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What’s On: Muddy Herts Guide 9-15 Jun 2016

Loads to get you out and about in the sunshine — hoorah! — this week.  Music, art, gardens, books, you name it.  Get to it, my pretties!

Roxy Searle, The Radcliffe, Hitchin, 10 June, 8pm

roxy searle

If you need an excuse to check out the new garden at The Radcliffe in Hitchin, here’s the perfect one.  Roxy Searle , who you might have caught at last year’s Rhythms of the World festival, will be performing there — and you get to enjoy dinner while she sings.  You’ll need to book, so get on it and save yourself a table!

Hemsley and Hemsley, Chorleywood Bookshop, Chorleywood, 15 June, 7pm

hemsley & hemsley

Chorleywood Bookshop in (you’ve guessed it) Chorleywood has some great events going on, and attracts all sorts of interesting people to come visit.  This week, it’s international bestselling cookery writers the Hemsley Sisters with their spanking new book Good + Simple — which is all about straightforward, affordable everyday eating that tastes good.  Sound delish…

The Gatsby Birthday Party, 16 June, 7.30pm

gatsby 6

As someone who grew up in Berkhamsted and remembers the Rex when it was still a proper flea pit, complete with overflowing ashtrays and sticky carpets (ewww), I still marvel at how gorgeous the cinema is now — and how stunning the Gatsby is, especially as it’s where the dark box office used to be.  And, hard to believe, the gorgeous Gatsby is 10 years old this week — and they’re partying to celebrate.  Join them for drinks and canapés, live music from Champagne Charlie, and ’20s dancing from the Gatsby Girls.

Call 01442 870403 to book

Summer Fete, Frithsden Vineyard, 11 June, 11am-6pm


Ok, fingers crossed for the sunshine!  Head up to Frithsden to taste their wines, enjoy a bit of shopping, feast on the BBQ, teas, coffees and cakes. Sounds perfect.

Chroma Events: A Midsummer Fantasie, The Greene Room, The King’s Arms, Berkhamsted, 12 June, 7pm


My eldest and I loved CHROMA’s Spring concert, and we’re looking forward to this one.  Music for violin, cello, clarinet and harp from composers as diverse as Beethoven, Bruch, Saint Saens, Ibert, Poulenc and Israeli composer Gilad Cohen, whose ‘Trio for a Spry Clarinet, weeping Cello and Ruminating Harp’ (great name) won the American Harp Society prize.

Benslow Music Events, Benslow Music, Benslow Lane, Hitchin

klezmer quartet

More gorgeous music delight the ears in Hitchin this week, too.  Raymond Burley will be performing works for classical guitar by Scarlatti, Albeniz, Tansman, Barrios and Ayala (11 Jun, 8pm) — and there’s even a pre-concert dining option to enjoy.  Or there’s Gemma Kateb on the piano (13 Jun, 3pm), or the delights of the London Klezmer Quartet (14 Jun, 8pm) — the Klezmer tradition at its most beguiling and seductive — all the subtleties of the original tradition, combined with a kick-the-chairs-over ability to party.  And again, pre-concert dining is available.

Delayed Live Screening from The National Theatre: The Audience, Watford Palace Theatre, 9 June, 7pm

Theater The Audience

Theater The Audience

A screening of the audience?  No, silly, a screening of The Audience — the award-winning West End smash starring Helen Mirren (oh yeah) playing, as she has, her Maj herself.  For sixty years, Queen Elizabeth II has met with each of her twelve Prime Ministers in a private weekly meeting known as ‘The Audience.’  And no one, except her and them, knows exactly what goes on…

Also showing at Spotlight Theatre, Broxbourne, 13 June, 7pm,

Wuthering Heights, The Spotlight Gardens, Hoddesdon, 9 June, 7.30pm (picnic from 6pm)

wuthering heights

I do love outdoor theatre, and I’ve never heard of anyone performing Wuthering Heights al fresco.  Can Catherine and Heathcliff’s everlasting love bring happiness or will the very forces of nature and the moors tear them apart? There’ll be some deckchairs, but maybe bring your own chairs and rugs if you like?   And pack a picnic — although you’ll have to get your drinks from the bar.  And if it rains hard, there’s an indoor alternative (phew).

Common Thread, Bucks Open Studios, 28 Bois Lane, Chesham Bois, HP6 6BP, 11-26 Jun

common thread

You really must check out this group — Common Thread bring together five local artists (mostly textiles, but there’s an illustrator in there too), and they’re exhibiting together as part of the Bucks Open Studios season this year.  Can’t wait to see it — I’m going to have a sneaky peek this weekend and I’ll let you know. 

Ayot St Lawrence Art Show, Palladian Church, 11 – 13 June, 10am – 5pm

ayot st lawrence

The Ayot St Lawrence Art Show has been going since the mid-70s, and attracts hundreds of visitors each year.  Same weekend, there’ll be two gardens — mature trees, herbaceous border, woodland and old roses, fernery, ponds, tree deck with pastoral views — open in the village, and the Brocket Arms Beer Festival.

Art on the Common, Harpenden Common, 11-12 June, 10am-5pm


Not enough art for you yet?  Head to Art on the Common in Harpenden to check out the work of local artists, including paintings, ceramics, fine art photography, sculpture, jewellery, glass, wood and handmade greeting cards.  And if you’re there on the Saturday, you can enjoy the Harpenden Summer Carnival (12.30-5pm) too.

Signor Baffo’s Restaurant, The Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead, 11 Jun, 11am & 2.30pm

signor baffo

Feeling peckish?  How about plates-full of fun, with generous helpings of silliness, mischief and adventure?  What’s the best way to mix meatballs with spaghetti? How do you make a chicken lay an egg, and how does a sausage roll? Lots of culinary silliness for little ones!

Mark Watson, Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage, 10 June, 7.30pm

mark watson

I do like Mark Watson — particularly Mark Watson Makes The World Substantially Better on Radio 4).  In this show, a seemingly minor problem at an airport is the starting point for a spiraling examination of identity in the digital age and search for meaning in our lives. And we all want a bit of that, right?

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