Festive shows in Harrogate in Christmas run-up

Singer Clare Teal.

Singer Clare Teal.

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By Graham Chalmers

With only a week to go to Christmas, there’s still plenty of time to pack in some pre-Christmas festivities at Harrogate’s selection of top venues.

Things kick off with a swing tonight, Thursday with BBC Radio 2 jazz favourite Clare Teal and her exceptional band at the Royal Hall.

The Yorkshire-born singer’s Festive Fiesta show will feature songs made famous by iconic artists such as Peggy Lee, Doris Day, Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald in her 1950s-themed Festive Fiesta.

Tomorrow night, Friday another hugely popular singer, Kate Rusby is offering musical Christmas treats at Harrogate International Centre.

This time, the emphasis is on classic carols and folk music. As well as beautiful new variations of carols both famous and less well-known, Rusby will also be performing a selection of favourites from her 20-year back catalogue together with one or two tracks from her brand new album Ghost.

Steeped in her local South Yorkshire tradition, familiar carols will be transformed with this award winner’s special touch.

And the entertainment isn’t just limited to music.

This year’s traditional pantomime at Harrogate Theatre is Cinderella.

Co-written by the theatre’s own David Bown and Phil Lowe, the star of the panto is once again Tim Stedman playing the adorable buffoon Buttons in what is his 15th year at Harrogate!

One-man musical play Bane takes audiences into the mean streets of pulp fiction until next Tuesday, December 23.

This one-man show has been hailed by The Guardian as “a brilliant hour of comedy theatre that could just be the best crime movie never made.”

Influenced by Hollywood film noir and Raymond Chandler novels, Joe Bone brings his comic anti-hero to life with live guitar accompaniment from musician Ben Roe.

Bone plays every character in the story and creates a terrific atmosphere entirely without props.

The shows have won the pair multiple awards and critical success, with development of a graphic novel, DVD and cross media platforms all in the works.

In complete contrast, one of Harrogate’s great festive traditions is in prospect this Saturday, December 20 when Harrogate Gilbert and Sullivan Society celebrates its 30th birthday with a Christmas concert.

This year’s show promises to be even more spectacular than ever thanks to a guest appearance by the award-winning Brighouse and Rastrick Band.

Harrogate G & S boasts its own world-class singers and, once again, former Welsh National Opera star, Donald Stephenson, will be one of the soloists in a programme which includes a selection from Gilbert and Sullivan’s Princess Ida, music from Nabucco, together with festive carols and Christmas choral music.

And the celebrations don’t cease after Christmas Day.

After the success of its visit last year, Opera North is returning to the Royal Hall on Tuesday, December 30 at 3pm with another beautiful afternoon Viennese Whirl.

Introduced by Classic FM’s Mark Forrest, The Orchestra of Opera North will be performing the sparkling melodies of Johan Strauss II.

l Tickets for all the above shows are available on 01423 502116 or book online at www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk