11 great things to do in Hertfordshire January 2022

Ed Bryne holding a piece of folage

Ed Bryne is bringing his take on life to The Radlett Centre - Credit: Idil Sukan

There's plenty of fun things to do in Hertfordshire coming your way in January. From concerts and theatre, to afternoon tea with classical music, Hertfordshire Life has rounded up 11 of the best things to do in the county in January.

1. BFG Exhibition at St Albans Cathedral, St Albans
The Big Friendly Giant immortalised by Roald Dahl is appearing in the equally large surrounding of St Albans Cathedral. An exhibition, BFG in Pictures, features 40 reproductions of illustrations by Quentin Blake, including some that were not used when the book was first published in 1982. The free exhibition charts the development of the children’s character, offering a glimpse of other BFGs that might have been, alongside reproductions of the final illustrations for the book. Blake who worked with the author for 13 years said: 'He liked to tell stories about things happening, rather than about what people were thinking or feeling, which was wonderful for me to draw.'

Date: January 7-27

Time: 8.30am-5.30pm

Address: St Albans Cathedral, Sumpter Yard, St Albans, AL1 1BY

Tickets: Free, no booking required

Website: stalbanscathedral.org

Illustration of BFG by Roald Dahl by Quentin Blake

Quentin Blake brings Roald Dahl's The BFG to life at St Albans Cathedral - Credit: Quentin Blake

2. Smeds and Smoos, The Radlett Centre, Radlett
Tall Stories is bringing interplanetary adventure to The Radlett Centre with a live adaptation of the award-winning children's book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, The Smeds and the Smoos. On a far-off planet, Smeds and Smoos can’t be friends, so when a young Smed and Smoo fall in love and zoom into space together, how will their families react? Music and laughs are promised in this stellar family production for ages three and up.

Dates: January 11-13

Time: 10.30,am, 1.30pm, 4.30pm

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Address: The Radlett Centre, 1 Aldenham Avenue, Radlett, WD7 8HL

Tickets: £14 

Website: radlettecentre.co.uk 

3. Ed's legacy
Irish comic Ed Bryne is taking a long hard look at himself as he goes back on the road, including to The Radlett Centre, for his latest show, If I’m Honest. The regular on Mock The Week, who travelled with comic companion Dara O Briain in Dara And Ed's Great Big Adventure as well as hosting Live At The Apollo, is deciding if he has any possible traits that are worth passing on to his children in this relatable look at parenthood.

Date: January 13

Time: 8pm

Address: The Radlett Centre, 1 Aldenham Avenue, Radlett, WD7 8HL

Tickets: Tickets £26

Website: radlettecentre.co.uk 

4. Dirty Dusting, Eric Morecambe Centre, Harpenden 
We have had Dirty Dancing and this comedy play staring Vicki Michelle (‘Allo ‘Allo!), Vicky Entwistle (Coronation Street) and Leah Bell is about dirty dusting. Cleaning ladies Gladys, Olive and Elsie are threatened with redundancy when they chance on a rather unconventional way of earning extra cash. A wrong number for a sex chat line rings in the office which gives them a great idea - age and appearance doesn’t matter on the phone. All they have to do is keep this a secret from Dave, their boss… what could possible go wrong? On at the newly-opened The Eric Morecambe Centre in Harpenden.

Date: January 17

Time: 7.30pm

Address: The Eric Morecambe Centre, Rothamsted Park, Harpenden, AL5 2FR

Tickets: £24.50

Website: the-emc.co.uk

Cleaning ladies talking in an office - from Dirty Dusting production

Dusting takes on a new spin in this show starring Vicki Michelle - Credit: Zephyr Pictures

5. Ruby's roadmap, Chorleywood Memorial Hall
January 17, Chorleywood
Bestselling author and comedian Ruby Wax will share her roadmap for a kinder, brighter world at Chorleywood Memorial Hall. Her latest book, And Now for the Good News, focusses on what we can all do to create lasting positive change. Packed with practical advice given in Ruby's witty style, the book is a much-needed tonic for better mental health and achieving a more compassionate world. 

Date: January 17

Time: 7.30pm

Address: Chorleywood Memorial Hall, Common Road, Chorleywood, WD3 5LN

Tickets: £15 including a copy of the book

Website: chilternbookshops.co.uk

Ruby Wax

Ruby Wax will be talking about her new book in Chorleywood - Credit: TO COME

6. New year concert at Letchworth Free Church, Letchworth
Letchworth Sinfonia are delighted to be returning to live music making with this new year concert. The programme at Letchworth Free Church features Beethoven's epic 5th Symphony and the beautiful Serenade in D by Ethel Smyth, a piece which is often missed out in concerts but described as a ‘real gem’. The premiere of the 5th Symphony didn’t go to plan as the players only had one session to practice and Beethoven had to stop it. We are assured Letchworth Sinfonia have been busy perfecting their performance. 

Date: January 22

Time: 7.30pm

Address: Letchworth Free Church, Norton Way South, Letchworth Garden City, SG6 1US

Tickets: Adults £12, under 16s £6

Website: letchworth-sinfonia.org.uk

7. Jekyll and Hyde, South Mill Arts, Bishop's Stortford 
Immerse yourself in the myth and mystery of 19th century London’s fog-bound streets for this adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s dark psychological fantasy. Eminent physician, Dr Henry Jekyll is close to a neurological discovery but when he is forced to experiment on himself there are dire consequences. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a tale of love, betrayal and murder with chilling twists and turns. This production at South Mill Arts by Blackeyed Theatre who have been described by The Stage as ‘one of the most innovative, audacious companies working in contemporary English Theatre’. Suitable for ages 11 plus, 

Date: January 26-27

Time: 7.30pm

Address:  1–3 South Road, Bishop’s Stortford, CM23 3JG

Tickets: £17.50

Website: southmillarts.ticketsolve.com

8. Leopoldstadt at Wyllotts Theatre, Potters Bar
Filmed in London's West End, Leopoldstadt, a new play by Tom Stoppard about love, family and endurance, is being screened at Wyllotts Theatre. We follow Hermann Merz, a manufacturer and Jew married to Catholic Gretl. The family's story spans half a century, passing through the turbulence of war, revolution, impoverishment, annexation by Nazi Germany and then the Holocaust. Performed by a company of 40 actors who represent each generation, it is an epic but intimate play and won an Olivier Award for best new play. The Independent described it as a 'masterpiece'. 

Date: January 27 & 29

Time: 1pm & 7.30pm

Address: Wyllyotts Theatre, Wyllyotts Place EN6 2HN

Tickets: £10

Website: tickets.wyllyottstheatre.co.uk

2B34A82 London, England, UK. Tom Stoppard's 'Leopoldstadt' at Wyndam's Theatre, Charing Cross Road (

2B34A82 London, England, UK. Tom Stoppard's 'Leopoldstadt' at Wyndam's Theatre, Charing Cross Road (March, 2020) - Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

9. After Electra , the Abbey Theatre, St Albans  
Artist Virgie is an eccentric free spirit about to turn 81. At her birthday party with family and friends she drops a bombshell. It forces those close her to revaluate both Virgie’s life and their own. Performed at the Abbey Theatre by The Company of Ten,  After Electra explores big themes in an entertaining and deeply moving way. A Younger Theatre called it ‘a funny and brutally honest discussion of life, ageing and death… endlessly refreshing.’ A moving black comedy that reimagines the meaning of family. Strong language and adult themes.

Date: January 28 - February 5

Time: 8pm plus Sunday matinée

Address: Westminster Lodge, Holywell Hill, St Albans AL1 2DL

Tickets: £13

Website: abbeytheatre.org.uk

10. Wartime jazz at Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage
Led by renowned band leader, Ray McVay, the Glen Miller Orchestra will swing you back in time with wartime chart toppers and hits from the Forties. Vocalists Catherine Sykes and Mark Porter join the Moonlight Serenaders and Uptown Hall Gang jazz band for this concert at Gordon Craig Theatre. Highlights include a remembrance of the Dambusters. 

Date: January 29

Time: 3pm

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

Tickets: £27

Website: gordon-craig.co.uk

11. Tea at four at Benslow Music, Hitchin
What better way to enjoy classical music than over afternoon tea? Sandwiches, cakes, freshly baked scones with cream and Prosecco will all be on offer at Benslow Music in Hitchin accompanied by a range of classical players. Afternoon tea is served on the last Sunday of each month, starting on January 30. Other events scheduled for January include the Coull String Quartet on the 21st.  

Date: January 30

Time: 4pm

Address: Benslow Music, Benslow Lane, Hitchin, SG4 9RB

Tickets: £19.95 or £24.95 with prosecco

Website: benslowmusic.org