What’s On: Muddy Herts Guide 13-19 Oct 2016

Crikey.  Middle of October already?  Yup, ‘fraid so.  Lots to keep you busy, though — festivals, fairs, film and… er … fun?  Enjoy your week, my lovelies…

Chorleywood Literary Festival, 12 – 19 Oct


Chorleywood Bookshop are hosting their very own Literary Festival this week — and it’s a corker. There’s a whole host of events going on with something for literally everyone. Think poetry, politics, cooking, crime, history and more.  A veritable delight for bookworms.   I particularly like the look of Cinnamon Square’s new cookbook – and Wendi Peters, well-loved Cilla Battesby from Coronation Street and avid baker (who knew?!) – will be there to help guide us through the mouth-watering session.  Seriously, though, we’re talking the Reverend Richard Coles (who is brilliant to listen to), John Simpson, Sian Evans, John Julius Norwich, Alan Johnson, D J Kelly (lovely local author), and more.  Great stuff.


The Close-Up Show, Hertford Theatre, 15 Oct, 8pm


How about an intimate evening of magic, up close and personal with a limited audience, to get you in the mood for Halloween? It showcases trickery from sell-out shows at The Magic Circle and you may even get the chance to take part. Not sure being sawn in half is quite my bag, but if you’re feeling brave enough…

hertfordtheatre.com/ the-closeup-show

Nicholas Crane: The Making of British Landscape, Spirella Ballroom, Letchworth, 19 Oct, 7.30pm


You may recognise this lovely chap from BBC programme Coast – a guilty pleasure of mine I must admit, and one of Mr C’s faves. He’s just written a brilliant new book about the evolution of Britain’s countryside and cities, but it’s not just history, it’s a journey over the last 12,000 years to the present day. Considering the role of major landscape ‘events’ such as the Black Death and the contribution of the Romans, Crane takes a peek at how our cities, industry and recreation, climate and economics have been affected. What a clever old bean.  Brought to you by the lovelies at Muddy Award winner David’s Bookshop.


Only Lovers Left Alive, University of Herts, 13 Oct, 7.30pm


Next in line at the University of Herts’ film series Bloodlust, Vampires on Screen is a slightly more contemporary offering – Only Lovers Left Alive. It stars Tom Hiddlestone *sigh* and Tilda Swinton, two lovers struggling with the burden of immortality and the complexity of the modern world. Only their love will get them through. Aww. Who says vampires can’t be gorgeous?


Autumn Fayre, Frithsden Vineyard, 15 Oct, 11am – 5pm


Picture the scene.  Dazzling Autumn sunshine, reddening leaves, blue skies…. You’re wandering through a vineyard, not a care in the world.  Then enjoying some of the, er, fruits of their labours…  Oh, and there’s tea, coffee, cakes and a barbeque.  Yes, it’s the Autumn Fayre at Frithsden.


Letchworth Beer and World Food Festival, 15 & 16 Oct, 12 – 6pm


Oktoberfest comes to Letchworth this weekend – hoorah! Over 100 stallholders will be trading, bringing international fare, clothes, jewellery and homeware. And of course there’s a Giant Beer Tent – excellent – so dig out your steins and get on down there. Oh, and if beers not your thing, there will be lashings of other options, including a taste trail of Letchworth’s finest restaurants (sounds more like it) and live music too!


Ministry of Science, Alban Arena, St Albans, 18 Oct, 6.30pm

Emma Blackwell from the Ministry of Science launches a human rocket on stage in the Millennium Forum during CultureTECH. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com.

Any mini-Muddies (or big ones for that matter) with a budding passion for science? Look no further. The Ministry of Science is coming to town, armed with a hovercraft, liquid nitrogen, and a Human Cannon – ooo-er!   Join the super talented presenters and the voiceover from above (X Factor’s Peter Dickson – love him) as they take you on a journey using brilliantly designed demonstrations with a few loud bangs to lead the way. Fingers in ears advised…


Dr. John Cooper Clarke, Harpenden Public Halls, Harpenden, 18 Oct, 7.30pm


Words cannot describe how much I love this legendary man – he’s absolutely flippn’ brilliant. Blows my Muddy socks off.  He has so much energy, I just don’t know where he gets it from (wish he’d throw some my way). His verse is biting, satirical, political and hilarious – you never know quite what you’re going to get. A hit in the 70s, he is just as relevant today, strongly influencing the modern music industry and appearing on the radio and TV shows all the time. Don’t miss the chance to see him in the flesh – you won’t be disappointed.


RSC Live: King Lear, Hertford Theatre, 12 Oct, 7pm


Ah, King Lear. Contemplating his life’s mistakes in the wilderness, after vainly misjudging his children’s loyalty and finding himself stripped of all the wealth and power he had taken for granted. Bless ‘im.  This adaptation looks storming, with only the legendary Antony Sher playing King Lear.

hertfordtheatre.com/ rsc-live-king-lear

Filomena Campus and Giorgio Serci’s Scaramouche, featuring Keld Ensemble String Orchestra, The Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead, 14 Oct, 8pm


This is a funky fusion of Mediterranean and Brazilian atmospheres inspired by the Sardinian roots of award winning vocalist Filomena Campus and guitar player Giorgio Serci. They combine theatre into their performance too, hence the reference to ‘Scaramouche,’ and they’ve worked with some of the best musicians in the UK and Europe. And they’re right here in the gloriously intimate venue that is Hemel’s Old Town Hall.


Young Adult Literature Weekender, London Literature Festival, Southbank Centre, 15-16 Oct


Got a ‘young adult’ bookworm in your house?  This will be just about heaven for them.  They can meet authors, pick up writing tips or brush up their skills in workships — and hang out with some of the world’s top YA novelists, bloggers, vloggers and poets. Seriously, we’re talking people like Malorie Blackman, Juno Dawson, Hollie McNish, Non Pratt, and so on.  And you get to hang out on the South Bank.  Result.

southbankcentre.co.uk/ london-literature-festival/productions

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