Christmas in Cambridge

I love this time of year.  Cambridge looks more beautiful than ever with the Christmas lights twinkling as dusk falls and I still get that child-like rush of excitement in the run up to the big day.  And I firmly believe that you’re never too old for a pantomime.  One of my fondest childhood memories is my granny treating us to the panto each year … putting on my best dress, meeting up with my cousins, munching a choc ice in the interval.

Snow White Cambridge Junction
Image credit:  Claire Haigh/WeThreeClub

I’m sure the ice cream selection, if not the jokes, will be a bit more sophisticated at the two pantomimes running in the city this year.  Cambridge Junction brings us Snow White, an original take on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, with magic, music and a very shiny red apple.  Over at Cambridge Arts Theatre, Aladdin is a classic panto with dazzling costumes and spectacular dance routines.  Both productions offer a British Sign Language interpreted performance and a Relaxed performance.

www.junction.co.uk

www.cambridgeartstheatre.com

 

BALLET CENTRAL _NUCRACKER,Stratford Circus Arts Centre
Image credit:  Bill Cooper

Ballet Central are bringing their adaptation of The Nutcracker to the ADC Theatre from 13 – 15 December with performances at 2.30pm, 4.30pm and 6.30pm.  At 45 minutes long, it’s the perfect way to introduce children to this Christmas ballet with its iconic Tchaikovsky score.  Enjoy the fantasy and sparkle as Clara’s dreams come alive and she journeys to the Kingdom of Sweets, meeting her Nutcracker Prince and the Sugar Plum Fairy along the way.

www.adctheatre.com

The North Pole ice skating

The North Pole Ice Rink returns to Parker’s Piece for the festive season, with food and drinks available at the cosy undercover Alpine Bar.  I hung up my skates long ago after an unfortunate ice rink incident which resulted in a very bruised coccyx but you’ll find me nursing a hot chocolate, maybe a mulled wine, as I watch my family twirl on the ice.  Or perhaps I’ll sneak off to have a go on the fairground rides!

www.thenorthpolecambridge.co.uk

King's College Cambridge

For me, it wouldn’t be Christmas without some yuletide singing.  Carol services in the city include Carols at Michaelhouse at 3pm and 4pm on 15 December and a traditional Carols by Candlelight at Great St Mary’s on 23 December at 6.30pm.  Possibly the most famous Christmas service of all, The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s College Chapel, is broadcast to millions around the world on Christmas Eve.  To get your hands on a ticket, go to the College early on Christmas Eve morning with photo ID.  Ticket distribution starts at 7am.  Or grab a mince pie, put your feet up and tune in to BBC Radio 4 for the live transmission at 3pm.

www.kings.cam.ac.uk

This post is part of my “New in Cambridge” column in the December issue of Velvet Magazine.  Read more on http://www.velvetmag.co.uk

 

What’s on in Cambridge – December 2018

There’s so much wonderful stuff going on in the city this month.  On this listing, you’ll find carol concerts, Christmas music, ballet, pantomime, Dickens and more!  Please get in touch if you know of other events that I can include here.

Holly wreath

1 – 9th    10 – 4pm  Anglian Pottery Christmas Selling Exhibition.  All Saints’ Church, Jesus Lane.  Free entry.  http://www.anglianpotters.org.uk

1st    10.30 – 4.30pm  Mill Road Winter Fair.  Facebook: Mill Road Winter Fair 2018  Read more about last year’s Mill Road Winter Fair here

1st    Cambridge Made Christmas Fair.  St Andrew’s Street Baptist Church, CB2.  Facebook: Cambridge Made Christmas Fair 2018  Read more about Cambridge Made and last year’s Christmas Fair here

1st    7.30pm  Christmas Oratorio, JS Bach.  Clare College Choir and The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.  Trinity College Chapel.  http://www.adcticketing.com

1st    7.30pm  Messiah.  Handel.  St John’s Voices and Cambridge Baroque Camerata.  St John’s College Chapel.  http://www.adcticketing.com

1st Dec – 6 Jan    Aladdin.  Cambridge Arts Theatre.  http://www.cambridgeartstheatre.com

2nd    5.30pm  Candlelit Service of music and readings for Advent.  Great St Mary’s Church  http://www.gsm.cam.ac.uk

4th    7.30pm  “The Story of a Disappearance and an Appearance.”  Cambridge ghost stories for Christmas with Robert Lloyd Parry of Nunkie Productions.  Cambridge Museum of Technology, Cheddars Lane, CB5.  http://www.museumoftechnology.com  http://www.nunkie.co.uk

5th    5 – 8pm  Rowan Winter Warmer.  http://www.rowanhumberstone.co.uk  Read more about Rowan, their Winter Warmer and the upcoming “Cambridge Seen” art exhibition here

5 – 31st   Snow White.  Cambridge Junction.  http://www.junction.co.uk

7 – 8th    7.30pm  A Christmas Carol.  Adapted and performed by Martin Prest.  The Leper Chapel, Newmarket Road, CB5.  http://www.adcticketing.com

8th    3pm  In Dulci Jubilo.  Erasmus Chamber Choir and Ensemble.  Bach, Buxtehude and Bellis.  Choral preludes, motets and carols for Advent and Christmas.  St Columba’s Church, Downing Street.  Free entry.

8th    7pm  Messiah by candlelight.  Handel.  Eboracum Baroque.  Great St Mary’s Church.  In aid of Cancer Research. http://www.eboracumbaroque.co.uk

8th    7.30pm  Bernstein on Broadway.  Cambridge Philharmonic.  West Road Concert Hall  http://www.cambridgephilharmonic.com

8th    8pm   Music for Advent and Christmas.  Music by Parsons, Darke and Dove and carols for audience participation.  Fairhaven Singers.  Trinity College Chapel.  http://www.fairhavensingers.org.uk

10th    7.30pm  Mr Charles Dickens presents A Christmas Carol.  Mumford Theatre, Anglia Ruskin University, East Road.  http://www.anglia.ac.uk/mumfordtheatre

11th    7.30pm  O Holy Night.  Seasonal music, festive favourites and Christmas carols.  Choir of Jesus College.  Jesus College Chapel.  http://www.adcticketing.com

11th    7.45pm  The Soldier by Rachel Wagstaff.  A play based on the life of Rupert Brooke. In support of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.  Orchard Tea Garden, Grantchester.  http://www.meshtheatre.com/tickets.html

12th    5 – 8pm  Fairtrade Christmas gift shopping evening.  Cafe Abantu, Hobson Street.  Ethical shopping with complimentary mulled wine and mince pies.  Read more about Cafe Abantu here

12th    8pm  A Ceremony of Carols.  Seasonal music for choir and harp.  Britten, Rutter, Warlock and others.  Traditional carols and contemporary settings.  Granta Chorale.  Corpus Christi College Chapel.  Raising money for Jimmy’s Night Shelter.  http://www.cambridgelivetrust.co.uk

13 – 15th    The Nutcracker.  Ballet Central.  Adapted 45 minute performance.  ADC Theatre  http://www.adctheatre.com  Read more about this production of The Nutcracker here

15th    11am – 12 noon  Jingle All The Way.  Christmas carols, songs and fun for all the family.  Cambridge Chorale.  Great St Mary’s Church.  Tickets from http://www.adcticketing.com or on the door.

15th    3pm and 4pm  Carol Services at Michaelhouse, Trinity Street.  http://www.gsm.cam.ac.uk

15th    5pm  Welcome All Wonders.  Cantata for choir, organ and trumpet, celebrating the Christmas story.  Cambridge Chorale.  Great St Mary’s Church.  Tickets from http://www.adcticketing.com or on the door.

15th    7.30pm  Amahl and the Night Visitors (Menotti) and A Ceremony of Carols (Britten).  New Cambridge Singers.  Church of St John the Evangelist, Hills Road. http://www.cambridgelivetrust.co.uk

16th    3.30pm and 5.30pm  Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.   Prime Brass with Junior Prime Brass and choirs.  West Road Concert Hall.  http://www.adcticketing.com

18 – 22nd    Peter Pan.  Cambridge Theatre Company.  Great Hall at The Leys, CB2.  http://www.cambridgelivetrust/tickets

18 – 23rd    3pm  Nine Lessons and Images.  A Christmas Tour of the Fitzwilliam Museum.  http://www.eventbrite.co.uk (tickets at 9 Images) or email roblloydparry@hotmail.com.  50% of all ticket sales goes to Wintercomfort.

20th    6.30pm  Chesterton Community Carols.  Carols with brass band, refreshments and High Wired Circus performing a festive show.  St Andrew’s Church, Chesterton.  Free entry, collection for Wintercomfort.

23rd    6.30pm  Carols by Candlelight.  Great St Mary’s Church  http://www.gsm.cam.ac.uk

29 – 31st and 1 Jan    The Nutcracker/Swan Lake.  St Petersburg Classic Ballet.  Cambridge Corn Exchange  http://www.cornex.co.uk

IMG_20181123_140849_295.jpg

Coming up in Cambridge …..

Cambridge International Jazz Festival runs from 13 – 27 November, bringing together the many strands of the city’s strong jazz scene and welcoming national and international jazz acts too.  With a crammed schedule of vibrant live music at locations across Cambridge and celebrating a wide variety of jazz styles, the programme includes workshops (if you want to learn how to Lindy Hop, now’s your chance!), talks, films, family events and free entry fringe events.  For full programme details and tickets, check out the Festival website www.cambridgejazzfestival.info

Cambridge International Jazz Festival
Image credit: Cambridge International Jazz Festival

“Buy less, choose well, make it last” is designer Dame Vivienne Westwood’s message.  With this mantra ringing in their ears, Cambridge Carbon Footprint brings us the Sustainable Fashion Festival on 17 November at St Barnabas Church on Mill Road, for all Cambridge fashionistas and for anyone who cares about the huge negative impact that fast fashion has on the environment.  You’ll find a clothes swap party, a sewing themed textiles repair cafe, an interactive fashion show, sewing skillshares, a styling zone, workshops, talks and pop up sustainable fashion stalls offering new and vintage clothing.  Take a look at www.cambridgecarbonfootprint.org for more.

Sustainable Fashion Festival Cambridge
Image:  Sustainable Fashion Festival

So it’s that time of year ….. I’m making a list and checking it twice before heading off to Cambridge Made Christmas Fair which is my go to for original Christmas presents.  The Fair is running from 29 November to 1 December at St. Andrew’s Street Baptist Church and will showcase the work of forty four designer-makers, artists and craftspeople.  You’ll find a huge variety of handmade goodies including ceramics, jewellery, textiles, quilts, botanical toiletries, cards, decorations, toys and homewares.  More details on their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/events/927219054144713/

Cambridge Made Christmas Fair logo
Image credit: Purplespoon Design

This post is part of my “New in Cambridge” column in the November issue of Velvet Magazine.  Read more on http://www.velvetmag.co.uk

What’s on in November

As the nights draw in and the leaves crunch under our feet, it’s another busy month here in Cambridge.  This what’s on listing for November is by no means exhaustive but you’ll find an eclectic mix of events that have come to my attention.  Please get in touch through my Contact page if you know of an event that I can add in.  And I’ll try to update through the month, so do check back when you can.

Autumn morning on Midsummer Common Cambridge
Autumn morning on Midsummer Common, image by Harriet Kelsall

1st    6pm  Parisian Women and the Nazi Occupation, uncovering their lives and their relationships.  Part of the Liberation Literature Lecture Series.  The Auditorium, Robinson College.  Booking essential.  http://www.clarehall.cam.ac.uk

2nd    7.30pm  Michaelmas Concert.  Vaughan Williams, Stanford and Beethoven.  Clare College Music Society.  West Road Concert Hall, CB3

3rd    Remembering the First World War.  Literature Cambridge Study Day.  Stapleford Granary, CB22 5BP  http://www.literaturecambridge.co.uk  Read more about Literature Cambridge here

3rd    1pm  Voices and Viols, Laments of the Renaissance.  Carissimi, Gibbons, Weelkes and Byrd.  Erasmus Chamber Choir with Cambridge University Consort of Viols.  St. Clements Church, Bridge Street, CB2

6th    Translation as Music, Music as Translation.  Part of Women, Languages and Translation in the Italian Tradition Conference.  Talk 4.50 – 5.30pm.  Concert 6 – 7pm Bach, Chopin and Brahms.  Clare College.  Advance registration required on womenandtranslation2018@gmail.com

7th    5 – 9pm  Late at the Fitzwilliam: Feminist Takeover.  Fitzwilliam Museum  http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/calendar/events

9th (until 12th Dec)   10am – 6pm Metamorphoses & Other Prints, an exhibition of art works by David Brown.  http://www.clarehall.cam.ac.uk

9 – 10th  Cambridge Festival of Ukrainian Film.  Winstanley Theatre, Trinity College.  http://www.CambridgeUkrainianStudies.org

9th    7pm  West Road Remembers, a remembrance concert.  West Road Concert Hall, CB3

10th    3pm  History of Tango.  Talk and dance demonstration by Cambridge Tango Academy.  St Paul’s Church, Hills Road, CB2.  http://www.cambridgelivetickets.co.uk

10th    3.15pm  O Nata Lux.  London Oriana Choir.  Monteverdi, Vaughan-Williams, Britten, Andrew, Hagan and Dale.  Queens’ College Chapel.  Free entry.  http://www.londonoriana.com

10th    7.30pm  Pujol Plays Tango.  St Paul’s Church, Hills Road, CB2.  http://www.pujolcambridge.com

10th    7.30pm  A Farewell to Arms, an evening of music to reflect on war and peace.  Fairhaven Singers.  Queens’ College Chapel.  http://www.fairhavensingers.org.uk

10th    8pm  The Seraphin Chamber Orchestra.  Mahler and Schubert.  Emmanuel United Reformed Church, CB2  http://www.seraphinchamberorchestra.com

11th    8.30pm  An evening of new choral and orchestral music to commemorate the WW1 armistice centenary.  The Phoenix Choir and The Phoenix Ensemble.  Great St Mary’s Church, CB2.  http://www.adcticketing.com/armistice or tickets on the door

12th    7.45pm  Science meets Faith: Issues concerning palliative and end of life care.  Dr Stephen Barclay.  Wesley Church, CB1

13 – 27th    Cambridge International Jazz Festival  http://www.cambridgejazzfestival.info

14 – 17th    Cambridge Beer Festival.  University Social Club, Mill Lane, CB2  http://www.cambridgebeerfestival.com

14 – 26th    Cambridge Music Festival  http://www.cambridgemusicfestival.co.uk

16th    7.30pm  A Courtly Garland.  Orpheus Britannicus.  Grossi, Handel, Finger and Torelli.  Trinity Hall, CB2  http://www.trinhall.cam.ac.uk/news-events/events

17th    The North Pole Ice Rink opens.  Parker’s Piece, CB1.  http://www.thenorthpolecambridge.co.uk

17th    11am – 4.30pm  Sustainable Fashion Festival.  St Barnabas Church, Mill Road, CB1  http://www.circularcambridge.org/fashion.  Read more here

17th    8pm  Trinity Singers Concert.  Rossini’s Petite Messe Solonnelle.  Trinity College Chapel.

17th    7.30pm  Raise your Voices Cambridge.  A variety of musical styles and songs, raising money for Church Urban Fund.  Great St Mary’s Church, CB2  http://www.raiseyourvoices.org.uk

18th    11am – 4pm  Naomi Davies Art Winter Open Studio.  Cake, carols, cards, gifts and paintings.  151 Hobart Road, CB1 http://naomidaviesart.co.uk/winter-open-studio-on-18-november/

18th    5pm  Christmas Lights Switch On.  Market Square, CB1

23 – 25th    Cambridge Literary Festival  http://www.cambridgeliteraryfestival.com

24th    8pm  Enchantment and Passion.  Delibes, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky and Khachaturian.  Cambridge Graduate Orchestra.  West Road Concert Hall, CB3.  http://www.cambridgegraduateorchestra.com

29th – 1st Dec    Cambridge Made Christmas Fair.  St Andrew’s Street Baptist Church, CB2   Facebook: Cambridge Made Christmas Fair 2018  Read more about Cambridge Made and last year’s Christmas Fair here

30th    6 – 8pm  Pots for Poverty.  Charity sale raising funds for Jimmy’s Night Shelter.  The Locker Cafe, King Street, CB1.  Read more about last year’s Pots for Poverty here

30th    6 – 9pm  Late at Kettle’s Yard.  Kettle’s Yard, CB3.  http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk/events/late-at-kettles-yard

Autumn colour in Trumpington Street Cambridge
Autumn colour on Trumpington Street

 

Cambridge Film Festival

Cambridge Film Festival celebrates film past, present and future, showcases new talent and brings film makers to the city for eight glorious days of screenings and events from 25 October to 1 November.

Cambridge Film Festival logo 2018

I met with Kayleigh Barnes, Marketing Co-ordinator at Cambridge Film Trust to find out more about this year’s Festival schedule.  Every year (in what sounds to me like a really fabulous job!) the Festival programmers visit major international film festivals – think London, Cannes, Berlin and Venice.  Their quest is to discover the best new films and documentaries out there and to bring a varied line up back to Cambridge, giving us a rare chance to see great films that we might otherwise miss.

Cambridge Film Festival film reel
Image credit: Cambridge Film Festival

Kayleigh and I talked about the diverse strands of programming that run alongside the main feature films and documentaries.  The Family Film Festival offers daytime film screenings suitable for all ages, with linked children’s arts and crafts activities and a BAFTA workshop while the Short Film programme brings us shorts from around the world.  For a film maker, having your work shown in this category is very prestigious indeed; in a lengthy selection process, hundreds of submissions are reviewed by a panel of film industry experts and each film is watched by three reviewers before a final forty films make the cut.

For fans of old movies, there’s a Silence and Sounds classics programme, screening vintage silent film with live musical accompaniment.  Experimental film making is showcased in the Microcinema programme while the very popular Camera Catalonia screens a selection of the best Catalan films.  Partnerships with the Cambridge African Film Festival and the Korean Cultural Centre enrich the Festival programme with contemporary films from across Africa and Korea.

Cambridge Film Festival live band
Image credit: Cambridge Film Festival

Cambridge Film Trust, a charity founded to promote film culture and education in the East of England, runs this event under the leadership of Festival Director, Toby Jones.  The Festival’s main venue is the Arts Picturehouse Cinema in St Andrew’s Street with screenings also being held at Emmanuel College just opposite and The Light Cinema at Cambridge Leisure Park.

Check out the Festival website where you’ll find the full programme of screenings and events and through which you can book tickets.

www.cambridgefilmfestival.org.uk

This post is part of my October “New in Cambridge” column in Velvet magazine.  Read more on http://www.velvetmag.co.uk

Coming up in Cambridge …..

 

Cambridge Festival of Ideas logo 2018

The University of Cambridge opens its doors from 15 – 28 October for the 11th annual Festival of Ideas which this year explores the theme of “extremes”.  Celebrating the arts, humanities and social sciences, a packed programme of over 200 events includes talks, exhibitions, films, debates and performances held in galleries, museums and lecture theatres across the city.  There’s something here for everyone, whether your interest lies in politics, history, the arts, literature or music or whether you just want to open your mind to new ideas and to question the status quo.  Most events are free, some need to be booked in advance which you can do through the Festival website.

www.festivalofideas.cam.ac.uk

 

Apples in a box
Image credit:  Will Greenfield

In this season of mist and mellow fruitfulness, don’t miss Apple Day at the stunning forty acre Cambridge University Botanic Garden on 21 October.  It’s a wonderful celebration of all things appley with tastings, advice on cultivation, children’s activities, free guided garden tours and a marquee full of locally produced edibles.  Come hungry as you’ll find a wide choice of refreshments from a variety of food trucks and the Garden Café.  And if you have a mystery apple tree in your garden, you need the apple identification service.  Just bring along a couple of apples with a leaf and stalk attached and who knows, you may bring a lost heritage variety to light!

www.botanic.cam.ac.uk

People apple tasting
Image credit: Will Greenfield
Autumn Botanic Garden
Image credit: Will Greenfield

This post is part of my October “New in Cambridge” column in Velvet magazine.  Read more on http://www.velvetmag.co.uk

What’s on in October

Well, Cambridge feels a little bit different now ….. there’s a nip in the morning air, the evenings are drawing in and the rhythm of the city changes as the students return.  There’s plenty going on and I’ll update this listing through the month so do check back when you can.

Sunny autumn morning on the River Cam
Sunny autumn morning on the River Cam

5th    8pm  Fresher Brass.  A “Meet and Greet” concert with the City of Cambridge Brass Band.  St Giles Church, Castle Street, CB3.  Free entry.

6th    7.30pm  The Fishermen.  Mumford Theatre, Anglia Ruskin University, East Road, CB1.  http://www.anglia.ac.uk

7th    10.30am – 4pm  Cambridge Vegan Market.  Guildhall, Market Square.  http://www.vegfest.co.uk

7th   2 – 4pm/5 – 7pm  Cambridge Wine Fair.  Royal Cambridge Hotel, Trumpington Street, CB2.  Meet local independent wine merchants.  http://www.cambridgewinefair.com

8th    7.45pm  Climate Change: A Scientific Update.  Speaker:  Dr Emily Shuckburgh OBE.  Part of the Science meets Faith series.  Wesley Church, Christ’s Pieces, CB1.  Free admission.

15 – 18th  Cambridge Festival of Ideas  http://www.festivalofideas.cam.ac.uk  Read more here

15th    7pm  Oompah Brass.  The Leys School, Fen Causeway, CB2.  http://www.theleys.net/boxoffice

18th    7pm  Cambridge Breast Cancer Appeal Fashion Show.  Grand Arcade, St Andrew’s Street, CB2.  Tickets include welcome drink and canapes.  http://www.cambridgebreastcancerappeal.com  Read more here

19th    8pm  The Choral Pilgrimage 2018.  Music by Cornysh and Britten.  The Sixteen.  St John’s College Chapel.  http://www.thesixteen.com

20th    11am – 4pm  Volunteer for Cambridge.  Free showcase for the diversity of volunteering opportunities in the city with around 90 organisations attending.  Guildhall, Market Square, CB2.  http://www.cambridge.gov.uk/volunteer-for-cambridge

20th   2 – 5.30pm  Understanding King Lear.  Study Day with Literature Cambridge.  Stapleford Granary, Stapleford, CB22.  http://www.literaturecambridge.co.uk/lear/  Read more here

20th    7.30pm  Let there be Light.  Charity concert for CBM UK, the overseas disability charity, showcasing local musicians and voices.  St Paul’s Church, Hills Road, CB2.  http://www.ticketsource.co.uk

21st    10am – 4pm  Apple Day.  Cambridge University Botanic Garden, Brookside, CB2.  http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk  Read more here

22nd    1 – 3pm  The Fitzwilliam Museum.  Disability friendly opening.  A relaxed afternoon aimed at children with sensory sensitivities along with their families, siblings and carers.  Free entry but please book in advance.  Trumpington Street, CB2.  http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk

23rd    11am – 5pm Tues – Sun.  Richard Pousette-Dart: Beginnings.  Abstract Expressionist.  This exhibition runs until 6 January 2019.  http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk

24th    7 – 10pm  Plague Late.   Part of the Cam Lates season.  Get up close and personal with the past and present of the Plague.  Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Downing Street, CB2.  Book in advance.  http://www.museums.cam.ac.uk

24 – 27th    7.30pm plus two matinees at 2.30pm.  West Side Story.  Cambridge Theatre Company.  The Leys School, Fen Causeway, CB2.  http://www.camtheatrecompany.co.uk

25 – 1 Nov    Cambridge Film Festival.  http://www.cambridgefilmfestival.org.uk  Read more here

26th    9.30am – 12.30pm  Kids’ Repair Cafe.  Fixing children’s games and toys.  Arts Picturehouse, St Andrew’s Street, CB2.  http://www.cambridgecarbonfootprint.org  Read more here

26 – 28th    7.30pm  Ghost Stories for Halloween.  The Leper Chapel, Newmarket Road, CB5.  http://www.nunkie.co.uk

28th    1pm  Cambridge Halloween Dog Parade.  Facebook: Cambridge Halloween Dog Parade  Read more here

Autumn colours on Trumpington Street, Cambridge
Autumn colours on Trumpington Street, Cambridge