Mon 22 – Mon 29 May
Alison Weir, David’s Bookshop, Tues 23 May
This event is so popular that it’s moved from David’s Bookshop to the Spirella Ballroom. This is the second book in Alison Weir‘s series Six Tudor Queens. Katherine of Aragon was published this time last year, and it’s daunting to think that Alison Weir has got four more to go. It’s amazing that she’s got time to come to Letchworth! It also seems right and fitting that this top selling historian should be welcomed in a ballroom. She promises to reveal what Anne really felt about Henry VIII and asks the tantalising question about Anne Boleyn: Why, in her last confession, did she swear, on the damnation of her soul, that she had never offended with her body against the King? Spirella Ballroom, Letchworth. 7.30pm. Tickets £5.
Photography exhibition by Kasia Burke for Humanitas, The Coffee Lab, Thurs 25 May – 1 July
Hitchin photographer Kasia Burke has just come back from volunteering for the charity Humanitas in Ayensuako in central Ghana. On Thursday, the exhibition of her photographs opens at The Coffee Lab in Sun Street. Everyone is welcome. Humanitas is a charity based in Bucklesbury in Hitchin and its focus is on education to break the cycle of poverty. All profits from sales will go to Humanitas. 6pm.
Antony and Cleopatra, RSC Live, Hertford Theatre, Thurs 25 May
What did we all do on Thursday nights before live performances were beamed in to our local cinemas? These events are increasingly popular, with people fighting over the last few tickets on the day. I think this happened last week with Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Antony and Cleopatra is directed by Iqbal Khan, much praised for his previous productions of Othello and Much Ado About Nothing. 7pm.
California: Designing Freedom, Design Museum, London, opens Thurs 25 May
We know (or we think we know) about Italian design and Scandinavian design, but this new exhibition looks beyond Europe and asks: How did California come to have such a powerful influence on contemporary design? California: Designing Freedom explores how the ideals of the 1960s counterculture morphed into the tech culture of Silicon Valley, and how ‘Designed in California’ became a global phenomenon.
The Jive Aces, Broadway Theatre, Sun 28 May
Swing, jive and skiffle and all on a Sunday night! But this is the perfect Sunday evening for a bright, high energy show – no uniforms to sort; no homework to do – and with a Bank Holiday to follow and then half term! The Jive Aces have played up and down the country, in locations including Buckingham Palace and Glastonbury and now here they are in Letchworth. My prediction is that the Broadway Theatre will be jumping. Cassidy Janson is the vocalist and she is currently playing the lead in Carole King’s Beautiful. Get ready to shake your stuff and dance in the aisles.
Colourscape, Waddesdon Manor, Sat 27 May – Sun 4 June
Becoming Henry Moore, Perry Green
It looks as if the weather is going to be good this weekend, and I will be heading back to Perry Green for more Moore. Becoming Henry Moore is a fantastic exhibition that gives an insight into how Henry Moore first had the idea of becoming a sculptor and how his life evolved to become quite starry. The exhibits include work by the people who influenced Moore, including Rodin, Picasso and Michaelangelo. I love the gardens, and the field where spring lambs and sheep wander around the sculptures. You can also imagine the days when world leaders and Hollywood stars used to arrive here to buy work. Last month a brand new visitor centre opened, and it’s completely brilliant, with new cafe and a shop! It’s all designed by Hugh Broughton Architects and is beautifully understated, in keeping with Moore’s preference for frugality.
Dog show, Chenies Manor, Mon 29 May
A dog show for Bank Holiday Monday in an extremely elegant location. Chenies Manor is a Grade I listed Tudor building with a medieval wall, dungeon and stunning gardens. And yes, a cafe with cakes and a shop. It’s just over the border in Bucks, aim for the Chorleywood exit on the M25. You can enrol your dog from 1pm and the show starts at 2pm.
Vintage Cinema, Natural History Museum, Tring, Weds 31 May
Officially next week, and more stuff at Tring, I know, but these film evenings are so much fun and so popular and are always sold out. Be quick! And you can also check out what’s happening over the border in Bucks. Night At The Museum, doors 17.45, starts 18.20; Jurassic Park, doors 19.30; starts 20.45