From Irish charm to madcap adventures, there's plenty going on...
1 MUSIC AND POETRY
Utter! Lutonia, Hat Factory Arts Centre, Luton, June 1
Music, spoken-word poetry and artistic expression will be celebrated when Utter! Lutonia returns to the Hat Factory. The night will feature an array of talented writers, musicians and poets, all skilled at performing in an invigorating and engaging style. Music comes from Slate Islands, who are joined on the bill by Mp Yamfam, kingpin of Luton’s Soul Food Poetry scene, and Nakiliah Tumaini, whose pieces incorporate culture, her spiritual beliefs and life experiences. Also lined up are poets Ian McEwen, whose poems have appeared widely in magazines including Poetry Wales, Shearsman, Long Poem Magazine, Rialto and Poetry Review, and Nakiliah Tumaini, whose pieces incorporate culture, her spiritual beliefs and life experiences. The bill is completed by Slippy Skills and Grace Froggatt, with the evening hosted by Luton’s own “People’s Poet” Lee Nelson. And as if that’s not enough, Steve Whiting will be playing his soundtracks for intros and intervals
and the remarkble Luton Haiku Pop-Up Bookstall and Merch Stand will be turning up too.
2 THEATRE AND FOOD
Love and Spice, Connors Café Bar and The Hat Factory Arts Centre, Luton, June 4
A feast of Indian Spices, aromas and tastes, led by a storyteller taking the audience on a mouthwatering experience integrating dance, music, story and cooking, Love and Spice meanders like a delicious scent from Connors Café Bar to Studio 1 in The Hat Factory Arts Centre. Without a sense of taste and smell, a couple reflects on their life together, marked by incidents of food, while a meal is prepared for them by a chef live on stage – suffusing the performance with rich aromas. The work continues Balbir Singh Dance Company’s exploration of traditional culture within a modern context – creating dynamic dance through a mixture of Kathak, live music and contemporary dance. Love and Spice is part of Beyond the Frame, a season of South Asian song, dance and spoken word. On the first Sundays of June and July, Connors Café Bar at The Hat Factory will offer a taste of South Asian dance and music, over their cups of tea. The Season of South Asian dance has some rare treats of a Pakistani Coke-studios star, a live chef on stage, and the opening performance features the best of odissi, classical dance in a rich storytelling vein.
The Three Musketeers, Luton Library Theatre, May 31
Fresh from Justin’s House and Spot Bots, join CBeebies favourites Three Half Pints in The Three Musketeers as they swashbuckle their way across the UK in a new slapstick adventure of chivalry, swordplay and suddenly falling over. Chaos, mayhem and stupidity reign as The Three Half Pints swish their swords, buff their boots and flourish their feathers in what they promise is their most ridiculous adventure yet.
Mister Maker and the Shapes, Grove Theatre, Dunstable, June 1
CBeebies’ arts and crafts hero Mister Maker is on his way to encourage Mini Makers and grown-ups to sing, dance and make some noise. There’s a big “make” to take part in, lots of audience participation and, of course, The Shapes. The man behind Mister Maker is Phil Gallagher, a Bafta-nominated performer who has worked in children’s television for 19 years as a production team member, writer, actor and presenter. His theatre show has proved a global hit with children everywhere – it has toured in the UK, Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia, and promises a treat for families in Luton and Dunstable too.
Dominic Kirwan and Lisa Stanley, Grove Theatre, Dunstable, June 2
Firmly established as one of Ireland’s greatest ever entertainers, Dominic Kirwan is hitting the road with a brand new show, accompanied by one of Ireland’s top female vocalists, Lisa Stanley. Dominic and Lisa will bring their own inimitable style to the vast and rich musical heritage of their homeland. Mixed with a unique quality as versatile entertainers, Dominic and Lisa will be performing a selection of musical styles.