A Christmas Carol, Broadway Theatre, Letchworth, Weds 6 Dec
Vintage festive fun from The Fitzrovia Radio House and A Christmas Carol. It’s the Christmas tale told as a live 1940s-style studio recording. The troupe have played in venues including The Globe and Wilton’s Music Hall so it’s simply spiffing that they are coming to the Broadway Theatre, Letchworth on Wednesday. 7.30pm.
Handmade in Hitchin, The Barn, The Victoria, Thurs 7 Dec
This looks good. Hitchin is bursting with creativity and this is an evening where you can buy Christmas gifts from local designer makers. Paintings, jewellery and textiles. It’s taking place in the barn at the Victoria pub. 6pm.
Omid Djalili Hertford Theatre, Fri 8 Dec
Gordon House, Paint to Print, Broadway Gallery, Letchworth, until 28 Jan 2018
Joglaresa is…I’m not sure exactly. It’s a romp, that much I can guarantee. With fidel, harp, bells, bagpipes, dulcimer and voices. Go on, where’s your sense of adventure?
The Box of Delights, Wilton’s Music Hall, until 6 Jan 2018
It’s The Box of Delights, starring Matthew Kelly, at Wilton’s, the world’s most beautiful music hall. I’ve just made that bit up, but if you haven’t been, it is an absolutely beautiful and atmospheric venue.
As You Like It, Broadway Theatre, Fri 1 – Sat 2 Dec
Mistaken identity and love, all tangled up in a forest. Sounds like a recipe for happiness ever after. This is Shakespeare’s As You Like It by Shared Experience, in a production that promises to be funny, accessible and great fun. 7.30pm each day, with matinees on Thurs 30 Nov at 1.30pm, and Sat 2 Dec, 2pm.
Nutcracker Trail and St Albans Christmas Market, Vintry Garden, until Sat 23 Dec
A Nutcracker Trail thanks to St Albans Bid, gifts to buy thanks to a host of local designer makers, and festive treats to eat and drink in cosy Christmas cabins. Whatever takes your fancy, St Albans has got it. The Christmas market is open and ready for you. It’s in and around Vintry Garden, next to the Cathedral.
Rapunzel, Hertford Theatre, opens Sat 2 Dec
Here we go! The panto opens at Hertford Theatre and the foyer looks beautifully sparkly and ready for fun and games. You might like to read my interview with director Rhys Thomas, to see what goes on behind the scenes. You’ll be pleased to know this is a panto with top notch talent and quality of story. And slosh. Hurry, hurry, tickets are going fast. Until 1 Jan 2018.
George Street Christmas shopping day – without cars! Sat 2 Dec
On Saturday it’s Small Business Saturday, so it’s time to celebrate. George Street in St Albans is a beautiful road full of independent shops and on Saturday the cars will stop rolling and you’ll be able to stroll from one side of the road to the other with grass underfoot. (It might not be real, but it’ll be green). Check out George Street Canteen, Maison Hartley, ThirtyNine10 and many other delights. Join the street party!
Pick up your free book at The Harpenden Big Read, Harpenden Library, Sat 2 Dec
Now this sounds thrilling, and not just because it’s crime. The Harpenden Big Read kicks off on Saturday, and guess what? The first part of the story is where you pick up your free copy of Leigh Russell‘s Deadly Alibi. It’s published by Harpenden publisher No Exit Press. Then off you go to read it somewhere warm and cosy. What happens next? Well, you’ll have to keep reading and return to Muddy Herts and I’ll keep you posted. But to get you started, if you turn up at Harpenden Library on Saturday morning between 10am and 12pm, there’ll be a stand where you can get your mitts on your very own copy of Deadly Alibi. Can you believe this? A free book? Christmas has come early in Harpenden.
Release your inner Ibiza, Sat 2 Dec
I once spent a whole summer in Ibiza, and I don’t think I ever got over it. If you’ve experienced the dance scene of the White Isle, or would like to, you can do this without boarding a plane, thanks to Housemouse, who have organised a not-for-profit celebration of Balearic Beats in a secret location close to Tring. So close in fact, that if you hop on the bus at 7.45 pm, you’ll be transported to the venue in 15 mins. Buses leave from Tring, Pitstone and Cheddington. Nobody ever went out clubbing at 8pm when I was in Ibiza, but this is Herts, and we’ve got babysitters and beauty sleep to consider. Don’t worry about being stuck in the middle of nowhere, once you arrive, you can book a cab home, or come back on one of the buses at 12.30am or 1.45am. The location is guaranteed to be warm and with proper loos. It’s a private party, so you do need to book, and Housemouse are asking for a donation of £33. You’ll get a drink on arrival and then you can buy your drinks at a fairly priced bar. The organisers don’t want to make a profit, and if they do, it’ll be donated to local charities. Get ready to release your inner Ibiza and be home before 2am. What a completely brilliant idea. For tickets, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
See this beautiful image in the flesh, and lots more from the hugely talented artists who are part of the thriving Hitchin Art Hub. Artists exhibiting and selling their work include Roz Down (above) and photographer Kasia Burke. Market Place, 10am – 3pm.
Live screening, A Woman of No Importance, Vyne Theatre, Berkhamsted, Sun 3 Dec
When you hear ‘house party’, you know that a good story is about to unfold. This is Oscar Wilde’s classic, A Woman of No Importance, live from the Vaudeville Theatre with a starry cast including Anne Reid and Eve Best. Wonderful Sunday escapism. 6pm.
Santa in Love, Sandpit Theatre, Sun 3 Dec
For the youngest members of the family, as you’ve probably guessed. Just the ticket for whipping them up into a pre-Christmas frenzy. At least it keeps them away from the Christmas TV ads. A musical with bells on, singalongs and silliness. And a real Santa to administer smiles and presents after the show. 2pm.