What’s On: Muddy Herts Guide 28 May-4 Jun 2015
Loads going on in Herts this weekend and beyond if you fancy getting out and about. Lots of comedy, too, which is always fun. And a couple of outdoors things for if the weather holds up.
‘Miss Caledonia,’ Standalone Farm, Letchworth Garden City, 31 May, 5pm
Theatre on a farm? Yup. Makes sense, mind you, given that the play is set on a farm. Standalone Farm near Letchworth is hosting a performance of ‘Miss Caledonia’ this Sunday. It’s a Canadian play that’s won awards (love a good prize-winner…) and has live music along with it, so get your boots on and head down. Trailer looks good. It’s the 1950s story of a woman determined to escape the drudgery of day-to-day life by emulating Debbie Reynolds (ask your mum) and winning a local pageant. Sounds like good down-on-the-farm stuff, and critics have been using words like ‘charming’ and ‘irresistible.’
Standalone Farm, Wilbury Road, Letchworth Garden City, SG6 4JN, standalonefarm.com
Garden Party, Ashridge House, Berkhamsted, 31 May, 1-5pm
The annual Garden Party at Ashridge House has grown from some fairly humble beginnings into a brilliant family afternoon out – and a great opportunity to have a sneaky peek at the lovely Ashridge House gardens. There lots of stalls to browse, heaps of things to keep any small folk occupied, loads of space to spread out – as well as cream teas (the scones are amazing) and Pimms. Tickets in advance will get you in slightly cheaper – and under-16s go free anyway. If the weather’s good, it’s a great way to spend a summer (fingers crossed…) afternoon – and all the money raised on the day goes to support The Hospice of St Francis, so you’re doing good by just having a good time. Result.
Ashridge House, Berkhamsted, HP4 1NS, ashridgehouse.org.uk
Francesca Martinez asks ‘What the **** Is Normal?’, Letchworth, 2 Jun, 7.30pm
Award-winning comedian Francesca Martinez is going to be reading from and chatting about her new book, catchily titled ‘What the **** Is Normal?’ (her asterisks, not mine!) in Letchworth next week. Organised by David’s Bookshop (love an independent bookshop), it’s being held not in the store but at the Spirella Ballroom in Letchworth. Here’s the bit that’s being quoted to sum up what it’s all about: ‘What do you do when you’re labelled abnormal in a world obsessed with normality? If you grow up in a world where wrinkles are practically illegal, cellulite is a cause for mental breakdown and women over a size ten are encouraged to shoot themselves, what the f*** do you do if you’re… (gasp) disabled?’ Martinez was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at age 2, and has proceeded not to give two hoots about what everyone else thinks she should or shouldn’t be able to do with that.
Spirella Building, Bridge Rd, Letchworth Garden City, SG6 4ET
‘Gloriator,’ The Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead, 29 May, 8pm
French/English comedy duo Spitz & Co are bringing their show ‘Gloriator’ to Hemel’s Old Town Hall – after some massively enthusiastic reviews elsewhere. In the play, a glamorous French actress and her English assistant attempt to stage their own version of ‘Gladiator.’ The trailer gives you a pretty good idea of what to expect, I reckon. Sounds very silly. And hilarious.
The Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead, HP1 3AE, toth.dacorum.gov.uk
Zone 7: The Lyrical Cabaret, CoCo Cafe, Croxley Green, 31 May, 7.30-10pm
Coco Cafe in Croxley Green (I’ve heard the cake is fab) is hosting regular performances by The RRRants Collective – who are all about new voices in comedy, music and story-telling. Coco Cafe is just one of the venues they perform at across London and the Home Counties, and it’s a great here-in-Herts opportunity to see some new performers that aren’t going to be playing the bigger venues (yet). Their Zone 7: Lyrical Cabaret is on this weekend, and it free to get in (although there will be a whip-round in support of Bardaid).
Coco Cafe, 136 Waford Road, Croxley Green, WD3 2BZ, facebook.com/cococafedeli
Hatfield House Garden Show, 30-31 May, 10am-5pm
Green fingers? Wish you had? This year’s Hatfield House Garden Show should have something for you. There are stands from all sorts of nurseries, from the general to the specialist, as well as workshops and talks throughout the weekend.
Hatfield House, Hatfield, AL9 5NQ, hatfield-house.co.uk
‘Cinderella,’ Ballet Cymru, Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage, 1 Jun, 7.45pm
No need to wait for panto season (oh yes there is… oh no there isn’t….) or line up for Disney at the movies, you can revel in the fairytale magic of the classic rags-to-riches story right now. Ballet Cymru’s production of ‘Cinderella’ looks fairly magical – there’s a brand new score combined with classical technique and even a touch of the circus.
Gordon Craig Theatre, Lytton Way, Stevenage, SG1 1LZ, gordon-craig.co.uk
Alex Horne: Monsieur Butterfly, Court Theatre, Tring, 2 Jun, 8pm
The Get Stuffed Comedy Club brings some fabulous comedians to Tring’s Court Theatre – and next week they’ve netted the brilliant Alex Horne with his show ‘Monsieur Butterfly.’ He’s clever, he’s musical, he’s very, very funny – and I think I have a teeny crush on him.
Court Theatre, Station Road, Tring, HP23 5QY, courttheatre.co.uk