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What’s on this week: 10-17 Oct

From Oz, art and apple pressing to comedy, jazz and sheep farming, we've got it all covered this week. Out you go!

ONLINE THEATRE: Going the Distance, Watford Palace Theatre, until 17 Oct

Inspired by the events of the last 18 months with theatres going dark nationwide, this uplifting comedy starring Shobna Gulati and Matthew Kelly, follows a local theatre company with a big mission. The Matchborough Community Theatre aren’t going to let a pandemic get the better of them as they fight to save their local venue by putting on a fundraising production inspired by The Wizard of Oz. This is a remote viewing event, so can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own sofa!

ART: Knot Together, Courtyard Arts Gallery, until 30 Oct

This mixed media exhibition is a culmination of work by two sets of friends, artists Fabiola Alcaraz, Ivan Daggett, Anthony Stapleton and Sue Wagstaff. It explores the way that their work – which features a mixture of drawing, painting, collage and textile printing, stained glass, clay installation and wood sculpture – all interweaves and overlaps with each other.

FAMILY: Apple Day, Forty Hall Farm, 10 Oct

This organic farm on the Herts/London border is home to rare breed animals, London’s only vineyard, a community orchard, a market garden and a Farm Shop. This year’s Apple Day celebrates the orchard’s 10th anniversary – there’ll be apples and juices for sale, juicing demos and orchard tours.

FITNESS: Run with Willow, Hatfield House, 10 Oct

Photo credit: SCANTECH MEDIA

Get your trainers on and dust off that running gear for this annual charity event in aid of Willow, which supports seriously ill young adults. There are 5k and 10k options as well as a junior 1k run, with courses taking in the gorgeous grounds of Hatfield House. This year there’s more of a festival feel with food stalls, music and a Tiny Tots Scamper. Plus entrants will have access to the Stable Yard Shops and Coach House Kitchen. Minimum sponsorship £50.

WORKSHOP: Beginners’ photography course, Ashridge Estate, 11 and 16 Oct

Want to get your head around your camera functions or just learn to take some decent outdoor snaps? Sign up to this workshop led by Lyndsey Abercromby, where you can explore the gorgeous Ashridge Estate as the leaves turn for autumn (plenty of photo ops to be had!), while learning about composition, exposure, focussing and depth of field. £99 per person.

COMEDY: Stephen K Amos: Before and Laughter, The Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead, 15-16 Oct

Switch off from the seriousness of life for a bit with some laughter therapy. Funnyman Stephen K Amos takes a wry look over the last decade and his own personal highs and lows. Things are still going downhill but hey – there’s always humour… and gin!

MUSIC: Herts Jazz Festival, South Mill Arts, Bishop’s Stortford, 15-17 Oct

Re-scheduled from last year’s cancelled date the 10th Herts Jazz Festival is a celebration of the best of British Jazz. Headliners include pianist Darius Brubeck (son of jazz icon Dave Brubeck) with his quartet on the Friday, singer and pianist Liane Carroll on the Saturday and the Simon Spillett Big Band playing the music of the legendary Tubby Hayes on Sunday evening.

TALK: Amanda Owen: The Yorkshire Shepherdess, Saffron Hall, 17 Oct

You may remember her from the Channel 5 series Our Yorkshire Farm which made her an overnight sensation. If not, let me tell you, this lady has crazy skills – shepherdess, author and mother of nine (yes nine!) children – I for one do not know how she does it! Hear Amanda talk about life on her 200-acre farm and what the next chapter has in store. Should be fascinating!

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