Cambridge Edition April 2019

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EAT CAMBRIDGE • EASTER DAYS OUT GIGS & NIGHTLIFE • COLLUSION O 9 THEATRE HIGHLIGHTS • FOOD & DRINK CAMBRIDGE LITERARY FESTIVAL

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Welcome

EDITORIAL Editor in chief Nicola Foley 01223 499459

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nicolafoley@bright-publishing.com Chief sub editor Beth Fletcher Senior sub editor Siobhan Godwood Sub editor Felicity Evans Junior sub editor Elisha Young ADVERTISING Senior sales executive Lee Fifield 01223 492240 leefifield@bright-publishing.com CONTRIBUTORS Alex Rushmer, Angelina Villa-Clarke, Cathy Moore, Cyrus Pundole, Charlotte Griffiths, Siobhan Godwood, Daisy Dickinson, Jordan Worland, Ruthie Collins, Anna Taylor, Sam Owens DESIGN & PRODUCTION Senior designer & production manager Flo Thomas 01223 492242 flothomas@bright-publishing.com Designer Lucy Woolcomb Ad production Man-Wai Wong 01223 499468 manwaiwong@bright-publishing.com MANAGING DIRECTORS Andy Brogden & Matt Pluck 01223 499450 CAMBSEDITION.CO.UK CAMBRIDGE EDITIONMAGAZINE • 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. FIND US @CAMBSEDITION

pring has now well and truly sprung in Cambridge, prompting us to haul ourselves out of hibernation and enjoy the feast of events going on in the city this April. Cambridge Literary Festival is back with a bang, laying on a line-up so dazzling it will have book lovers falling over themselves for tickets. Hear from top fiction writers, join in with heated political debate and immerse yourself in exquisite poetry at this joyful celebration of the power of words. We’ve got the highlights on page 24.

If that gets you inspired to curl up with a great read, we’ve got a fantastic recommendation in this month’s Cambridge Edition Book Club. Written by local author Jill Dawson, The Language of Birds offers a thought-provoking retelling of the real-life Lord Lucan murder case that gripped the nation in the 1970s. Find out more on page 27. Then, I recommend heading to the Food & Drink section to have a read of the first in our new Cambridge on a Plate series. Penned by food historian Dr Sue Bailey, this monthly piece will be diving deep into local food heritage and unearthing fascinating stories about our area’s epicurean experiences. Up first: an exploration of Cambridge’s enduring love affair with tea and coffee, including the discovery of an ‘18th-century Starbucks’ in the city centre. There’s also news of a Cambridge-born, pan-European beer project that demonstrates what a bit of brilliant, booze-fuelled collaboration can achieve (page 51), details on the first-ever Love Cambridge Restaurant Week (page 53), a look around Hot Numbers’ incredible new roastery (page 66) and an ode to asparagus by local chef Alex Rushmer (page 73). Excitingly, we’re also now just around the corner from Eat Cambridge, a city-wide celebration of the local food and drink scene, which brings a fortnight of irresistible events. From supper clubs to pop-ups to street food to the Main Event – a huge food and drink market – we’ve got all the delicious details on page 55.

As ever, we’ve also got news on the best gigs, theatre, art exhibitions and family events to get stuck into this April – enjoy the issue and see you next month! Nicola Foley EDITOR IN CHIEF

This month’s cover illustration was created by Flo Thomas, senior designer & production manager at Cambridge Edition

Author illustrations by Louisa Taylor louisataylorillustration.blogspot.co.uk

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C ONTENTS

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l STARTERS Top things to do and see in the city, plus our favourite social media pics 9 l ARTS & CULTURE Exhibitions, concerts and theatre highlights to enjoy in April 19 l ART INSIDER Ruthie Collins, founder of Cambridge Art Salon, shares her arty picks of the month 20 l CENTRAL TIME Edition meets Heidi Hall, Cambridge resident and director of Ballet Central 24 l LITERARY FESTIVAL We find out what’s in store at the spring edition of Cambridge Literary Festival 27 l BOOK CLUB Book recommendations, special offers and author interviews 32 l AFTER HOURS Comedy, festivals, gigs and more nightlife fun to seek out this month 36 l COMMUNITY HUB

Community events, charity news and more, from your local hub 41 l LISTINGS Our at-a-glance guide to the top events and goings-on this month 44 l EASTER FUN Great days out to enjoy over the long Easter weekend

50 l FOOD NEWS All the latest news and gossip from the Cambridge culinary scene 55 l EAT CAMBRIDGE What’s in store for the city’s huge annual food and drink festival 60 l PRIVATE DINING Take a peek inside Cambridge’s most luxurious private dining spaces 66 l HOT NUMBERS We take a look at the impressive new Hot Numbers roastery 70 l MAKE THE BEST Chef Alex Rushmer whips up a batch of coffee ground brownies 73 l CHEF’S TABLE Chef Alex Rushmer shares what’s cooking in his kitchen this month l CAMBS ON A PLATE New columnist Dr Sue Bailey on our city’s love affair with tea and coffee

77 l BEAUTY Daisy Dickinson rounds up the beauty products on her radar this month 78 l FASHION Forget florals – burst into spring with a pop of vibrant colour 81 l EDUCATION Local schools reveal some innovative approaches to promoting mental well-being 95 l EDUCATION SPOTLIGHT St Mary’s School, Cambridge, on the importance of talking about our bad days 96 l INDIE We shine a spotlight on Checked-Inn, which offers flexible accommodation for visitors 103 l GARDENS We take a trip to Anna’s Flower Farm for this month’s garden tips 107 l INTERIORS The latest interiors trends, which marry practicality with beautiful aesthetics

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@CLOUDNINEIMAGERY # INSTACAMB OUR FAVOURI TE CAMBRIDGE INSTAGRAM PICS OF THE MONTH. HASHTAG # INSTACAMB FOR A CHANCE TO FEATURE !

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WILD WOOD RUMPUS The magical Wild Wood Rumpus returns to a woodland near Cambridge for a second helping on 8 June. A family-focused event at Horseheath Racecourse, it features enchanting activities and performances, from art installations, storytellers, children’s theatre and talks from authors, to live music including The Brass Funkeys. A kid’s bubble disco will be followed later in the day by The Early Night Club, already a hit in Cambridge, with tunes getting parents on the dance floor at sensible o’clock. Wildlings Craft School features all-day craft making, with a parade at the end to show off what’s been made. Food from Steak & Honour, The Mac Daddy, Jack’s Gelato, Churros Bar and many more will keep you going. Full line-up to be announced soon. mylittlefestival.uk

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RECORD STORE DAY

The vinyl revival keeps growing – and a big part of that is thanks to Record Store Day. For years, it has encouraged bands and artists to record special releases, or record companies to mine their archives for rare and live tracks – all in the name of getting punters back into record shops. Mill Road’s Relevant Record Café has a vinyl emporium in a spacious cellar that would have even the most uninterested digital music fan salivating at the mass of black discs. When it comes to Record Store Day, the cafe has become a well-oiled machine. This year’s big day is 13 April and it offers tempting breakfast food at 6am. That’s the time when record buyers (who will have been queueing for some time already) are allowed in, with numbered tickets saving their place in the queue. No record shop in the country can sell their precious RSD stock until 8am… which means time for a second coffee and a top-up snack! The list on this year’s big day has sparkly heavyweight discs available – from David Bowie to Chase & Status, via Bark Psychosis. Once the early starters have snapped up the most in-demand records, a host of bands will play the venue from 12pm. The list of releases is extensive, so if you’re interested, check it out at recordstoreday.co.uk. You at least want the detail on Bananarama’s three choices! relevantrecordcafe.co.uk

GRANTCHESTER ARTS & CRAFTS SHOW The perfect opportunity to find a gift for friends and family comes to Grantchester this month, with the village’s arts and crafts spring show on the weekend of 6 and 7 April. It showcases local artists and craftspeople, and you can meet the makers and purchase home-made cake, too. It takes place in the village hall, from 10am to 5pm on both days.

VEGAN & V INTAGE FA IR A place to discover retro gems and tasty plant-based eats, the popular Vegan and Vintage Fair returns to Ely Markets on the weekend of 5 and 6 May. There’s a tempting line-up of foodie stalls on the bill, including Food by Lizzi (maker of epic vegan scotch eggs), plus hearty fare fromHeart Street, artisan bakes from The Iced Vegan and stir fry sauces from Bonnie Yau’s. Visitors can also browse a selection of stalls selling vintage and upcycled furniture, plus collectables, clothes and records. There is also a bar, traditional bank holiday market stalls and street food, plus children’s entertainment. elymarkets.co.uk

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Culture Club

ART EXHIBITIONS • THEATRE • BOOK CLUB • CONCERTS

BALLET CENTRAL captured by ASH Photography, performing The Dying Swan

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ARTS & CULTURE

STATE OF THE ART

WE FIND OUT WHAT’S IN STORE AT COLLUSION, A SERIES OF IMMERSIVE ARTWORKS IN CAMBRIDGE THAT EXPLORE OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

“Over recent years we’ve seen the emergence of highly sophisticated ‘deep’ technologies that hold world-changing potential and significant social impact,” explains Richard Traherne, project sponsor and chief commercial officer of Cambridge Consultants. “We’ve provided experts from disciplines ranging from user experience to artificial intelligence to collaborate with Collusion to help explore these implications and prompt artistic reflection and debate. We’ve found the project fascinating – an unusual combination of technical and artistic perspectives examining the potential of technology, resulting in art that’s accessible to a broad audience.” Collusion 2019 is open Monday to Saturday 11am to 7pm; Sundays noon to 5pm. collusion.org.uk

by music and AI, a mysterious memorial to the 21st century that broadcasts eerie messages excavated from the blockchain, and a party set in a 2030 home hosted by a virtual assistant. “Collusion is once again showing how digital technology can help artists to challenge audiences in new and engaging ways,” says Amy Vaughan from Arts Council England. “It is exciting that so many people will have the chance to experience these installations.” Participating artists were selected in November 2017 frommore than 120 applicants, and subsequently took part in a 12-month research and development programme supported by Collusion, working with technology and innovation partners Cambridge Consultants and ARM to explore relevant ideas, themes and technology.

Explore the intersection between art and tech this month at Collusion, a thought- provoking new public art exhibition that investigates our relationship with emerging technology. Taking place in the outdoor square next to Cambridge Junction from 12 to 22 April, this unique offering takes the form of six interactive artworks housed in specially designed pavilions. The installations were commissioned by Cambridge-based arts and technology organisation Collusion and span theatre, music, dance, sculpture, film and animation, incorporating a variety of new technologies. The brief was to explore the impact of technologies such as artificial intelligence, data culture and augmented reality on society, and the results include a multi-narrative film driven

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Fame , the hit 1980 movie about students at a performing arts school, spawned a hugely popular TV series, numerous 80s hits – including the iconic Oscar-winning theme – and an equally popular musical. The latter, celebrating its 30th anniversary, comes to the Arts Theatre from 29 April to 4 May, and features UK soul star Mica Paris ( Love Me Tender , Chicago ), Keith Jack ( Any DreamWill Do ) and Jorgie Porter ( Hollyoaks ). Follow the highs and lows, romances and heartbreaks as the students ultimately experience the elation of life. The bittersweet, uplifting tale (based on the film, rather than the milder series) explores issues that confront many young people today, such as prejudice, sexuality and substance abuse. Tickets from £20, suitable for ages 12 years and up. cambridgeartstheatre.com FAME

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ART & DESIGN SHOW

aided further by the increasing accessibility to the auction market through online bidding,” comments Martin Millard, director of Cheffins. “Sculpture, whether it be bronze, stone, aluminium or wood, comes in all shapes and sizes and sees examples across variable price brackets. Prices can be lowered by the fact that sculptures are often produced in multiples, rather than one-offs, which can make these works more accessible than paintings. Twentieth-century sculpture sees a major change in the approach of artists, where the subject is no longer the principal focus, but instead is the material and the form, and this has proved a tantalising option for a range of buyers at auction.” The sale runs from 11am. cheffins.co.uk

Looking for an artistic new addition to your home? On 9 May, Cheffins hosts the latest in its regular Art & Design Sales, with a selection of 20th-century sculpture, artworks and furniture going under the hammer, including work by William Pye and Oswald Herzog. According to an Artprice global art market report, 20th-century art accounted for 80% of total global auction turnover from fine art in the first half of 2018 alone, and the last two decades have seen huge growth in the 20th century and contemporary art market globally. “For sculpture in particular, we have seen that millennials are keen to purchase statement pieces rather than form collections, and the appeal of something three dimensional is often more alluring than a flat canvas. This has been

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ARTS & CULTURE

A world-class arts trail aims to bring together local artists, businesses, schools and community groups to be part of an udderly unique event in spring next year. Cows about Cambridge is an innovative project featuring 50 cow sculptures. Each cow – designed by an artist and sponsored by a business – will form a trail of discovery across Cambridge from 30 March to 7 June 2020. Schools and colleges can adopt and design their own ‘mini moos’ as part of a learning programme, while community groups have the chance to tell their own stories by collaborating with a regional artist. The ten-week trail’s creative producers Wild in Art will work in partnership with local children’s charity Break, with support from principal partner Cambridge BID. The aim is to promote wellbeing and an active lifestyle, while creating discussions about environmental issues. Director Charlie Langhorne said: “The bespoke designs will tell the story of Cambridge and its people in a new way, which will inspire those who walk the trail to smile, laugh, think and reflect.” “Red Poll cows are part of everyday life in Cambridge,” said Ian Sandison, CEO of Cambridge BID. “Thousands of people walk or cycle near their pasture every day on their way to work, school and the shops. In choosing cow sculptures, they will celebrate the uniqueness of our city.” At the end of the project, the cows will find homes with the groups that adopted them, but the corporate cows will be auctioned off in an event expected to raise £250,000 in aid of Break. If you are a local artist, represent a Cambridgeshire school, business or community group and want to get involved, visit cowsaboutcambridge.co.uk COWS ABOUT CAMBRIDGE

EUROPEAN UNION CHAMBER ORCHESTRA

Two distinct spirits will be served up for your ears by the European Union Chamber Orchestra on 25 April. Mozart’s joyous Concerto for Flute and Harp brings Catrin Finch back to the Corn Exchange, alongside flautist Fiona Slominska. The concerto is paired with sprightly and elegant dances by Peter Warlock, a true maverick of 20th-century British music. A change in tone for the other half features Barber’s beloved Adagio for Strings, with its slow-build swells, while Haydn’s Trauer, or mourning symphony, features colourful strings and brass. Tickets from £32, students and under 16s, £12.50. cambridgelivetrust.co.uk

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ARTS & CULTURE

RICHARD I I I

A tale of power, murder and deceit, featuring Shakespeare’s iconic villain Richard III, comes to the Arts Theatre at the end of the month. After decades of civil war, the nation hangs in the balance. Richard, Duke of Gloucester, was not born to be king, but he’s intent on gaining the crown. TomMothersdale heads the cast, portraying a murderous desire – behind the ambition – to be loved. Richard III runs from 24 to 27 April, with tickets from £20. cambridgeartstheatre.com

OSCAR MUR ILLO: V IOLENT AMNESI A

The subject of Kettle’s Yard’s latest exhibition is Oscar Murillo, a compelling artist whose work reflects his own experiences of displacement and the social fallout of globalisation. Born in Colombia in 1986, Murillo’s family moved to London when he was ten. His techniques include painting, performance, drawing, collaborative works, installation, sculpture and sound, often using recycled materials from his studio. He has held solo exhibitions around the world and was included in the Venice Biennale in 2015 and the Sharjah Biennial two years ago. The exhibition, Oscar Murillo: Violent Amnesia , will be across the galleries and throughout Kettle’s Yard and runs from 9 April until 23 June. kettlesyard.co.uk

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PHOTOGR APH 51

Codebreaking may conjure images of espionage, but the biggest breakthrough in the last century was very much embedded in Cambridge’s own DNA. Rosalind Franklin’s often-overlooked role in the discovery of the structure of DNA – with James Watson and Francis Crick, together with Maurice Wilkins, the winners of the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1962 – is at the heart of Photograph 51 , a play that comes to the ADC Theatre from 9 to 13 April. It’s a fast-paced and ultimately moving tale about ambition and legacy. Does Rosalind realise she holds the key to the biggest scientific breakthrough of the 20th century? And what kept her out of the history books? Franklin studied at Newnham College in the 1940s, before going on to work with Wilkins at King’s College, London, where they used X-ray diffraction to study DNA. Their findings were used by Crick and Watson, who worked at Cambridge University, in their own research, which led to a model that explained how DNA replicates and how hereditary information is coded within it. The pair famously celebrated in The Eagle pub 66 years ago. Alongside Wilkins, they received the award nine years after the discovery, but Franklin did not receive the award. In 2017, a Franklin supporter ‘vandalised’ the blue plaque outside the pub by adding Rosalind’s name to it. It is only the second time the play has been performed in the UK. The first was four years ago, when it starred Nicole Kidman in the West End, with former Cambridge University student and frequent ADC performer Will Attenborough as James Watson. Tickets are £8 to £14. combinedactors.org | adctheatre.com

With more than 50 million downloads, The Guilty Feminist has become a podcast mega-hit since it launched three years ago. Featuring comedian Deborah Frances-White and guests, it explores the goals of the modern feminist while confessing to the insecurities and paradoxes that undermine their intentions. A touring version of the show comes to the Corn Exchange on 16 May, with Deborah joined by comedians, musicians and more from the show, to find out what remains to be done. Tickets from £18. cambridgelivetrust.co.uk THE GUILTY FEMINIST

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The Art Insider RUTHIE COLLINS, FOUNDER OF CAMBRIDGE ART SALON, GIVES HER ARTY PICKS OF THE MONTH A pril is a fantastic month for that springtime fix of culture, with the Cambridge Literary Festival, one of my favourite Collaboration I met Michael Bravo, author of North Pole: Nature and Culture , which was published in December last year – an thinking about, as professionals. So how to address this?

The Arts Council is offering surgeries (yes, actual face-to-face support!) this month on the 9th, 23rd or 30th in its Cambridge offices; the chance for you to talk through projects with a relationship manager. This advice is like gold dust and has long been unavailable, due to cutbacks – so snap this offer up – email SEProjectGrants@artscouncil.org. uk for information, or to book a slot. Networking is key for building contacts and working relationships – Cambridge Arts Network hosts an annual conference that is vital for bringing together the arts community, this year, themed on collaboration, no less – you can find out more information on CAN at cambridgeartsnetwork.com. Meanwhile, the Cambridge Artists’ Union is an active branch that advocates in the city, pioneering better pay and better working conditions for artists – you can find out more at artistsunionengland.org. uk. There is no end of creative meet-ups in the city itself, from Cam Creative, a creative industries network, to more leftfield socials, such as those held at art space St Barnabas Press, which has started hosting monthly Warholian art parties (with a champagne tower, no less) called The Factory. If you feel like current networks aren’t really meeting your needs, why not start your own? Art is about collaborating, after all. Because despite all the precariousness, art making – the people you meet, the collaborations, especially in Cambridge, a place full of imaginative, quirky, fascinating people – is all wildly rewarding. As Gresham says, “The day to day reality is one of dirty hands, bad backs, beautiful

exploration of 500 years of the North Pole. As our world warms, the poles are an increasingly vital barometer of change. Indeed, it’s easy to feel like our world is increasingly polarised, in current times of algorithms and divisive politics. “I’m curious about what we think poles are and why we think the poles matter,” Bravo tells me. “The future of the poles matters, because we think about the future. They are about the planet as our home. The poles hold the world together.” What does polarity mean to you? Working as an artist can often feel extreme. You are trying to make a living in precarious conditions. Pay can be low. Commissions and projects are not guaranteed. It is competitive. Friends are often your boss, or colleagues, so boundaries are often horribly blurred. It’s a lesser appreciated part of the art world, the need for collaboration and support. How we as professionals navigate all this is a personal choice – there is no code of conduct, no regulations that say we should ‘play nice’. But personally, how else would you want to? When anxiety levels among artists are often (perhaps invisibly) cripplingly high, these issues affect many, yet are little discussed. Well- being in this sector is often something the arts are viewed as creating – check Cambridge Community Arts for their fabulous creative courses – but not an element of the arts that we should be

events in the local calendar, arriving in full bloom each year. Watch out for Ali Smith in conversation on Spring , the third volume in her seasonal quartet, or see her offering up the best debut writers on 7 April. You can also check out George Monbiot’s ‘A Plea for the Planet’ on 5 April: a talk on how only radical action will save our planet – and us. It’s also a chance to catch Kip Gresham’s The Art of Collaboration at the Heong Gallery, which runs until 19 May. This ‘hero of art midwifery’, has collaborated for more than 40 years with many greats, helping them create prints; in itself an unsung medium for art. The resulting show is a mind-blowing collection of works, including Antony Gormley, Cornelia Parker and Eduardo Paolozzi. It opened to a rapturous response last month, with a thought- provoking speech from Gresham himself that was a poignant reminder that behind great works of art is often a series of collaborative relationships, friendships and an ecology of mutual support. As Alan Bookbinder writes in the show’s catalogue, collaboration is ‘a meeting of minds, an opening of new artistic doors’. Printmaking itself is a versatile way of making work that Gresham describes as ‘very cool.’ Collaboration, an art in its own right. This is a beautiful show, carefully executed – go see. While at the Heong Gallery’s opening for the Art of

“Despite all the precariousness, art making is wildly rewarding”

colours, seductive papers and above all, surprises from the artists, those magicians. That’s why one does this stuff. This Is Important.” l

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ARTS & CULTURE C entra l T im e NICOLA FOLEY MEETS HEIDI HALL, CAMBRIDGESHIRE RESIDENT AND DIRECTOR OF BALLET CENTRAL, WHICH BRINGS ITS LATEST PRODUCTION TO THE CITY THIS MONTH

T he touring company of the of being on the road in a real-life production. After delighting audiences with The Nutcracker in December, the company is back at Cambridge’s ADC Theatre this April with its latest show: a dazzling showcase of emerging dance talent choreographed by some of the top names in the industry. An evening of thrilling theatricality, technical mastery and lavish costumes, the repertoire features Christopher Marney’s Carousel Dances and a unique version of The Dying Swan solo created by Calvin Richardson. “The production is a fantastic mixture of things,” enthuses director and Cambridgeshire resident Heidi Hall. “There’s something in it for everyone. There’s classical ballet, there’s contemporary work and there’s also a narrative piece. At a venue like the ADC, which is so small and intimate, it’s wonderful to be able to see these dancers up close, on the cusp of their professional careers. It’s really exciting.” If anybody understands the thrill of performance – for both audiences and dancers – it’s Heidi, whose professional credits include a stint as Meg Giry in The Phantom of the Opera on the West End. Before embarking on a successful career in dance, she was a student at Central Central School of Ballet, Ballet Central was founded in 1984 to give students experience

School of Ballet, where she studied under inspirational founder Christopher Gable. “I have such fantastic memories of my time there, and it’s the tour that really stands out,” she smiles. “That first taste of what it’s really going to be like. You can teach your students so much in a studio or classroom, but actually doing it... you learn much more.” The annual tour – a large-scale production which this year visits 20 venues across the UK – is a unique aspect of a Central School of Ballet education, serving to upskill students so that when their dancing careers come to an end (typically in their mid-30s), they have the knowledge and experience to pursue careers in other aspects of the arts.

“The students learn about stage management, lighting, music, costume design and front of house. The idea is they have an understanding of what it takes to put on a performance,” Heidi explains. “It means they also have an appreciation for everybody that works in theatre, so Central is sending really well-rounded human beings into the industry who have transferable skills for the future.” Heidi credits this holistic approach with enabling her transition from performing into her current role as Central’s director, a post that combines arts management, fundraising and development. Her biggest achievement since taking the reins in 2016 has been spearheading a huge, £9 million

Above Ballet Central director Heidi Hall, captured by Paul Hackett. Production images by ASH Photography.

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“We will be able to share our facilities with the community and hopefully make dance and the arts more accessible”

fundraising project to allow the school to realise a long-held goal of moving to a new home in the South Bank arts community. Her determined efforts, which saw her recognised in the Third Sector Awards last year, have resulted in work commencing on this dynamic new hub, which will offer training for Central students, as well as general dance classes. With seven studios, a fully equipped theatre, study and resource centres and a state-of-the-art health suite, the new venue will give Central some of the most impressive dance training facilities in the country. Far from parachuting into the area and creating a closed shop, Heidi and her team are committed to opening up this impressive centre to the community as a whole, encouraging people from all walks of life get involved with ballet and, hopefully, inspiring a new and diverse generation of dancers. It continues the ongoing work of Central to address the issue of diversity in the world of ballet, which includes offering free dance classes for school

looks like by creating opportunities.” “I think dance, drama and singing are great levellers”, she says. “It instils a sense of discipline, but also enjoyment and opportunity. A lot of the students at Ballet Central are from low-income families; they’re taken purely on their talent. Nobody is ever turned away for financial reasons. We hope that by working in the community we can make that degree even more accessible.” Heidi now divides her time between the school in Clerkenwell, the new South Bank premises and touring with Ballet Central, but has chosen to keep her base here in Cambridgeshire. “I absolutely love it here!” she laughs. “It’s a big commute, but it’s worth it. The job is very full-on, but I get a bit of distance from it by living in Gamlingay. For a long time, my son was a chorister at King’s College. I used to go and watch Evensong, because for 45 minutes I’d have my phone switched off!” See Ballet Central in action this month on 22 and 23 April at the ADC Theatre. l adctheatre.com

children in Southwark – home to one of the highest rates of child poverty in the country. The results for the participating children have been far-reaching, as Heidi explains: “The first cohort of those students have now gone to senior school and the headmistress has reported better focus, better concentration and better self-esteem – especially among the girls. We hope that moving into our new building will be an enabler to do more of this kind of thing. We will be able to share our facilities with the community and hopefully make dance and the arts more accessible for those who might not ordinarily choose this as a career.” It’s only through providing access from an early age, thinks Heidi, that ballet can hope to become truly inclusive. “I work closely with some of the top dance companies in the country – I know they are all passionate about changing the face of what dance looks like, but they can only do that if the schools are doing that,” she stresses. “We’re committed to changing the face of what the dance world

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ALL BOOKED UP SEE YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHORS, DISCOVER NEW ADDITIONS FOR YOUR BOOKSHELF AND DISCUSS THE BIG QUESTIONS AT THIS MONTH'S CAMBRIDGE LITERARY FESTIVAL

‘‘N ever has there been a better time for us to come together to talk and to listen: to novelists, scientists, politicians, commentators and thinkers, each of them expert in their field,” says Alex Clark, artistic director of Cambridge Literary Festival. “From our opening afternoon, in which we see novelist Helen Oyeyemi return to the city she studied in to talk about her brilliant new novel, to our final event with the spectacular Ali Smith, we’ll be celebrating the power of words to capture hearts and minds.” There’s plenty to tempt booklovers on the line-up, which ranges from top novelists to scientists, astronomers, politicians and poets. The new fiction cohort is as strong as ever, bringing together some of the most exciting novelists in the game. Madeline Miller – who was interviewed by Cambridge Edition for our Book Club last month – speaks on the joyful job of bringing antiquity to life in Circe , her dazzling, ambitious reworking of ancient Greek myth. Joining her on the programme is Helen Oyeyemi, a prodigiously talented Cambridge Uni grad who wrote her first novel while at school and has since picked up numerous prestigious prizes. Join her on the 5th when she’ll discuss her novel Gingerbread ; a folkoric tale of a mother and daughter

living in a gold flat who make a potent kind of gingerbread. James Runcie, author of the Grantchester mysteries, pays a visit on the 7th to give an insight into the latest instalment in the series, The Road to Grantchester . A prequel to the other books, it delves into the early life of protagonist Sidney Chambers: everybody’s favourite unlucky-in-love vicar turned super sleuth. Festival favourite Ali Smith returns, too, to discuss the recently released Spring , the third volume in her stunning seasonal quartet. Written as the turbulent events of the last few months have unfolded, Spring offers a glimmer of optimism, regeneration and growth. As well as showcasing top new fiction writers, the festival also celebrates the work and life of one of literature’s true greats: George Eliot. Author of the immortal Middlemarch , the writer threw herself into political and philosophical life and scandalised Victorian society with her lovers and unconventional domestic situation – join devotees Dame Gillian Beer, Alex Clark and Allison Pearson as they pay homage on the bicentenary of her death. Another literary great under the spotlight at this year’s festival is Iris Murdoch, a philosopher turned novelist responsible for some of the best-loved works of fiction of the 20th century. From

The Bell to The Sea, The Sea and A Severed Head , Murdoch’s singular style remains as absorbing and thought-provoking as ever, as a panel composed of Catherine Taylor, Jonathan Gibbs, Charlotte Mendelson will discuss. If the restaurateurs of Cambridge seem skittish on 6 April, it might be because Jay Rayner, food critic for The Guardian and king of brutal takedowns, is in town. He brings his My Dining Hell show to the festival: a safari through some of the most excruciating restaurant experiences he’s had – and as we know, there have been a few. Also talking food – specifically what happens when we have too much or too little of it – is Dr Giles Yeo, who joins the festival on 7 April. In his talk The Truth about Obesity and Dieting, he takes a common-sense, but fastidiously researched, approach to discerning why we’re getting fatter. Bee Wilson, meanwhile, author of The Way We Eat Now – a frank snapshot of the world’s current eating habits – will discuss how our access to all kinds of cuisines has altered our relationship with what’s on our plate, suggesting that we reconnect with the origins of our food, and our ecology. As ever, the ins and outs at Westminster are a hot topic at the festival, with guests including Hilary Benn MP, and Philip Collins, former speech writer for Tony Blair, who asks: how can

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Images From contemporary fiction and wartime mystery to feminism, food and identity politics, there ’ s something for everyone at the festival this year

we fix our broken politics? Danny Dorling, meanwhile, author of Peak Inequality , explores how the EU referendum and its bitter aftermath have exposed the schism between the haves and have-nots in British society. Gender politics is up for discussion too, courtesy of Caroline Criado Perez, the author of headline-making recent release Invisible Women . In it, she amasses a huge body of evidence to demonstrate that in a world built for men, from the size of our phones to the cars we drive, women are systemically ignored, discriminated against and endangered. Join the discussion on the 6th. The next day, Ziauddin Yousafzai, father of Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala, will discuss The Fight for Equality and Education ; his powerful memoir about decades of work promoting the rights of women and girls living in Pakistan. This year’s New Statesman Debate puts forward the motion that “This house believes identity politics is an impediment to progress”. Sure to inspire some heated discussion, the debate will consider: “is defining yourself by your identity – whether gender, sexuality, race, nationality or class – a way of making society a more progressive, inclusive place? Or is it a downward slope that leads to self-interest, polarised debate and political stasis?”. Hear opinions on the 6th. Little book lovers will be well catered for at the festival as well, with top kids’

authors including Ross Welford, creator of The Dog Who Saved the World , as well as a celebration of Elmer, the lovably different patchwork elephant. Rounding the event off is Roger McGough, who brings an evening of poetry and performance to the festival on Sunday the 6th. With a career that spans five decades, encompassing the Mersey Sound and the number one single Lily the Pink , McGough can still entrance an audience – he’ll be celebrating his new

collection, Joined Up Writing . l cambridgeliteraryfestival.com

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BOOK CLUB

CAMBRIDGE EDI T ION Boo k Clu b BRINGING YOU TOP NEW FICTION PICKS, AUTHOR INTERVIEWS, DISCOUNTS AND LOTS MORE BOOK CHAT, THE EDITION BOOK CLUB IS A PARTNERSHIP WITH CAMBRIDGE LITERARY FESTIVAL AND HEFFERS

INTERVIEW BY CHARLOTTE GRIFFITHS

THE L ANGUAGE OF BIRDS BY JILL DAWSON THIS FICTIONALISED RETELLING OF THE LORD LUCAN MYSTERY FOCUSES ON THE VICTIM T he Language of Birds follows two young women from the Fens as they navigate life in 1970s London, working as nannies for the children of “society” women and hoping to enjoy all the excitement offered by life in the capital city. Mandy River is trying to escape a troubled past, yet seeking a fresh start lands her in the midst of a family undergoing an extremely messy separation; her friend Rosemary, normally gifted when it comes to reading the truth of a situation, is mistaken about Mandy’s employers’ intentions – with tragic consequences. Though the tale is fictional, the book is dedicated to and inspired by Sandra Rivett, the young woman found murdered in 1974 at the home of Lord Lucan, where she had been employed as a nanny. As Jill Dawson has done many times before with previous books, The Language Of Birds takes commonly-held beliefs regarding a real life situation and shines light into their darker areas, seeking out alternative perspectives and showing that the voices of women are all too frequently not given the attention they deserve – or even more sinisterly, are silenced altogether. Jill finished writing The Language Of Birds over a year ago, and has taken time out since submitting her manuscript, giving her brain a breather from the intensity with which she approaches the business of writing. She lives near Ely, in a house designed by her husband, and her study – where she spends the majority of her time – enjoys glorious views across the Fens towards the city’s cathedral.

“I spend most of my time alone in this study, writing – and then pop up for a few months promoting a book,” Jill says. “The two are very different, very contrasting, so it’s not too surprising when writers say they enjoy time on their own. I think the way I work is quite intense: I’m obsessed and obsessive when I’m writing, so I often need a bit of a breather afterwards.” The original idea for The Language of Birds came to Jill a couple of years ago while watching yet another documentary on the life and disappearance of Lord Lucan. “I thought: ‘Well, we don’t know much about the nanny…’ and then I started reading up about nannies at the time. The book was actually going to be called The Nanny’s Story at first, but I rather like The Language Of Birds , for reasons which become obvious when you read it. When you look at the journalists and writers of the time, they were all of [Lucan’s] type – same background, white, male, older; they went to clubs, had younger girlfriends – and so therefore u

EVENTS Inspired by The Language of Birds , or one of Jill’s other works? The author will be visiting the Cambridge area for several events in April: 4 APRIL: Cambridge Literary Festival 10 APRIL: St Peter’s Church, Ely 28 APRIL: Stapleford Granary in conversation with Gillian Beer

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the sources coloured everything. There would be no working class girl’s account of events.” Seeking out alternative versions of history requires a lot of legwork in the form of extensive research: for Jill, this is one of the delights of putting together a book. “I’ve done it repeatedly since writing Fred and Edie , which is based in the 1920s and about a woman who was wrongfully – very wrongfully – hanged for murder. But you just need to read the newspapers to see how that was presented and why Edie was judged so harshly. I think the research is the bit I love – maybe not love best, I do like writing as well – but I can’t imagine writing a book that didn’t involve any research. Each time I want to learn something: I’m trying to find things out. It’s a project for myself as much as it’s for the finished book, so if it’s not enjoyable for me, I wouldn’t embark on it.” The Language Of Birds will be Jill’s tenth novel, and sixteenth book to be published. “I’ve always been a writer: that’s all I’ve ever done. I’ve written for various newspapers and magazines, and have taught creative writing, but have never had a... proper job,” she laughs. “I do work very hard, but on my own terms and when I want to: the downside is the insecurity, and things like not having a pension – but the upside is the freedom to work all night, all Saturday and Sunday if you want – and then have Monday and Tuesday off.” Jill is disciplined and focused when writing, dividing her attention between a busy home life and her current projects. “I have a foster daughter, and a grandchild, and grown up kids – so I’ve always had home stuff as well – so what I’ve had to be is very focused when I have the opportunity to write, and that is much more likely to be weekdays, and my best times are mornings. And then other times, when I’m teaching residential writing courses or travelling, I don’t think about writing at all – I switch on and off. I think I’m very tuned into my own productivity and mood, so if I know that today’s a writing day and I’ve got a lovely clean stretch ahead, then I’ll work very hard… I think the trick is to get to know yourself. It’s a bit like exercise: I tend to do exercise that I love, like swimming: I’m not someone who can make myself do things I don’t want to do. But happily, I love writing novels.”

Jill didn’t have an ending in mind when she started out with the idea of exploring a young woman’s life in London in the 1970s. “I wasn’t sure if I was going to stick with the story or not, but that for me is usually enough: a little bit of an idea of what I’m basing it on, the real story. I’ve written about Rupert Brooke ( The Great Lover ), I’ve written about Patricia Highsmith ( The Crime Writer ), so I normally know some of the constraints of the actual story – but the puzzle and the challenge is, what do I have to add that might be new?” The story of Lord Lucan will be familiar to most readers. “Everyone feels they know that: it’s all about him escaping, where did he go, and the aristocratic friends hiding him,” Jill says – but people don’t know anything about the victim at the centre of the tale. “There’s another book just out, which tells the story of Jack The Ripper’s victims ( The Five by Hallie Rubenhold) rather than revisiting the killer again,” Jill says. “I think this is part of a broader shift in society: the stories of women now being listened to, the voices of women at last taking centre stage.” Though The Language Of Birds takes Sandra and her situation as a starting point for the tale, Jill’s novel does differ: “Mandy and Rosemary are quite definitely fictional,” Jill says. “They’re from the Fens, I’d made up their family

LOOK OUT FOR THE CAMBRIDGE EDITION BOOK CLUB STICKERS IN HEFFERS & GET MONEY OFF OUR MONTHLY PICK Heffers is located at 20 Trinity Street, Cambridge blackwells.co.uk

situations and who they were; in a way I had to, there wasn’t enough to go on. Sandra Rivett, the actual nanny, did have two sons, so I kept that detail because it struck me as very poignant that a woman working as a nanny, caring for the children of others, should have given her own two children up for adoption. I fictionalised just about everything else around her and Rosemary’s life. I always do an extensive amount of research but I think for a novelist, one of the tricks is knowing what to abandon: you need to absorb a great deal and then let it float away from you in order to write well. You don’t just wedge it all in.” And for Jill, that’s primarily why writing is such an intense experience. “There’s a lot of going back again, and researching as I go along, rewriting things – it’s labour intensive,” she says. “But the alternative, to plan [a book] from the start, would bore me and I wouldn’t have an incentive to write it. There’s a challenge in letting fiction – the world you’re creating, the people you’re creating – answer the questions you have. That, to me, is one of the great pleasures of writing.” l

“The stories of women are now being listened to”

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CATHY MOORE , DIRECTOR OF CAMBRIDGE LITERARY FESTIVAL , ON THE LANGUAGE OF BIRDS Jill Dawson has the knack of making absorbing literature from real life events. Her latest book was inspired by the shocking murder of Lord Lucan’s nanny; the violent assault on his wife at their London home in 1974, and his subsequent disappearance. He was legally declared dead in 1999 and his wife Veronica died in 2017 still claiming his guilt of both crimes. The Language of Birds tells the story of two young women from the Fens, Mandy and Rosemary, who travel to London seeking a fresh start to work as nannies for wealthy families. Telling the story from the viewpoint of the nannies, Dawson paints a vivid portrait of 1970s society and shows that then as now, women’s voices all too often went unheard. The joy of Dawson’s writing lies not only in her ability to ventriloquise but also in her brilliant character development which leaves you bereft when the worst does indeed happen. Jill Dawson will be discussing The Language of Birds with novelist Louise Doughty at Cambridge Literary Festival on 7 April at 4pm cambridgeliteraryfestival.com

NEW ON THE BOOKSHELF:

THE WAY WE EAT NOW BY BEE WILSON The latest book by Cambridge resident and internationally renowned writer Bee Wilson landed on shelves at the end of March. This new book sees Bee take a closer look at what, how and why we eat what we do in today’s modern world, and the potential costs of this convenience. A must read for any foodie.

SPRING BY ALI SMITH

INVISIBLE WOMEN BY CAROLINE CRIADO PEREZ

Also published at the end of March is the third book in Ali Smith’s ‘Seasonal Quartet’, which promises to be as transcendentally spectacular as her previous works. Ali will be speaking at this year’s Cambridge Literary Festival in a special event at the Festival’s finale: if you’re a fan, don’t miss out on a ticket…

A data-driven look at how the world around us is set to biological standards based on the bodies and reactions of men – Criado Perez’s book exposes the hidden biases of such data sets, which have potentially deadly consequences for women, and will change how you look at the world.

UP NEXT MONTH THE MATHEMATICAL BRIDGE BY JIM KELLY Cambridge, with its winding streets and ancient buildings, is a city ripe for its own series of detective novels. Oxford has Inspector Morse and his spin-off, Lewis, but so far Cambridge has only had James Runcie’s Grantchester mysteries, and Sidney Chambers is a vicar, not a real detective! Now, though, we have Detective Inspector Eden Brooke in Jim Kelly’s ‘Nighthawk’ series. The Mathematical Bridge is the second in the series, the follow-up to The Great Darkness , and is set in 1940, during the first winter of the second world war. A college porter on his nightly rounds is startled to hear a child’s cries from the waters below the Mathematical Bridge. Brooke is summoned by police whistle and commandeers a punt in a desperate attempt at a rescue.

THE MATHEMATICAL BRIDGE CAN BE PURCHASED FOR £19.99 IN HARDBACK. READ ALONG AND TWEET US YOUR THOUGHTS @CAMBSEDITION, WITH THE HASHTAG #EDITIONBOOKCLUB FOR A CHANCE TO FEATURE IN THE NEXT ISSUE.

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