From family fun galore to a celebration of a musical icon, there's lots to enjoy...
The Bob Dylan Story, Grove Theatre, Dunstable, February 8
With some of the most memorable songs ever written, Bob Dylan created the soundtrack for 1960s America, amassing a huge and enduring fan base that even extended across the Atlantic to bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Now The Bob Dylan Story celebrates one of music’s greatest icons. Expect everything from the heady idealism of Blowing In The Wind and The Times They Are A Changin to the electric venom of Subterranean Homesick Blues and Like A Rolling Stone, to timeless love songs like Lay Lady Lay and I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight to the mysticism of All Along The Watchtower or Mr Tambourine Man to the lyrical tour de force of Hurricane to the mournful simplicity of Knocking On Heaven’s Door to the achingly uplifting Forever Young and the whimsical Mighty Quinn.
These and many more hits, along with some of the tales behind them, are captured to perfection with a story arc that starts with JFK’s inauguration speech and returns almost full circle to his tragic assassination in 1963.
Milton Jones is Out There, Grove Theatre, Dunstable, February 9
Over the past 20 years, Milton Jones has established himself as the master of one-liners, and he has become a regular on the BBC panel show, Mock The Week.
He is known for his wild hair, wide eyes and garish Hawaiian shirts, but his new show sees him questioning the importance of his own nonsense in our increasingly divided times. Jones said: “I seem to have a crisis of confidence in terms of: is nonsense of any value? And of course that results in more nonsense rather than less. With my stuff, people remember the joke rather than the point. Though my aim with the tour is to add in a couple of moments of pathos, really questioning whether I’m on the right track.”
Full House Fest, Luton, February 10 to 16
Children in Luton are being served up a treat this February half term in the form of great family theatre and arts activities across the town. The festival kicks off in The Mall with the opportunity to take part in First Person, a free interactive story of an alternate world, using silent disco technology and brought to life by two dance theatre performers.
Elsewhere during the week, acclaimed dance theatre Tidy Up! and classic adaptation Tom Thumb will delight families in Luton Library Theatre, while the staging in A Heart at Sea at The Hat Factory promises to astound audiences.
Also at The Hat Factory is poignant but comical story A Square World. Bedfordshire’s Theatre of Widdershins will be sharing pirate tales from across the world at Luton Central Library, Stockwood Discovery Centre and the recently renovated Wardown House and Museum, while internationally renowned and in demand musician and composer Adriano Adewale will be delivering music workshops for youngsters.
Families can also take part in arts activities in the Hat Factory’s Imagination Station.
Sandman, Hat Factory, Luton, February 8
This contemporary adaptation of ETA Hoffmann’s Gothic classic The Sandman fuses high energy storytelling, expressive physicality and puppetry to immerse you in an intense and thrilling nightmare world. When Nathaniel, a student, is visited by a mysterious dread figure from the past and falls in love with a woman, who isn’t all she seems, nobody can prevent his life from spiralling out of control. Haunted by terrifying childhood memories, Nathaniel is convinced that the Sandman is back to take his eyes and destroy his life…
The Thinking Drinkers: History of Alcohol, Luton Library Theatre, February 9
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. You’ll get five free drinks, too.