Legendary singer to play Picture House

John Shuttleworth
John Shuttleworth

Legendary singer and organist John Shuttleworth will return to the Picture House next year with a new show promoted by the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival.

The man dubbed ‘The king of retro and old-school England’ originally wanted to tell the audience all about his most memorable weekends in his exciting new show – ‘A Wee Ken to Remember’.

But his next-door neighbour and hopeless agent, Ken Worthington, thwarted John’s plans, messing up the artwork of the show’s poster, so ‘Weekend’ has become ‘Wee Ken’.

So John now feels now duty-bound to steer the evening towards a reluctant celebration of the diminutive impresario’s miserable musical failures in ‘A Wee Ken to Remember’. John has penned new tunes on his trusty Yamaha PPS organ recalling Ken’s period as a beatnik in the 60s when he owned a finger monkey, and his legendary appearance on New Faces in ‘73 when he came last.

The new show features onstage phone calls to Ken and John’s long suffering wife Mary, plus musical interludes including ‘Two Margarines’ and ‘I Can’t Go Back To Savoury Now’, nestling alongside newer ditties – ‘Visiting Time’, ‘Midweek’ and the rock ‘n’ roll footstomper, ‘Early Tea’.

Arts Festival Artistic Director Helen Meller said: “Such was the demand for tickets in the summer when he placed the Trades Club we asked John if he could travel up from Sheffield to play the Picture House, and he said yes as he enjoyed being in West Yorkshire so much.

“We often approach acts who would love to play in the main festival, but their schedules don’t allow it, so this show is part of an on-going series of events that we are putting on throughout the year when the artists are available.”

Tickets for ‘A Wee Ken to Remember’ at Hebden Bridge Picture House on Friday, March 6, priced £16 and £14 will be on sale first at a one off pop-up box office at Hebden Bridge Town Hall on Saturday December 6, from noon to 3pm. Tickets will then be available from www.hebdenbridgeartsfestival.co.uk orfrom the town hall box office Mondays to Fridays from 10am - 4pm.