A hand-picked guide to arts, heritage and cultural events taking place in Herefordshire in January and February 2023.
In the Ukrainian culture, vertep is puppet theatre and drama featuring a nativity scene, mystery plays, and secular stories. On January 14th Hereford Help For Ukraine will host a fundraising vertep at the Kindle Centre in Hereford. Running 6pm-10pm, there'll be shared food as well as theatre - "please bring one dish to share and your own drink" said organisers.
Vertep date back to the 16-17th Century and feature a cast of characters that reflected Ukrainian society at the time: a Zaporozhian Cossack, a peasant, an old man, old woman, a servant, girl, inn keeper, theology student (bursa), a Gypsy, Gentleman, Polish landowner, Muscovite, soldiers and priests.
Tickets are £10, free for children under 16.
Wassailing is a heritage tradition making a UK-wide comeback. The annual blessing of apple trees for a good harvest, which happens on or around Twelfth Night, and you can find dates for wassails all over the UK on the very helpful website.
In Leominster, the Jenny Pipes all women morris side lead the celebrations on January 14th. The event will start at 11am in Corn Square and process to the town's Community Orchard.
It's free to go along and get involved.
Fifteen writers, one word, a myriad of meaning…
"Hurtling into the new year, our long-running group of resilient writers sink their teeth into the bones of one word in all its manifestations. These short rehearsed readings combine to be the first showcase of the year from the hugely popular writers’ group, delivered for the Courtyard by Feral Productions and Open Sky Theatre."
Tickets just £5.
"Our series of talks on the fascinating heritage of Kingsland continues, with historical author Fran Norton and the story of the remarkable Lady of Wigmore. Heiress, royalist, church-builder and mother of Queens, Maud has an incredible story with a legacy that stretches through almost a thousand years. Join us, and Fran, as we dig deep into the stories and local legends of this incredible woman."
The talk is part of Kingsland's Familiar Treasure cultural programme: "a series of non-religious activities designed to connect people to their local area."
Live comedy from Tom Allen who brings new show 'Completely' to the Courtyard on February 2nd.
"Tom Allen has finally moved out of his parents’ house, which has been great news for him, better news for department stores and even better news for his latest stand-up tour as he’s eager to share his life updates, get your opinions on his vegetable patch and delve into the protocol of inviting friends with children for dinner."
Live at The Loft is Hereford's Arts Council England and The National Lottery funded Grassroots Live Music project, which is developing music and audiences as well as supporting talent development. Locally it's a partnership between The Loft, the cosy cinema and events space on West Street, and Hereford Music Shop.
On January 19th, Aidan and Martin from Whiskey River are back to play Cajun, Zydeco, Country and Blues Americana.
Tickets £3 online or on the door (7pm onwards).
This year's events programme at Hereford Cathedral is getting off to an impressive start... on February 3rd there's a 1990s silent disco hosted by event co Silent Discos in Incredible Places.
Sadly if you're not already going, you've missed the boat because tickets have just sold out. Worth checking the ticket site for returns though.
If you fancy more live laughs, Farcial Comedy is returning to The Left Bank in Hereford with three circuit comics on the bill: Scott Bennett, Tom Ward and Hannah Silvester. Bennett's a rising star having made his debut on BBC One’s Live at the Apollo last year and being nominated for Best Club Comedian by Chortle in 2022.
On April 15th 1912, the Titanic slipped below the frigid waters of the Atlantic. Yet J. Bruce Ismay, managing director of the White Star Line, stepped into a lifeboat and sailed away from the stricken ship, from his passengers, and from the cries and screams. The Man Who Left The Titanic evokes that terrible voyage and asks whether Bruce Ismay only did what any of us might have done in the same circumstances, or should his actions that night consign his name to infamy? Was he a coward, or merely human?
This original show, from the Isosceles Theatre Company, will be at The Courtyard in Hereford on February 16th. Tickets are £16.
Folk duo Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman are live at St Leonards Church in Yarpole (HR6 0BD) on February 3rd. They're coming to the county as part of the early 2023 Arts Alive programme which in February also features A Perfect Likeness, Daniel Rover Singer's play about reclusive writer and photographer Charles Dodgson's meeeting with celebrity author Charles Dickens. Dodgson is better known today by his pen name Lewis Carroll.
For the full Arts Alive calendar visit www.artsalive.co.uk.
The Conquest in Bromyard continues to be a great place to see National Theatre, Royal Opera House and RSC shows screened live from London. On January 26th, you can watch The Crucible ("a handsomely raised period piece") and on February 28th, Clint Dyer directs Giles Terera, Rosy McEwan and Paul Hilton in NT's new version of Othello.
Watch the trailer here. Tickets for the live screening are £15.
- January 19th: The Last Dragons at Ludlow Brewery - an evening of dragon myths from Britain and Asia, brought to life by an award-winning performance storyteller
- January 27th: Macbeth at Hartlebury Castle from Quantum Theatre
- January 29th: Singing Wassail in Ludlow. Meet outside the Blue Boar at 2.30pm, before singing to bless the 2023 apple harvest
- February 3rd: Langkamer / Eades / Split Second live at St Swithun's, Worcester - a venue setting itself apart with solid programme of original live music and culture.
- February 4th: Creative Writing on the Teme at Knighton Community Centre - a family friendly workshop from local poet and writer
- February 23rd: Classic comedy film night @ the Red Lion, Malvern - with The Harcourt Players playing live to classic silent films
Pic: live at St Swithun's in Worcester