What’s on: Muddy Herts Guide 12-18 Mar 2015

Yes, it’s Mothering Sunday this weekend – and there are lots of lovely things going on to entertain your mum, or to hint about being taken to.  Or you could ignore it altogether and just go somewhere fun anyway.  We’ve got fashion, art, Harry Potter, comedy and books.  Will that do?

The Some Men Never Change Tour, David’s Bookshop, Letchworth Garden City, 15 Mar

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I laughed (frequently out loud and with some distinctly unladylike snorting) through Graeme Simsion’s hilarious novel ‘The Rosie Project’ – driving Mr C mad by reading bits out and expecting him to join in – and I can’t wait to get my teeth into the sequel, ‘The Rosie Effect.’  Lucky for me, David’s Bookshop in Letchworth Garden City has Graeme Simsion right there this weekend, talking about the novels and signing copies.  Tickets are £5, although you can take that off the cost of the paperback if you buy it, and if you take your mum, she gets in free.  (Right, off to find one of my children….)

David’s Bookshop, Eastcheap, Letchworth Garden City, SG6 3DE, davids-bookshops.co.uk

Women Fashion Power, Design Museum, until 26 Apr

WFP This one sounds fascinating.  ‘Women Fashion Power‘ is an exhibition that brings together all kinds of things – interviews, multimedia, pieces of clothing covering over 150 years – to look at how women as various as Vivienne Westwood and Shami Chakrabarti, Diane von Furstenberg and Skin of Skunk Anansie, Lady Gaga and Camila Batmanghelidjh, among many others, use fashion to express themselves, attract attention and assert authority.   And this weekend you can catch the temporary display ‘Joan of Arc Had Style’ by photographer Amelia Troubridge there as well.

Design Museum, Shad Thames, London, SE1 2YD, designmuseum.org

Spirit of the Earth, Letchworth Arts Centre, to 26 Mar

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Long-time print maker Kim Major-George has an exhibition in the Cafe and Foyer Galleries at the Letchworth Arts Centre right now, open for a week or so more, that looks fascinating.  It brings together her hand-pulled prints with the poems of Steve Thorp, and stands along side the Pushing Print exhibition that is in the Main Gallery there.  Admission is free to all the galleries, which means you get to nose around all the other interesting things they have going on as well.

Letchworth Arts Centre, 2 The Arcade, Letchworth Garden City, SG6 3EW, letchwortharts.org

Vienna Festival Ballet 35th Anniversary Gala, Radlett Centre, 14 Mar, 2.30 & 7.30pm 

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The Vienna Festival Ballet are celebrating 35 years – hoorah! – and have put together an anniversary gala show with highlights from some of the most well-loved Tchaikovsky ballets from their repertoire.  All the good bits are in there: the Swan Queen meeting her prince, the Dance of the Cygnets, the Rose Adagio from Sleeping Beauty, and Clara’s journey to the land of snow in The Nutcracker.  Sounds like a great introduction to ballet for any little Angelina-Ballerina-mad girlies you might have around – or a lovely treat for your mum.

The Radlett Centre, Aldenham Avenue, Radlett, WD7 8HL, radlettcentre.co.uk

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, Victoria and Albert Museum, opens 14 Mar

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Tickets for ‘Savage Beauty‘ – the first European retrospective of Alexander McQueen’s work – have been selling out super-fast, so the dates have been extended and more tickets added.  It opens this weekend, but you’ll need to be planning way ahead if you want to take a peek (or take your chances queuing for day tickets).  Following rave reviews in New York, the V&A are showing more than 200 examples of the designer’s work, shown by theme like the shows, and still almost certainly as astonishing and original as they were when they first appeared.  Reckon this is one of those must-see shows – if this is your sort of thing.

Victoria and Albert Museum, SW7 2RL, vam.ac.uk

Platform 9 ¾ and the Hogwarts Express, WB Studio Tour, Watford, opens 19 Mar

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If you’re a Harry Potter fan – or have some at home – then the arrival of the original Hogwarts Express steam engine and a painstaking recreation of Platform 9 ¾.  There’ll even be real (well, special effects) steam coming from the engine.  It’s a big permanent extension to the WB Studio Tour, and is certain to draw in all those Harry and Hermione enthusiasts.  You even get to pose with a trolley that’s halfway through the wall – I can almost hear the squeals of delight….

WB Studio Tour, Leavesden, WD25 7LR, wbstudiotour.co.uk

Burlesque Jems new course, Bishops Stortford, 21 Mar-9 May, 8.15-9.15pm

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If you fancy doing something new and completely different, I would totally recommend signing up for a Burlesque Jems class.  I tried it out a while ago, and if there was one closer to where I live then I would be there every week, shaking my tailfeathers and giving it my best.  It was something I would never have imagined enjoying but I loved it.  Go on, give it a go.  But book now – the classes are so popular.

Burlesque Jems, burlesquejems.co.uk

Venue: Parsonage Community Hall, Church Manor, Parsonage Lane, Bishops Stortford CM23 5PY

 Alan Davies, Alban Arena, St Albans, 14 Mar, 8pm

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Alan Davies is probably best known now – unless you’re a Jonathan Creek fan – as the resident chump on QI, keeping Stephen Fry on his toes.  But he’s back doing stand-up, and his first tour back after a while sold out all over the place.  So he’s back again – this time with his show ‘Small Victories’ which has the Guardian saying he’s “one of the best stand-up comics out there” and that the evening is “packed with deft silliness and shrewd observation.”  Sounds good.

Alban Arena, Civic Centre, St Albans, AL1 3LD, alban-arena.co.uk

Carry On Cleo, Petrie Museum of Egyptology, London, 13 Mar, 6pm

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If you’re going to watch ‘Carry On Cleo’ anywhere, it might as well be at one of the world’s leading collections of Egyptian artefacts.  The Petrie Museum of Egyptology – all very serious – is screening the 1964, er, classic ‘Carry On Cleo’ – not so serious – this weekend, and it sounds like a hoot.  Kenneth Williams as Julius Caesar?  Ooooo, missus.  Book your tickets online, and then sit back with a glass of wine, enjoy an ‘erudite introduction,’ and then laugh your socks off at some old-school British comedy – surrounded by the museum’s collection.  Take your Mummy, too?

The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, Malet Place, London, WC1E 6BT, ucl.ac.uk/museums/petrie/

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