Some might say that the long-running saga of Hitchin Town Hall’s revamp has been something of a farce – but now it’s finally ready to welcome back the public, there’s top class comedy on the menu at the Brand Street venue.

The Comet: Hitchin Festival chairman Tim FarrHitchin Festival chairman Tim Farr (Image: Archant)

Aspirational Essex A-lister Russell Kane has been booked to appear as one of the highlights of this year’s Hitchin Festival.

He’ll be in town with his latest show, Right Man, Wrong Age, on Saturday, July 9.

As well as being a slick stand-up Russell has added presenter, actor, author and scriptwriter to his bow as well as picking up awards galore – he was the first comedian to win top awards at the prestigious Edinburgh and Melbourne festivals in the same year.

Festival chairman Tim Farr is delighted that the programme continues to grow in scale and cope, with big names combining with tried and tested local favourites to add up to an even greater celebration of the artistic, cultural and community life of the town.

Highlights of the four weeks include Hitchin Band’s 150th anniversary concert at St Mary’s Church on Saturday, July 2, and the ever-popular Priory Picnic featuring talented young North Herts Music School students the following day.

Big Spirit Youth Theatre will be presenting Shakespeare’s The Tempest at a venue still to be confirmed for a four-night run from Wednesday, July 6, while the Market Theatre’s traditional festival treat, a play based on a character from the town’s history, arrives on Friday, July 8.

This year the inspiration is George Chapman, the celebrated poet, playwright and translator, and the play runs throughout the month.

The Hitchin Light Orchestra team have a confident weather prediction for One Hot Night In July at North Herts College on Tuesday, July 12, and the annual showcase of Old Hitchin On Film will be at the Queen Mother Theatre on the same night.

The packed programme includes music, talks, films, art installations, guided walks, a return of the riverside Skate Jam, comedy and street food.

Buskers Day will be Saturday, July 23 and this year’s finale will see Britain’s Got Talent winners Collabro in concert at the town’s St Mary’s Church on Saturday, July 30.

The festival runs throughout July and programmes listing the wide range of events on offer are now available in the town.

If you can’t pick one up, full listings are also available online at