From tales of adventure to top stand-up comedy, there's plenty to enjoy...
Simon Reeve, Grove Theatre, Dunstable, September 28
Simon Reeve has dodged rockets on frontlines, been hounded by the KGB and tracked lions. But even for man who has endured so much, going on stage remains a challenge –and he will face his fears at the Grove Theatre in Dunstable this week. Simon’s extraordinary travels have been documented in a series of BBC programmes, and his theatre show will see him share compelling ‘behind the scenes’ anecdotes and tales from more than 15 years of his travel to the most remote and extreme corners of the planet. He just has to conquer his fears first. Simon said: “I like doing things that are a bit challenging and nerve wracking – and performing a live show is certainly a challenge that should get the ticker going. I like that adrenaline rush. I’m sure walking out on stage is going to be scarier than some of the experiences I’ve had on my travels. Imminent death doesn’t bother us as much a social embarrassment!” Simon’s TV series have included Russia, Caribbean, Sacred Rivers, Indian Ocean, Tropic of Cancer, Equator and Burma. In addition to offering an insight into the world at large, An Audience With Simon Reeve will also provide a look at the world and the life of the man who left school at 17 with no real qualifications and yet has become one of the most respected travellers on the planet. Simon said: “I want to entertain people, but I also want to inspire them. I hope the show might prompt them to go on their own adventures and encourage them to get out of their comfort zone in life. I also want to remind people that starting from nothing doesn’t need to stop you from achieving your dreams.”
Teechers, Little Theatre, Dunstable, September 21 to 29
An array of terrifying teachers and hopeless pupils is being brought to life on stage in Dunstable this month. The fast-moving, inventive and entertaining play Teechers is being presented by Dunstable Rep. Teechers, written by John Godber, is seen through the unique eyes of Salty, Gail and Hobby, three Year 11 students about to leave school for good. The show is a play within a play in which three students put on a performance to their teachers. The production is by three actors - Sarah Wilkinson, Katy Elliott and Adam Butcher. The audience will discover whether Mr Nixon will abandon his students for a green and pleasant private school, who puts the bounce in Miss Prime, the PE teacher, and why everyone smells of spring onions. They take on the role of 20 characters with nothing more than a table and chair providing the various settings in and around the school.
Miller Plays the Musicals, Grove Theatre, Dunstable, September 30
Terry Steel’s Astor Big Band and singers present Miller Plays the Musicals. As well as a feast of Glenn Miller, the Astor Big Band and Singers perform big band hits from the likes of Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald and the Ted Heath Band. There are also tunes from West End musicals such as Les Miserable, West Side Story, Chess, Oliver and more.
Accrington Pals, TADS Theatre, Toddington, September 28 and 29
In August 1914, Britain declared war on Germany following the invasion of Belgium. But British forces were soon forced to retreat. An impassioned plea then appeared in the Accrington Observer, calling for the young men of England to join the army and fight for their country. Many towns in the north of England - including Accrington- responded by raising ‘Pals Battalions’. Many of those who went to fight never returned home. The Accrington Pals, written by Peter Whelan and directed for Toddington Amateur Dramatic Society by Jenna Kay, tells the story of the differing experiences of the First World War, from the men who went to fight, to the women who stayed at home and took over many of the jobs of those who had gone to fight.
Desi Central, Luton Library Theatre, September 29
Desi Central returns to Luton for an evening of laughter. Hosted by Mickey Sharma with comedy from Sukh Ojla, Aatif Nawaz and Omar Hamdi.