From a classic fairytale to a music legend, there's much to enjoy...
Sleeping Beauty: A New Musical, Grove Theatre, Dunstable, August 24 and 25
This classic fairy tale is being brought to life with original music and a host of magical characters. The King and Queen are throwing a party to celebrate the birth of their beautiful daughter, Princess Aurora. Everyone is invited – everyone apart from Narcissus, a cruel and wicked fairy. When Narcissus discovers she hasn’t been invited to the birthday celebrations she gatecrashes... and curses the baby Princess. It is left up to the good fairies, Bluebell, Primrose and Tulip, to try to save the day. Narcissus’ dark magic is so powerful that the good Fairies can’t stop it but they can alter it; rather than die by pricking her fingers on a spinning wheel Aurora will fall into a deep sleep and can only be saved by a true love’s kiss. Some 16 years later, as Aurora is getting ready for her birthday party, Narcissus arrives disguised as a kind old lady, and tempts Aurora away. Aurora is taken to an unexplored room in the castle where she sees a spinning wheel for the first time and is so intrigued she pricks her finger, falling asleep instantly. Bluebell, Primrose and Tulip cannot bear to tell the King and Queen what has happened and so they use their magic again and send the whole kingdom into a deep sleep.Discover what will become of the sleeping princess – and whether true love will save the day. The show promises colourful sets, fairytale costumes, lively songs and dance numbers.
Van Morrison, Wrest Park, August 31
One of music’s undisputed true originals, Van Morrison’s matchless songwriting and vocal talents have seen him produce a remarkable body of material. His long career has seen him traverse everything from British
R&B in which he originally made his name to jazz, Celtic and soul. Van has been responsible for countless classic songs, including Brown Eyed Girl, Gloria, Here Comes The Night, Jackie Wilson Said, Bright Side Of The Road and Have I Told You Lately. Over the course of his 50-year career, Van Morrison has been recognised with awards and accolades such as a Knighthood, a Brit, an OBE, an Ivor Novello, six Grammys, and honourary doctorates from Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Ulster. Special guests for the show at Wrest Park will be The Waterboys.
The folk-rock band, formed by Mike Scott in Edinburgh in 1983, are known for their Celtic-tinged hits such as Fisherman’s Blues and The Whole of The Moon.
Private Lives, Harlington Manor, August 25 and 26
Shooting Stars Theatre Company presents Noel Coward’s witty comedy.
4 OPEN-AIR CINEMA
Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa, August 24 to September 2
It’s a chance to watch some of your favourite films in a setting like no other. Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa’s open air cinema is set in the surrounds of the South Lake on its 1,065-acre estate. Four Weddings and a Funeral, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Dirty Dancing, Grease, The Greatest Showman and Top Gun are all being screened.
Bear Club, Luton, various dates
There’s still plenty to enjoy at the Bear Club this month. The Tango Jazz Quartet from Argentina visit on August 25. They mix the melodic and rhythmic patterns of tango with the harmonies and improvisation of jazz. This new approach to Tango and jazz has received an enthusiastic reaction in Argentina and around the world. The Soul Food Poetry night returns on August 29 with an array of spoken-word talent, and on August 31 the Tom Ridout Quartet perform a mix of originals, jazz standards, folk and the odd Beatles’ number. The members of the band are all rising stars of the jazz world, so it promises to be a memorable night of music. And for those who prefer a different pace, there’s a Slow Night on August 23, when Clod Magazine DJs explore acoustic jazz eras, plus exotic, quixotic and rarified sounds, played on a record player and digital device. Guitarist Marius Ptas plays at the venue on August 24.