Here is our guide to some of the events taking place in and around Hemel Hempstead.
Jonathan Pie: Work in Progress, Old Town Hall, Hemel, January 30 and 31
Jonathan Pie, the irate newscaster, is returning to the stage in 2018 with a brand new live show following a sell out tour ending at the London Palladium, a show that was described as “electrifying” by Chortle, “blistering” by the Evening standard and “desperately misjudged” by The Times. Rory Bremner describes him as “the most exciting satirical creation since Alan Partridge”. Tickets are scarce, so act fast.
Dreamjobs and Chatroom, Boxmoor Playhouse, January 25
HHTheatreCo Youth and The Boxmoor Playhouse present these two one-act plays. In Dreamjobs by Graham Jones, five teenage girls waiting for interviews with an employment service dream of the romantic, exciting jobs they would like – derived from television series and films. The dreams are enacted by all the girls together. In each case there is a rude awakening, but a twist at the end to help bring this show kicking and screaming in to the new world. In Chatroom by Enda Walsh, the six teenage characters communicate only via the internet. Conversations range in subject from Britney Spears to Willy Wonka to suicide: Jim is depressed and talks of ending his life and Eva and William decide to do their utmost to persuade him to carry out his threat. From this chilling premise is forged a funny, compelling and uplifting play that tackles the issues of teenage life head-on and with great understanding.
The Wedding, Watford Palace Theatre, January 23 to 25
Led by Amit Lahav, Gecko Theatre’s latest creation is inspired by the complexities of human nature: the struggle between love and anger, creation and destruction, community and isolation. In a blur of wedding dresses and contractual obligations, their extraordinary ensemble of international performers guides audiences through a dystopian world in which we are all brides, wedded to society. Combining movement, imagery and provocative narratives in the company’s trademark style, Gecko’s seventh touring production brings these contracts into question with an emotionally charged performance.
Grove Theatre, Dunstable, Saturday January 20
Join Ballet Theatre UK in their retelling of Han Christian Andersen’s classic fairytale ballet The Snow Queen. The production follows the story of Gerda and her quest to find her friend Kay, whom the Snow Queen has placed under an evil spell.
Iain Lee and Katherine Boyle, Bear Club, Luton, January 20
He’s the maverick radio presenter whose stint in the I’m a Celebrity jungle won him countless new fans – and now Iain Lee is coming to Luton. He will be performing his live phone-in podcast, The Rabbit Hole, alongside Katherine Boyle. The last time the pair worked in Bedfordshire was when they hosted the breakfast show on BBC Three Counties Radio, which they left in high-profile fashion in 2015.