Mon 7 - Sun 13 Oct
THEATRE: The Exorcist, MK Theatre, Milton Keynes, 8-12 Oct
It wouldn’t be October without a few spooky shows on the run up to Halloween. The Exorcist live, based on the two-time Oscar winning film, comes direct from its West End stint with Ian McKellen voicing the Demon.
MUSIC: An evening with Lesley Garrett, Saffron Hall, Saffron Walden, 9 Oct
Here’s a woman with a set of lungs on her and a repertoire that’s seen as many reinventions as Madonna. Lesley Garrett limbers up her vocal chords for a night of song and conversation about her career to date. You might want to bring those earplugs if you’ve got front row seats though as she can sure belt out a note or two!
COMEDY: Humble Pi, Rhodes Arts Complex, 9 Oct
‘Mathematician’ and ‘Stand-up’ aren’t necessarily two career paths you’d cross over but it seems to work for Matt Parker. His YouTube videos have had over 85 million views! Now he’s bringing his Comedy of Maths Errors to a stage audience where he’ll talk about some massive maths-based mis-haps involving planes running out of fuel, spreadsheets losing billions of dollars and genetic research gone wrong. It’s suitable for ages 12+ if you’ve got a maths-mad kid in the fam!
THEATRE: Sister Act, Hertford Theatre, 9-12 Oct
Everyone’s favourite singing nun is coming to town! Ok it’s not Whoopi, but the Hertford Dramatic and Operatic Society with their take on the musical adventures of Deloris and co. We reckon you’ll be rocking in the aisles as soon as you can say ‘curtain up’.
THEATRE: Sh*t-faced Shakespeare, A Midsumer Night’s Dream, The Alban Arena, St Albans, 10 Oct
Now here’s a title that’s piqued our interest (and they certainly look like they’d be a fun crowd, right?!) Alright, so it’s not obligatory for audience members to down their pre-show G&Ts at the speed of light, but it kind of is for one of the actors… I’m serious! This internationally acclaimed and award-winning show is a totally straight-laced adaptation of a Shakespearean classic, with one hitch. One cast member – selected at random – will be blotto throughout the performance. What could possibly go wrong?! Sounds like a blast.
COMEDY: Fatty Fat Fat, The Hat Factory, Luton, 10 Oct
Those extra holiday pounds making you reach for the diet books again? Give yourself a break and listen to the wise words of Katie Greenall, whose one-woman show tackling the idea of ‘living in a body the world tells you to hate’ will show you (and everyone else) where to shove the F-word! We like your style Katie…
FOOD: Hertford Food and Drink Festival, various venues, 11-13 Oct
Kicking off with the Street Food Heroes on the Friday and closing with the Hertford Castle Beer and World Food Festival on Sunday, this annual festival will see the town of Hertford turn into a foodie wonderland. Local cafés, pubs and restaurants will be opening their doors with pop-up events, mini festivals and special offers, while there’ll be cookery demos and comedy on the Clover Kitchen stage in Parliament Square, and a kids’ cake decorating comp. Plus loads of food stalls to peruse and drool over of course.
FITNESS: Yoga retreat weekend, De Vere Latimer Estate, Chesham, Bucks, 11-13 Oct
When was the last time you spent a whole weekend doing something for you? Now’s your chance! Book yourself on to this fab sounding yoga retreat at the rather grand De Vere Latimer Estate, just over the Herts border in Bucks, with local yogi Shelley Shine, and indulge in two whole days of me-time to relax and rebalance. Repeat after me – Ommm….
EXHIBITION: Dreams and Nightmares, The Higgins Bedford, 12 Oct – 22 March
Delve into the world of spiritual visions, fairies and witches, to the flames of hell, depicted by the likes of Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Henry Moore in this exhibition of pieces from the internationally renowned Cecil Higgins Collection.
SCIENCE: Amazing Ada talks and workshops, North Hertfordshire Museum, Hitchin, 1-14 Oct
Heard of Ada Lovelace? Born two centuries ago, she was a tech pioneer of her day and has been given her very own day (8 Oct) to recognise her work in computer science. It’s no surprise then that she’s become a bit of a role model to young women who want to get into STEM based careers – go Ada! In recognition, the North Herts Museum are putting on a series of workshops and talks, by women, naturally, covering sujects from climate change and the human microbiome to app building, as well as chemistry workshops for kids. Sounds fascinating.
ART & EXHIBITIONS
Vogue fashion and portrait photographer Tim Walker‘s enchanting, fantastical, frankly insane work is the subject of a new V&A exhibition (until 8 March). Tilda Swinton, Björk and, er, Sir David Attenborough are among his subjects and he’s also created 10 new works for the show.
Meanwhile this autumn’s big-hitter is William Blake at Tate Britain, below, (until 2 Feb 2020). The visionary painter and poet’s work will be imaginatively displayed – some of it blown up to enormous scale using digital technology, other works in an immersive room that recreates the space in which Blake first showed his art in 1809.
Elsewhere Into the Night: Cabarets & Clubs in Modern Art at the Barbican (4 Oct – 19 Jan) is probably the nearest I’ll get to clubbing this autumn. It’s such a cool concept – a history of cabarets, clubs, dancefloors and party spaces that inspired artists from the 1880s to the 1960s, including the Berlin cabaret scene in Weimar Germany and Harlem’s jazz clubs and lifesize recreations of some of the hotspots.
And finally, playing “spot the Angel Of The North” as we drive up the A1 to Newcastle is a family ritual in our house (Geordie in-laws, you see), so I’ve got a soft spot for Antony Gormley’s striking sculpture. His new show at the Royal Academy (until 3 Dec) is billed as his most ambitious in a decade and involves six tonnes of steel mesh, eight km of coiled tubing and a gallery flooded with clay and sea water. Blimey!