Cambridge Edition February 2024 - Web

Get ready to flirt with February with the best Valentine’s packages, latest exhibitions and delicious foodie news.




with Valentine’s Day deals and experiences LOVE Fall in


ARTS & CULTURE Upcoming events and exhibitions to inspire

INTERIORS Make a house a home with these chic finishing touches

FAMILY EDITION Features for all the colour and chaos of home life



Small pleasures T his February, we’re slowing down to cherish the things we love. With hopeful signs of winter’s end in sight, these pages are a celebration of the best, most simple pleasures in life – whether it’s making time for those we love, filling our appetites with delicious food or cultivating creativity. As the day for romance dawns, we look at some of the best ways to spoil your loved ones this Valentine’s, with overnight escapes and dining packages for the diary. For a real love story between one man and his passion, read our True Stories feature to follow local boy Joseph Sissens’ journey in becoming first soloist at The Royal Ballet, plus venture behind the scenes of the Fitz’s major exhibition William Blake ’s Universe . Elsewhere, enjoy a flavour of what’s to come at the inaugural Cambridge Arts Festival and discover a host of events that both embody and celebrate the city’s diversity as we commemorate LGBT+ History Month. Make the most of the final days of winter hibernation by curling up with a great read from this month’s Book Club and savour some time in your sacred home space with those all-important finishing touches. Find out how in Home Edition, before stepping into the garden as our columnist Anna Taylor spies glimmers of spring. If heartwarming nourishment is what you cherish most, fill your plate with a host of local openings from an ever-growing number of cafes, where promises of freshly baked goods and steaming cups of tea are the perfect balm for chilly afternoons. Finally, it is my pleasure to introduce Family Edition – a quarterly section of the magazine that explores all the colour and complexity of modern family life. Read on as we explore how to navigate co-parenting, while new columnist Cat Hufton makes her Edition debut, discussing the importance of finding time to date your other half amid the happy chaos of life with young children. As we continue to emerge from the dark days of winter, I hope these pages will inspire and warm you with kindling for the soul. However you choose to spend the shortest month of year, be sure to cherish it.

Cambridge Edition Magazine Bright Publishing Ltd, Bright House, 82 High Street, Sawston, Cambridgeshire CB22 3HJ, 01223 499450, cambsedition. • All rights reserved. Material contained in this publication may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without prior permission of the publishers. • Views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of Cambridge Edition or Bright Publishing Ltd, which do not accept any liability for loss or damage. • Every effort has been made to ensure all information is correct. • Cambridge Edition is a free publication that is distributed in Cambridge and the surrounding area. EDITORIAL Editor in chief Nicola Foley 01223 499459 | Deputy editor Phoebe Harper 01223 492249 | Editorial director Roger Payne Chief sub editor Matthew Winney Sub editors Martin Puddifer, Minhaj Zia ADVERTISING Sales director Sam Scott-Smith 01223 499457 | Ad manager Maria Francis 01223 492240 | Senior sales executive Claire Cornish 01223 499453 | CONTRIBUTORS Miriam Balanescu, Mark Box, Amanda Gibbard, Charlotte Griffiths, Cat Hufton, Fiona Reardon- Rose, Joy Sable, Anna Taylor, Angelina Villa-Clarke & Elisha Young DESIGN & PRODUCTION Senior designer Lucy Woolcomb Junior designers Hedzlynn Kamaruzzaman & Holly May MANAGING DIRECTORS Andy Brogden & Matt Pluck








Illustration by Holly May , inspired by a photo from @capturedcambridge on Instagram






Follow @cambsedition on Instagram for lots more stunning snaps of the city



# instacamb Our favourite Cambridge Instagram pics of the month. Use #instacamb for a chance to feature!



This month’s must-haves from local indies WISH LIST February

1. Lion head planter, £119.99, Abbeygate Lighting Ready for any Valentine’s bouquets you’re lucky enough to receive, add a touch of majesty to your floral displays 2. Valentine’s chocolate hearts, variety (16), £26.50, Hill St Cupid, are you listening? If so, please send this covetable selection of raspberry caramel, salted caramel, vanilla ganache and gianduja (hazelnut) from favourite local chocolatier Hill St 3. Winifred Nicholson seascape print, £25-£150, Kettle’s Yard Outside may be bleak, but add a touch of colour to your home and lose yourself to dreaming of idle days by the sea with this beautiful piece from the gallery’s Print on Demand service 4. Sparkling rosé (2021), £28, Saffron Grange Goodbye Dry January! Make ours a glass of this delicate, blush-pink blend, made from pinot noir, seyval blanc, pinot meunier and chardonnay – and all lovingly grown on the nearby slopes of Saffron Grange 5. Femme Grace pyjama, £129, Pure Source Combining Parisian design with Indian cotton, snuggle up in these gorgeous pyjamas, perfect for galentine’s sleepovers or cosy nights in with your favourite film 6. Be My Valentine card, £3, Cambridge Imprint When it comes to tasteful declarations of love, you can’t beat the designs of local pattern maker Cambridge Imprint. Scribble away on beautifully thick card that’s been handprinted in England 7. Cashmere touch fleece throw, £29.95, Angela Reed This super soft, dark orange throw makes for the ideal cuddling companion on cold winter nights this month


Culture Club


QUITE THE PUZZLE Nastasha Boyce’s wonderful Victorian Valentine’s puzzle purse workshop will take place at the David Parr House on 10 February


CULTURE CLUB The must-see events around Cambridge this month Arts & Culture

Opening on 9 March, a new exhibition at contemporary art space Fen Ditton Gallery celebrates the life of one of the UK’s leading glass designers: Kathryn M Holford. The display showcases the striking creativity of a major British talent, but for Hannah Munby – one half of the team behind the gallery – it is also close to home. “It feels poignant to celebrate Kathryn’s remarkable life with this exhibition, not only because we are in the village where she was born and spent her first years, but also because she and her husband Mark were regular visitors and supporters of the gallery before she passed away,” Hannah says. “Kathryn was always enthusiastic about the work we did, so it feels right to honour her with this show, back in the village where it all began.” Heart of Glass DESIGN DOYENNE



MURDER IN THE DARK 6-10 FEB, CAMBRIDGE ARTS THEATRE Promising to keep you on the edge of your seat until the final, chilling twist, don’t miss this ghost story turned psychological thriller. MILES KANE 5 FEB, CAMBRIDGE JUNCTION Co-frontman of The Last Shadow Puppets tours his latest album One Man Band – which has been called ‘career-defining’ . RICHARD COLES 22 FEB, SAFFRON HALL Britain’s most famous vicar embarks on his first full national tour, discussing everything from pop stardom to sex, drugs and religious epiphany. DYLAN 22 FEB, CAMBRIDGE CORN EXCHANGE At just 23, Tash Woods, aka Dylan, is justifying her place as one of the UK’s hottest pop prospects.

DRESSES TO IMPRESS The Ely Cathedral exhibition will show wedding gowns from through the ages, including an iconic outfit worn by Meryl Streep in Out of Africa (far right)

Throughout February, Bury St Edmunds will host its first ever Comedy Festival. Taking place across various venues including the Theatre Royal, the Apex, the Hunter Club and the Guildhall, the programme offers an eclectic line-up of ‘side-splitting stand- up, outrageous improv, witty poetry and comedy plays’. Some not-to-be-missed moments include stand-up artist Chris McCausland (above), who will be entertaining audiences at the Apex on 20 and 21 February; and writer, poet and TV producer Henry Normal, who will be joined by the ‘poet laureate of Twitter’ Brian Bilston (top), at the same venue on 22 February. To view the full line-up and book tickets priced from £12 per person – as well as find out where to stay, shop, eat and drink – visit A MONTH OF COMIC BLISS FOR BURY ST EDMUNDS



Gown with the Wind Tracing the artistry and evolution of bridal fashion through the ages, we cast our eye over Ely Cathedral’s latest exhibition


For centuries, wedding gowns have stood as one of the most important outfits in a bride’s life. Vessels of beauty that are themselves made to be beautiful, these gowns are weighted in significance and often cherished for life. To this day, their style and fashion continues to evolve, but beyond their individual significance to the wearer, these dresses can be a fascinating lens through which to explore a historical period, its customs and fashions. This is the premise behind the latest exhibition at Ely Cathedral which, fittingly, is due to open on Valentine’s Day. “Having worked at the cathedral for many years, I have been fortunate

to see many weddings, and it struck me that the bride’s dress is always a source of great excitement for everyone – conjuring up magical memories, hopes of love and happiness,” reflects events manager Jocelyn Palmer. “Each time a bride arrives at the cathedral, it sets off a flurry of conversations – what people wore at their wedding, what they would like to wear when they get married, what their grandmother wore and how varied the fabrics and styles of dresses have been over the centuries.” The display assembles over 30 dresses, dating back to the Regency era and on to the Victorian period when, almost 180 years ago, Queen Victoria herself made a lasting sartorial impression by choosing to wear white – a traditional decision still adhered to by many today. The timeline continues right up to the modern day, bypassing standout pieces including an opulent Edwardian gown and an original 1920s dress by Coco Chanel. The exhibition also includes wedding dresses made famous by the silver screen, including those worn by Meryl Streep for the wedding scene in Out of Africa and Jenna Coleman in the ITV television series Victoria . From such riches to repurposed rags, we see how – during less resource-rich historical periods such as wartime – it became common practice to reuse old fabric and the dresses of other family members. “These clothes provide valuable insights into the practical and resilient attitudes of those times,” explains Jocelyn. Beyond admiring the gowns themselves, the display provokes contemplation into the shifting ideals of femininity and social norms over the ages, using an exquisite visual narrative as its guide. The exhibition will be held within the gorgeous 14th-century Lady Chapel, and will be included as part of the general admission to the cathedral. The exhibition, A Celebration of Bridal Gowns, will be running at Ely Cathedral from 14 February to 17 March 2024. Find out more at

14 Feb – 17 Mar

FEBRUARY 2024 11



On Saturday 17 February, Saffron Hall will be presenting a special performance from the iconic London Philharmonic Orchestra. Alongside a piano concerto from Clara Schumann and Symphony No 3 ‘Scottish ’ by Felix Mendelssohn, the evening will also showcase the work of Fanny Mendelssohn. Despite having a significant body of music to her name – over 400 scores – Fanny has long been overshadowed by her more famous brother, both during their lifetimes and in the two centuries since. This intimate performance highlights how Fanny’s music contains much of the ‘transparency and melodic charm’ considered characteristic of her brother. Her Overture in C major will be followed by Clara Schumann’s concerto, whose premiere was originally conducted by Felix Mendelssohn himself, and is considered by many to be a piece of music that stands at the gateway to the Romantic era. Finally, the show draws to a close with Felix’s own piece, which is an evocative symphony that represents a love letter to the dramatic landscapes of Scotland. Joining the London Philharmonic Orchestra will be Natalia Ponomarchuk as conductor and Mishka Rushdie Momen (pictured), who has been lauded by The Times as ‘one of the most thoughtful and sensitive British pianists’. Visit for more.

17 Feb

Our most anticipated comedy events of the month, splitting sides all over the city Up for a laugh?

BIG DEAL COMEDY CLUB 9 FEB, TOWN & GOWN One of the hottest regular local nights, this comedy club promises to make you laugh until your cheeks hurt with a brand-new line-up.

JANEY GODLEY: NOT DEAD YET 12 FEB, CAMBRIDGE JUNCTION ‘Still alive by popular demand’, Janey tours her new show that celebrates life in the wake of a fight with cancer.

SAVING GRACE: THE SIZE MATTERS TOUR 15 FEB, CORN EXCHANGE Internet personality and host of chart-topping podcast Saving Grace , Grace Keeling brings her largest live tour to Cambridge.

PORTLAND COMEDY CLUB 16 FEB, PORTLAND ARMS Featuring the cream of the crop from the national circuit, this ever-popular event returns to The Portland Arms for its ‘regular night of mirth’.



Dispelling the lone genius myth, we take a deep dive into William Blake’s Universe at the Fitzwilliam Museum, as it places the visionary creative into a whole new context BLAKE REIMAGINED For Esther Chadwick, co-curator of the Fitzwilliam’s showstopping display William Blake’s Universe , the idea of framing the famous artist, poet and printmaker in a wider, previously unexplored context had been years in the making. Alongside fellow curator Professor David Bindman, the two sought to tackle a widespread perception that this icon of British culture was something of a visionary maverick, repositioning him in the context of a wide-reaching network of European artists. Indeed, in this seminal display, Blake is shown as a shining star within a vast, intricate constellation. “You see endless works by Blake in vast, monographic displays, but we wanted to set him within the context of his time and show him alongside contemporaries who were also responding to similar ideas about art and wider problems in the world,” shares Esther. In particular, the exhibition explores the dialogue between Blake and German Romantic artists Philipp Otto Runge and Caspar David Friedrich, both of whom have rarely ever been displayed on UK soil. “These artists never met in real life, but Blake and Runge are often compared in art historical literature. However, despite the similarities of their artistic visions, their work has never been shown together,” she explains. “It was that kernel of thinking that brought the show to life for us.” In showing Blake alongside these titans of European art, Esther and David have been working closely with the Hamburger Kunsthalle, which has loaned several works for the show. Meanwhile, the Fitzwilliam was the obvious venue to stage the display thanks to its world-renowned collection of Blake’s work, which is largely derived from the Sir Geoffrey Keynes bequest. Throughout the extensive display, which compiles 180 paintings, drawings and prints – including more than 90 of those by Blake himself – spectacular highlights include a hand-coloured copy of Jerusalem and an extremely rare print of Laocoön – one of just two known copies in existence worldwide. “There will also be many pieces which are not widely known to the British public, including studies from Runge’s Times of Day series, which was made at the same time that Blake was working on his famous Jerusalem project and equally explores a vision for the redemption of humanity,” shares Esther. At a time of major upheaval across Europe and the Americas, defined by both revolution and war, we see a conversation across the cultural landscape that is in pursuit of a new spirituality. In this vision, Blake is not alone, as the exhibition lifts the veil on other European Romantic artists

23 Feb – 19 May



MAKE OR BLAKE Magic Apple Tree by Samuel Palmer (above); Europe A Prophecy by William Blake (right)

also responding to epoch-defining themes. Such propositions include the transformation of classical tradition, an interest in Christian mysticism, as well as a belief in the impending apocalypse, spiritual regeneration and the prospect of a national revival. “Although Blake had his idiosyncrasies and a unique vision, we want to move away from the idea of his reputation as an isolated and completely eccentric genius.” William Blake’s Universe is on display at the Fitzwilliam Museum from 23 February to 19 May 2024. Head to to book your tickets



SPHERE OF INFLUENCE Self-Portrait With Brown Collar by Philipp Otto Runge (left); The Morning Comes from America A Prophecy by William Blake (top right); Death On A Pale Horse by William Blake (above)


Many may know the David Parr House as an ordinary Cambridge terraced home housing a treasure trove of Arts and Crafts interiors, but did you know that by passing through its doors you can also try your own hand at a new skill? This month features a workshop on how to make a traditional Victorian Valentine’s puzzle purse, in which you can hide messages destined for loved ones. Book ahead for 9 March, where you can learn about natural inks and how to make them with eco-artist Kelly Briggs. Events sell out fast, so be sure to secure your spot now! GET CREATIVE AT THE DAVID PARR HOUSE



The inaugural Cambridge Arts Festival takes the city by storm A n exciting blend of colour, culture and creativity, the city will host its first Arts Festival on 12-18 February, much or as little art experience – to partake in this unique celebration. Be prepared to engage in something truly special. Joining Cambridge BID in this bold A CELEBRATION OF CREATIVITY

with a launch at Soho Fine Art from 6-8pm on the 12th. This week-long extravaganza, orchestrated by Cambridge BID, promises a rich and diverse tapestry of opportunities for residents, visitors and workers alike. Perhaps you’d be interested in embarking on a bespoke art tour, unlocking the city’s artistic treasures within colleges and vibrant neighbourhoods? Or maybe you’re ready to immerse yourself in the hands-on experience of free workshops by local artists in a range of dynamic venues. As the city comes alive with street performances, interactive exhibitions and more, the Cambridge Arts Festival extends an open invitation to everyone – with as

new undertaking is this year’s principal sponsor, Mills & Reeve. “We are very excited to join Cambridge BID as the exclusive corporate partner of the inaugural Cambridge Arts Festival,” says head of the Cambridge office Nick Finlayson-Brown. “It’s a pleasure to support such a broad and varied exposition of the arts in the Cambridge community, and the amazing array of talent which makes the city such a draw for artistic endeavour.”

HANDMADE Create your own ceramic pinch pots in a workshop led by artist Daniella Steif at Byard Art

Find more information and book your chosen tickets at

WHAT IS LOVE CAMBRIDGE? Love Cambridge is the brand developed by Cambridge Business Improvement District (BID) to deliver a range of events and projects that animate and entertain our city. Offerings include the Love Cambridge Gift Card, open-air cinema nights, Wimbledon screenings, magazines, maps and more. Visit or @lovecambridge_ on socials.



Making a Splash Ahead of the Cambridge Arts Festival, proudly presented by Cambridge BID, we spotlight some standout local businesses taking part HESTIA Hestia is a new, queer-led collective

This behind-the-scenes tour, led by expert tour guide Martin Roland, offers exclusive insight into the largest collection of art by women on display across the whole of Europe. The Grade II listed building of the college is also a sight in itself. Participants will have a unique chance to hear all about Murray Edwards, its distinctive architecture and take a stroll through its award-winning gardens. Tickets are selling fast, so you’ll need to act quick to catch this one! of workshops throughout the festival as part of its mission to support, inspire and educate the local youth community. An eclectic and inspiring programme awaits, with an interactive public art station open to the public from 14 to 16 February between 12 noon and 5pm. Visitors to the gallery can explore Rachel Barlow’s curated pop-up exhibition focusing on 20th- century Soviet Union Siberia, and attend a clothing personalisation workshop led by Anastasia Mykolayska Shutka. Anastasia GALLERIE V Gallerie V will be hosting a series

will also be holding an artist talk tackling the theme of ‘losing identity in society’ on 14 February, followed by a mindfulness abstraction workshop led by Chloe Deltufo on the afternoon 16 February. A BESPOKE CAMBRIDGE WALKING ART TOUR Designed exclusively for Cambridge Arts Festival, these guided tours will lead you through the city’s public art scene, bypassing architecture, sculptures and carvings. In the expert hands of a member of the Society of Cambridge Tourist Guides, guests can expect everything from the traditional to more quirky local sights. The walking tours are suitable for all ages and are wheelchair friendly, running at a leisurely pace. Duration is 75 minutes, starting from outside the Guildhall. They run from 11am between 12 and 18 February and tickets are £12 per person.

organising inclusive and emancipatory cultural events spaces and dialogue in Cambridge. “We are pleased to be part of the festival because we want to ensure working-class people and residents, whether transient or long term, have a voice on a cultural and economic level in the shaping of this city,” says Hestia. The creative collective will be working with local artists and producers to give two zine workshops exploring the history of DIY, samizdat and self-publishing. “Bring your own work and make a zine with us, or contribute to a collective publication we will produce together on the day. We hope to see you there!” Tickets are free but must be booked in advance by 17 February.


EDWARDS COLLEGE On 17 February at 11am to 12 noon, embark on an exclusive tour of The Women’s Art Collection at Murray Edwards College.

Book your tickets now for these eclectic events at

ARTFUL FODDER Join in with diverse events at the Cambridge Arts Festival, from inclusive workshops to exclusive tours and public art explorations. All are invited!




ON THE SCENE Homegrown talent Miriam Balanescu meets Lonely the Brave, the Cambridge rockers shaking up the music scene here and beyond for over a decade M any Cambridge locals will be familiar with Lonely the Brave. Formed by five members – Jack Bennett on

vocals, Mark Trotter and Ross Smithwick on guitars, Gavin Edgeley on drums and Andrew Bushen on bass – the band was founded well over a decade ago in 2008. Yet, even as their horizons have broadened far beyond the bounds of our city, the band will forever consider their hometown to be their first port of call. “We grew up in the Cambridge music scene,” says guitarist Mark. “Before Lonely the Brave, most of us were in other local bands for years honing our craft in the Portland Arms, the Man on the Moon and The Boat Race (RIP). It was our very literal musical education, one we are still very proud to consider ourselves part of.” Due to perform at the Junction this month, does returning to the Cambridge circuit feel strange, having come so far? “Not at all, Cambridge is home,” responds Mark. “We still consider ourselves to be a Cambridge band. Playing at home with friends and family is still a brilliant feeling.” With their dense sonic soundscapes and eclectic array of influences, the group has built up a loyal following. Last year, they released their fourth studio album What We Do to Feel and are currently touring it around the country. “Musically, we are all into varied artists and genres,” says Mark. “Personally, my older sister had a huge impact on my musical education. I was very much into more electronic music and considered the idea of bands old hat. Over time, however, bands like REM, Pearl Jam

29 Feb

LOCAL LEGENDS The band will play a homecoming gig at the Junction on leap day – don’t miss it

so we are all very aware of space for each other. Generally, songs tell you when they are ready. Perhaps it’s experience, but trying to shoehorn extra layers or colours to a song that doesn’t need it very quickly becomes apparent. It can be a case of less is more.” Their musical philosophy has also remained rooted. “We only release songs we are proud of and feel represent where we are both personally and as a band at that time,” insists Mark. “There is no ulterior motive for us when it comes to music. We write what we feel we need to, as people and as a band.” While it’s the road and shows for Lonely the Brave for now, Mark teases that their next album is already in the works. Closing our interview, he concludes: “We can’t stand still.”

work as, arriving in the studio each time, the tracks would have evolved and grown in completely different directions to what I had expected. Previously, we would work on tracks until they were finished in a

and Radiohead being blasted through our adjoining bedroom wall had an effect.” The recording of this album was complicated by the fact that not all the band’s members are in one place – with

There is no ulterior motive when it comes to music

live environment and then record; this was a different direction completely for us.” Despite this, their songwriting process has stayed constant and is

deeply collaborative. “Everyone in the band writes musically,” explains Mark. “Usually, we will start with varied amounts of completed framework for a song. We then all add our individual parts. We have grown up together as musicians,

Ross out west and Jack near Manchester. “The album came together with ideas being recorded separately and sent to Jack’s studio. We would then visit mostly independently of each other and add layers to our ideas. This was an exciting way to



Get the lowdown on this month’s unmissable movies

Olivia Colman and Jessie Buckley reunite for this deliciously rude drama. Adapted from true events, a quiet town’s inhabitants begin receiving mysterious – and nasty – letters. 23 February WICKED LITTLE LETTERS

Jeremy Allen White, Harris Dickinson and Zac Efron steer this Von Erich brothers biopic, documenting the turbulent rise and fall of this family of professional wrestlers. This film is equal parts tragic and joyful. 9 February THE IRON CLAW

Felipe Gálvez’s warped western is a brutal portrait of colonialism in the Tierra del Fuego archipelago. Three horsemen trek out across the wilderness, wreaking havoc upon whoever crosses their path. 9 February THE SETTLERS

Picturehouse Picks From foodie films to sci-fi epics, discover what’s on at the Picturehouse this month

DUNE: PART TWO Denis Villeneuve’s epic adaptation of Frank Herbert’s science-fiction novel returns. Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya reprise their roles, now joined by Florence Pugh, Austin Butler and Léa Seydoux. 1 March

THE TASTE OF THINGS This decadent feature film from Vietnamese- French director Tran Anh Hung is a blissful dive into the culinary arts. Partly based on fictional gourmand Dodin-Bouffant, expect shots of delicious dishes and a poignant love story. 14 February

BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN Based on the Annie Proulx short story, this neo- western stars Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal as two cowboys in love torn apart by society. Since its 2005 release, the film inspired an opera and a play on London’s West End. 19 February



Claim It, Celebrate It, Create It February 2024 marks almost 20 years of the annual LGBT+ History Month. From poignant plays to quirky cabarets, these local events are a true celebration of Cambridge in colour


O riginally launched by co-chairs of Schools Out, Paul Patrick and Professor Emeritus Sue Sanders, LGBT+ History Month has been celebrated across the UK every February since 2005. The initiative was born following the much-celebrated repeal of Section 28 in 2003 and continues to operate under the mantra of ‘claiming our past, celebrating our present and creating our future’. In line with this year’s theme of Under the Scope, we cast our eye over some of the local happenings that encapsulate the creativity and diversity of Cambridge’s LGBTQ+ scene while respecting its history.



30 Jan - 3 Feb


The Normal Heart was written by the seminal activist Larry Kramer during the unfolding of the AIDS crisis in New York between 1981 and 1984. Originally premiering in 1985 and foregrounding the harsh realities of that period, the play is being given a new lease of life by the Cambridge University Amateur Dramatic Club in this new run at the ADC. For producer of the show, Barash Tunahan, the timing couldn’t be more apt. “By staging this during LGBT+ History Month, we aim to keep AIDS in the conversation and dispel the misconception that the crisis is over, when both nationally and globally it looms.” For many audience members, The Normal Heart offers a profound learning experience that seeks to redress the gap in mainstream culture and education, with the exception of the most recent example of Russell T Davies’ powerful TV series It’s a Sin . Although navigating rich complexities and the difficult conversations in American society at the time, Barash describes the play’s narrative as one that ‘howls with both anguish and terror, yet with a potent core of love’. “Kramer reminds us of the enduring power of compassion, community and hope,” he says. Returning to the core of the play, all profits from the performance and at least 10% of ticket sales will be donated to the Terrence Higgins Trust – the UK’s leading HIV/AIDS and sexual health charity. “Their goal to eradicate HIV by 2030 is a mission that resonates,” says the team behind the play. “The Trust’s proven track record of championing art as a means to celebrate and platform the queer experience aligns with everything we hoped the show would be.” Barash recognises the creative legacy of those challenging the mainstream narrative and bringing new voices forward, even if it involves difficult conversations. “As performers and theatre creators, we owe a massive debt to the lineage of ardent activists and campaigners. In presenting Kramer’s play to a 2024 audience, we endeavour to set a hopeful standard and pose challenging questions for generations to come,” he affirms. “To understand The Normal Heart is to look back, then look forward.” Act fast to catch the play – the performance run ends on 3 February.

QUEER DESIRE IN FICTION PANEL WATERSTONES CAMBRIDGE For a lively discussion of LGBTQ+ representation in literature, attend this panel at Waterstones Cambridge. It gathers a trio of authors to dissect queer desire in fiction. The panel will be chaired by Pip Jamie Gardner, chief executive of The Kite Trust – a local charity that supports LGBTQ+ youth across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Waterstones events coordinator Dr Amy Crawford says: “It’s important to celebrate LGBTQ+ history. As a bookshop, there’s no better way to do that than through fantastic contemporary fiction.”

The panellists include Cecilia Vinesse, author of young adult novels including Seven Days of You and The Summer of Us . The Girl Next Door is her latest novel and follows the story of a ‘horror-loving film buff’ who is stuck in a romantic comedy. Joining her is C A Castle, whose novel The Manor House Governess offers a queer and contemporary homage to Jane Eyre . Described as both a ‘coming-of–age and coming-out’ story, the tale follows protagonist Brontë as he encounters the mysterious setting of Greenwood Manor and its handsome master, Darcy. The final panellist Matt Cain became Channel 4 News ’ first culture editor after his tenure at ITV. He has penned several novels; his latest, One Love , is a joyful story charting over 20 years of love and friendship, culminating at Manchester Pride. Visit to book your spot now.

7 Feb

TOP TRIO (Left to right) Matt Cain, C A Castle and Cecilia Vinesse




Since organising its first event in February 2022, Club Urania has established a reputation for its increasingly popular, almost otherworldly spectaculars, where all expressions of gender and sexuality are welcomed. Derived from the title of a pioneering feminist journal that ran from 1916 to 1940, Club Urania emerged from a collaboration between Cambridge Junction, Wysing Arts Centre and local collaborators Diarmuid Hester, Celia Willoughby and Roeland van der Heiden. They all shared a desire to address the lack of queer spaces in Cambridge. Urania aims to celebrate the local creative queer community, while bringing national and international queer performers and DJs to town. The events take the form of either a more intimate, cabaret-style affair or a large-scale club night with live DJs and dancing until 3am. Club Urania also co-organised the Cambridge Pride kick-off event in 2023, and will organise the Queer Utopias festival at Wysing Arts Centre on 18 May. Club Urania is all about being inclusive and accessible. There are tickets where you pay what you can afford, a decompression room in the venue and live captioning. If you can’t make it in person, it streams live on Zoom. During LGBT+ History Month, Club Urania will host one of its more intimate events, with two established performers and a series of open mic performances, followed by a DJ acknowledging the importance of queer trailblazers in modern history. One of these performances reflects on the emergence of disco and house music throughout the last decades. Both genres have contributed to the development of many more musical styles and shaped modern culture, emphasising inclusivity, self-expression and the celebration of queer identities. This has laid the groundwork for contemporary queer artists to continue pushing musical and cultural boundaries. Book your tickets now at

16 Feb



CAMBRIDGE EDITION Book Club From eclectic short story collections to compelling novels, these brilliant books are perfect companions for some winter hibernation


Fourteen Days


If you’re still not quite sure whether you’re ready for pandemic fiction, this could be the book that changes your mind. A collaborative work created by 36 authors including Margaret Atwood, Dave Eggers, John Grisham, R L Stine, Emma Donoghue and Celeste Ng, Fourteen Days is effectively a connected anthology of short stories, all told on the rooftop of a dilapidated apartment block in Manhattan during the spring of 2020, where the inhabitants – left behind by their more affluent neighbours yet equally desperate for air and space – have broken onto the roof and now meet every evening to share stories. Socially distanced, of course. Our guide to this world is 1A, the building’s new superintendent, who had only just arrived in the block before lockdown hit: she has taken possession of the previous super’s apartment, which contained a mysterious guide to the building’s inhabitants, with clues to their personalities and backstories. So when they start sharing tales on the rooftop, 1A is uniquely aware of any falsehoods being told beneath the city’s skies and begins piecing together the truth. Each of the tales told by the apartments’ inhabitants is short, and (as you would expect from such a varied cast of authors) is completely different in tone, so if you don’t enjoy one, another narrator will be along in a few moments. It is much like those early days of lockdown – you truly are trapped on a rooftop alongside the building’s residents, with no entertainment other than the story being told at that moment. Each author’s identity is concealed and only accessible via a list at the end of the book, so you can choose

if you want to discover who is behind which of the tales, making this a great way to discover the work of new authors as well as read pieces by more familiar voices. Proceeds from this book go to The Authors Guild, an organisation that supports writers of all kinds at all stages of their careers: the 36 authors are all members and part of the advance for the book went to help support writers during the pandemic. This book would be the perfect accompaniment to a holiday or other retreat from the world – perhaps during a lockdown you’ve chosen for yourself, rather than one mandated by the government. PAGE TURNERS Our quartet of books take readers on fascinating journeys, covering everything from the human condition and ghosts to our love for animals

1A is aware of any falsehoods being told beneath the city’s skies




BY KATE SPICER Not a new book, but one for you to pick up in paperback. It tells the story of Kate’s journey from partygoer to dog owner: discovering the joys of life in the company of her adopted lurcher, Wolfie, taking him wherever she goes – and then the horror of learning he’s been lost while in the care of her brother’s family, and the all-consuming dog hunt that follows. Along with pounding the streets and holding posters with Wolfie’s photo in front of anyone who’ll give her the time of day, Kate takes to Twitter to seek help from her thousands of followers. The book’s events take place in 2019, back in Twitter’s heyday, and any ex-fans of the platform will find it slightly bittersweet to see the social network at its most useful. This book perfectly captures the sheer delight of sighthound or lurcher ‘ownership’ – it’s (accurately) said that long dogs are more like partners than pets – and getting to read Kate’s account of life in London, gadding about with Wolfie in tow, will almost certainly leave you envious of her Notting Hill existence. Kate’s writing has always been whip-smart, and this story of her life both pre- and post- dog adoption is heartbreakingly affecting, whether you’re a committed dog lover or not yet under a canine’s spell.

The Wren, The Wren BY ANNE ENRIGHT

Anne Enright is a hugely acclaimed, brilliantly talented and completely beloved author with a Booker Prize to her name, yet she has remained strangely below the mainstream’s radar – but this novel seems to be the one which is (finally) getting her work into the hands of millions more book lovers. The Wren, The Wren is a stunning piece of fiction – it allows us to spend time in the company of mother and daughter Carmel and Nell, and we jump between them to get different perspectives on their turbulent, but love- filled relationship with each other. We’re also privy to their thoughts on Carmel’s father, Phil McDaragh, an internationally famous Irish poet – and with the poems

and people that he abandoned both before and after his death. Nell is starting to make her way in the world, desperate for adventure yet always somehow tied to the Irish landscape her grandfather loved so much. While Carmel is left behind by her daughter’s expansion, reopening wounds wrought by her father’s choices and the generational hurt caused by the men who preceded him. Carmel and Nell’s differing attitudes to the world are shaped by the times they grew up in and the communities formed around them, yet it is in their thoughts on each other that the book really hits home: a challenging but brilliant read for those consumed by connections between mothers and daughters.



Another set of short stories, but this time with a slightly spookier vibe, these 12 tales by some of the best writers working today will have you on the edge of your sofa or pulling the covers right over your head. Authors including Imogen Hermes Gowar, Catriona Ward and Stuart Turton will transport you between locations such as Victorian London, an isolated Scottish island, a thinly disguised Rye – and all sorts of eras and situations, from an upper- class seance to a dressmaker’s studio and a traditional play put on by a cast of amateur actors. The common theme between the tales are these chillier months of the year – and thrillingly uncanny happenings: this compendium is a fantastic addition to any to-read pile.

WINTER CHILLS These spooky short stories all have the cold winter months as a central theme, only adding to the dramatic tension



RISING STAR Case in Pointe Joseph Sissens is the Cambridge-born dancer taking the ballet world by storm. We follow his inspirational trajectory to becoming first soloist at The Royal Ballet


J oseph Sissens is having a well- deserved rest after a bout of physiotherapy. The rising star of The Royal Ballet decided to pull out of a performance of The Nutcracker after sustaining an injury prior to the show. “I’d had quite a few rehearsals, I was tired and my shoulder did something funny. Now we just need the inflammation to go down,” says Joseph. It is not the first time he has had shoulder issues – it once popped out of its socket during a performance of The Sleeping Beauty . Constant threat of injury is one of the daily hazards professional dancers face as they train like elite athletes to maintain the physical levels required for a life on stage. The glamour of taking curtain calls at the Royal Opera House is a world away from Joseph’s early years. Born in Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge to a British mother and Jamaican father – he describes himself as British-Jamaican – he was one of six siblings in a household. “I had a train set which I kept under my bed because I was obsessed with trains, and I was obsessed with dance.” This fascination started when he accompanied his sister to ballet class. “I used to hide in the back and copy what the girls were doing. When they were doing their classes I would make up my own dances in the village hall kitchen.” Spotted by the teacher, he was encouraged to join in, sparking his passion. “At weekends I’d wake up at 7am, go into the kitchen with my CD player and

I’d be there for hours just dancing to any soundtrack I had, whether it was soul, musicals or classical… I’d be constantly dancing, sometimes with tap shoes on!” Being of mixed parentage and enjoying dance did not make life easy for young Joseph, and his mother took the difficult decision to send him to Tring Park School for the Performing Arts as a boarder. “There was a lot of racism growing up, but my mum knew the only way for me to get out of that life was to leave it. No mother wants to send her eight-year-old kid to a boarding school unless it’s necessary, and I think she knew that it was for me to become who I am today. Where I come from, it was just not normal for a boy to do ballet. When I look back, I was always a very different child. I was very sensitive and would wear my heart on my sleeve.” After five years at Tring, he was offered a place at the Royal Ballet School in Richmond Park. Eventually graduating into the Royal Ballet Company in 2016, he has risen through the ranks to the position of first soloist. Promotion to principal is surely only a matter of time, and he has already danced some lead roles. He excels in both classical and more contemporary works, and is one of the few dancers of colour in the company. Thanks to Joseph’s high profile, more students from diverse backgrounds are choosing ballet as a career. “There is an enormous change going on,” he says. “I’ve been involved in a lot of projects with the Opera House, including

HERITAGE Joseph is proud of his background and wears his hair in dreadlocks for contemporary roles

a summer school mainly for kids of colour. It was a beautiful experience, to have a studio full of 50 dancers of colour learning their craft. I braid my hair back in cornrows for classical roles. In more contemporary works, I wear my hair in dreadlocks.” Ultimately, bringing his love of ballet to new audiences is what means the world to Joseph Sissens. “If I’m having a bad day, it always makes me feel better to dance. It is in my bones.”

Joseph Sissens performs in Manon at the Royal Opera House until 8 March



Photographer Mark Box shares some of his favourite portraits from the streets of Cambridge this month – can you spot anyone you know? HUMANS OF CAMBRIDGE


@guynamedellis , filmmaker

Eleanor Worth , music student



ABOUT THE PROJECT Founded by Mark Box, Humans of Cambridge came to life under

lockdown as an Instagram photoblog. It has since gathered a devoted following as a photographic celebration of the creativity, colour and community that can be found throughout Cambridge. Mark uses the platform to document fleeting moments with eye-catching individuals, striking up conversations with strangers as they pass him on the street and capturing their portraits on his 35mm mirrorless camera. During most weekdays, you will find Mark with his camera at the ready around lunchtime in the Market Square, on King’s Parade, Burrell’s Walk and Garret Hostel Bridge. Follow him on Instagram @humanofcambridge for more.

@lhschiefer , award-winning portrait photographer

@emmatainio , sportsperson


Paul , local peregrine falcon photographer


VALENTINE’S Love is in the air... These local offerings are sure to set your heart aflutter this coming Valentine’s Day

Cambridge icon Fitzbillies has a host of Valentine’s-themed delights up its sleeve, even giving its Chelsea buns a love-heart-shaped makeover in honour of the occasion. Choose from postable afternoon teas delivered straight to your doorstep and luxurious breakfast-in-bed hampers. For a tasty treat in a tin, customise your own bestselling red velvet cake. Say it with Cake

The latest exhibition at Mr & Mrs Clarks gallery is sure to get you in the mood for romance. For the Love of Art features works from icons of contemporary art including David Hockney and Tracey Emin. The display focuses on the science of endorphins and dopamine producing the same chemical reaction as falling in love. It highlights the brain’s reaction when viewing art. For Valentine’s week, the gallery offers private viewings with champagne, a special Valentine’s gift and a £100 voucher per booking. Tickets cost £100 per couple and are sold on a first-come-first-served basis. AAnffAairrty



Scott’s All Day has a Valentine’s menu sure to impress. Enjoy four courses for £37.50 including a complimentary glass of fizz or nosecco on arrival; or better yet, add bottomless drinks for £27.50. Select a range of mouth-watering starters, including deep-fried lasagne bites. For mains, we highly recommend a Detroit-style pizza. Strawberry tiramisu and warm cookie dough with ice cream are guaranteed crowd-pleasers. F oorf tPhiezzLoave

One Night Only On the evening of Wednesday 14 February, Parker’s Tavern will be serving a unique five-course Valentine’s menu. There’s no better time to treat your other half to some of the finest British cuisine in an elegant setting fit for romance. Keep your eyes peeled on the Parker’s Tavern website for menu details and reserve your spot now for £65 per person.

AEmA s oc ra n

DDi ne li ni gghtto

po eus

If quality seasonal produce is your passion, choose Provenance Kitchen for your Valentine’s dinner. Served in its stylish restaurant, two set menus are available, priced at £75 for the classic Valentine’s menu or £65 for the vegetarian version. Diners will be served a glass of Saffron Grange 2020 pinot noir rosé on arrival, before savouring delicacies like smoked squash ravioli or Cornish cod with pickled clams to name just two. A selection of petit fours are sure to end things on a sweet note.

Historic boutique hotel University Arms has launched a lavish Valentine’s package for 2024. From £276 per night, guests can enjoy breakfast in Parker’s Tavern, a bottle of champagne, chocolate truffles and chocolate-dipped strawberries on arrival, turndown service, plus a bouquet of roses and rose petals. For a romantic getaway, look no further. Offer available from 1 to 29 February.


Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68 Page 69 Page 70 Page 71 Page 72 Page 73 Page 74 Page 75 Page 76 Page 77 Page 78 Page 79 Page 80 Page 81 Page 82 Page 83 Page 84

Powered by