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What’s On: Muddy Herts Guide 17-23 Sep 2015

There’s loads going on around the county this week.  Lots of drama and comedy, some delicious foodie treats, and a spot of AW15 fashion to get you nicely kitted out.  Enjoy, lovelies!

St Albans and Harpenden Food and Drink Festival, 22 Sep-5 Oct

st albans food fest

I’m always up for a good nosh, so any kind of food festival immediately has my attention.  This one’s a proper doozie, though – loads of venues, loads of variety.  You could almost certainly eat at three or four different places every day all the way through – and then need to lie down for a month, mind you.  I can’t even begin to tell you all the goodies that will be available for your delectation, so check out the brochure here instead.  You’ll be drooling before you know it, I guarantee it.  Well, I was.

And if you want to kick off your local food festivities in style, you could book a table for the opening night at [email protected] in St Albans for one of their specially-designed six or eight course tasting menus.  You’ll totally have to book in advance, though – my bet is that the tickets will go like, er, hot cakes.  Will there be actual hot cakes?  I have no idea.

The Live Music Project Acoustic Café Session, St Albans, 20 Sep, 2-5pm


Fancy a chilled-out Sunday afternoon, with a bit of live acoustic music in the background, a cafe and bar (just in case), and a welcoming attitude to the kids?  Sounds blissful, actually.  I’m very tempted to check out the Acoustic Café session this weekend in St Albans.

Trestle Arts Base, Russet Drive, St Albans, AL4 0JQ,

Peter Pan, Rhodes Theatre, Bishop’s Stortford, 18-27 Sep

Peter Pan - Group FlyingCan’t wait for panto?  (Oh no I can’t… etc etc.)  You could get your fix by popping over to the Rhodes Theatre for their run of Peter Pan – a musical version of the classic story that’s a bit closer to its J M Barrie roots than a panto version would be.  Sounds like a fun family theatre trip close to home and without those West End ticket prices.

Rhodes Theatre, 1- 3 South Road, Bishop’s Stortford, CM23 3JG,

Taster Day, Green Park, Aston Clinton, 20 Sep, 9am-5pm 


My eldest absolutely loved the taster day he did at Green Park activity centre over the summer.  And they’ve got another one coming up this weekend with all sorts of things for older kids to try – oh, and parents get to have a go too (which I didn’t realise last time we went).  Book in for archery, climbing, the ‘Leap of Faith’ (flinging yourself at a sort of trapeze bar a long away above the ground) – there’s lots to try, and the Foot Golf  course (which is loads of fun) will be open too, as well as a self-led Orienteering trail.  Definitely worth a look, and it’s a gorgeous site to have a look round while your precious little darling is dangling in a tree above your head.

Green Park, Stablebridge Road, Aston Clinton, HP22 5NE,

Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain, Alban Arena, 23 Sep


We picked up a Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain CD somewhere, and – bear with me here – they’re brilliant.  It’s hard to explain why, but they just make me laugh, and Mr C had the CD in his car for ages.  They’re funny, too, but really clever musicians.  Their version of Gainsbourg and Birkin’s ‘Je T’Aime‘ really has to be heard to be believed.  And they’re playing in St Albans next week.  Hoorah!

The Alban Arena, Civic Centre, St Albans, AL1 3LD,

La Traviata, Alban Arena, 24 Sep


And the very next night, the Alban Arena will be packing away the ukes and welcoming the Russian State Ballet and Opera House with their production of ‘La Traviata’ – all haunting arias and heaving décolletage – with a live orchestra.  Love a spot of opera, me, and the more tragic the better.

The Alban Arena, Civic Centre, St Albans, AL1 3LD,

Jeremy Hardy, Hertford Theatre, 22 Sep


It’s no secret that I have Radio 4 on most of the time (love those Archers…), so I get to hear a fair bit of Jeremy Hardy on The News Quiz and so on.  I’d love to see him live – and so it’s jolly lucky for me that he’s stopping off on his Autumn tour at Hertford Theatre next week.

Hertford Theatre, The Wash, Hertford, SG14 1PS,

Jane Wenham: The Witch of Walkern, Watford Palace Theatre, 23 Sep-1 Oct


I just love that Watford Palace Theatre frequently has some really interesting new drama – often before a production heads off on a national tour or into the West End.  I’m really curious about BAFTA winner Rebecca Lenkiewicz’s new play ‘Jane Wenham: The Witch of Walkern’ which is opening next week.  It’s based on real events from right here in a Hertfordshire village, and it’s about a young priest who brands a woman in his new village a witch.  The trailer looks very sinister – and the theatre recommends you’ll be at least 15 years old (you are, right?) to go and see it.

Watford Palace Theatre, 20 Clarendon Road, Watford, WD17 1JZ,

Chris Ramsey – All Grown Up, Court Theatre, Tring, 25 Sep, 8pm

 chris ramsey

More comedy – this time at the Get Stuffed comedy club in Tring.  Chris Ramsey brings his show ‘All Grown Up’ about getting older, having more responsibilities, that sort of thing, to the Court Theatre.  If you’ve not been there, it’s what we might call an ‘intimate venue’ (it’s small) which makes it brilliant for stand-up – and Get Stuffed pull in some serious comedy names (is that an oxymoron? probably…) all year round, as well as during the annual Tringe Festival.

Court Theatre, Station Road, Tring,HP23 5QY,

Collidoscope, The Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead, 25 Sep, 8pm 


And more drama.  Hemel’s Old Town Hall is yet another of those little venues that attracts some super-interesting productions.  This one sounds intense and curious: a woman impersonates a 1930s Hollywood bombshell (good frock possibilities…) after an unexpected tragedy, and the lines between reality and fantasty get a bit blurry.

The Old Town Hall, High Street, Hemel Hempstead, HP1 3AE, 

‘Darling’ Takeover, The Women’s Society, Hertford, 24 Sep, 10am-5.30pm 


Gorgeous women’s fashion boutique The Women’s Society will be having a ‘Darling’ takeover next week.  You can take a sneaky and exclusive peek at the AW15 Darling collection – and there’ll be fizz, cake, and 15% off.  And why not?  New season, new outfits…. right?

The Women’s Society, 2 St Andrew Street, Hertford, SG14 1JA,


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