FRI 15 DEC - SUN 17 DEC
The cool, quirky and unmissable in Cambridgeshire this weekend.
The Jungle Book, Royal & Derngate, 29 Nov – 31 Dec (Check box office for the variable performance times)
A co-production with Children’s Touring Partnership. This is a vivid new adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s family classic for the Royal stage this Christmas. A wild and funny tale of family, belonging and identity, this production is packed with memorable characters, new songs and brilliant storytelling. Mowgli the man cub battles for survival in this heartwarming coming-of-age story about a boy raised by wolves in the jungle. With the help of his animal friends, including Bagheera the panther, Baloo the bear and Kaa the python, Mowgli outwits the cruel and powerful tiger, Shere Khan, and learns the law of the jungle. Adapted by the Olivier Award-winning Jessica Swale (Nell Gwynn), and directed by Max Webster (The Lorax, The Old Vic), The Jungle Book receives its premiere at Royal & Derngate before a major national tour. It promises the perfect festive entertainment for all ages.
Royal & Derngate, 19-21 Guildhall Rd, Northampton, NN1 1DP
Jakc and the Beanstalk, Cambridge Arts Theatre, Thurs 30 Nov 2017 – Sun 7 Jan 2018
Fee-fi-fo-fum, I smell the blood of a pantomime! With Toni Christie as the King of Amarillo and Liza Goddard as the Good Fairy you can expect a thigh-slapping, hand-clapping, toe-tapping good time.
Cambridge Arts Theatre, 6 St Edward’s Passage, Cambridge, CB2 3PJ, cambridgeartstheatre.com
Rapunzel, Cambridge Junction, Tues 5 – Sun 31 Dec
A young woman imprisoned in a tower. A wicked witch with a serious anger management problem. A prince with self-esteem issues. And a LOT of hair. Dancing Brick, the award-winning company behind Thumbelina’s Great Big Adventure (2013), return to Cambridge Junction with a fun-filled family show packed with live music, physical comedy and their signature bold theatrical style. A family show for everyone aged 5 and over!
Cambridge Junction, Clifton Way, Cambridge, CB1 7GX, junction.co.uk
International Garden Photographer of the Year, Cambridge University Botanic Garden, ends Thurs 21 Dec
A collection of stunning images from the prestigious International Garden Photographer of the Year (IGPOTY) Ten Year Anniversary Exhibition. It remains one of the world’s most prestigious competition and exhibition for garden, plant and botanical photography with entries from around the world – it’s open to all ages, amateurs and professionals alike, with a Young Garden Photographer of the Year award for under 17s. You’ll be admiring a rare lone orchid in the Hengduan Mountain Range in China and then returning to the UK for an atmospheric sunrise in the Peak District.
Sleeping Beauty, Key Theatre, Peterborough, Thurs 7 Dec 2017 – Sun 7 Jan 2018
Mirror, mirror on the wall will this be the campest panto of them all! This year it’s Sleeping beauty – the enchanting tale of true love, pcincesses and princes and you can expect the traditional slapstick, humour music and spetacle.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Kettering, Fri 8 – Sun 31 December
Kettering panto is the fairest of them all! Don’t miss this fun-filled family pantomime running from Friday 8th until Sunday 31st December. Starring Matt Lapinskas, best known for his role in Eastenders, Natasha Grey from Emmerdale, West End star Hannah Boyce, and back by popular demand, Mark Pearce and Michael Neilson.
The Lighthouse Theatre, Kettering Conference Centre, Thurston Drive, Kettering, Northamptonshire NN15 6PB
Will Dick become the master of all rat catchers? Can he save the city? Can the good ship Leaking Lizzie ever get them home to safety? Join the cast of this traditional family pantomime this adventure takes our hero all the way from his home in sleepy Suffolk, to rat infested London Town and on to Paradise Island and back – oh and don’t forget the cat!
Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds. Westgate Street, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP33 1QR, theatreroyal.org
Christmas at Bletchley Park, Bucks, dates through Dec
Time travel back to a 1940s-themed Christmas at home of World War II code-breakers, Bletchley Park near MK. There’s live retro music (on 2, 3, 9 & 16 Dec) and a 40s-style Christmas Grotto on selected dates between until 23 Dec for kids aged 2 to 17 (somehow, I can’t image my 15 year old son being seen anywhere near a grotto or grown ups dressed as elves – but, hey, each to her own!)
Bletchley Park, The Mansion, Bletchley Park, Sherwood Dr, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, bletchleypark.org.uk
Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella, Sadler’s Wells, London, Sat 9 Dec – Sat 27 Jan
Matthew Bourne’s productions are always stunning and this is no exception. He transposes the story of Cinderella to London during the Blitz, rebooting it as a wartime romance between our heroine and an RAF pilot. The reviews have been of the rave variety, with Lez Brotherston’s sumptuous costumes and sets winning Olivier Award.
Sadlers Wells, Rosebery Av, London EC1, sadlerswells.com
Narnia, Manor Farm, Bourn, Fri 15 Dec
After ths snow this weekend anyone else need convincing that winter is here! The Star & Mouse have found somewhere cosy to snuggle down for the winter – at The Great Barn at Manor Farm in Bourn. If you’re searching for some Christmas magic to entertain you then check out what’s happening at this beautiful barn. They’ve converted into an indoor pine forest where you’ll wind your way through real Christmas trees and fairy-lights, enjoy a good-old carol sing-along session around the piano before sitting down to watch the spellbinding classic that is Narnia! It’s a full on family event with mulled wine, hot food, spiced hot ciders, mince pies, marshmallows a visit from Father Christmas and even some wonderful market stalls for those still looking for Christmas presents. You’ll need to grab a ticket if you’re interested.
Manor Farm,14 Alms Hill, Bourn, Cambridgeshire, CB23 2SH, manorfarmbourn.com
Whales: Beneath the Surface, Natural History Museum, now – Feb 2018
Looking for something to now the kids are breaking up? You could combine this brilliant new (ish) family exhibition exploring 50 million years of the whale with a quick skate round the Natural History Museum’s fabulous open air ice rink.
Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7, nhm.ac.uk
A concert in magnificent acoustic Cathedral to rouse your festive spirit with the Peterborough Cathedral Choir, Youth Choir and Festival Chorus joining to perform a programme of traditional music for choir and organ, with carols for the audience too. The programme includes Vaughan Williams Fantasia on Christmas Carols.
Peterborough Cathedral, Peterborough, PE1 1XS, peterborough-cathedral.org.uk
Twelfth Night, RST, Stratford, Thurs Nov 2- Feb 24 2018
Winterville, Clapham Common, now – 1 Jan 2018
If you’re in Sarf London over Christmas, Winterville on Clapham Common’s is well worth a look. There’s everything from an outdoor Ice Rink to a fairground, roller disco and free kids’ entertainment, but there’s lots more unusual stuff than at your standard Christmas Fair. We’re particularly loving the sound of the Spiegeltent, where you’ll find cabaret, bingo, kids raves and, er, Mexican wrestling. What next, ‘Yoga On Ice’? Oh, I see, they have that too.