What’s On: Muddy Herts Guide 7-13 Jan 2016
Tinsel’s down, tree’s in the front garden, and there’s no legitimate excuse to eat mince pies for breakfast anymore. Hey ho. There’s plenty going on to cheer your grey and damp January, though — if you need a little distraction from keeping up with all those resolutions….
Ross Noble: Warm Up, Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead, 26 Jan, 8pm
I’ve heard about this one – but I can’t seem to find it on the Old Town Hall website. Hmmm. Curious. If you’re a Ross Noble fan, though, it might be worth giving them a call? It’s a small…. sorry, intimate venue to see a comedian who normally plays much bigger places – and sounds like it’s all brand new material that he’s trying out for his shiny new 2016 tour. Tickets for the whole of the new Spring season at the Old Town Hall are on sale now, too.
Workshops and talks, Verulamium Museum, St Albans, 9, 10 & 13 Jan
Given that the rain just doesn’t seem to be going away, how about some indoor things to keep you and your little ones busy and dry? This Saturday, there’s a free ‘Archaeology Apprentices’ workshop (2-4pm) at the Verulamium Museum for 5 to 11s, where they get to have a go in a simulated archaeology dig. The next day, there’s a gallery talk about the Iron Age (3-3.30pm), which is also free. And next Wednesday, there’s ‘Tots Tales’ to look forward to – a story, something crafty to do, and a hunt through the museum (1.30-2.30pm, £2). Lots of lovely history for any budding history buffs. And the park to run around in afterwards if it’s not too wet.
The Emperor and the Nightingale, The Radlett Centre, 9 Jan, 2pm
Get any 8 to 11s you might have laying around singing away at ‘The Emperor and the Nightingale’ – an interactive story-telling concert from Big Mouth Piano Tales. The audience is a vital part of the story, making the noises needed to tell the tale – from the Emperor’s China Palace to the dark and spooky Bamboo Forest.
The Snow Queen, The Bull Theatre, Barnet, 14-17 Jan, times vary
If you’ve not had your fill of panto yet, you’re in luck. Join ‘The Snow Queen’ at the Bull Theatre – a frozen tale filled with music, dance, comedy and special effects, and everything you’d expect from a traditional panto. Lots of performances to choose from, and the profits donated to local charities.
Make your own bird feeder, Natural History Museum at Tring, 7 Jan, 11am + 2pm
Fancy doing something crafty to help our feathered friends? You can make your own bird feeder this week at the glorious Natural History Museum at Tring (y’know, the one with all the stuffed animals) for just £2 – then take it home and fill it with tasty treats.
Erotica, Nude Tin Can Gallery, St Albans, 8-23 Jan
After something a bit more *ahem* grown-up? Check out the latest exhibition at the Nude Tin Can Gallery in St Albans – a wide-ranging interpretation of the idea of the erotic. Expect life-size sculptures, paintings and photography – all asking you to have a good hard (sorry) think about sex and the like.
Suffragette and Spectre, Hertford Theatre, various dates
If you’ve missed some of the films you wanted to see in all the hoo-ha of Christmas and its run-up, there’s a second chance to catch a couple of corkers at Hertford Theatre this month. The brilliant Suffragette is on 8, 20 and 26 Jan – and if you’ve not seen it, it’s brilliant. (Read about it here!) And if you missed your Daniel Craig fix – or need another shot – then you can catch Spectre from 6-9 Jan.
Macbeth, Alban Arena, St. Albans, 7 Jan, 7.30pm
And if you’re after a spot of Shakespeare – ooo, I love a bit of the Bard – then you can catch Justin Kurzel’s film version at the Alban Arena. Starring the fiercely dark Michael Fassbender and the utterly brilliant Marion Cotillard, it’s had some cracking reviews – and is apparently gloriously bloody, as the Scottish play very well should be.
Julie Cook: Sightlines – Public and Private (Lives), Art and Design Gallery, University of Herts, until 16 Jan
Artist Julie Cook spent more than 20 years ’embedded’ as a photographer inside the exotic dancing industries of London and Las Vegas. This exhibition focuses on her time at a particular club in London that is owned and operated by the dancers themselves. It’s a documentary project, but it’s a work of art at the same time. Sounds intriguing.
Henry Moore and Photography, Wolfson College, Cambridge, until 28 Feb
We’re so lucky having the Henry Moore Foundation right here in Herts, but there’s a fab Moore exhibition going on over the border in Cambridge (grab your passport!) that looks like it’s worth the drive. It’s focused on Moore’s use of photography in his creative process, and features images that haven’t been exhibited before – as well as maquettes for some of his massive, well-known works: Three Standing Figures and Reclining Figure. It’s not a huge selection of photos – just 20 – but it’s got to be a worth a peek. Make it part of a sneaky day out in Cambridge – it’s not like there isn’t loads more to do there as well, and some fab places to eat and drink.
Lumiere, London, 14-17 Jan, 6.30-10.30pm
Having loved the Bruce Munro light installations at Waddesdon Manor this Christmas, I’m intrigued to check out what’s being billed as ‘the first major festival to hit the capital.’ Installations will be popping up in Piccadilly, Regent Street and St James’s, Trafalgar Square and Westminster, Mayfair and King’s Cross. There’s even a map you can download to your phone so that you find it all ok. Looks brilliant – might have to take the family up for a look!