Mon 10 Sep - Sun 16 Sep 2018
BOOKS: Val McDermid, Saffron Hall, Thurs 13 Sept
No need for introductions if you’re a fan of crime – I mean, if you enjoy reading crime novels. Saffron Hall is a great venue if you don’t know it and easy to get to if you’re in the east of Herts. You can even order a deli box (at a literary event!) with olives and nuts and nibbly things.
COMEDY: Sara Pascoe, Court Theatre, Tring, Thurs 13 Sep
Sara Pascoe’s Sell-out West End comedy show LadsLadsLads is on in Tring this week. Referred to as the thinking person’s stag do, Sara’s show takes in her adventures of the last year and given her appearances on Mock the Week, QI and Live at the Apollo she’s bound to be hilarious.
EXHIBITION: Henry Fraser, Hand to Mouth II, The Grove, Chandler’s Cross, Sat 15 & Sun 16 Sept
Henry Fraser has a huge talent for drawing and painting and for inspiring others. His work is being exhibited at The Grove in Chandlers Cross this month, and I recommend a visit to see his paintings. An accident when Henry was 17 meant that he was paralysed from the shoulders down, but he taught himself to draw and now paints by attaching brushes to a mouth stick. I met Henry a few years ago to interview him for Hertfordshire Life magazine and he is a lovely and completely amazing man.
CULTURE: Heritage Open Days, countywide, Thurs 13 Sep – Sun 16 Sep
Get your comfy shoes on! There are loads of historic places to explore around Herts in the annual Heritage Open Days – whizz up the St Albans Cathedral tower (all 211 steps), check out a working water mill, visit the walled garden at Luton Hoo designed by Capability Brown, or go behind the scenes at Watford Palace Theatre, plus loads, loads more.
OUTDOOR FUN: Help with the harvest, Frithsden Vineyard
An annual event where you can help the fine folk at Frithsden Vineyard (Natalie and Simon Tooley) to bring in the harvest. I’m not quite sure how it all works, but I would hope that there are some refreshments after picking. You need to get in touch to see when you can go along to help during September.
EXHIBITION: Voices – Women of Influence, Ashridge Estate, Now until Feb 2019
Celebrating 100 years since the 1918 Representation of the People Act, this exhibition looks back over 200 years of the estate’s history and highlights some of the women who lived or worked there and the impact they had on it.
THEATRE: Pinter at The Pinter, London, now – 23 Feb 2019
Never before have all twenty of Pinter’s short plays been performed together in one season. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Pinter’s death, this gathering of stellar actors (many of whom worked with Pinter) looks like a humdinger. Famous names include Martin Freeman, Jane Horrocks, Tamsin Greig, David Suchet, Sir Anthony Sher, Mark Rylance, John Simm, Penelope Wilton and – alright, love – Danny Dyer! And if that’s not enough, they’ll even be some surprise guest stars. This is gonna be big, people, so get booking. Bonus: one act plays mean you’ll still have some evening left for dinner and drinkies in the Big Smoke
THEATRE: Sylvia the Musical, The Old Vic, London, now – Sat 22 Sep
Nowadays it seems that any topic can be given the musical theatre treatment and this time, one hundred years after the first women in Britain were granted the vote, it’s Sylvia Pankhurst’s turn. This modern musical combines dance, hip hop, soul and funk to shed new light on her remarkable story and how her passion for equality tore her family apart. It’s even got Beverley Knight playing Sylivia’s mum, Emmeline Pankhurst, no less. Go sister!
ART: Aftermath, Tate Britain, London, Mon 10 – Sun 23 Sep
A short but fascinating, haunting and moving exhibition on how artists reacted to the aftermath of World War One, recording its scars but also looking to the future and the birth of new movements such as dadaism and surrealism.
THEATRE: The Merry Wives of Windsor, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, now – 22 Sep
Fiona Laird, who has worked with some of the biggest names in British theatre from Benedict Cumberbatch to Dame Judi Dench, not only directs but has composed the music for this new fun-filled RSC production, which has something of a TOWIE feel to it (yes, really). It’s a glam suburban comedy about wealthy wives and over-inflated egos, with a strong female cast including Katy Brittain, Beth Cordingly, Karen Fishwick (Juliet in the RSC’s current Romeo & Juliet), Rebecca Lacey, Sakuntala Ramanee, Ishia Bennison and Charlotte Josephine. The performance on Sep 12 will be broadcast live in cinemas nationwide.
ARTS & CRAFTS: The Handmade Fair, Hampton Court, Fri 14 – Sun 16 Sep
I can’t even sew labels onto school clothes so this kind of event is way out of my comfort zone. However, you may be au fait with a with needle and thread, sewing machine, knitters and fabric scissors, in which case fill your boots at this slick annual offering from Kirstie Allsopp. There’s the chance to try something new in the interactive workshops – from calligraphy to wirework, machine sewing to screen printing – with experts in their fields such as Annie Sloan. Since no respecting event is complete without food these days, the expert cooks from Olive Magazine will be on hand to let you in on the latest foodie trends plus there will be plenty of stalls to buy arts, crafts, materials for crafting and bespoke products.
DESIGN: London Design Festival, various London locations, Sat 15 – Sun 23 Sep
Celebrating London as a powerhouse of design, loads of events are on offer across the capital including workshops, demonstrations and launches. As always, the V&A will be at the forefront with show-stopping installations and across the city, there are 5 major trade shows, the commercial pillars of the festival, where you can meet designers, buyers, sellers and manufacturers and discover new products and design trends.
FASHION: London Fashion Week and Festival, Fri 14 – Sun 23 Sep
If your invitations to the main catwalk shows got lost in the post (yours too, eh?), mere mortals can buy tickets to the London Fashion Week Festival with designer and trend shows on the catwalk, talks with various industry figures such as ex-fashion ed turned interiors blogger Erica Davies, and pop-up shopping with over 150 top British and international brands. Totter along in your Jimmy Choos (or Zara sales bargain in my case) and return home looking absolutely fabulous, dahling.
FESTIVAL: Feast on the Farm, Peterley Manor Farm, Bucks, Sat 6 – Sun 7 Oct
Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar’s Sindhu team will be taking over The Yurt for Peterley Manor Farm’s Feast at the Farm Festival, 6 and 7 Oct in Prestwood, Great Missenden. His pop-up restaurant will combine the cuisines of the Sindhu and Hawkyns (Old Amersham) in the form of small plates and he’s hosting a supper club on the Friday evening of the festival weekend. Feast at the Farm looks like it’s notching up a gear this year too – three times the workshops (including how to photograph food for Instagram by @olie_eats, tutored English wine tastings, a new children’s mini ‘Feastival’, a new area called The Garden Pergola with a Seedlip botanical bar, Harrow & Hope bubbles bar and a Campfire Gin cocktail bar. Wonder where the Muddy crew will be? Tickets are on sale now!