Christmas in Hertfordshire 2021: The county's best festive shows

Royal ballet in the snow scene of Sir Peter Wright's Nutcracker. Music: Pietr Ilyich Tchaiko

The snow scene in Sir Peter Wright's Nutcracker - Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

This Christmas, get into the spirt of things with one of these top festive shows playing in Hertfordshire...

1. Mr Charles Dickens presents A Christmas Carol, Bishop Stortford
For the first of a double helping of Dickens (isn’t Christmas a wonderful excuse for indulging?) head for South Mill Arts where Rupert Mason (aka Timewatch) recreates the public reading phenomenon for which one of our most familiar novelists was so loved. Records show Charles Dickens enacted A Christmas Carol 150 times during his lifetime. This rendition is the closest you’ll get so don’t miss out. 

When: December 7

Tickets: From £6.50

Address: 1-3 South Rd, Bishop's Stortford CM23 3JG

Website: southmillarts.co.uk


2. A Christmas Carol, Hemel Hempstead
Join Scrooge as he explores past, present and future in this retelling of Dickens’ novella which promises to be gripping. The production, by the fabulously independent and creative LittleMighty, includes a live violin score which is sure to add to the magical art of storytelling. Oh, and one final warning - be prepared, this haunting adaptation just might give you goose bumps! 

When: December 8

Tickets: £6-£14.50

Address: High Street, Hemel Hempstead, HP1 3AE

Website: oldtownhall.co.uk


3. Cathedral Christmas Music, St Albans
There are few better venues in the country for Christmas music and carol concerts than the beautiful St Albans Cathedral where a variety of live events will appeal to all tastes. JS Bach Christmas with St Albans Bach Choir kicks things off on November 13 (£13-£30), G4 vocal quartet will perform timeless festive classics on November 27, (£14.99-£62.50), and The Hospice of St Francis Carol Concert is on December 5 (£10-£18). The Willow Carol Concert featuring Bishops Hatfield Girl’s School Choir is on December 7 (£8-£18), St Albans Bach Choir Carol Concert takes place on December 11 (£7-£13) and things wrap up with the New Year’s Day Concert (£8-£30).

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When: November 13 - January 1

Tickets: Each concert is ticketed individually, from £7

Address: Sumpter Yard, St Albans, AL1 1BY

Website: stalbanscathedral.org 


4. Christmas Gothic, Hemel Hempstead  
Christmas may be a time of feasts and celebrations but in this gothic tale the festive season is also an opportunity for ghosts and spirits to inhabit our mortal world. On a dark, wintry night, a woman reveals haunting tales, her glowing candle illuminating the cold while the frailties of human nature are explored. It may be chilly outside, but expect an even chillier evening indoors at this spooky theatrical experience!   

When: November 29

Tickets: £6-£14.50

Address: High Street, Hemel Hempstead, HP1 3AE

Website: oldtownhall.co.uk 


5. Belshazzar’s Feast, Hemel Hempstead 
Stopping off at The Old Town Hall on their Mistletoe and Whine tour, the splendiferously talented duo Paul and Paul will entertain with their unique renditions of seasonal songs, along with folk tunes, classical, pop and music hall thrown in for good measure. 

When: November 30

Tickets: £12-£16

Address: High Street, Hemel Hempstead, HP1 3AE

Website: oldtownhall.co.uk


6. The Snowman, Hitchin & Letchworth
A snowman comes to life in this animated film, and so begins an unforgettable adventure when a young boy experiences the most memorable night of his life. A live performance by the Hitchin Band accompanies this timeless story at St Mary's in Hitchin on the Saturday and Broadway, Letchworth on Sunday. 

When: December 4-5

Tickets: £5-£10

Address: St Mary's Church Hitchin: Churchyard, Hitchin, SG5 1HP; The Broadway Theatre: Eastcheap, Letchworth Garden City SG6 3DD

Website: hitchinband.co.uk


8. The Nutcracker, Letchworth  
Nothing sums up the festive season more than this enchanting ballet, here performed by The Royal Ballet in Peter Wright’s gorgeous production. On Christmas Eve Clara and her nutcracker journey to the Land of Sweets, a venture featuring beautiful costumes, a memorable score from Tchaikovsky and some of the world’s finest dancers. All on a screen near you. 

When: December 9

Tickets: £19

Address: Eastcheap, Letchworth Garden City, SG6 3DD

Website: broadway-letchworth.com


9. Christmas Magic, Hertford 
An evening of carols awaits when Hertford Choral Society celebrate yuletide with a programme of carols old and new at All Saints' church. The musical director and conductor is even inviting your requests. A great way to build up to the festive season. 

When: December 11

Tickets: £4-£13

Address: Queen's Road, Hertford, SG13 8AY

Website: hertfordchoral.org.uk 


10. Under the Frozen Moon, Hertford 
Puppets, poetry and music are at the heart of this collaboration between award winning theatre company, Half a String, volunteer-led arts venue Southern Maltings, and Hertford Theatre. In an immersive experience the land of Lunavik is frozen. Will the dragon gobble up everything? Are Amka and family safe huddled together? Go along and see then, after the show, grab a photo opportunity when you meet the characters.  

When: December 11-22

Tickets: £15 and includes a surprise gift

Address: The Wash, Hertford, SG14 1PS

Website: hertfordtheatre.com


11. Goodnight Mr Tom, Welwyn Garden City 
The warm glow of this classic tale makes it the perfect Christmas show for all ages. Young evacuee William Beech arrives at elderly Tom Oakley’s home covered with tell-tale signs of brutality from his mother. Tom, who continues to mourn the loss of his wife and child, despite a hesitant start, gradually forms a bond with his new companion and together they help rebuild each other’s lives.   

When: December 12-30

Tickets: £13

Address: Barn Close, Welwyn Garden City, AL8 6ST

Website: barntheatre.co.uk


12. That’ll Be The Day, Stevenage
The best toe tapping, foot stomping pop festive classics are featured in this rock & roll Christmas special. There are comedy routines, too. In fact, by the end of the evening this sleigh ride of merriment will make you feel as jolly as you know who.   

When: December 17-18

Tickets: £29.50

Address: Stevenage Arts & Leisure Centre, Lytton Way, SG1 1LZ

Website: gordon-craig.co.uk

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