The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Hertfordshire Edition

Muddying about this week

14 Feb 2017

The sun is out, we’re shucking off our winter colds, things are looking up. Time to boot up and get out.

James Mayhew paints to the Four Seasons, Broadway Theatre, Letchworth, Sun 5 March

Performance illustration classical music mash up in the drop dead gorgeous new Broadway theatre. Get in! And be quick, James Mayhew tells me that tickets are selling faster than you can say Vivaldi backwards. James, you may or may not know, is the creator of Katie and Ella Bella. He’s local. He’s good. David’s Bookshop has a whole wall dedicated to his books! This is how it’ll work: Realm of Music, the Baroque chamber orchestra, will play the Four Seasons, and James will highlight moments in the music by drawing them. I imagine this will be on an easel? Perhaps an overhead projector? Who knows. So it’ll be a case of: Hark! Is that a dog barking? And lo, a Jack Russell will appear. Is that rain? James will busy himself drawing sheets of rain. D’you get the picture? Arrive early to hang out in the swanky new theatre bar. 2.30pm


Chorleywood Film Festival, Memorial Hall, Fri 17 – Sun 19 Feb

Lively local film group hosts a festival in the Chorleywood Memorial Hall this weekend. Watch the classic short Parisian film The Red Balloon, admire Kristin Scott Thomas in Suite Francaise and wallow in nostalgia with the King and I. There’s also a young film makers event on Saturday.

Chorleywood Film Festival

Tom Kerridge, St Clements Danes School, Weds 15 Feb

A jaw-dropping weight loss story. Tom Kerridge is the famed chef who has dropped several blue-and-white check trouser sizes by eating food that triggers the happy hormone in your brain. Is that the chocolate diet? This event is organised by the brilliant Chorleywood Bookshop which continues to attract big names. 7.30pm.


Francesca Leonardi and Nigel Clayton, Benslow Music, Hitchin, Fri 17 Feb

Two pianists, one Italian, one British, play Mozart, Ravel and Gershwin in the first country’s first Rural Piano School. Benslow has day and residential music courses and these two pianists are both tutors at the school. 8pm.

Benslow Music

Sunil Pawar at HERE, until Tues 28 Feb

Artist Sunil Pawar chose to leave the crazily hip East London art scene to paint in a studio in Berkhamsted. Really? Yes. Since then he has worked with restaurant Here on various projects including tea towels – that’s the kind of artistic opportunity that opens up in Herts – but he seems to be happy with his lot. I popped in the other evening and I liked what I saw. The gallery space is upstairs so you might want to have coffee or something stronger but it’s also fine just to swing by and have a look. Sunil is a DJ as well as an artist.  He has worked with – get this – Kanye West, Kelis, Harvey Nicks and Comme Des Garcons Tokyo.  And he lives in Berko!

Here, Berkhamsted

Giselle, Hertford Theatre, Sun 19 Feb

Good toes, naughty toes. With knobs on! A full corps de ballet with 24 international dancers jumping onto the stage in Hertford in a production by Ballet Theatre UK. It’s the story of a young girl who falls in love but then her heart is broken when she finds out he is already betrothed to another. We’ve heard that one before. What follows is a tragedy that kind of gets worse. But there’s something magical about ballet when you see it live, and apparently even watching dance activates a whole area of creativity in your brain which might be dormant. And you even get to meet the dancers after the show.


David Hockney, Tate Britain, until Mon 29 May

An artist who has always painted what he likes, when he likes and where he likes, David Hockney will be celebrating his 80th birthday this year. This retrospective at Tate Britain spans six decades of his extraordinary work. Prepare to travel through location and media: London, LA, Bridlington and the Grand Canyon; photography, print, drawing, painting and video. It’s the fastest ever selling exhibition at Tate Britain, so be quick!


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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Hertfordshire Edition