MON 25 SEPT - SUN 1 OCT
The cool, quirky and unmissable in Cambridgeshire this week, with some added West End tidbits (if you’re already in half term planning mode)
A History of Britain in 21 Women: Dame Jenni Murray, Key Theatre, Peterborough, Mon 25 Sept
Radio 4’s Womans’ Hour broadcaster Jenni Murray presents the history of Britain, as you’ve never heard it before, through the achievements of twenty-one women whose lives enthral, intrigue and inspire. In this personal selection Jenni Murray draws together the lives of twenty-one women to shed light upon a variety of social, political, religious and cultural aspects of British history, reinvigorating the stories behind the names we all know and reveals the fascinating tales behind those less familiar.
Key Theatre, Embankment Road, Peterborough, PE1 1EF, vivacity-peterborough.com
Based on Khaled Hosseini’s international bestselling novel, this haunting tale of friendship which spans cultures and continents, follows one man’s journey to confront his past and find redemption. Following an outstanding West End Run, this theatrical tour de force comes to Cambridge Arts Theatre.
Cambridge Arts Theatre, Cambridge Arts Theatre, 6 St Edward’s Passage, Cambridge, CB2 3PJ, cambridgeartstheatre.com
Phil Jupitus, Key Theatre, Peterborough, Tues 26 Sept
A familiar face on the comedy scene, you might know Phil Jupitus from being a team captain on BBC2’s pop quiz Never Mind The Buzzcockss, QI (BBC2) and Alan Davies As yet Untitled (Dave) as well as being a a regular panellist of the award winning I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue and The Unbelievable Truth. He’s also a stand-up comedian, poet, improviser, and he’ll be entertaining The Key Theatre with over an hour of tales, laughs and diversions.
Key Theatre, Embankment Rd, Peterborough PE1 1EF, vivacity-peterborough.com
The Jive Aces, The Key Theatre, Wed 27 Sept
It’s busy at The Key Theatre this season and since becoming the first live band to reach the final rounds of “Britain’s Got Talent”, The Jive Aces have firmly established themselves the UK’s No.1 Jive & Swing band. Since then they’ve been busy – where haven’t they been! Singing with Keely Smith, headlining at the Royal Albert Hall, Buckingham Palace for the Coronation Festival, Trafalgar Square for the Olympics and even Glastonbury. A great opportunity to check them out and see what all the fuss is about.
Key Theatre, Embankment Road, Peterborough, PE1 1EF, vivacity-peterborough.com
Worbey & Farrell, The Quarry Theatre, Bedford, Thurs 28 Sept
Worbey & Farrell are concert pianists with a wicked sense of humour. The internationally acclaimed Edinburgh-based duo have performed in over 120 countries and achieved millions of hits on YouTube with their piano playing and barnstorming blend of sparky humour. Expect rhapsodies, toccatas and boogie-woogies and sensational piano-playing with a belly laugh in between. The program will include favourites such as Saint-Saën’s Carnival of the Animals, Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor, Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and many more.
The Quarry Theatre, 26 St Peter’s Street, Bedford, MK40 2NN, quarrytheatre.org.uk
Cheffins Interior Auction, Cambridge, Thurs 28 Sept
There is a certain thrill of hearing the thud of the hammer and you realise that by scratching your nose you’ve bought some stables (yes, that was my mother!). Cheffins in Cambridge run regular auctions – they auction pretty much anything and everything but have specialist property, art, farm machinery but this week it’s all about interiors. There’s heaps up for grabs from furniture to jewellery – sometimes you need to have some vision but hey where else can you buy a zebra rug (gulp, not sure I could stomach that). Viewing is on Tues 26 and Wed 27 Sept.
Cheffins Art, 2 Clifton Road, Cambridge, CB1 7EA, cheffins.co.uk
Peterborough Festival of Antiques, Fri 29 – Sat 30 Sept
This event is simply huge! What started off as a small fair in Melton Mowbray has morphod into one of the largest fairs in the country held twice a year – Easter and Sept. It’s held at the vast East of England Showground and if you love antiques, collectables, vintage and upcycled items then this is a fair for you
East of England Showground, Oundle Rd, Alwalton, Peterborough PE2 6XE, festivalofantiques.co.uk
Anglesey Abbey Dhalia Festival, Anglesey Abbey, Tues 12 Sept – Sun 1 Oct
Cambridge Photgraphy Event, Hinchingbrooke Park, Sat 29 Sept
Strike a pose – a day for photographers of all abilities, from those just starting out to professionals. This event is all about bringing the local photographic community together and
activities include models on location to photograph, a photography competition, tuition, stalls and an afternoon tea networking event.
Hinchingbrooke Park, Brampton Road, Huntingdon, PE29 6DB, facebook.com
Oxbow and Peach, The Old School, Old School Lane, Whittlesford, Cambridge, CB22 4LT, oxbowandpeach.co.uk
Freddie Hall at The Steak House, Johnsons of Old Hurst, Huntingdon, Fri 29 Sept
Fancy some motown with your croc burger? That’s whats on offer at The Steak House at Old Hurst. The restaurant is part of the working farm-cum-farmshop-cum-crocodile farm-cum-restaurant and honestly this place has to be seen to be believed. The farm shop sells a range of meats from the farm but we’re not just talking beef and lamb – vennison, ostrich, crocodile and python (the latter is not farmed at Johnsons) and most of this is on the menu in the spacious steack house. Clearly it’s not going to be top of your list if you’re a vegetarian or vegan but if meat is your thing then check this place out. Freddie Hall is a singer/songwriter and guitar player who performs around Cambridgeshire but also throughout the world. His style is blues, motown and soul and when he’s not on his own he’s hanging out with his mates with his 5-piece motown band.
Johnsons of Old Hurst, Church Street, Oldhurst, Huntingdon, PE28 3AF, johnsonsofoldhurst.co.uk
A Walk in the Woods – A Celebration of Trees in British Art, The Higgins, Bedford, from Sat 30 Sept
This autumn, The Higgins Bedford pays homage to the tree with a new exhibition celebrating the role of trees and woodland in British landscape painting. Drawn from the world-famous Cecil Higgins Art Gallery Collection, some forty watercolours, drawings and prints from the past two centuries will be on show, including works by John Constable, John Sell Cotman, Edward Lear, Samuel Palmer, Paul Nash, Graham Sutherland and Lucian Freud. Various events have been planned around the artists work in Nov 17 – Feb 18.
The Higgins Bedford, Castle Lane, Bedford, MK40 3XD, thehigginsbedford.org.uk
Gransden Show, Great Gransden, Sat 30 Sept
A pretty large country show for such a small village. The show has been an annual event since 1891 so they’ve hopefully nailed it by now. What can you expect if you’ve never been before: horse show; rare and native breeds of cattle, poultry and pigs; a dog show; falconry display, donkey as well as special classes for children’s entries. There’ll also be trade stands, great grub, and children’s entertainments.
Show Field, Great Gransden, SG19 3AN, facebook.com
Ely Vegan Fair, Ely, Sat 30 Sept
Launched last year the fair was so popoular that it’s making a return this Sept. A free, family friendly event for vegans, v-curious and lovers of good food alike. The fair brings together familiar faces from Ely Markets, alongside other regional and national vegan producers, makers and street food vendors. There’s live music and a vegan bar – heard of one of those before?!
Ely Markets, Market Place, Ely, CB7 4NP, facebook.com
Stories in the Dark: Marion Leeper, The Junction, Cambridge, Sun 1 Oct
The story tent is one of the smallest theatres in the world – it takes 15 people at a time so children have a chance to join in, to talk and to play. Each show lasts for 30mins with time to explore the tent afterwards. It’s full of twinkling lights, vibrant colours and just a touch of darkness – the story tent provides the perfect storytelling adventure for 2- 7 year olds.
Cambridge Junction, Clifton Way, Cambridge, CB1 7GX, junction.co.uk
Heading into autumnal London, me hearties? Yup, me too. A few hours’ in Harvey Nicks followed by cocktails at 5 Hertford Street and then…Woah, stop there girl! I’ve got kids in tow, which means trying to stay dry and stay perky whilst contending with the other ‘out of towners’ in the Capital’s museums, shops and all the usual attractions. But then, what about the prospect of warm welcoming seat and a cold glass of what you fancy in the darkness whilst you’re all being entertained? Although there won’t be much time for quiet thought with these blockbuster show tunes to admire– you’ll be toe-tapping and singing along before you know it. Check out the Muddy guide to 5 of the best West End Shows to keep kids of all ages amused this autumn.
Annie, Piccadilly Theatre
Heads up on this one – tickets are going fast so book yours now to see the best diva for the job – Craig Revel-Horwood (!) high kicking, falling over and passing out as Miss Hannigan. It’s a 10 from us Craig. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some legwarmers to put on…
Matilda The Musical, Cambridge Theatre
Inspired by the twisted genius of Roald Dahl, Matilda revels in the anarchy of childhood, the power of imagination and the inspiring story of a girl who dares to change her destiny (and entertain us all in the process). Tim Minchin’s award winning score will have you humming his tunes for weeks after the performance. Love it.
Young Frankenstein, Garrick Theatre
Perhaps one for families with slightly older kids for this Mel Brooks classic farce. So it goes, Grandson of the infamous Victor Frankenstein, Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (pronounced ‘Fronk-en-steen’) inherits a castle in Transylvania leading him to fulfill his grandfather’s legacy by bringing a corpse back to life. With help and hindrance from hunchback henchman Igor, buxom assistant Inga and needy fiancee Elizabeth, his experiment yields madcap success and monstrous consequences. Lesley Joseph ditches last years Strictly sequins for the greasepaint, alongside funny man Ross Noble. It’s gonna be good.
Disney’s Aladdin, Prince Edward Theatre
You ain’t never seen a show like this. Breathtaking sets, mind-blowing special effects, over 350 lavish costumes and a fabulous cast and orchestra bring the magic of Disney’s Aladdin to life on the West End stage. Featuring all the songs from the classic Academy Award®-winning film including ‘Friend Like Me’, ‘A Whole New World’ and ‘Arabian Nights’, prepare to experience the unmissable ‘theatrical magic’ (Daily Telegraph) that is Aladdin.
The Comedy About A Bank Robbery, Criterion Theatre
A priceless diamond has been entrusted to the city bank, but in a town where everyone’s a crook and even security guards can’t be trusted, what could possibly go wrong? Basically, everything goes wrong. Delivering swag loads of laughter, Ocean’s Eleven meets the Marx Brothers in this dynamite new comedy from the team that brought us ‘The Play that goes wrong’. Hilarious.
Ocean Invaders – Sea Life London Aquarium (ongoing)
The London Aquarium never disappoints. The beautiful, bonkers and plain ugly get the full point and stare treatment. This month jellyfish joins the celebrity gold fish bowl with a new permanent exhibition dedicated to Ocean Invaders’. Discover the most dangerous species and create our own digital jellyfish. It’s cheaper to book in advance, £19.50 for adults, £14.50 under 16s and under 3s for FREE!
Sea Life London Aquarium, Westminster Bridge Road, Lambeth, London SE1 7PB
Robot Zoo – Horniman Museum until Sun 29 Oct
It doesn’t get much cooler than a robotic zoo. Let’s be fair it needs to be impressive to schlep deep into south east London. But it’ll be worth it to see a robotic rhino, a squid with 18-ft tentacles and a mahoosive house fly with a vacuum cleaner for a mouth at the Horniman’s Museum in Honor Oak. All the robot animals are made from everyday machines and gadgets. Through interactive games and challenges the creations will reveal how real anatomy works. Plus this museum with its quirky exhibits and large cafe and terrace is a big favourite with families at any time. Tickets: Adults £7; Kids, £4.
The Horniman Museum and Gardens, 100 London Rd, Forest Hill, London SE23 3PQ
KidZania – Westfield (ongoing)
Those who’ve been rave about this place at Westfield. A friend from overseas bought her sons for a rammed fortnight in London during which they saw pretty much every museum and attraction and this was their favourite. It’s a child-size ‘city’ where the kids are in charge (scary, no?). It provides real life role play experience for 4-14 year olds, blending learning and reality with entertainment. They can try more than 60 role-play activities (actor, doctor, police officer etc) with each experience crafted to teach kids essential life skills like team work and independence. Younger kids can hang out in the dedicated Early Years area. And you can, you know, go shopping.
KidZania, Westfield London Shopping Centre, Ariel Way, Shepherd’s Bush, London W12 7GA
Science Museum, Kensington, London (ongoing)
Masses on at this ever brilliant museum – spend the whole day here – including the new exhibit of Tim Peake’s Spacecraft – Soyuz TMA-19M. Also on is a brand new exhibition Robots, which reveals our 500-year quest to make machines human, from a 16th century mechanised monk to some of film’s most iconic robotic creations and the very latest humanoids. Finally, your kids will love Wonderlab, the newest and most spectacular interactive gallery in the world.
Science Museum, Exhibition Road, Kensington, London SW7 2DD
The Sherlock Holmes Experience Madame Tussaud’s, Mon 18 July – Fri 30 Sep
A departure for Madam Tussauds, this new Sherlock Holmes Experience (included in the normal ticket price) is live walk-through adventure. Journeying from 221B Baker Street to Dartmoor where a demon hound lurks, with plenty of stops along the way. You must help Dr. Watson find the missing Sherlock Holmes to reach a dramatic ‘watery’ conclusion. The experience is totally interactive with textured theatrical sets laden with detail, hidden clues and special effects. Bring your own deerstalker.
Madam Tussauds, Marylebone Road, Marylebone, London NW1 5LR
London Zoo, Regent’s Park London (ongoing)
Visit the amazing London Zoo and see Land of the Lions, a new immersive exhibit with walkways from where you can explore Indian-themed areas – including a train station, crumbling temple clearing, high street and guard hut. No extra charge – it’s all included in entry to the Zoo.
London Zoo, Regent’s Park, London, NW1 4RY
Book Ahead Now
Legally Blonde, Royal Derngate, Northampton, Mon 16 Oct – Sat 21 Oct
I took my mum to a production of Legally Blonde last year and we both hooted our way through it, it was much funnier than I thought it would be. This new show has a celeb cast – Rita Simons (Roxy Mitchell in BBC’s EastEnders) Lucie Jones (Eurovision UK representative 2017) and the delicious Bill Ward (James Barton in Emmerdale, Charlie Stubbs in Coronation Street) as Professor Callahan. Grab a group of girlies and go have a giggle.