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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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