THEATRE: Where the Hell is Bernard?, The Place, Bedford, 1 Mar
This dystopian play set in the future follows four women who spend their days in a high rise office tasked with anonymously returning lost property. One day something bounces back which leads them to break free from the city that no-one EVER leaves and they soon find themselves responsible for the future of humanity (as you do!). This musical production from Haste Theatre sounds dark and quirky – I think we’re gonna love it.
COMEDY: The Think Drinkers: Pub Crawl, Luton Library Theatre, Fri 1 – Sat 2 Mar
As seen on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch, Jamie Oliver’s Drinks Tube and in regular columns in The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, Metro, The Spectator and, er, Off Licence News, this liquor loving comedy duo come to Luton with their show about why alcohol has influenced everything that has ever happened. Oh, and did I mention you get five free drinks? Adults only!
WALK: Family explorers, Stowe, 1 Mar – 31 May
Wakey, wakey! As the flowers and resident wildlife come out of hibernation at Stowe it’s the perfect time to explore this fab National Trust property. Grab a guide and get back to nature by challenging the kids to spot baby lambs, listen to the birds singing, and smell the flowers.
FOOD: Before Vegan Market, John Bunyan Museum, Sat 2 Mar
I haven’t seen a veggie market around these parts, let alone a vegan one (but what about the cheese?!), so it could be well worth a visit if you’re interested in the plant-based life or fancy trying some new grub. There’ll be hot and cold food stalls as well as ethical products for sale.
KIDS: Big Book, Tall Tales, Luton Central Library, Sun 3 Mar
A caretaker finds a 6ft book in a forgotten old library, but all the words have been washed away… Kids aged five to nine can find out what happens next at Luton Central Library at this short 50 minute performance by children’s theatre company Booster Cushion Theatre.
THEATRE: The Giant Jam Sandwich, The Quarry Theatre, Bedford, Sun 3 Mar
This sounds like a jam-packed (sorry…) show for 3 – 8 year olds, involving a wasp invasion and a genius plan by the villagers to make a giant – you guessed it – jam sandwich, to save the day. There are performances at 2pm and 5pm. For the later one kids are encouraged to come in their PJs and will be handed toothbrushes and toothpaste after the show – something to do with all that sugary jam we’re guessing?!
ART: An Unexpected Twist on Dahl, The Upstairs Gallery, Berkhamsted, 4 – 16 Mar
It’s Dahl but not as you know it… A collective of 12 printmakers from Bodenpress in Bucks have given their take on the adult works of Roald Dahl. Each artist has produced three works inspired by the stories, and a different one will be at the gallery on every day of the exhibition to talk about how they created them.
WORKSHOP: ESPA workshop, Luton Hoo Hotel, Tues 5 Mar
Fancy picking up some beauty tips and skincare secrets? At this interactive workshop, held in the hotel’s fancy Mansion House, you’ll be able to try some of the newest ESPA products and learn the tricks of the trade from the spa’s expert therapists. Plus you’ll get a discount on any products or treatments booked at the time, and a goody bag to boot.
COMEDY: Russell Kane, The Fast and the Curious, Grove Theatre, Dunstable, Thurs 7 Mar
Multi award-winning funny man Russel Kane brings his high-energy brand of comedy to Bedforshire on his latest tour. Take a deep breath – you’re in for a rollicking ride through Russell’s thoughts on love, life and family, as he attempts to prove that the fast and curious amongst us get more done. We’ll let you make up your own mind on that one…
DEBATE: Are Women Their Own Worst Enemy?, Sandpit Theatre, St Albans, 7 Mar
We’ve all been there haven’t we? Putting ourselves last, mum guilt, you name it! This lively debate coincides with International Women’s Day (8 March) and will see an expert panel discussing topics like employment, the media and the criminal justice system, all in relation to women, of course. Plus, it will be broadcast live on Radio Verulam 92.6FM, so you if you can’t make it you can still tune in.
MUSIC: The South, Harpenden Public Halls, 7 Mar
Remember the dulcit tones of The Beautiful South? Unbelievably it’s 30 years since they released Song for Whoever and ten years since the band re-formed as The South, sans frontman Dave Hemingway. Sax player Gaz Birtles now joins Alison Wheeler up front on vocals and the 9-piece band are back with their UK tour this spring. Will you give them a Perfect 10?
THEATRE: Absurd Person Singular, Watford Palace Theatre, Thurs 7 – Sat 30 Mar
Like a bit of 70’s kitsch? You’ll enjoy this one. Set in 1971, Alan Ayckbourn’s darkly comic play goes behind the scenes at party where three couples are desperately trying to hide the cracks in their respective marriages. Pop open the Babycham, this promises to be a corker.
THEATRE: The Wonderful Discovery of Witches in the County of Lancaster, The Place, Bedford, 13 Mar
If you loved A Discovery of Witches on TV recently, this will be right up your street. Set in 1615, the production by Dawn State Theatre Company is based on the true story of Britain’s bloodiest witch-hunt. But one young witch is about to get her own back, and it’s going to be grisly… Sounds hauntingly good.
ALPACAS: New Alpaca Outpost, Wobun Safari Park
A 10-strong furry herd of alpacas have just moved to our ‘hood, including the hilariously named Chewpacca and Alpacamybags (my personal favourite). Their new home, the Alpaca Outpost, will let kids feed the animals and is a short train ride from the safari park. Also rocking up is Catboy (whoever he is), apparently he’s super popular amongst pre-school folk- who knew? Sat 3 Mar.
EXHIBITION: Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Natural History Museum, Tring, until 10 Mar
No need to schlep into London to catch this delightful annual photo exhibition (the full exhibition is still on there until June though), but it’s your last chance to see the highlights closer to home. It captures some of the most intimate moments in nature as well as raising awareness of the impacts of stuff like pollution on the world’s wildlife.
KIDS: Dear Zoo Live, Gordon Craid Theatre, Stevenage, 13 – 14 Mar
Anyone remember reading this as a kid? I do, and now I read it to my own daughter. Surely that’s a sign of a timeless classic! The popular lift-the-flap book has been brought to life on stage with puppetry and encourages lots of audience participation. It’s going to be a hit with the littlies.
WORKSHOP: Update Your Own Furniture, Cositas, St Albans, 18 Mar
Ever fancied trying your hand at upcycling? Bring along an unloved piece of furniture to this workshop and learn how to transform it into something you’ll treasure, using a range of chalk paints. It’s a pricey morning out at £80 a pop, but worth it to get all the advice you need and build up the confidence to do it yourself.
FILM: Banff Mountain Film Festival, Alban Arena, 19 Mar
Adrenaline junkies step this way. Here’s your chance to see a collection of short films as featured at the world’s most prestigious mountain festival, shot by some of the most intrepid explorers and film-makers on the planet. Expect jawdropping footage of fearless skiers, climbers, mountain bikers and ultra-marathon runners doing their thing – just don’t look down!
KIDS: Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain, Rhodes Arts Complex, Bishop’s Stortford, Fri 22 Mar
You’ve gotta love Horrible Histories for its no-holds-barred (kid-appropriate of course!) approach to making the more boring bits of history fun. Expect the usual level of gross-out moments, fun facts, and lots of laughs from this brand new show, fresh from the West End on its first UK tour.
COMEDY: Rachel Parris: It’s Fun to Pretend, Hertford Theatre, Sat 23 Mar
You might have seen her on BBC’s The Mash Report, and now Rachel Parris is taking her scathingly witty commentry on politics and society on tour. All delivered in her sweetly smiley way, Rachel will also be performing some of her trademark comic anthems (she’s got quite a voice actually) and lots of new material, too.
WALK: Dogs and Daffs, Hatfield House, 24 Mar
Go see the gorgeous spring daffys at Hatfield House and take your pooch along too, all in the name of chari-dee, with proceeds going to a local Riding for the Disabled group. There are loads of trails to follow around the grounds and there’s also going to be a dog show and some fun demos.
EXHIBITION: Citizen Science, Ashridge Estate, 30 Mar – 29 Feb 2020
Call yourself a nature geek? If so, this might pique your interest. This special year-long exhibition will showcase the work of the Ashridge Estate’s rangers, who survey the many different species of plants, animals and funghi that make their home there. You can peer down a microscope, find out what to look for this month, then head out on the estate and try surveying some wildlife yourself.
EXHIBITION: Barbara Hepworth: Artist in Society 1948 – 53, St Albans Museum, 23 Mar – 8 Sep
This one’s a bit of a blockbuster as local exhibitions go. It focuses on a period when the renowned landscape artist switched tack to studying the human figure, and brings together her drawings and sculptures on the theme for the first time since she created them. It’s on ’til September so you’ve got plenty of time to check it out.
ART: Henry Moore Studios and Gardens, Wed 3 Apr – 27 October
Heads up – the former home of artist and sculptor Henry Moore is closed every winter, but is set to reopen soon. For 2019 the garden will feature over 20 of Moore’s bronzes, meanwhile in the studio you’ll find his tapestries and the largest exhibition of his drawings in over 40 years.
LONDON DESIGN WEEK
There’s a couple of interior shows popping up in London this month if you’re thinking of sprucing up your gaff. First up is London Design Week at Chelsea Harbour Design Centre, Sun 10 – Fri 15 Mar, with 120 showrooms and over of 600 luxury brands- the biggest of its kind in Europe. Later in the month the whopper Ideal Home Show rocks up at Olympia London, Fri 22 Mar – Sun 7 April, with hundreds of free talks, 600 companies and the latest tech. This year the theme is Best of British so expect loads of UK companies. Does anyone else feel a splurge coming on?
FESTIVAL: Women of the World, Southbank, London, Fri 8 – Sat 9 Mar
Girl power! Women of the World fest returns for it’s ninth year with a fabulous line up of debate, discussion, performance and activism all celebrating female achievement. Highlights this year include conversations with Angela Davis, Fri 8, and renowned journo and activist Naomi Klein, Sat 9.
KIDS: Legoland reopens, Fri 12 Mar
Kids rejoice! Legoland reopens for the summer season this month and is hosting events at weekends to celebrate the new The Lego Movie 2, including building activities, character experiences, interactive photo opportunities and more. The park will also be unveiling its newest ride next month, The Haunted House Monster Party, Sat 13 April.
EXHIBITION: Van Gogh and Britain, Tate Britain, London, Wed 27 Mar – Tues 27 Aug
This new major exhibition will be the first to explore the artist’s relationship with Britain and the literature, art and culture that inspired his work. Over 45 works by the artist from public and private collections including Starry Night on the Rhône 1888 from the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, and the rarely loaned Sunflowers 1888 from the National Gallery, London. There’ll also be work by British artist who were influenced by Van Gogh’s work including Francis Bacon ad David Bomberg.
EXHIBITION: Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, until Sun 14 July
Tickets are selling like hotcakes for this! The V&A is showing the largest House of Dior exhibition ever staged in the UK, tracing the history of Christian Dior and the six artistic directors who succeeded him. The exhibition is based on the major exhibition Christian Dior: Couturier du Rêve, organised by the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, and there’s a new section exploring Dior’s fascination with British culture. A highlight is the Christian Dior dress worn by Princess Margaret for her 21st birthday celebrations, on loan from the Museum of London.
Chilterns Live, Pendley Meadow, Tring, Sat 29 June
Oooh, new and shiny! There’s a brand new festival near our ‘hood! Chilterns Live will be popping up in Tring with a stellar pop line-up of Busted (this got a few squeals in Muddy HQ), Sophie Ellis Bextor, The Feeling and Top Loader.