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What’s On: Muddy Herts Guide 10-16 Mar 2016

Shakespeare’s 400th birthday is coming up fast – so if you’re not a fan of the Bard, look away now.  There’s lots of other stuff, though, but be prepared for lots of nods to old Will over the next month or so.  To go, or not to go….?

The Devil Speaks True, Maltings Arts Theatre, 15 Mar, 8pm

the devil speaks true

Talking of which, this production sounds very odd, very spooky, and very intriguing.  Looking at Shakespeare’s infamous ‘Scottish play’ from the point of view of Banquo (who – spoiler alert – meets something of a sticky end).  But there’s more…  It all happens in complete darkness, with wireless headphones and binaural sound design, as well as scent and projection, and the words of real ex-servicemen cut into Shakespeare’s text.  Fascinated by this one…

Pocket Dream, Maltings Arts Theatre, 12 Mar, 3.30pm & 6.30pm

pocket dream

Want to introduce your young folk to Shakespeare?  This fast-moving, sixty-minute version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream – with an all-male cast – sounds like a great way to do it.  And then, afterwards, you get to join the cast in the performance space and ask the actors about the play, about acting, about Shakespeare, about just about anything.  (What do they think about wearing those pants…?  Sorry.  So shallow.)

Tringe Aperitif, Kings Arms, Tring, 14, 15, 16 Mar

sally anne haywood

As an appetiser for the veritable feast of comedic delight that is the Tringe Festival, why not enjoy the Tringe Aperitif?  39 acts over 13 nights, all previewing their Edinburgh shows around Tring.  This week, you’ve got Sarah Callaghan, Mark Cooper-Jones and the gloriously-named Olaf Falafel at the Kings Arms (14 Mar, 7.30pm); or Rachel Parris, Sally Anne Hayward and Grainne Maguire there the following night (15 Mar, 7.30pm); or Goose, Bethany Black, and Max and Ivan (who my eldest loves) the next night (16 Mar, 7.30pm).  Lots more to come after that, too – check out their listings.

Lambing Weekend, Oaklands College, St Albans, 12-13 Mar, 10am-3pm

lambing weekend

There’ll be cute wiggling tails a-plenty and little wobbly-legged lambs frolicking all weekend at Oaklands College this weekend.  Watch lambs being born – and have fun on the Farm Trail, ride on a donkey, visit the Animal Care Centre, and more.  (Not if you’re pregnant, though – being around lambs is not good for that.)  It’ll be muddy, too, so definitely pop those wellies on.

Lysistrata, The Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead, 12 Mar, 8pm


Missed this one in St Albans last week?   Not to worry – it’s in Hemel Hempstead this weekend. Lysistrata tells with story of their battle to stop their men fighting and dying in a bloody war.  And how do they do that?  They say no to nookie until the war is over – some more willingly than others.  This production has had great reviews.  Go see it!

Pop-Up Kitchen Supper, Frithsden Vineyard, 11 Mar


Love that the events are starting back up at Frithsden Vineyard – a sure sign of Spring!  There are just a couple of places left for this weekend’s Kitchen Supper, so grab ‘em fast if you fancy it.  The menu looks delish, too.

Sarah Millican, Corn Exchange, Cambridge, 10-13 Mar

Sarah Millican

She’s been sold out everywhere on this tour — so it’s amazing that there are still a few tickets left for Sarah Millican’s run of shows in Cambridge this weekend.  Snap ’em up while you can!  This is her 4th stand-up tour, and it’s been a massive hit.  Hard to believe she was ‘best newcomer’ not that long ago.

Mindfulness Open Evening and Taster, St Albans, 7.30-9pm


Need to de-stress a bit?  Connect with what’s going on right now?  You could check out the free mindfulness open evening and taster session at the Albany Centre this week.  Just go along and see what it’s all about.  There’s a course starting later this month, so this is a great way to figure out if it’s right for you.

Have a Go, Wheathampstead Archery Club, 12 Mar, 1-4pm


Fancy having a go with old arrows?  No, not darts, silly – proper archery.  Bows and arrows.  The Wheathampstead Archery is having an open day – and they’ve got courses for beginners starting next month in case you get bitten by the bug.  Over 10s, only, mind you.

The Teddy Bear’s Picnic, Radlett Centre, 12 March, 11am-2pm


If you go down to the woods today… tra la la… Yes, it’s picnic time for you and your teddies – old, new, battered, plush, whatever.  Prizes for the biggest, smallest, oldest, friendliest (really?) and so on.  Perfect for any under-5s you might have lying around.

Meet a Saxon Housecarl, Verulamium Museum, St Albans, 12 Mar, 2-5pm

meet a saxon

What, you ask, is a ‘housecarl’?  Well, let me enlighten you (cheers, Google).  It’s a ‘non-servile manservant’ (sounds promising…) or a bodyguard, a sort of household soldier.  Anyway, you can meet one – not a real one, obvs – at Verulamium Museum this weekend.  Find about his kit, his equipment, his fighting skills – then make a Saxon shield badge to take away with you.

The Intern, The Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead, 17 Mar, 1pm

the intern

It’s the latest Baby Blockbuster (don’t go if you haven’t got one, I’d say – but great if you have, and plenty of space to park that buggy) at the Old Town Hall in Hemel.  Robert de Niro plays a 70-year-old widower who leaves retirement behind to become a senior intern at an on-line fashion site run by Anne Hathaway.  What could possibly go wrong with that?

Other Worlds, Cambridge Science Centre, 17 Mar, 7- 8:30pm

other worlds

It’s all getting a bit other-worldly at the Cambridge Science Centre next week.  You can join experts Prof Didier Queloz and Dr William Bains to consider what life might be like under the light of other suns.  There are literally thousands of exoplanets out there, and it’s intriguing to think what they might be like – or whether there might be intelligent life, and what it might look like.

More Science Pranks, Cambridge Science Festival, 14 Mar, 5-6pm

science pranks

Bit lighter science offering, this one.  Steve Mould – of BBC 1’s Britain’s Brightest – brings more psychological tricks, mind-bending experiments and hair-raising practical jokes with a scientific twist in a prank-filled show.

St Patrick’s Day Festival and Parade 2016, Trafalgar Square, London, 13 Mar, 12-6pm


Get your Irish on this weekend in the heart of central London. There’s a parade starting from Piccadilly at midday ends up in Trafalgar Square, with London Irish sports clubs, dance schools, marching bands, community organisations and all that shamrock-laden pageantry.  There are other Irish bits going on, too – there’s a Q&A with Prof. Mary McAleese and Fergal Keane at City Hall (10 Mar, 7.30pm), and the St Patrick’s Day Film Festival at the Regent Street Cinema (13 Mar, 11.30am-2.30pm, & 7.30pm).  Guinness, anyone…?

Book ahead….

russell kane

There’s limited availability already for Russell Kane: Right Man, Wrong Age at the Alban Arena (20 April, 8pm), so if you’re hoping to see him there, get booking now!  It’s a brand new show about growing up, growing down, and… er… why farts will always be funny.



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