EXHIBITION: Kip Gresham: The Art of Collaboration, The Heong Gallery, Downing College Cambridge, until Sun 19 May
This cool exhibit at the new(ish) modern and contemporary art gallery in central Cambs, displays over 40 years of work from master print maker and founder of The Print Studio, Kip Gresham. Pieces include prints from artistic partnerships with prevalent British and international artists including Elisabeth Frink and Paula Rego. On Wed 3 and Wed 17 Apr, curator of the show Dr Prerona Prasad is hosting free after hours tours from 6pm. The first date explores the history of Screenprinting, the second will look at originality and editioning of prints.
CIRCUS: Outer Circle, The Key Theatre, Peterborough, Fri 5 Apr
Part show, part cabaret, part intergalactic space exploration, Berlin based circus Outer Circle perform at Key Theatre featuring juggling, object manipulation, aerial hoop, trapeze, renowned handstand artist Natalie Reckhert and, er, lots of inflatable crocodiles.
COMEDY: Russel Kane, Cambridge Corn Exchange, Fri 5 Apr
Multi award-winning funny man Russel Kane brings his high-energy brand of comedy to Cambridge on his latest tour. Take a deep breath – you’re in for a rollicking ride through Russell’s thoughts on love, life and family, as he attempts to prove that the fast and curious amongst us get more done. We’ll let you make up your own mind on that one.
CULTURE: Cambridge Literary Festival, various locations, Fri 5 – Sun 7 Apr
Calling all bookworms! Cambridge Lit Fest returns with a jam packed programme of talks and lectures with some fantastic authors including Tracey Thorn, Jill Dawson, Jay Rayner and the brilliant Ali Smith (author of How to be Both). And lit fests aren’t just for grown ups doncha know! There’s a fantastic programme of interactive talks for kids this year too: Francesca Simon, author of Horrid Henry, shares a brand new collection of totally brilliant stories about the troublemaker (5+); Andy Stanton talks about his Mr Gum series, as well as his new book, Natboff! One Million Years of Stupidity (bring your singing voices to that one, 6+); storytelling and drawing with Sophie Henn, author and illustrator of Bad Nana, and loads more.
COMDEY: Carl Hutchinson, Cambridge Junction, Sat 6 Apr
Howay man! Geordie comedian Carl Hutchinson brings his brand new show I Know I Shouldn’t Behave Like This… (we’ve all been there!) to Cambridge. Carl’s creds include Comedy Central’s Stand Up Central and The Chris Ramsey Show.
EGGS & TRAILS
As usual everywhere is going egg hunt and Easter trail crazy, here are my top picks:
English heritage site Audley End’s quest themed trail to track down a dragon’s egg (6 – 22 Apr); drop-in animal themed trail at Cambs Botanic Garden (6 – 22 Apr); annual egg trail at Houghton Mill (19 – 20 Apr) and the more unusual yellow rubber duck hunt at WWT Welney, nr Wisbech. For something a little more chocolatey National Trust sites Anglesey Abbey, Wimpole and Wicked Fen are all taking part in the big Cadbury Egg hunt.
THEATRE: Rough Crossing, Cambridge Arts Theatre, Mon 8 – Sat 13 Apr
EastEnders turned West End stalwart John Partridge stars in the hilariously absurd Rough Crossing, written by Tony and Academy award-winning writer of Shakespeare in Love, Tom Stoppard. The play follows two famous but desperate playwrights stuck on an ocean liner headed for New York- go see!
MUSIC: Daorí Farrell, Cambridge Junction, Tues 9 Apr
If you’re into proper Irish folk music, then you should definitely check out Daoirí (pronounced ‘Derry’). The electrician turned singer has worked with several big names on the folk scene, launched his solo career in 2016 and is touring this year to promote his new album A Lifetime of Happiness. He also plays the bouzouki (don’t worry, we had to Google it too).
EXHIBITION: Oscar Murillo, Kettle’s Yard, Tues 9 Apr – Sun 23 June
That is one awesome shower curtain- only kidding! It’s actually part of a new exhibit, at the super cool central Cambridge gallery, of Columbian artist Oscar Murillo’s work. Oscar uses a variety of techniques and media including painting, performance, drawing, sculpture and sound, often using recycled materials and fragments collected from his studio. The exhibit will be accompanied by several workshops and a live performance by Oscar at the end of the month (30 Apr)- this is the artist’s first solo exhibit in the UK since his acclaimed 2013 exhibition at South London Gallery.
KIDS: There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, The Key Theatre, Peterborough, Mon 8 – Tues 9 Apr
Forget sweet little Peppa Pig, kids love a nursery rhyme with a macabre twist, the little devils! Pam Adams’ classic goes on tour to celebrate the story’s 45th anniversary.
COMEDY: Kieran Hodgson, The Key Theatre, Peterborough, Wed 10 Apr
Kieran Hodgson comes to Peterborough with 75 – one of the buzziest and best reviewed shows at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2018. Following on from two consecutive Edinburgh Comedy Award nominations for Best Show for his genre-defining shows Lance and Maestro, Kieran claimed his third nomination. He was also the second performer to sell out his entire run by the end of the first week of the Edinburgh Fringe festival and then sell out 7 extra shows!
MUSIC: Heather Small, The Apex, Bury St Edmunds, Wed 10 Apr
The double BRIT Award winner (can’t think of her now without Miranda coming to mind) performs just across the border in Bury St Edmunds.
SCREENING: All About Eve, The Key Theatre, Peterborough, Thurs 11 Apr
I’m a huge fan of Gillian Anderson, and Lily James for that matter after her brilliant perforce in Mamma Mia 2, and you can catch them both at this National Theatre Live screening of All About Eve. This new production from director Ivo van Hove (Network, NT Live: A View from the Bridge) explores our fascination with celebrity, youth and identity. Plus music from double Mercury Prize-winner PJ Harvey.
THEATRE: Luca Silvestrini’s Protien: The Little Prince, Cambridge Junction, Thurs 11 Apr
Created by quirky dance/theatre group Protein’s artistic director Luca Silvestrini and using a blend of provocative original choreography, text, humour and music, this could be brilliant, but also could be absolutely bonkers. The Little Prince is retold in this live show by a pilot stranded in the desert, with asteroids, snakes, foxes and a businessman obsessively counting stars…
THEATRE: Zog, Cambridge Corn Exchange, Fri 12 – Sun 14 Apr
From the writer and illustrator team behind kid’s classic The Gruffalo (I can’t tell you how many times that’s been read in my house!) Zog is a young dragon eager to win a golden star at Madam Dragon’s school. If your kids have seen Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales and Tabby McTat, it’s a sure fire winner as it’s the same team behind the production.
THEATRE: The Tin Foil Astronaut, Cambridge Junction, Sun 14 Apr
Can a rocket be powered by crisps? What’s past Pluto? Are there robots in Space? Questions that’ll all be answered at this short play for littlies 3-7 years old.
WALK: Chippenham Park, nr Newmarket, Mon 15 – Fri 19 Apr
The stunning venue opens up to the public for a short period over Easter with over 40 acres of formal gardens, wilderness, canals and walkways, plus tearooms (fingers crossed for sunshine!). The Annual Easter Egg Hunt will also take place on Fri 19 Apr. Dogs welcome on leads.
THEATRE: Edmond De Bergerac, Cambridge Arts Theatre, Mon 15 – Sat 20 Apr
By French writer Alexis Michalik, this production about the life of playwright Edmond Rostand, won five Moliere awards for its 2016 premiere in France, where it continues to play at the Theatre du Palais-Royale in Paris. For the play’s UK premier, Freddie Fox takes the starring role.
POP-UP CINEMA: A Star is Born, Wandlebury Country Park, Gog Magog Hills, Sat 20 Apr
Catch Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga star in the brilliant A Star is Born (don’t forget tissues, you’re gonna need them) at Wandlebury Country Park, a 10 minute drive from central Cambridge. Tickets range from £10 for a standard, unseated ticket, up to £25 for a Boutique ticket which includes a deckchair, hot water bottle, bag of popcorn and a glass of Prosecco.
DAY OUT: Huntingdon Racecourse, Mon 22 Apr
Feeling lucky? Horse races for adults and kids plus loads of activities and entertainment off the track too, including inflatable funfairs, treasure hunts and the Paw Patrol squad (*cue excited squeals*)
THEATRE: Richard III, Cambridge Arts Theatre, Wed 24 – Sat 27 Apr
Nope, that’s not a still from Harry Potter- it’s actually Headlong theatre’s new production of Shakespeare’s Richard III and it looks DRAMATIC- a stark, moody set, angsty characters and cool blue lighting- definitely worth a watch.
MUSIC: European Union Chamber Orchestra, Cambridge Corn Exchange, Thurs 25 Apr
Catrin Finch returns to the Corn Exchange alongside flautist Fiona Slominska to perform Mozart’s charming harp concerto, plus a set of dances by maverick of 20th century British music, Peter Warlock. A change of tone for the second half with Barber’s Adagio for Strings.
THEATRE: Dear Zoo, The Key Theatre, Peterborough, Thurs 25 – Fri 26 Apr
Anyone remember reading this as a kid? I do, and now I read it to my own daughter. Surely that’s a sign of a timeless classic! The popular lift-the-flap book has been brought to life on stage with puppetry and encourages lots of audience participation. It’s going to be a hit with the ankle biters.
FESTIVAL: I’m Here, Where Are You? Festival, Cambridge Junction, Fri 26 – Sat 27 Apr
Celebrating disability arts in Cambridge and east England, this two day festival showcases live performance, comedy, exhibits, talks and podcast recordings. Highlights include Jackie Hagan’s poignant one woman show and performative talks by former Brit judo champ Owen Lowery and artist and activist Vince Laws.
DANCE: Remembering the Movies, Cambridge Corn Exchange, Fri 26 Apr
Fantastic choreography, costumes, sets, live singers and HOT chemistry, Strictly’s Aljaz and Janette are on tour with their new show Remembering the Movies, dancing their way from the Golden Age of Hollywood through to the modern mega musical. Featuring tributes to Audrey Hepburn, Saturday Night Fever, The Greatest Showman, La La Land, James Bond, Cabaret and more.
LAMBS: Lambing Time, Wimpole Estate, Sat 27 Apr – Sun 12 May
Spring is in full swing, which means the baby lambs are out to play- cute! Kids can learn about the life of sheep from the estate’s farm team and (if you’ve got the stomach for it) see a live birth of one of Wimpole’s rare breed lambs- I think Ill give that bit a miss.
EXHIBITION: Exhibition of Still Life, Byard Art Cambridge, until Sun 28 Apr
This small gallery in central Cambridge punches well above its weight and participates in some major air fairs including London Art Fair and the Affordable Art Fair. Its new exhibition showcases artists who use still life as their inspiration from hyper realistic kitchenware (I can’t believe this awesome picture isn’t a photo!) to bright floral arrangements.
TALK: David Starkey, Cambridge Arts Theatre, Sun 28 Apr
Want the inside scoop on some royal goss? Historian and presenter David Starkey (Radio 4’s Moral Maze, Question Time) discusses all things Meghan and Harry, marriage customs of the British monarchy and can hopefully put us in touch with some hot single princes (joking Mr M!)
THEATRE: FAME The Musical, Cambridge Arts Theatre, Mon 29 Apr
Get your fuchsia pink spandex out and ready – FAME The Musical is coming to Cambridge. Celebrating its 30th anniversary (my god, it really is gonna live forever) this show’s got an all star cast from Chicago’s Mica Paris to Any Dream Will Do’s Keith Jack.
COMEDY: Seann Walsh, The Key Theatre, Peterborough, Mon 29 Apr
Sean’s new stand up, After This One, I’m Going Home, has been selling like hotcakes (everyone wants the goss on THAT Strictly kiss, no doubt). Still a few tickets left at The Key Theatre for comedy’s Lothario, so get booking soon if you want to nab them.
WALK: Continuing a Legacy, Anglesey Abbey, Mon 29 Apr
As the Winter Garden turns 21, join a member of the garden team on a walk around the Abbey to learn about the work that goes on to maintain the Abbey’s seasonal gardens, plus pick up some free pro gardening tips while you’re at it. Booking essential.
EXHIBITION: Beasts of London, Museum of London, Fri 5 – Sun 5 Jan
This looks amazing- a fully immersive, digital installation (here’s a sneak preview) exploring the role animals have played in the shaping of London, from the Roman era all they way up to present day. The interactive show uses video projection mapping to bring the animals, from rats to lions, to life as they narrate a virtual tour of London. There are some major British celebs involved too, with Kate Moss, Brian Blessed, Pam Ferris, Joe Pasquale and more voicing the beasts.
EXHIBITION: Mary Quant, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, from Sat 6 Apr This is going to be awesome! The iconic 1960s fashion designer and mother of miniskirts, Mary Quant, gets her own exhibit at the V&A with over 200 garments, accessories and exclusive unseen pieces from the designer’s personal archive.
ART: Jeff Koons at The Ashmolean, Oxford, until Sun 9 Jun
This is well worth travelling to Oxford for (even though it’s our biggest rival!) Behemoth of the contemporary art world, Jeff Koons is curating his own exhibition in collaboration with Norman Rosenthal. Spanning Koons’ entire career and showcasing seventeen works, most of which have never been shown in the UK before, the show will include his popular series Equilibrium, Statuary, Banality, Antiquity and his recent Gazing Ball sculptures and paintings. To celebrate the Ashmolean’s exhibit, Koons has created a brand new limited edition print (oooh exclusive!), experimenting with different arty techniques, which you can buy, signed and dated, from the museum.
Warner Bros. Studios, Herts, from Sat 6 Apr
Just when you think the Harry Potter hype is finally over, Warner Bros. figure out another way to get us through the door. On Sat 6 Apr, the studios unveil their biggest expansion to date, Gringotts Wizarding Bank, full of with crystal chandeliers, original film props and, er, a gallery of goblins. The new set will be a permanent addition to the tour.
INTERIORS: Ideal Home show, Olympia London, until Sun 7 Apr
The whopper Ideal Home Show rocks up at Olympia London with hundreds of free talks, 600 companies and the latest tech. This year the theme is Best of British so expect loads of UK companies (but British box ticked). Does anyone else feel a splurge coming on?
KIDS: Legoland, Windsor
Kids rejoice! Legoland reopened last month and is launching its new ride this Easter, on Sat 13 April, called The Haunted House Monster Party. Man of the house Lord Vampyre, Mummy and Monster Rocker will also be there for photos.
Legoland is also running cool, themed holiday workshops at its brand spanking new pop-up iLab in Paddington where kids can become mini engineers for the three day workshops. The Wonders of the World camp runs Mon 8 – Wed 10 Apr whilst Planes, Trains and Automobiles runs Mon 8 – Wed 10 Apr and Mon 15 – Wed 17 Apr.
Great Brick Safari, ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, Beds, Sat 6 Apr – Sun 2 Jun
More LEGO! New for Easter, Whipsnade Zoo introduces its Brick Safari- there’ll be loads of LEGO brick beasts and animals around the mammoth zoo (it’s the biggest in the UK doncha know) made from over one million bricks, as well as hands on family activities. Included in entry price.
KIDS: Southbank Centre, London, Sat 6 – Mon 22 Apr
Free fun by the bucketful if you’re heading to Southbank Centre this Easter with music from Camp Bestival regulars Dizney Rascal, cool folk singer London Rhymes and comedy theatre group Mrs H and the Sing-Along Band. Paid events include giant musical sandpits, an immersive colourful performance called Kaleidoscope and the brilliant Tabby McTat (Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler) Freckle Productions, the team behind Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales and Zog.
RACE: Oxford vs Cambridge boat race, London, Sun 7 Apr
Ahhh, I do love a bit of healthy competition- Cambridge you’re going down! The iconic boat race kicks off at the rather random time of 2.13pm for the women, followed by the men’s race at 3.10pm. Grab a G&T and a spot on the Thames riverbank between Putney and Mortlake to see the action live.
FESTIVAL: BFI & Radio Times Television Festival, London, Fri 12 – Sun 14 Apr
Forget trashy telly (Love Island I’m looking at you), there are some mega Brit TV celebs at this! The British Film Institute and Radio Times team up for the largest television festival in the UK with talks from the likes of Joanna Lumley, Jamie Oliver, Big Narstie (ask your teens), Suranne Jones and Dame Helen Mirren. You’ll also get an insight into what goes on behind the silver screen with from The Bodyguard creator Jed Mercurio (we couldn’t get enough of this in Muddy HQ), Derry Girls creator Lisa McGee and more, as well as loads of showings from the BFI archives. There’s a small young adult programme too (for 16 – 25 year olds) all at £5, including a Q&A with the cast of BBC 3’s university drama Clique.
Full programme here.
EXHIBITION: Van Gogh and Britain, Tate Britain, London, until Tues 27 Aug
This new major exhibition will be the first to explore the artist’s relationship with Britain and the literature, art and culture that inspired his work. Over 45 works by the artist from public and private collections including Starry Night on the Rhône 1888 from the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, and the rarely loaned Sunflowers 1888 from the National Gallery, London. There’ll also be work by British artist who were influenced by Van Gogh’s work including Francis Bacon ad David Bomberg.
EXHIBITION: Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, until Sun 14 July
This exhibit, the largest House of Dior collection ever staged in the UK, has been HUGE- it is sold out but there are a few first-come, first served tickets available from 10am (from the Grand Entrance) and it’s well worth trying your luck. Or you can see the exhibit by purchasing a membership for the V&A (plus you get loads of added extras like sneak previews, a magazine subscription and access to the members room). The exhibit traces the history of Christian Dior and the six artistic directors who succeeded him and is based on the major exhibition Christian Dior: Couturier du Rêve, organised by the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, plus there’s a new section exploring Dior’s fascination with British culture. A highlight is the Christian Dior dress worn by Princess Margaret for her 21st birthday celebrations, on loan from the Museum of London.
ALREADY GONE THIS MONTH…
OPERA: English Touring Opera, Cambridge Arts Theatre, Tues 2 – Sat 6 Apr
The English Touring Opera present a season of Kings and Queens in the battle for love, loyalty and power with each opera featuring a large chorus and live orchestra. First up (2 -5 Apr) is Macbeth, sung in English, followed by Idomeneo (3 – 6 Apr) and Elizabeth I (4 Apr) both sung in Italian with English surtitles.
TALK: TedxPeterborough, The Key Studio, Peterborough, Wed 3 Apr
Bringing together fashion, science, business, global issues and more, you can find a TED talk on just about anything and the best part? They’re all no longer than 18 minutes so you get all the info and none of the boring bits. TEDxPeterborough is an independently organised local event that has live talks, impactful discussions and videos recorded at previous TED conferences. Full line up TBC.
SHOW: Julian Clary, Cambridge Corn Exchange, Thurs 4 Apr
Stick you minds in the gutter and brace yourselves for a ‘tsunami of smut’. The grand dame of filth, Julian Clary is on a UK tour to pleasure the provinces. In Born To Mince Julian will murder a few songs, read you a sneak preview from his next memoir A Night At the Lubricant and make withering remarks about punters foolish enough to sit in the FROW.
KIDS: The Amazing Bubble Man, The Key Theatre, Peterborough, Sun 7 Apr
Combining comedy, audience participation, live music and square bubbles (no clue how he manages that) The Amazing Bubble Man is bound to keep your sprogs entertained with his bubble tricks.
COMEDY: Kiri Pritchard-McLean, Cambridge Junction, Sun 7 Apr
Would you dye your hair like this? Go on, we dare you. Kiri Pritchard-McLean, one quarter of the award winning sketch show Gein’s Family Giftshop, is going solo for her UK tour Victim, Complex that touches on all things love and lies.