Five of the best things to do in and around Luton and Dunstable in the next seven days

The Soul Food Poetry night returns to the Bear Club this week
The Soul Food Poetry night returns to the Bear Club this week

From open-air cinema to striking works of art, there's much to enjoy...

1 ART
Space-18, The Storefront, Bute Street, Luton, until September 8
Space-18 is a project to give emerging artists a chance to develop their practice. Two exhibitions are lined up over the coming weeks. Helema Ali’s runs from August 30 to September 1 and forms part of ‘smArter Arts’, graduates who have formed a group to do socially engaged work and workshops in Luton. An exhibition of Islamic illustrations by Abu Yahya runs from September 6 to 8.
Details: asyouchange.co.uk


2 OPEN-AIR CINEMA
Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa, until September 2
It’s a chance to watch some of your favourite films in a setting like no other. Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa’s open air cinema is set in the surrounds of the South Lake on its 1,065 acre estate. The Greatest Showman, Dirty Dancing and Top Gun are all being screened.
Details: sundowncinema.co.uk


3 ART
Paul Hogarth – Sketches Laporte, Wardown House,Museum and Gallery, until September 2
A display of sketches by Paul Hogarth (1917-2001), a highly regarded English artist and illustrator. Paul Hogarth’s artwork has appeared on book covers by authors such as Graham Greene, Ernest Hemingway, George Orwell and Virginia Woolf. He was a member of the Royal Academy and was made an OBE in 1989. Hogarth was known for his talent for illustration and reportage, which was allied to his love of travel. This led him to produce drawings and watercolours recording events and places all over the world. As an illustrator he studied under James Boswell, going on to illustrate the New Penguin Shakespeare series of paperbacks in the 1970s. His colourful life included driving lorries in the Spanish Civil War for the International Brigade. Other writers with whom he worked include Robert Graves, Brendan Behan, Lawrence Durrell and William Golding.
Wardown House Museum will be displaying half a dozen of Hogarth’ s framed pencil sketches in the beautiful setting of The Murry Barford Drawing Room.
Details: lutonculture.com


4 MUSIC
Van Morrison, Wrest Park, August 31
One of music’s undisputed true originals, Van Morrison’s matchless songwriting and vocal talents have seen him produce a remarkable body of material. His long career has seen him traverse everything from British R&B in which he originally made his name to jazz, Celtic and soul. Van has been responsible for countless classic songs, including Brown Eyed Girl, Gloria, Here Comes The Night, Jackie Wilson Said, Bright Side Of The Road and Have I Told You Lately. Over the course of his 50-year career, Van Morrison has been recognised with awards and accolades such as a knighthood, a Brit, an OBE, an Ivor Novello, six Grammys, and honorary doctorates from Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Ulster. Special guests for the show at Wrest Park will be The Waterboys.
The folk-rock band, formed by Mike Scott in Edinburgh in 1983, are known for their Celtic-tinged hits such as Fisherman’s Blues and The Whole of The Moon.
Details: ticketline.co.uk/heritage-live-concerts


5 POETRY AND MUSIC
Soul Food Poetry, August 29, and The Tom Ridout Quintet, August 31, Bear Club, Luton
Soul Food Poetry was created to offer a platform for local talent in the spoken word field. The stage is always graced by local up and coming poets and artists, and their natural hunger, rawness and passion is what helps to make Soul Food Poetry such a popular event. Top acts from around the country also join in. The event hopes to give exposure to talent whilst sending out a message of inspiration and motivation to other artists and members of the audience. Later in the week, Tom Ridout presents his quintet. Playing a mix of originals, jazz standards, folk and the odd Beatles number, the members of the band are all rising stars of the jazz world, so it promises to be a memorable night of music. Tom is joined by Rob Luft on guitar, Will Barry on piano, Flo Moore on bass and Phelan Burgoyne on drums. The Paul Jolly Quartet, which represents some of the Bear’s most regular players, gets next month underway on September 1, with their hard and funky reinterpretations of jazz standards.
Details: the-bear.club