From a visit by Shrek to a feast of artistic delights, there's plenty to enjoy...
IF: Milton Keynes International Festival 2018, July 20 to 29
Giant insects stalking the city streets, an immersive night-time adventure in the woods, a Circus Hub in a shopping centre, a new composition for multiple bicycle bells, a political ghost train ride – it’s all happening in Milton Keynes over the next few days. The festival promises to transform the spaces of Milton Keynes and invite people to see a different side of the city with 10 days of new outdoor theatre, large and small-scale performance, circus, stand-up comedy, live music, family activities and free events.
Shrek the Musical, Milton Keynes Theatre, July 25 to August 5
Based on the story and characters from the Oscar-winning film, the show turns the world of fairytales upside down in an all-singing, all-dancing musical comedy. Join Shrek and his loyal steed Donkey as they set off on a quest to rescue Princess Fiona from her tower, guarded by a fire breathing love-sick dragon.
Eliza Carthy & the Wayward Band, The Stables Spiegeltent, Campbell Park, Milton Keynes, July 25
The pioneering English traditional folk powerhouse that is Eliza Carthy MBE first assembled the Wayward Band in 2013 in order to explore and celebrate her long and varied career in folk music. They’ll be championing the vibrancy of today’s traditional music scene with a big band and big sound.
Flashdance - The Musical, Milton Keynes Theatre, until July 21
Flashdance - The Musical is the inspiring and unforgettable story of Alex, a determined welder who dreams of becoming a professional dancer. The score includes the smash hits Maniac, Gloria, I Love Rock & Roll and, of course, Flashdance... What a Feeling.
Elizabeth & Jameson, The College Arms, Cranfield, July 20
A collaboration between two rising stars of the UK folk/pop/rock scene, Elizabeth & Jameson comprise Hannah Elizabeth of Said The Maiden and Griff Jameson from Fred’s House. Expect classic songwriting at its best: a stripped back, harmony-driven sound with guitar, violin and vocals.
Comedy Cow, Red Dot Bar, Stadium:MK, Milton Keynes, July 20
Opening the night is Simon Brodkin, best known as his alter ego, Lee Nelson, having become a household name on BBC’s Live at The Apollo and Lee Nelson’s Well Good Show. Joining him will be support from acts Patrick Spicer and Edy Hurst and the host for the evening is Meryl O’Rourke. Headlining is Markus Birdman.
Gala Summer Spectacular, Milton Keynes City Church, Saxon Gate West, July 22
Cornerstone Chamber Choir and Orchestra present a programme including Gloria by John Rutter, Hubert Parry’s Blest Pair of Sirens and a selection from West Side Story. The centrepiece is the Symphonie Espagnole of Lalo, with the outstanding young violinist Cristian Grajner Desa as soloist.
Details: Call 07961 348697
Levellers Acoustic, The Stables, Wavendon, July 20
The evergreen politically aware rock rabble-rousers return with acoustic versions of classics including What a Beautiful Day and One Way.
Dinosaur World, Milton Keynes Theatre, until July 21
Remarkable puppetry brings prehistoric creatures to life in a treat for all the family.
10 PERFORMING ARTS
Phoenix Rising, Cock Hotel, Stony Stratford, July 26
The group for young people with support needs is holding an open mic night, with plenty of opportunity for rising stars to show their talents with a microphone.