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!

 

 

 

What’s On in Cambridge – April

Spring has sprung and the sun is shining!  There’s plenty happening in the city and I’ll update this listing through the month so do check back when you can.  Please get in touch if you know of an event that I could add in here!

Willow at Fort St George bridge Cambridge
Fresh green willow at Fort St George

1 – 7th    Love Cambridge Restaurant Week.  Menus at £5, £10 and £15 in a variety of cafes and restaurants across the city.  http://www.cambridgebid.co.uk/restaurant-week   Read more about Love Cambridge Restaurant Week here

2nd    7 – 9pm  Cambridge 1888 – 1988 – Chronicle of an English University City.  Mill Road History Society.  The Bath House, Gwydir Street.  http://www.millroadhistory.org.uk/events

5th    7.30pm  Dining in the Dark.  Identify key ingredients of your starter and dessert while blindfolded.  Fundraiser for Cam Sight.  The Red Lion, Hinxton.  http://www.camsight.org.uk  Read more about Cam Sight here

5 – 7th    Cambridge Literary Festival.  http://www.cambridgeliteraryfestival.com  Read more about the Festival here

6th    10am – 1pm  Family Saturday – Nature Weaving.  Have fun, play and weave amazing creations using natural material from the Garden.  Free event.  Cambridge University Botanic Garden.  http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk

6th    12 noon – 3pm  The Leper Chapel Opening.  A chance to see inside one of the oldest buildings in Cambridge.  The Chapel is not usually open to the public.  Free entry, donations appreciated.  Cambridge Past, Present and Future.  The Leper Chapel, off Newmarket Road.  FB: @CambridgePFF

6th    2 – 4pm  Family First Saturday.  Activities and art making on the theme of “coin it”.  Free, drop in.  Fitzwilliam Museum.  http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk

6th    7.30pm  Movie Music Spectacular.  Cambridge Wind Band.  West Road Concert Hall.  In support of Arthur Rank Hospice Charity.  http://www.adcticketing.com

6 – 22nd    April Easter Trail.  Pick up a free trail from the Ticket Office, go on a springtime adventure and collect an Easter prize at the end.  Drop in, self led trail.  Cambridge University Botanic Garden.  http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk

8th    7.30 – 10pm  Louise Jordan – The Hard Way.  One woman performance of live music and theatre charting the rise of a working class suffragette.  St Barnabas Centre, Mill Road.  http://www.cambridgefolkclub.co.uk

9th    2 – 4pm  Printing Workshop for 8 – 12 year olds.  Design your own T shirt to take home with you.  Booking required.  Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street.  http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk

9th    7.30pm  Concert for Cam Sight.  Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Nielsen.  Easter Concert Orchestra.  All ticket receipts and donations go to Cam Sight.  West Road Concert Hall. http://www.adcticketing.com/whats-on/concert/concert-for-camsight   Read more about Cam Sight here

10th    7 – 8.30pm  Personal medicines: all in your genes?  Talk from Cafe Sci Cambridge.  Espresso Library, East Road.  FB @cafescicambridge

11th    1 – 3pm  What can art do?  Explore environmental activism for 13 – 19 year olds.  Free, booking required.  Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street.  http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk

12th    10am – 1pm  Cambridge Jobs Fair.  Speak with potential employers face to face (don’t forget to bring your CV!). The Guildhall, Market Square. http://www.thejobfairs.co.uk

13th    1.30 – 4pm  Toy Swap.  Bring toys to swap.  Also a pilot books (fiction/children) and clothes (women/children) swap plus Full Circle, Cambridge’s own zero waste shop, will be there.  Free event.  Storey’s Field Centre, Eddington Avenue, CB3 1AA  http://www.atoyslifeandbeyond  Read more about Full Circle Shop here

13th    5pm  “Waste Not, Want Not: How to live zero waste and plastic-free”.  Talk by Full Circle Shop.  Free entry, donations welcome.  Stir Cafe, Chesterton Road.  FB @FullCircleShopUK  Read more about Full Circle Shop here

14th    12 – 4pm  Studio Sunday.  Art making workshops for families with children of all ages.  Free, drop in.  Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street.  http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk

19 – 20th    10am – 5pm  Botanical Days.  A botanical themed event and pop up shop from Cultivate Gardens with refreshments by Caffiend.  Hope Street Yard, off Mill Road.  http://www.cultivategardens.co.uk

19 – 22nd  12 – 4pm  Action Drawing.  Drawing activities inspired by the Oscar Murillo Violent Amnesia exhibition.  Free, drop in.  Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street.  http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk

22 – 23rd    7.45pm (and 2.30pm on 23rd)  Ballet Central.  ADC Theatre.  http://www.adctheatre.com

24th    7.30pm  True Stories Told Live.  NCI Club, Holland Street.  FB:@cambridgetruestories

28th    2 – 3.30pm  Writers in Conversation.  Jill Dawson in conversation with Dame Gillian Beer.  Stapleford Granary, CB22.  Literature Cambridge. http://www.literaturecambridge.co.uk  Read more about Literature Cambridge here

30th    6.30 – 9pm  The Tasting Table with Dulcedo, The Baking Jin and Bumble & Oak.  Innovative dishes, fusion bakes, high end patisserie and artisan chocolate.  Dulcedo Patisserie, Hills Road. http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-tasting-table-with-dulcedo-the-baking-jin-and-bumble-oak-tickets

Blossom Cambridge
A froth of blossom on my neighbour’s tree

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