February arts review

Kinky Boots Live, Ian McKellen as Hamlet, the live relay of the Rogers and Hammerstein tribute My Favourite Things, Manon the ballet, the Marmen String Quartet, very naughty but classy stand-up, and the NT Live relay of Vanya are my February highlights.

And there are a couple of early March events to note. Kinky Boots is a joyous making-good musical about shoemaking. A friend recently played in it and said he’d forgotten how good the tunes are.

This is a filmed live performance showing on various dates at the arts and community centre in Leyburn (LACC) (Feb 1), Richmond Station Cinema (Feb 4) and Northallerton Forum (Feb 11). Ian McKellen in Hamlet is only at Richmond (Feb 28). Is he too old to play the Prince? Depends on what you want; it’s remarkable.

My Favourite Things is a collection of Rogers and Hammerstein — if you saw the Kanneh-Masons’ wonderful Christmas tribute to The Sound of Music (still on catch-up I think) you’ll want some more. What’s not to like?! On at LACC (Feb 18), Richmond Station (Feb 14) and elsewhere.

Vanya, an NT Live relay, is at LACC and the Station Cinema (Feb 22), Northallerton Forum (Feb 29), and elsewhere. It stars Andrew Scott (Sherlock, Fleabag, His Dark Materials) who I think is mesmerising in this radical version of Chekhov’s masterpiece. The naughty stand-up is Daniel Foxx’s Villain at the Georgian Theatre (Feb 23). Tipped for big success, he’s hilarious.

It’s definitely 14+ though. Music has three main events: Richmondshire Concerts’ Marmen String Quartet (Feb 17) playing a varied programme – Haydn, Mozart, Debussy, Takemitsu – at Richmond School. Darlington Music Society has a lovely violin and piano recital (Feb 10) at the Dolphin Centre, and the Richmond Chamber Orchestra makes its professional debut in the Georgian Theatre (March 3).

Violinist Philippa Mo directs, and prize-winning young Richmond pianist Morvern Scrivener plays a scintillating Mozart concerto, with more music by Corelli, Grieg and Janacek.