What’s on in August

Here’s the What’s On listing for August!  It’s full of all sorts of events that come to my attention and I’ll update it through the month so do check back when you can.

King's College Cambridge
King’s College with its 200 year old horse chestnut tree

1 – 25th    Cambridge Shakespeare Festival.  Open air Shakespeare plays in College gardens.   Macbeth/The Comedy of Errors/Pericles/Twelfth Night.  http://www.cambridgeshakespeare.com

1 – 31st    Summer at the Museums.  Fun family days out for all ages.  Making and creating, hands-on history and interactive science.  Low cost or free.  http://www.museums.cam.ac.uk

2 – 5th    Cambridge Folk Festival.  Cherry Hinton Hall.  http://www.cambridgelivetrust.co.uk/folk-festival

3 – 5th    7pm  Movies @ Madingley.  Breakfast at Tiffany’s/Spectre/La La Land.  Madingley Hall Gardens, CB23.  Open air cinema with barbecue and bar.  http://www.ice.cam.ac.uk/SummerFestival

5th    1 – 4 pm  Riverside Tea Garden at The Old Pumping Station.  http://www.museumoftechnology.com

5th    2 – 5pm  Open Gardens.  Christ’s College Fellows’ Garden, St Andrew’s Street.  Teas, homemade cake and plants for sale.  In aid of British Red Cross.

6th    11am – 3pm  Tall Towers!  Great St Mary’s Church.  A tall tower trail and tower building activities for families.  Drop in.

7 – 10th    Cookery courses (half day)  including Perfect Pasta for Kids, Italian for Teens, Luxury Picnic Food for Teens, Summer Desserts for Children, Parent and Child French Baking.  Cambridge Cookery School, Homerton Gardens, Purbeck Road, CB2.  http://www.cambridgecookery.com

11 – 28th  Phenomena.  Art exhibition by Sama Soltani.  The Locker Cafe, King Street.

12th    2 – 5pm  Open Gardens.  Clare College Fellows’ Garden, Queens Road.  Teas, homemade cake and plants for sale.  In aid of British Red Cross.

13th    11am – 3pm  Flying High!  Great St Mary’s Church.  Discovering flying creatures and craft activities for families.  Drop in.

17th    6.30 – 10pm  Summer Night Market and outdoor cinema (Paddington 2 and The Greatest Showman).  Market Square.  http://www.cambridgebid.co.uk/events

19th  3 – 5pm  Jazz on Jesus Green.  ACE Jazz Trio and Sax.  Free entry.  http://www.cambridgelivetrust.co.uk/city-events/events/jazz-and-brass-parks

20th    11am – 3pm  Cambridge Market Square Stories!  Great St Mary’s Church.  Complete the market square stories trail and craft activities for families.  Drop in.

23rd    7pm  Chinese Music Concert – Flowing Water.  Emmanuel United Reformed Church, CB2.  http://www.eventbrite.co.uk

24 – 26th   Cambridge Cocktail Weekend 2018.  Corn Exchange.  http://www.cambridgecocktailweekend.co.uk

24 – 27th    6pm  Movies on the Meadows.  Open air cinema on Grantchester Meadows.  http://www.camfilmfest.com/grantchester

25th    10.45am  Cambridgeshire Cycling Challenge.  Celebrate 25 years of Anglia Ruskin University by cycling from Peterborough to Cambridge whilst raising money for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices.  Entry deadline 17th August.  http://www.pieevents.co.uk/events/ccc

30 – 31st    Oktoberfest Beer Festival.  Jesus Green.  http://www.cambridge-oktoberfest.co.uk

Linden tree Cambridge
Lime scented blossom on the linden trees along the tow path

Cambridge Shakespeare Festival

Dr David Crilly describes himself to me as “a musician from Liverpool”.  His first brush with The Bard was as a post graduate student of musicology at Oxford University when a friend asked him to be Musical Director for a student production of “The Taming of the Shrew”.  While David was happy with the incidental music he composed, he was distinctly underwhelmed by the production and reckoned that he could definitely do better himself!  Without further ado, bolstered by the insouciance of youth and undaunted by his lack of experience in the producing/directing department, he appointed himself Artistic Director, put an advertisement in “The Stage” newspaper and set about casting “Macbeth”.  And so it began ….

Cambridge Shakespeare Festival Macbeth

…. Now in its 31st year, the Cambridge Shakespeare Festival holds 4th position in The Independent’s Top 50 UK Arts Festivals and attracts upwards of 25,000 visitors a year, from all over the world.

Cambridge Shakespeare Festival A Midsummer Night's DreamThis summer, the Festival runs from 9 July to 25 August, bringing its open air productions to the stunning and intimate surroundings of private College gardens which the public can’t normally access.  Heck, even the College students can’t access some of these!  Think the Fellows’ Gardens at King’s College and Trinity College and the Scholar’s Garden at St John’s, all of them hidden gems.  This year’s programme includes crowd pleasers “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Macbeth” alongside plays such as “Cymbeline” and “Pericles” which are perhaps less well known.

Cambridge Shakespeare Festival The Taming of the ShrewThe actors perform in full period costume and there is live Elizabethan music.  This is Shakespeare without gimmicks … in the magical atmosphere of the gardens, with the light changing as the sun goes down, David creates productions that everybody can enjoy whether they’re familiar with Shakespeare or not.

Festival prep begins in February as David starts to audition professional actors to build a company.  Each actor appears in two plays so the rehearsal period during June is intense with 12 hour days.  And once July’s plays are under way, the cast rehearses the August plays during the day.  Inevitably, the company (who lodge in College accommodation) becomes a very tight unit.  Along the way this has led, rather romantically, to 11 marriages!

Cambridge Shakespeare Festival The Comedy of Errors

It’s over thirty years since David appointed himself Artistic Director and founded this Festival.  Since then, he’s developed a linked programme of educational events for students of all ages.  He composes and conducts, writes and publishes, researches and lectures here and overseas.

Cambridge Shakespeare Festival Pericles

Each of the 8 plays in this year’s programme holds one charity matinee performance at 2pm, raising funds for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices and St John’s Hospice on the Wirral, in memory of David’s sister.  Tickets are only available on the door for these performances and you need to pay with cash as every penny raised goes to the charities.  Funds raised over the years come to £89,650 so far and David hopes to hit £100,000 this year.

Cambridge Shakespeare Festival Twelfth Night

All performances start at 7.30pm but you can arrive in the beautiful College grounds to enjoy your picnic from 6.30pm.  Mulled wine is served in the interval and children of all ages are welcome.  You can buy tickets and season tickets in advance through the Festival website but there are always tickets for sale for every performance on the door too.

http://www.cambridgeshakespeare.com

These productions take place at multiple venues across the city.