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What’s On: Muddy Herts Guide 16-22 Jun 2016

Lots on this week round the county if the weather holds — or even if its doesn’t.  Heavy on the comedy this weekend, and festivals galore to explore.  See you out there!

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Standalone Farm, 21-24 June, 7pm

standalone farm outdor theatre

Loads of great Shakespeare going on this year, being the 400th anniversary and so on, and this sounds very lovely: a promenade performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Standalone Farm.   Enjoy this favourite fairy story of young lovers – thwarted by their parents –  and the magical creatures who inhabit the woods, all along the winding paths of Standalone Farm  with the story unfolding around you.

An Evening with Katie & Giancarlo Caldesi, The Junction, Christ Church, Chorleywood, 22 June, 7pm

chorleywood bkshop event

Suffering with soggy salad?  Suffer no more!  Head Round the World in Salads with Giancarlo and Katie Caldesi — how does Fruity Salad & Korean Roasted Duck with Five-Spice Marinade sound?  Or Greek Lemon Chicken?  Fattoush?  Tabbouleh?  Heaps of ideas for ingredients, marinades and flavours piled higher than a pile of limp iceberg lettuce.  Join the authors for a mouthwatering evening that will leave you craving crispness.

Mum2Mum Market, Sir Frederic Osborn School, Welwyn Garden City, 2-4pm


On the hunt for baby bits and bobs?  Check out the Mum2Mum market for some proper bargains — high-quality pre-loved kit that would cost you an arm and a leg to buy new.

Hertford Carnival, The Castle & Town Centre, 19 June, 12-5pm

hertford carnival

Hertford is in carnival mood this weekend — and there’s loads to enjoy.  More than 50 — count ’em — paragraphs in the Castle, with entertainment and refreshments (hoorah!) as well.  Get dressed up for the fancy dress competition, if you fancy.  Take a peek inside the Castle — or a whirl on the fun fair.  And have a lovely afternoon.

Alban Street Festival, St Peter’s Street, St Albans, 19 June, 12-6pm

alban street fest

St Albans is getting its festival on, too, this weekend — with St Peter’s Street closed to traffic and filled instead with all sorts of excitment! Expect face-painting, street performance, live music — compered by Denise Parsons of Radio Verulam — with a mass ceilidh at 2pm for you to join in and fling your limbs around in unison.   Relax with Screen on the Sand — scoffing fish ‘n’ chips while watching the big screen.  Keep the kids happy with free workshops all afternoon.  Get lively at the Sports Arena or arty at the Pop-Up Open Studios.  And oh, the food and drink stalls…  Need I go on?

St Albans Folk Festival Concert, Maltings Arts Theatre, 18 June, 8pm

folk fest - lady maisery

It’s all going on in St Albans this weekend.  Enjoy the city’s Folk Festival at the Maltings Art Theatre on Saturday night — with trio Lady Maisery, as well as  Emma Scarr and Johnny Black and Iraqi oud player Sherwan (Jack) Qasm. And the concert is the culmination of a day of music and dance round the city.

The Alban Pilgrimage, St Peter’s Church, St. Albans, 11am


And as if that wasn’t enough, St Albans Cathedral brings you the spectacular Alban Pilgrimage, a celebration of the life of Saint Alban who gave the City its name. It’s toally unique — giant carnival puppets retrace Alban’s last steps and tell his story. Oh, and add to that Roman chariots, centurions, lions, roses and executioners joining the procession from St Peter’s Church, through the City Centre to St Albans Cathedral.

May-We-Go-Round?, The Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead, 18 June, 8pm


Not quite sure how to describe this one.  Dance?  Theatre?  Comedy?  Bit of all of them, by the sounds of it.  And it sounds great.  Two young women explore the glorious tangled mess that is romance — enthralled, flummoxed,  compelled, irritated in turn (aren’t we all?) — while swinging wildly between hilarity and vulnerability.  Are they enjoying it? Yes. Does it make sense? No. But, round and round they go…

Hertford Comedy Festival, Hertford Theatre, 13-18 Jun

hertford comedy festival

There’s a veritable feast of comedy in Hertford over the weekend — starting with George Egg–Anarchist Cook (16 Jun, 7.30pm) for One Man, One Hour, Three Courses (also on at Hemel’s Old Town Hall the following night) which promises to be a surreal mix of comedy and food preparation.  The Hackney Colliery Band (16 Jun, 8pm) with their trumpets, trombones, saxes, sousaphone and marching percussion — along with a unique take on the brass band, mining nuggets of funk, hip-hop and high-octane rock from the musical coalface and throwing in a few chunks of Balkan brass, electronica and contemporary jazz for good measure.  There’s Fun Friday – A Mix of the Best Comedy (17 Jun, 8pm), featuring Grumpy Old Man Arthur Smith, The Boy With Tape On His Face, Ava Vidal, and Mitch Benn.  And the next night, it’s the delicious Mark Watson (18 Jun, 8pm), with his winning ways and chaotic chats with the audience.  For the younger folk among us, there’s Squashbox Theatre (18 Jun, 1pm), with its mix of puppet show, natural history and comedy cabaret, and the Comedy Club 4 Kids (18 Jun, 2.30pm).

Comedy Night, Comedy Loft, Watford, 17 June, 8pm

comedy loft milton jones

Not enough comedy for ya?  Milton Jones — yup, him with the mad hair and the one-liners — along with Keith Farnan, Lynn Ruth Miller and Jojo Smith in Watford this weekend.   He’s a bit of a Marmite comedian, I reckon.  Mr C thinks he’s hilarious.  I prefer Marmite.  Each to their own, eh?

The Wimbledon Guild Village Fair, Wimbledon Common, 18 Jun, 10.30am-5pm


Ok, stop me when the Womble jokes start, ok?  The Wimbledon Guild Fair sounds gorgeous — the largest outdoor free event in South London, a great big fair on the Common, chock-full of things to do, stalls to browse, street food to scoff, activities to entertain the kids, and performances to enjoy yourself.  And while you’re there, be sure to say hello to Julie from St Albans business Julie Slater & Son with her gorgeous selection of bags and more.  Gorgeous stuff.  Just pick up after yourself, ok?  Those furry little recyclers can only do so much…

New Tate Modern Opening Weekend, London, 17–19 Jun, 10am-10pm

new tate

Check out the three-day celebration of all that’s great about the new Tate Modern.  There’s a special late-night event on Friday bringing together digital technology with lo-fi materials in the hands of emerging artists.  There’s also a newly-commissioned choral work featuring over 500 singers from community choirs across London.  There’ll be film and video work, as well as all sorts of modern art to make you go hmmm.  And check out Players, a space where you and the family (or you on your own, I suppose) can play and experiment with sound and performance art.



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