What’s On: Muddy Herts Guide 3-9 Mar 2016
Loads going on this week, particularly if you’re a stand-up comedy fan….
Rich Hall, Watford Palace Theatre, 4 Mar, 8pm
I love Rich Hall. That deadpan, hangdog face. That cracking delivery. That weirdly absurdist irony – which, coming from an American comedian, is really something. And he’s properly grumpy, and I do like a grumpy old man (odd, I know, but hey ho). He’s at Watford Palace Theatre this Friday, and it’s going to be great, I’m sure.
Apple Butterfly Prints, Natural History Museum, Tring, 3 Mar, 11am & 2pm
The Natural History Museum at Tring has such great things going on to keep your very small people busy and happy – and I love just wandering round as well. The musem itself is free (long may that continue) and the workshop, where you get to make butterflies using apples to print with, is only £2.
The Journey of the Turtle, Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead, 5 Mar, 11am
This looks very sweet – a puppet show imagining the story of the turtle’s transformation from shiny, on-the-go impatient creature to the slower, more ponderous beast we know today. Traditional storytelling and a message about following your dreams – sounds delightful.
Mothers Day Afternoon Tea, Knebworth House, 6 Mar
Two sittings for afternoon tea at Knebworth Barns this weekend. And before or after, you can enjoy the formal gardens there, which should be springing into life right now. Sounds lovely.
Arabian Nights and Days, Rhodes Theatre, Bishop’s Stortford, 4 Mar, 8pm
This sounds intriguing. Retelling the story of Scherazade and her irresistible storytelling, Shifting Sand Theatre – renowned for their clowning and physical theatre – bring a lively and comic dimension to a tale that is, quite literally, all about words. I quite fancy it, actually, even if the prospect of clowns usually fills me with horror.
A Raisin in the Sun, Watford Palace Theatre, 8-12 Mar, 7.30pm (2.30pm Sat)
A real American classic on stage in Watford this coming week. If you don’t know the play, it’s set right on the cusp of the Civil Rights movement – with a black working-class family struggling with the opportunities and pressures of a world changing around them. It’s a classic for a reason – powerful, intense, full of conflict, and true to the experience of so many at that turbulent time.
The Bootleg Beatles, Alban Arena, 7 Mar, 7.30pm
Ok, I don’t really get the Bootleg Beatles – but, given that I’m much of a one for the Beatles or cover bands, that’s probably not much of a surprise. That said, they’ve appeared at Glastonbury 6 times, toured the world and sell out all over the place, so they must be doing it right. There are a few tickets left for their gig at the Alban Arena this week, so if you do get them, get booking fast.
Lee Nelson: Suited and Booted, Radlett Centre, 4 Mar, 8pm
Another Glastonbury alumnus having, er, joined Kanye West on stage, Lee Nelson is in Radlett this weekend. He’s the one who bribed – well, threw money at – the now-gone Sepp Blatter in front of a packed news conference at the headquarters of FIFA. He’s extending his world tour and popping back to Herts in the process.
Adam Hills: Clown Heart, Watford Colosseum, 7 Mar, 8pm
And there’s comedy in Watford, too, with Adam Hills – who some think is ‘the nicest man in comedy’ – at the Colosseum. He is host of Channel 4’s The Last Leg – winning awards for it – and has just been persuaded to go back for a sixth series. Not many tickets left for this one, either, so don’t leave it too late to book.
Screaming Blue Murder, Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead, 7 Mar, 9pm
There’s some more local comedy going on, too. Screaming Blue Murder (or SBM to its friends) is a regular comedy night at Hemel’s Old Town Hall – bringing the belly laughs to the murky depths of The Cellar Club there. Way to cheer up a Monday night.
Chinese Culture Show, Watford Palace Theatre, 6 Mar, 6pm
This looks spectacular, in the proper sense of the word. The Chinese Culture Show sold out last year, so don’t hang around to book tickets. Expect a dragon dance, a traditional Changing Face act that has its roots in Sichuan Opera, a Shaolin Gong Fu martial art display, and all sorts of other colourful performances. Oh, and you get a complimentary snack box included in the price of your ticket. (I am so there…)
Lysistrata, Sandpit Theatre, St Albans, 9 Mar, 7.30pm (also at old town hall on the 12th at 8pm)
Not into classical drama? This one might change your mind. Lysistrata tells with story of their battle to stop their men fighting and dying in a bloody war. And how do they do that? They say no to nookie until the war is over – some more willingly than others. This production has had great reviews, and if you can’t make it to this one, it’s on again at the Old Town Hall in Hemel on 12 Mar.
Alan in Wonderland & the Three Goats, Maltings Arts Theatre, St Albans, 5 Mar, 11am
This sounds like a bit of Alice in Wonderland / Billy Goats Gruff mash-up – although where Alan’s popped up from, I have no idea. So… Alice is stuck in Wonderland, having eaten a plate of cakes (greedy girl) that turned her into a troll. Alan has to get help from the Billy Goats Gruff, who know a thing or two about trolls, but he has to get them back over the bridge first. I won’t be going to see this – the troll gave me the screaming habdabs as a child and I’ve never quite got over the trauma. But it does sound cool.
Chocolatology, Cambridge, 7 Mar, 5-6pm
Now this is the sort of science I can really appreciate. Part of Cambridge’s Science Festival, the BBC’s Stefan Gates and UCL’s Prof Andrea Sella will be dishing up the most delicious science show ever – sensory perception (does that mean tasting?), crystallisation, rheology (er…), and an Eiffel Tower made from chocolate. Oh yeah.
Shakespeare Lumiere, Guildhall Yard, London, 4-5 March, 6.45-8.45pm
I have no idea what a Shakespeare-themed cocktail would contain, but I’m intrigued at the promise of one – especially when it’s combined with a whole load of modern interpretations in light, sound and performance. This free (hoorah!) event sounds ace, and because it’s Shakespeare, it counts as educational, too (double hoorah!). There’ll be a 3D light projection onto the façade of the Guildhall, with specially-composed music. The Guildhall Art Gallery and the City of London Heritage Gallery (both open until 9pm) will have all sorts of Shakespeariana (is that a word? it should be), including his actual signature and a copy of the First Folio, as well as all sort of other bits and bobs – including some contemporary art work inspired by the Bard. And Shakespeare-themed cocktailsat a pop-up bar. To go, or not to go? That is the question…