Our weekly pick of events to help you make the most out of your week...

Watford Observer:

Gala Concert

A new programme of traditional singers, songwriters and instrumentalists, including folk trio Said the Maiden, Irish piper James O’Grady, and notable Irish musician Chris Sadler.

Maltings Arts Theatre, 2 The Maltings, St Albans, Tuesday, January 31, 7.30pm. Details: 07807 521436


In a Maine coastal village in the 19th century, the swaggering carousel barker, Billy Bigelow, marries naive millworker Julie Jordan. Intent upon providing a decent life for his family, Billy becomes an accomplice to a robbery. Caught in the act and facing the certainty of prison, he takes his own life and is sent ‘up there.’ Billy is allowed to return to Earth for one day 15 years later, and he encounters the daughter he never knew. How Billy instils in both the child and her mother a sense of hope and dignity is a dramatic testimony to the power of love.

Watford Palace Theatre, 20 Clarendon Road, Watford, Wednesday, February 1, to Saturday, February 4. Details: 01923 225671


Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic send-up of the British government, Parliament and class system is as fresh today as when it was premiered in the 1880s. Iolanthe, a fairy, has been banished from fairyland because she married a mortal. Her son, Strephon, is half a fairy and wants to marry the lovely Phyllis – but so do all the House of Lords! Will there be a happy ending?

The Wyllyotts Theatre, Darkes Lane, Potters Bar, Wednesday, February 1, to Saturday, February 4. Details: 01707 645005

Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom

Holly is a young Fairy Princess, whose magic doesn’t always go quite according to plan. Her best friend, Ben the Elf, doesn’t have wings and he doesn’t do magic, but he runs very fast. Join Ben and Holly, and their friends on this exciting and magical musical adventure packed full of games, songs and laughter.

The Radlett Centre, 1 Aldenham Avenue, Radlett, Wednesday, February 1, and Thursday, February 2, various times. Details: 01923 859291

Swinging at the Cotton Club

The exhilarating dance and music of the Cotton Club is recreated by the fabulous Lindy Hop Dance Company and the show’s special guest tap-dancer, alongside The Harry Strutters Hot Rhythm Orchestra, featuring American vocalist Marlene Hill and compere/vocalist Megs Etherington.

The Alban Arena, Civic Centre, St Albans, Thursday, February 2, 7.30pm. Details: 01727 844488

Watford Observer:

Christine and the Stackyard Stompers

The Stompers play a repertoire of 1920s classic jazz, led by Christine on trombone and vocals, paying tribute to the jazz greats like King Oliver and Clarence Williams.

Colne River Room, Pump House Theatre & Arts Centre, Local Board Road, Watford, Thursday, February 2, 8.15pm. Details: 01923 467269

The Energy of a Can Do Attitude

In this talk you will explore how to counteract self-doubting moments, nurture a positive self-belief and transform challenging situations into moments of personal progress.

Friends Meeting House, The Library, 7 Upper Lattimore Road, St Albans, Thursday, February 2, 6.45pm. Details: 07957 457947

National Trust Talk

Colin Oakes returns to look at when London got back on its feet after the war years. The period was one which saw jazz change from “trad” to modern, food go from spam fritters to tikka Masala, immigration from Maltese to multi-culturalism.

The Stanborough Centre, 609 St Albans Road, Garston, Thursday, February 2, 8pm. Details: watfordnt.btck.co.uk