Al Murray on Brexit, Steve Hackett’s Genesis past, foodie Nigel’s childhood recollections, Elf Lyons’s love of guinea pigs, a library concert and Gordon Buchannan’s animal adventures are in CHARLES HUTCHINSON’S diary for November 18 to 24

Brexit discussion of the week

Al Murray: Landlord Of Hope And Glory, Grand Opera House, York, Monday, 7.30pm

THIS is a time of crisis, the world is in chaos, our country divided as it has never been divided before. Questions have been asked and none answered. What we need is one man to step forward, one man with all the answers.

Well, you’re in luck, ladies and gentlemen, he’s here and he’s touring the nation: the Guvnor, seeking any shard of hope amid the gory as he negotiates a path through the Brexit minefields.

International play of the week

Hello And Goodbye, York Theatre Royal Studio, running until November 30

YORK Theatre Royal associate artist John R Wilkinson directs Emilio Iannucci and Jo Mousley in South African playwright Athol Fugard’s 1965 drama, a tense meditation on family, selfishness and redemption.

“I hope Hello And Goodbye will prove stimulating, gothic, a little bit surprising and a cracking night out,” says Wilkinson.

Guitarist of the week

Steve Hackett, Genesis Revisited Tour 2019, York Barbican, Tuesday, 7.30pm

FOR the first time, erstwhile Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett, now 69, is on the road performing his former band’s 1973 album Selling England By The Pound in its entirety: Dancing With The Moonlit Knight, Firth Of Fifth, Cinema Show, I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) et al.

This will be complemented by further Genesis numbers, selections from Hackett’s Spectral Mornings album to mark its 40th anniversary and highlights from this year’s At The Edge Of Light release.

Pop-up play of the week

Nigel Slater’s Toast, York Theatre Royal, Tuesday to Saturday

DIRECT from the West End, Toast re-creates cookery writer and TV presenter Nigel Slater’s childhood through the tastes and smells he shares with his mother, culminating in the young Nigel’s escape to London.

From making the perfect sherry trifle, through the playground politics of sweets, to the rigid rules of restaurant dining and a domestic war over cakes, this is a moving and evocative tale of love, loss and…toast.

Elf service of the week

Elf Lyons: Love Songs To Guinea Pigs, Burning Duck Comedy Club, The Basement, City Screen, York, Thursday, 8pm

AFTER being hospitalised when planning a physical clown show and told it would be best if she never performed again, Elf Lyons had to re-think her stage return.

Here is her surreal tale of love and loneliness, embodying her inner Katharine Hepburn through an absurd narrative of heartbreak and love with live music, terrible mime, silly characters, enthusiastic accents and true stories. “This is Brief Encounter, but with rodents,” she says.

No need for hush gig of the week

Live In Libraries, York, Bella Gaffney and co, Marriott Room, York Explore, Thursday, doors 7pm

AFTER the gloriously thrilling performance by Bonneville And The Bailers, Live In Libraries returns for the third in the inaugural series of concerts in York Explore’s wood-panelled Marriot Room, this time promoted by Green Chilli Music.

Bella Gaffney tops a bill also featuring Dan Webster & Emily Lawler and Starlight Barking. Music, not silence, can be golden in a library.

If you liked the Gentleman Jack theme song…

Belinda O’Hooley, National Centre for Early Music, York, Thursday, 8pm

SALLY Wainwright picked O’Hooley & Tidow’s song of the same name as the closing theme song for her Gentleman Jack Sunday night series.

Now, in a solo gig rearranged from September 18, Huddersfield pianist, singer, songwriter and composer Belinda O’Hooley showcases her new album of piano pieces, Inversions, inspired by songs and tunes her father inherited from a long line of male musicians from Monalea, in the Ox Mountains in Ireland.

Animal show of the week

Gordon Buchanan: Animal Families And Me, Grand Opera House, York, Thursday, 7.30pm

WILDLIFE filmmaker Gordon Buchanan films animals all around the world, living up close and personal with them in their natural habitat for such series, whether grizzly bears, gorillas, elephants or polar bears.

In Animal Families And Me, he presents recollections of his dangerous travels and challenging expeditions, illustrated with his film footage and photography.

When did you last hear from…?

Babybird, Leeds Brudenell Social Club, Friday, doors 7.30pm

YOU may be unaware that Babybird’s Stephen Jones was still making maverick music, but quietly he has been beavering away. First came the compilation Happy Stupid Nothing, now followed by his first vinyl release in 21 years, Photosynthesis, 10 tracks he has self-recorded over recent years as he re-connects with his DIY modus operandi from his Sheffield bedsit days.

Cult gig of the week

Wolfgang Flur, The Crescent, York, Friday, 7.30pm

WOLFGANG Flur was Kraftwerk’s electronic percussionist during the proto-techno German group’s peak era from 1973 to 1987, becoming their third member when he replaced a drum machine.

He played on 1974’s Autobahn, 1977’s Trans-Euro Express and 1981’s Computer World before launching his solo career under the name Yamo in 1997. He has since published his memoir, I Was A Robot.