GREEN fingers and stories of the blues, Steeleye’s 50-year span, candlelight and a Coldplace mark CHARLES HUTCHINSON’S card for March 22 to 24

Friday night is...gardening night

Old Herbaceous, York Literature Festival, York Theatre Royal Studio, tonight, 7.45pm

HERBERT Pinnegar potters among the seeds and cuttings at the back of his ramshackle greenhouse in the garden of a Gloucestershire manor house.

Now in his twilight years, he is full of memories and tales of a bygone era. In between potting up and potting on, he recounts his journey from orphan boy to head gardener Old Herbaceous and tells of his friendship with the lady of the house, Mrs Charteris.

Adapted by Alfred Shaughnessy and performed by Reginald Arkell, this humorous portrayal of a single-minded yet gentle man with a passion for plants is sown with seeds of gardening wisdom in a charming one-man show that ultimately is a love story.

Tribute show of the weekend

Coldplace, York Barbican, Saturday, 7.30pm

COLDPLACE, from the sunny East Coast town of Grimsby, re-create all the euphoria, feeling and melancholia of a live Coldplay performance.

Led by Shane Crofts in the guise of Chris Martin, the band have been together since the end of 2004, performing all over Britain. Expect accuracy, musicianship, dedication and passion for Coldplay’s ubiquitous music.

Storyteller of the weekend

Telling The Blues, York Literature Festival, York Theatre Royal Studio, Saturday, 7.45pm

PRESENTED by the Crick Crack Club, storyteller Jan Blake and guitarist Matt Chandler fuse grown-up folk fairytale, legend and song to tell the blues.

That story travels from juke joints and brothels, to slave shacks and plantations, as, under the starlit sky of the deep Southern States, emancipated slaves of the African Diaspora, dressed in indigo dyed denim and banned from singing their homeland songs, spirituals and field hollers, create, sing and live the blues.

“Join us for a night in the very fine company of those who’ve got the blues, those who defy the blues, those who cure them, and those who cause them,” says Jan.

50th anniversary of the weekend

Steeleye Span, Grand Opera House, York, Sunday, 7.30pm

FIFTY years since they first came together, folk rock pioneers Steeleye Span are marking this milestone with a night of favourites and surprises from down the decades.

Led as ever by Maddy Prior, the 50th anniversary tour features a seven-piece line-up with latest additions Roger Carey on bass and Benji Kirkpatrick, son of former member John Kirkpatrick, on bouzouki, acoustic guitar and vocals.

Classical concert of the weekend

The Ebor Singers, Chapter House, York Minster, Saturday, 7.30pm

THE Ebor Singers open their 2019 season with a candlelit concert of iconic Renaissance music for Lent that combines Allegri’s mesmerising setting of Miserere with Lotti’s poignant Crucifixus and Victoria’s Lamentations and Responsories.

During the service, candles are extinguished one by one, representing Jesus’s disciples leaving his side.

"We – and we hope our audience! – enjoy when we explore new ways to perform," says director Paul Gameson. "The space and acoustics in the Chapter House allow us to explore different formats, and the concept of using low and, at points, no lighting is unusual but provides a fantastic opportunity for the audience to focus on the sound and lose the trappings that ordinarily come with concerts of this type."