From an evening with a top prankster to learning the art of drinking, there's plenty to enjoy...
Lee Nelson, Grove Theatre, Dunstable, November 2
He’s the man who pranked Theresa May with a pretend P45 at the Conservative party conference – and now he’s bringing his new show to Dunstable. After a year that saw him make the acquaintance of figures including President Donald Trump and Simon Cowell, Channel 4 secured exclusive and unrestricted access to Simon Brodkin – who performs as Lee Nelson – in 2016, as he lifted the lid on the months of meticulous planning and preparation that go into pulling off a successful stunt. Simon created one of 2015’s more memorable images when, as Premier League footballer Jason Bent, he showered disgraced FIFA president Sepp Blatter in bank notes at the organisation’s headquarters in Zurich, live on TV in front of the world’s press. Previously Simon has joined Kanye West on stage during the rapper’s headline set at Glastonbury, gate-crashed a prime-time Saturday night broadcast of The X Factor and joined the England football team ahead of their flight to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. He’s also appeared on Live at the Apollo, among other shows.
The Magic of Motown, Grove Theatre, Dunstable, November 4
Music fans are invited to one of the biggest parties of the year as the unstoppable Magic of Motown show steams into town. Prepare for 40 back-to-back classic Motown hits, glittering costume changes, dance moves and top musicianship. Celebrate the sound of a generation as the timeless music of Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, The Supremes, The Four Tops, Martha Reeves, Jackson 5, Lionel Richie, Smokey Robinson and many more are recreated by the talented cast and band. The concert will take the audience on a journey through all their favourite songs, including Ain’t No Mountain, Signed Sealed Delivered, Grapevine, Get Ready, Dancing In The Streets, My Girl, Blame It On The Boogie, Uptight, Endless Love, My Cherie Amor, All Night Long, Heatwave, I’m Coming Out, Loco In Acapulco and many more.
Asiya Clarke: Cosmic Sigh
(Die Before You Die), The Storefront, 64 Bute Street, Luton, until November 18
A new installation and a showing of paintings by one of Luton’s most fascinating and surprising artists, Asiya Clarke, is currently on show. Clarke’s life and work are inspired by Sufism – the mystical aspect of Islam. Sufism “requires a temporary loss of one’s own ego and an immersion in the universal”. The title of her installation, Die Before You Die, comes from one of the prophet Muhammad’s sayings which suggests that there must be a ‘death of the ego’ before the essential self is revealed.
Fireworks Spectacular, Popes Meadow, Luton, November 4
It’s the sparkling annual extravaganza, and a chance to wrap up and enjoy spectacular sights in the sky. “I know residents really enjoy this event and we are delighted that we can offer it again, free of charge, for all to enjoy,” said Cllr Rachel Hopkins, the councillor responsible for culture.
The Thinking Drinkers, Hat Factory, Luton, November 3
The Thinking Drinkers bring their award-winning show to Luton this week – and are offering five free drinks to audience members. Drinks writers and comedy performers Ben McFarland and Tom Sandham are columnists for the Daily Telegraph, write a bar column for Metro and regularly contribute to an array of international publications including the Spectator, Esquire, Shortlist, the Times, the Guardian, Time Out London and Conde Nast Traveller. Authorities on all aspects of alcohol, the Thinking Drinkers have appeared on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch and regularly appear on radio and television espousing their ‘drink less, drink better’ message.
The duo have written and performed six critically-acclaimed sell-out runs at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, transferred to the Soho Theatre, London’s West End, Madrid and toured the UK extensively including performances at the Cheltenham Literature Festival.