From cracking stand-up to a broadcasting favourite, there's lots to enjoy...
No Such Thing As A Fish, Grove Theatre, Dunstable, November 29
Mixing extraordinary local facts with riotously funny comedy, No Such Thing As A Fish comes to Dunstable on its first live tour. Dan Schreiber, Andrew Hunter Murray, Anna Ptaszynski and James Harkin, writers of popular BBC show QI, will serve up their pick of the most bizarre, extraordinary and amusing facts discovered over the past seven days. As one of the UK’s most successful podcasts, NSTAAF has enjoyed 150 episodes, toured the UK and Europe, released a special episode on vinyl, and been adapted for BBC2 into two hit series of No Such Thing As The News. Now the team is taking to the road with a new show which will include a live recording of the podcast .
No Such Thing As A Fish gets 1.2 million downloads a week and was named one of iTunes’s top ten most downloaded podcasts of 2016.
Barnstormers Stand-up Comedy, Grove Theatre, Dunstable, November 30
Freewheeling Barnstormers MC Kevin Precious will be back once more to preside over the proceedings. Rapidly rising star Sarah Callaghan has been hailed by the Mirror, which said of her: “The instant she steps on stage you know you’re in the presence of someone new and special”. Song-and-gag man Steve Gribbin - described as “a highly refreshing and original comic with a gift for sharp observations and political asides” by The Scotsman- is also on the bill, as is no-nonsense Black Country lad, Sean Percival.
Puppetry of the Penis, Grove Theatre, Dunstable, December 1
Using what they call the Ancient Art of Genital Origami, two near naked men (they wear shoes) manipulate their nether regions to provide the audience with an array of shapes and impersonations that are projected on to a huge video screen. Puppetry Of The Penis has now played to most of the Western world, having been hosted in over 35 countries and performed in six languages. Featuring shapes such as the Eiffel Tower, the Loch Ness Monster, the Pelican and the Hamburger, this latest incarnation comes fresh from Las Vegas.
An Audience with Father Christmas, Wrest Park, from December 2
Taking place every weekend until Saturday, December 23, young visitors will get to join in with some festive fun and meet the main man himself as he recounts some magical tales of Christmas past and hands out festive treats. Amid yuletide decorations, the man himself will regale children with enchanting Christmas tales.
“Our Audience with Father Christmas events are the perfect way to get the whole family in the festive spirit,” said Rebecca Hornby, assistant events manager for English Heritage. “This year’s event is proving very popular indeed and some sessions have already sold out, so advance booking is highly recommended.” The gardens at Wrest Park also provide an ideal backdrop for a refreshing winter walk, complete with what’s thought to be Britain’s oldest living Christmas tree, dating back to 1856.
Music on Mondays: Just William, Bear Club, Luton, December 4
Much-loved actor Martin Jarvis returns to Luton with two more of his inimitable Just William stories. These readings of Richmal Crompton’s work have been recorded and broadcast all over the world and have become the definitive versions of these enduring classics. Presented with specially- written underscore by pianist Richard Sisson, the concert also features violinist Sophie Mather in salon pieces by Elgar. Richmal Crompton’s Just William stories made her a household name and they certainly have a timeless quality, as does William himself who remained 11 years old through 38 novels for 41 years from 1922 to 1963. No one brings them to life like Martin Jarvis, a must-not- miss concert for all William fans. “There will be a great atmosphere for this event so please do come along for what should be a splendid evening,” said Terry Lockyer, spokesman for event organisers Luton Music.