Nick Ahad: Nine predictions for Yorkshire’s arts scene in 2019

Yorkshire Sculpture Park should win further recognition this year, according to Nick Ahad.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park should win further recognition this year, according to Nick Ahad.
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Happy New Year! I’ve got some predictions for the coming year. Some might be hopes and dreams.

1: The whole country is going to be hit with a wave of good manners. We’re going to realise the phones in which we create and curate our own lives have done something dangerous to our collective consciousness. We’re going to emerge from our bubbles and realise living in a world of your own design is more harmful than living in a world we have created together. The first and major way this is going to be made manifest is in our cinemas and theatres. People are going to stop eating sweets from rustling bags in theatres and people will stop looking at their phones while in the cinema (it’s a bright light, we can see it in the dark...).

2: We’re going to continue to create award winning theatre work. We’ve enjoyed such a strong decade of theatre in Yorkshire, that there is in the back of the mind a feeling that the good times can’t possibly continue.

Like Harold MacMillan told us, we’re starting to believe that we’ve never had it so good. This collective thought is going to keep inspiring the brilliant people who make our theatre to maintain the standard.

3: The commitment to diversity we’ve started to see on our stages is going to continue apace, but we’ll stop calling it ‘diversity’. It will just be thought of as equal representation and the right thing to do. Theatres will not announce seasons where every cast member is one race or gender (you know who I’m looking at).

4: The Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle is going to receive major international recognition. Having the Hepworth Wakefield, the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the Henry Moore Institute within about 20 miles of each other is going to receive some sort of major international recognition. Watch this space...

5: The people of Hebden Bridge will continue to knit their own yoghurt (calm down, it’s a joke – and true and you Hebden Bridgers know it). They will also continue to enjoy having one of the region’s most interesting and eclectic venues in our region in the Trades Club.

6: Fifteen years after I first started asking him, Daniel Kitson, the country’s greatest stand up and storyteller, is going to grant me an interview.

7: Ditto Alan Bennett (although I’ve interviewed him a few times for the YP, it would be lovely to talk to him again).

8: Slung Low, the theatre company that started an arts community college, sank a boat in Hull on BBC for its production of Flood and took over a working men’s club in Holbeck will do something madder than ever.

It will probably involve blowing something up (in a controlled but spectacular fashion).

9: We’re going to have another very interesting year in the arts in Yorkshire.