From a fun night of horror to the rebirth of an '80s pop favourite, there's lots going on...
Joan, Hat Factory, Luton, October 20
The story of Joan of Arc is being told in unique and daring fashion in Luton this week. The show, named Joan, is performed by drag king champion Lucy Jane Parkinson. It’s a production which fuses lyrical writing and anarchic cabaret to unearth a story of courage, conviction and hope.
The fearless solo show explores what it means to stand out, stand up and stand alone. With uproarious songs, raucous fun and a political undertone, Joan takes to the stage as a gutsy gender warrior, dragging up as the men she defies.
The show examines what happens when a disguise soon becomes something a lot more real – and what happens when the bearer of the costume fights for who they really are.
Joan is presented by theatre company Milk in association with Derby Theatre. The Guardian has praised its “‘comic fizz, emotional ballast and cross-dressing that looks like sorcery”.
Come To The Cabaret, Grove Theatre, Dunstable, October 20
Come To The Cabaret is a fun-packed evening with songs from Rent, Avenue Q, Book of Mormon, A Slice of Saturday Night and a rousing finale from Les Misérables.
These will be interspersed with other songs, sketches and variety acts along with a platter of treats served during the interval. The show is presented by DAOS Musical Theatre Company.
Circus of Horrors, Grove Theatre, October 22
A pre-Halloween treat is in store when the Circus of Horrors comes to Dunstable with their new show, Voodoo VaudEvil. With gruesome beginnings at Glastonbury Festival in 1995, Circus of Horrors has grown in international fame and heart-thumping reputation for its daring theatre since storming into the finals of Britain’s Got Talent in 2011.
Now they’re presenting a new spectacular, featuring an amalgamation of bizarre and brave acts, all woven into a horror-themed story: awoken by an Ouija board, a Voodoo curse causes devastation. While the city sleeps, the night creatures rule the underworld with bizarre and amazing circus acts from all over the world, performed to devil-driven rock ‘n’ roll and interwoven with the darkest of magic.
The tongue-in-cheek spectacular has appeared on various TV shows, turning what started as a cult show into a household name. Its credits now also boast The X Factor, The Slammer, Daybreak, Fairground Attractions, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, This Morning, Ant & Dec and The One Show.
Los Pacaminos with Paul Young, Luton Library Theatre, October 21
Paul Young is bringing a taste of Americana to Luton with his band, Los Pacaminos, playing a mix of Tex-Mex classics. Paul achieved stardom in the 1980s with hits including Wherever I Lay My Hat (That’s My Home) and Every Time You Go Away and whose emphasis is now on “good music and good times”. The band has played with some of the biggest names in the business, including Queen, Tom Jones and Robbie Williams.
Paul said: “We started back in 1992 and it was too much fun to stop. I love the lift you get when playing it. We’re all past wanting to play or listen to music that depresses.”
The Tempest, Luton Library Theatre, October 18
Bilimankhwe Arts has created an individual
retelling of Shakespeare’s story which features contemporary African choreography along with
music from Malawi. A gripping comedy about magic, love and redemption, The Tempest tells the tale of
Prospero, a sorcerer who is exiled on a strange magical island with his teenage daughter Miranda. When his enemies sail by, Prospero takes the opportunity to conjure up a storm to shipwreck them and get his revenge. Bilimankhwe Arts has brought together actors, musicians and dancers from Africa and Europe to create a powerful and passionate performance. The soundtrack blends traditional Malawian sounds with electronic beats and is performed live to create a rich, layered sound. The production remains true to the original language but has
been slightly abridged to make it more accessible.