The Square Chapel of the Arts has unveiled conversations with top guests, fantastic music, comedy performances, dramatic shows and and entertainment for all the family in its new programme.
Here we take a look at to what’s coming up at the centre between September and December 2019.
Newly appointed patron, Lucy Beaumont will grace the Halifax stage for her debut performance as patron of the art centre with an exclusive night of comedy.
Proceeds from this gig will go to Mothershare and Tuel Lane Primary’s Breakfast club, two great causes close to Lucy’s heart.
Comedian, writer, broadcaster and all-round British institution Arthur Smith will be heading to the centre on September 27, 7.30pm. Audiences can bask in an evening of laughter and off the wall humour. Expect an evening of sublime playfulness, crammed with jokes, anecdotes, short stories, poems, songs and readings from his recently published memoir ‘My Name Is Daphne Fairfax’ which has won praise from literary critics
Clinton Baptiste, played by actor Alex Lowe, is the hapless clairvoyant, medium and psychic from Peter Kay’s smash hit Channel 4 TV show Peter Kay’s Phoenix Night. Now, some eighteen years after the show aired, he returns to conjure up his extraordinary powers for a new generation. On Saturday October 5, 7.30pm, Clinton will give readings to the audience, offering advice from beyond the grave. He will predict the future, tell people about their past and all manner of spooky stuff an’ that.
Poet, playwright, broadcaster and 2019 Pen Pinter Prize winner, Lemn Sissay will be performing on September 14 at 8pm. He will be reading from his new memoir, reflecting on a childhood in care, self-expression and Britishness, and in doing so exploring the institutional care system, race, family and the meaning of home. Infused with all the lyricism and power you would expect from one of the nation’s best-loved poets, this moving, frank and timely event is the result of a life spent asking questions, and a celebration of the redemptive power of creativity.
A regular on the long-running politics show ‘This Week’, Alan Johnson is one of the most popular politicians of recent times and now a best-selling author too. Inspired by his latest book, In My Life, in this highly entertaining show Alan tells his personal story with the help of some of the music that has been the soundtrack to his life. From growing up as an orphan in a West London slum in the 50s to becoming a postman before rising through the Labour Party ranks to hold several cabinet posts, including Home Secretary. He will be Square Chapel on Tuesday 24 September, 7.30pm
On Monday September 23 from 7pm, hear a new collection of stories by David Constantine, the author of the short story behind the Oscar nominated film, 45 Years. David has previously been awarded the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Prize and the BBC National Short Story Award. The Dressing-up Box is his fifth collection.
Square Chapel Arts Centre have a packed programme of live music gigs this autumn including Yorkshire’s very own Hard Times Orchestra (Friday 6 September, 8pm). Forging a sound of unrivalled rage and beauty, Hard Times Orchestra will get feet tapping and hearts thumping. Audiences can expect a mix of influences from Bessie Smith, via Cab Calloway to Tom Waits.
Also featuring heavily in the autumn line-up is Merseyside son and hero Ian Prowse. His music features in the arts centre’s season trailer. He’s the frontman for the band Amsterdam and previously for indie cult band, Pele. Singer-songwriter, Prowse has never been to Halifax before but is keen to explore the Yorkshire town everyone is talking about. Ian Prowse will be in Halifax with his full band on Friday November 8 from 7.30pm.
Where Rock’n’Roll Was Born is The Official Sun Records Concert Show taking place at square Chapel on Thursday September 26 from 7.30pm. Gig goers can experience the label that brought us Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison. Fans can revisit the recording studio that produced Great Balls of Fire, I Walk the Line and Blue Suede Shoes with this official rock’n’roll concert.
Pioneer of the Hang (handpan), captivating musician Manu Delago has announced the forthcoming release of a unique and awe-inspiring movie and accompanying album, in which he leads an ensemble of seven musicians on a mountaineering expedition in The Alps. Along the way, the group perform a collection of brand-new compositions in different locations, at varying altitudes. The Austrian-born composer was discovered by Björk and is now a fixture in her band. Fans can see him live in Halifax on Sunday September 29 from 7.30pm.
O’Hooley & Tidow are one of British Folk’s mightiest duos. They have played at Square Cchapel before and are back with their new album on Saturday November 30, 7.45pm. Join them for an evening of beautifully performed original, contemporary, and traditional winter songs from their critically acclaimed album WinterFolk Vol 1. Nominated four times at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, their song ‘Gentleman Jack’ features as the closing theme for Square Chapel patron, Sally Wainwright’s latest BBC & HBO drama series of the same name. Belinda and Heidi’s powerful, deeply moving, and soulful performances are infused with an honesty and empathy that will disarm the hardest of hearts. They have an army of famous fans who adore them including Maxine Peake who said: “I have just listened to ‘Beryl’, with tears in my eyes! It’s beautiful and brilliant.”
Other music highlights include Chris Helme (Friday 20 December, 8pm) who was the frontman for the indie band The Seahorses, and back by popular demand after a rip-roaring performance last season is Queen tribute act – Bulsara and His Queenies(Saturday 21 December, 7.30pm).
Damsels in Distress is a trilogy of plays written by British playwright Alan Ayckbourn. Square Chapel are offering fans of the playwright the chance to see this rarely seen trilogy being performed in Halifax all in one day! GamePlan, FlatSpin and RolePlaywill be performed by Dick & Lottie who work closely with Ayckbourn and his team. See all three plays for £21 on Saturday September 28.
Trojan Horse on Thursday October 17 (8pm) follows the real-life stories of the Muslim teachers and governors who were accused of plotting extremism in Birmingham schools. Adapted from the testimonies of those at the heart of the inquiry, critically acclaimed theatre-company LUNG investigates what really happened.
The Arc Stockton presents the brilliant Alex & Eliza (Thursday October 10, 8pm) a play about a woman who as a girl lived through the death and destruction of the 1947 partition between India and Pakistan, but now as a grandmother is like every other grandmother. Old and wrinkly, slow in speech and speed. The separation, isolation and loss of that time are a distant memory. Now she makes her own olive oil and mango pickle and butter. She had lived in the same house on the same street for 40 years of her life. Nothing out of the ordinary. Until she gets on a plane to visit Zubair seven seas afar. Watch this heart-wrenching story unfold at Square Chapel.
Other theatre highlights include Everything I See I Swallow (Friday September 13) - set against a backdrop of shifting attitudes to empowerment, feminism and sexuality, and combining theatre and aerial work with the erotic art of Japanese rope bondage - shibari, this spectacular show is an exploration of epic themes in an intimate setting. Not one for the faint hearted!
Gracefool Collective are back at Square Chapel and this time with This is Not a Wedding (Friday September 20, 8pm) - where theatre goers are invited to partake in recognisable rituals of well-known ceremonies to witness a generation’s experiences of conformity and expectation. The show asks what does it mean to “come of age” in a high pressure, low tolerance, zero-hour contract society?
Film lovers can enjoy the latest big releases, classics, arthouse films and Q&A’s with special guests in Square Chapel’s intimate Copper cinema space and Grade II* listed Red Brick Georgian Chapel. This autumn look out for screenings of the following anticipated new films; Downton Abbey, Sorry We Missed You (Ken Loach) and Frozen 2.
This October marks 50 years since the death of acclaimed American novelist, poet and leader of the Beat Movement, Jack Kerouac. His most famous book, ‘On the Road’ (published in 1957), had broad cultural influence, capturing the spirit of its time. ‘Kerouac on Screen’ commemorates his life and work with a series of films, events and panel discussions. Visit squarechapel.co.uk for the full programme of dates, times and prices. Kerouac on Screen: 50th Anniversary Celebration of Author & Poet, Jack Kerouac (Friday 18 – Saturday October).
Described as ‘Chopin meets Pink Floyd’, Belgian Neo- Classical rockers We Stood Like Kings mix modern instrumental rock music with the treasures of yesterday’s cinema. Audiences can see them live as they accompany a screening of the 1982 experimental American film, Koyaanisqatsi taking place on Tuesday 17 September 17 from 8pm
To mark the 30th anniversary of the reunification of the Berlin Wall, see the 1927 classic silent film, Berlin. Director, Walter Ruttmann, shows us a day in the life of Berlin in the early 20th century. The film features a live score by three-piece ensemble, The Harmonie Band (Saturday November 2, 7.30pm).
Using smoke and mirrors and hidden trapdoors, CBeebies Patrick Lynch meets a sure-footed feline who fools both the King and the Ogre to put his master at the top in this classic furry tale. This show is the cat’s whiskers! Puss in Boots (Sunday September 22, 2.30pm).
Families are invited to help choose what happens in YOU CHOOSE (Sunday October 20, 2.30pm) – a brand-new interactive musical based on the brilliant book by Pippa Goodhart and Nick Sharratt. Using a series of games and challenges, each show will come up with a unique story and different characters every time.
October Half Term
This October Half Term children are encouraged to take part in the world’s biggest drawing festival (The Big Draw – Tuesday October 29) with an array of exciting and fun workshops and activities. Little ones can get hands on and create their own works of art using light-painting and spinning doodling robots!
Harry Potter fans will want to head to Square Chapel on Saturday October 26 from 2.30pm for Spontaneous Potter Kids. Get ready for a magical experience full of witchcraft and wizardry! This smash hit show is an improvised Harry Potter comedy play based on audience suggestions. An entirely new Potter adventure is magically improvised on the spot - with live musical accompaniment. There will be another performance for grown-ups at 7.45pm!
Families can enjoy a magical Christmas with two brilliant shows coming to Square Chapel.
Snow Play (Monday 23 – Saturday 28 December, 11am & 3pm) is a fun filled play about what happens when winter decides to stay and move into your house! This is a snowy spectacular show where you are guaranteed a white Christmas. Families can also join in by making a snowman and having a massive snowball fight!
On Sunday December 15 (3pm & 6pm) families can enjoy another magical Christmas production with Arabian Nights. Meet Sheherazade, the greatest storyteller of them all. She has a feast of adventures and fantasies to tell involving genies, villains, heroes and princesses. But she must keep her husband (the king) entertained with her stories to save her own life and the lives of all the maidens of the land. Will Ali Baba's encounter with the 40 thieves do the trick? Can the story of Aladdin and his lamp help her live to tell more tales such as the Little Beggar or the Fisherman and the Genie? Find out in Story Pocket Theatre's brand-new version of Arabian Nights, a show full of adventure and magic and wonder!