I love Christmas. One of my fondest childhood memories is going to the pantomime each year with my cousins. It was always my granny’s treat and it was so exciting, putting on my best dress and heading out to the theatre. The festive season is just around the corner now so if your thoughts are turning to booking a Christmas show, here’s a run-down of what’s going on in the city this year.
British Sign Language interpreted performance 2.30pm 22 December
Relaxed performance 11am 29 December
What they say: “An all singing, all dancing, anarchic extravaganza … perfect for anyone who loves, hates or feels ambivalent about Christmas.”
What we say: This is a family Christmas show from Figs in Wigs, a female led performance company who promise puns, bad jokes and pop culture references. We loved last year’s show from NIE, Snow White, and we’re looking forward to this.
What they say: “Ballet Central will showcase their dazzling 45 minute version of the time-honoured Nutcracker, introducing children of all ages to a new version of the iconic Tchaikovsky score.”
What we say: A shortened version of The Nutcracker is a perfect way to introduce children to ballet. These final year students from the Central School of Ballet are on the cusp of their professional careers and dance their hearts out in a really magical performance. The costumes, the music …. we were captivated by this last year. Book quickly as there aren’t many tickets left.
29 Dec – 4 Jan A Tchaikovsky Trilogy of The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake. Saint Petersburg Classic Ballet. Cambridge Corn Exchange http://www.cambridgelive.org.uk
What they say: “This acclaimed company combines classical training and technique with outstanding soloists to entertain audiences in breath-taking style.”
What we say: We didn’t catch this in Cambridge last Christmas but we have seen St Petersburg Classic Ballet perform elsewhere and they are excellent. A full length ballet to enjoy without going all the way to London!
So November is here, with bright frosty mornings and leaves crunching under our feet. As ever, there’s loads going on in the city this month. Do get in touch if you know of an event that I could add in to this listing and don’t forget to check back every now and again as I will update it through the month.
1st 7pm Cinema under the Whale. A special screening of the Spielberg classic JAWS, in the dark under the skeleton of a 21 metre whale. Plus a short pre-screening talk on threats to sharks and work to protect them. Museum of Zoology, Downing Street. http://www.museum.zoo.cam.ac.uk
2nd 10am – 1pm Family Saturday – Feed the Birds. Help the birds in your garden survive the frosty winter nights by making bird feeders to put out in your garden. Free event. Botanic Garden, Brookside. http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk
2nd 10.30 – 11.15am Sharing Stories. Stories from around the world, told, read and sung. Free, drop in. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Milton Road Library. http://www.friendsofmiltonroadlibrary.org.uk
2nd 2 – 4pm Magic and Mystery Family drop in. Magic crafts, family tours and story telling. Free. Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street. http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk
2nd 3.30pm Autumn Concert. Cambridge Wind Band. The Ashburton Hall, St Faith’s School, Trumpington Road. http://www.camwindband.com
2nd 6.30pm Even You Song. Director of Music Owain Park with Cambridge Chorale and school choirs against a backdrop of digital projections and new writing. An immersive work based on Choral Evensong inspired by space travel. Trinity College Chapel. Tickets from http://bit.ly/2YvwxAb
6th 7.30pm Handel Coronation Anthems, Concerto Grosso in B flat major, Op 3 No 2 and Organ Concerto in F Major, Op 4 No 4. Academy of Ancient Music and Choir of King’s College Cambridge. King’s College Chapel. http://www.kings.cam.ac.uk/concerts
8th 7.30pm Mike de Souza Trio. A vibrant young trio performing new, original music drawing on the sounds of contemporary jazz, Radiohead and Deerhoof. Unitarian Church, Emmanuel Road. http://www.wegottickets.com/listencambridge
9th 6.30 – 10.30pm Ceilidh. Raising funds for Cambridge Street Aid and The Cyriacs, St Paul’s Church, Hills Road. http://www.eventbrite.co.uk
12th 7.30 – 9pm Changing Landscapes in Romsey Town. Talk by John McGill for Mill Road History Society. Ross Street Community Centre. http://www.millroadhistory.org.uk
13 – 24th Cambridge International Jazz Festival. Main events, Fringe events (many of which are free), family events, workshops, talks and films at venues around the city. http://www.cambridgejazzfestival.info
13th 7.15pm True Stories Told Live. Local storytellers and a song. NCI Club, Holland Street. FB @cambridgetruestories
16th 10.30 – 11.15am Sharing Stories. Stories from around the world, told, read and sung. Free, drop in. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Milton Road Library. http://www.friendsofmiltonroadlibrary.org.uk
16 – 17th 11 am – 5pm Ink, Paper and Print Illustration Fair. Screenprints, letterpress, hand-made books, lithographs, linocuts and more. Free admission. The Guildhall, Market Square. http://www.inkpaperandprint.co.uk
16 – 17th 10am – 5pm A handmade Christmas pottery exhibition and sale. 15+ potters, a wide range of ceramics from rustic to refined, free kids’ craft. Kiln Cambridge, 61 Ditton Walk, CB5. FB@kilncambridge
22nd – 8 Dec 11am – 4pm Fri – Sun, 5 – 8pm Weds. Here and How? An exhibition of artists from the North West, curated by STOCK Gallery. Motion Sickness Project Space, Petty Cury. http://www.motion-sick.wixsite.com
23rd 11am – 5pm Worth the Weight Vintage Kilo Sale. Vintage clothing from the 60s – 90s. £15 per kilo. St. Paul’s, Hills Road. FB @worththeweightvintage
23rd 7.30pm Mozart Requiem. Trinity Singers. Trinity College Chapel. Tickets on the door.
23rd 7.30pm Dance the Night Away. Brahms, Khachaturian, Offenbach and more. A concert in aid of Cambridgeshire Lupus Group. Cambridge Concert Orchestra. The Church of St John the Evangelist, Hills Road. Tickets from http://cco.org.uk or http://www.eventbrite.com or on the door
26th Feast & Fast: The Art of Food in Europe, 1500 – 1800 exhibition opens (running until 26.4.20). Presents novel approaches to understanding the history and culture of food and eating. Free entry. Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street. http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk
28 – 30th 12 noon – 7.30pm Thursday/10am – 6.30pm Friday and Saturday. Cambridge Made Christmas Fair. Loads of fabulous hand made goodies from local makers. Free entry. St. Andrew’s Baptist Church, St. Andrew’s Street. FB @CambridgeMade
28th 5 – 9pm LATE: A Feast for your Senses. See the new Feast & Fast exhibition, join pop up talks, learn more about Christmas food traditions and book for a special screening of Bright Star, a romantic drama about John Keats. Christmas shopping, live jazz and seasonal treats in the Cafe. http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk
30th 10.30 – 11.15am Sharing Stories. Stories from around the world, told, read and sung. Free, drop in. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Milton Road Library. http://www.friendsofmiltonroadlibrary.org.uk
30th 2pm and 3pm “Mouse’s Night Before Christmas”. Award winning author Tracey Corderoy reads from her new book. Festive craft activity. Tickets £3 in advance, redeemable against a copy of the book when bought on the day. Heffers, Trinity Street. http://www.heffers.co.uk/events
The Rising Tide: Women at Cambridge exhibition marks 150 years since the foundation of the first women’s college and shines a light on the life of women at the University, from Nobel Prize winners to student activists to those who worked as bedmakers, gardeners, typists and cooks … women who faced a variety of challenges and broke down many barriers.
The North and South Galleries of the University Library are lined with paintings and photographs of women who have made exceptional contributions in so many fields, to the University and to women’s equality. From Baroness Brenda Hale of Richmond (President of our Supreme Court, who quashed the recent prorogation of Parliament and who also has a nice line in brooches) to Helen Stephens (the first female Head Porter of a Cambridge college) and Kate Litman (CUSU Women’s Officer 2019), to name just a few, these women have shaped and are shaping the University that we know today.
Downstairs in the Milstein Exhibition Centre, the story of the lived experience of women at Cambridge and their fight for equal educational rights is told through costumes, letters, documents and audio visual material. It’s astonishing to realise that women were only given full membership of the University in 1948, previous requests for equality in 1897 and 1921 having been put to the vote and rejected.
Girton College (founded 1869) and Newnham College (founded 1871) offered courses to women but they could not be awarded degrees. Between 1904 and 1907, Trinity College Dublin offered these women the chance to travel to Dublin to officially graduate and receive a full degree – those who took up this offer were known as “steamboat ladies” due to their mode of travel! And on what must have been a joyous day in 1998, 900 women who had never been able to graduate with full degrees processed up King’s Parade to Senate House to graduate at last.
Cambridge University Library has existed in some form since the middle of the 14th century. Since 1934, its collections have been housed in a magnificent but slightly forbidding looking building on West Road designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the architect who also created our iconic red telephone boxes and Battersea Power Station. The Library contains more than 8 million books and periodicals, 1 million maps and thousands of manuscripts. As a legal deposit library, it is entitled to acquire a copy of every book and journal published in the UK and Ireland, which explains its 125 miles plus of shelving and the fact that said shelving extends by 2 miles every year.
There is so much to see in this moving and thought provoking exhibition. It’s a wonderful chance to explore collections from across the University and colleges in this iconic Library building. The exhibition and a linked programme of events is free and open to all. The Rising Tide: Women at Cambridge runs until 21 March 2020 and is open every day except Sunday.
Eddington Craft Beer & Gin Festival returns to Storey’s Field Centre from 17 – 20 October.
The Festival was born just a year ago when local event management company The Crane Event was approached to fill a gap in the Storey’s Field Centre schedule at short notice. Teaming up with Cambridge Event Bars, they created this hugely successful happening which is returning for a second year by popular demand, with over 30 craft beers from the best independent breweries and over 20 gins (so that’s me sorted then!).
There’ll be a different street food van each day, music from Americana good time band Swamp Truck on Friday and a home brew competition on Sunday.
Lifelong Cambridge residents Justin and Jemma Crane founded The Crane Event three years ago. Operating from their Mitcham’s Corner office (and assisted by office dogs Ludo and Shadow), they have fused Justin’s project management expertise with Jemma’s marketing experience to create a business which works mainly on corporate events both nationally and internationally.
Cambridge Event Bars has been providing bars and bar service throughout the UK to private and public events, as well as festivals, since 2014.
I’ve yet to visit Storey’s Field Centre at Eddington but I’ve noticed it coming up more and more as a venue for all sorts of Cambridge events. Justin tells me it’s a really beautiful new, fresh building, fully equipped and eco friendly with several flexible spaces inside. As the Eddington population grows, Storey’s Field Centre has become a focus for community as well as corporate events.
Getting to Eddington is easy. Either use the U bus or cycle (there’s plenty of cycle parking). If you decide to take the car, Madingley Park and Ride is just a five minute walk away.
Children are welcome at the Festival until 9pm each day and under 18’s get in free. Tickets are available on the door or you can pre-purchase through Eventbrite, where tickets are cheaper and will fast track you past any queues on the day.
Now here’s a fantastic one-stop-shop for everybody who’s working to shrink their waste, reduce their carbon footprint and live more sustainably. Cambridge Remakery is popping up in the new community space at The Grafton Centre over the weekend of 12 and 13 October and you’ll find plenty of help, advice and free activities here.
A Repair Cafe for electrical items, toys, clothing, bicycles etc.
Hands on workshops for bike maintenance, furniture repair, upholstery and jewellery repair
An upcycling activity with recycling advice and a bird feeder upcycling project for children
A Swish ... bring clothes you don’t wear and swap them for clothes you will wear at this women’s clothes swapping party
A sewing skillshare where you’ll pick up tips and acquire new sewing skills
A craftivism workshop on 13 October with an artist from Kettle’s Yard. Bring along a T shirt, scarf, jumper or bag on which to emblazon your own environmental message
One-to-one advice on living more sustainably from Cambridge Carbon Footprint and Transition Cambridge
Sustainable living stalls from The Nu Wardrobe, a clothes sharing social network, and Full Circle Shop, Cambridge’s own zero waste shop
Remakery projects are now established and flourishing in Brixton and Edinburgh with more in the pipeline for the UK and internationally. Wouldn’t it be brilliant if the Cambridge Remakery became a permanent hub to support us all as we work to live more sustainably??
Well here we are, it’s October already and the rhythm of the city is changing again as the students return. There’s so much happening in Cambridge this month … festivals of film, ideas, craft beer and gin, storytelling, fundraisers for local charities, art exhibitions, Diwali celebrations and lots more. So do take a look and come back too, as I’ll update this listing through the month.
1 – 12th 8am – 5pm Illuminating Cambridge Libraries. Exhibition of Sara Rawlinson’s photographs of College libraries. Michaelhouse Centre, Trinity Street, CB2. http://www.sararawlinson.com
1 – 31st 9am – 5pm weekdays. Black Cantabs: History Makers. Photography exhibition celebrating 260 years of Cambridge education for black Cambridge students and graduates from the 1700s to the 21st century. Fitzwilliam College, Storey’s Way, CB3
3 – 27th The Cambridge Show. Painting, photography, performance, sculpture and other media from 22 local artists. Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street. http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk
5th 10am – 1pm Family Saturdays – Brilliant Bats. Learn loads of bat facts and enjoy bat themed craft ready for Halloween. Free event. Botanic Garden, Brookside. http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk
5th 10.30 – 11.15am Sharing Stories. A family friendly story telling session with stories from around the world told, read and sung. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Free, drop in. Milton Road Library, CB4. http://www.friendsofmiltonroadlibrary.org.uk
5th 2.30pm Nearly New Sale of pre-loved parent and baby goods. Sports Centre, Cambridge Regional College, Kings Hedges Road. http://www.nctcambridge.org
7th 7.30 – 9pm LATE: Gallery Party. Celebrate the launch of a new season of programming on the theme of Sensual/Virtual. Music, cash bar and surprises on the night. Free event. Fitzwilliam Museum. http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk
10th 7.30 – 9pm Miss Jebb revisits Mill Road. An evening of fact and fiction, drama and poetry as Eglantyne Jebb, founder of Save the Children and author of “Cambridge – A Brief Study in Social Questions (1906), takes us for a walk down Mill Road. Free event. Ross Street Community Centre, Ross Street. http://www.millroadhistory.org.uk
12th 10am 2019 Heffers Classics Forum. A day of talks from some of the top names in the world of Classics. The Old Library, Emmanuel College, St Andrew’s Street. http://www.eventbrite.co.uk
12th 10am – 3pm The Kenya Youth Project Autumn Fayre. Stalls, pictures, stationery, handcrafts, nearly new, books, jigsaws, toys, homemade jam and cakes, Kenyan gifts. Wesley Methodist Church, Christ’s Pieces. http://www.kenyayouthproject.org.uk
12th 10.30am – 2.30pm Nearly New and Used Book Sale. Milton Road Library, CB4
13th 12 noon – 4pm Studio Sunday. Artist led workshop for families. Free, drop in. Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street. http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk
13th 1.15 – 2pm Lunchtime Concert: Works for piano by female composers. Diana Brekalo presents music by Lily Boulanger, Fanny Mendelssohn, Clara Schumann and Countess Dora Pejacevic. Free. Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street. http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk
14 – 27th Cambridge Festival of Ideas. Debates, workshops, talks, exhibitions and performances celebrating the arts, humanities and social sciences. This year’s theme is “Change”. Free. http://www.festivalofideas.cam.ac.uk
16 – 19th The 2019 Cambridge Greek Play: Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles. A modern day interpretation, performed in Ancient Greek with English surtitles. The tradition of performing a play in Greek every three years at Cambridge University goes back to 1882! Cambridge Arts Theatre, Peas Hill. http://www.cambridgeartstheatre.com
16th 7pm Cafe Sci Cambridge: The ethics of medical data sharing. Espresso Library, East Road. FB @cafescicambridge
17 – 24th Cambridge Film Festival. UK premieres of new features, classic retrospectives, insightful documentaries, short films, discovery titles from the global stage, family favourites and several international film festival winners. http://www.cambridgefilmfestival.org.uk
17 – 20th Eddington Craft Beer and Gin Festival. Local craft beers, flavourful gins, live music and food vans. Storey’s Field Centre, Eddington. http://www.eventbrite.com
18 – 19th 7.30pm Dracula Part 1: Jonathan Harker’s Journal with Martin Prest in the haunting and atmospheric one man show adapted from Bram Stoker’s classic novel. The Leper Chapel, Newmarket Road. http://www.ThatsMyCueProductions.com
19th 10am – 4pm Cambridge Photography Show. For anyone who is passionate about photography and video. Free entry. Guildhall, Market Square. FB Cambridge Photography Show 2019
19th 10.30 – 11.15am Sharing Stories. A family friendly storytelling session with stories from around the world told, read and sung. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Free, drop in. Milton Road Library, CB4. http://www.friendsofmiltonroadlibrary.org.uk
19th 12 noon – 4pm WE ARE CAMBRIDGE Family Day. A fun, interactive day exploring what living in and around Cambridge means to you. Artist led workshops where you can create artwork inspired by Cambridge, your ideas of home and hopes for the future of the city. Plus a wildflower seed-bomb workshop inspired by the history and work of Alan Turing. Free, drop in. Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street. http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk
19th 2 – 5.30pm Literature Cambridge Study Day: An Introduction to Reading Poetry. Do you love poetry and would you like to understand it better? Accessible lectures and a seminar with leading young Cambridge scholars. Stapleford Granary, CB22. http://www.literaturecambridge.co.uk/read-poetry
19th 3 – 4pm Children’s Event: Author Isabel Thomas unlocks the life of Stephen Hawking with storytelling and activities. Free event. Heffers, Trinity Street. http://www.eventbrite.co.uk
20th 10am – 4pm Apple Day. Apple tasting, identification, cultivation, activities and edibles. Free Garden seasonal highlight tours, live music, pop up food trucks and craft stalls. Botanic Garden, Brookside. http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk
20th 1.15 – 2pm Lunchtime Concert: Music for harpsichord. Final concert of the complete Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, recital No. 30, performed by Francis Knights. Free. Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street. http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk
20th 7 – 9.45pm Sakhya Diwali celebrations. A fundraiser evening of music, Indian food and Bollywood dancing. All proceeds go to grass-root education and development oriented projects in India. St Paul’s, Hills Road. Booking required. Email email@example.com
26th 5 – 9pm Cambridge Mindful Pub Crawl. Low and no alcohol drinks at three venues with the first round on Adnams. Starting at The Castle Inn, Castle Street, CB3. Tickets from http://www.joinclubsoda.com
27th 1.15 – 2pm Lunchtime Concert: Music for piano. George Harliono performs Chopin’s Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor. Free. Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street. http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk
28th 7.45pm Centenary Lecture: Professor Dame Sally C Davies, Master of Trinity College, on being the UK’s Chief Medical Officer. Free admission, retiring collection. Wesley Methodist Church, Christ’s Pieces.
29th 7pm Graphene the new wonder material: But will it change the world? Fundraising lecture from Professor Sir Colin Humphreys, CBE, FREng, FRS Director of Research Dept of Materials Science and Metallurgy. In aid of Cam Sight. Dept of Material Sciences and Metallurgy, Charles Babbage Road, CB3. http://www.camsight.org.uk
September always feels to me like a time of new beginnings and although it’s never easy to get back into top gear after the hazy drift of summer days, the slight nip in the morning air reminds us that it’s time to crack on. There’s lots of fun stuff happening in the city this month, which should help us ease back into routine. I’ll update this listing through the month so do check back and please get in touch if you know of an event that I can add to it.
1st – 29th Cambridge Festival of Cycling. A month of events celebrating our city’s cycling culture. Over 20 cycling themed events, including social bike rides, bike maintenance and photography workshops, a film night showing the documentary “Motherload” and the Cargo Carnival. Most events are free or have a minimal charge. http://www.cambridgefestivalofcycling.org
7th 10am – 1pm Family Saturday. Plants of the Pharoahs. Find out about plants used by the Ancient Egyptians, including plants used to make paper and to help preserve bodies. Free event. Botanic Garden, Brookside. http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk
7th 10.30 – 11.15am “Sharing Stories”. A friendly family story telling session with stories from around the world told, read and sung. Free, drop in. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Milton Road Library, CB4. http://www.friendsofmiltonroadlibrary.org.uk
9th 7.45 – 9pm Talk about the history of Cambridge Railway Station by Rob Shorland-Ball. Cambridge Museum of Technology, Pye Building. Tickets £3 on the door. Enter via Cheddars Lane entrance. http://www.museumoftechnology.com
10th (until 9th October) Open Eco Homes. Advice from local householders and experts, householder led tours and low energy home workshops. http://www.openecohomes.org
10th 7.30 – 9pm “Archeology found by the public”. Talk from Mill Road History Society with Dr Helen Geake, well known for being party of Channel 4’s Time Team. Ross Street Community Centre. http://www.millroadhistory.org.uk
13 – 14th Open Cambridge. Discover the local history and heritage of Cambridge with special access to places that are normally closed to the public or charge admission. http://www.opencambridge.cam.ac.uk
15th 9.30am Bridge the Gap. A charity walk through Cambridge University College grounds. The route is wheelchair and pushchair friendly. Raising funds for Arthur Rank Hospice Charity and Romsey Mill. http://www.arhc.org.uk/bridge-the-gap.asp
17th 5.30 – 7.30pm Circuit Social. A creative evening for 18 – 25 year olds. Make some art, meet new people and discover more about Circuit, the young people’s programme. All welcome, no previous art experience needed. Free, drop in. Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street. http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk
17th 7.30pm Poetry in the Pub with John Clegg and Steve Xerri. CB1 Poetry. Blue Moon Pub, Norfolk Street, CB1 http://www.cb1poetry.org.uk
18th 7.30pm True Stories Told Live. NCI Club, Holland Street, CB4. FB True Stories Told Live Cambridge
21st 9 – 10am Day of Peace Meditation. On International Day of Peace, gather for meditations to find inner peace and to cultivate feelings of peace of others in our families, our communities and across the world. White Lotus Meditation. The Bodywise Studio, Gwydir Street. http://www.whitelotusmeditation.co.uk/classesandcourses
21st 10.30 – 11.15am “Sharing Stories”. A friendly family story telling session with stories from around the world told, read and sung. Free, drop in. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Milton Road Library, CB4. http://www.friendsofmiltonroadlibrary.org.uk
21st 10.30am – 4pm Artsfest 2019. A day of workshops in printmaking, life drawing, papercloth, drawing, exploring abstraction, creative writing, expressive lettering and drop in sewing plus an all day cafe. Early booking advised as workshop places are limited. St Paul’s Church, Hills Road. http://www.stpaulsartsfest.org
21st 11am – 5pm Literature Cambridge Study Day: Reading The Waves. An intensive day of lectures and a seminar on Virginia Woolf’s lyrical novel of 1931, with leading scholars. Stapleford Granary, CB22. http://www.literaturecambridge.co.uk/waves
25th 6 – 9pm Zoology Late: Board Games. Animal inspired board games and bar. Free, no need to book. 18+ Museum of Zoology, Downing Street. http://www.museum.zoo.cam.ac.uk
26th 6 – 9pm LATE: The Greatest Showman. Special screening of The Greatest Showman to complement a new exhibition about Giovanni Belzoni, the 19th century explorer and circus showman. Fitzwilliam Museum. http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk
28th 10am – 4pm Worth The Weight Vintage Kilo Sale. Vintage clothing at £15 per kilo. St Paul’s Church, Hills Road. FB Worth The Weight Vintage Kilo Sale – Cambridge