Arts Diary: Will Marriott

Vanessa Whitburn is nothing if not brave. Earlier this year, the editor of The Archers promised to shake Ambridge to the core and swiftly killed off show favourite Nigel Pargetter. Not everyone was pleased, but Whitburn will be in Yorkshire next week to confront fans of the long-running radio soap which this year celebrates its 60th anniversary. Whitburn will be conversation with the Daily Telegraph’s radio critic Gillian Reynolds at the National Media Museum in Bradford on June 24. For more details or to book tickets call the box office on 0844 856 3797 or visit

A Leeds theatre company is offering a group of teenagers the chance to spend this summer in hell. Steve Ansell, who manages stage@leeds is currently on the look out for 30 young people to join a free open-air performance of Dante’s Inferno. The production, which promises to give the literary classic the 21st-century treatment, will be staged on July 23 in the city’s Millennium Square. Those keen to take part must also be available to attend all day rehearsals on July 16 & 17 and an evening rehearsal on July 22. Anyone interested in taking part should email [email protected]

It’s been a long wait, but the Kaiser Chiefs are back and frontman Ricky Wilson is keen to set a few things straight. The band’s new album is officially released next month, but between now and then fans can go onto the Kaiser’s website and create their own playlist from 20 new tracks. It costs £7.50 to download, but should anyone else choose to download your playlist the band will pay £1. Unsurprisingly, Wilson’s own selection is in the number one position, but he recently took to Twitter to point out he’s not out to make any extra cash. “For those who are asking,” he tweeted. “Every pound I’m getting from the sales of my record goes to Alzheimer’s Society, not in my pocket.”

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Well, you have to hand it to the organisers of this year’s I Love West Leeds Festival. When deciding where would be the best place to listen to a recital of Handel’s Water Music, some bright spark came up with the idea of a swimming pool. So next month, people will be invited to take a dip at Bramley Baths while the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra play on a specially constructed stage in the middle of the pool. “The acoustics in the baths are out of this world and I am sure the orchestra will feel perfectly at home.” However, a word of warning – those behind the event say the no splashing, no diving and no petting rules will be rigorously enforced. The musical dip will take place on July 24 and for more details visit or call 0113 214 6000.

So far Elton John, Brian Blessed and Kiri Te Te Kanawa have graced the stage of Scarborough’s Open Air Theatre. However, the venue is now to get a visit from an altogether different style of musical act. N-Dubz. Yes, the hip hop trio are coming to the seaside and after Dappy and Fazer were caught firing paintball guns when they played Newcastle, we wish Scarborough well.

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