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What’s On: Muddy Herts Guide 19-25 Mar 2015

It’s mad-busy here at Muddy Herts right now, but I’m still determined to book in a few evenings out over the next week or so.  A girl can’t work all the time, right?  Here are some of the bits and bobs that caught my eye – see you there?

Butterfly World, St Albans, re-opens 23 Mar


I’ve not been to Butterfly World yet, but it’s definitely on my list for this summer – or maybe even the Easter hols.  It’s opening for the season this coming weekend, and there’s lots that’s new this year.  There will be more than 600 butterflies in their tropical house – they’re, er, pupating as we speak – and you’ll be able to watch some of them emerging from their pupae and spreading their wings for the first time.  There’s also lots to learn about the life cycle of the butterfly, as well as the beautiful gardens to explore.  There’s  the ‘Theatre of Insects’ as well as a giant ‘Flowerpot Garden’ where you get to be insect-sized and see what it’s like, and wildflower meadows.  New this year, there’s the British Butterfly Garden, a Bee Zone, and a Music Meadow (intriguing).  Sounds like a fab family day out.

Miriam Lane, Off Noke Lane, Chiswell Green, Herts, AL2 3NY,

Champagne Tasting Dinner, Auberge du Lac, Brocket Hall, 26 Mar, 6pm

A champagne tasting dinner at Brocket Hall’s Auberge du Lac restaurant sounds like a serious treat.  Start off with Champagne tasting in the wine cellar, then move on to a 6-course tasting menu with wines paired to each dish.  Sounds perfect.  At just (best sit down…) £130 a person, it’s a bit extravagant – but, my goodness, it looks brilliant.

Auberge du Lac, Brocket Hall, Welwyn, AL8 7XG,

Chloe James Lifestyle Charity Fashion Show, Cote Brasserie, St Albans, 26 Mar, 7pm

chloe james
Chloe James
– a rather lovely fashion and lifestyle boutique in St Albans – is hosting a fashion show at the Cote Brasserie next week.  It all kicks off around 7pm, and you’ll enjoy a Kir Royale when you get there.  Once you’ve had a chance to admire the fashions on the catwalk, the store will be open until 10pm – with a 10% discount to tempt you to treat yourself to a little something.  If you decide to eat at Cote Brasserie before or after, you’ll also get a free glass of wine – very lovely indeed.  And if you needed any more persuading, the whole evening is supporting The Alzheimer’s Society.  Good cause, great night out.

Chloe James, 12 High Street, St Albans, AL3 4EL,

Cote Brasserie, 3 High Street, St Albans, AL3 4ED,

The Art of Dining’s ‘Abigail’s Party’ pop-up, Hackney, 11 Mar-4 Apr, 7.30-11pm

The Art of Dining
– who put on interesting and original pop-ups – are in the middle of a 5-week-long run of their glorious ‘70s homage to Mike Leigh’s ‘Abigail’s Party.’   It’s more an experience than it is pop-up dining, combining music, food, theatre and set design.  There’ll be lava lamps, a nice bit of shag pile, and hostess trolleys – as well as deliciously retro ‘70s nosh: prawn cocktail, half a grapefruit with cheese cubes and pineapple chunks on stick, fondue, mousse, the lot.  But their Moro-trained chef Ellen Parr ensures that while it all might look very retro, it tastes bang up to date.  It’s only running Wednesdays through Saturdays each week, and tickets are £55 a person, which includes a welcome drink, a five-course themed dinner and some seriously ‘70s entertainment.  So, grab your flares, slip on your kaftan, and transport yourself back to another decade altogether.

The Rose Lipman Building, 43 De Beauvoir Road, N1 5SQ,

Boi Boi is Dead, Palace Theatre, Watford, 18-28 Mar, 7.30pm (2.30pm Sat)

Zodwa Nyoni’s first full-length play, ‘Boi Boi is Dead,’ is coming to Watford, and if the reviews from its premiere at the West Yorkshire Playhouse are anything to go by, it’s worth  checking out.  Nyoni is a playwright and poet whose star seems to be rising fast – and she’s still really young – with critics describing it as “a triumph” and as “gripping, humorous, poetic and finely-acted.”  It’s a play about family secrets, all set against some beautifully smooth jazz.  Check out the trailer for a taste of what to expect – just those first few notes had me wanting to go and see it.  Watford’s Palace Theatre is definitely the place to see some really interesting new productions locally.  Love that we have this more or less on our doorstep.

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

The Circus of Horrors: The Night of the Zombie, Hertford Theatre, 19 Mar, 8pm


Not your regular circus, The Night of the Zombie definitely looks like it’s not for the faint of heart.  Having made their way into the Britain’s Got Talent finals, as well as featuring on other telly programmes, the Circus of Horrors is currently touring in its latest incarnation, The Night of the Zombie – a gruesome story set in the London of 2020, ruled by the undead and preparing itself for a fiery apocalypse.  Throw in some sword swallowers, knife throwers, daredevil balancing acts, astounding aerialists, a demon dwarf, a Guinness World Record-holding ‘hairculian’ hair-hanging beauty, Sinister Sisters, gyrating & fire limboing acrobats and, well, it sounds like you’re in for quite an evening.  The Times’ critic described it as a “bloody good night out” – and I’m not entirely sure I want to know what they mean.  The blurb says it’s suitable for everyone aged 14 and over – although not if you have a nervous disposition as it might be “unsettling.”  Yes, I think it probably would.

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

Jeremy Hardy, Radlett Centre, 27 Mar, 8pm

Fancy something a little gentler than a zombie apocalypse?  When Jeremy Hardy came to the Court Theatre earlier this month, his show was completely sold out well in advance.  I think there are still some tickets left for his show at the Radlett Centre, so if you missed him in Tring, Radlett’s not really that far to go.   He’s been doing stand-up for over 30 years now (really?) as well as being a regular on Radio 4’s The News Quiz and I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue (where he is renowned for his singing).  He’s observant, he’s smart, and he’s very funny.

Radlett Centre, 1 Aldenham Avenue, Radlett, WD7 8HL,

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