From a patchwork elephant to scummy mummies, post-war romance in Much Ado to Nureyev’s defection, 10cc art pop to Hancock’s Half Hour, CHARLES HUTCHINSON picks his week’s peaks for March 11 to 17

In 1954 British comedy changed forever because of...

Hancock’s Half Hour, Grand Opera House, York, Friday

SIXTY five years ago, Tony Hancock arrived on the nation’s airwaves, playing a lugubrious, put-upon version of himself in the company of Kenneth Williams, Sid James and Hattie Jacques.

Sitcom was born at 23 Railway Cuttings, East Cheam, courtesy of writers Ray Galton and Alan Simpson. Now, the Apollo Theatre Company re-create three vintage radio episodes with James Hurn as Hancock and Colin Elmer as Williams, having previously reactivated The Goon Show and Round The Horne.

York Press:

A Night To Remember: Jess Steel, one of the York stars of Big Ian’s charity fundraiser

Charity gig of the Week

A Night To Remember, York Barbican, Wednesday

BIG Ian Donaghy hosts his annual fundraiser for dementia projects in York, St Leonard’s Hospice, Bereaved Children Support and Accessible Arts & Media. In the pop covers line-up will be Jess Steel, Heather Findlay, Beth McCarthy, Hands & Voices, Gary Stewart, sax player Steve Beighton and many more.

York Press:

Patchwork guilt: Elmer the elephant wants to be part of the grey herd

The elephant in the room is...the elephant in the room

Elmer The Patchwork Elephant Live Show, Grand Opera House, York, Monday and Tuesday

ELEPHANTS are big, have trunks and are grey, but Elmer is a patchwork of brilliant colours in David McKee’s book series that celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Suitable for children aged one and over, the 45-minute live show features 21 puppets in the tale of the cheerful elephant with the cheeky humour but a desire to blend in with the herd.

York Press:

Post-war romance: Northern Broadsides in Much Ado About Nothing

Shakespeare show of the Week

Northern Broadsides in Much Ado About Nothing, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, Tuesday to Saturday

AS faithful friends plot romance and a vengeful brother plans destruction,can true love conquer all, or will whispers and rumour win out in the Halifax company’s re-setting of Shakespeare’s romantic comedy at the end of the Second World War, masked balls and all.

York Press:

If it ain't broke, why Brexit? Nish Kumar on political countdown to the end of days 

Had enough of Brexit? So has the Comedy show of the Week

Nish Kumar, It’s In Your Nature To Destroy Yourselves, Grand Opera House, York, Thursday

TWO vexatious appearances on BBC1’s Question Time saw Nish Kumar railing against all things Brexit, and plenty more politics will be on the agenda in the London stand-up’s tour show.

The Mash Report and Newsjack host will be discussing mankind’s capacity for self-destruction and whether it will lead to the end of days. Better see Nish now, in that case.

Festival launch of the Week

York Literature Festival, Friday to March 31

MAY What’s On respectfully point you in the direction of Stephen Lewis’s comprehensive festival guide, to be found in last Saturday’s Life and Times in The Press and online. For full details, visit the website

York Press:

10cc leader Graham Gouldman

Art pop gig of the Week

10cc, York Barbican, Monday

FOUNDER member Graham Gouldman is joined by Rick Fenn, Paul Burgess, Keith Hayman and Iain Hornal to recreate such 10cc landmarks as the chart-topping Rubber Bullets, Dreadlock Holiday and I’m Not In Love. Roll up, roll up, too for The Wall Street Shuffle and Life Is A Minestrone.

York Press:

Britain and Europe unite in The Rheingans Sisters' folk

Folk sisters of the Week

The Rheingans Sisters, National Centre for Early Music, York, Monday

ROWAN and Anna Rheingans’ playful and powerful brand of folk combines the contemporary British with the European tradition, having studied in France and Scandinavia. Reimagined trad works sit alongside beguiling new compositions, performed on fiddle, banjo, bansitar and percussion.

Film event of the Week

The White Crow preview with satellite Q&A, City Screen, York, Tuesday

DIRECTOR Ralph Fiennes and special guests will take part in a live satellite Q&A after the 6.50pm screening of the Cold War story of Soviet ballet dancer and defector Rudolf Nureyev.

Oleg Ivenko plays Nureyev; BAFTA-winning screenwriter David Hare provides the script.

York Press:

So scummy: Helen Thorn and Ellie Gibson 

An evening of laughs for less-than-perfect parents

The Scummy Mummies Show, Selby Town Hall, Friday

COMEDIANS Helen Thorn and Ellie Gibson bring their frank comedy show for the over 18s to Selby, promising to cover wide-ranging parenting topics, be it pelvic floors and play-dates or fish fingers. “Expect songs, sketches, stand-up and very scummy stories,” say the straight-talking duo, who first came to prominence with their podcast.