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The Old Town Hall, Hemel

Muddy says: The Old Town Hall in Hemel is a buzzing arts space with music, comedy and drama that delights and surprises. The building itself could tell a few tales: Eddie Izzard, Steve Coogan, Paul Merton and Jack Dee have all performed here.

Have you ever visited the Old Town High Street in Hemel Hempstead? No? You’re in for a treat. It’s quirk central, with cobbles, independent shops, cafes and restaurants. Taking  pride of place is The Old Town Hall, a building that has a patina of laughter and song from performances that have been bringing the house down since 1978. The building itself has been here since 1852. I feel it’s appropriate to name drop to set the scene. In addition to Eddie Izzard and co, may I also mention Ruby Wax, Jo Brand, Alan Davies, Ardal O’Hanlon, Kate Beckinsale, Mark Thomas and Lucy Porter? You should take a look at this season’s programme. I think you’ll be impressed.

On arrival you’ll find a theatre with 120 seats; a regular programme of comedy and music in The Cellar Club, and inspiring art in the Robert Adams Gallery. And yes, of course there’s a café with WiFi. The gallery is open from Mon – Fri, 10:30am – 5:30pm.  And don’t panic. The bar opens one hour before evening shows. One last thing, the views of St Mary’s Church, which has the tallest church spire in the world, are truly stunning.

From September 2018, The Old Town Hall will be celebrating its 4oth birthday with Festival at Forty.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Hertfordshire