Mon 8 – Sun 14 May 2017
Mick Herron, David’s Bookshop, Tues 9 May
Spy novelist Mick Herron has created a great character with Jackson Lamb. Could Jackson be a winning name for crime? I loved Jackson Brodie in Kate Atkinson’s novels. Spook Street is the fourth Jackson Lamb story by Mick Herron, and his work is rated by Ian Rankin. He’s also won Ian Fleming Steel Dagger awards for his novels and you can read how he does it in The Guardian. You can meet him at David’s in Letchworth at 7.30pm. Tickets £5.
The Life of Birds, Quentin Blake, House of Illustration, Granary Square
I love the House of Illustration. It’s in Granary Square, one of my fave places in London, and you can always find something interesting there. It’s home to the archive of Quentin Blake’s 35,000 drawings, and the plan is that from now until forever there will be a kind of rolling celebration of his work. This is the first exhibition of Blake’s birds and he has curated it himself. As he puts it: “I have always liked drawing birds. It’s a way of commenting on the people we see around us without actually drawing individuals.”
Potter, Painter, Printer, Upstairs Gallery, Berkhamsted – until Sat 13 May
Amanda Curbishley is the painter, Nathalie Pymm the printer and Elaine Wells is the potter (who you may have seen on the Great Pottery Throwdown). All three artists are based in the Chilterns and you can enjoy their work and they are also doing workshops during the run of the exhibition.
Live NT screening, Obsession, Broadway Letchworth, Thurs 11 May
Jude Law in Letchworth? With bare buttocks? Surely not. Yes, it’s true, and it’s all happening live on Thursday. Directed by the Belgian director Ivo van Hove, it’s a stage adaptation of Visconti’s 1943 film. Jude Law plays Gino who walks into a roadside restaurant and meets the married Giovanna, played by Halina Reijn. What follows is a lustful affair with murder plans. Be warned. 6.45pm.
Brahms and Mozart, Palladian church, Ayot St Lawrence, Sat 13 May
If you’re looking for quirky in Herts, you can’t get quirkier than this. A classical concert in a Palladian church in a field where George Bernard Shaw used to wander. It’s a stunning setting. Ayot St Lawrence is home to Shaw’s Corner, and if you’ve never been, make this the year that you visit, it’s quite something. This concert is performed by The Alban String Quartet. Proceeds towards the conservation of the Grade I listed church. Tickets £10. 7.30pm.
St Paul’s Walden Bury, Open Garden, Sun 14 May
Have you been to St Paul’s Walden Bury? This is your chance. It’s magnificent! It’s the childhood home of the late Queen Mother. I love it. Cream teas (what a surprise that I start with that), beautiful sweeping lawns, a house owned by the Bowes Lyon family and all in all a place of charm and lots of good hiding places. A fine place for a Sunday afternoon. 2-7pm.
St Paul’s Walden Bury, Whitwell, Hitchin, Hertfordshire, SG4 8BP
Launch of The Screen Stortford, Rhodes theatre, Sun 14 May
This week sees the launch of The Screen at the Rhodes Theatre in Bishop’s Stortford. New seating, digital everything and surround sound. And yes, now you’ll be able to see all the NT live screenings in Stortford. If you want to be the first eyes on the new screen as you sink into the new seats, book for Beauty and the Beast on Sunday afternoon. 2pm.