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What’s On: The Muddy Guide 29 Jan-5 Feb

Plenty going on this week and beyond. Arty, musical, delicious, salacious — take your pick!  I know where I’m heading….

‘Nothing Prepares You for India,’ Courtyard Arts, Hertford Theatre

MG 29 01 India

There are just a few more days left in which to catch the Courtyard Arts exhibition of Julie Cooper’s ‘Nothing Prepares You for India’ – a selection of distinctive, dreamy sort of paintings inspired by the extremes and contradictions of life in India. The paintings are in the little round gallery at Hertford Theatre, which has the distinct advantage of having a cafe and lots of comfy chairs – so you can sit and sip your tea while you take in the pictures all around you.  Definitely worth popping in for a peek if you’re passing.

Courtyard Arts, Hertford Theatre, Tues-Sat, 10am-5pm (7.45pm on performance nights), until 31 Jan, free admission.

Urban Food Fest, Shoreditch, 31 Jan, 5pm-midnight

MG 29 01 urban food fest

It’s the first Urban Food Fest of the year in Shoreditch this weekend.  Fifteen street food stalls – which change regularly – offering global street food, craft beers, prosecco, cocktails (don’t mind if I do), the lot.  Lots of choice, lots of variety, and lots to scoff.  According to Elle magazine, it’s an “achingly cool” experience and, well, who am I to argue with Elle?  I’m also always up for somewhere overflowing with food and drink – especially interesting food you get to eat with your fingers.

162-167 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6HU, every Saturday, 5pm-midnight, free entry.

Seth Lakeman, Alban Arena, St Albans, 3 Feb, 7.30pm

MG 29 01 Seth Lakeman

Seth Lakeman at the Alban Arena?  Brilliant.  He’s such a love with his folky tunes, thoughtful lyrics and award-attracting albums.  He’s been performing all over recently – everywhere from Australia to Europe to Texas and, yes really, Libya – and is rapidly becoming a fixture on the folk festival circuit.    He’ll be performing, with the help of some extra instrumentalists, from his latest album, ‘Word of Mouth’, but I’m sure there’ll be some other favourites in there too.

Alban Arena, St Albans, AL1 3LD, 01727 844488.

‘Jefferson’s Garden,’ Watford Palace Theatre, 5-21 Feb

MG 29 01 jefferson

Award-winning dramatist Timberlake Wertenbaker’s latest play, ‘Jefferson’s Garden,’ will be having its world premiere (woo!) at the Watford Palace Theatre this month, and it’s already attracting a lot of critical attention.  It’s all about freedom, idealism and passion, set in revolutionary America in 1776 and focused on three very different characters: a young Quaker, a slave, and Thomas Jefferson himself.

Watford Palace Theatre, WD17 1JZ, 01923 22567.

‘I Want My Hat Back,’ Britten Sinfonia, Cambridge, 7 Feb, 2pm & 4pm

MG 29 01 hat back

This sounds like a good option for an afternoon out if you have small folk – I’m certainly hoping to be dragging mine along. Aimed at children from 3 to 7, the Britten Sinfonia (these are some serious musicians) and presenter Hannah Conway have come together for what they’re calling an “interactive family concert” based on the gorgeous picture book by John Klassen ‘I want my hat back.’  There’s music from Debussy, Beethoven, Elgar and Gershwin – so you’re bound to recognise something – as well as lots of songs so that you can embarrass the little ones by singing along.

Corn Exchange, Cambridge, CB2 3QB, 01223 357851, 

‘Turn Me On!’ at HERE Café, Berkhamsted, 10 Feb, 7pm

MG 29 01 sex

Berko Writers kicked off a cracking range of courses and workshops for the budding scribblers among us last year – and they’re back with a bang in 2015 with a tantalising evening of literary sex.  The panel – Karin Weight, William Rycroft and Julie Mayhew – will lead you teasingly through the good, the bad, and… well, let’s hope there not too much of the ugly.  There’ll be some that will leave you blushing, and some that will more likely have you laughing your saucy little socks back on again.  Baby, it’s cold outside – but it’s hot-hot-hot in HERE.

You’ll need to book – and tickets are going fast.  Check out the Berko Writers website to do just that.

HERE Café, Lower Kings Road, Berkhamsted, HP4 2AB.

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