From cheeky comedy to multicultural performances, there's lots to do...
An Evening with Robin Askwith, Hat Factory Arts Centre, Luton, July 14
Dubbed the King of Elstree studios in the 1970s and returning last year with his sell-out one-man show to celebrate their 90th anniversary, Robin Askwith is finally bringing his infamous cheek and bawdy humour to Luton. At the height of his career Robin worked with the likes of Nigel Davenport, Pamela Stephenson, Rula Lenska, Leonard Rossiter and Alan Lake. Find out what happened behind the scenes of the Confessions films, how the recent roles in Coronation Street, Casualty and Benidorm came about, and more.
Houghton Regis Hullabaloo, various venues, until August 1
Performances and activities for all ages are promised at this free festival. It celebrates art, theatre and dance in Houghton Regis and is created by, for and with people from the area along with Houghton Regis Art Town and Full House Theatre. Throughout the month, people will be able to enjoy art in their library with Our Town, an exhibition of photographs by young people from Houghton Regis’ Art Town project. Houghton Regis Town Council will be presenting graffiti art sessions with a professional graffiti artist demonstrating their skills to young people aged eight and above on July 21 to enjoy and try out on their own canvas to take home afterwards. Bringing the festival to a close on August 1 will be new show Memory Lane created by local young people in association with the residents of Red House Court, celebrating the differences and similarities of local lives across the generations.
The Philadelphia Story, The Little Theatre, Dunstable, until July 15
There’s still time to catch Dunstable Rep’s last play of the season. The Philadelphia Story, first performed in 1939 in the USA, was written specifically for Katherine Hepburn by the famous playwright Philip Barry, and became a huge success, spawning a film, radio adaptations and the famous conversion to a musical called High Society.
Malcolm Farrar, a new director for the company, brings his vast theatrical experience to the show.
“Although on the surface it appears to be a deeply intense story,” said Malcolm, “it is beautifully written by Philip Barry as a subtle comedy, creating tears of both humour and emotion in every way.”
Sounds of the Glenn Miller Era presented by the Nick Ross Orchestra, Grove Theatre, Dunstable, July 15
With a line-up of saxophones, trumpets, trombones, a rhythm section and singers, The Nick Ross Orchestra promise to faithfully recreate the big band sound of the 1940s. Expect an emotional evening rekindling the music and feelings of a bygone era.
The Rose and the Bulbul, Stockwood Discovery Centre, Stockwood Park, July 14, 15 and 16
Coke Studio artist Arieb Azhar joins dancers and musicians to celebrate the unity amidst diversity expressed through the symbols of the rose and the bulbul (nightingale) in Stockwood Park. The Rose and the Bulbul is a family-friendly performance with professional and community-based performers that taps into the love we have for creating gardens. The performance of dance, music and spoken word was inspired by the ideas that shaped the gardens at Stockwood Park. Storytellers, dancers and musicians will create an experience to bring alive the spaces of the gardens. Statues become dancers as the audiences are led in succession through a Mughal garden, a European walled garden and finally into open grounds, celebrating the synthesis of Islamic, Christian, Pagan and Hindu traditions. The performance brings together the talent of actor-writer Kamal Kaan, director Sita Thomas and the popular choreographer-dancer Kali Chandrasegaram. The Rose and the Bulbul is co-produced by Kadam/Pulse and Luton Culture with the support of Grants for the Arts, Amal and Cockayne and London Communities Foundation.