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Entertainment rss

Stopsley dancer Craig Hopkins at  the DKKQ finals

Stospley dancer Craig makes it to Disco Kid finals

Making it to the Disco Kid, King & Queen finals in Blackpool this month was the icing on the cake for young Stopsley dancer Craig Hopkins, 19.

Million Dollar Arm

Geoff Cox’s DVDs: Million Dollar Arm, Are You Here, God’s Pocket

After watching about 6,000 films on video and DVD since this column began in April 1983, I thought I had seen it all.

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Singing for the Food Bank

Luton Gospel Community Choir is hosting a Christmas fundraising concert in aid of the Luton Foodbank on December 19.

Luton burns survivor Shamiam Arif at Robin Hood with Steve Hewlett and Anna Kumble

Shamiam meets the Fairy of the Forest and Silly Billy

She suffered devastating injuries as a baby when a candle fell into her cot, but brave burns survivor Shamiam Arif has never let that stop her having a good time.

Luton burns survivor Shamiam Arif at Robin Hood with Steve Hewlett and Anna Kumble

Robin Hood takes aim and hits the bullseye!

Robin Hood has arrowed its way into Dunstable this festive season, but will you be among his Merry Men if you shelve out to see the Grove Theatre’s panto?

A Christmas Carol with a twist

It’s the Dickens’ classic - with a festive difference

Little learners from Foxdell Junior and Icknield Primary Schools had the time of their lives watching a special performance of A Christmas Carol at Luton’s Library Theatre on Friday.

Dragons' Den at the university last week. Photo by David Stubbs

Five projects get funding go ahead

The University of Bedfordshire approved funding for five projects at last week’s Dragons’ Den event.

The Hobbit: Battle Of The Five Armies

Matt Adcock at the cinema – The Hobbit: Battle Of The Five Armies

The end of the beginning is here, writes Matt Adcock.

Alan Fletcher as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood

A baddie who loves the boos

Multi-talented Australian actor and musician Alan Fletcher has a confession to make – he only likes playing baddies.

Music news

Kevin Bryan’s record reviews

“The Very Best of the Drifters” (Metro Select)­ This enjoyably dated anthology focusses attention on the Drifters’ classic recordings from the fifties and early sixties,including several gems from Ben E.King’s highly productive stint with the group, including “Save The Last Dance For Me,” “This Magic Moment” and “There Goes My Baby,” the 1959 hit which made revolutionary use of a full string orchestra for the first time on a rock’n’roll record. Their constantly shifting line­up meant that in later years quite a few former members would take to the stage in an often vain attempt to convince audiences that they were the authentic Drifters, but the 58 tracks featured here are unquestionably the genuine article, and well worth an hour or so of anyone’s time.

Katie Tearle, 10, as Dorothy and Molly Hills, 15, as Glinda the good witch

Dancers to show different talents in The Wizard of Oz

Students from Tina’s School of Dance will be performing The Wizard of Oz at Barnfield South Academy on Saturday, December 20.

Jay (Jason Segel) and Annie (Cameron Diaz)

Geoff Cox’s DVD reviews: Sex Tape; Let’s Be Cops; As Above, So Below

If you’re browsing the shelves in your local HMV store or supermarket, a DVD named SEX TAPE (15: Sony) may grab your attention.

Tenita (3rd from left) and Jess (3rd from right) set up the dance company in their final year at university

Students set up dance company

Two University of Bedfordshire graduates used Steps funding to set up a dance company in their final year.

David Bedella as Captain Hook in Peter Pan

A triple treat in store for all you panto fanatics

If you’re an avid panto fan like me, there’s a triple treat ahead - oh yes, there is!!

Jack and the Beanstalk cast

PANTO REVIEW: Jack will leave you full of beans

Christmas is coming and that can only mean one thing... panto season is upon us – and you’ll be full of beans if you check out the Alban Arena’s offering this festive season.

Get Santa

Matt Adcock at the cinema: Get Santa review

We have breaking news that just days before Christmas there are several reindeer running loose through the streets of London.

Russell Watson is coming to Dunstable's Grove Theatre in April 2015

Staging a hot spring season

If tons of magic, plenty of comedy, a touch of soul and a host of groundbreaking works sound just up your street, then Dunstable Grove Theatre’s Spring Season 2015 will suit you down to the front row of the stalls.

Review by Judi Moore

Kevin Bryan’s record reviews

Jerry Lee Lewis, “Rock & Roll Time” (Vanguard Records)­ Most of Jerry Lee Lewis’contemporaries from the golden era of rock’n’roll fell by the wayside long long ago, but this irascible character is still pounding the ivories with the vigour of a man half his age. Producer Jim Keltner oversees a star­studded backing line­up featuring the likes of Neil Young, Keith Richard,Ron Wood and The Band’s Robbie Robertson as they underpin the venerable performer’s contributions on the warm and rootsy “Rock & Roll Time.” Jerry Lee may have surrounded himself with rock luminaries but he remains the the real star of the show , and his slightly wheezy vocals breathe new life into much loved old favourites such as Jimmy Reed’s “Bright Lights,Big City” and Chuck Berry’s “Little Queenie” and “Promised Land.” Strawbs,”Hero & Heroine In Ascencia” (Witchwood WMCD 2050)­ The original version of “Hero & Heroine” captured the dramatic essence of The Strawbs’ highly distinctive prog­rock sound when it first saw the light of day in 1974, leaning heavily on the creative contributions of singer Dave Cousins and lead guitarist Dave Lambert. The two men made the rather unusual decision to re record the entire album almost four decades later,and this mildly redundant album is the result.

Scene from A Christmas Carol

Festive fayre from Dickens

An innovative theatre company is presenting Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at Luton’s Library Theatre next month.

Sin City: A Dame To Kill For

Geoff Cox’s DVDs: Sin City, A Dame To Kill For; The Nut Job; Into The Storm

It’s been nine years since neo-noir thriller Sin City, based on a comic book series, burst onto our screens.

Singer by Robin John Cooper

Competition celebrates 80th anniversary

Wardown Park Museum is the setting for a very special exhibition of local talent.
To celebrate the 80th anniversary of Luton Art, it is showcasing the winners of the 2014 competition and featuring a series of images and news cuttings dating back to the 1930s. This includes photos of exhibitions, artworks, prize givings and even some entries which have since been added to the Museum’s art collection.
Luton Culture spokeswoman Tahmina Saleem said: “The competition is sponsored by the Murry Barford Trust and is a fantastic opportunity for artists of all ages and levels of experience to have their work on display in their local museum.”
This year’s winner in the adult general category was Singer (above) by Robin John Cooper, who said: “Artwork of a very high standard is on display and I am proud to be part of that.”

Singer by Robin John Cooper

Free album for cancer charity

He’s undergone 15 gruelling rounds of chemotherapy but nothing will stop former Luton fireman Ben Markus from making music.

Legendary Irish group the Fureys

Fureys for St Patrick Day

Legendary Irish group the Fureys will be appearing at next year’s St Patrick’s Festival in Luton on Sunday. March 15.

Horrible Bosses 2

Matt Adcock at the cinema: Horrible Bosses 2 review

Horrible bosses are a blight on any working environment – but if the first Horrible Bosses film showed us anything, it’s that killing them isn’t necessarily the best course of action.

Review by Judi Moore

Kevin Bryan’s record reviews

The Balham Alligators, “Bayou­Degradable” (Proper PRPCD021)­ The Alligators’ tasty melange of musical styles was all the rage in London’s pubs and clubs during the early eighties,leaning heavily on the creative contribution of singer,pianist and accordion ace Geraint Watkins. This impressive 2CD anthology captures their unique fusion of rock,blues,cajun and country music at its most infectious and appealing , including covers of everything from Bonnie Raiit’s “Love Has No Pride” to Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B.Goode” and the Chris Montez hit “Let’s Dance,” all of them delivered with the maverick charm which always made these irascible characters’ live gigs such an unforgettable experience.

The Expendables 3

Geoff Cox’s DVD reviews: The Expendables 3, The Congress, Begin Again, Planes 2: Fire & Rescue

There’s the usual winning mix of wisecracking banter and mass destruction in the latest instalment of the macho Expendables franchise.

Magical Christmas moments

Ho ho ho for the fabulous festive line-up in Luton

There’s something for everyone in this year’s build up to Christmas.

Young carers have fun

Young Carers take time to have fun

Active Luton has teamed up with CHUMS, to run a young carers project, aimed at young people who look after siblings and other family members.

Singstar Ultimate Party is the smartest yet, quite literally

Console Corner: It’s the smartest Singstar yet video

The 10th anniversary edition of Singstar –Ultimate Party! – has discovered the key to truly social gaming.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part One

Matt Adcock at the cinema: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

As the hit Yellow Flicker Beat by Lorde from the soundtrack says, “This is the start, of how it all ends…”

Review by Judi Moore

Kevin Bryan’s record reviews

PFM,”Paper Charms” (Esoteric Records)­ PFM were the first Italian rock band to make a major impact on record buyers in the English speaking world and this fine audio­visual package offers an absorbing introduction to their complex,classically influenced sound. The contents bring together all the recordings that the prog rockers made for the BBC during their creative heyday in the mid seventies,including two complete “In Concert” performances and a selection of extracts from the late lamented “Old Grey Whistle Test,”including renditions of such cerebral crowd-pleasers as “Four Holes in the Ground” and “Mr.Nine ‘till Five.”

Hercules

Geoff Cox’s DVD reviews: Hercules, The Inbetweeners 2, The Purge: Anarchy

An ancient Greek warrior becomes famous as highly exaggerated tales of his exploits spread throughout the land in HERCULES (12: Paramount) .

Roy Orbison tribute act Barry Steele

From driving a lorry to uncanny ‘Big O’ tribute act

Standing up to sing a Robbie Williams song in a club on a Cornish holiday was a career-changing moment for ASDA lorry driver Barry Steele.

  • 9°C to 10°C Cloudy
  • Luton 5-day weather forecast

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    Sunday 21 Dec

    Cloudy

    Temp

    High 10°c

    Low 9°c

    Wind

    From South west

    Speed 16 mph

    Monday 22 Dec

    Cloudy

    Temp

    High 13°c

    Low 10°c

    Wind

    From South west

    Speed 21 mph

    Tuesday 23 Dec

    Cloudy

    Temp

    High 12°c

    Low 7°c

    Wind

    From South west

    Speed 17 mph

    Wednesday 24 Dec

    Light rain

    Temp

    High 9°c

    Low 2°c

    Wind

    From South west

    Speed 13 mph

    Thursday 25 Dec

    Sunny spells

    Temp

    High 7°c

    Low 0°c

    Wind

    From West

    Speed 12 mph