Week Ahead: Dracula, gaming and elephants in Yorkshire's spotlight this week

From Dracula shows to gaming talks and a trail of Elmer the elephant sculptures, Laura Reid looks at what’s happening in Yorkshire and beyond in the week ahead.

Dracula

Yorkshire’s Association with the Dracula story is almost as widely known as the tale itself.

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When writer Bram Stoker visited Whitby on the coast in 1890, it offered much inspiration for his timeless classic - and a name for his famous vampire.

Solo show: James Gaddas in Dracula which heads to Yorkshire on tour this week.

This year marks the 125th anniversary since the novel was published and this week a one man touring show bringing Dracula to life is being performed in the region.

Actor James Gaddas will take Dracula to the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield on February 17 and 18 and then to York Grand Opera House on February 21. Other dates are planned in Bridlington and Leeds later in the year - but alas, there’s no show in Whitby.

“Dear old Bram Stoker had a great deal of respect for Whitby and its people, all of whom were unfailingly generous to him,” Gaddas said. “I’d have loved to have played it in a venue there, a genuine thank you to the man and to the town. But we couldn’t find a single suitable venue. Not one. When we take it out again later in the year, which I’d love to do, maybe someone can offer some ideas? I’m waiting to hear them…”

Watch this space.

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How Bram Stoker's Dracula is being brought to life in a one man show which is to...

Valentine’s

From gothic horror to love and romance, tomorrow is, of course, Valentine’s Day. Last week, popular children’s show Hey Duggee released a new song for occasion, celebrating the “many types of love”.

The power ballad features duets by characters of the hit BBC TV show, including John and Nigel Crab, who sing: “There are many, many types of love – from your family to your friends. It doesn’t matter who you choose to love. Because it’s all love in the end.” Ahhh.

Festivals

Barnsley is certainly getting into the spirit of things. Love is in the air in the South Yorkshire town this February as a series of art installations, trails and promotions are running to celebrate love and kindness.

At the centre of the Love Barnsley celebrations is an immersive sculptural piece by local artist Liz West and a programme of free activities is taking place throughout the town between February 12 and 20.

On Friday, a town centre trail of Barnsley Elephants will be launched. Inspired by the story of Elmer the patchwork elephant, by David McKee, Barnsley Museums has been working with artists and communities to decorate a series of Elmer sculptures.

Meanwhile, over in Bradford, the National Science and Media Museum is hosting the Yorkshire Games Festival this week.

Celebrating games culture, design and production, the festival includes a programme of talks, masterclasses and Q&A events featuring high-profile industry guests.

Targeted at industry professionals, recent graduates and those studying games-related subjects Games Talks, taking place on February 17 and 18, aim to offer opportunities for networking and support people to improve their knowledge and employability.

Outside of Yorkshire, London Fashion Week launches on Friday. Big names showing include Simone Rocha, David Koma, 16Arlington, Richard Quinn and Halpern, and there’ll be more up-and-coming brands too.

Statistics

The office for National Statistics is due to make several releases this week, that could shed more light on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Expected tomorrow is data on homeworking and spending between April 2020 and January this year in a release that will examine the effect of people working from home on their individual finances and spending habits.

On Tuesday, the latest employment figures are due and later in the week, the latest on retail sales from January.

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