Harrogate Theatre

Christmas is coming and the Geese are getting fat at the Harrogate Theatre

in Culture/Harrogate

Michaela Noonan, from the , gives an update on the what’s happening at the theatre over the period.

Whether you’re stuck for gift ideas, struggling with finding a family night out that isn’t pantomime (though you really should see ours – it’s tremendous) or simply looking for something to do in December, then look no further than Theatres. As 2013 heads out the door, we’re offering plenty of opportunity for you to do the same.

Edith Nesbit
Edith Nesbit

Edith Nesbit is renowned as a children’s author, thanks to huge successes in the genre, including Five Children And It and The Railway Children. These stories manage to keep her pathological hatred of Christmas under wraps, but in truth Nesbit was not a festive fan, a feeling that stemmed from having to write seasonal poems – including Christmas Is Coming – in a bid to make ends meet in the early days of her marriage to Hubert Bland. What’s more, prior to her fame writing for kiddiewinks, Nesbit was a mistress of horror, penning elegant but disturbing ghost stories.

In Edith In The Dark, Harrogate Theatre’s brand new commission from playwright Philip Meeks (Studio Theatre, Tuesday 10 December to Sunday 5 January), Nesbit escapes her annual Christmas soiree to tell dark tales of terror in the attic, along with her loyal housekeeper and a handsome young stranger. Yet as the trio breathe life into these yarns, it becomes clear that all is not as it seems – one of the people in the attic is hiding a deadly secret.

Alun Cochrane
Alun Cochrane

Christmas can be a funny old time of year, so why not make it even funnier – in a good way – with a trip to Harrogate’s longest running monthly chucklefest festive special, The Hyena Comedy Club Christmas Cracker (Harrogate Theatre, Saturday 14 December). Living up to its name, the line-up is a doozie: hilariously dour storytelling Yorkshire chap Alun Cochrane; no-nonsense Yorkshireman Ray Peacock; engaging Irish raconteur Caimh McDonnell, and warm and witty Manc lass Hayley Ellis.

Get the festive season folk-rocking with a trip to see Ray Jackson’s 1970s proggers Lindisfarne. The band are back with a very special Christmas show (Monday 16 December, ), incorporating festive favourites and rootling through a vast back catalogue of favourites that includes Fog On The Tyne, Dingly Dell and Nicely Out of Tune. This small Northern tour marks the first time in 23 years that Ray Jackson and the band have performed together.

More folktastic entertainment comes courtesy of The Albion Band Christmas Show (Royal Hall, Tuesday 17 December), a joyous evening of celebration that takes the audience on a guided tour of Britain’s traditional Christmas customs. The Albion Band might not be a name that rings a bell, but this folk supergroup comprises the combined talents of Fairport Convention’s Simon Nicol, Edward II’s Simon Care, the inordinately talented Kellie While, all headed up by Guvnor and member of Fairport Convention AND Steeleye Span, Ashley Hutchings. Together they provide a seasonal mix of carols, spoken word, readings and dance suitable for all ages.


Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a bit of Strauss, and A Viennese Whirl, Opera North’s afternoon concert at the Royal Hall on Monday 30 December, is a wonderful showcase of the sparkling, lilting melodies of Johan Strauss II and his contemporaries. In this exhilarating lead-up to New Year celebrations presented by BBC’s Mark Forrest, thrilling conductor Jac Van Steen transforms Harrogate into old Vienna. Guest soprano Sarah Tynan promises to wow with some of the finest, tasteful baroque singing out there.

Tickets for all these events can be booked securely online at www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk or through the Harrogate Theatre Box Office on 01423 502116.


Production: Edith In The Dark

Date: Tuesday 10 December – Sunday 5 January

Venue: Harrogate Studio Theatre

Times: 7pm

Box Office: 01423 502116

Show: Hyena Comedy Club Christmas Cracker

Date: Saturday 14 December

Venue: Harrogate Theatre

Time: 9pm

Box Office: 01423 502116

Show: Lindisfarne

Date: Monday 16 December

Venue: Royal Hall

Time: 7.30pm

Box Office: 01423 502116

Show: The Albion Band Christmas Show

Date: Tuesday 17 December

Venue: Royal Hall

Time: 7.30pm

Box Office: 01423 502116

Show: A Viennese Whirl

Date: Monday 30 December

Venue: Royal Hall

Time: 3pm

Box Office: 01423 502116

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