Town centre manager Keith Hoskins takes a look ahead at this month’s Hitchin Festival

Hitchin town centre manager Keith Hoskins shares his views in his weekly Comet column.

Hitchin town centre manager Keith Hoskins shares his views in his weekly Comet column. - Credit: Archant

What would Shakespeare have thought about Brexit? After all, we’d just had a bit of miff and biff with the Spanish Armada and our entente with the French wasn’t always so cordiale – and we had strong and stable leadership provided for the country by a woman, Elizabeth I.

William may have looked with wonder at the advances in modern medicine and popular culture, although public tastes for an edge-of-the-seat drama or a ribald comedy with a splash of double entendre remain strong.

All this and more is brought to life in Keith Baldwin’s acclaimed Hitchin Festival show All the World’s a Stage, next Thursday at The Sun Hotel at 7.30pm. Tickets £8 from 1A Churchyard or on the door.

This Saturday we celebrate the strength and diversity of Hitchin’s business and retail community with Independents Day on the Market Place – part of the national campaign to celebrate independent retailers, where individual Hitchin businesses come to promote their goods and services.

Also from 10.30am, Hitchin Market – a cornucopia of independent traders in itself – will be hosting the annual Duck Race on the riverside, raising funds for charities. Always great fun.

Other unique events for Festival during the next week include What A Life – the story of one of Britain’s remarkable women of the last century, Kathleen Ferrier.

With great reviews from the Barbican run, Lucy Stevens has created a totally engaging show, with text from Kathleen’s diaries and letters, as well as music from her extensive repertoire.

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The show is at Woodside Hall in Walsworth Road on Saturday at 7.30pm. Tickets are £15.

On Monday, the Market Theatre presents Great Expectations with the great-great-grandson of Charles Dickens, Gerald Dickens, performing the reading much as his famous ancestor would have done by playing every character himself. Starts at 7.30pm, tickets £16.

On Wednesday, July 12, the Hitchin Society present a talk by transport historian Dr Rudi Newman entitled From Scythes to Suburbs – The Coming of the Railways to Beds, Bucks and Herts, at The Sun Hotel at 7.30pm which will examine the socio-economic impact on the rural Chilterns. Tickets are £8.

Hitchin Films will be showing Toni Erdmann on Monday, A United Kingdom on Thursday next week, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest on Friday, July 14, and La La Land on July 15. There are free lunchtime concerts in St Mary’s on Tuesday and Thursday, July 11 and 13, at 1.05pm.

Full details of these and all the other events during Hitchin Festival are available in the programme and online at

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