From a pop favourite to an Easter panto, there's lots to enjoy...
Martine McCutcheon, Grove Theatre, Dunstable, April 11
Martine McCutcheon first found fame as Tiffany Mitchell in EastEnders in the 1990s, before releasing her platinum-selling debut solo album You, Me & Us in 1999 containing the number 1 single Perfect Moment. West End and TV roles followed and along the way she became a national sweetheart. In 2003, Martine memorably played Natalie opposite Hugh Grant in Love Actually. Now 41, a happily married mother, the time felt right to return to the studio. Martine has co-written most of the songs on the new album Lost and Found with her husband, the multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Jack McManus. The show will be a chance to hear Martine perform songs from Lost and Found in a stripped back setting, as well as some of her previous hits and fan-favourites. There will also be lots of anecdotes from her long and varied career, plus a chance to ask questions.
Beauty and the Beast, Grove Theatre, Dunstable, April 10
Pantomime is evidently not just for Christmas. Beauty and the Beast stars comedy favourite Bobby Davro and CBBC’s Tracy Beaker, Dani Harmer, in what promises to be another fun-filled Easter production. Audiences can expect a star cast, impressive music and energetic dance routines as well as plenty of jokes, slapstick and heaps of audience participation, from the same team behind last year’s hit The Wizard of Oz.
Enchanted Entertainment’s production for Easter tells the story of Beauty who longs for romance and adventure, a bad-mannered Prince who is transformed into a Beast to teach him a lesson and a good Fairy who makes both their dreams come true.
There will be spectacular magic, dazzling production numbers and, of course, jokes galore for all the family.
John Hegley: All Hail the Snail, Luton Library Theatre, April 5
Join poet John Hegley on a humorous journey through his living library of poems, songs, stories and animal drawings. Enjoy the rhyme and rhythm of this mandolin-playing muse and his hilarious struggle with words as they threaten to twist and turn out of his grasp. The bespectacled author of 13 books is widely known as one of the country’s most innovative comic artists and this children’s show promises to delight adults and young people alike with its chaotic comedy, bewitching poems, plus the extra bonus of a special guest musician.
Kate Rusby, Grove Theatre, Dunstable, April 7
Of all the stars in folk music’s wondrous firmament, few shine as brightly as Yorkshire’s Kate Rusby.
Kate’s career spans over 25 years and has placed her as one of the finest interpreters of traditional folk songs and one of Britain’s most emotive and original songwriters.
The crossover appeal Kate enjoys is unprecedented for a folk singer and has been achieved without resort to compromise, with Rusby’s singing and engaging Yorkshire wit and the intuitive support of the band proving popular with audiences worldwide.
So You Think You Know About Dinosaurs?, Grove Theatre, Dunstable, April 8
Dinosaur aficionado Ben Garrod stars in this hit stage show, which will take audiences on a prehistoric adventure through an interactive and educational show. With the help of TV film footage from BBC’s Planet Dinosaur and photos of his own palaeontological dinosaur digs, he will tell everything about dinosaurs - and more. Dr Ben Garrod is an English evolutionary biologist, primatologist and broadcaster and a teaching fellow at Anglia Ruskin University. He completed a doctorate at University College London and the Zoological Society of London. Ben has presented several television shows, including Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur with Sir David Attenborough, Hyper Evolution: Rise of the Robots for BBC Four and The Day the Dinosaurs Died on BBC Two. He also presented his own award-winning series for the BBC called Secrets of Bones. This hit live show will talk audiences through the deadliest predators that ever roamed the planet such as Tyrannosaurus rex, Allosaurus and Spinosaurus, and test the knowledge of those brainy young minds.