Christmas in Cambridge: Pantomine and Ballet

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.

Red Riding Hood ADC Theatre Cambridge
Image credit: CUADC/Footlights

27 Nov – 7 December    Red Riding Hood.  The annual CUADC/Footlights panto at the ADC Theatre  http://www.adctheatre.com

What they say: “Join Red and her friends on an epic adventure of self discovery, brought to life by Cambridge’s finest comedic and musical talent.”

What we say:  This panto is always very funny indeed with a talented cast and orchestra who give it their all every year.  Book quickly as tickets are already getting scarce.

28th Nov – 11 Jan    Cinderella.  Cambridge Arts Theatre  http://www.cambridgeartstheatre.com

British Sign Language interpreted performance 1pm  1 December

Relaxed performance 11am 14 December

Audio described performance 1pm 11 Jan

What they say: “This timeless tale is packed with sing-along songs, sensational costumes and hilarious jokes.”

What we say:  A classic, glittery panto starring ballet dancer Wayne Sleep and Liza Goddard.  Perfect for all the family.

The Wind in the Willows Cambridge Junction
Image credit: Cambridge Junction

11 Dec – 5 Jan    The Wind in the Willows.  Cambridge Junction  http://www.junction.co.uk

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.

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

17 – 19 December  The Nutcracker.  Ballet Central.  ADC Theatre  http://www.adctheatre.com

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!

 

 

 

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