FILM: St Albans Film Festival, various locations, until 7 July
You don’t have to be a movie buff into artsy docs to enjoy this one. There’s something for everyone, from a whole load of outdoor screenings at St Albans Cathedral – from Gladiator to Grease Singalong – to workshops on everything from smartphone photography to animation, talks on the film industry, and a St Albans on screen walking tour.
FESTIVAL: Chilfest, Tring, 6 July
Do you <heart> the ’80s? Get yourself down to Chilfest, now in its sixth year rolling out retro hits across the Chiltern Hills. Acts booked include Bananarama, Soul II Soul, The Selecter and Five Star – although, call me a pedant but it looks like they’re technically One Star now, with one original member and a bunch of newbies.
KIDS: Interactive Science Exhibition, Stockwood Discovery Centre, Luton, 1 July – 8 Sept
What kid doesn’t love wouldn’t want to learn how to become invisible, create eletricity and experience what a tornado feels like? This world touring exhibition, produced by scientists, physicists, geologists and astronomers, has already broken records, selling a whopping 100,000 tickets in Rome, and now it’s coming to our very own Luton. There’ll be over 40 interactive exhibits on the themes of science, maths, physics, natural disasters, nature, solar energy, biology, music and more.
MUSICAL: Annie The Musical, Milton Keynes Theatre, 1-6 July
Strictly’s Craig Revel Horwood dons a wig and tights to play tyrannical Miss Hannigan in Tony Award winning Annie The Musical (yup, that’s him on the left!). Erm… it’s a 5 from us Craig. You can bet your bottom dollar (sorry!) that the show will be a glittering 10 out of 10 though, if the rave reviews are anything to go by.
FESTIVAL: Summer Fest, Waddesdon Manor, 6-7 July
A hop and skip over the border in Aylesbury at Waddesdon Manor, there’s the National Trust site’s first Summer Fest, a relaunch of the popular Summer Feast event. There’ll be street performers (see above – vertigo, anyone?!), food, music, shopping village in the Aviary Glade and bunting for miles.
BOOKS: Booktastic Bedford, The Quarry Theatre, Bedford, 6-7 July
This festival, set up by a group of self-confessed bookworms, is dedicated to inspiring kids to read and started life as a children’s book club held in a Waterstone’s store room. Now in its fifth year the event will welcome authors, designers, artists and creators from Bedford and beyond to take part in events from family fun days, to charity fundraisers and bedtime story sessions.
OPEN-AIR THEATRE: Shakespearean plays, Blenheim Palace, 8 July – 7 Sept
Tis the season to dodge the rain and enjoy some outdoor thespian action so grab your rug, brolly and, of course, a sneaky hipflask as Europe’s first pop-up Shakespearean theatre is pitching up at Blenheim Palace with Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Richard III and Romeo & Juliet– the 13-sided scaffolding theatre, with three tiers of covered seating and open courtyard for ‘groundlings’, will be accompanied by a Shakespearean Village selling local ales, ice cream and side shows.