ARTS: Seasonal crackers taking place across Richmondshire

Andre Rieu's White Christmas will be screened in Richmond, Leyburn and Northallerton

It’s Christmas time and Richmondshire doesn’t disappoint, but in addition to the usual Andre Rieu, Nutcracker and Christmas Carol there are some less seasonal crackers (sorry)) if you want to get away from the tinsel. For instance, pop over to Northallerton Forum on December 7 at 7pm and you can catch National Theatre Live’s five-star production of Romeo and Juliet. The next day you could visit Richmond Station for one of their now regular Jazz Nights.

And if jazz isn’t your thing, go to Wensley Church on December 9, enjoy its stunning interior, and hear the Jervaulx Singers and Wensley Camerata perform Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and Magnificat in aid of Help for Heroes. Nearby at Tennants in Leyburn on December 3 (3pm) the Richmondshire Orchestra presents a programme including Ravel’s exquisite Pavane pour une Infante Defunte and Berlioz’s slightly mad Symphonie Fantastique (The March to the Scaffold), as well as offering tea and cakes.

More excellent cinema that generally avoids Christmas schmaltz is at Leyburn Arts Centre’s French Cinema Season. Lost Illusions (Dec 5 7pm) is a dazzling period drama with modern echoes, and The Little Gang is about a gang of 12-year-olds taking on a polluting chemical factory. Again, serious themes under a colourful story.

Finally, the Christmas stuff. Andre Rieu’s delightful White Christmas in Richmond, Leyburn and Northallerton; A Christmas Carol in Leyburn (Dec 21); BlueBoxt’s Magical Christmas Concert in Thoralby (Dec 15) and Leyburn (Dec 16). Reeth Victoria Hall has the Swale Singers (Dec 9) and Reeth Brass Band (Dec 19), and that essential Nutcracker is at Richmond Station (Dec 12)

Running from December 6 to January 7 is the wonderful Richmond Georgian Theatre’s panto, Rapunzel. Don’t miss it, it’s legendary: they are masters of the art of the panto, and will have you giggling and humming all the way home. Possibly the best Christmas show of them all.