What’s On: Muddy Herts Guide 28 Jan-3 Feb 2016
Loads to get you out and about this week, whatever it is that floats your social boat. Or you could just stay home and watch the telly, I suppose.
Follow Me Launch with Angela Clarke, Waterstones, St. Albans, 30 Jan, 7pm
If you’re already read and enjoyed Follow Me, by local author and columnist Angela Clarke – or you want to snap up a copy – then head over to St Albans this Saturday evening for the launch party. She’ll be talking about her book, reading from it, and answering questions – and there’ll be cocktails (and mocktails) and nibbles. It’s a great read – dark, modern, and a bit gruesome. I’ll be there, with Mr C in tow, although I’m not sure whether that’s a reason to come or not…
What Would Spock Do? The Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead, 30 Jan, 8pm
One for the Trekkies among us – or maybe for those who have to live with them. It’s a comedy about Gary – a closet fan who has to decide whether to come out when the new girl at work turns up with a Spock haircut (really?) and one of those upside-down triangle badges. Will he be true to himself – or keep his geeky ways to himself?
Rhapsody and Two Pigeons, Watford Palace Theatre, 31 Jan, 2pm
I’m rapidly becoming a big fan of the delayed live screening (and I will admit to having been a bit sniffy about the idea at first). This one’s coming from the Royal Opera House, and it’s a double bill of Frederick Ashton – the first half is his setting of Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, all passion and turbulence, and the second is a complete contrast with his rarely-performed and delicately comic The Two Pigeons.
Bound, Harlow Playhouse, Harlow, 3 Feb, 7.30pm
Bound sounds very intense – and very interesting. Inspired by accounts of human trafficking (it’s not going to be a light one, this one), it explores the experiences and reactions of three very different characters through physical theatre, music, projection and circus. And instead of a ticket price, there’ll be a collection box at the end of the performance for you to Pay What You Can.
Craft or Art? Bushey Museum & Art Gallery, until 14 Feb
This exhibition at the Bushey Museum and Art Gallery blurs the lines between art-with-a-capital-A and crafts. A show by five artists – or are they craftspeople? — there are necklaces, mixed media landscapes, stained glass, sculptural reliefs, and pottery. Sounds lovely.
Robert Kiln Concert: Little Monsters, Hertford Theatre, Hertford, 31 Jan, 2.30pm and 4.15pm
This one looks like a great way to get any little ones you might have lying around out and listening to a selection of the classics. The Hertford Symphony Orchestra will cheer up your monsters — with the story of Bernard and the monster at the bottom of the garden, as well as The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, The Hall of The Mountain King, Imperial Death March and Night on a Bare Mountain, and more.
Jo Brand — A Work in Progress, Radlett Centre, Radlett, 2 Feb, 8pm
Great chance to catch Jo Brand and inimitably blunt humour at a great little venue in Herts. She’s trying out brand new stand-up material, so it’ll be nothing you’ve heard before. She’s not done stand up for a while – doing the panel shows, hosting Bake Off’s Extra Slice, writing and starring in Getting On, writing novels, hosting telly programmes, giving Lord Sugar what for, that sort of thing. But now she’s back out on the road. There are still some tickets, apparently, but I’m not sure there will be for long.
A Vintage Affair, Church House, Hitchin, Sat 30 Jan, 10.30am-4pm
Fancy a bit of a rummage? The Vintage Affair fairs are always stuffed full of good stuff – perfect if you want to bag yourself a pre-loved bargain. And there’s loads of other great stuff to see in Hitchin while you’re there.
Tom Stade – You’re Welcome!, Alban Arena, 4 Feb, 8pm
Tom Stade, lots of people’s favourite Canadian export (after maple syrup, of course), will be in St Albans this week. Lots of deliciously wicked improv and ruminations on how flippin’ odd life can be. If you can’t make it to the St Albans gig, though, never fear: he’ll be at the Court Theatre in Tring on 13 May as well (nothing like planning ahead).
Stevenage Winter Beer Festival, Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage, 4-6 Feb
Way to warm up this winter – head to Stevenage for the Winter Beer and Cider Festival. Three whole days devoted to brewing, with more than 80 varieties of beer, cider and perry. Not sure you’ll get through them all, but it’d be fun trying.
Escaped Alone, Royal Court Theatre, Belgravia, 25 Jan-12 March
A new play by Caryl Churchill? Don’t mind if I do. Escaped Alone brings together 3 old friends and a neighbour, a summer of afternoons in the back yard – as well as a spot of tea and catastrophe. Sounds brilliant.
Eddie Izzard: Force Majeure Reloaded, Palace Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, 25 Jan-20 Feb
He’s just funny. End of. Eddie Izzard has been touring his ‘Force Majeure’ for 3 years now in 28 countries, performing it in the local language everywhere he goes (the clever sausage). Now he’s back in London, with all sorts of extra bits added in from his travels. There’s Darth Vader and God duelling over spaghetti carbonara. A Martin Luther skit performed in German. A surreal gag where a French king meets a dolphin. And all in high heels. Love ‘im.