Fri 1 - Sun 3 Nov
MUSICAL: Kinky Boots, MK Theatre, Milton Keynes, 28 Oct – 8 Nov
We’re looking forward to the return of this Olivier award-winning production to our ‘hood (well, not far from it!), at the end of the month. It’s won every major Best Musical award (TONY, Grammy, Olivier – you name it) so a dead cert.
THEATRE: Oliver!, Hertford theatre, 31 Oct-2 Nov
Limitless Productions (the team behind Our House, Hairspray and Jesus Christ Superstar) are back with an all singing, all dancing adaptation of the literary classic, featuring the eponymous street urchin, Fagin and The Artful Dodger. It’s tipped to be a very ‘real’ performance so expect to be transported to Dickensian London in all its griminess.
PARTY: Día de los Muertos , Copper House, Berkhamsted, 2 Nov
One of our fave local bars will be transformed into an all-out Mexican Day of the Dead themed party haunt (see what we did there?) for one night only. This is Halloween for grown-ups. There’ll be tequila cocktails (created in partnership with Don Julio), to wake the dead, Mexican canapés, finger food and a 3-hour live set from DJ Lyndsay Evans (who’s played everywhere from Ibiza to the BRIT Awards party and London and Paris Fashion Weeks). The dress code is drop dead gorgeous, so get creative and prepare to par-tay!
CHRISTMAS: Charity Christmas Market, Hatfield House, 2 Nov
Pick up a few early Chrimbo pressies from foodie stocking fillers to locally produced artisan gifts at this bijou market held in the Hatfield House Riding School. Proceeds go to local charity Isabel Hospice, so it’s all for a good cause, too.
COMEDY: The Noise Next Door – Remix!, The Quarry Theatre at St Luke’s, Bedford, 2 Nov
This hilarious gang met at uni and are now the UKs top improv comedy troupe. They’ve sold out at Edinburgh no fewer than eight times thanks to their razor-sharp wit and cheeky charm and you may have spotted them on TV when they’ve appeared alongside the likes of Michael McIntyre, Al Murray, and Harry Hill. This adults-only show is sure to be an absolute corker.
FAMILY: The Noise Next Door – At Sea!, The Quarry Theatre at St Luke’s, Bedford, 2 Nov
Err… are we having a case of deja vu? No, the aforementioned comedy troupe and also bringing their unique style to younger audiences with this family-friendly show. Join the crew on their swashbuckling adventure to find Captain Bloodbeard with plenty of mermaids, magic and sea shanties. And for an added twist, it’s up to the audience to decide which course their voyage will take.
FAMILY: Family Bushcraft Workshop, RSPB Rye Meads, 2 Nov
Learn to give Bear Grylls a run for his money at this survival skills workshop for adults and kids. Light a fire from scratch, cook smores over the campfire and make rope out of nettles all under the guidance of a bushcraft expert. Suitable for ages 8+.
ART & EXHIBITIONS
Vogue fashion and portrait photographer Tim Walker‘s enchanting, fantastical, frankly insane work is the subject of a new V&A exhibition (until 8 March). Tilda Swinton, Björk and, er, Sir David Attenborough are among his subjects and he’s also created 10 new works for the show.
Meanwhile this autumn’s big-hitter is William Blake at Tate Britain, below, (until 2 Feb 2020). The visionary painter and poet’s work will be imaginatively displayed – some of it blown up to enormous scale using digital technology, other works in an immersive room that recreates the space in which Blake first showed his art in 1809.
Elsewhere Into the Night: Cabarets & Clubs in Modern Art at the Barbican (4 Oct – 19 Jan) is probably the nearest I’ll get to clubbing this autumn. It’s such a cool concept – a history of cabarets, clubs, dancefloors and party spaces that inspired artists from the 1880s to the 1960s, including the Berlin cabaret scene in Weimar Germany and Harlem’s jazz clubs and lifesize recreations of some of the hotspots.
Then there’s a major retrospective of 88-year-old Bridget Riley‘s life’s work at the Hayward Gallery (23 Oct – 26 Jan), taking in her famous monochrome, makes-your-eyes-go-funny Op Art paintings from the 1960s among its 70 year career span.
And finally, playing “spot the Angel Of The North” as we drive up the A1 to Newcastle is a family ritual in our house (Geordie in-laws, you see), so I’ve got a soft spot for Antony Gormley’s striking sculpture. His new show at the Royal Academy (until 3 Dec) is billed as his most ambitious in a decade and involves six tonnes of steel mesh, eight km of coiled tubing and a gallery flooded with clay and sea water. Blimey!
THEATRE: Lungs, Old Vic theatre, London, 14 Oct – 9 Nov
The Crown alumni Claire Foy and Matt Smith (aka The Queen and Prince Philip, of course) are reunited in Lungs at the Old Vic (14 Oct–9 Nov), playing a couple wrestling with life’s big issues, such as whether to have children, against the backdrop of a world teetering on the edge of environmental and political disaster.