From one of Britain's favourite comics to a moving modern musical masterpiece, there's much to enjoy...
Dara Ó Briain: Voice of Reason, Milton Keynes Theatre, October 11
Dara is one of the most recognisable faces on British TV and is returning to his day job as a world-class stand-up comedian. His new show has received widespread critical acclaim. The Guardian described his show as “a masterclass in intelligent, no-frills stand-up”, with the Evening Standard hailing a “superfit mind that is so fast you have to wear your best trainers to keep up with it”. Known for his gift for audience interaction, comedy fans can expect provocative observations and sharp wit. As well as his adept comedic work, Dara is one of the most in-demand faces on TV as host of BBC 2’s hugely successful Mock The Week, Stargazing Live, Robot Wars and Dave’s Go8Bit.
In 2017, Dara’s first children’s book, Beyond The Sky: You and the Universe, was published by Scholastic UK. Dara’s second non-fiction children’s book, Secret Science: The Amazing World Beyond Your Eyes, is published next month.
The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace, Milton Keynes Theatre, October 14
Bedford Choral Society is joining forces with the Danesborough Chorus to sing Karl Jenkins’ acclaimed composition to commemorate 100 years since the end of the First World War. The texts include extracts from the Catholic Mass, the Islamic call to prayer, Hindu and Japanese sources, the Bible and famous literary works. Jenkins’ accessible music incorporates many moods and styles, with military marches, Gregorian chant, dancing tunes, catchy rhythms and a few theatrical touches. Milton Keynes City Orchestra will accompany the performance and open the programme with Serenade for Strings by Antonín Dvořák.
Guys and Dolls, Stantonbury Theatre, October 17 to 20
Considered by many to be the quintessential musical comedy, Guys and Dolls is the story of crapshooter Nathan Detroit, his long-suffering fiancée Adelaide, gambler Sky Masterson and missionary Sarah Brown. Guys and Dolls is crammed full of much-loved numbers, including Luck be a Lady, Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat and Take Back Your Mink. It’s presented by Company MK, which has been producing high-quality theatre in Milton Keynes for more than 20 years.
The SaraBeth Trio, The Stables, Wavendon, October 17
Individual solo artists in their own right, SaraBeth, Glen Mitchell and Vickie Vaughn have come together to form harmony powerhouse The SaraBeth Trio. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, the Texas, London and Kentucky natives boast chart-topping songs, Grand Ole Opry performances, industry awards and world tours between them.
Oxjam Music Festival, Brewhouse and Kitchen, Theatre District, October 13 and 14
Expect genres from folk to rap and rock to soul, featuring performances from local but emerging artists and DJs such as Dale May, Dolly Mavies and The Last Baron, just to name a few, all to raise money for Oxfam.