The Guide to What’s on (24 Feb – 3 Mar)
So long Feb – later! We’re zipping through these months – we’ll be pigging out on chocolate before you know it (or just me?). Until then there’s a delicious smorgasbord of fun to be had so get planning. I’ve included an early nudge section on things that will need booking ahead to ensure you don’t miss out on the fun (I know, pass me the medal) so make sure you scroll on down.
Footlights Spring Review 2017: Behind Closed Doors, ADC Theatre, Cambridge, Fri 24 – Sat 25 Feb
It’s the last few days to get a chance to talent spot at one of the biggest events in Cambridge’s ever burgeoning comedy calendar. Footlights has helped to launch the careers of comedy greats such as Peter Cook, Emma Thompson and Hugh Laurie – with that reputation it’s fair to expect a lot from the Footlights Spring Review this year.
ADC Theatre, Park St, Cambridge CB5 8AS, adctheatre.com
The Colour of Me, Key Theatre, Peterborough, Sat 25 Feb
One for the littlies – The Colour of Me, by the Wiggle Dance Theatre, is a show that shifts easily between theatre and dance. An enchanting exploration of the emotions that live in us through the colours that surround us – red is grumpy and cross, green is peaceful and blue takes you to the sea. They all eventually come together in a rainbow, the whole person within us. With live music and projection this interactive dance theatre performance promises to delight, tickle and inspire young audiences from ages 3-7.
Key Theatre, Embankment Rd, Peterborough PE1 1EF, www.vivacity-peterborough.com
Street Science at Parkside Swimming Pool, Cambridge, Sat 25 Feb
Cambridge Science Centre is still homeless and they’ve been popping up all over Cambridge recently. This Sat morning they’re bringing hands on science activities to the Parkside Swimming Pool as part of their Street Science programme.
Parkside Pool, Gonville Pl, Cambridge CB1 1LY, cambridgesciencecentre.org
Drawing Heroes: Superhero Comic Fun, Peterborough Central Library, Sat 25 Feb
Discover the art of drawing superhero comics with the help of artist James Parsons in these free family workshops. From ages 5 upwards kids will discover the process of putting a comic book together from a professional artist, learn how to draw their favourite characters and create their own superheroes. Places are limited so booking is essential.
Peterborough Central Library, Broadway, Peterborough PE1 1RX, vivacity-peterborough.com
Elégie. Rachmaninoff: A Heart in Exile, Quarry Theatre, Bedford, Sun 26 Feb
Known internationally for her Composer Portraits in words and music, pianist Lucy Parham has created a new touring programme that chronicles the life of composer Sergei Rachmaninoff. Self exiled in 1917, his cultural identity and his longing for his homeland imbue his music. The narrative, scripted from letters and diaries, follows Rachmaninoff from his youth in Russia, through his exile and finally to California USA, where he died in 1943. Lucy is joined on stage by some serious heavy weights narrating and reading Rachmaninoff’s words – Dominic West, Simon Russell Beale, Robert Glenister, Alistair McGowan and the rather delicious Lloyd Owen – this Sunday expect to see Harry Goodman join Lucy Parham on stage.
Quarry Theatre, 26 St Peters St, Bedford MK40 2NN, quarrytheatre.org.uk
Hamlet, Icarus Theatre Company, Mumford Theatre, Cambridge Mon 27 – Tue 28 Feb
A company of seasoned classical actors embrace the brutality of what is consdered one of the greatest plays ever written – a gripping, ensemble style brings exhilaration and violence to the words of Shakespeare. This peformance presents Hamlet in unfamiliar territory – it blends traditional and physical theatre with a musical score. This muscular production vividly brings to life some of literature’s most vibrant language and characters in a way you’ve never seen before: bold, exciting, and action-packed – it’s Shakespeare for the Game of Thrones generation.
Mumford Theatre, Anglia Ruskin University, East Rd, Cambridge CB1 1PT, anglia.ac.uk
This Country Life, Babylon Gallery, Ely
This exhibition at the Babylon Gallery features six regional artists and makers with work inspired by the rural idyll, landscapes and countryside creatures. With a mix of paintings, prints, textiles & ceramics on display the exhibition is open Tue – Sun, 12 noon- 4pm.
Babylon Gallery, Waterside, Ely CB7 4AU, babylonarts.org.uk
Wimpole’s Wednesday Walk, Wimpole Hall, Wed 1 Mar
Not sure what’s going to happen with the weather next week but if you’re suffering from cabin fever then each week a different walk is planned showing off some of the best views, woodland paths and secret seats in and around Wimpole’s parkland. Walks range from 2.5-4.5 miles and with an the experiend guide on hand there’s no faffing with the bloomin map!
Wimpole Hall, Arrington SG8 0BW, nationaltrust.org.uk
Mini Picasso’s, Denny Abbey, Waterbeach, Wed 1st Mar
Hands up – I missed the first one (shame on you Sallie) but there are a few places left for the remaining 3 sessions this term held on a Wed morning and led by local artist Ann Biggs. Aimed at pre-school kids (ages 20mths – 5years) – it’s all very messy so wear old clothes and be prepared for glitter and paint.
Denny Abbey, Ely Rd, Waterbeach, Cambridge CB25 9PQ, dennyfarmlandmuseum.org.uk
Indi Forde, Bohemia, St Neots, Thurs 2 Mar
Live music will be coming to Bohemia on a regular basis – on the first Thurs of every month. The first live acoustic session kicks off this week with Indi Forde – a mixture of rock, pop and soul. Tapas and cocktails will be served and it’s first come first served so book early. Bohemia is a coffee shop and bistro that’s open mon-Sun during the day and in the evenings on a Fri & Sat, as well as first Thurs of the month.
Bohemia, 16 Cross Keys Mews, Market Square, St Neots PE19 2AR, bohemiastneots.com
Ben Lee Quintet, Hidden Rooms, Cambridge, Thurs 2 Mar
The Hidden Rooms boasts a weekly line-up of live music including jazz, swing, funk, soul and blues. This week it’s the turn of the The Ben Lee Quintet whose eclectic music draws on wide ranging influences from rock and funk through to experimental music and anything else that takes their fancy. The line-up is refreshingly different and includes guitar, alto saxophone, trombone, organ and drums.
Hidden Rooms, Jesus Lane, Cambridge, CB5 8BA, hiddenroomsonline.com
The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collection, Tate Modern, London
We’re lucky in Muddy Cambs as we can zip into London pretty fast on a train and with so many exhibitions and galleries we’re spoilt for choice but my eye has been drawn to Elton John’s private photography collection – a labour of love over the past 25 years. When he’s not writing pop songs about candles in the wind he’s a serious collector of modernist pohotgraphy. With over 70 artists and nearly 150 rare vintage prints on show it’s a mere scintilla of his 8,000 hoard but it gives a rare chance to take a peek inside Elton’s home. There are portraits by fashion great Irving Penn, compositions from André Kertesz and Josef Breitenbach and an incredible group of Man Ray portraits exhibited together for the first time including those of Matisse, Picasso, and Breton. I haven’t been yet but I’m planning a trip later this week.
Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG, tate.org.uk
Swagger, La Raza, Cambridge, Fri 3 Mar
‘Swagger’ is what happens when you unite five talented guys from very different musical backgrounds and make them play songs from any decade and every genre. It’s the kind of band that’s best enjoyed late, standing on a table with your hands in the air and singing at the top of your voice – you have been warned! La Raza is a coffee shop and café during the day but as the sun goes down the cocktail shaker comes out and it’s a buzzy late night music venue in the centre of Cambridge
La Raza 4-6 Rose Cres, Cambridge CB2 3LL, http://laraza.co.uk/index.php/march/
There’s nothing more frustrating than coming across a really cool band or act that you’d like to see – to find that all the tickets have been snaffled (we’ve got better things to do than sit on the internet all day!). This early bird section will hopefully give you a fighting chance of getting in there.
Learn to Garden Weekend, Cambridge University Botanic Garden, Sat 4 – Sun 5 Mar
If you garden looks more of a quagmire then a feature of beauty and you can’t tell a weed from a pansy (er, are you looking at me?) then get yourself booked on this two-day weekend course led by the Head of Education Flis Plent and horticulturalist Helen Seal. Aimed at those that don’t have a clue, they’ll instruct you on how to plan and understand your garden, prepare your soil, choose plants, sow seeds, identify weeds – basically everything. This relaxed weekend course will combine some theory sessions in the classroom with lots of hands-on, practical and ‘walk and talk’ sessions in the Botanic Garden.
Cambridge University Botanic Garden, 1 Brookside, Cambridge CB2 1JE, botanic.cam.ac.uk
Willingham Auctions, Willingham, Sat 4 Mar
If you haven’t had a stab at bidding in an auction – you’re missing out – or maybe I’ve been watching too much Homes under the Hammer. The auction rooms at Willingham are in beautifully restored former farm buildings and there’s a café on site also (open Mon – Sat) which serves homemade food, all sourced from local suppliers – trust me it’s worth a visit just for the coffee. The catalogue can be viewed online, bidding is in person on Sat or you can leave bids over the phone or online also – viewing is on Thur 2 – Fri 3 Mar. They have antiques and more modern items but top tip – it’s a great source of garden objet d’art and good quality new garden furniture – just thinking ahead to spring. If you’re into vintage and antique collectables it’s worth taking a gander over there.
Willingham Auctions, 25 High St, Willingham, Cambridge CB24 5ES, willinghamauctions.com
Cambridge Corn Exchange
You’ve got to move fast as popular acts sell like hot cakes at Cambridge Corn Exchange. Don’t sweat it – I’ll keep you informed of what’s disappearing fast to help ensure you get a seat somewhere in the house.
Fri 24 Mar, Jimmy Carr – due to popular demand an extra date has been added to this sell out show.
Sun 7 May, Russell Kane – Right Man, Wrong Age
Wed 24 May, Russell Brand – Re:Birth
Sat 14 Oct, Dr Hook – Starring Dennis Locorriere as part of their Timeless World Tour
Fri 27 Oct, Squeeze – as part of their Join the Dots UK Tour
The Noise Next Door’s Really, Really Good Afternoon Show, Cambridge Junction, Sat 8 Apr
The sell-out comedy sensation are now on tour with an anarchic afternoon show for just about everyone. Join The Noise Next Door for an epic explosion of outlandish characters, perfect punchlines and awesome songs all mixed together with the guys’ trademark brand of off-the-cuff antics. They’ve been everywhere recently – ITV2, BBC Three and BBC One’s The One Show or you might have heard them on BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 4. A barrel of belly laughs awaits for anyone between 8… and 108!
Cambridge Junction, Clifton Way, Cambridge CB1 7GX, junction.co.uk
Cambridge Literary Festival, Tue 18 – Sun 23 Apr
The programme for this spring’s hugely popular literature festival has just been released – take a peek. A richly packed weekend is planned with some of the best in contemporary fiction, political debate, workshops and fun events for the kiddies. Festival friends get first pickings as of Wed this week. The rest of us will have to wait until 1 Mar. There are some great events so take a look at the programmed; plan ahead and press redial at 10am on 1 Mar. Highlight this year include. Charlotte Rampling, Alexandra Shulman, John Simpson, Thomasina Miers, Tom Kerridge, Harriet Harman, Elif Shafak, Pankaj Mishra and more…