MUSIC: Ronnie Scott’s All Stars, Hertford Theatre, Fri 1 Feb
Direct from London’s iconic jazz venue, Ronnie Scott’s All Stars are performing at Hertford Theatre to celebrate the club’s 60th anniversary. The show features live music alongside rare video footage and archived photos of the good old days.
EXHIBITION: Women of Influence at Ashridge, Ashridge Estate, Fri 1 Feb-Mon 18
It’s girl power all the way over at Ashridge with their new exhibit that celebrates the last 200 years of the National Trust site and the women who have made their mark on the estate.
FOOD: Alpine evening, Frithsden Vineyard, Sat 2 Feb
If you didn’t make it up to the slopes this winter you can still get your mitts on the grub at Frithsden Vineyard’s Alpine evening, with a French inspired menu of onion soup, dauphinoise potatoes plus their very own wine and fizz. Booking essential.
WORKSHOP: Candle making, Forest Song Spiritual & Wellbeing Centre, Sat 2 Feb
You can never have too many scented candles, am I right? At the Hemel Hempstead based wellbeing centre you’ll make a selection of candles using hand-rolled beeswax and soy wax, with a unique combo of fragrances and colours of your choosing.
COMEDY: Lucy Porter, The Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead, Sat 2 Feb
Discussing all things inherited from her parents, from dodgy knees to global warming (eh?), Lucy Porter performs her new stand up show Pass It On that debuted at the Edinburgh Fringe last year. Lucy’s TV creds include QI, Room 101 and Live at the Apollo.
DRINK FESTIVALS: Sat, 2 Feb
Two booze festivals in one day, however will we choose? Gin to my Tonic Festival at Watford Colosseum is promising over 100 unique gins from the UK and further afield, 1.30-5.30pm, 7-11pm. Just 20 minutes down the road at The Alban Arena, over 40 gins will be joined by a Prosecco bar and freebies including drinks, glasses and cocktail recipes, 1.30-5pm, 6.30-10pm.
COMEDY: Nish Kumar: It’s in your nature to destroy yourselves, Watford Colosseum, Sun 3 Feb
Double Edinburgh Comedy Award Nominee Nish Kumar is stopping in Herts on his UK tour that touches on politics and humankind’s self-destructive nature- don’t worry I’m sure it’s funnier than it sounds! A regular on the comedy scene Nish has appeared on Live at the Apollo, Have I Got News For You and even has his own show on Netflix with fellow comedian Joel Dommet.
INSTALLATION: Liz West: Our Colour Refection, St Albans Museum & Gallery, Wed 6 Feb – Tues 19 Mar
The Assembly Room gets a brand new arty installation by contemporary Brit artist Liz West, curated by UHArts especially for the space. The playful piece is made from over 700 coloured mirrors and adds to Liz’s collection of commissioned pieces in prominent spaces such as the Natural History Museum and National Trust buildings.
THEATRE: Good Dog, The Quarry Theatre, St Luke’s, Tues 5 Feb
After the success of its premiere in spring 2017, Good Dog’s second national tour stops off at the central Beds theatre for one night only. Written by Arinze Kene (Netflix’s Crazyhead, Eastenders, Channel 4’s Youngers) the play explores growing up in a multi-cultural community, and the everyday injustices that drive people to take back control.
DRINK: Wine tasting, Cellar Door Wines, St Albans, Fri 8 Feb
Fancy sipping some prestige tipple? Cellar Door host a Gosset wine tasting (the oldest wine house in Champagne). You’ll try five vinos with cheese and charcuterie included in the ticket.
KIDS: Lamb Season, Mead Open Farm, Sat 9 – Sun 24 Feb
Kids can get up close and personal with newborn woolies in the Lamb Nursery, bottle feed the older lambs and try out the Farm’s newly extended indoor play area. Also new is the Grain Store Kitchen Café that serves brunch to dinner, along with your standard farm shop cakes and coffee.
KIDS: Vets in Action, Whipsnade Zoo, Sat 9 – Sun 24 Feb
Got a little animal lover on your hands? Youngsters can experience first-hand the life of a vet in the Animal Hospital at the UK’s largest zoo. Budding vets will learn how to examine, x-ray and perform treatments on different animals and practice on soft toys. Activities included in entrance price.
MUSIC: Chiltern Arts Festival, various locations, Sat 9 – Sat 16 Feb
World class musicians are descending on various venues in Bucks and Herts with a series of concerts. The programme includes renowned pianist Steven Osborne playing Prokofiev, Debussy and Schubert, celebrated baritone Roderick Williams in a performance of Hugo Wolf’s Italian Songbook, and an opening programme by the City of London Sinfonia inspired by the orchestra’s London series, entitled Bach and the Cosmos.
TEA: Afternoon Tea, Shuttleworth Collection, Sun 10 Feb
A lazy afternoon sipping tea, munching on cakes and crustless sandwiches- yes please! Shuttleworth hosts afternoon tea in its Jacobean style venue, The House. The 5000 acre estate in rural Beds opens early at 9.30am if you fancy make a day of it.
SPACE: Planetarium, Dunstable Downs at the Whipsnade Estate, Tues 12-Fri 15 Feb
The Planetarium returns to Dunstable Downs with a larger venue and brand new show about the stars hosted by experts from Dark Sky Wales. Family stargazing events run on Tues 12 and Wed 13 with popcorn, alien hunting and space games, as well as a special Valentines night on Thurs 14 with canapés and a complementary glass of tipple, booking essential.
KIDS: Comedy Club 4 Kids, The Place, Bedford, Wed 13 Feb
Who says politics is just for adults? Tatton Spiller (Simple Politics) and Tiernan Douieb (Comedy Club 4 Kids, CBBC’s The Slammer) make sense of it all for kids aged 7-13 in their comedic and informative stand up show.
Castle Comedy Valentine Special, The Gordon Arms, Thurs 14 Feb
Bed’s monthly Comedy Club returns with its annual Valentine Special for single Pringles and love birds alike. UK comic, actor and writer Diane Spencer will be joined by Kevin Shepard, who previously supported Micky Flanegan on tour, and 2013 winner of So You Think You’re Funny Ed Hedges. A pre-show meal with wine is available from the venue for an extra £8.80.
Get tickets here
THEATRE: La Voix Live, Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, Fri 15 Feb
Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist, star of Ab Fab the Movie and all around drag diva La Voix performs at Aylesbury Waterside. Expect amazing costumes, outrageous comedy and, of course, her huge voice. Faaaabulous darling!
Get tickets here
MUSIC: Talvin Singh, Saffron Hall, Fri 15 Feb
Mercury Prize winner Talvin Singh has some serious creds when it comes to producing and composing music and has collaborated with the likes of Yoko Ono. For this new project, he brings together cellist Francesca Ter-Berg, Preetha Nararayanan on violin and Shriram Sampath on flute to perform at Saffron Hall.
KIDS: Elmer the Patchwork Elephant, Hertford Theatre, Sat 16- Sun 17 Feb
To celebrate the iconic colourful elephant’s 30th birthday, Elmer is going on tour. The show features 21 puppets, vibrant colours, cheeky humour and at a short 45 minutes looks perfect for little ones under seven.
MUSIC: A Hum About Mine Ears, Berkhamstead Town Hall, Sat 16 Feb
Following a stint at the Barbican, Clara Sanabras sings her moving Songs of Exile and her version of Shakespeare’s Tempest with Chroma musicians Dave Le Page, Elena Hull, Cathy Leech and Rose Redgrave, along with Harvey Brough and his chamber choir Vox Holloway.
MAGIC: The Close-Up Show, Hertford Theatre, Sat 16 Feb
Looking for something a little different for a Saturday night? Performed in the intimate setting of Hertford Theatre’s Studio space, The Close-Up Show brings together three experts in sleight of hand direct from sell out shows at The Magic Circle in London. 10+
MUSIC: A Berlioz Celebration, Saffron Hall, Sun 17 Feb
This BBC Symphony Orchestra concert, that celebrates the life of Romantic composer Hector Berlioz, will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3- quiet in the audience please!
KIDS: Feb Fest 2019, Luton Library Theatre, Mon 18 – Thurs 21 Feb
Full House Theatre Company’s arts festival for kids aged three to 12 runs throughout half term with loads of events, workshops, sing-alongs and theatre performances throughout the week. Feb Fest Film Stars (Wed), where children can create and star in their own movie, looks like a highlight with the films showcased in the Feb Fest Finale on Thurs.
KIDS: Half Term Trail, Ashridge Estate, Mon 18 – Fri 22 Feb
Half term time, eeek! Ashridge to the rescue with their trail around the grounds where kids will learn about hibernating animals on the estate- if only they followed suit.
KIDS: AniMalcolm, Broadway Cinema & Theatre, Mon 18 Feb
Story Pocket Theatre dramatises Brit comic and award winning children’s author David Baddiel’s AniMalcolm using physical theatre and live puppetry. The comical tale follows Malcolm, who hates animals, as he inhabits the bodies of several farm animals on a school trip.
KIDS: The Amazing Bubble Man, The Alban Arena, Tues 19 Feb
Combining comedy, audience participation, live music and square, yes square, bubbles The Amazing Bubble Man is bound to keep your sprogs entertained with his bubble tricks.
Get tickets here
COMEDY: Mark Steel, Watford Palace Theatre, Fri 22 Feb
Comedy stalwart, The Independent columnist and Have I Got News For You regular Mark Steel comes to Watford with his new stand up show Every Little Thing’s Gonna Be Alright that offers a humorous spin on all things politics from Tories to Trump.
POP UP: Vintage Cinema, Tring Natural History Museum, Sat 23 Feb
Pop up alert! Vintage Cinema springs up in the middle of Tring Natural History Museum showing Night at the Museum (who woulda guessed it) at 6.15pm, followed by Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again at 8.40pm. The Lion Bar and the museum’s exhibits will be open to browse before the films begin.
MUSIC: BBC Concert Orchestra, Saffron Hall, Sat 23 Feb
Calling all classical buffs, Saffron Hall is hosting a night of classical favourites with an appearance from BBC Young Musician finalist Jess Gillam who’ll be reprising her Last Night of the Proms piece, Scaramouche.
WORKSHOP: Copper jewellery making, COSITAS, St Albans, Thurs 28 Feb
St Albans based Indie homewear and accessories shop COSITAS are offering the chance to make your own cool copper jewellery in a guided workshop. You’ll learn basic jewellery making techniques, using heat and hammering, and make a stylish ring or bangle.