BOOGIE-WOOGIE pianist Adam Sowter and friends will be channelling the Hootenanny spirit of Jools Holland during the first Summer Sessions season that runs at York Theatre Royal from Wednesday to July 14.

On July 11, Adam Sowter & Co’s Hootenanny promises an evening of live music, flowing ale, pizzas, rollicking blues piano and comedy cabaret in the bar with ukulele player Florence Poskitt, guitarist Simon Bolley, banjo player Kjartan Poskitt and Sowter among those in the 7.30pm to 11pm line-up.

"Summer Sessions came about because we have a couple of dark weeks in July with nothing on, so our front-of-house manager, Michael Slavin, had the idea that this was the perfect chance to explore the theatre as a venue, rather than just the main house and the Studio, utilising people from the theatre," says Adam, who is part of the Theatre Royal's café and bar staff.

"He said, 'do you want to do a music event?' and I thought, 'I don't want it to be just me with three musical friends that I know, but if we could get people involved who work here to show off what else they can do, that would be great'.

"Florence Poskitt, who will be appearing in Pick Me Up Theatre's Follies from Friday at 41 Monkgate, has helped to organise it. She works in the café and bar too and is involved in the Theatre Royal Youth Theatre as well, and among those taking part will be Florence's father, Kjartan, who wrote the theme tune to Brum, the children's TV show with the little car, and used to work at the Theatre Royal."

Watch out too for appearances from singer, songwriter, actor and busker Jonny Holbek; musical actress Eleanor Leaper; Guys And Dolls musical actor Andrew Roberts; York band The Receivers, acoustic singer-songwriter Kelly Ann Bolland and soulful singer Stuart Rae.

Louise Barclay Johnson hopefully will be bringing The Groves Community Gospel Choir to the theatre, while box-office staff member and Britain's Got Talent alumnus Richard Bayton is definitely showcasing "songs from lesser-known musicals – and very camp they will be," predicts Adam.

"I'll be hosting the evening, doing a few original comedy ditties and songs on the piano in the Victoria Wood and Tim Minchin style, as well as playing piano for some of the singers. I'm a massive Jools Holland fan and always go to his shows at York Barbican, so I'll be stealing his 'tricks' though I'm not sure I've yet mastered his 'Later With...' art of walking backwards across stage! But if the show goes well, hopefully there'll be more."

The Summer Sessions fortnight of food, live music, theatre and spoken-word events begins with a free gig by the New York Brass Band, from old York, on Wednesday at 8pm.

This year’s TakeOver team at the Theatre Royal take their young people's festival theme of Speak Out at its most literal meaning by presenting an evening of provocative, outspoken poetry and spoken-word performances in the Speak Out Slam on Thursday at 7.30pm.

Before heading off to Scotland next month, York’s emerging theatre-makers and performers present an evening of Edinburgh Fringe Previews on July 12 at 7.30pm, when MC Sophie Shepherd introduces KIFLi Theatre, Flattered Collective, York DramaSoc and The Herd.

On the food front, on Friday and Saturday at 8pm, American street food trader Clucking Oinks promises nosh "so da*n good, you’ll think you’re in Texas", All American Fried Chicken Burger et al, on a menu priced at £17.50 per person.

On July 13, Haxby restaurant Origin serves up an exclusive York Theatre Royal pop-up dinner at 8pm, presenting a menu specially created for the night by chef Philip Veal at £35 per head, including a glass of fizz on arrival.

The last Summer Session is a Wine and Tapas event on July 14: a chance to sample the Theatre Royal's specially curated wine list and enjoy a plate of tapas "perfectly matched to each one" at 7.30pm at £15 per person.

The Clucking Oinks, Origin and Wine and Tapas sessions can be booked on 01904 623568 or at; all other events are free.