5 things to do in Hemel Hempstead and beyond

Madama Butterfly
Madama Butterfly

Here is our guide to some of the events coming up in and around Hemel Hempstead.

1 Heritage Day
Piccotts End, Hemel Hempstead, 10am-4pm Sunday September 10
A 500-year-old medieval Grade 1 listed small cottage, home to a stunning and unique 500-year-old wall painting, is opening to the public as part of the nationwide Heritage Open Days. The seven superbly preserved panels of paintings were discovered by Arthur Lindley in 1953 quite by accident under years of wallpaper. Since that day, the mystery of who painted them and for what purpose has remained unsolved. Refreshments will be available and there will be an exhibition of local art and ceramics to view and purchase. The cottage will be open free of charge, but to ensure everyone gets a chance to view the paintings and listen to a talk about their discovery by Arthur’s son Alistair, visitors need to book onto a one hour time slot. To secure your place call 01442 879525.
2 Theatre
Madama Butterfly, Watford Colosseum, 7.30pm tomorrow (Thursday)
The Russian State Opera presents one of the most colourful and exotic operas. This touching tale of innocent love crushed between two different cultures resonates as strongly as ever in today’s world. Six-year-old Louis Alexander Phaure (pictured in circle right), who attends Hillingdon Theatre Dance Centre, has been chosen to portray the son of Madama Butterfly. Tickets from £34.50, discounts available. Box office 01923 571102.
3 Theatre
Spring Awakening, The Court Theatre, Tring, 8pm today through to Saturday September 9
Tring Festival Youth (pictured above) presents a play based on Frank Wedekind’s controversial 1891 production. The rock musical takes audiences on a journey of sexual awakening, youth revolt and self discovery in a time when the establishment held all the cards. Many will find the themes and subject matter disturbing, as the young men and women of the original play, together with today’s music, travel the fraught and rocky path of adolescence, discovering their bodies, minds and much more. Tickets £5 - £15 from Beechwood Fine Foods in Frogmore Street or the box office, 07543 560478 or online:
4 Music
Berkofest, Berkhamsted Cricket Club, 11.30am-7pm Saturday September 9
Boutique family friendly music festival. The line up includes Dan Gillespie-Sells, John Power and Alabama 3. Adult tickets £22 on the door, discounts available.
5 Tudor Fayre
Buckinghamshire County Museum, Aylesbury, 11am - 4pm Sunday September 10
Pop along the road to Aylesbury to power a model replica of Leonardo Da Vinci’s flying machine which will be on display alongside a host of Leonardo’s other forward thinking life changing inventions, drawings and predictions at the county museum. Meet workers in leather, felt making, medicine and barbering and the ‘grand folk’ with their fine hats and silk clothes. See King Henry VIII, Pete the Fool, the Capriol Dancers, falconry, traditional music, swordsmen, stilt walkers and crafts. Entry free.