The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Herts Edition

Muddy Herts Guide 5-11 Jan 2017

5 Jan 2017

I invite you to resist the urge to hibernate this weekend and to get out and try at least one new thing. It’ll make you feel better, I promise!

John Myers: The World Is Not Beautiful, UH Galleries, Thurs 5- Sat 21 Jan

And they called it Puppy Love…I am so going to this exhibition. Not only did I sport tank tops, I also had a fair few Donny and bros posters on my bedroom wall. I even had a subscription to Osmonds’ World magazine. Surely these must now be worth a few bob? Hold on to your velvet peaked cap: John Myers’s exhibition will send you right back to the Seventies with his black and white portraits and landscapes. Put on your velvet flares, mix a Snowball, and heat up a Vesta curry. Tinned peaches and Bird’s Dream Topping for pud.

Portrait 31

UH Galleries, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, AL10 9AB  John Myers: The World Is Not Beautiful

Pink fizz launch, Frithsden Vineyard, Sat 7 Jan

This isn’t a launch with pink fizz, this is a launch of a pink fizz. Frithsden Vineyard is a very special place, almost a little bit of Provence in West Herts. It’s not far from the Ashridge Estate, and all the wine is grown, pressed and bottled on site. The launch party will include a tour of the vineyard, free tastings and a barbecue.

pink-fizz

Frithsden Vineyard Hemel Hempstead, HP1 3DD

Pirates, Pants and Wellyphants: The Illustrated World of Nick Sharratt, Hitchin Town Hall, Fri 6 – Sat 21 Jan

For fans of Tracy Beaker, would-be illustrators and anyone wanting to boost their own creativity, you should get down (or go up) to Hitchin Town Hall. Nick Sharratt’s studio has been recreated, and there are activities for all. Create your own Sharracter and thumb through some of Nick’s old sketchbooks. You can even design your own pair of pants.

pirates

Nick Sharratt at Hitchin Town Hall Brand Street, Hitchin SG5 1JE

Pudding Walk, Ashridge Estate, Fri 6 – Mon 9 Jan

If your stomach feels more rounded than it did before the holidays, then why not attempt to work it off with fellow woodland stompers? This walk seems rather adult, and is sadly not recommended for those with young children or buggies, which suggests that it might be quite a challenging hike. Rather than follow the crumbs, you follow the puddings. Sturdy footwear is advised. I can only think that it’ll build up an appetite for cake. Meet at the visitor centre.

ashridge snow

Pudding Walk Ashridge Estate, Moneybury Hill, Berkhamsted, HP4 1LX

Que Pasa Quintet, Rhodes Theatre, Bishop’s Stortford, Weds 11 Jan

I know this isn’t everybody’s cup of tea (or teacup of gin) but I do like a bit of jazz. And for anyone else who does like jazz, this midweek offering is free! Que Pasa is the resident jazz quintet at Rhodes, and we’re talking sax, trumpet, drums, bass and keys. The band has played with Nina Simone if you don’t mind. And they’ve even worked with Grace Jones (and let’s face it, that can’t be easy) and Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Finger clicking and nodding with closed eyes optional. There’ll also be a bit of Cuban to add to the jazz, modern and homegrown mix. What is home grown when it’s at home?

jazz-quintet

Que Pasa Quintet Rhodes Theatre, Bishop’s Stortford,

Cinderella, Hertford Theatre, Weds 11- Sun 15 Jan 

Cinderella, you *shall* go to the Strictly Come Dancing Ballroom! That’s definitely how it goes, right? A traditional family pantomime with a few special twists to spice things up, this panto boasts a bit of Strictly – but who will be crowned the winner? Will the evil Prince spoil everyone’s fun? Of course, there will be audience participation (Oh yes there will!) and musical hits from Frozen and Lady Gaga. How about that for a panto?

cinderella

Cinderella Hertford Theatre, The Wash, SG14 1PS

The Wedding Show, Knebworth Barns, Sat 7 – Sun 8 Jan

Between now and 14 Feb is the most popular time for that question to be popped, and apparently there were record proposals over Christmas. Engagement rings this year promise to be either art-deco inspired sparklers (think Pippa Middleton) or boho stacks. When it comes to wedding styles this summer, will it still be hay bales and silent discos? This weekend the Knebworth Barns will be packed to the rafters with people who offer all things bridal, from photographers to florists and cake makers. You can also see what the best dressed brides and grooms will be wearing at fashion shows throughout both days. Chimney Menswear, a shop that is in our very own Little Black Book, will also visiting from nearby Royston. And to feel truly authentic, the organisers have laid on live music and a champagne bar.

wedding-show

The Wedding Show, Knebworth Barns, Knebworth Country Park, SG3 6PY

Erotica 2017, Nude Tin Can Gallery, St Albans, Fri 6 Jan – Weds 1 Feb

Happy Nude Year. A new figurative art exhibition exploring erotica from three artists: Mike Nicoll, Claire Valentine Gibson and Kevina Labonne.

erotica

Nude Tin Can Gallery 125 Hatfield Road, St Albans AL1 4JS

The Tempest, Royal Shakespeare Company delayed live screening, Watford Palace Theatre, Weds 11 Jan

Simon Russell Beale plays Prospero in this production by Gregory Doran where a collaboration with Intel (yes, the very same) leads to special effects that could definitely blow your muddy socks off…possibly quite literally. Magician Prospero wreaks revenge on the men who deprived him of his position, power and wealth. Able to control the very elements and nature of the island, he creates a huge magical storm and shipwrecks his enemies on the shore. They wake up in a fantastical world where nothing is as it seems…

the-tempest

Tickets Watford Palace Theatre, 20 Clarendon Road, WD17 1JZ

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Herts Edition