Vamos, A Brave Face, Hertford Theatre, Tues 1 May
What’s going on here? Well, Vamos Theatre is a full mask company, the best in the UK. It takes on challenging themes, using mask skills to create engaging storytelling and emotional insight. Vamos guides audiences across borders and boundaries, and in A Brave Face, the location is Afghanistan and the story is about Ryan, a soldier, and his young sister. The subject is Post-Traumatic Stress. Ages 12+. 7.45pm.
3 Brewers at The Fox at Willian, Thurs 3 May
Mark Fanner from the 3 Brewers of St Albans will be at The Fox at Willian for one night. What happens next is anyone’s guess. But it should be flavourful and fun. Learn about brewing and drinking and taste all of the beers together with matching bar snacks. Places are limited, so be quick! You’ll be in with a chance to win a cask to take home. Tickets are £25. 7pm.
A social history of egg collecting, Henry Moore Foundation, Perry Green, Thurs 3 May
We like to celebrate the quirky at Muddy Stilettos. This evening should not disappoint! Artist and musician Andy Holden lives and works in Bedford and has recently exhibited at Tate, Kettle’s Yard, Glasgow International and Bristol’s Spike Island. For the last five years he has worked collaboratively with his father Peter Holden, a well-known ornithologist, to produce a number of works and performances which examine birds, nests and egg collecting. Andy tells the tale of a peculiarly British history of egg collecting, which explores our attitudes towards science, nature, knowledge and the urge to collect in the former home of sculptor Henry Moore. 6-8pm.
Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer & Thomas Benjamin Wild Esq, Club 85, Hitchin, Sat 5 May
This looks like fun. Dress code optional, although chap/chapess styling is actively encouraged. 8.30pm. Doors 7.45pm.
Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales, Hertford Theatre, Sat 5 May & Sun 6th May
Under the sea, out on the farm and into the jungle, these terrific tales are woven together with live music, puppetry and a whole host of colourful characters from Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s best-loved titles: Tiddler, Monkey Puzzle, The Smartest Giant in Town and A Squash and a Squeeze. Funky moves, toe tapping tunes and giggles are guaranteed! 11am and 2pm each day.
Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier, Design Museum, from Thurs 10 May
Conceived and co-curated with Monsieur Alaïa before his death in November 2017, the exhibition charts his incredible journey from sculptor to couturier, his nonconformist nature and his infectious energy for fashion, friendship and the female body. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Alaïa personally constructed each garment by hand and refused to bow to the pressures of fashion week deadlines, instead working to his own schedule. His collaborative approach earned him an esteemed client list, including Greta Garbo, Grace Jones, Michelle Obama and Rihanna
Silence of Snow, Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead, Fri 11 May
An event supporting the charity Mind. Mark Farrelly (Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope) presents his riveting, kinetic solo show portraying one of the great English writers of the inter-war years. Patrick Hamilton was a dazzling success in his twenties, producing hit plays Rope (filmed by Hitchcock) and Gaslight, and classic novels Twenty Thousand Streets Under The Sky, Hangover Square and The Slaves of Solitude. But Hamilton was also an alcoholic, whose wit became increasingly mordant as his inner and outer worlds collapsed. 8pm.
The Manor House, Open Garden, Ayot St Lawrence, Sun 20 May
Do not miss this garden! I visited last year and it’s now one of my favourite Herts’ gardens. 6 acres and an Elizabethan Manor House (sadly not open to the public), a walled garden and glasshouses. Parterre and water features. Designed by Julie Toll. Cakes and drinks and produce for sale. I seem to remember buying some rather splendid apple juice. 11am – 5pm.
London Nights, Museum of London, from Fri 11 May
Explore London after dark in a new, evocative photography exhibition. Fusing portraiture, documentary, conceptual photography and film, London Nights will reveal the city after dark through photographs ranging from the late 19th century to the present day.
Guided walk, Hertford, Mon 7 May
This sounds great. Join the radicals, dissenters and rebels and learn a lot about local history while you walk. 2pm.
Yarrow+Yoga Spring Detox, Hemel Hempstead, Sat 5 May
Stretch, breathe, meditate, walk and forage. This looks and sounds great and I’m going along to sample it myself. Yoga Atelier offers classes and workshops in yoga, meditation, nutrition and all-round wellbeing. This takes place in the Hemel Food Garden and I’m intrigued. See you there. 10am – 12pm.
Barry Parker, Architecture For All, Broadway Gallery, Letchworth, from Fri 4 May
I think this exhibition is going to be brilliant. Join Broadway Gallery and the Garden City Collection to explore the life and work of Barry Parker (1867-1947), the architect of the world’s first Garden City and a key figure to the Arts & Crafts movement. This will be the first exhibition to examine Barry Parker’s contribution to architecture, showcasing some of the 4,500 objects from the Parker Collection, including architectural plans and drawings, photographs, furniture and fine art.
Yoga on the Farm, Hitchin Lavender, Tuesday and Sundays, 8 May – September
Why bother with a dainty lavender bag when you can just roll around in the stuff? Well, not quite, but this is yoga on grass, surrounded by drifts of lavender. Delicious! Starts this month and the classes run on Tuesdays and Sunday until September.
Emma Healey, David’s Bookshop, Letchworth, Tues 8 May
Fans of Emma Healey’s Elizabeth is Missing should make a point of heading to Letchworth to meet her. Emma will be talking about her new book, Whistle in the Dark. The story? Jen’s 15-year-old daughter goes missing for four agonizing days. When Lana is found, unharmed, in the middle of the desolate countryside, everyone thinks the worst is over. But Lana refuses to tell anyone what happened, and the police draw a blank. The once-happy, loving family return to London, where things start to fall apart.
Macbeth, Vyne Theatre, Berkhamsted, Sun 13 May
National Theatre Live. Shakespeare’s most intense and terrifying tragedy, directed by Rufus Norris (The Threepenny Opera, London Road), will see Rory Kinnear (Young Marx, Othello) and Anne-Marie Duff (Oil, Suffragette) return to the National Theatre to play Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. The ruined aftermath of a bloody civil war. Ruthlessly fighting to survive, the Macbeths are propelled towards the crown by forces of elemental darkness. 6pm.
Holiday Styling Workshop, Halia Rose, Berkhamsted, Sun 13 May
No more sitting on your suitcase trying to encourage it to close. Sarah of Halia Rose is leading a workshop on holiday packing! Learn how to pack light and look fab and yes, I’m going have to use the word ‘capsule’ which is part and parcel of successful holiday packing. The workshop will cover: the basics of colour and style; how to mix, match and accessorise to create multiple stylish outfits; the contents of a holiday wardrobe packed into a single cabin sized suitcase; a suggested holiday packing list. 2-4pm. £20 per person to include a summer drink. If you book to go with a friend, you’ll get a discount. Montague Road, HP4 3DT Berkhamsted
James Mayhew, Broadway Theatre, Letchworth, Sun 20 May
Be transported back to the sights and sounds of Shakespeare’s world through an enchanting afternoon of art and music. Watch the stories unfold on James Mayhew’s renowned easel whilst listening to many original tunes from As You Like it, Othello, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Macbeth, The Tempest, Twelfth Night and Hamlet, all performed on an array of lutes, violins, recorders and viols by Realm of Music. A mesmerising performance of music, art and storytelling for all the family. 3pm.
Benington Lordship, open gardens, Sat 28 & Sun 27 May
A slightly unseasonal photo, but hope you get the picture. There’s a chilli festival in August, but while you’re waiting, the gardens at Benington are open this bank holiday weekend, and who knows, the weather might be kind?
White Hart, Supper Club, Welwyn, Thurs 31 May
Join the supper club in the former court room at the White Hart, Welwyn. It’s a wonderfully friendly and fun evening, hosted by James Dowling from Wine2Trade, and James Bainbridge, owner of the White Hart. Enjoy German bubbly and wines from a 3-course sharing style dinner inspired by the country. Tickets are £45 per person. 7pm.