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What’s On: Muddy Herts Guide 5-12 Feb 2015

Ah, what to do, what to do?  Here are some ideas for the week ahead.  Bundle up — there’s more snow on the way, so they say — and get on out there.  Eat, drink and be merry!

Blitz Party, London, Sat 7 Feb, 8pm

mg 05 02 blitz party

Step back in time to the 1940s for the Blitz Party, a vintage celebration of wartime glamour – cocktails, swing dancing  and blackout curtains!  It’s all held in an authentic air raid bunker, to get you right in the mood, and there’s sure to be a few chaps in uniform showing off their stripes I shouldn’t wonder.  The doors open at 8pm, with the entertainment kicking off at 9.  And if you’re not sure you know your Lindy Hop from your Jitterbug, there’s a dance class starting at 7pm that will help get your toes tapping.  You’ll need to book in advance, though.  Pencil on your stockings and pin up your victory curls – tonight we’re gonna party like it’s 1939…

East London Bunker, 2-18 Warburton Road, Southwark, E8 3FN,

Duende Pop-Up, Hastoe, Sat 7 Mar, Fri 27 Mar, Sat 28 Mar

mg 05 02 duende

Fancy something different for dinner?  Chef Tim Zekki – aka The Lop Eared Pig – is bringing his Duende pop-up restaurant to Hastoe next month.  There are just a handful of tickets left for Saturday 7 Feb (the Friday is fully booked), so it’s definitely worth booking in advance for the two dates in March (Fri 27, Sat 28).  The menus are amazing – think, Moorish confit of duck, prunes and saffron, or wild boar terrine with quince jelly, or salted caramel Eton mess – which sounds like an absolute steal at £30 a head for three courses and an amuse bouche.  Bring your own cheeky little vintage with you, and there’s not even any corkage.  I’m drooling already.

My Dog’s Got No Nose, Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead, Sat 7 Feb, 8pm

mg 05 02 my dog

Ron Aldridge’s play ‘My Dog’s Got No Nose,’ starring Damian Williams, takes the audience through the preparation for a would-be stand-up comedian’s first ever performance.  It’s had some really positive reviews – mentions of “comic genius” and it being “bitter-sweet, very funny, sometimes poignant, often hilarious” sound promising.  The Old Town Hall is a great venue for one-handers, too.  Tickets are just £12 / £10 for concessions.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Watford Colosseum, 10-14 Feb

mg 05 02 joseph

Not sure this makes me very cool, but I’ve got a real soft spot for a bit of Joseph – and will burst into an enthusiastic (if tuneless) rendition of ‘Any Dream Will Do’ at the drop of a technicolour hat.  Dead chuffed, then, that it’s coming to Watford Colosseum.  This production is part of a massively successful tour – more than 15 million tickets sold so far – and it’s currently chock-full of X-Factor folk: Lloyd Daniels is Joseph, and Marcus Collins is the Narrator.  There’s also Matt Lapinskas (Anthony Moon EastEnders) as the Pharoah.  And I can’t wait.

Watford Colosseum, Rickmansworth Road, WD17 3JN,

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2014, ends Sun 22 Feb

taylor wessing 2014

I know I’ve banged on about this before, but it’s the last few weeks now so I thought I’d give it another mention.  The annual Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2014 exhibition has been open since mid-November at the National Portrait Gallery,  but it’s only there now until 22 Feb.  The 60 portraits – selected from more than 4,000 submissions — cover a real range, some traditional portraits, others more experimental, and come from all over the world.  I’ve had a quick squizz at the portraits online and they look as stunning as ever.  It’s always exciting, too, seeing brand new work like this within a space like the National Portrait Gallery with all its accumulated history and tradition.  And while you’re there, Grayson Perry’s 14 portraits from his ‘Who are you?’series are still there, and you can see them for free.

National Portrait Gallery.  Open daily 10am to 6pm, Thurs/Fri to 9pm.

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