Fri 29 Sept – Sun 1 Oct 2017
Elton John’s Glasses, Watford Palace Theatre, Fri 29 Sept – Sat 21 Oct
Watford Palace Theatre has a wonderful reputation for creating its own productions. I went to see I Capture the Castle earlier in the year and it was brilliant. This is written by David Farr, who you may remember as the person who brought The Night Manager to life. It’s the tale of two brothers who are about to meet for the first time in years. It’s 1996. Dan is chasing his dream of musical stardom. Bill is brooding over the death of Watford FC’s hopes of glory at the infamous 1984 Cup Final – all thanks to a certain notorious pair of glasses. A comedy about sibling rivalry, football and unlikely friendships.
The Garden City Postcard Project, Broadway Gallery, Mon 25 Sept – Sun 5 Nov
I absolutely love this gallery and I’m looking forward to seeing this exhibition. It’s a celebration of the world’s first Garden City through its postcards from 1905 to 2017. You can look at the collection of Letchworth postcards from the Garden City Collection, and in addition, people have been donating cards that you can also admire. Local artists, illustrators, designers and writers have also created brand new postcards, including poems and short stories. If you don’t know the Broadway Gallery, you absolutely need to make a date. There’s a wonderful café, with loads of light, delicious cakes, and a grand piano.
The Tiger Who Came to Tea, Hertford Theatre, Fri 29 Sept – Sun 1 Oct
The Tiger Who Came to Tea brought down the house during its West End season and now the tea-drinking tiger is on tour. It’s a musical, so be prepared to sing along. David Wood has adapted Judith Kerr‘s tiger tale so you’re in good hands. He also directed BFG and The Witches. Part of the Hi-jinks festival in Hertford which is supported by loads of fab businesses and locations: Leaf Books, Courtyard Arts, the museum and library.
Hatfield House, until Sat 30 Sept
While stocks last! Hatfield House is about to close for the season. It’s open until and including Saturday so this is your last chance. I went to visit during the summer and there is so much to see. Here’s my review. Top hats to look for and acres of parkland to explore. Dogs are welcome in the parkland but not in the gardens or near the house. Formal gardens with sundials and fountains, and that’s just the outside. In the house, pine cones strategically placed on hall chairs will keep you walking, and you can make notes about how to hang portraits and polish parquet. There are the courtyard shops to explore, and while I was there I heard children going through ‘divorced, beheaded, died’, so it’s extremely educational.
Phill Jupitus, Hertford Theatre, Sat 30 September
You’re never that far from Phill Jupitus: he’s all over television and radio with QI, I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue, and of course, Never Mind the Buzzcocks. But blow me down, on Saturday night he’ll be in the county town. Stand up, poetry, and who knows what else. Hertford Theatre warns: ‘Adult themes and situations, but delivered childishly’. 8pm.
Chamber Music Festival, Hatfield House, Fri 29 Sept – Sun 1 Oct
This is a bit fancy. Chamber Music Festival in the Marble Hall at Hatfield House, with a Creation theme, and all thanks to cellist Guy Johnston, the festival’s artistic director. Four days of beautiful music in a beautiful place. The programme includes the Aurora Orchestra with Ian Bostridge, and the Navarra, Endellion and Elias String Quartets. Here’s the full programme.
Mrs Shaw Herself, Palladian Church, Ayot St Lawrence, Sat 30 Sept
Charlotte Payne Townshend was the wife of George Bernard Shaw and she lived with him at Shaw’s Corner in Ayot St Lawrence while he hid in his revolving writing hut at the bottom of the garden and completed works including Pygmalion and Mrs Warren’s Profession. In between penning plays, GB Shaw was a notorious philanderer, while Charlotte eschewed intimacy. She was a wealthy heiress and she was able to support her husband’s writing. This is her story, based on letters and diaries. The evening should be fun, and it’s in a beautiful place, a few minutes’ walk from Shaw’s Corner. There’ll be a talk from a National Trust volunteer, a harp, drinks and possible a walk in the dark back to your car after the performance so do bring a torch. Free, with retiring collection. 7pm.
St Albans Beer & Festival, Alban Arena, Fri 29 Sept – Sun 1 Oct
Bars, beers, ciders and food stands. And a Saturday afternoon quiz. You can pay on the door and it’s free to CAMRA members. Fill your boots.