YOUR MONTHLY FIX OF
a month of wonder FROM WINTER ILLUMINATIONS TO FIREWORKS NIGHT CELEBRATIONS, LET US LIGHT UP YOUR NOVEMBER
A NIGHT AWAY AT THE GROVE CROMER WIN!
SIGN UP TO OUR DIGITAL ISSUE AT CAMBSEDITION.CO.UK
Turn over a new leaf ovember is upon us, bringing crackling bonfires, hearty food and the beginnings of the Christmas build-up. The fireworks are back with a bang at Midsummer Common on the 4th – and if you’re joining the throngs for the festivities, you can read all about it (and other Guy Fawkes fun) on page 25. Another autumn tradition beloved by our city is the Steele-Bodger match: a rugby showdown that’s been taking place annually for 75 years. Learn more about its history and what to expect this time on page 81. Need to start blitzing your Christmas list? Don’t miss our guide to the best festive markets around Cambridgeshire on page 50, including a gift fair at Ely Cathedral, artisan food and drink aplenty at Burwash Manor, and local crafts galore at the Cambridge Made Fair. On the culture scene, there’s news of this month’s literary festival, upcoming Christmas shows and a recent student-made film about life in the city. We also hear from some of Cambridge’s best-loved artists to learn what inspires them about living here – and what makes the city such a hotbed of creativity – on page 18. Elsewhere, find news of pop-ups, festive menus and more in this month’s Savour & Sip, the most dazzling winter illuminations, tips for creating a cosy sanctuary, a chance to win a North Norfolk minibreak and lots more. Enjoy the issue – and see you next month!
EDITORIAL Editor in chief Nicola Foley 01223 499459 firstname.lastname@example.org
Deputy editor Phoebe Harper Editorial director Roger Payne Chief sub editor Matthew Winney
Cambridge Edition Magazine Bright Publishing Ltd, Bright House, 82 High Street, Sawston, Cambridgeshire CB22 3HJ, 01223 499450, cambsedition.co.uk • 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. Sub editor Ben Gawne ADVERTISING Sales director Sam Scott-Smith 01223 499457 email@example.com Ad manager Maria Francis 01223 492240 firstname.lastname@example.org CONTRIBUTORS Miriam Balanescu, Mark Box, Charlotte Griffiths, Katie Kasperson, Charlotte Phillips, 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
EDITOR IN CHIEF
FIND US @CAMBSEDITION | CAMBSEDITION.CO.UK
43 ELISHA EATS 45 REVIEW 47 GIVEAWAY
04 STARTERS 09 ARTS & CULTURE 18 CAMBRIDGE ARTISTS 22 ON THE BOX 25 BONFIRE NIGHT 26 BOOK CLUB 29 WRITER’S DIARY 32 HUMANS OF CAMBRIDGE 37 FOOD NEWS 41 CHEF INTERVIEW
52 CHRISTMAS SHOPPING 59 SMALL BIZ SATURDAY 62 WINTER LIGHTS 67 INDIE OF THE MONTH
71 EDUCATION 78 WELLBEING 85 HOME EDITION
Illustration by Hedzlynn Kamaruzzaman,
junior designer at Bright Publishing
CAMBSEDITION.CO.UK NOVEMBER 2023 03
Follow @cambsedition on Instagram for lots more stunning snaps of the city
# instacamb Our favourite Cambridge Instagram pics of the month. Use the #InstaCamb hashtag for a chance to feature!
04 NOVEMBER 2023 CAMBSEDITION.CO.UK
This month’s must-haves from local indies WISH LIST November
1. Wool blend lambs tail throw, £57.95 each, Angela Reed Embrace cosy season with these soft, wool blend throws from Angela Reed, which come in a range of wintery hues 2. Objcontessa knit, £55, Iris & Violet Stay toasty in style with this monochrome knit by Object, available from Iris & Violet in the city centre 3. The Tote, £270, Cambridge Satchel Company Structured, stylish and strong enough for laptops and heavy books, this leather tote from our world-famous local bagmakers is sure to become a staple 4. Brass tiger necklace, £46.50, Ark Part of Ark’s African Jewellery collection, this hand-sculpted gold-tone brass necklace was designed and produced in collaboration with artisans in Kenya 5. Addison tapered jeans, £50, Lucy & Yak In this delightful autumn maple shade, these super-flattering trousers hug in all the right places 6. Donna Wilson spring oak vase, £65, David Parr House Painted by hand, this stoneware vase exemplifies designer Donna Wilson’s distinctive, playful use of colour and pattern 7. Katharina Klug limited edition bowl (low white), £125, Kettle’s Yard Specially commissioned by Kettle’s Yard to coincide with the gallery’s showcase of works by Lucie Rie, this chic pot by Katharina Klug pays homage to the trailblazing potter’s work
CAMBSEDITION.CO.UK NOVEMBER 2023 05
RISE AND SHINE
THE NIGHTS MAY BE DRAWING IN, BUT THERE’S NO SHORTAGE OF WAYS TO FILL YOUR DAYS
A MORNING STROLL This watercolour by Ali Ginn captures the essence of Cambridge. Head to page 18 to see a showcase of more local artists
CAMBSEDITION.CO.UK NOVEMBER 2023 07
CULTURE CLUB The must-see events around Cambridge this month Arts & Culture
Hotfoot it down to the Great Hall at The Leys school to be in with a chance of catching one of the last performances of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie: Teen Edition by the Cambridge Theatre Company, closing on 28 October. An undeniably feel-good production that celebrates the power of being yourself, step into the (fabulous) shoes of aspiring star of the stage and drag queen, Jamie New. Tickets at camtheatrecompany.co.uk LAST CHANCE! PRIDE AND JOY
CAMBSEDITION.CO.UK NOVEMBER 2023 09
UP FOR A LAUGH
Our round-up of the best comedy in Cambridge this coming month THE GONG SHOW TOWN AND GOWN, 9 NOV This interactive event puts the power in the hands of the audience as various comedians compete with just five minutes to ‘beat the gong’. STEPHEN K AMOS, OXYMORON* CAMBRIDGE JUNCTION, 10 NOV Fresh from treading the boards in My Fair Lady in London’s West End, settle in for an hour of uninterrupted laughs from this celebrated stand-up comedian. PORTLAND COMEDY CLUB THE PORTLAND, 24 NOV A firm local favourite, head to The Portland for its monthly comedy night showcasing some of the best comics on the national circuit.
© MARK ALLAN
50 Years of AAM THE SOUND OF CELEBRATION
Marking half a century of excellence in baroque and classical music, the Cambridge-based Academy of Ancient Music (AAM) has released the programme for its 50th anniversary season. With several highlights in store, from world-class performances to the first recording of Mozart’s complete works for keyboard and orchestra, this is sure to be the most memorable season yet. Launching on 22 November 2023, visit aam.co.uk/whats-on for tickets.
ONE TO WATCH The Cambridge Literary Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary with the Winter Festival, taking place in various venues across the city from 16 to 19 November. “Our charitable remit is all about education, but the festival aims to inspire a passion for books and the written word – it’s equally for enjoyment and pleasure,” shares founder and artistic director, Cathy Moore. Highlights include Theresa May, Lemn Sissay, Afua Hirsch in conversation with Elif Shafak, Rick Stein and many more! See the full programme and book your tickets at cambridgeliteraryfestival.com
CATCH OF THE DAY
Join Paul Whitehouse and John Bailey – the consultant for Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing – as they head out on the autumn 2023 tour for How We Fish . As avid lifelong anglers, both men come together to celebrate the varied tapestry of the history of fishing as self-styled ‘fishing detectives’, brimming with vibrant stories and fond memories of days long ago spent by the riverside. Coinciding with the publication of their new book, How We Fish – The Love, Life and Joy of the Riverbank , the tour promises a warm and funny evening to be enjoyed by all. Book now at cambridgelive.org.uk/cornex
10 NOVEMBER 2023 CAMBSEDITION.CO.UK
Power to the poet One of the UK’s best-loved live poets, Luke Wright speaks with Edition ahead of his most confessional performance yet
of the show – one of them, SPAD , is a poem about the nefarious world of backroom politics that uses ‘a’ as the only type of vowel throughout. My cat, Sir John Betjeman, also makes an appearance. In the second half, we get down to the personal via the political, and again there are some wild experiments with form to try and excavate the story. And there’s gags. Lots of good gags. CE: Why Luke Wright’s Silver Jubilee ? LW: I’m commemorating my 25th anniversary as a gigging poet! I did my first gig aged 17 at Norwich Arts Centre, supporting my hero, John Cooper Clarke, and the 25th anniversary of that show will be on 20th June 2024 – the last day of this year-long tour. I’m pleased to say that I’m still gigging with John 25 years on. This landmark occasion seemed like a good moment to
take a deep dive into myself. I honestly think this is the best show I’ve made – it’s funny, honest, at times quite sad – and I’m delighted to be bringing it back to the Junction, a venue I first performed at 20 years ago!
Cambridge Edition: Tell us a bit about Luke Wright’s Silver Jubilee – how is it different from other shows you’ve done before? Luke Wright: In the same vein as my previous shows, like Poet Laureate , Luke Wright’s Silver Jubilee is a mixture of poetry and stand-up, unlike my verse plays Frankie Vah and The Remains of Logan Dankworth . It’s a lot more personal than anything I’ve done before – I talk a lot about my childhood and being adopted. It’s been fascinating to explore those topics more, but I also make sure that I keep the laughs coming. My last tour was so serious and sad, I really wanted to make people laugh this year. CE: What can viewers expect from the show? LW: There are some big, show-stopping performance pieces in the first half
Luke Wright’s Silver Jubilee hits Cambridge Junction on 11 November. For tickets, head over to junction.co.uk
A CLEAN BREAK Luke Wright is marking 25 years of performance with an introspective new show
CAMBSEDITION.CO.UK NOVEMBER 2023 11
TOGETHER CULTURE X ARU Pursuing a mission to build a more inclusive and creative economy in Cambridge, the community interest company Together Culture has partnered with Anglia Ruskin University (ARU). The two parties will seek to create new employment opportunities in the creative economy to fully realise the city’s potential. “Over the next year, Together Culture will launch our first pop-up citizen’s studio on Fitzroy Street and gather our first 500 members before securing a permanent home. Partnering with ARU lets us engage with students, staff and faculty in ways that put their expertise to use in the community beyond the university,” says Together Culture’s founder and CEO, Heather Thomas. Find out more at togetherculture.com CALLING ALL CAMBRIDGE CREATIVES CONTEMPORARY WOMEN What do Tracey Emin, Yayoi Kusama and Bridget Riley all have in common? As well as being icons of contemporary art, all three are represented at the exclusive Mr & Mrs Clarks gallery’s latest exhibition, Fragments of Space and Time . Head to Bridge Street and see the staggering collection – or even take a piece home for yourself. The exhibition runs until 22 November, before it is replaced by a showcase of David Hockney, Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst and Matthew Wong.
Now booking! Check out Edition’s pick of the pantos and secure your tickets for this year’s festive season
24 Nov - 14 Jan
SNOW WHITE THEATRE ROYAL, BURY ST EDMUNDS, 24 NOV TO 14 JAN
The annual Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds’ pantomime is one not to be missed – and even more so this year with Dame Judi Dench guest starring as the voice of The Magic Mirror. Come to the kingdom of Buryland this Christmas for Snow White . Boo and hiss at Lady Lucretia (Snow White’s wicked stepmother) and Grumble, her snooty butler, as they plot to get rid of Snow White. Fall in love with the feisty Snow, who is more interested in fixing her motorbike than becoming Queen! Swoon over Sir Nicholas of Norwich – who thinks he’s ready for love but is completely unprepared for a woman like Snow. Belly laugh as the palace cleaner, Dusty Crevice, joins Snow and Gladys the Groom along with seven disaffected and delinquent scouts, to form an unlikely team for an assault on the castle to place the true heir on the throne. This Snow White is inspired by the late Queen Elizabeth II. In World War II, Elizabeth was dubbed Princess Auto Mechanic after joining the Auxiliary Territorial Service to train as a mechanic. The team behind the show loved the idea of a princess who is more at home under the bonnet of a car than entertaining dignitaries. Add in Snow’s pride and joy – a genuine Norton motorbike on stage – and this panto has everything you need for some family festive fun.
DICK WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT
CINDERELLA SAFFRON HALL, SAFFRON WALDEN, 23 TO 30 DEC
ADC THEATRE, 22 NOV TO 2 DEC Presented by the iconic Footlights and Cambridge University Amateur Dramatic Club, follow the trials and tribulations of Dick Whittington as he sets off from Cambridge to pursue his dreams in the Big Smoke.
Brought to life by KD Productions, dive into a quintessential panto this December. Featuring Buttons, the Fairy Godmother and a grotesque pair of stepsisters, this performance promises a laugh a minute.
MOTHER GOOSE CAMBRIDGE ARTS THEATRE, 30 NOV TO 7 JAN
ROBIN HOOD THE MALTINGS, ELY, 9 DEC TO 2 JAN Another KD Productions masterpiece, embark on a Christmas adventure following everyone’s favourite outlaw. Brimming with side-splitting sketches and foot-tapping dance routines, this is one to remember.
Starring Cambridge’s top dame Matt Crosby in this humorous (and relatable) take on the cost-of-the-living crisis, join Mother Goose as she tries to open her own bakery despite the rent-raising antics of Squire Purchase.
12 NOVEMBER 2023 CAMBSEDITION.CO.UK
DEEPEST DARKEST AN ELEMENTAL FORCE From the author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas comes the first in a staggering quartet of novellas, titled Water Irish author John Boyne’s body of work can be described as nothing short of impressive. To date, the internationally best-selling writer counts a collection of short stories, six novels for children and 14 for adults among his works – the most celebrated of which, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas , has sold over 11 million copies worldwide. Yet, despite the prestigious roster of accolades behind his name, John is undertaking his most ambitious project yet – a sequence of four novellas to be published at six-monthly intervals from November 2023 to May 2025. “I’ve written quite a few long books in my life, and I enjoy that, but there’s nothing quite like a novella to force the writer to gather all their themes and characters together and focus on brevity, giving the reader a short but hopefully powerful experience,” he explains. Collectively titled The Elements , the four books follow as Water , Earth , Fire , Air , with various threads interlinking each work. “All four books are standalone stories, but a minor character from each becomes the narrator of the next and they share recurring characters and themes,” he elaborates. Due for publication on 2 November, the first work, Water , transports us to the west coast of Ireland, where we encounter a middle-aged woman changing her identity as she tries to come to terms with the demons of her past, recover from trauma, and find a new path forward. For John, abuse is the theme that binds the series together, seen in each book from a different perspective – whether someone
TOP 5 GIGS
STORNOWAY 1 NOV, CAMBRIDGE JUNCTION
who is complicit, a witness, victim, or abuser themselves. The foundations are hard-hitting and extremely close to home, inspired by an experience suffered by the author as a teenager – at the hands of a former English teacher who was subsequently convicted of the abuse of 23 boys in his charge over several years. “It made me think about this experience and the atmosphere of complicity in both my school and society at large that allowed things like this to happen – which led to the novellas,” he shares with us. A poignant tale that has been lauded as “his most powerful work to date”, our conversation with John takes place ahead of a trip to Cambridge to promote Water ’s release. For him, it will be a fond return, calling to mind his first summer of independence aged 18 spent working as a waiter in one of the city’s hotels. “It was my first time away from home without family; but I loved every minute of it,” he recalls. “It has been a few years since I’ve been back, so I’m very much looking forward to seeing Cambridge again.” An Evening with John Boyne takes place at Waterstones Cambridge on Friday 3 November. Visit waterstones.com to book tickets
FLAMINGODS 8 NOV, PORTLAND ARMS
THIS IS THE KIT 9 NOV, CAMBRIDGE JUNCTION
SOPHIE ELLIS- BEXTOR: CHRISTMAS KITCHEN DISCO 29 NOV, CAMBRIDGE CORN EXCHANGE
FIRST OF FOUR Water marks the beginning of John Boyne’s latest literary project
FUN LOVIN’ CRIMINALS 30 NOV, MASH
14 NOVEMBER 2023 CAMBSEDITION.CO.UK
From 5.30pm on 6 December, Waterstones Cambridge will host a special festive evening that’s sure to get you in the Christmas spirit. Expect mince pies, mulled wines and several local authors signing copies of their books. Waterstones Loyalty Cardholders are in for a treat with double stamps, so there’s no better time to stock up on Christmas presents! “Our Christmas Customer Evening is one of my favourite events. It’s such a lovely thing to plan, and a real joy to share with our customers and local authors. Our booksellers can’t wait to get in the Christmas spirit and we are looking forward to giving a festive welcome and helping everyone to find the perfect gifts for friends and family,” says events coordinator Amy Crawford. A BOOK LOVER’S CHRISTMAS
Don’t miss at the Fitz The Fitzwilliam Museum’s autumn/ winter programme presents two exhibitions not to be missed. The first, Black Atlantic: Power, People, Resistance , is a poignant visual interrogation into which stories get remembered, and why. The exhibit acknowledges Cambridge’s role in the transatlantic slave trade, focusing on the wealth generated from that era, which subsequently led to vast donations made by its namesake – Richard Fitzwilliam – and ultimately to the museum’s foundation. Historic artwork and objects are juxtaposed with modern artists including Barbara Walker, Donald Locke and Keith Piper. Elsewhere, Real Families: Stories of Change, foregrounds art from the past 50 years that illustrates the significant change that has occurred in how families are created and structured. It features over 120 works and includes artists from the period who are yet to be exhibited in Cambridge, including Lucian Freud, Chantal Joffe, Alice Neel, Grayson Perry and Paula Rego. Both exhibitions are on display until 7 January 2024.
CAMBSEDITION.CO.UK NOVEMBER 2023 15
Crime-time performance BACKSTAGE With the biggest-selling crime novel of all time set to hit the stage in Cambridge this November, Phoebe Harper speaks with actor Andrew Lancel ahead of his performance in And Then There Were None
of tradition, but also moving towards his humour and darkness – those were the aspects of the character that really spoke to me,” he comments. Speaking with Andrew, what emerges is the undeniably enduring popularity of Agatha Christie, which keeps fans coming back to her work almost a century later. Originally written in 1939, the novel was as timely then as it is now, says Andrew. “When you analyse the isolation of the characters and the play’s depiction of class, it’s still so relevant. Her characters are so PERFECT STRANGERS This stage adaptation of Agatha Christie’s most popular novel guarantees to thrill. A cast of mysterious individuals converge on a solitary island – for what reason, nobody knows...
rich – she’s equally brilliant at broad strokes and detail, but this adaptation really is one for today.” A hold-on-to-your-chair performance that rarely pauses for breath, the audience can expect thrills, shocks and a healthy amount of humour. Having recently performed in both Dublin and Glasgow, the play has been met with a fantastic reception thus far, with standing ovations every night and Andrew spending hours by the stage door bonding with
I genuinely think Agatha Christie has never been seen like this before.” Taking on a classic such as Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None – the best-selling crime novel of all time – and adapting it for the stage with a new twist while simultaneously respecting its esteemed history is no small feat. But for actor Andrew Lancel, it is director Lucy Bailey’s ability to do exactly that which made him leap at the chance to play a role in her upcoming production. “I’ve always wanted to do an Agatha Christie, but it was working with Lucy first and foremost that made me go for it,” he says. “It provided the chance to take on something that is very well known and do it differently, while also working with one of the greatest stage directors of our time.” As a theatre director, Lucy co- founded and was the co-artistic director of the venue The Print Room. She has a reputation for adapting Christie well, as seen by her production of Witness For The Prosecution at London County Hall, which has been running for six years. “ And Then There Were None is a play that’s been performed a lot, but certainly
never like this,” continues Andrew. “Lucy can place things and find textures in a way that is just fascinating, while also finding the humour and fun in a piece.” Though a newcomer to Christie, Andrew himself is well-versed in crime dramas, starring as DI Neil Manson in The Bill for several years, alongside a host of other TV and theatre roles. In this production, he plays William Blore – a former police inspector and one of ten guests lured to Soldier Island – an isolated outcrop off the Devon coast. With each character supposing they have been invited to the island for a jolly, the real, sinister reasons for their visits are slowly drawn out. “I’ve been trying to play Blore in quite a different way, ticking the boxes
Christie fanatics over the performance. With Cambridge on the horizon, Andrew looks forward to returning to the city as somewhere he always loves to play, despite consistently overspending in the city’s bookshops every time he does. “There are some truly wonderful performances in this piece and I’m thrilled that people are enjoying the ride along with us,” he enthuses. “There’s a requirement to push theatre forward while acknowledging its history. It happens all the time with Shakespeare, but it’s so exciting now to see it being done with Agatha Christie.”
Showing at the Cambridge Arts Theatre from 13 to 18 November. Tickets at cambridgeartstheatre.com
CAMBSEDITION.CO.UK NOVEMBER 2023 17
Art in the right place Capturing the cityscape in acrylics, watercolours or sketches, Cambridge is full to the brim with artists – Miriam Balanescu meets them to find out more F rom its skyline scattered with poetic spires to the cattle-dotted fields, there’s a reason Cambridge is such a draw for artists. The
city is undeniably among the UK’s most picturesque. Testament to that is the work of historic masters such as Joseph Murray Ince, Mary Charlotte Greene and William Westall, to name a few, much of whose work adorns the walls of Cambridge’s colleges and heritage sites. This artistic tradition has long continued, with a new generation of creatives adding their visions to the Cambridge canvas. Initiatives Paint Out Cambridge (which sees flocks of artists take to the streets to create en plein air art) or Cambridge Open Studios (where artists grant access to their creative studios, spaces and homes to the artistically curious) foster these artist communities. From splashed acrylics to careful illustrations, we meet the artists seeing Cambridge in new ways.
18 NOVEMBER 2023 CAMBSEDITION.CO.UK
ALICE THOMSON Sometimes a desired result is just out of reach – not quite capturable with one material. In her renderings of Cambridge, artist Alice Thomson refuses to be constrained by one medium, often blending collage techniques with bold brush strokes and striking drawing. She studied reportage illustration at art college and has since settled in Cambridge, her work returning again and again to its local landscapes – despite often heading elsewhere with her husband, who works in the travel industry. The concept behind reportage illustration is to capture the ‘essence’ of a place. For Cambridge, Alice says it is “the culture, movement and vibrancy – and I aim to capture the vitality in my mixed-media pieces. “There is a great community of artists in Cambridge, and I get involved in a few events,” Alice says. “I am a member of the Cambridge Drawing Society, a lovely community of professional and semi-professional artists, which opens mixed shows in Cambridge. Artists also share workshops, so we can all meet and learn from each other.” Alice says Cambridge Open Studios, which she gets involved with each year, is another mainstay: “Many workshops and events are advertised and it is a great networking platform for meeting other artists.”
PEN AND WATERCOLOUR Naomi Davies Creativity often comes from unexpected places. Naomi, who has lived in
The particular skillset Naomi gained from her former line of work has fed into her artistic style: “I’m all about accuracy – I like to record what I see, wheelie bins and all. I’m quietly creating my personal archive of Cambridge. I just don’t get or enjoy abstract art.” The city she has lived in for decades features often. “Even its lowly boathouses are very special,” Naomi says. “It’s a cultural and, for its size, cosmopolitan city. It’s the best of both – you can hear six different languages in one coffee shop, yet also see someone you know. The city has a place in the hearts of everyone who spends time here. I like that my paintings can elicit strong emotions in those people.”
Cambridge since she studied history at the university, was running her own business as a genealogist. Feeling the toll of working alone, she started to visit indie coffee shops to draw. In the same month, she was asked by two different owners whether they could exhibit her work on their walls. “At those very first exhibitions, I couldn’t believe that so many people bought my drawings,” Naomi says. “I tried doing the genealogy and art for a year, but something had to give. Being able to earn my living as an artist was the best choice for me because every day is different and interesting.”
CAMBSEDITION.CO.UK NOVEMBER 2023 19
Ali Ginn “I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t interested in art,” insists watercolourist Ali Ginn. “My father was a gifted artist and won a scholarship to art school in his late teens, which he declined in favour of joining the RAF and training as a pilot. My sister Lindsay and I were always encouraged to draw, and subsequently both ended up studying for an art foundation in Cambridge.” Lindsay ventured down the path of fashion and textiles, eventually founding a successful gallery, while Ali took a different route: graphic design. She says she rediscovered fine art when she took a career break to have a family. “It’s impossible not to be inspired by Cambridge,” Ali says. “I often walk through the city in the early morning or evening when the streets are quiet and the sun is low – that golden light is a real catalyst to paint. My mother always enjoyed people watching, a habit I’ve inherited. It’s easy to imagine the feet that have walked through the colleges over the centuries – so much has remained unchanged. It’s a beautiful city and has inspired me to paint a body of work – ‘The Cambridge Collection’.” For Ali, who lives in a rural space, it’s not just the city that offers inspiration: “I’ve sketched and painted the local landscape in every season and also enjoy seeing the interaction humans have with the land – a close relationship and one I’m pleased to see of increasing respect.”
Sarah, a printmaker, first came to Cambridge for the sole purpose of studying art. “I googled ‘children’s book illustration masters’ and Cambridge School of Art was the first hit,” she laughs. “I applied, honestly thinking that I would never get accepted, but I did, and the rest is history! She continues: “I feel that Cambridge must be one of the best places on earth to create art. Not only is it beautiful, providing endless inspiration, but there are also so many other artists and illustrators living here! Most days when I walk into the city centre, I pass someone sketching or painting. Each building is just chock-full of history, and I love getting stuck into a painting and trying to depict all of the little details. Every corner you turn down could become a new painting.” SARAH BETH HSIEH
20 NOVEMBER 2023 CAMBSEDITION.CO.UK
STUDENTS OF HISTORY
The student team behind a new documentary tell Miriam Balanescu why they decided to make it all about Cambridge M ore often than not, stories of Cambridge are filtered through the hallowed university which sits at its Cambridge . “I set out to make a film about that history and about that effect.” The film’s unusual name is inspired seeing with fresh eyes
Here are our top picks of what to watch this month
by a historical enigma: scattered around Cambridge is an old university emblem bearing a lactating woman, under which is the inscription ‘Alma Mater Cantabrigia’ – ‘nourishing mother Cambridge’. However, rather than aiming purely to educate, the documentary leans into keeping the conversation open, weaving together interviews with individuals from every walk of life to delve into how the past holds sway over the present. “It isn’t really about history, but more about how we relate to history today –
centre. Books like E. M. Forster’s Maurice or films like The Theory of Everything paint a picture of sandy-coloured courtyards, crowded lecture halls and flocks of students decked out in gowns – which, though undeniably a component of what makes Cambridge tick, is perhaps not a complete portrait of daily life in the city. A less romantic portrayal – and one that actually takes an interest in the town, rather than the gown, side of Cambridge – is perhaps long overdue. But
THE ETERNAL DAUGHTER
Tilda Swinton doubles up for this chilling drama. Director Joanna Hogg explores our uncertain perception of reality. Where to Watch: UK cinemas When: 24 November
I set out to make a film about that history
how we romanticise and mythologise the past, and the effect this has on people in Cambridge now,” Rowan explains. “It’s also about the role of change in a university
interestingly, a group of unlikely candidates is among the first to train the camera on life beyond the university. Junior fellow Rowan Hall Maudslay and a
that values stasis and tradition.”
team of students from different colleges have joined forces to look at the history of Cambridge and the fenlands from the time of the Roman Empire right up to the modern day. “The tourist guidebooks sell Cambridge as a ‘historic town’, and I think prolonged exposure to that environment has an effect on people who live here,” says Rowan, director of Nourishing Mother
Rowan adds: “My dream would be that Nourishing Mother Cambridge defamiliarises people with Cambridge and makes them see the absurdity of how the modern world clashes with the past everywhere we look.” Cambridge is undeniably a supportive environment for these early-career filmmakers. Assistant director Miruna Tiberiu applied for a college grant from St Catharine’s and was rewarded with £1,300 towards the film. It’s given her the confidence to continue down a filmmaking path. Fresh from a screening at Cambridge Film Festival, the team are now working to share their film not just with Cambridge residents but audiences across the UK at film festivals and beyond. “I’ve directed a number of projects with the Cambridge Footlights, but Nourishing Mother Cambridge is my first documentary,” says Rowan. “I love that this medium makes it possible to share new ways of looking at the world around you, to bring narrative to the real world.”
The first Emperor of the French gets the biopic treatment from Ridley Scott, with Joaquin Phoenix as the man himself. Where to Watch: UK cinemas When: 22 November NAPOLEON
Justine Triet makes her return with a multilayered, formidably intelligent drama starring Sandra Hüller as a wife standing accused of her husband’s murder. Where to Watch: UK cinemas When: 10 November ANATOMY OF A FALL
LOOKING BACK The film delves into Cambridge’s past – and explores how we as individuals can make sense of what came before
22 NOVEMBER 2023 CAMBSEDITION.CO.UK
BOOK SIGNING GOD AND THE DEVIL: THE LIFE AND WORK OF INGMAR BERGMAN A screening of Bergman’s Wild Strawberries will be followed by a Q&A with Peter Cowie, author of a new biography on the director. Copies of the book will be available to have signed. 8 November C’E UN SOFFIO DI VITA SOLTANT To tie in with the release of Matteo Botrugno and Daniele Coluccini’s jointly directed documentary, the pair will be joined in conversation with PhD student of Italian, Orsolya Katalin Petőcz. 21 November Discover golden classics and brand new docs at the Arts Picturehouse this month Picturehouse Picks A meta movie from Todd Haynes exploring the ruptures that happen when one actor (Natalie Portman) shadows a troubled woman (Julianne Moore) as research for an upcoming film. Where to Watch: UK cinemas When: 17 November MAY DECEMBER
SIGHT & SOUND TOP 10: VERTIGO
Obsession, intrigue and thrills abound in Hitchcock’s 1958 detective caper. A detective with a fear of heights is hired to follow a man’s wife, and is quickly sucked into a web of lies and mystery. 26 November
CAMBSEDITION.CO.UK NOVEMBER 2023 23
REMEMBER, REMEMBER LIGHT & MAGIC Set your Bonfire Night off with a bang at one of these local celebrations, from kaleidoscopic firework displays to live entertainment
a major source of public entertainment, but also a means of supporting local businesses around Cambridge. “This display is one of the last remaining free public events on this scale in the region,” comments Mark Robinson, vice president and general manager of Illumina for the UK and Ireland. “We encourage everyone who attends to show their appreciation by helping to swell the support of local businesses. If you are able, please bring loose change you may have to donate on the night. Large or small, every contribution will help keep this wonderful event free for the public in future years.” Those seeking to donate ahead of the event can do so at cambridgelive.org. uk/tickets/donations . The display will officially commence at 7pm. For more details, check out cambridgelive.org. uk/city-events/bonfire-night
IT’S GETTING HOT IN HERE If you’re looking to drag out your celebrations, then the ADC Theatre promises a raucous night of Guy Fawkes-themed entertainment. Step into a world of mystery and intrigue with Dragtime! Presents: Gunpowder, Treason, and Thot , brought to you by Cambridgeshire’s premier drag troupe. Expect a scintillating cabaret of lip-syncs, spoken word, singing and pole dance from performers fresh from the basement of the Haus of Lords. Ages 16+ recommended, it runs 8-11 November. Tickets at adctheatre.com/whats-on On Saturday 4 November, the largest free firework display in the region will return to Midsummer Common with the Illumina Fireworks Night. The event is one of the city’s longest-running and best-loved traditions, drawing in crowds of thousands each year. This year’s display is sure to be a corker, having been designed by the multi-award-winning Pains Fireworks – the oldest fireworks display company in the UK. Founded in 1862, when Pains Fireworks isn’t setting the sky ablaze with a staggering display of colour, it’s working to make its operations as green as possible. Indeed, every Pains display is carbon neutral, thanks to the company’s work with Just One Tree to help plant and maintain trees that naturally remove CO2 from the environment. As lead sponsor of the event, Illumina welcomes the fireworks display as both
LIGHT MY FIRE It’s a double bill at the ADC, as 7 November marks the start of Edward Kemp’s play 5/11 . Under the direction of Evie Chandler, the epic dramatisation of the Gunpowder Plot has been given a punk revamp, as the story is staged in the style of 70s and 80s subculture. Channelling the 1600s through this visual lens, themes of rebellion and political allegiance echo across centuries, as the charismatic Robert Catesby clashes with powerful magnate Robert Cecil. Performances run until 11 November, with tickets at adctheatre.com/511
BURN BABY BURN Dare to enter the famous Bonfire Burn – a 10k course along the city’s northern fringe that draws hundreds of runners each year. Suitable for ages 13+, it kicks off at 10.30am in Histon and Impington Recreation Ground. Entry costs £16 for adults and £8 for under 18s, and registration closes at midnight on 1 November – so make sure to visit bonfireburn10k.co.uk and book your place now!
CAMBSEDITION.CO.UK NOVEMBER 2023 25
CAMBRIDGE EDITION Book Club Settle into the longer nights with an engrossing new novel – this month, we showcase Scandi short stories, Cambridge crime and gumptious geriatrics
WORDS BY CHARLOTTE GRIFFITHS
The Sunset Years of Agnes Sharp
BY LEONIE SWANN
Sunset Hall is a grand old countryside house, providing rebellious independent living for its defiant elderly inhabitants while they rage against the dying of the light. The residents have discovered the body of Lilith, one of their housemates, and are worried they’ll be accused of her demise. But when the police do knock on Sunset Hall’s door, it’s regarding a murder next door, rather than the one they feared took place in the potting shed – so the housemates set about solving this new crime in the hope of pinning Lilith’s death on the murderer, absolving themselves. The characters are superbly drawn, complex and colourful, each with their own quirks and traits which make this multi-perspective mystery a fast-paced adventure, even when riding the unreliable stairlift to the first floor of the property. And although the events are presented in a madcap light, there’s a dark undercurrent: Agnes, the titular resident of Sunset Hall, is struck by memories alluding to sinister events in her past: a gun – plausibly the murder weapon – keeps appearing and reappearing – and throughout, the inhabitants despair at the effects of ageing in a touching and hugely sympathetic manner. ‘Quirky OAP
sleuths’ is starting to become a subgenre of its own, and this book will no doubt find a warm reception within an existing fanbase, but it’s well worth a read even if this is your first foray into twilight- aged detectives. The hardback edition in particular is a real thing of beauty, with a decorated fore-edge showing Hettie the tortoise’s bloody footprints making their way around the pages. Will the housemates solve the mysteries, plural? There’s only one way to find out… YOUNG AT HEART This twisting, turning mystery is punctuated with splashes of humour and tension
It’s a fast-paced adventure, even when riding the unreliable stairlift to the first floor of the property
26 NOVEMBER 2023 CAMBSEDITION.CO.UK
It’s 1935, and a thinly disguised Girton College is the setting for this instalment of the Blind Detective series. War veteran Frederick Rowlands and his wife Edith are visiting Cambridge for a May Week event at St Gertrude’s, a college that’s slightly out of central town, where newly welcomed female undergraduates battle suspicion and prejudice to study alongside their male counterparts. It emerges that several college dons have received poison pen letters, and in the first few days of the Rowlands’ stay, tragedy strikes. A brilliant young female PhD student is found dead – and it turns out Frederick was one of the last people to see her alive. Which means the couple’s stay in Cambridge might not be the relaxing break they’d hoped for. As the series’ title suggests, Frederick is sightless after being injured in the war, and Koning’s earlier books incorporate his attempts to re-enter life without vision. The author’s hero was inspired by her own grandfather, a soldier in World War I who was blinded at Passchendaele. Five books in, Rowlands’ other senses are significantly enhanced: he is able to recall voices in the same way a sighted person might recall faces, and Edith is well practised at describing locations for her husband. The effect of these descriptive passages is a dialled-up sense of place – detailing the sounds, textures and scents presented by locations is a clever way of embedding readers in the room where the action is happening. This is an engaging, immersive read that’s the ideal companion on a cosy winter evening, and will no doubt see you seeking out the other books in the series. BY CHRISTINA KONING MURDER IN CAMBRIDGE
NORDIC VISIONS: THE BEST OF NORDIC SPECULATIVE FICTION EDITED BY MARGRÉT HELGADÓTTIR
Many book lovers (myself included) like to switch to darker reads when the nights start to draw in. Closing the shutters and snuggling under a blanket with a gothic horror or gripping thriller is, in my opinion, the finest way to enjoy winter evenings. So, an anthology of speculative fiction – and Nordic speculative fiction at that – makes the perfect selection box to whet your appetite for the months ahead. For those not yet used to the delights of speculative fiction, this could be a life-changing experience. As the editor’s introductory essay says, this genre challenges you to “think outside the box, to step off the usual path… to create new possibilities in our minds.” This is a collection of the finest speculative writing from the Nordic countries, some of which make their debut in English, and contains dark dystopias, spine-tingling horrors and unsettling tales that would be ideally suited to hurriedly being whispered beside a fading campfire in the depths of a Nordic primaeval forest, where you’re not entirely sure who – or what – might be listening. From the off, this collection is absolutely terrifying (new-build owners in particular should beware the very first tale) and may make you hurl your copy across the room – it’s astonishing how creepy these writers can be in just a few short pages. One to be savoured over the darker months, and an ideal gift for a fellow reader who needs a little shaking up.
FJORD FOCUS This anthology contains 16 of the finest works of Scandinavian counterfactual writing
CAMBSEDITION.CO.UK NOVEMBER 2023 27
Known for her candour, humour and honest critique of modern-day womanhood, the prolific poet Hollie McNish discusses her writing life ahead of the release of her new collection, Lobster A Cambridge WRITER’S DIARY
I started writing when I was very little, mostly for fun. When I became a teenager, I wrote all my diaries in poems and I have no idea why! I suppose I’ve always found poetry much more freeing than writing down full sentences. I still have the poetry books that my mum used to read to me, and I just adored them – one of which was Sky in the Pie by Roger McGough. Because I loved that kind of childish, rhyming poetry, I still find it hard to write a poem that doesn’t rhyme in some way. When I was a student at King’s College, Cambridge, I didn’t write much at all and what I did write wasn’t hugely positive. During that time, I would often go to Lammas Land just to be surrounded by families and other people who weren’t students, which is where I wrote one poem about wanting to escape! Today, I find myself sharing my time between just outside Cambridge and Glasgow, where most of my family are. I write on an as-and-when basis with no real routine. Annoyingly, most good ideas pop into my head while I’m driving around on tour, so I often pull over to record bits on my phone. I’m a mum, so working at home can be difficult and this tends to be my main solitary time. I know many poets who swear by pen and paper, but I love writing on my phone or laptop and being able to cut and paste what I like. This is a bad habit to admit, but the only time I write by hand is when I scribble my own work on top of other people’s poetry books! For instance, Caroline Bird’s poetry books are covered in my writing, since she just inspires me so much.
had so much material, I wanted to split it into two books. While Slug focused on what I’ve been made to feel ashamed of, Lobster is a more loving version, with poems and prose from various areas of research. Some topics I cover can be quite upsetting, like women’s health, so occasionally you want to break free to learn about something entirely different, which is why there’s a lot of material about outer space in there. remember seeing them for the first time in a restaurant, where being served lobster was this posh, sophisticated thing, whereas I found picking these poor creatures out of a tank, tearing them apart and eating them as some kind of aphrodisiac just so weird! I was trying to think about what I found disgusting about them and the more I learnt, the more I loved them. Lobsters don’t age, they just keep growing until they die from the exhaustion of it – or we eat them! We’re obsessed by the idea of not ageing, and lobsters do exactly that and we just chuck them in a pot! I chose the title because I have always been quite disgusted by lobsters! I I’ll be heading out on tour next year, and it includes some of the largest venues I’ve ever done, like Hackney Empire. It always takes the encouragement of family and friends but I’m getting braver now and pushing myself to take on bigger venues. Lobster: And Other Things I’m Learning to Love by Hollie McNish is published by Fleet in March 2024, priced £18.99. Her Sunday Times bestseller Slug: And Other Things I’ve Been Told to Hate is out now (Fleet, £12.99)
Currently, a lot of my writing is inspired by friendship, memories and shame. A big part of that is because now I’m getting older, I look back on all the rubbish we were told as teenagers and in our twenties. So many things have changed for the next generations, but others seem to be worse, and it just makes me think, really? Are we still protesting this?! Lobster: And Other Things I’m Learning to Love is the continuation of Slug: And Other Things I’ve Been Told to Hate , since I OUT OF HER SHELL Hollie McNish’s upcoming work explores the author’s love for the world and questions why we are taught to hate
CAMBSEDITION.CO.UK NOVEMBER 2023 29
LOVE CAMBRIDGE GIFT CARD The Love Cambridge Gift Card is the perfect gift this Christmas. Accepted in over 180 businesses in Cambridge, ranging from shops, restaurants, cafes, beauty salons, hairdressers and much more. The Gift Card can only be spent in Cambridge, supporting your local high street and the businesses we know and love. To buy online visit love-cambridgegiftcard.co.uk
THE BIG SWITCH ON 2023 Cambridge BID is organising two Christmas lights switch-on events this year and invites you to join in the fun!
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION! On Thursday 16 November we will officially turn on the lights at Cambridge railway station in partnership with Star Radio. Join Star Radio drive-time presenter Josh Lovatt to switch on the lights and officially kick off Christmas in the CB1 area. Starting at around 4.30pm, Josh will be bringing his decks and party tunes (and maybe the odd Christmas song) to the station and asking you to help celebrate the start of Christmas. We are working with some choirs and community groups to add some live acts to this year’s celebrations. Local bars and restaurants will be on hand to provide refreshments, with the lights turning on around 6pm. There will
also be a chance to win Love Cambridge Gift Cards which you can use for Christmas shopping or a little treat for yourself! CENTRE STAGE Later this month, on Sunday 19 November, we head to Market Square to turn on the city centre lights. The annual Big Switch On kicks off Christmas season this year with Star Radio taking control of the stage, promising to entertain the crowds from midday. There will be a lively line-up from local performing arts clubs, choirs and much more! “We have a fantastic new lighting scheme for the city this year,” enthuses Becky Burrell, marketing manager at
Cambridge BID. “So, we’re planning to kick off Christmas with a bang! It’s a great community event and we’re very excited to deliver this for the residents of Cambridge.”
LET THERE BE LIGHT The Big Switch On is guaranteed to get you in the Christmas mood
CAMBSEDITION.CO.UK NOVEMBER 2023 31
Cambridge Photographer Mark Box shares some of his favourite portraits from the streets of Cambridge this month – can you spot anyone you know?
So sassy – love those shoes!
ABOUT THE PROJECT Humans of Cambridge is an Instagram photoblog by local photographer Mark Box. It began as a lockdown project and has turned into a sensation, featuring an ever-growing number of Cambridge’s colourful characters on the @humanofcambridge grid. Mark is out most days snapping, and can usually be found in the Market Square, on King’s Parade, Burrell’s Walk and Garret Hostel Bridge – your best bet for being papped is to head out around lunchtime wearing something suitably eye-catching!
Strong man from
Hungary with a spectacular tache to boot
A laid-back 70s vibe
32 NOVEMBER 2023 CAMBSEDITION.CO.UKPage 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 Page 85 Page 86 Page 87 Page 88 Page 89 Page 90 Page 91 Page 92 Page 93 Page 94 Page 95 Page 96 Page 97 Page 98 Page 99 Page 100
Powered by FlippingBook