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

Oti Mabuse is dancing with Ian Waite at the Grove Theatre, Dunstable
Oti Mabuse is dancing with Ian Waite at the Grove Theatre, Dunstable

From a celebration of Irish music to a choral classic,. there's lots going on...

Seven Drunken Nights, Grove Theatre, Dunstable, March 16
Following its sold-out smash hit debut tour, Seven Drunken Nights– The Story of The Dubliners returns. The show brings to life the music of Ireland’s favourite sons, The Dubliners, telling the story of a career spanning 50 years and evoking the spirit of Ronnie Drew, Luke Kelly, Barney McKenna, Jim McCann, Ciaran Bourke and John Sheahan. The performance promises to have the audience singing and clapping along to such classics as The Wild Rover, The Black Velvet Band, The Irish Rover, Molly Malone, Finnegan’s Wake, McAlpines Fusileers, Raglan Road and, of course, The Seven Drunken Nights. This celebration of the music of The Dubliners is a celebration of Irish music itself – an evening of music, humor and craic.

Double bill: Human Wall / You Are Okay!, Cultural Quarter and Studio 1, Luton, March 16
Human Wall is a free outdoor performance taking place in the Cultural Quarter before You Are Okay!. It explores the distance between people and the walls we put up between us. You Are Okay! is an indoor solo performance at The Hat Factory exploring the human body’s disconnection to place and space. It’s the work of choreographer, dancer and actress, Sung-Im Her.

St Matthew Passion, St Mary’s Church, Luton, March 17
Singers from Luton take on one of music’s biggest challenges this weekend when the Luton Choral Society performs Johann Sebastian Bach’s St Matthew Passion. Composed for the Good Friday service in Leipzig in 1727, the Passion tells the story of the trial and execution of Jesus of Nazareth. It is a work of powerful drama and intense emotion, and is conceived on a grand scale – it is scored for three choirs and two orchestras. To do it full justice, the LCS has joined forces with the Welwyn Garden City and Thurrock Choral Societies and the Luton Cantores youth choir, for a total of 130 voices. The choirs will sing the roles of the crowd, and the followers of Jesus, as well as providing a choral commentary representing the reactions of humanity to the events of the Crucifixion. Five accomplished young professional singers will perform the solo parts, and an orchestra of 20 professional instrumentalists will use Baroque instruments to re-create the authentic sound of the original performance. The last time the Passion was performed in Luton was in 2000.
“This is a rare chance to hear a live performance of this wonderful music at affordable prices,” says choral society chair, Sara Kelby. The performance will be in English, not the original German. Sara added: “Although we want to achieve as authentic a performance as possible, we believe that an English text provides far greater dramatic impact for a modern audience, and is in keeping with Bach’s intentions to make the words of the Passion story come alive.”

The Memory of Water,
The Little Theatre, Dunstable,
until March 17
The Olivier Award-winning play, The Memory of Water, continues in Dunstable this week. The play is set at the turn of the 21st century at a house on the English coast. Three sisters meet after some time apart at the house they grew up in with their parents, the day before they bury their late mother. As the conflicts of the past converge, everyday lies and tensions reveal the particular patterns and strains of family relationships. Details:

An Audience With Ian Waite & Oti Mabuse – Rhythm of the Night, Grove Theatre, Dunstable, March 21
Dance fans are promised an extravaganza of high intensity Latin and Ballroom favourites in one thrilling evening.
Ian and Oti are known for pushing the boundaries of dance to bring the best out of their celebrity partner, with both reaching the final of the hit BBC Saturday night show. Last season it was Oti who almost triumphed with her celebrity partner, Hollyoaks’ Danny Mac. Expect fun-filled, fleet-footed entertainment, and a chance to find out more about the lives of Ian and Oti.