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The Guide To What’s On (26 Jan – 2 Feb)

It’s cold outside but we’re more than half-way through the week people. Let’s slide our way over to the fun side. Yeehaa

Character and Conscience: a Dynasty of Catholic Queens, Peterborough Cathedral, Fri 27 Jan

Dr Suzanne Lipscomb, Katharine of Aragon

If you’ve been following the Lucy Worsley documentary on BBC One about the horrible marital history of Henry VIII and his six wives you might be interested in this lecture being given by historian, author and TV broadcaster Dr Suzannah Lipscomb at Peterborough Cathedral. As part of the Katharine of Aragon Festival Dr Lipscomb’s talk will evaluate Henry VIII’s first wife as a spirited woman of integrity and faith, and examine her in the context of the legacy of her mother, Isabella 1 of Spain, and her daughter, Mary 1 of England. Katharine of Aragon has enduring links with Cambridgeshire – she was exiled to Buckden Towers and latterly Kimbolton Castle, where she died, and was buried at Peterborough Abbey (now Cathedral) in 1536.

Peterborough Cathedral, Peterborough PE1 1XS,

An Amateur’s Passion: Lord Fitzwilliam’s print collection, Fitzwilliam Museum, Thurs 26 – Sun 29 Jan

Fitzwilliam Museum, Lord Fitzwilliam's prints

The Fitzwilliam Museum’s founder, Lord Fitzwilliam, was an enthusiastic collector of prints. In his lifetime he amassed a whopping 40,000 loose impressions and spent much time arranging them into albums to keep on the shelves of his library. His collection reflects his broad taste, ranging from etchings by Rembrandt to works by other highly skilled but less fashionable printmakers. He frequently visited Paris in the 1780s (he had a mistress there), which allowed him the opportunity to collect French prints in large numbers and some of his albums derive from French aristocratic collections broken up at the time of the French Revolution. This exhibition looks at what interested Fitzwilliam most in acquiring and ordering his print collection and feature examples of his albums, rarely seen in public but offering a fascinating insight into the mind of a late 18th century collector.

The Fitzwilliam Museum, 32 Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1RB,

The Winter Garden, Cambridge Botanical Gardens, Sat 28 Jan

Cambridge Universtiy Botanical Gardens

The Cambridge Botanical Gardens can inspire even the most disinclined grower to pick up a trowel. If you’re back yard is resembling more of a quagmire than a spring beauty then this short three hour course will help bring your garden to life in the colder months. David Austin, from the horticultural team, will advise on plant and design features that define a winter garden. With a tantalising array of colours, scents and textures on display at the Botanical Gardens you’re fingers will be itching to get twitching.

Cambridge University Botanic Garden, 1 Brookside, Cambridge CB2 1JE,

 The Winter’s Tale, Cambridge Arts Theatre, Mon 31 Jan – Sat 4 Feb  The Winter's Tale - Cambridge Arts Theatre

Is it a comedy, a romance, a problem play, or all three? Your guess is as good as mine but see what you make of it when the Cheek by Jowl international theatre company perform it at The Cambridge Arts Theatre starting on Sunday. The Winter’s Tale tells of a delusional and paranoid king who tears his family apart. But this is the new Shakespeare, after he completed his great tragedies, and the tough struggle for redemption yields flickers of hope. Initial darkness gives way to joy as Time leads the characters to a shattering conclusion…

Cambridge Arts Theatre, 6 St Edward’s Passage, Cambridge CB2 3PJ,

Bawden by the Sea, The Higgins Bedford, ends on the Sun 29 Jan

The Bedford Higgins, Bawden - Brighton Pier

Now in its final week Edward Bawden’s nostalgic and whimsical depictions of Britain’s seaside towns are the subject of the latest exhibition at The Higgins Bedford. From bathing beauties in Bexhill-on-Sea to children’s sand castles on Clacton Beach, Bawden’s love of the seaside is demonstrated in his prints and advertising material. He treats the sea’s inhabitants with equal glee, scattering murderous mermaids, man-sized lobsters and parcel-delivering fish in his commissions for Fortnum & Mason and Shell. Probably the most famous work is Bawden’s large linocut Brighton Pier – the exhibition will feature the preparatory designs, the finished print as well as the rarely seen original blocks, allowing a unique look at the artist’s working methods.

The Higgins Bedford, Castle Lane, Bedford MK40 3XD,

Swan Lake, St Petersburg Ballet, Royal & Derngate, Mon 30 -Thurs 1 February

St Petersbury Ballet Swan Lake Northamptonshire

The world famous, and magical St Petersburg ballet company, pliés into town with two shows, the first of which is a beautiful production of Swan Lake, before transforming into a new production of Sleeping Beauty from 2 – 4 February. The company have received outstanding reviews for their sets, costumes, and the artistic performance of the dancers. The company is packed with world class dancers and principals, all showing virtuosity and bravura and giving thrilling performances.
Royal & Derngate, 19-21 Guildhall Rd, Northampton. NN1 1DP,

The Ruisi Quartet, The Old Divinity Hall, St John’s College, Thurs, 2 Feb

Kettles Yard Events - Ruisi QuartetWinners of the Royal Philharmonic Society award for Young British String Players the Ruisi Quartet has quickly established a reputation as an exciting, expressive ensemble, delivering performances that have been described as strikingly immediate, committed and direct (Chichester Observer). The quartet perform regularly throughout the UK and Europe, including leading venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Royal Albert Hall and Kings Place, and In Cambridge, as part of the Kettle’s Yard event programme, they will perform one of Mozart’s most famous pieces, the Dissonance Quartet as well as movements from Haydn and Mendelssohn’s string quartet

 The Old Divinity Hall, St John’s College, Cambridge CB2 1TP,

The First King of England… in a Dress! Ely Cathedral, Fri 3 Feb

Snails Tail, Ely Cathedral

Do you know it’s National Story Telling Week? Go back 1,000 years and there was no place like England for a good story… because there was no place called England! This was a time of huge battles as the Saxons and the Vikings hated each other, and a Viking called Knut wanted to be king of the Saxons too – the Saxons weren’t happy. When a stranger turns up at their door, a grumbly Saxon and his son Aethelred decide to let him in and before you know it they’re all sharing stories about giants, gods, and magic – and discover some surprising secrets about each other. Can Vikings and Saxons be friends and just why is King Knut dressed like that? Find out in this fun-packed family show including puppetry, music from a “genuine” electro-acoustic Anglo-Saxon lyre and plenty of joining in!

Chapter House, The College, Ely CB7 4DL,

I thought I would include a Forward Planner element to the Muddy Guide, to give you more notice on the stuff that gets booked up fast. I know, I’m nice like that.

Claire Martin OBE & Liane Carroll, Peterborough Key Theatre, Fri 10 Feb

Key Theatre Peterborough

BBC Radio Presenter and internationally renowned vocalist, Claire Martin, and multi-award winning piano-vocalist Liane Carroll, join forces in this very special concert celebrating the 2017 centenary of Ella Fitzgerald’s birth.

Peterborough Key Theatre, Embankment Rd, Peterborough PE1 1EF,

e-Luminate, Cambridge, Fri 10 – Wed 15 Feb

e-Luminate Cambridge 2017

e-Luminate Cambridge is the annual contemporary arts festival in which the city’s iconic buildings and public spaces are showered in a new light. The 2017 Festival will again be taking place in venues across the city – events are getting booked up fast so take a gander here and press the book button if anything shines your way.


Cambridge Corn Exchange

The Pretenders, Cambridge Corn Exchange

You need to be ahead of the game at the Cambridge Corn Exchange as popular acts sell out fast. Don’t sweat it – I’ll keep you informed of what’s selling like hot cakes to ensure you get a seat in the house.

Tue 25 April, Caro Emerald – The Emerald Island Tour

Sat 17 June, Alison Balsom – three-time BRIT Award winner with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Sat 7 Oct, the Pretenders – after a sell out Albert Hall performance in April this year the Pretenders announced a full UK tour for Autumn and little ole’ Cambridge are on the list.


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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Cambridgeshire