Dickens and Findlay at the double, Northern Ballet’s Cinderella, Kate Rusby’s Christmas show, The Darkness cancelling Easter, an Elvis tribute, ukuleles galore and a whale are in CHARLES HUTCHINSON’s eye line for December 16 to 22

Whale of a time of the week for children

The Storm Whale, York Theatre Royal Studio, splashing about until January 4

YORK Theatre Royal, Little Angel Theatre and Engine House team up for writer-director Matt Aston’s adaptation of Benji Davies’s The Storm Whale and The Storm Whale In Winter, starring Julian Hoult, Gehane Stehler and Cassie Vallance.

These tender, heart-warming children’s stories of friendship, love and courage are brought to life by the team behind Grandad’s Island.

Ballet of the week

Northern Ballet in Cinderella, Leeds Grand Theatre, Tuesday to January 2

ESCAPE into an enchanting winter wonderland with Northern Ballet’s beautiful reimagining of Cinderella.

“Live every moment of Cinderella’s story from heartbreak to joy. In this sparkling adaptation of the classic rags-to-riches tale, Cinders is whisked away from her wicked stepmother to the glistening lake of ice where she first meets her Prince,” says the Leeds company.

Not the Christmas gig of the week. Nor Easter, apparently

The Darkness, Easter Is Cancelled, York Barbican, Tuesday, 8pm

“WHERE are the heroes that this world needs, the heroes that this world deserves?” ask The Darkness, those Lowestoft men in tight costumes, armed with a guitar axe, drum hammer, bejewelled codpiece and banshee wail of righteous anger.

“This is the first day in our new world, and Easter Is Cancelled,” they say. “Let us begin. Death or glory, my friends, which will it be?”

Solo version of a Dickens favourite number one

Mr Charles Dickens Presents A Christmas Carol, De Grey Rooms, York Theatre Royal, Tuesday to Saturday

CHARLES Dickens came to Yorkshire to give public readings of A Christmas Carol. Now, John O'Connor invites you to "experience what it must have been like to have been in the audience".

In a one-man show directed by Peter Craze, he transforms himself into Mr Dickens to present a heart-warming evening with the author himself, in the spirit of Christmas past, present and future.

Solo versions of a Dickens favourite numbers two, three and four

James Swanton’s Ghost Stories for Christmas, York Medical Society, Tuesday to Saturday

GOTHIC York actor James Swanton is spinning yarns all this week at London’s Charles Dickens Museum. Next week he returns home to reprise his marvellous one-man shows, as enjoyed here last Christmas.

Take your pick from A Christmas Carol on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday; The Chimes on Wednesday and The Haunted Man on Friday, all at 7pm.

Holly Head of the week

Kate Rusby At Christmas, York Barbican, Wednesday, 7pm

BARNSLEY folk nightingale Kate Rusby’s Christmas shows with her regular folk band and guest brass quintet come replete with South Yorkshire carols, winter songs, festive decorations, a glittery frock and a reindeer called Ruby.

Kate will be showcasing her fifth Yuletide album, Holly Head, so called because she loves Christmas music.

Four strings, Buble and reindeers…

The Grand Ole Uke Of York, Pocklington Arts Centre, Friday, 8pm

DELIVERING baubles, Buble and bling, York’s ukelear explosion of Christmas joy on four strings is ready to rock Pock.

Expect big bass ukulele riffs, profuse melodies and group harmonies throughout. Also expect the unexpected and do bring sparkly jumpers, reindeers and the in-laws.

Tribute gig of the week

The King Is Back, York Barbican, Friday, 8pm

PORTSMOUTH is twinned with Graceland in this tribute show to the king of rock’n’roll. How come? In 2012, Ben Portsmouth won the Elvis Presley Enterprises Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest in Memphis, the first act born outside the USA to do so.

Portsmouth looks like Elvis, obviously, sings like Elvis, obviously, and let’s hope he adapts his show to embrace some Elvis Christmas favourites, obviously!

Heather in the holly season at the double

Heather Findlay and Friends’ Christmas Show, plus Annie Donaghy, National Centre for Early Music, York, Friday, 8pm. Heather Findlay and Simon Snaize, Live In Libraries, York Explore, Saturday, 7pm

FIRST up, York singer Heather Findlay “loves making her Christmas show really magical, nostalgic and unique, so there’s a slightly different line-up, with Sarah Dean joining us on harp and special guest Annie Donaghy on vocals too, and a couple of unannounced guests too,” she promises.

The next night she joins York musician and fellow composer Simon Snaize for a “pre-Christmas solstice spectacular” in the last of four concerts in the inaugural Live In Libraries season in York Explore’s wood-panelled Marriot Room.

Spook stories of the week

Nunkie Theatre Company in Dead Men’s Eyes, Harrogate Theatre Studio, Friday to Sunday

NUNKIE Theatre Company’s R M Lloyd Parry presents two ghost stories by M R James in a revival of the tradition of oral, supernatural storytelling.

In A View From A Hill, a pair of old binoculars reveal the grisly history of an idyllic stretch of English landscape. In The Treasure Of Abbot Thomas, a treasure-seeker comes face to face with unspeakable horror at the bottom of an ancient well.