Fri 8 – Sun 10 June
Mississippi Swamp Dogs, Nettleden Festival, Fri 8 June 2018
As you can see, these jazz cats have played at Ronnie Scott’s. How incredibly lucky we are that they will soon sauntering along to a church in Herts! The Mississippi Swamp Dogs are opening the Nettleden Festival (Fri 8 – Sun 10 June) in Nettleden Church. 7.30pm. No gumbo, but burgers, beer, cheese and wine are on offer.
Open Farm Sunday, Sun 10 June
Now in its 13th year, Open Farm Sunday, run by the charity LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming), is a great opportunity to visit a farm and see how it works. More than 300 farms are taking part around the country. Here are a few of the farms in Herts: Forty Hall Farm, East Hall Farm and Luton Hoo Estate. Check out the website for all the different locations.
St Albans Museum and Art Gallery, opens Fri 8 June
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Henry Moore Studios & Gardens, Perry Green, Fri 8 Jun
A Shakespeare comedy performed amidst Henry Moore bronzes. What a marvellous combo. Chapterhouse Theatre Company specialises in performing under the stars, so let’s hope for a starry night in Perry Green. Doors open 6.30; performance begins 7.30pm. Don’t forget your picnic.
Teeth, Wellcome Collection – until 19 Sept
Dentistry, fairground entertainment, happy smiles and horrific tales. 150 objects, including ancient protective amulets and dental bling, dentures and drills, sketches and spittoons, tooth transplants and toothpaste ads, If you catch a train home from Euston or Kings Cross, you might like to pop in here one evening. Open until 6pm during the week and until 8pm on Thursdays. Free.
Red, Wyndham’s Theatre
A short play about Mark Rothko, who in the late 50s was invited to make paintings for The Four Seasons restaurant in New York. Rothko is played by Alfred Molina and his studio assistant Ken is played by Alfred Enoch.
Light Steps, Old Town Hall, Sat 9 June
Colour, music and interactive dance aimed at little ones aged 2-5. Light Steps centres on the exploration of the changing light of day by an endearing rag doll, Alex. Alex’s journey is overseen by three friends (two dancers and a musician) whose movement, music and dance mirror the rag doll’s feelings and curiosity as the journey of the sun across the sky are experienced. There is also the opportunity for children to participate in an accompanying workshop. 2.30pm.
Antony Gormley, Kettles Yard, Cambridge – until 27 Aug
Ooo! I need to nip over the border to Cambridge. Kettles Yard has been transformed beyond recognition. I visited during the week of opening, when I think the whole team was in shock due to the queues, but I imagine it’s settled down now. ‘SUBJECT’ highlights many of Antony Gormley’s interests, including how sculpture can activate both the space that it occupies and the body of the viewer. The exhibition offers a series of physical and metaphysical encounters, exploring our relationship to space and our sense of self.
Ayot St Lawrence, Art Show, Sat 9 June – Mon 11 June
This is a brilliant event – I went to it last year – with live music, delicious drinks and yummy food. Oh, and there’s art! If you don’t know the Palladian church in Ayot St Lawrence, put this date in your diary. Great atmosphere in a quirky and very special location.
Nettleden Open Gardens, Sat 9 June
Buy tickets for:
St Albans Film Festival, Tues 26 Jun – Sun 1 July
Now in its 5th year, the St Albans Film Festival has really hit its stride. In addition to the big films – The Greatest Showman, Sing, Black Panther, Bridget Jones’s Diary and more – there’s a whole programme of workshops and site specific events. Stand up comedy at Fleetville Larder (winner of this year’s Best Deli in the Muddy Awards) and an affordable, pay what you can film, as well as a virtual reality workshop at the brand new museum and gallery. Be quick, these tickets will fly.
Geronimo, Knebworth House, Sat 30 June and Sun 1 July
Geronimo is the ultimate family festival that’s known as ‘Glasto for Kids’. Now in its 4th year, Geronimo will continue to celebrate its success at Arley Hall in Cheshire, but it’s venturing further afield, and has chosen a new field, or rather parkland, at Knebworth House. On the main stage you can expect to see Justin Fletcher and Mr Bloom among other talented and friendly faces. Delights on the ground include activities with two circuses, a Victorian fun fair, den building, zip wires, family crafts, a gaming bus, willow weaving and more. Once you’ve bought a ticket, most of the activities are free, and a day ticket (£25) includes entrance to the Dino Trail at Knebworth House.
Michael Jackson On the Wall, National Portrait Gallery, from Thurs 28 June
This promises to be amazing. An exhibition exploring the influence of Michael Jackson on some of the leading names in contemporary art, spanning several generations of artists across all media. It opens on 29 June to to coincide with what would have been Michael Jackson’s 60th birthday (on August 29, 2018).