Welcome to CHARLES HUTCHINSON'S new snapshop guide to What's On in York and beyond in the week ahead. From weird concerts to album launches, comedy capers to a pop-star chat show, this is the pick for early February...

Out of this world show of the week

Henge, Fibbers, York, February 8

Everyone’s everyone’s favourite extra-terrestrials, Henge, begin their mammoth British and Irish tour in York on Friday.

They have come to Planet Earth in the name of rave to spread their message of love and harmony with their album Attention Earth!

New single Demilitarise will be released on March14, paying tribute to Professor Stephen Hawking to mark the anniversary of his death last year.

York Press:

Mischief makers: The Comedy About A Bank Robery comes to the Grand Opera House

Comedy show of the week

Mischief Theatre in The Comedy About A Bank Robbery, Grand Opera House, York, February 5 to 9

Mischief Theatre make a very welcome return to the Grand Opera House after the chaotic joys of last autumn’s The Play That Goes Wrong.

That play in fact went very much right and the Mischievous diamond heist caper with Fifties’ songs, slapstick galore and plenty of scene stealing is sure to do likewise.

York Press:

Thunder's artwork for their Please Remain Seated album and tour

Forget snow, look out for Thunder in York instead

Thunder, Please Remain Seated UK Tour, York Barbican, February 5

When London hard rock band Thunder set themselves a “Destroy & Rebuild - with less” challenge to revamp their back catalogue for their 30th anniversary, they applied three rules: work fast, don’t aim for perfection and make it different to the original.

Hear the results on Tuesday when Thunder invite you to “immerse yourself in a strange journey into their music”.

York Press:

Crisis talks: Jason Donovan discusses Jason Donovan in Pocklington

Midlife crisis confessional of the week

Jason Donovan and his Amazing Midlife Crisis Tour, Pocklington Arts Centre, February 4 and 5

Two intimate evenings with the Neighbours heartthrob, pop star and man of the musicals, wherein Jason celebrates turning 50 with a wealth of tantalising tales, old and new.

Expect Neighbours, Ten Good Reasons, Kylie, Joseph, I’m A Celebrity, Strictly and some Donovan pop smashes. Sold out, alas.

York Press:

Directing rehearsals: Kayleigh Oliver at work on Kiss Me, Kate

Fundraising show of the week

Joseph Rowntree Theatre Company in Kiss Me, Kate, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, February 6 to 9

Kayleigh Oliver directs Cole Porter’s musical comedy to kick-start the campaign to raise £3 million to upgrade the JoRo, York’s community theatre.

Familiar and fresh faces from the York theatre scene join forces in the first ever performance of Kiss Me, Kate here.

York Press:

Turbulent times: Laura Veirs at The Crescent

Sold-out gig of the week

Laura Veirs, The Crescent, York, February 6

On her tenth long player in a near 20-year career, American folk-pop songwriter Laura Veirs delivers a concept album on the fragility of precious things in turbulent times.

“The Lookout is about the need to pay attention to the fleeting beauty of life and to not be complacent; it’s about the importance of looking out for each other,” says Veirs.

York Press:

On her Carousel: Carson McHone at The Basement

Not sold-out gig of the week

Carson McHone, The Basement, City Screen, York, February 4

Austin, Texas roots musician Carson McHone promotes her second album, Carousel.

On her follow-up to 2015’s Goodluck Man, McHone has made a darker record, taking inspiration from Bob Dylan and The Velvet Underground in songs that combine world-weary lyricism with gauzy indie-Americana and stomping honky-tonk.

Album launch of the week

Rachel Croft, The Crescent, York, February 7

York singer, songwriter, finger-picked guitarist and artist Rachel Croft launches her debut album with a full band performance.

Released on February 8, Hours Awake showcases songs in the Joni Mitchell and Sandy Denny mould from 2014 to 2017, inspired by living in the city.

York Press:

Rachel Croft

Exhibition of the Week

Collected, Lotte Inch Gallery, Bootham, York, until February 28

This exhibition of works from private collections features Jake Attree, Chloe Gough, Ed Kluz, Anne Redpath, Colin Wilkins, Jean Duncan, Peter Wray, Sam Swales Snowden, Tim Morrison and Tom Wood.

Look out too for ceramics by David Lloyd Jones, Francis Lloyd Jones, Tricia Thom and Kathryn Sherriff.

York Press:

Work by Ed Kluz, on show at Lotte Inch gallery

Anniversary of the week

Yorkshire Bach Choir 40th Anniversary Concert, St Michael le Belfrey Church, York, February 9

To mark 40 years since the first Yorkshire Bach Choir concert, the anniversary programme will include music performed that day.

The English Renaissance will be reflected in Tallis’s haunting setting of the Lamentations and the inspired polyphony of the Western Wynde Mass by Taverner.