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What’s On: Muddy Herts Guide 1-8 Oct 2015

First week of October?  How did that happen?  Anyway, the sun’s out, the leaves are turning, and there’s a chill in the air – and there’s loads going on in and around Herts this week.  I’ve picked out a few choice morsels for your delectation.  See you out there….

Hertford Children’s Book Festival, 1-7 Oct


There is loads going on in Hertford this week to keep any book-loving youngsters very, very happy – from the tiniest early readers to the yeah-whatever teens.  The list of events just goes on and on, and it all kicks off tonight with a great big gala evening at Hertford Theatre.  Then, there are events all over Hertford – some for schools, lots and lots open to the public – at the Theatre, Courtyard Arts, and Leaf Cafe.  Check it out, and get ready to go home with a pile of books and a newly-enthused little reader!

‘I believe in unicorns,’ Hertford Theatre, 2-3 Oct, 1.30pm


My eldest was lucky enough to see this award-winning performance at his school last year, and he was blown away by it – as was Michael Morpurgo himself, who describes it as a ‘tour de force’ and a ‘glorious example of the magic of storytelling.’  And now it’s coming to Hertford, as part of the Children’s Book Festival.  It’s all about Tomas, a boy who hates reading – but who then meets the Unicorn Lady at his local library.  And you can take along a favourite children’s book with you – it’ll end up as part of the set and then you get to swap it at the end, if you’d like to, for another book.  Sounds absolutely lovely.

Fun Palace, The Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead, 4 Oct, 11am-5pm


Hemel’s Old Town Hall is going to be transformed this Sunday into a full-on Fun Palace!  There are free (oh yeah) activities for kids all day long – things like paper making, graffiti art, drumming, Lego science, dance, drama, live music, origami, a smoothie bike (er…?) and a free screening of the Sponge Bob movie, should they need to sit down and chill for a bit.  Sounds like utter, glorious madness – and I bet the kids are going to love it.

Street Finale, St Albans Food and Drink Festival, 4 Oct, 12-6pm

 St Albans and Harpenden Food and Drink Festival 2015_tcm45-51084

The St Albans Food and Drink Festival comes to a delicious conclusion this weekend, filling the High Street up and down with food stalls, demonstrations, tasting and all sorts.  They’ve even got the Mayor cooking – just don’t let that chain get in the way, eh?  Lussman’s and Darcy’s will have pop-up restaurants (pause while I swoon at the thought of all that deliciousness), and the lovely Cookery Eatery will be there helping you get your teens enthused about cooking.  There’ll be street food, cocktails, you name it.  Get your eating boots on and get over there!

An Evening of Dirty Dancing, Radlett Centre, 1 Oct, 8pm

 dirty dancing

Sounds to me like a great night of nostalgia, song and dance, and sighing at the memory of Patrick Swayze.  This show has been touring all over, and has had some enthusiastic reviews.  Why not grab the girls for a bit of Dirty Dancing fun?  Just remember: no one puts Muddy in the corner.

Abigail’s Party, Rhodes Theatre, Bishops Stortford, 6-11 Oct


I just don’t think Mike Leigh’s play is ever going to get old – even though it’s gloriously rooted in the 70s.  Contexture Theatre, a professional theatre company based in Bishop’s Stortford, are bringing Abigail’s Party to the Rhodes stage next week, and it’s always a good one, this one.

Selma, University of Hertfordshire, 8 Oct, 6-8.30pm


So, the University of Hertfordshire might not be the first place you think of for a night out, but they often have some interesting events going on – some big ones in the Weston Auditorium, and some smaller ones across the campus.  As part of Black History Month, there’s a free screening of Selmathe recent movie depicting Martin Luther King Jr’s role in the US Civil Rights movement. You’ll need to book in advance, though – click here for that.

Paddy McGuiness, Watford Colosseum, 1 Oct, 7.30pm


Ok, hands up who’ll admit to watching Take Me Out?  It can’t be just me…  Paddy McGuiness does more than fix up complete strangers, though, and he’s back on the road with a stand-up show about being a dad for the first time.  Reckon he’s a bit of a Marmite comedian, mind you, but he’s in Watford this week if you do like him on your toast.

Ed Byrne, Alban Arena, 8 Oct, 8pm

 ed byrne

And more comedy.  Ed Byrne is coming to St Albans, and bringing his new show with him.  I’ve only seen him on panel shows, but his stand-up gets cracking reviews – more stars than you can shake a stick at.  Quite tempted to book a sitter for this one and head out on the town with Mr C.

Robots Live, Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage, 3-4 Oct


If you’re a fan – or have a fan of Robot Wars in your house – then you’ll be delighted to hear that some of the winning robots, as well as some wannabe winners from all over Europe, will be in Stevenage this weekend for some serious mayhem.  Not my thing, really, but if you love it on the telly, chances are you’ll love it in real life.  Robots fighting each other.  What more can I say?

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