Five of the best things to do in and around Milton Keynes in the next seven days
From classic hits to a fresh telling of a Christmas favourite, there's plenty to enjoy...
1 OPERAGlyndebourne’s La traviata Behind the Curtain, Milton Keynes Theatre, November 29What makes Verdi’s La traviata one of the most popular and powerful operas of all time? Discover the answer as Glyndebourne invites theatregoers behind the scenes of this heart-breaking musical love-story in La traviata: Behind the Curtain. Following on from the success of Don Giovanni: Behind the Curtain in 2016, Glyndebourne returns with a new operatic event that will explore just some of the secrets of this uniquely rich art form. Watch as La traviata is taken apart and put back together again, and see just how Verdi turns the screw on this emotionally charged story in his memorable, tune-filled music. Details: atgtickets.com/MiltonKeynes
2 THEATREA Christmas Carol, Stantonbury Theatre, November 30Celebrating the 175th anniversary of the publication of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, European Arts Company returns with its authentic and refreshing adaptation of this timeless tale. Tom Paris’s design welcomes audiences into Dickens’ intimate study, a warm, inviting environment full of festive cheer and hidden surprises. The set is based on Dickens’ own London rooms and takes inspiration from a rich tradition of Victorian illusion, imagination and early theatrical trickery. Charles Dickens originally wanted to be an actor and A Christmas Carol was the first public performance he gave of his own work. After his opening night he said: “The success was most wonderful and prodigious – perfectly overwhelming and astounding altogether!” Dickens enacted the work more than 150 times and the effect on the public was remarkable; he became known for his magnetic stage presence, riveting eyes, expressive voice and wonderful powers of characterisation. This production, adapted from Dickens’ own public reading scripts and eyewitness accounts of him on stage, recreates the spirit of Dickens’ original perform-ances.Details: stantonburytheatre.co.uk
3 MUSICSoul II Soul – featuring Jazzie B & Caron Wheeler, Arena MK, November 30With huge hits including Keep On Movin’, which sold over a million copies in the US alone, and the UK number one single Back To Life (However DoYou Want Me), Soul II Soul progressed from being one of the leaders of the 1980’s warehouse scene to pioneering British black music around the world, and securing commercial success for themselves and the huge amount of artiststhey have influenced.Details: arenamk.com
4 THEATREVentoux, Stantonbury Theatre, November 29Ventoux is the story of Lance Armstrong and Marco Pantani – whose drug-fuelled race there in 2000 was the greatest cycling had ever seen. Their epic rivalry will be re-staged using a pair of roadbikes with a video accompani-ment.Details: stantonburytheatre.co.uk
5 MUSICThe Barron Knights, The Stables, Wavendon, December 1The evergreen comedy band are back with their most-loved parodies and plenty of new singalongs.Details: stables.org