5 shows to watch at the theatre in Hertfordshire this week

Paul Russell as Mathias and Jan Palmer Sayer as Mathilde.

Paul Russell as Mathias and Jan Palmer Sayer as Mathilde in My Old Lady. - Credit: John Davies

Looking for something to watch on stage in Hertfordshire this week?

Theatres across Herts are starting to put on live productions again with audiences, not just streamed performances online.

Here's five suggestions of what's on at theatres – indoors, outdoors and livestreams – in the county from July 5 onwards.


The Winter's Tale at the Roman Theatre Open Air Festival in St Albans.

The Winter's Tale at the Roman Theatre Open Air Festival in St Albans. - Credit: Tim Morozzo


1. My Old Lady at the Barn Theatre, Welwyn Garden City

Paul Russell as Mathias, Celia Roberts as Chloe, and Jan Palmer Sayer as Mathilde.

Paul Russell as Mathias, Celia Roberts as Chloé, and Jan Palmer Sayer as Mathilde in My Old Lady, which can be seen at the Barn Theatre in Welwyn Garden City. - Credit: John Davies

The Barn Theatre's first main house production since the easing of lockdown restrictions will be My Old Lady by Israel Horowitz.

Opening on Saturday, July 10, this eloquent, funny and brilliantly paced plunge into parent-child relationships is directed for the Barn by the award-winning Hannah Sayer.

If you've not heard of the play before, you might recollect the 2014 film starring Maggie Smith, Kevin Kline and Kristin Scott Thomas.

Mathias travels to Paris to sell a large, valuable apartment he has inherited from his estranged father.

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However, once there, he discovers an old woman, Mathilde, living in the apartment with her daughter, Chloé.

To his horror, Mathias learns that the apartment is a 'viager' – and Mathilde can live there until she dies.

Playing the three central characters in the Barn's production are Paul Russell as Mathias, Jan Palmer Sayer as  Mathilde and Celia Roberts as the prickly Chloé.

My Old Lady runs in the Barn's main auditorium from Saturday, July 10 to Saturday, July 17, starting at 8pm.

Due to social distancing, the Barn's capacity has been cut from 120 to 50. Visit www.barntheatre.co.uk for latest availability.



2. The Winter's Tale, The Roman Theatre Open Air Festival

The Winter's Tale at the Roman Theatre Open Air Festival.

The Winter's Tale at the Roman Theatre Open Air Festival. - Credit: Tim Morozzo

There's still time to catch a production at the Maltings Theatre's outdoor theatrical feast at the Roman Theatre of Verulamium in St Albans.

A new adaptation by William Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale can be seen until Saturday, July 10, with Maltings Theatre artistic director Adam Nichols playing the lead role of Leontes. Lucy Crick plays his pregnant wife Hermione.

Once its run at the Roman Theatre is over, OVO will be taking the play to The Minack in Cornwall.

The Winter's Tale at the Roman Theatre Open Air Festival at Verulamium in St Albans.

The Roman Theatre of Verulamium in St Albans. - Credit: Tim Morozzo


3. Snoopy! The Musical at Abbey Theatre, St Albans

Rehearsals for St Albans Youth Music Theatre's production of Snoopy! The Musical at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans.

Rehearsals for St Albans Youth Music Theatre's production of Snoopy! The Musical at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans. - Credit: Jon Schick. Supplied by Abbey Theatre

Staying in St Albans, youth performers will be bringing Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus and Co to life on stage this week.

The Abbey Theatre’s season continues with a production of Snoopy! The Musical, a charming take on Charles M. Schulz’s well-loved comic strip.

The St Albans Youth Music Theatre production takes place from Thursday, July 8 to Saturday, July 10 and this vibrant show is performed by not just one, but two talented young casts under the direction of Matt Hughes-Short. 

In-theatre tickets are very limited, but all performances are also being livestreamed so you can still enjoy the fun at home.


4. The Priory at Market Theatre, Hitchin

Luci Fish in The Priory at The Market Theatre in Sun Street, Hitchin.

Luci Fish in The Priory at The Market Theatre in Sun Street, Hitchin. - Credit: Glyn Doggett

The Priory is the Market Theatre's latest historical drama.

Set against the background of the dissolution of the monasteries, it has been written and produced as part of this month's Hitchin Festival.

The action takes place at the Priory, which during the time was a convent building, and the new play focuses on the relationship between Elizabeth Rayment and kitchen maid Alice Mace.

Molly Horne and Luci Fish star in The Priory at The Market Theatre in Hitchin.

Molly Horne and Luci Fish star in The Priory at The Market Theatre in Hitchin. - Credit: Glyn Doggett

Writer and artistic director Kirk Foster said: "The central characters and their story are fictional, however what they are going through was known to be common at the time.”

The two roles are played by Hertfordshire-based actors Luci Fish and Molly Horne.

Molly Horne in The Priory at The Market Theatre in Hitchin.

Molly Horne in The Priory at The Market Theatre in Hitchin. - Credit: Glyn Doggett

The Priory can be seen on stage until Saturday, July 31.

Visit www.markettheatre.co.uk for details of the theatre's socially distanced seating arrangements.

Molly Horne, left, and Luci Fish in The Priory at The Market Theatre in Hitchin.

Molly Horne, left, and Luci Fish in The Priory at The Market Theatre in Hitchin. - Credit: Glyn Doggett


5. The Wind in The Willows at The Queen Mother Theatre, Hitchin

Directed by Rosemary Bianchi and staged with a small, COVID-secure cast, the Bancroft Players welcome you into the magical world of Ratty, Mole and Mr Toad.

Based on the classic story by Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in The Willows promises fun for all the family.

The production opens at The Queen Mother Theatre on Thursday, July 8 and runs until Sunday, July 11 at the Hitchin venue off Walsworth Road.

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