We all know that Christmas is a magical time of year, everyone is more relaxed and full of good cheer. Well there are lots of things to see and do in St. Albans, so there's no excuse not to get out and enjoy a bit of stalbanslife!
In his new show 50 Things About Us, Mark Thomas combines his trademark mix of storytelling, stand-up, mischief and really, really well researched material to examine how we have come to inhabit this divided wasteland that some of us call the United Kingdom. Mark picks through the myths, facts and figures of our national identities to ask how we have so much feeling for such a hollow land. Who do we think we are? It is a show about money, history, songs, gongs, wigs, unicorns, guns, bungs, sods of soil and rich people* in the vein of The Manifesto-meets-sweary history channel.
Last week, I attended Playing Faustus, a play written and directed by local writer, Imogen de la Bere. Clever, funny and really well written, this 'play within a play' captivated me from start to finish.
It's official, the Christmas lights of St Albans are switched on! Entertainment and fun started yesterday at noon.By the afternoon, the town centre was filled with hundreds of happy little faces who were all set for the countdown with Santa, Elvis Schmelvis, Sarah-Jane Honeywell and The Little Mermaid Pantomine Stars.
This was the first time I had seen a performance in the studio part of the Abbey Theatre. I must say I liked the intimacy this created. Allowing the audience to feel a part of the production, almost. The play is quite short, in two acts of 45-50 minutes or so and this felt right. All the dialogue and action had meaning and impact.
Britain’s newest Circus Company, Chaplin’s Circus is the brainchild of three entertainers with decades of experience in the world of performance. Their aim is simple – to provide their audience with a brand new, unique circus show as well as a host of other, community based offers to create a rounded, family friendly experience. In addition to their spellbinding circus show, Chaplin’s Circus also offers not-for-profit circus skills workshops for local children as well as partnerships with animal welfare charities thanks to their strict ‘No Circus Animals’ policy.
I was pleasantly surprised to find out that a local group was to perform 'Spamalot'. St. Albans Musical Theatre (previously known as St Albans Operatic Society) have been producing high-quality productions for some years now and I must say expectations were high. St. Albans is blessed with many high-quality amateur and professional performers (being located close to London being one of the main reasons), as well as directors and choreographers.
The word Verulam stems from the old word Verulamium (St Albans). You may have noticed this word associated with companies or entertainment all over this city. If not, read on and see who you can support.
St Albans Festival 2010 has something very special to celebrate this year; the 'The Magna Carta'! Our city has played a central role in the drafting of this important document in 1215. This theme will be echoed in the Festival performances, museum activities and street events. The Rt. Hon.Lord Bingham and TV historian Dan Snow will be speaking and our own Mayor will lead the celebratory procession through the city centre.
James Hannaway, owner of the beautifully renovated Rex Cinema in Berkhamsted, is now in the final phase of purchasing The Alpha (previously the Odeon Cinema) in St Albans. It is hoped that the last £100 K will be pledged or donated in the coming week bringing it to a total of £1 million.