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The Alban Arena

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The Alban Arena

The 800-seat Alban Arena is the most visited arts venue in St Albans. It hosts a varied programme of national touring shows, concerts, comedy, films, exhibitions and pantomime. Drinks, ice cream and confectionary available. Free parking after 6.30pm. Pick up an events brochure, view a seating plan, or join the priority mailing list.

See below for Alban Arena event listings:

What's on at the Alban Arena

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  • Sun 23 May - The UK Rock Show

    7:30 PM

    Front Doors Open: 6.30pm Auditorium: 7pm Show Starts: 7.30pm To alleviate large queues we ask that you arrive in good time as there are bag searches in place. Where possible please bring small bags with you. From the producers of the hugely popular Bon Jovi Forever ‘One Wild Night Tour’Harder Rock Productions is Proud to bring you ‘The UK Rock Show’.Get ready to be transported back to the 80s heyday of classic rock, combining the feel of a rock festival with the atmosphere of a top end rock arena tour. Expect fireworks, flames, amazing lighting and exacting attention to detail as this amazing 5 piece band, who have numerous recording credits and having travelled the Globe extensively, recreate hits from rock gods such as Journey, Aerosmith, Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, Kiss, AC/DC, Van Halen and many more!If you are a fan of live classic rock this is the show for you! To alleviate large queues we ask that you arrive in good time as there are bag searches in place. Where possible please bring small bags with you. Book Tickets

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  • 7:30 PM

    Front Doors Open: 6.30pm Auditorium: 7pm Show Starts: 7.30pm To alleviate large queues we ask that you arrive in good time as there are bag searches in place. Where possible please bring small bags with you. A Night To Remember – The Joe Longthorne Songbook is a show that celebrates the music and the life of the singers singer! The show features star of TV star and musical theatre Andrew Lancel – DI Neil Mason in The Bill and most recently Captain Von Trapp in the Sound of Music. He is joined by very special guest Tracey Jordan, one of Joe’s backing singers, and the Joe Longthorne Band under the directorship of Andy Mudd, Joe’s musical director.Endorsed by Joe’s husband Jamie, images of Joe and video footage of him at home and on stage will feature on screen. Tracey will also sing the duet You Don’t Bring Me Flowers with Joe as they did on many shows. The production also features all the big songs that the Joe’s fans love to hear –Mary In The Morning, Don’t Cry Out Loud, Wind Beneath My Wings, My Mother’s Eyes, If I never Sing Another Song and many more.www.aimshows.co.uk To alleviate large queues we ask that you arrive in good time as there are bag searches in place. Where possible please bring small bags with you. Book Tickets

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  • Fri 28 May - The Counterfeit Stones

    8:00 PM

    Front Doors Open: 7pm Auditorium: 7.30pm Show Starts: 8pm To alleviate large queues we ask that you arrive in good time as there are bag searches in place. Where possible please bring small bags with you. Why pay a fortune to see ants in a stadium when for a fraction of the price you can get up close and smell the faking brilliance of the Counterfeit Stones – described as a Rolling Stones’ hooky masterpiece. Their latest fast shuffle – NOT FAKE AWAY, promises yet another night of utter Copy-Rock. Now in their 29th year, these fraud-stars continue to deliver the best “mock ‘n’ roll” show on the circuit. Packed with big hits, retro fashion, vintage guitars and a huge dollop of “Spinal Tap” humour, it’s Satis-fiction guaranteed. So “Come On” all you Honky Tonks and Pretend The Night Together!IT’S PHONEY ROCK ‘N’ ROLL AND YOU’LL LIKE IT!“The most famous Stones band in England” SIR MICK JAGGER“They’re hilarious” JERRY HALL“Four out of five stars” THE TIMES“Your contribution was much remarked upon” BUCKINGHAM PALACE“Better than the originals” THE GUARDIAN“They brought back my youth” SIR TIM RICE To alleviate large queues we ask that you arrive in good time as there are bag searches in place. Where possible please bring small bags with you. Book Tickets

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  • 7:30 PM

    Front Doors Open: 6.30pm Auditorium: 7pm Show Starts: 7.30pm To alleviate large queues we ask that you arrive in good time as there are bag searches in place. Where possible please bring small bags with you. A Journey Into The Mind Of The Rock ’n Roll Alien

Take an incredible two hour trip through the finest work of David Bowie. This group of rock musicians, artists and performers recreate Bowie’s most iconic recordings in exquisite detail against a spell-binding backdrop of lights and visual magic.

With glowing endorsements from the likes of Rick Wakeman and Mike Garson this exciting show is a must for Bowie fans and the Bowie-Curious! From the dark depths of isolation and fractured reality of Berlin to the sheer celebration of Let’s Dance, the amazingly accurate Bowie Collective make it their mission to give you the Bowie show you always wanted – and will never forget.


“Excellent, you guys did it proud” – 
Rick Wakeman

“Congratulation, the best I’ve seen” – 
Mike Garson To alleviate large queues we ask that you arrive in good time as there are bag searches in place. Where possible please bring small bags with you. Book Tickets

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  • Mon 07 Jun - Ian Ashpitel & Jonty Stephens as Eric & Ern

    8:00 PM

    Front Doors Open: 7pm Auditorium: 7.30pm Show Starts: 8pm To alleviate large queues we ask that you arrive in good time as there are bag searches in place. Where possible please bring small bags with you. For all the family from 8 to 108 Eric and Ern is a brilliant homage to Morecambe and Wise crammed full of those famous comedy sketches, from Grieg’s Piano concerto, Mr Memory…’Arsenal’ to the paper bag trick!From the Olivier Award nominated duo Ian Ashpitel and Jonty Stephens, this nostalgic show evokes memories of a time when whole families would huddle around the telly on Sunday evenings. Bringing you sunshine, this show is full of Morecambe and Wise’s most loved routines, songs and sketches and who could forget the musical guest. This show hits all the right notes‘You have the giddy out of time illusion that you are watching the legendary double-act live’Independent‘I never thought I’d see Morecambe and Wise live – I think I just have!’
Ben Elton To alleviate large queues we ask that you arrive in good time as there are bag searches in place. Where possible please bring small bags with you. Book Tickets

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  • 7:30 PM

    *** CANCELLED*** – Customers will be contacted in due course with further information Front Doors Open: 6.30pm Auditorium: 7pm Show Starts: 7.30pm To alleviate large queues we ask that you arrive in good time as there are bag searches in place. Where possible please bring small bags with you. From the writers of the hit comedy Hormonal Housewives, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun is the brand-new musical comedy show that does exactly what it says on the tin.Starring –Linda Nolan (Nolan Sisters)Jess Wright (TV Personality)Niki Evans (X Factor Finalist)Leanne Jones (Olivier Award Winner)From the writers of the hit comedy Hormonal Housewives, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun is the brand-new musical comedy show that does exactly what it says on the tin.Join our four refreshingly honest and unreserved girls, the Legendary Linda Nolan, X FactorFinalist Niki Evans, TV Personality Jess Wright and Olivier Award Winner Leanne Jones as they take you on a riotous evening of laugh-out-loud sketches and classic pop anthems that define being a 21st Century woman. We take a no-holds-barred comedy romp through everything life throws at a modern day woman, dating, relationships, breakups, fashion, dieting, chocolate, more dieting, sex, going out, staying in, wine, more wine and of course, men. All are thrown under the microscope of uproarious dissection – no subject is too taboo!Get involved and come along to channel your inner diva because Girls Just Wanna Have Fun! *** CANCELLED*** – Customers will be contacted in due course with further information To alleviate large queues we ask that you arrive in good time as there are bag searches in place. Where possible please bring small bags with you. Book Tickets

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  • Thu 17 Jun - Elkie Brooks

    7:30 PM

    Front Doors Open: 6.30pm Auditorium: 7pm Show Starts: 7.30pm To alleviate large queues we ask that you arrive in good time as there are bag searches in place. Where possible please bring small bags with you. Long before the end of a live show and the frequent standing ovations that accompany it, there comes a point where Elkie does something so amazing that it leaves her audience almost spellbound. It could be a particularly emotional rendition of one of her ballads, a powerhouse blues vocal or one of her trademark impossibly long notes that leaves the audience mesmerised. Ray Coleman, the editor of the Melody Maker, summed that moment up brilliantly many years ago when he said ‘Midway through a haunting rendition of Lilac Wine you realised you were not witnessing a merely gifted singer but were in the presence of a superstar’. And at every concert there comes that palpable moment when the audience are left almost shell shocked and even Elkie herself knows she has done enough to leave no one unimpressed. Bathing in the glow of applause that follows Elkie will often say: ‘I think I am getting there, I still have my L plates on, I am still learning and practising everyday but I am getting there’ And that is the story of her last 50 years on the stage – It is not the arrival but the journey. In her mind she is always striving for perfection and by god it’s good to watch her as she tries. Most truly great artists never recognise what it is that makes them great and Elkie is no exception. To this day, she constantly strives to improve her vocals, her song writing and her performances. Never one to reflect on past successes, Elkie is known to dismiss some of her achievements and recordings by saying ‘I could do it so much better now’. She started in the business fighting to be heard and fighting for recognition, she fought hard for her audience, fought to be heard over bad bands, bad songs and bad management but she never gave up, she always carried on her career not really knowing where it would lead. It is this steely determination and hardened work ethic that has brought her legions of followers and allowed her the rare luxury of a loyal fan base 50 years after she started out on what has been and continues to be an incredible journey. The first step in her musical career started in 1960, when at the tender age of 15, the young Elaine Bookbinder entered a very early reality type show at Manchester’s Palace Theatre that promised to put the winner on a national pop package tour. Elkie was that winner, and that was the start of her life on the road and year one of the 50 year trip.The 60’s saw her struggling to find direction. She started out making a name for herself with Jazz, Blues and R&B which she loved and which inspires her every performance to this day. Success at this time eluded her and she was forced down ill-conceived pop routes that would lead to dead ends and for which she had no enthusiasm. In the early 60’s before she had got out of first gear, she was contemplating giving it all up.  Just to pay the rent Elkie endured the cabaret circuit, lightweight pop songs, being packaged as a pop starlet and the pressures from managers which all combined to make her deeply unhappy and to even doubt her own abilities. Her morale was low and the will to go on was wavering. Around this time the late great Humphrey Lyttelton invited her to be the guest vocalist with his renowned jazz band and here she came into her own, finally finding a direction she was comfortable with.  It was Humph and her love of Jazz that guided her on the road and gave her back the confidence and the belief that one day she would get there. Her relationship with Humph would last the rest of his life, they went on to make albums and perform together on and off for over 40 years.Elkie was deeply touched and honoured to help Humph on his final journey when after singing at his funeral in 2008 she was asked to scatter his ashes from a paraglider over the North Devon coast which she has made her home. Towards the end of the 60’s Elkie started to explore even more new directions and found herself in the Rock/Jazz fusion band Dada. Dada progressed into the hard rocking freewheeling R&B Vinegar Joe where she shared lead vocals with the late and highly talented Robert Palmer.  Elkie loved this direction, she threw herself into rock and became one of, if not the original ‘in your face rock chick’. The band achieved a huge cult following throughout Europe, the rock press had noticed her unique and raucous vocals and she was regularly tipped by those in the know as the ‘next big thing’. The Melody Maker went as far as making her the Face of 1973 and she almost  arrived big time, but with the break up of Vinegar Joe her journey in that particular direction came to an end. Her next step was a very brief foray into the acting world when she took the lead in Adrian Mitchell’s TV drama, Something Down There Is Crying, playing a singer who battled the drink fuelled excesses of the 70’s music scene. Everybody in the industry knew she was a talented performer who could sing almost any style of music but nobody really knew in what direction she should go next, should it be jazz, blues or rock? The answer came in 1977 with a song that transcends genre’s and married all of Elkie’s vocal abilities and 17 years of hard work into the million selling Pearl’s A Singer. Her journey was now rocket powered, she jumped in one leap from singing in pubs and clubs to selling out the Royal Albert Hall. By the end of the 70’s, more hit singles and hit albums later, she was on course for superstardom. As her career flourished, so did her personal life when Elkie was joined on her journey by illustrious sound engineer Trevor Jordan. They met and married in 1978, and in 1979 just two weeks after a massive tour their first son Jermaine ‘Jay’ Jordan was born. Even to this day Elkie comes as a package with the family behind her, supporting and guiding her and practically living on the road. Her frequent touring took her to every major venue in the country and led to appearances worldwide. Success followed success and in the early 80’s her two Pearls albums broke all records. Together they stayed in the charts for an incredible 105 weeks and Pearls became the biggest selling album by a female artist in UK history at the time.To the public, the press and the music industry she had well and truly arrived, there were no more goals to achieve or mountains to climb, she had scaled them all except perhaps her long standing desire to be known in America. But was the lady content to coast along the road? Not for one minute. Against opposition from managers, promoters and record companies she was already planning a change of direction and material that would take her back to her rock roots.  Elkie was now in a league of her own, with the confidence and success to do her own thing. She wrote and recorded rock and orchestral albums and in 1986 eclipsed the success of Pearl’s A Singer with her biggest hit single to date No More The Fool. This was yet another new peak when simultaneously Elkie held the top 5 single, top 5 album, the top 10 album and gave birth to her second son Joseph Jordan all in one week.  By the end of the 80’s, Elkie decided to continue her journey with just herself and her family, she dispensed with the trappings that surround a contracted recording artist and set about exploring new avenues and directions. The 90’s saw a run of pure jazz, unplugged and blues albums, all made from her home studio in Devon where she could work and enjoy her privacy, only interrupted every year when the whole family set out on a massive three month concert tour.By 1997 she had achieved 15 hit albums and a new milestone on her road was marked, when the Guinness Book of Records confirmed Elkie as having more top 75 albums than any other British female artist in the last two decades. In recent years Elkie’s career has taken her in many different directions, from contemporary to traditional jazz, and even to Nashville for some country flavoured inspiration. Now in 2010 almost thirty years since her last album of ballads and the sort of material that made her a household name, Elkie has decided to record an album of love songs and dramatic power ballads which includes the title track Powerless written by the legendary Don Black. Reviews of concerts in recent years, usually by critics that were not even born in the 70’s, are all highly complimentary and focus on the facts that ‘she can still do it, the voice is still there, she can still hit the notes’ etc. which is all very nice. But if only they realised that through 50 years of singing every day, constant touring and her desire to improve herself, technically the voice has grown, the range has grown, the power has increased and the control is absolute. There is no question that she can ‘still do it’. She is doing things she never could before and when she looks back at some of her old work and says ‘I could do it so much better now’ she is only stating the obvious.  Whilst the raw mechanics needed for a singer to sing are all in the best shape they have ever been, that is not what makes Elkie the singer she is today.  She has fought long and hard and that fighting spirit, that grit, determination and raw emotion are evident in every song she performs. She has the technical ability to take it easy and coast through any song making it sound as good as the recorded version. But she never takes the easy route, she immerses herself totally in the song, singing with a passion and depth of feeling few can match and the sheer joy is there for all to see.  The incredible journey of Elkie Brooks has reached a milestone of 50 years but she has not finished her travels yet. She is fighting fit, looking bloody amazing and more excited to be performing than when she first set out on the road. She is in full flight, all guns blazing, still aiming higher and it will be an honour and a privilege to watch any part of this unique journey.Written by Dave West To alleviate large queues we ask that you arrive in good time as there are bag searches in place. Where possible please bring small bags with you. Book Tickets

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  • 7:30 PM

    Front Doors Open: 6.30pm Auditorium: 7pm Show Starts: 7.30pm To alleviate large queues we ask that you arrive in good time as there are bag searches in place. Where possible please bring small bags with you. This dance and music extravaganza contains a wealth of Irish talent, an exciting 2-hour trip through hundreds of years of Irish dance and music, 22 award-winning World & Irish dance champions with 25 dazzling costume changes. Experience flailing fiddles, flutes, and inspiring dances along with live vocalists, all complimented by a top live Irish trad band of multi-instrumentalist musicians and a sensational sound and light show as seen on TV from China to California, from Siberia to Sydney. Worldwide, toes are tapping and hands are clapping to the feet of Rhythm of the Dance! Enjoy the 21st Anniversary tour of Rhythm of the Dance, over five million fans across fifty countries already have! To alleviate large queues we ask that you arrive in good time as there are bag searches in place. Where possible please bring small bags with you. Book Tickets

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  • Sun 11 Jul - Gyles Brandreth: Break a Leg!

    5:00 PM

    Front Doors Open: 4pm Auditorium: 4.30pm Show Starts: 5pm To alleviate large queues we ask that you arrive in good time as there are bag searches in place. Where possible please bring small bags with you. They say all political careers end in tears. In Brandreth’s case it’s tears of laughter as the actor, author, ex-MP, One Show reporter and QI, Have I Got News For You and Countdown star is back on tour with his new show celebrating all things theatrical. Without hesitation or repetition (and just a touch of deviation), Just a Minute regular Gyles delivers a dazzling evening of wit, wisdom, high drama, low comedy, and hilarious name-dropping.‘A master raconteur’ Telegraph. ’Total joy’ ScotsmanAge 11+ To alleviate large queues we ask that you arrive in good time as there are bag searches in place. Where possible please bring small bags with you. Book Tickets

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  • 7:30 PM

    Front Doors Open: 6.30pm Auditorium: 7pm Show Starts: 7.30pm To alleviate large queues we ask that you arrive in good time as there are bag searches in place. Where possible please bring small bags with you. ‘The Greatest Rock & Roll Band In The World’ is a bold statement but Showaddywaddy has lived up to that title for the last 4 decades!Formed in the 1970s in Leicester from several local bands, they have sold more than 20 million records and have toured all corners of the World extensively.Their live show is dynamic and uplifting featuring all of their biggest
hits, many of which reached number one in the pop charts of Europe. 
‘Under The Moon of Love’, ‘Three Steps to Heaven’, ‘Hey Rock & Roll’, ‘When’, ‘Blue Moon’, ‘Pretty Little Angel Eyes’ and many, many more.So come and join the ‘Dancin’ Party’… ‘You’ve Got What It Takes’! To alleviate large queues we ask that you arrive in good time as there are bag searches in place. Where possible please bring small bags with you. Book Tickets

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  • Thu 22 Jul - The Story Of Guitar Heroes

    7:30 PM

    Front Doors Open: 6.30pm Auditorium: 7pm Show Starts: 7.30pm To alleviate large queues we ask that you arrive in good time as there are bag searches in place. Where possible please bring small bags with you. “If you like music and guitars you will LOVE this show!”We all love a bit of guitar wielding in a song, it’s iconic, soulful and – oh what a beautiful instrument!Presented by guitar virtuoso Phil Walker – this show’s extraordinarily talented band uses over 30 guitars to recreate and accurately reproduce the sound and ambiance of each guitar hero. Featuring video footage of historical moments, with state-of-the-art lighting and delivered with a light hearted vibe – this makes for a truly sensational and enjoyable evening.Now in its 5th year, The Story of Guitar Heroes has become increasingly popular not only with many guitar players and musicians, but with people and families of all ages.Don’t miss out on this spectacular show. You won’t be disappointed! To alleviate large queues we ask that you arrive in good time as there are bag searches in place. Where possible please bring small bags with you. Book Tickets

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  • 7:30 PM

    Front Doors Open: 6.30pm Auditorium: 7pm Show Starts: 7.30pm To alleviate large queues we ask that you arrive in good time as there are bag searches in place. Where possible please bring small bags with you. The Simon and Garfunkel Story(50th Anniversary Tour)“Fantastic” – Elaine Paige, BBC Radio 2.“Authentic and Exciting” – The Stagewww.thesimonandgarfunkelstory.com To alleviate large queues we ask that you arrive in good time as there are bag searches in place. Where possible please bring small bags with you. Book Tickets

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Overview

  • Dates and times: Open Mon-Sat 10.30am-8pm. Open until 6pm on non-performance days.
  • Hire information: Contact venue for hire information.

Address and Contact info

  • Address: Civic Centre
  • Town: St Albans
  • County: Herts
  • Postcode: AL1 3LD

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Reviews

Armstrong and Miller, Alban Arena, 20 November 2010 - review by herts critic
If you’re not the parent of a tweeny, or if you don’t like middle of the road music or dance, it’s probably only the comedy line-up that would bring you to The Alban Arena. Among the many top comic names, Armstrong and Miller are arguably the most celebrated to stop in as part of their national tour. 

It’s their two most recognised characters who open the show, the two World War II airmen, parachuting into the Arena. It’s always tricky to explain comedy but the twist in this sketch is that the airmen speak with 1940’s Queen’s English accents, but their language is... like, that of young chavs? Many of the favourites from the series make an appearance: the pair of musicians whose songs are unexpectedly crude, the TV historian who inevitably destroys a ‘quite literally priceless’ piece of antiquity, the husband who returns home early but fails to realise despite blatant evidence that his wife is having an affair with his boss and best friend, and the regency dancers whose flirtation becomes extremely explicit.  

The most successful sketches involved audience participation: including the pair of female organic stallholders who instigate a food fight, the dentist whose outrageous conversation can’t be stopped by his patient, and Jim whose wife has jilted him on their wedding day. Arguably the best sketch was that of the apologising children’s TV presenters, who have ‘let down’ their audience and have to explain in age-appropriate language their exceedingly adult late-night capers, much of which have clearly made the press. There were only a few spots that didn’t quite hit the target: the neanderthal song about language development was difficult to follow, the vampires appearing at a get fit session slowed the pace, and the odd shoehorning in of local references to please the St Albans audience was a little lame. 

Armstrong and Miller are fine comic actors, and one wonders whether, especially with a live audience, they have played the show a little safe – could they push the subject matters a little more, or demonstrate the broad range of their talents with some darker or more challenging material? Nevertheless, they do offer an excellent evening’s entertainment. The pace never slackens, and they are consummate performers. And in any case, this reviewer is glad to be anonymous, just in case Armstrong’s character may pretend to be friendly, and then turn to his intercom and utter “KILL HIM!” Verdict: King of Herts (4 out of 5)

26 Nov 10
2010-11-26T11:16:57.0000000+00:00
4
The Alban Arena
fair play - review by rnk

OK so it's a bit sixties on the outside, and a bit schoolhall on the inside, but they do get some good acts in, now and again. [Nov 09]

12 Nov 09
2009-11-12T20:42:18.0000000+00:00
3
The Alban Arena
WOW! - review by freake1

My GF and I came to the Ice Show and it was awesome! When are they coming back! [Jun 09]

05 Jun 09
2009-06-05T12:29:34.0000000+01:00
4
The Alban Arena
Not for drinkers - review by richard8

The Arena is only a place for a drink in desperate emergencies - maybe at half time in a show. Limited choice and slow service. Need I say more? [Apr 09]

15 Apr 09
2009-04-15T14:06:08.0000000+01:00
1
The Alban Arena

60%

User Rating: 3 out of 5  ( 4 reviews )

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