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What’s on in Hertfordshire in October

PUBLISHED: 15:11 25 September 2018 | UPDATED: 15:11 25 September 2018

A new twist to Austen - Austentatious: An Improvised Jane Austen Novel (photo: Robert Viglasky)

A new twist to Austen - Austentatious: An Improvised Jane Austen Novel (photo: Robert Viglasky)

Robert Viglasky

If you’re looking for things to do in Hertfordshire this month, we have gathered lots of events for October 2018

• Devil May Care

October 5, Hertford

Marcus Brigstocke brings his satirical comedy to Hertford Theatre with his new stand-up show Devil May Care. In his first performance in character, Brigstocke takes on the role of Milton’s fallen angel Lucifer to explore the thorny issue of just what is evil these days?

‘I’ll be fully devilled-up,’ he says. ‘Complete with horns, tail and malevolent grin. I want to explore the nature of good and bad. Do good people do bad things with good intentions? Is anyone truly wicked? Are any of us wholly good? What’s to be done about Piers Morgan?’

A unique show of wickedly sharp observations.


• All that jazz

October 5-7, Letchworth

The eighth Herts Jazz Festival takes place at its new home, Letchworth’s Broadway Theatre, and brings together some of the UK’s best jazz musicians.

The event, from Friday evening with daytime concerts on Saturday and Sunday, opens with A Tribute to Jazz at the Philharmonic and features headline sets from Joey DeFrancesco Quartet on their only UK appearance this year and Georgie Fame and The Blue Flames. There’s up-and-coming talent in the Herts Youth Jazz Ensemble performing Bernstein and Beyond, while the festival also features classic film screenings, including the 1924 Buster Keaton comedy Sherlock Jr with live accompaniment by pianist Gareth Williams.


• Bernstein centenary

October 7, Hatfield

Kicking off its 2018-2019 concert season, the 80-strong de Havilland Philharmonic Orchestra will perform a Bernstein triple bill at the University of Hertfordshire’s Weston Auditorium.

The Leonard Bernstein Centenary Concert will celebrate the great composer’s birth with three very different pieces – the fireworks of the Overture to Candide, the lesser-known Facsimile and the thrilling and ever-popular Symphonic Dances from West Side Story. A pre-show event, in conversation with conductor Robin Browning, will explore the composer’s works.


• Star show

October 9-November 3, Rickmansworth

South West Herts Astronomy Society is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a stunning exhibition of astronomical images taken by members. The Watersmeet theatre event will include images of galaxies, nebulae and planets. The society hopes it will encourage more people to join.

• Flavour fest

October 12-14, Hertford

Hertford Food and Drink Festival returns to celebrate all things culinary across the town.

On Friday visitors can take part in a variety of cookery classes in the town’s restaurants and take advantage of promotions. On Saturday a famers’ market and a charter market take place with cookery demonstrations, free tasters and celebrity chefs. Then on Sunday Hertford Castle will host world food stalls and a beer festival alongside live music.


• The big fun run

October 14, Harpenden

Limber up for Herts’ most popular fun run. Herts 10K starts and finishes at Rothamsted Research in Harpenden, winding its way through beautiful countryside. Participants can walk, jog or run the multi-terrain route and this year sees the return of the junior event for 12-16-year-olds.

Last year more than 2,000 people took part, watched by many more, to raise funds for the event charity, Rennie Grove Hospice Care.

To sign up, go to

• The don

October 13, Hatfield

Following sell-out performances last year, Herts-based professional opera group Felici are back with Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Sung in English, it will be performed in Tudor costume, reflecting the story’s roots and the history of the venue, the Marble Hall at Hatfield House. In keeping with the theme, some of the music will be performed by Pirton Early Music Group.

A donation of £1,500 from the proceeds will go to Isabel Hospice.


• Fabulous folk

October 14, Hitchin

Award-winning Scottish singer Emily Smith and New Zealand born songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jamie McClennan are bringing their blend of rich vocals and guitar to Hitchin Folk Club. The duo, who have been making music together for 15 years, recorded Unplugged this year. The album features originals by McClennan and reworked traditional material from Scotland and New Zealand, drawing on influences from the folk tradition, Americana and beyond.

Tickets from £12,

• Rock choir double

October 19-20, Hitchin

The Rock Choirs of Welwyn and Hitchin are hoping to raise the roof with their energetic style at two charity concerts. The combined choir of more than 70 singers will perform a range of contemporary pop songs.

The concerts at St Mary’s in Hitchin are in aid of the Hitchin and Ware branches of the Samaritans. There will be pre-concert drinks and a raffle.

Tickets £12,

• Tabby tales

October 19-20, Radlett

Original songs and inventive puppetry bring author Julia Donaldson’s delightful story of a talented cat to the stage at the Radlett Centre.

Tabby McTat is a busker’s cat with the loudest of meows. He sings all day long with his best friend Fred, until one day they are separated. Tabby finds a new life with all the home comforts a cat could dream of but soon misses his old friend.

A heart-warming story of friendship and loyalty which children will love. Ideal for two to seven-year-olds.


• Russian ballet

October 24, Stevenage

More than 140 years since audiences first saw Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, it is still captivating audiences. Russian State Ballet and Opera House is bringing a lavish production of the ballet, based on the German fairytale about a young prince falling in love with a swan princess, to the Gordon Craig Theatre.


• Inside MasterChef

October 25, Bishop’s Stortford

Join the star of MasterChef, Gregg Wallace, as he takes to the stage with a serving of the BBC series’ juiciest bits.

This new show Gregg Wallace: Doesn’t Get Tougher Than This at the Rhodes Arts Complex mixes behind the scenes tales with demonstrations and audience participation. There will also be the chance to quiz the presenter in a Q&A session.


• Austentatious

October 26, Hertford

The works of Jane Austen have been given a twist by an award-winning comic troupe. Austentatious: The Improvised Jane Austen Novel is an improvised comic play featuring the quick wit of the performers. For each show the cast conjure

up a new ‘lost’ Austen novel based on a random title suggested by the audience. Previous show titles have been Sixth Sense and Sensibility, Double 0 Darcy and Mansfield Shark. Performed in period costume, with live musical accompaniment, no two shows are the same. It received five-star reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe.


• Hamilton’s world

October 27, Harpenden

Following numerous sold-out tours over the last couple of years, Andy Hamilton is back with his first ‘up close and personal’ show.

An Evening With Andy Hamilton at Harpenden Public Halls will look at his career in comedy. Audiences will have the opportunity to ask questions on any topic, so it should be an interesting night. The award-winning comedian, a regular on TV and radio panel shows, recently co-wrote and directed the film What We Did on Our Holiday.



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