Folk gig of the week

Andy Irvine, National Centre for Early Music, York, Monday, 7.30pm

THE Black Swan Folk Club and the NCEM present Irish troubadour and world music pioneer Andy Irvine, who combines trad songs, Balkan dance tunes and self-penned material. Irvine has played with Irish bands Sweeney’s Men, Planxty and Patrick Street, and allies a travelling lifestyle to a life-long admiration for Woody Guthrie.

The show with the baby with the Hitler moustache in the poster

What’s In A Name?, Grand Opera House, York, Tuesday to Saturday

YOU are invited to take a seat at the table for a riotously humorous evening that questions whether a person’s name truly reflects who they are. The Inbetweeners’ Joe Thomas leads the debut touring cast for Jeremy Sams’s adaptation of a French hit that has played 30 countries already with its 90-minute comic tale of a destructive argument that spins out of control.

Directing talent to discover

York Settlement Community Players in The Red Shoes, John Cooper Studio, 41 Monkgate, York, Wednesday to Saturday

HARRI Marshall directs the Settlement Players for the first time in Nancy Harris’s modern-day spin on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale. Expect taxidermy, wicked humour and the tango. “This is a play that delves into desire, deception, fairy tale and magic, exploring love, loss and the faults that make us all human,” says Harri. ”Our performance will not shy away from twisting the tropes of our well-known fairy tales.”

Spoken words of the week

Say Owt presents Charly Cox, The Basement, City Screen, York, Wednesday, 7.30pm

INSTAGRAM poetry trailblazer and Virgin Radio poet in residence Charly Cox makes her York debut, reading from her second collection, Validate Me. Part-comedy, part-caricature, but mostly harrowing truth, the book explores the havoc the digital hemisphere is playing on our relationships and mental health. This is a look at how a life lived online is both liberating and screwing us all up, through the gaze of one woman on the cusp of absolute digital burnout.

Friends of the week

Aled Jones and Russell Watson: In Harmony, Barbican, Wednesday, 7.30pm

AFTER moving in the same circles for nigh on 20 years and becoming firm friends, classical singers Aled Jones and Russell Watson collaborated on their first album together, released last autumn. Now they perform popular songs, hymns and arias from In Harmony on their debut joint tour.

Undead new play of the week

James Swanton in Irving Undead, York Medical Society, Stonegate, York, Thursday to Saturday, 7.30pm

WRITER and actor James Swanton, the Outstanding Performing Artist winner in the 2018 York Culture Awards, presents ‘the bravura resurrection of the strangest actor who ever lived’. “Queen Victoria knighted him. Oscar Wilde applauded him. And some whisper that Bram Stoker immortalised him by writing the horror classic Dracula,” says Swanton. “But Henry Bird is dead now. And Dracula is very much alive.”

Activist gig of the week

Grace Petrie, Pocklington Arts Centre, Thursday, 8pm

LEICESTER protest singer, LGBTQ+ activist and social commentator Grace Petrie brings her take on life, love and politics to Pock. “Grace’s political views and social commentary are more poignant now than ever in the current climate,” says PAC artistic director Janet Farmer.

Children’s concert of the week

Little Listeners: The Carnival Of The Animals, Opera North Brass Ensemble, Friday, 11am

WHAT sound does an elephant make? Or a tortoise? Join the Orchestra of Opera North brass players for this interactive concert for babies, young children and families, where moving around and responding to Saint-Saens’ music is encouraged.

Irish concert of the week

Daniel O’Donnell, Gold Hits Tour, York Barbican, Friday, 7.30pm

DANIEL O’Donnell is the only artist to score a hit in the British album charts every year since 1988. Sure enough, his latest, The Gold Collection, made its entry at number nine.

Comedy gig of the week

Desiree Burch, Burning Duck Comedy Club, The Basement, City Screen, York, Friday, doors, 7.30pm

HAVE you ever been caught in a loop, asks Desiree Burch, the American comic turn from The Mash Report and Netflix’s Flinch. “At a moment in history where decades of societal progress have swung right back around to authoritarianism and regression, I embark on a spiritual journey of mythically ridiculous proportions into the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, to figure out how I, and maybe all of us, have gotten here,” says the Californian comedian and storyteller..