic acts and displays which could once be seen in Peasholm Park.

It’s due to start at 6.30pm.

Tickets cost £5.

The Marty Fields Trio is led by award-winning singer-songwriter Martha Fields (29 Sep).

Born in Texas and living in Bordeaux, Martha will be flanked by Manu Bertrand, “an extraordinary multi-instrumentalist” who has played at the Olympia in Paris and with blues star Eric Bibb, according to promoter Chris Lee; and classically trained Olivier Leclerc, who is passionate about improvised music and diverse musical styles.

They will play track from Martha’s latest album, Southern White Lies. It’s “a gutsy Americana exposition, a state-of-the-nation address that incorporates country blues, gospel, folk and bluegrass, delivered with conviction”, Chris says.

The gig’s due to start at 7.30pm.

Tickets cost £10.

An exhibition of postcard-size work by artists, illustrators and designers, entitled Wish You Were Here, is unusual in that the name of the artist for each piece will only be revealed if and when it is bought, for £20 (5 Aug-29 Sep).

Tickets for all the events can be booked on eventbrite.co.uk and by ringing 384500.