An X Factor winner turns into a lion, a Hollywood dame reveals secrets, the Vikings return, a funny Russian is alive and fighting and Snow drops in, as CHARLES HUTCHINSON picks a week’s sights and sounds around York

Wondering what happened to The X Factor’s 2016 winner Matt Terry? He is playing a lion in York

Madagascar The Musical, York Theatre Royal, February 26 to March 2

THIS new Dreamworks musical plays York over the half-term break with The X Factor’s Matt Terry leading the cast as Alex, the lion, in his first visit to the city.

Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria will Move It, Move It as they escape from New York’s Central Park Zoo, find themselves on an unexpected journey to the madcap world of King Julien’s Madagascar.

York Press:

Twinned with York: sisters Catherine and Lizzy Ward Thomas play the Barbican

New album, new tour for the restless Hampshire country singers

Ward Thomas, York Barbican, February 25

TWIN sisters Catherine and Lizzy Ward Thomas return to the Barbican for the first time since May 2017, when they were revelling in their Cartwheels album topping the charts.

This time they are promoting album number three, Restless Minds, released on February 8 and now residing in the Top 10.

York Press:

Dame date: Joan Collins, live and Unscripted at the Grand Opera House 

Exit one dame from York stage, enter another, this time for one night only

Joan Collins – Unscripted, Grand Opera House, York, February 26

IN a show rearranged from September last year when Dame Joan Collins’s filming commitments in Los Angeles had to take precedence, she reveals stories and secrets from her long screen and stage career.

A question-and-answer session will offer the chance to ask questions about her life, Hollywood and Hammer Horror films, TV shows and beauty secrets in an evening when Dame Joan will be joined on stage by husband Percy.

Back by popular demand theatre show of the week

Grandad’s Island, York Theatre Royal Studio, February 26 to March 2

FIRST staged at the Theatre Royal during last February’s half-term, Engine House Theatre’s stage adaptation of Benji Davies’s book returns a year later.

Intrepid duo Syd and his Grandad head off on a heartwarming adventure filled with songs, laughter and jungles, that will change their lives forever in a magical story that covers themes of love and loss.

York Press: Mike McGoldrick, John McCusker & John Doyle

Tree trio: McGoldrick, McCusker & Doyle play The Wishing Tree at NCEM, York

Folk trio of the week

McGoldrick, McCusker & Doyle, National Centre for Early Music, York, February 26

TEN years since their first trio performances, Celtic musical magpies Mike McGoldrick, John McCusker and John Doyle are on the road again with their folk songs, stirring tunes and bonhomie.

Last year, these masters of the flute, fiddle and guitar respectively released their debut studio recording, The Wishing Tree, full of reels, airs and jigs.

York Press:

Bright hopes: West Yorkshire’s rising band of the moment, The Orielles. Picture: Neelam Khan Vela

So much going on on Tuesday, but the young folks know exactly where to go that night

The Orielles, The Crescent, York, February 26

WEST Yorkshire bright hopes The Orielles make the trip from Hebden Bridge on their late-winter tour, buoyed by last February’s debut album, Silver Dollar Moment going down well.

Already their early Heavenly Recordings singles, Sugar Tastes Like Salt, I Only Bought It For The Bottle and Let Your Dogtooth Grow had built excitement around sisters Sidonie B and Esmé Dee Hand Halford. Tuesday offers an update.

York Press: Dan Snow - An Evening with the History Guy

The History Guy: Dan Snow, the only Snow in York next week hopefully

Snow in York next week as Dan makes history

Dan Snow, An Evening With The History Guy, Grand Opera House, February 27

ARMED with digital screens, historian and TV presenter Dan Snow recounts anecdotes from his broadcasting and publishing career.

The History Guy will be researching historical facts and stories relating to York specially for the show.

York Press:

The Russian is coming: Olga Koch is ready to Fight at the Burning Duck Comedy Club

From Russia, with gloves off comedy gig of the week

Olga Koch, Fight, Burning Duck Comedy Club, York, February 28

NEVER met a funny Russian? Now comes the chance as Olga Koch plays The Basement at City Screen, York.

In 2014, Olga’s father was stopped by authorities on the Russian border, resulting in the most surreal year of her family’s life. Here she dissects this real-life spy drama with nothing but a projector for assistance.

York Press: Shaking all over: York Shakespeare Project reaches for the Renaissance dress code for Cymbeline at Merchant Taylors’ Hall

Shakespeare’s lesser-spotted play of the week

Cymbeline, York Shakespeare Project, March 1 to 5

NOTE the short run of five performances in three days as New Yorker BenPrusiner directs YSP in a new location for the long-running project, the Merchant Taylors’ Hall.

Expect a wild tale of heroic princesses, jealous men, stolen infants, and scheming Queens in Renaissance dress.

Jorvik Viking Festival exhibition of the week

YourDIG: Melting Pot, DIG, St Saviourgate, York, until February 27

EXPLORE Viking-age cooking and society with the University of York’s Melting Pot project.

Visitors can discover the biochemical techniques used by archaeological scientists to investigate evidence of Viking cooking from the pottery they left behind.