What’s On: Muddy Herts Guide 14-20 Jul 2016

Lots to do this week around the county and beyond.  Theatre?  Check.  Comedy?  Heaps of it.  Outdoor doings? You’re on.  See you out there, my Muddy lovelies!

Summer BBQ, Frithsden Vineyard, 16 Jul, 11am-5pm


Good weather this weekend, they reckon, so it’s the perfect time to head up to Frithsden Vineyard for their Summer BBQ.  There’s a barbeque lunch — obvs — as well as teas and coffees, cake (hoorah!), gifts, and free tastings of their 2015 vintage (hoorah!), all while you take in the glorious setting and countryside.


Theatre in the Park: Sense and Sensibility, Hatfield House, 17 Jul, 3pm


I do love outdoor theatre — even if it is Jane Austen (not my fave)  — and this does sound like it has all the right stuff going on.  Bring a picnic and a chair or a blanket, and enjoy the goings-on of the Dashwood sisters and their husband-hunting forays into eighteenth-century society.  It’s being performed in Elephant Dell, a naturally-shaped grass bowl in the grounds of Hatfield House, which sounds perfectly lovely.  Fingers crossed for sunshine.


Plant Fair featuring Martha Collison, Chenies Manor, 17 Jul, 12-3pm

martha collison

If you’re thinking of heading to the Chenies Manor annual Plant Fair (10am-5pm), make sure you catch Great British Bake Off star Martha Collison who’ll be signing copies of her scrumptious new book ‘Twist.’  There’ll be samples, too — hoorah!  And you get to wander through the gorgeous gardens and pick up some plants for your own.


The Gruffalo’s Child, Radlett Centre, 15-17 Jul


I think I actually like The Gruffalo’s Child  more than the first one (heresy!) with its feisty gruffalo daughter on the trail on the Big Bad Mouse.  This adaptation sounds delightful if you have any tinies around who love that whole Donaldson/Scheffler schtick.


The Importance of Landscape in Fiction, David’s Bookshop, Letchworth, 19 Jul, 7.30pm


One for all you keen readers — or budding writers — out there.  David’s Bookshop (Muddy Herts Best Bookshop 2016) is hosting a discussion on landscape in fiction featuring novelists and Headline Fiction Editor, Mary-Anne Harrington.  A great chance to listen to, and ask questions of, two serious novelists and a very experienced editor.  I’ll be there — should I save you a seat?


Saturday Night Comedy, The Comedy Loft, Watford, 16 Jul, 8pm (doors 6.45pm)

jen brister comedy loft watford

Another selection of comedians doing their thing at Watford’s Comedy Loft this weekend.  Pete Firman combines comedy with magic, Mike Newall brings impeccable timing, Jen Brister is all about what it means to be British (interesting time to be talking about that!), and Sam Avery would rather have been a rock star.


Music on the Lawn, Forty Hall and Estate, 17 Jul, 12 – 6pm

music on the lawn

This looks like a great family day out if it’s good and sunny this weekend.  All sorts of live music all afternoon — jazz, blues, soul, rock and even opera — as well as loads to keep the kids occupied: a bouncy castle, bee, butterfly and ladybird workshops, sand painting and more.  Add in a Pimms Tent, posh cakes, falafel and hummus, ice cream, and a ton of stalls — all in the grounds of a 16th century estate — and you’re on!  There’s even Morris Dancing.  I know, right?  Might have to pack a picnic for me, Mr C and the mudlings…


St Albans Country Show, Highfield Park, St Albans, 16 & 17 July, 11am – 6pm

st albans country show

Ok, apparently there are going to be ‘Stunt Monkeys’ at the St Albans Country Show — but I have no idea whether it’s actual monkeys or just a name for something else. Either way, though…  There’s all sorts of other stuff going on, too, with lots to watch, eat, drink and browse. And, of course, the Festival of Dogs.


Tringe Festival, Tring, ongoing

seann walsh TRINGE

The Tringe Festival is still going on, and there’s some great bits still to come. Katy Brand and Andrew Ryan are at the Court Theatre (14 Jul). Tom Binns and Tony Law are there the following night.  And Seann Walsh and Elliott Steel take to the stage on Saturday night.


Rocky Horror Show, Watford Colosseum, 11-16 Jul

rocky horror show

Oh, this one takes me back to my teenage years… After a record-breaking world tour, this classic is set to get your pelvis thrusting (it’s in the song, honest…) right here in Watford.  Dammit, Janet, you’ll be humming the tunes for weeks afterwards.


Taking Textiles Further, Upstairs Gallery, Berkhamsted, 19-23 Jul, 10.30am – 5.30pm

upstairs gall 2

The Upstairs Gallery in Berkhamsted might be small but it has some gorgeous exhibitions.  This one is by a group of local embroiderers and textile artists who have worked together on the theme of TEXT.  Definitely worth going to have a look.


Jason Manford: Best of, The Junction, Cambridge, 20 Jul, 8pm


Chirpy chappie Jason Mansford is in Cambridge next week — with a ‘best of’ show that should have fans chuckling along.  It’s expecting to be popular — tickets are limited to 2 per booking.


David Hockney RA: 82 Portraits and 1 Still-life, Royal Academy Of Arts, 2 Jul-2 Oct

david hockney RA

You will definitely have to book in advance if you fancy checking out this huge new show from David Hockney. After his last landscape exhibition, which was massive, he’s turned to portraits — and the subjects are all family, friends, acquaintances from his life in LA.  Sounds absolutely stunning.



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