What’s on in Cambridge – January 2020

As I compile this listing, we are in that beautiful lull between Christmas and New Year when you don’t quite know what day it is and meals are a smorgasbord of leftovers from the fridge.  It’ll be time to get fully functional again soon enough and to help us out of hibernation, there’s lots going on in the city as we welcome in a new decade.  I’ll update this listing through the month so do check back sometimes and let me know if you’d like your event to be included.  Happy New Year to all!!

Late afternoon on the River Cam
Late afternoon on the River Cam

4th    10am – 1pm  Family Saturday: Crazy Cone Creations.  Use twigs, paint and wire to make a crazy cone work of art.  Drop in event, no need to book.  Botanic Garden, Brookside.  http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk

4th    2 – 4pm  Family First Saturday: Marvellous Mythology.  Fun activities and art making.  Free.  Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street.  http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk

6th    7.30pm  An Orthodox Christmas Wassail with Chela and Buska, the Cambridge Georgian choirs.  Jesus College Chapel.  Free entry with retiring collection for Georgian charities.

7 – 11th    Merrily We Roll Along.  Festival Players.  Robinson Theatre, Hills Road.  http://www.ticketsource.co.uk/festivalplayers

11th    5 – 8pm  True Tales for Change.  The Cambridge Commons raises awareness of and tackles inequality in Cambridge.  In collaboration with Pivotal, they have commissioned five local artists and a songwriter to create works inspired by conversations with Cambridge people who have experienced inequality.  Public exhibition continues 12 and 13 January.  The Escape Community Space, The Grafton Centre.  FB True Tales For Change

12th    12 – 4pm  Studio Sunday. Practical art making workshops, no experience necessary.  Free, drop in.  Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street.  http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk

12th    4.30 – 6pm  Free Singing Workshop with Cambridge Jazz Festival Choir, a community vocal group singing jazz, soul, gospel and more.  No auditions, no need to read music as songs are learned by ear.  St Matthew’s Primary School, Norfolk Street, CB2    FB: Free Singing Workshop with the Cambridge Jazz Festival Choir

14th    2 – 4pm  Tour for blind and partially sighted adults: Fantastic Fans.  Go behind the scenes with a conservator for a rare opportunity to touch a variety of fans from the collection.  Guide dogs and companions welcome.  Free but booking essential by email to education@fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk   Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street.  http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk

14th    7.30 – 8.45pm  Going It Alone:  the new breed of writer/independent publisher.  Author Sue Grossey tells us what it’s really like to be your own researcher, writer, designer, editor, publisher and marketing department.  Milton Road Library, Ascham Road.  http://www.friendsofmiltonroadlibrary.org.uk

14th    7.30 – 9pm  Mackays – the history of a local store.  Talk from Duncan Mackay describing exciting projects and turbulent times for one of Cambridge’s favourite family businesses.  Ross Street Community Centre, Ross Street.  http://www.millroadhistorysociety.org.uk

15th    1.15 – 2pm  “To eat or not to eat”: Vegetarianism and veganism in Europe, 1500 – 1800.  A talk with Dr Melissa Calaresu, “Feast & Fast” exhibition co-curator.  Free.  Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street.  http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk

16th    7.30pm (doors and bar from 6.30pm)  January Jazz: Sirkis/Bialas International Qt.  Cambridge University Centre Wine Bar, Granta Place.  http://www.cambridgejazz.org

18th    12 – 4pm  The Eddington ‘Feel Good’ Festival.  Free activities to help you relax and unwind including yoga, meditation, barre ballet, dance sessions, health talks plus a chill out area with free refreshments from Eddie’s Cafe.  Free event, booking essential.  Storey’s Field Centre, Eddington  http://www.eddington-cambridge.co.uk

18th    1 – 2pm  British Sign Language exhibition and library tour.  Join one of the exhibition curators for a guided tour of The Rising Tide: Women at Cambridge exhibition, followed by an introductory tour of the wider University Library.  BSL interpretation provided by the Cambridge Deaf Association.  Free, suitable for all ages, under 18’s must be accompanied by an adult.  Booking required by email to hap40@cam.ac.uk  Cambridge University Library, West Road

18th    2 – 5.30pm  Literature Cambridge Study Day on Toni Morrison’s great novel “Beloved” (1987), a powerful account of the traumatic effects of slavery.  Two lectures and a round-table seminar.  Stapleford Granary, CB22 http://www.literaturecambridge.co.uk

18th    2pm and 4pm  My Musical Magical Hat.  Family concert for age 5+.  How do you choose which musical instrument to play?  Do you choose it or does it choose you?  Find out as Tim, Ruth and the Cambridge Phil reach into the world of the magical musical hat.  Cambridge Philharmonic Orchestra.  West Road Concert Hall.  http://www.cambridgephilharmonic.com

19th    1 – 4pm  Reflections on Homelands/Alternative Symposium.  Reflect on the themes and ideas of Homelands: Art from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan.  An informal afternoon with introductions to the exhibition and displays, a practical art workshop which will explore the nature of home and displacement plus a conversation to share personal stories and experiences.  Free, all ages.  Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street.  http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk

21st    2 – 4pm  Tour for blind and partially sighted adults: Fantastic Fans.  Go behind the scenes with a conservator for a rare opportunity to touch a variety of fans from the collection.  Guide dogs and companions welcome.  Free but booking essential by email to education@fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk   Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street.  http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk

25th    10.30am – 4pm  Kettle’s Yard Welcome Day.  Discover your local gallery with a day of mini programme highlights: tours, talks and workshops for those new to Kettle’s Yard.  Also with British Sign Language and audio described introductions.  Free, all ages, drop in.  Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street.  http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk

25th    11am  Chinese New Year Celebration.  Arts and craft workshops, zodiac fortune telling, food tasting, lion dance at 12pm and more.  Lion Yard Shopping Centre with Cambridge Chinese Cultural School.

25th    11am – 5pm  Worth the Weight Vintage Kilo Sale.  Men’s and women’s vintage clothing from the 60’s to the 90’s.  £15 per kilo.  St. Paul’s, Hills Road, CB2  FB: Worth The Weight Vintage Kilo Sale Cambridge

25th    2 – 6pm  Board Games Afternoon.  Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.  Cambridge Central Library. £2 per ticket.

25th    8pm  Im Abendrot.  Strauss and Mahler.  The Empyrean Ensemble.  Trinity College Chapel.  http://www.adcticketing.com

26th    10.30am – 4pm  Cambridge Vegan Market.  Over 40 stalls selling vegan food, clothes, drinks, cosmetics and more.  Guildhall, Market Square.  http://www.veganmarkets.co.uk/cambridge

26th    12 – 4pm  Studio Sunday.  Practical art making workshops, no experience necessary.  Free, drop in.  Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street.  http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk

26th    7.30pm  Sinfonia of Cambridge with St John’s College School Chamber Choirs.  Respighi, Vaughan Williams, Tchaikovsky.  West Road Concert Hall.  http://www.adcticketing.com

29th    7.15pm  True Stories Told Live.  Local storytellers and a musical turn.  NCI Club, Holland Street, CB4   FB: True Stories Told Live Cambridge

30th    5 – 9pm  LATE: Food, Faith and Wellbeing.  Panel discussion on the role of fasting in religion, talk from Wintercomfort on food and homelessness, poetry reading, 30 minute meditation session and a cacao ceremony.  The Cafe Health and Wellbeing menu includes non-alcoholic drinks and vegan food.  Free, booking required.  Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street.  http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk

30th    5.30 – 7pm  As is your due: 50th anniversary of women’s admission to the University.  Talk and film recording the 50th anniversary celebration of women’s admission to the University of Cambridge, when in 1998 more than 800 women who matriculated before 1948 returned to Senate House to collect their degrees retrospectively.  Documentary followed by a Q&A with director, Lucy Thane. Booking essential.  Cambridge University Library, West Road  http://www.lib.cam.ac.uk

30th    7.30pm (doors and bar from 6.30pm).  January Jazz: Clovis Nicolas/Steve Fishwick Qt.  Cambridge University Centre Wine Bar, Granta Place.  http://www.cambridgejazz.org

31st    7.30 – 9pm  Zoology Late: Acoustic Spaces/Threatened Places.  A programme of music with University of Cambridge New Music Group.  Booked required.  Museum of Zoology, Downing Street.  http://www.zoo.cam.ac.uk

Narcissi from Cambridge Market
Narcissi from Cambridge Market

 

Feast & Fast: The Art of Food in Europe, 1500 – 1800 at The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

A gigantic pineapple, resplendent on a bright pink plinth, has landed on the front lawn of The Fitzwilliam Museum.  An installation by contemporary artists Bompas & Parr, this symbol of hospitality and welcome heralds the opening of Feast & Fast: The Art of Food in Europe, 1500 – 1800, a remarkable new exhibition celebrating the production, preparation and presentation of food, its consumption or rejection as well as its ideologies and identities.

Feast and Fast at the Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge

This story of food is told through nearly three hundred objects, a beautifully curated mix of ceramics, paintings, textiles, books, glassware and magnificent Cambridge Renaissance silver tableware from two Cambridge colleges.  Many of these artefacts were already held in the Fitzwilliam’s reserves and a number of paintings have been especially conserved for this exhibition, their bright colours singing out against the dark grey walls of the galleries.

Feast & Fast at the Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge

Internationally renowned food historian Ivan Day has created three bespoke and historically accurate culinary recreations – a sugar banquet for an English renaissance wedding, an English 18th century confectioner’s shop window and workspace and a Baroque feasting table.  These intricate recreations took my breath away.  It was fascinating to hear Ivan speak about how he researched and made them, wherever possible using original moulds from his own collection, several of which are also on display.

Feast & Fast at the Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge

If you like food, you’ll love this exhibition.  We live in a world of supermarkets where we can pretty much get our hands on any type of food at any time of year.  This exhibition reminds us that in days past, feasting and fasting were linked to the liturgical calendar as well as to seasonality (although many of the artists ignore seasonality in favour of portraying an abundant table in their paintings!).  It presents food in a religious and moral context, as a display of wealth, status and power, as medicine, as an aphrodisiac and even looks at its role in national stereotypes, politics and satire.  And I learned that vegetarianism and veganism are nothing new … debates about the impact of these ways of eating on the body were happening back in the early modern period too.

Feast & Fast at the Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge

The final room of the exhibition, painted bright pineapple yellow, is a creative zone where visitors can relax and respond to what they’ve seen.  You’ll find contemporary cookery books alongside facsimiles of historical cookery books, scent boxes, objects to handle, a short film and activities for children as well as an opportunity to give your feedback.

Feast & Fast at the Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge

Feast & Fast: The Art of Food in Europe, 1500 – 1800 opens on 26 November and runs until 26 April 2020.  Don’t miss it!!

http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk

The Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street, CB2