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This Week


The cool, quirky and unmissable in Cambridgeshire this week.

The Jungle Book, Royal & Derngate, 29 Nov – 31 Dec (Check box office for the variable performance times)

Jungle book royal and derngate

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

JAck and the Beanstalk Cambridge Arts Theatre

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,

Rapunzel, Cambridge Junction, Tues 5 – Sun 31 Dec

Rapunzel Cambridge Junction

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,

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.

Cambridge University Botanic Garden

Sleeping Beauty, Key Theatre, Peterborough, Thurs 7 Dec 2017 – Sun 7 Jan 2018

Sleeping Beauty

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.

Key Theatre

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

That’ll Be The Day, Cambridge Corn Exchange, Tues 12 Dec

That'll be the day 2017

A show to get your rockin’ around the Christmas tree.  The UK’s most popular Rock ‘N’ Roll variety show celebrates the festive season with all those fave Christmas classics from the 50s, 60s & 70s, plus plenty of hilarious comedy.

Cambridge Corn Exchange, 2 Wheeler St, Cambridge CB2 3QB,

Dick Whittington, Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, Tues 12 Dec 2017 – Sun 14 Jan 2018

Dick Whittington

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,

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,

The Conscious Christmas Pop Up, Hopkins Street, London, Thurs 14 Dec

Conscious Christmsa Pop Up

Move away from the High Street this Christmas shopping season. Cambridge’s very own AmaElla Lingerie & Slowtrends are organising a different kind of shopping experience that will take place in the very heart of Soho, at 01zero-one. For an Open Day on the 14th December from 10am to 9pm, you’ll be able to pop around and discover very unique gifts, handcrafted goods and ethical products and you’ll also be supporting small businesses that are trying to do things in a more sustainable and sensitive way. Profits raised with the drinks and nibbles will go towards supporting Global March’s worldwide fight against Child Labour. Some of the brands you will find on the day include AmaEllaethical lingerie, Natasha Rose couture, Ami Iyok natural advanced cosmetics, Sports Philosophy sustainable sportswear, Anna Loucah fairtrade jewellery, Ringana fresh cosmetics and supplements, Flock by Nature organic knitwear, Slowtrendsnatural candles and more.

01zero-one, Hopkins Street, London, W1F 0HS, theconsciouschristmaspopup

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,

Christmas Stories and Songs, Ely Cathedral, Thurs 14 Dec

Christmas Tree

A special festive event for the tinies (under 5’s).  Meet at the Christmas tree for some storytelling and songs plus some festive food and drink as the big day draws even closer.

Ely Cathedral, Ely, Cambs, CB7 4DL

Narnia, Manor Farm, Bourn, Fri 15 Dec

Manor Farm Barn

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,

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,

Peterborough Cathedral Christmas Concert, Peterborough, Fri 15 Dec
Peterborough Cathedral Christmas concert

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,

Twelfth Night, RST, Stratford, Thurs Nov 2- Feb 24 2018

Dinita Gohil as Viola. Photo: Manuel Harlan (c) RSC

The RSC’s winter production Twelfth Night sees Ade Edmondson, of The Young Ones and Bottom fame, as Olivia – Kara Tointon’s dour steward Malvolio in Shakespeare’s bittersweet comedy. Directed by Christopher Luscombe, who recreated Warwickshire’s Charlecote Park on stage for the RSC’s fabulous Love’s Labour’s Lost and Much Ado About Nothing, it’s set in Victorian BritainAlso starring Birmingham’s Dinita Gohil as Viola and Michael Cochrane as Sir Andrew

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.

Find more ideas here

This Week

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