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What’s On: Muddy Herts Guide 8-15 Sep 2016

Ah, what’s that I hear?  That’s the sound of children at school…  *sigh*  Which means things are Back To Normal.  Bring on that social life!  And here, to kickstart your autumn of out-and-aboutness, here’s your trusty Muddy Guide.  Don’t leave home without it.

Miles Jupp: Songs of Freedom, Hertford Theatre, 9-10 Sept, 8pm

miles jupp

Astronauts. Regrets. The sexes. Social Media. Hipsters. Poo. Rage. Medicine. Manners. Identity. Lost stuff. Other stuff.  Sounds suspiciously like a busy week in the Muddy Herts household — but no, it’s actually an evening of storming stand-up from the deliciously bumbling Miles Jupp.  He’s in Hertford this weekend and I am gutted, good and proper, that I’ll be missing it.   Go, see it for me, and then tell me all about it.  I beg of you…

Comedy Club 4 Kids, Watford Palace Theatre, 10 Sep, 2pm

comedy club for kids - Copy

Get set for stand-up without the naughty bits and the rude words — stand-up comedians and sketch acts from the international circuit are in Watford to get your kids laughing as well as you.  A higher than average chance of heckling, I reckon… comedy-club-4-kids/

Monstersaurus, Radlett Centre, 10 Sep, 11am & 2pm


Loved Aliens Love Underpants?  This new show from its creators follows young inventor Monty as he first creates and then has to deal with a whole world of weird inventions and whacky monsters. /Monstersaurus

Stick Man, Hertford Theatre, 11 Sep, 1pm & 3pm


Stick Man, oh Stick Man, beware of the dog!  If I had a quid for every time I’ve read Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s story of one poor stick and his thwarted efforts to get back to the family tree, well, I’d be on a beach in Barbados throwing less troublesome sticks into the sparkling sea…  Love it, though.  And it’s on stage this weekend at Hertford Theatre.  Should be a proper family treat.

Heritage Open Days, 8-11 Sep

heritage open days

There are events going on all over the country this month celebrating England’s history, architecture and culture. It’s a cracking chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences – all of which are free to explore.  Locally, head to Ashridge, Berkhamsted Castle, Bishop’s Stortford, Mill Green Museum, Hertford Castle, St Albans, Ware, Watford and Welwyn Roman Baths.  We’re spoiled for choice!

Journey’s End, Radlett Centre, 14 Sep, 7.30pm

journeys end

If you’ve had a child doing GCSE English in the last ten years or so, you’ll likely know Journey’s End inside and out.  If you can leave behind all that coursework and exam stress, then it’s actually a properly interesting and moving play — and worth watching, rather than just studying. /Journey-s-End

Alan Titchmarsh: Mr Gandy’s Grand Tour, Hitchin Town Hall, 13 Sep, 7.30pm

mr titch

Alan Titchmarsh isn’t just a telly gardener — or a presenter on Gardener’s World or Ground Force — or the face of the Chelsea Flower Show — or a radio presenter on Classic FM.  He’s also a novelist, and he’s in Herts this week talking about his latest novel, Mr Gandy’s Grand Tour.  David’s Bookshop in Letchworth, winner of the Muddy Herts 2016 Award for Best Bookshop, are hosting the national treasure himself at Hitchin Town Hall — and the tickets include a hardcover copy of the novel.

Factor 2025 by Johnny Tait, Hertford Theatre, 10 Sep, 2.30pm


Hot-footing it from the West End, check out comedian Johnny Tait’s oh-so-cynical and just a teensy bit controversial take on the messy old world of TV talent shows.  Funny, grown-up, and very popular — worth checking out now it’s out of London if you’ve not caught it already.

BerkoFest, Berkhamsted Cricket Club, 10 Sep, 11.30am-7pm

ince hunt berko 6


The perfect introduction to festivals if you’ve not been before — and a cracking way to spend the day if you’re a seasoned festival-goer already.  BerkoFest is a boutique festival with loads of space for families — and a nicely chilled vibe.  This year, Miles Hunt (him from The Wonder Stuff) is headlining, which has led to much excitement at Muddy Herts HQ. Great line-up on stage, Robin Ince hosting, stalls and food and local beer and wine and stuff for the kids and… well, if you’re not sold on the idea already…

Cosi Fan Tutte, The Old Palace, Hatfield House, 8 Sep, 7pm


An updated — well, as far as the First World War, at least — version of Cosi Fan Tutte comes to the Old Palace at Hatfield House this week.  Sounds brilliant, if you like that sort of thing.  Two pairs of upper-class lovers collide in a country manor that’s full of wounded soldiers.  The ladies swear fidelity when their chaps are called away to the front — but soon find themselves flirting shamelessly with two handsome officers who… wait… look strangely familiar beneath those impressive moustaches…

Maggini Quartet, Benslow Music, Hitchin, 9 Sep, 8pm


One of the finest string quartets in the country, the Maggini Quartet have won international awards all over the shop. And entry for 8-25 year olds is free to their Hitchin concert, so it’s a great way to introduce your young folk to chamber music.  Should they wish to be introduced.

Music By Candlelight, Hastoe Village Hall, 10 & 11 Sept, 7.30pm

tring chambver music

Or you can get all dreamy by candlelight with this final concert in the Tring Chamber Music 2016 season.  Enjoy a Mozart concerto, a Shostakovich string quartet (strong choice…), and a Dvorak piano quintet.   All by candlelight.  How very Romantic…

Soulfish, Harpenden Public Halls, 10 Sept, 7.30pm


It’s been a good few years now since I saw Soulfish perform in St Albans — and they’ve been pretty busy since.  The 10-piece soul band have opened Proms in the Park and The Queen’s Silver Jubilee party, been the house band on Channel 5’s’ Night Fever and headlined Stanley Kubricks’ Childwickbury Arts’ Festival, among all sorts of other stuff.  Seriously, they never sleep.  Go on.  Shake those tail feathers.  It’s bound to be brilliant. soulfish

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