Ripon Theatre Festival Guide 2022

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23-26 June 2022

FESTIVAL 2022 Festival Guide


Thanks to the support and encouragement of so many, we are delighted to bring you the FIRST Ripon Theatre Festival. What started as a cautious plan has turned into a packed programme of professional and community performers from North Yorkshire and beyond. In this totally new venture for the city, we hope that you will bring your family and friends to multiple events and spend time with us on Festival Saturday, and together we will create a Festival buzz that will resonate across the region. Many of our events are FREE, but audiences will be invited to make a donation towards the costs of staging the Festival. Please give generously to support us this year and to help make future events happen… The Festival Team

Booking Information

Please book your tickets online at: If you have any queries or additional ticketing requirements, please email • • • • • • • • • •

We may alter the programme in the event of unforeseen circumstances Advance booking is advised for all ticketed events Seats are not numbered in any of our venues At ticketed events, everyone needs a ticket except infants (under 2s) Concession eligibility varies – see individual events when booking Doors open at least 15 minutes before the start time Please either print your ticket or bring it on your phone or tablet Tickets may be available at the door, email to check We cannot offer refunds, so please check your booking carefully before confirming Some FREE events have limited capacity and will be bookable to secure a place

Accessibility: Our venues are accessible to wheelchairs, except where noted.

Small Grants scheme

Ripon Together

Ripon Recycling Fund

Ripon Charity Pantomime Group

Ripon Theatre Festival is managed by The Ripon City Festival Trust, a registered charity number 514981

Brochure design: Helen Tabor,

Thanks to all our sponsors and supporters

On this Island Ursula Holden Gill

Ursula shares life-affirming tales that encourage her audiences to think as much as be entertained.

Storytelling for grown-ups

On this Island is an intricate weaving together of favourite Celtic folk tales, Lancashire and West Yorkshire witch heritage, songs, clog dances and her own contemporary stories.


1.30pm–2.30pm & 3.30pm–4.30pm | Ripon Library

Heading into Space Story Craft Theatre

Come and join the award-winning Story Craft Theatre as they blast off to a galaxy far, far, faaaaarrrr away to protect alien life from a very mischievous comet. You’ll need to hold on tight though, as they’ll be travelling at the speed of light, shooting through wormholes and dodging asteroid showers. Sessions start with some big hellos and ‘out of this world’ craft making before the interactive adventure begins.

Suggested donation: £4 (booking advised) Age guide 3 +

7.30pm | Ripon Arts Hub

Crusoe’s Island Fell-Foss Theatre

One man’s story of shipwreck, solitude and salvation. As told by himself. In a dynamic, one-man performance Defoe’s classic novel is brought to the stage celebrating its 300th anniversary. Rediscover Crusoe’s Island and the strange, surprising story of Yorkshire’s world-famous castaway. Adapted for the stage and performed by Mark Cronfield, a stalwart of North Country Theatre for much of his 20-year career. “There are sea-captains, cannibals and mutineers, making for a one man show with tremendous variety.” Richmondshire Today

£12 (£10) Age guide 12 +

thursday 23

11am–12 noon | Ripon Library

friday 24

11am–12 noon | Ripon Library

Vision, Perseverance and Good Fortune The Story of a Theatre

An illustrated talk on the history and background of North Yorkshire’s theatrical gem. Built in 1788, The Georgian Theatre Royal in Richmond is amongst the oldest of Britain’s theatres and the most complete Playhouse from this era.


5.30pm–6.15pm | Ripon Library

The Sleep Pirates Hoglets Theatre

What happens when you just can’t sleep? And what’s that singing through the cupboard door? On his first night in a new house, a young boy called Bear faces his fears, heads through his creepy cupboard door and discovers an incredible adventure on the other side. A magical tale of overcoming fears, adapted from an original story by Gemma Sharp. Brought to life through larger-thanlife characters, puppets, dancing, song and immersive storytelling. Come dressed for bedtime and bring something to cuddle or a blanket.

Suggested donation: £4 (booking advised) Age guide 3–11 Supported by NYCC Library Service (performance also in Boroughbridge Library at 2pm)

7.15pm–9pm | Meet in the Market Place

Ripon Heritage Ghost Walk Explore the darker side of Ripon’s history from the macabre to the mysterious. Discover ancient burial sites, curious bone finds and characters who lived and died hundreds of years ago, but who some say still linger… Led by Ripon Museum Trust Guides. All proceeds to Ripon Museum Trust.

£5 (£3)

friday 24

7.30pm | Ripon Bowling Club

The Damned United Red Ladder Theatre Company

After a sell-out 2016 premiere run at West Yorkshire Playhouse, The Damned United is back – in a striking new version for football and theatre fans alike. 1974. Brian Clough tries to redeem his career and reputation by winning the European cup with his new team, Leeds United. The team he has openly despised for years, the team he hates and which hates him. Don Revie’s Leeds. Adapted from David Peace’s brilliant and inspired novel, The Damned United takes you inside the tortured mind of a genius slamming up against his limits, and brings to life the beauty and brutality of football, the working man’s ballet. The Damned United is presented by Red Ladder, the Leeds-based radical theatre company with over 50 years of history, and acknowledged as one of Britain’s leading national touring companies producing new theatre.

£12 (£10) Age guide 16 +

saturday 25

10am–11am & 1pm–2pm | Meet Ripon Workhouse Museum

The Ripon Trail Game Frolicked Outdoor Theatre

Created for groups of family and friends to enjoy together, this puppet-filled, puzzle-fuelled treasure hunt is coming to Ripon! You’ll encounter a cast of colourful characters as you use your powers of deduction to uncover a series of hidden locations around the city. Do you have what it takes to finish the trail and solve the Hunt?

£3 per trail sheet

10am–2pm | Ripon Library

Puppet-making Workshop Come and create your own unique puppet character from an array of recycled materials. Is it Pinocchio, cricket, beetle or a bird? Or maybe surprise yourself with something more absurd! A hands-on activity suitable for families… adults helping children with tricky skills children helping adults with humorous thrills.

Suggested donation: £3 Drop-in session

10.30am–4pm | Ripon Spa Gardens

Punch and Judy Jolly Good Productions

Beautiful, hand-carved wooden puppets come to life in a fast-moving and funny show that has lots of good old-fashioned knock-about fun, with loads of audience participation. Each show lasts 20 minutes.


11am–11.45am | Ripon Arts Hub

Flotsam and Jetsam

Lempen Puppet Theatre Company Flotsam is soft, flexible, laid back. She slides and glides through life on the ice. Jetsam is the opposite: alert and watchful, suspicious of all in his forest home. And then comes the weather… and they are both cast adrift. Finally washed up on the same island beach, they must figure out how they can work together. A hopeful adventure story with original music and delightful puppetry.

£4 Age guide 4+

saturday 25

1pm–2pm | Ripon Spa Gardens

Tales from the Great Wood

Badapple Theatre Company Listen! Can you hear the whispering in the trees? The Great Wood is full of mystery. And now someone is missing. Find out how Hetty the Investigator unravels a tall tale that stretches from end to end of the wood. Appealing to the young and the young at heart, the story follows Hetty the Hare’s travels as she pieces together what has happened to the daredevil squirrel Nutty McFurson.

Suggested donation: £4 You can also catch Badapple’s storyteller Richard Kay with The Tidy Fox at The Little Ripon Bookshop at 11am.

1.30pm, 2.30pm, 4pm | Venues in centre-fold

The Fisher and his Wife Lempen Puppet Theatre Company

A very, very long time ago there lived a fisherman, together with his wife, in a small cottage made of dirty old metal. They had everything they ever needed and were happy and content. Then one day a talking fish starts granting them wishes… A traditional Brothers Grimm fairytale for all ages, brought to life from a penny-farthing bicycle.

FREE Each show lasts 20 minutes.

4pm–4.45pm | Ripon Spa Gardens

Winnie and Warwick’s Magical Menagerie Strange-Twig Theatre Company

Winnie the Witch and Warwick the Wizard are spell-casters in training and they need every opportunity to practise. Left in charge of the Grand Master’s Magical Menagerie, they’re fairly sure all the critters are still there, but have a sneaking suspicion that something may have escaped.

Suggested donation: £4 Mind your heads as their spells zip and zing about the skies and keep an ever-watchful eye on their spellbook; it holds Age guide 4+ secrets that even they sometimes aren’t aware of.

2022 at a glance thursday 23 june tbc On this Island Ursula Holden Gill


Heading into Space Story Craft Theatre

1.30pm Ripon Library & 3.30pm

Ripon Library

Grown-up storytelling Craft & tales for the very young

Crusoe’s Island 7.30pm Ripon Arts Hub One-man theatre Fell-Foss Theatre performance

friday 24 june Vision, Perseverance and Good Fortune Georgian Theatre Royal


Ripon Library

Illustrated talk

The Sleep Pirates 5.30pm Hoglets Theatre

Ripon Library

Bedtime theatre

Ripon Heritage 7.15pm Ghost Walk

Around city streets

Guided evening walk

The Damned United 7.30pm Ripon Bowling Red Ladder Theatre Club Company

Hard-hitting drama

saturday 25 june The Ripon Trail Game 10am–11am Starts from Frolicked Outdoor tbc Ripon Workhouse Theatre Museum

Clue-finding city trail

Puppet-making workshop with Lempen Theatre

Drop-in activity


Ripon Library tbc

Street Entertainment & 10.30am–4.30pm Fringe Events

Ripon City Centre, Canal Basin & Ripon Spa Gardens

Street theatre, circus, dance & more

Punch and Judy 10.30am–4pm Jolly Good Productions

Ripon Spa Gardens

Traditional outdoor puppet show

Have a go at Circus Skills 10.30am–4pm Ripon Spa Gardens = You’ll need a ticket for this event, even if it’s free

Hands-on activity saturday 25 june Flotsam and Jetsam Lempen Puppet Theatre


West Yorkshire Brass 11am, 2pm

Ripon Arts Hub

Puppet theatre

Ripon Market Place

Brass band playing for Armed Forces Day

Pop-up Mini Events 11am–3pm The Little Ripon Bookshop

Storytelling & poetry

Student Mini Dramas 12.30pm Upstage Academy

Intense mini dramas

Curzon Cinema Bar

Tales from the Great Wood 1pm Ripon Spa Badapple Theatre Gardens Company

Open-air family theatre

The Ripon Trail Game 1pm–2pm Starts from Frolicked Outdoor Ripon Workhouse Theatre Museum

Clue-finding city trail

The Fisher and his Wife Lempen Puppet Theatre Company

Pop-up puppetry

1.30pm 2.30pm 4pm

Canal Basin Ripon Spa Gardens Workhouse Lawn

Winnie & Warwick’s 4pm Ripon Spa Magical Menagerie Gardens Strange-Twig Theatre Company

Open-air family theatre

Revue Ripon 7.30pm Ripon Arts Hub Community Performance

Comedy, sketches & music

sunday 26 june Holmes & Watson Pyramus & Thisbe Productions

12 noon

Ripon Arts Hub

Comic theatre

Occupational Hazard 2pm, 4pm ACCA ColLab

Claro Lounge Oliver’s Pantry

Thought-provoking dance theatre

Jubilee at the 3.30pm–6.30pm Workhouse

Ripon Workhouse Museum

Living history

A Midsummer 7pm NT Fountains Open-air Shakespeare Night’s Dream Abbey Illyria

saturday 25

Street Theatre & Fringe Events Venues include Market Place, Ripon Spa Gardens, Ripon Canal Basin and City Streets 10.30am–4.30pm

The Green Finger Folk Mischievous garden fairies armed with watering cans!

Market Place 10.30am – 4.30pm

Matt Tiffany Virtuosic juggling with a smile.

Canal Basin 11am – 3pm

Million Dollar Mermaids Yorkshire Life Aquatic recreate the glamour of vintage synchronised swimming in and out of water.

WATCH OUT FOR POP-UP PERFORMANCES FROM…. Ripon Youth Theatre • Ripon Morris Dancers • Freddie Cleary • The Ripon Splash-Mobbers • Lily Worth • The Yorkshire Decibelles • Skelldale Singers • Ripon Trinity Singers • Trinity Handbells • Wakeman Mummers • Ava Harper • Boroughbridge Hightimers • Ripon Charity Pantomime Group and more…


The Comedy Waiters Morecombe and Wise meets boyband in a dinner-service delight of silent comedy and graceful slapstick.

Stunning colours and summer joy from Same Difference Arts

The Flying Wheelnuts

The Hazelsong Dragons

Not one, but two large dragons on parade - a link to the myth and folklore of the North.

Dynamic duo equipped with unicycles, juggling clubs and more.

Spa Gardens 10.30am – 4.30pm

Belladonna and her Venus Fly Traps Can you help Aristotle the batty bluebottle escape from the sticky clutches of our beautiful but deadly gardener?

saturday 25

Peacock Stilt Walkers

saturday 25

10am–10.45am | Ripon Spa Gardens

A Musical Bear Hunt An interactive adventure for youngsters and those they bring with them. Imagination on the move from Musicality Kids.

FREE Age guide 2–6

11am–3pm | The Little Ripon Bookshop

Pop-up Mini Events Enjoy a little sit-down in our favourite bookshop as a selection of professional and community writers, poets and storytellers drop by each hour. Pop-ups kick off with Richard Kay’s eco-fable The Tidy Fox. Check website for full details. Venue not accessible to wheelchairs.

FREE 12.30pm | Curzon Cinema Bar

Student Mini Dramas A half-hour treat from some of Upstage Academy’s prize-winning drama students. Intense monologues and punchy comic two-handers from young people who take their theatre seriously.


7.30pm | Ripon Arts Hub

Revue Ripon Tickle your comedy tastebuds with a portion of locallyproduced sketches plus a dollop of music on the side. Wash it down with a pint from the bar and enjoy a good scratch at the comic underbelly of Ripon life.


sunday 26

12 noon | Ripon Arts Hub

Holmes & Watson The Farewell Tour Pyramus & Thisbe Productions

One of the detectives’ most baffling unrecorded cases - The Case of the Prime Minister, the Floozie and the Lummock Rock Lighthouse! One can only be thankful that Professor James Moriarty, the Napoleon of crime, fell to his death at the Reichenbach Falls. Or is he still alive, planning another deadly strike as he lurks, unseen, in the wings...? Comic theatre for a laid-back Sunday lunchtime.

£12 (£10) Age guide 8+

2pm & 4pm | Venues in centre-fold

Occupational Hazard ACCA ColLab

Meet Linda and Becky – two air hostesses who are going about their normal work day, but trying to maintain their composure in the face of unspoken and unwelcome behaviours. Expect comedy, dancing and unanswered questions – a cabaret-infused poke at a day in the life of a working woman.

£4 Age guide 14+ | Oliver’s Upstairs not accessible to wheelchairs.

3.30pm–6.30pm | Ripon Workhouse Museum

Jubilee at the Workhouse In 1897 Ripon prepared to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in style. But how did Workhouse inmates mark the occasion, if at all? And in 1953, how were the residents following the pomp and circumstance of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation? Join professional and community performers in a live and interactive event throughout the museum. Funded by

£5 Staggered performances across the afternoon.

sunday 26

7pm; gates open 5.30pm | NT Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Illyria

Five couples – three human, one fairy, and one mythical – find their relationships sorely tested, intimately probed and indecently exposed when a troupe of amateur theatricals bumble into the forest to rehearse a play. Shakespeare’s timeless comic masterpiece explores every colour in the spectrum of love, from arranged marriage to elopement, from infatuation to hatred, from chivalric devotion to raw sex. Add to this bawdy mix a heady brew of confusion, magic and mischief, and you have the most perfectly frothy comedy for a moonlit summer evening. Illyria was created in 1991, and ever since has delighted audiences and consequently won 4 international “Best Performance” awards and attracted numerous “5-star” and “Critics’ Choice”. Bring a blanket and a picnic!

£17.50 (£10)




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