What’s on in Hertfordshire in January
PUBLISHED: 09:59 08 January 2019
Spirit of the Dance
If you’re looking for things to do in Hertfordshire this month, we have gathered lots of events for January 2019
• Game (back) on
Until March 3, St Albans
Did you spend hours playing Monopoly as a child or was Chinese Checkers your favourite? Rediscover these games and many more at a V&A Museum of Childhood exhibition at St Albans Museum + Gallery.
Game Plan: Board Games Rediscovered celebrates the joy, excitement and occasional frustration of playing board games. The V&A has some iconic and unusual games which will be shown together with items from the St Albans Museum collection. With more than 100 displays and interactive and hands-on activities for the family, you can find out what sort of player you are.
• Extraordinary birder
January 8, Watford
Gary Prescott, aka the Biking Birder, shares his adventures in Biking Birder, Green Birding Adventures with Tales of Birds, Places and People.
He has plenty to talk about. Not only has he cycled round the UK visiting every RSPB and Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust nature reserve (twice), but last year cycled from the Pacific up and over the Andes and then kayaked down the Madre de Dios river through Peru’s Manu Rainforest trying to find as many different bird species as he could.
The illustrated talk at the Stanborough Centre in Watford is organised by Watford Local RSPB Group.
Entry £3. Book: 01582 792843
• World record gang
January 8-12, Harpenden
The longest running Gang Show in the world is back for five days of comedy, dance and drama. Scouts from Harpenden and Wheathampstead will be performing in the 70th Harpenden Gang Show at Harpenden Public Halls.
The show was first performed in 1949 when 86 scouts appeared, since then a staggering 3,596 youngsters have peformed to annual sell-out audiences.
‘There’s no buzz quite like the Gang Show.’ says producer Ewan Murray, who has been involved for 46 years. ‘The sheer joy on the faces of the young performers is a sight to behold and the audiences come back from far and wide every year.’
• Portillo’s story
January 14, Broxbourne
One-time Tory shoo-in for the leadership, Michael Portillo promises to bring ‘parliamentary stand-up wit’ when he shares his life experiences at The Spotlight in Broxbourne.
After a rapid rise to power under Margaret Thatcher, the Bushey-born MP’s political career came to a humiliating halt when he lost his seat to a young unkown in the Labour landslide of ’97. Since then he has reinvented himself as an endearing and respected broadcaster on politics and travel.
His show, A Game of Two Halves, includes a Q&A session.
Tickets £18.50. broxbourne.gov.uk
• Behind the displays
January 17, Tring
There’s the chance to go behind the scenes this month at the Natural History Museum in Tring on a Voyages of Discovery tour.
See their world-renowned bird collection including historic specimens linked to Darwin, Wallace and Shackleton and hear about the great lengths explorers took to get them. You can also learn about the different scientific collections and how they are prepared, conserved and used by researchers.
Tickets £10. nhm.ac.uk/visit/tring
• New year chamber concert
January 19, Letchworth
January always feels like a very long month but Letchworth Sinfonia will lift your spirits with its New Year concert.
This year the programme at Letchworth Free Church includes work by Beethoven, Fauré and Brahm. The chamber orchestra of accomplished amateurs is led by Rowan Baker.
Tickets £10 from Letchworth Tourist Information Centre. letchworth-sinfonia.webs.com
• Zombies are back
January 20, St Albans
Fabulous ’60s band The Zombies are returning to their roots with a concert at Alban Arena. The band who went to school and formed in St Albans will play massive hits She’s Not There, Tell Her No and Time of the Season right up to more recent numbers from their Billboard-charting album Still Got That Hunger.
The concert is in honour of original band member and bassist for Argent and The Kinks, Jim Rodford, who died last year. The band will be supported by Jim Rodford’s granddaughters and son. A great way to honour a Herts-born star.
• Double take
January 22, Radlett
How many shows give you more than 30 people for the price of two? That’s what you’ll get with impressionists Rory Bremner (Bremner, Bird and Fortune) and Jan Ravens (Spitting Image and Dead Ringers) when they come together for an evening of comedy and political satire.
The show at The Radlett Centre features personalities from all walks of life from Nigel Farage to Joanna Lumley and Fiona Bruce to Jacob Rees Mogg. Jan is Merkel to Rory’s Trump, he Boris to her Theresa.
• Ceilidh night
January 23, Hitchin
Bring the family for an evening of traditional Scottish dancing at Benslow Music. It doesn’t matter if you are an experienced Ceilidh dancer or a complete beginner as a traditional caller will teach you the steps and guide you through the dances, which the organisers say are easy to learn and addictive. Laurel Swift, Hazel Askew and Ben Moss bring the music.
£15 (under 27s free) benslowmusic.org
• Spirit is willing
January 24, Watford
It’s been going 20 years but not lost any of its energy; the award-winning Spirit of the Dance comes to Watford Colosseum this month. With military precision the traditional Irish dance company’s thunderous feet perform as one – a striking sight. The Irish dancing is combined with the Latino rhythms of flamenco and salsa.
One of the most successful dance shows ever, it has entertained 30 million people.
• Parlour magic
January 26, Letchworth
Two time-travelling magicians (they favour 19th century garb) promise armfuls of illusions and impossibility with wit and charm in Morgan and West; Parlour Tricks. The duo have fooled Penn and Teller so expect jaw dropping and wondering how did they do that?
• Elephant tale
January 29-30, St Albans
A charming elephant is coming to Alban Arena and he’s a patchwork of brilliant colours. Elmer the Patchwork Elephant is based on the children’s books by David McKee and adapted for the stage by Suzanne Maynard Miller with songs by Allison Leyton-Brown. It tells the story of an elephant who not surprisingly stands out. His cheerful personality keeps everyone in a playful mood, until the day he gets tired of being different and tries to blend in with the herd. A great show with a great message –just be yourself.
• Explore the city
Get the family outdoors this month and discover fascinating St Albans with two self-guided heritage walks and a treasure hunt. Follow the clues and learn about the history, culture, famous people and unusual facts along the way. The guides include a map and clues (with answers on the back if you get really stuck). Ideal for children six and upwards and the route is wheelchair friendly.
The £5.99 guides can be downloaded or posted curiousabout.co.uk