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What’s on in Hertfordshire in December

PUBLISHED: 10:36 26 November 2018 | UPDATED: 10:36 26 November 2018

Santa Dash for the Hospice of St Francis in Hemel Hempstead (photo: Promedia)

Santa Dash for the Hospice of St Francis in Hemel Hempstead (photo: Promedia)

Promedia

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

• Planet Jupitus

November 29, Hoddesdon

Phill Jupitus is extending his current Juplicity tour to the end of the year including a date at The Spotlight in Hoddesdon. Known for his regular appearances on Never Mind the Buzzcocks, QI and I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue, the comic explores the chaos of his life and the uncertain world that surrounds it. Punctuated by poetry and music, one thing’s for sure, it promises to delight (and possibly outrage).

£16, broxbourne.gov.uk

• Big band Beatles

December 1, Welwyn GC

All you need is love this festive season as the Hertfordshire Big Band play A Beatles Christmas.

The award-winning 20-piece band will give the Fab Four’s hits, including Eleanor Rigby and Can’t Buy Me Love, the big sound treatment at its sixth annual Christmas concert. The second half of the concert at Welwyn Civic Centre will be devoted to Christmas favourites. The amateur community band, based in Welwyn GC, won a Platinum Award in the National Concert Band Festival earlier this year.

Tickets, £5-10. hertsbigband.co.uk

• Novel nativity

December 1-2, St Ippolyts

Last year around 200 nativity models were crammed into St Ippolyts Church for its annual Nativity Crib Festival, varying in size from tiny to life-size and made of ‘virtually anything’.

When Saint Francis of Assisi created the first nativity model in the 12th century, who would have thought years later they would be made in Lego and even banana leaves? The models come from as far away as South Africa, Burma and Peru, but it’s the story behind each one which makes this event special.

This year you can participate in the Living Crib section with costumes provided, so if you missed out on being Mary or Joseph at school, now’s your chance.

Entry £2.50

• Grammar Guru

December 5, Chorleywood

Gyles Brandreth brings his wit and wisdom to Chorleywood in Exploring Life and Punctuation. Why do apostrophes keep turning up in the wrong place? Is it ‘may be’ or ‘maybe’? And why does everyone keep saying ‘like’. With language changing – just speak to the average teenager – and literacy levels falling, grammar is in a bit of a crisis.

Don’t despair, the veteran broadcaster (QI, Have I Got News For You) explains the life-saving importance of correct punctuation with his definitive (and very funny) guide to grammar, Have You Eaten Grandma? at The Junction, Christ Church. A £15 ticket includes a copy of the book.

chilternbookshops.co.uk

• Let’s Build a Planet

December 8, Hemel Hempstead

How would you go about designing your own planet? Children’s imaginations can run wild with this interactive adventure. What colour would the sea be? Would it have sweetie trees and green elephants? Join presenters (and world builders) Gill and Boo, as they zoom through the weird and wonderful on a journey to make a new world. Help them play silly games with the four-footed game show host, Legs Dennis; watch out for the sinister Robo Cops and meet the rulers of a distant land who come bearing strange plans, and even stranger sandwiches.

This wild and wacky show at The Old Town Hall was nominated for the Best Family Show award at the Brighton Fringe this year.

Suitable for ‘ages four to 4,000’. Tickets £7. oldtownhall.co.uk

• The future’s bright

Until March 9, Hertford

We tend to take it for granted but a free exhibition at Hertford Museum, Let there be light! aims to shed, well, light on the subject. Discover how we seek out and use sources of illumination and why we are afraid of the dark. See artefacts from around the world – from ancient Greek oil lamps to 1950s advertisements. The exhibition also has interactive exhibits and toys for children to play with, but will be equally thought-provoking for adults.

hertfordmuseum.org

• Run Santa run

December 9, Hemel Hempstead

There are few events that will get you into the Christmas spirit quicker than running around dressed as Father Christmas. Last year more than 500 Santas (and reindeers and jingle dogs) turned out for the Hospice of St Francis Santa Dash, raising £15,000 for the Berkhamsted-based charity. It’s not competitive, so run, jog, scoot or walk around the 2.5 mile circuit which loops around Hemel town and Gadebridge Park. Organisers are promising seasonal surprises and prizes for best dressed family and festive pooch.

Riverside, Hemel Hempstead. Entrance: adults £15, children £5. stfrancis.org.uk

• Brand of humour

December 12, Hertford

British comedy legend, Jo Brand, brings her deadpan humour and funny friends to Hertford Theatre for a charity night of Jo Brand and Guests. Her career as a stand-up, actor, writer and presenter spans 30 years and she’s been called everything from a national treasure to a man-hater.

Jo will be joined by double-act Howard Read and his animated sidekick Little Howard, and Nick Page, Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist. Other names are yet to be announced. Be prepared for strong language and adult themes. The show is in aid of Hertfordshire Breast Unit Appeal.

Tickets £26. hertfordtheatre.com

• A Christmas Carol

December 14-15, St Paul’s Walden, nr Hitchin

The beautiful concert room of Grade I listed St Paul’s Walden Bury is the setting for Dickens’ classic ghost story A Christmas Carol. This intimate production by DramaImpact is performed in Victorian costume and is suitable for families (not under-eights). It includes canapés on arrival and a discussion and Q&A with the cast and director.

Tickets £25. stpaulswaldenbury.co.uk

• Origins of carols

December 21, Hitchin

You may not get there, but it’s fun trying to hit the high notes of Hark the Herald’s Angels Sing. Carol singing is a much-loved Christmas tradition, but where did our favourites come from? A lunchtime talk at Benslow Music in Hitchin, Angels from the Realms of Glory – The History of Carols by Tricia Thompson, explores the issue. The event includes a three-course Christmas lunch and the chance to join some festive singing.

Tickets £35. benslowmusic.org

• Santa’s mistake

December 22-24, Hertford

Twas the Night before Christmas when all through the house, not a creature was stirring – not even a mouse... But something is stirring at Hertford Theatre and little ones aged two to five are going to love it. It’s Christmas Eve and Toby and Lucy can’t contain their excitement. But when Santa arrives he realises he’s made a mistake – will the children have anything to open in the morning?

The interactive Santa show includes sing-a-longs and audience members will get to meet Father Christmas, who will be giving out presents.

£11. hertfordtheatre.com

• Walk off that pudding

December 27, Ashridge

After spending Christmas over-indulging, there’s only one thing for it – to walk it off. This family-friendly walk through the Ashridge Estate will be led by a guide to highlight natural habitats and points of interest.

Booking essential. Adult £5, children £3. nationaltrust.org.uk/ashridge-estate

• Light up a Life

Celebrate the memory of a loved one at a Light up a Life service at several Hertfordshire hospices. Christmas is often the time we miss loved ones most keenly and these services are an uplifting way for friends and family to remember someone special.

Garden House Hospice Care, Letchworth: December 2

St Albans: December 2; Tring: December 9; Hospice of St Francis, Berkhamsted: December 2

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