From a macabre theatrical classic to a musical celebration of love, there's plenty to enjoy...
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Little Theatre, Dunstable, until July 28
Theatre group ACT, which has a reputation for staging a diverse range of theatrical productions to a high standard, has assembled a talented cast from across Bedfordshire for this production of the macabre classic. Christopher Bond’s play was seen in 1973 by Stephen Sondheim, inspiring the composer to create his globally successful musical of the same name. Director Alan Clarke said: “The play follows the same plot-line as many will know from Sondheim’s renowned musical, but it was written as a melodrama and as such requires a unique style of staging and performance. It has been a considerable challenge to stage this as there are many special effects and production demands, but we are confident we have a thrilling evening’s entertainment in store for anyone who comes to see the play. It’s dark, macabre but also very witty so that in amongst the horror there is some light relief.”
Alan added: “There have been many versions of the Sweeney Todd story, which was originally published in the mid-19th century as a ‘Penny Dreadful’ series of storybooks. Our audiences will no doubt enjoy finding out how it concludes, but with the quality of acting, lighting, sound, make-up and set on display, we are confident the audience will enjoy the journey just as much as the destination!”
The Mosquitos, Bear Club, Luton, July 27
The Mosquitos formed in 1977, but over the years the line-up has always shifted. The concept of the band is to use friends and musicians from a pool of great talent, playing original and classic British r’n’b. The line up for the Bear Club is Nick Robotham on vocals and harmonica, Andy Bentley on drums, Steve Aarron on guitar, Cliff Brown on guitar and Chris Wright on bass.
Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion, Bear Club, Luton, July 28
Zoë Schwarz Blue Commotion have made a considerable impact these past five years, and are one of the bands to have added a fresh approach and vibrancy to the UK blues scene. They are finalists in two categories in the 2018 UK Blues Awards and their live set is based around rootsy originals: strong catchy riffs, interesting arrangements. The rhythm section features Pete Whittaker on Hammond organ and Paul Robinson - who has played with Nina Simone, Van Morrison, The Proclaimers and Paul McCartney - on drums. Zoë Schwarz’s dynamic vocal delivery is described as “one part Janis Joplin, one Billie Holiday, and one Nina Simone”.
4 CONCERT SCREENING
Andre Rieu, Cineworld Luton, July 28
Music lovers can experience the magic of one of the most popular live acts in the world when André Rieu’s Maastricht concerts are screened in Luton. The ‘King of the Waltz’ will once again perform his hometown shows, this year with a celebration of love. Amore - My Tribute to Love is the renowned violinist’s tribute to his love for music, and his love for both of his families – his wife and children, and of course, for his Johann Strauss Orchestra, with which he has performed with for more than 30 years. It follows on from the release of his album Amore last year, which features his own versions of classic love songs from the worlds of popular and classical music. Set against the backdrop of the medieval town square, fans come annually from all corners of the world to watch André perform with his 60-piece Johann Strauss Orchestra, as well as sopranos, tenors, and some very special guests. The concerts are known for their humour, fun and emotion for all ages. Good Morning Britain presenter Charlotte Hawkins hosts the concert presentation, interviewing fans and sharing the joyous atmosphere – as well as catching André for an exclusive chat the moment he steps off stage.
Theatre in Museums: The Lost Letter, Wardown House, Museum and Gallery, August 1
When a mysterious letter arrives at the museum, it’s up to Max McDonald, Wardown’s trusty curator and you, a team of explorers, to uncover the truth.