Cambridge Edition June 2022 - Web

YOUR MONTHLY FIX OF

LOCAL LIFE

JUNE 2022

ROYAL KNEES-UP! Get inspired for Jubilee feasting See page 54

STEP INTO THE NEW SEASON WITH OUR GUIDE TO THE BEST CULTURE, FOOD & FUN IN CAMBRIDGE THIS MONTH!

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WELCOME

Here comes the sun

EDITORIAL Editor in chief Nicola Foley 01223 499459

eady to savour the start of summer? Cambridge is going all out this June with Jubilee parties, festivals, open gardens and an outstanding collection of cultural events. After a couple of quiet summers, the city is chomping at the bit

nicolafoley@bright-publishing.com Assistant editor Miriam Balanescu Editorial assistant Alex Fice Editorial director Roger Payne Chief sub editor Alex Bell Sub editors Matthew Winney & Harriet Williams ADVERTISING Sales director Sam Scott-Smith 01223 499457 samscott-smith@bright-publishing.com Sales executive Hannah Gurney 01223 499463 hannahgurney@bright-publishing.com

to celebrate the season – and we can’t wait to get stuck in! Immerse yourself in the arts, with greats like Grayson Perry and David Hockney, discover Stapleford’s nascent creative hub, and get the lowdown on the upcoming Cambridge Open Studios, all in this month’s Culture Club (from page 7). Venture to the heart of the wild woods with festival hostess Vicky Fenton (page 23), and learn about Jubilee feasts through history – plus, what’s on the table in Cambridge this year (page 54). There’s our motliest line-up of interviewees ever in this issue too, with the Edition team chatting to Suzanne Vega, Michael Rosen and the Reverend Richard Coles – as well as a local baroque ensemble, star author Elodie Harper and the founders of a unique community farm. As always, there’s also news of the best music, theatre and food, including an exciting city-centre opening. Enjoy the issue and see you next month!

CONTRIBUTORS Mark Box, Matt Hodgson, Anna Taylor & Elisha Young

DESIGN & PRODUCTION Senior designer Lucy Woolcomb lucywoolcomb@bright-publishing.com Ad production Man-Wai Wong MANAGING DIRECTORS Andy Brogden & Matt Pluck

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.

EDITOR IN CHIEF

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Contents

04 Starters Our favourite Instagram pics of the month, plus brilliant buys from local indies 07 Culture Club Gigs, exhibitions, theatre, interviews, book picks, cinema hits, street-style portraits and lots more 43 On Your Bike Stylish cycles and news of a huge upcoming bike festival in Cambridgeshire 47 Food News New openings, unmissable events, wine picks and plenty of other tasty treats 53 Elisha Eats Elisha serves up her mango-opus, featuring a delicious dessert recipe 54 Jubilee Feasts Miriam traces the evolution of joyous Jubilee meals, from ornate cakes to street parties

60 Spruce up for Summer Step into the new season putting your best foot forward, with the help of these local faves 63 Discover Newmarket Races, open-air concerts, fascinating heritage and great food: four reasons to visit Newmarket! 64 Eco Cambridge Alex meets the eco-pioneers championing a circular economy here in the city 67 Education With the help of local experts, we consider the impact of the pandemic on preschoolers 75 Interiors The country chic trend we can’t get enough of, plus this month’s must-buy homewares 82 Gardens Rounding the issue off, Anna reflects on the joys of June in the garden

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Cover illustration by Hedzlynn Kamaruzzaman, junior designer at Bright Publishing.

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LOCAL LIFE

STARTERS

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LOCAL LIFE

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THIS MONTH’S MUST-HAVES FROM LOCAL INDIES

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1. Workshop jump suit, £195, Laird Utility We love this all-in-one outfit from the new brand by Laird Hatters! 2. Hill St. chocolates, £22.50, Hill St. Sixteen cubes of blackcurrant, violet and vanilla ganache goodness, from local chocolatier Hill St. 3. Botella throw, £34.95, Angela Reed A gorgeous ochre throw from the much-loved Saffron Walden homewares store 4. Cow print bucket hat, £21, Ark Keep the sun out of your eyes in style, with this udderly brilliant bucket hat 5. Martini glasses, £34.50 (set of four), Angela Reed These fabulous gold-rimmed martini glasses will bring a touch of Gatsby glamour to cocktail hour 6. Organic cotton string bag coral, £5.99, Manor Gift Shop Impractical? Yes. Cute as a button? Also, yes 7. Pieces Pcheaven knit cardigan lavendula, £38, Iris & Violet The perfect cover up for summer sunsets by the Mill Pond

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Culture Club

LIFE’S A BEACH Discover plein air paintings at the Fitzwilliam and seaside collages at Byard Art – more on page 9

STROKES OF GENIUS Summer’s in the air COASTAL CREATIONS, ALFRESCO CONCERTS AND JUBILEE CELEBRATIONS LIE JUST AROUND THE CORNER...

© KATE AGGETT

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CULTURE CLUB Arts & Culture THE MUST-SEE EVENTS AROUND CAMBRIDGE THIS MONTH

BIG & BOLD (Clockwise from top left)

Ai Weiwei at Kettle’s

Yard; plein air painting at the Fitz; Benedict Doonan azure art; Gilbert and George ink washes

ART IMMERSION Summer scenes

and Kate Aggett’s magnificent multimedia landscapes, capturing the stunning light only found by the coast on a blazing hot day. Discover Extraordinary Objects’ most recent acquisitions, including ‘The Twelve Ink Washes’ from Gilbert and George, handmade by the artists to mark the Serpentine’s 50th anniversary. These bolshie artworks centre on swear words and slogans commonly heard in urban settings, enticing the viewer to theorise and explore their messages. From the urban to the suburban, Grayson Perry’s ‘England as seen from Lockdown in Islington’ conveys the stifling atmosphere of quarantine in suburbia, while depicting how our imagination allowed us to travel regardless. The works will be on display throughout June.

its must-see Hockney show. True to Nature is a celebration of open-air painting, with over 120 luminous landscapes from the Fondation Custodia in Paris, the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC and the Fitzwilliam Museum’s own collection. The display explores how artists across Europe became enamoured with plein air painting in the 18th and 19th centuries, depicting dramatic skies, rugged rocks, grottoes, volcanoes, trees and bodies of water – from the tranquil to the tumultuous. Byard Art is riding the wave when it comes to watery landscapes with its brand-new Coastal Exhibition , running from 26 May until 26 June, perfectly setting the scene for hazy summer days. Keep an eye out for Benedict Doonan’s azure art punctuated by pastel tones,

Plunge into Cambridge’s art scene this month and discover a melting pot of work – from ancient Chinese objects to Mediterranean coastal scenes, and a lockdown-inspired creation from Grayson Perry. Don’t miss your last chance to visit The Liberty of Doubt , Ai Weiwei’s exhibition at Kettle’s Yard, which shines a light on the contrasting attitudes of China and the West towards truth, authenticity and value. Dive a bit deeper with a lunchtime talk on 9 June featuring Rosie Cooper and En Liang Khong, who will unpack the complex interplay of ideas behind this thought-provoking display, open to the public until 19 June. Meanwhile, at the Fitzwilliam Museum, a new exhibition has opened that complements

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CULTURE CLUB

In harmony BAROQUE OF AGES BELOVED LOCAL GROUP EBORACUM BAROQUE RETURNS TO THE ORCHARD TEA GARDEN, WITH AUTHENTIC CLASSICAL HITS

we can do more performances that showcase Cambridge composers.” In the nearer future, however, the ensemble will stick to tried-and-tested classics sure to pull in a crowd and showcase baroque’s best bits. Coming up this month, the group returns to the Orchard Tea Garden for a series of outdoor performances; a format that originated from the need for open-air venues at the start of the pandemic. “I will always remember the concerts we did at the Orchard in 2020, because they were the first ones people had been to in months,” recalls Chris. This year, there will be two performances in the idyllic Tea Gardens, beginning with a selection of Baroque Classics on 10 June, including pieces by Handel, Purcell and Vivaldi. “There may also be some audience participation,” hints Chris. “In the past, we’ve played drinking songs from the period that have catchy choruses, which we teach bit by bit. We’ve found that the audience appreciates being interacted with!” The second concert on 11 June is a performance of one of Purcell’s greatest works, King Arthur – a patriotic opera filled with epic tunes and battle cries. The unparalleled setting of Grantchester’s famous apple orchard on a balmy summer’s evening is a unique opportunity to rediscover iconic works of music in a new light – and even encounter some pieces you’ve never heard before. Get ready to pull up a deckchair and sink into the beauty of baroque. For more information and to book tickets, head to eboracumbaroque.co.uk

Eboracum Baroque is a Cambridge-based ensemble, comprised of young professional singers and instrumentalists. Its performances revive classic baroque pieces and bring to light lesser-known works, using period instruments known to composers of the time, from Bach and Vivaldi to Handel and Purcell. This month, the virtuosic group is back with a series of concerts in the tranquil setting of Grantchester’s Orchard Tea Garden – perfect for a summer evening. Director Chris Parsons formed the group in 2012 as part of his dissertation project at the University of York, where he studied music. The ensemble soon spread its roots, leaving its native York (dubbed Eboracum by the Greeks) for the Edinburgh Fringe, where the group started to gain recognition with a performance of Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas . In the ten years since, Eboracum Baroque has performed at prestigious venues around the world and closer to home, including Cambridge’s splendid Senate House, welcoming old and new members along the way. Now based near Ely, Chris has sought to connect with baroque music created by composers from the local area. Eboracum Baroque’s first album, Music for Wimpole Hall , was recorded in 2015 and features music by Thomas Tudway, who worked at the estate. He was also organist at King’s College for over 50 years and professor of music at the University of Cambridge. According to Chris, Tudway isn’t the only unsung hero from the city’s baroque back catalogue. “There’s tons of music waiting to be discovered,” he says. “I’m hopeful that, with time,

GARDEN PARTY The group has an expansive set of talented musicians (top) led by director Chris Parsons (middle), performing classics in the open air (bottom)

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CULTURE CLUB

MONTH OF MELODY A TIMELESS MUSICAL EXPERIENCE Thaxted Festival returns with a selection of 15 concerts, spread over four weekends between 17 June and 10 July. A highlight this month includes Shostakovich’s 2nd Piano Concerto and Schubert’s 5th Symphony performed by Howard Shelley and the London Mozart Players on 17 June. Or you can catch the award-winning ensemble Redbridge Brass on 18 June, and a rendition of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas by Armonico Consort on 25 June. All events are in the beautiful setting of Thaxted Church. Head to thaxtedfestival.co.uk to discover the full line-up and book tickets.

Don’t Miss! CLASSICAL MUSIC, CABARET AND COMEDY LIGHT UP THE CAMBRIDGESHIRE SCENE THIS JUNE

RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN: SOME ENCHANTED EVENING 12 June, 4pm, Saffron Hall, tickets from £20 The City of Birmingham Orchestra offers hit show tunes from Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals like Oklahoma! , The Sound of Music and Carousel , performed by West End stars including Gina Beck and the Phantom himself, Scott Davies.

THE SCUMMY MUMMIES SHOW 22 & 23 June, 8pm, Cambridge Junction, £22.50

SANDI TOKSVIG LIVE! NEXT SLIDE PLEASE… 23 June, 7.30pm, Cambridge Corn Exchange, £33

These self-declared Scummy Mummies tackle the good, the bad and the downright ugly of parenthood through a mischievous melee of sketches, songs and bawdy humour – it’s French and Saunders meets motherhood.

Cambridge Footlights alum Sandi Toksvig returns to the city for her hilarious and heart-warming live show. It’s packed with everything you would expect from the beloved QI host, including fun facts, silly jokes and a quick-fire Q&A.

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ARRR YOU ENTERTAINED? Pirates set sail for Fulbourn The award-winning Illyria Outdoor Theatre is celebrating its 30th anniversary with an open-air production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s ever popular opera The Pirates of Penzance , on Sunday 3 July. The show will be staged in the garden of Fulbourn Manor just outside Cambridge. “After a challenging few years for venues, we’re inviting as many people as possible from Fulbourn and the surrounding area to join us this summer,” says Martin Tyson from Fulbourn Arts. “We are privileged that Fulbourn Manor, a beautiful old house in the heart of the village, is opening its garden for an afternoon picnic, followed by this exciting performance.” The production will be enacted by a cast of six, featuring a specially orchestrated nautical accompaniment. With a bounty of musical treasures just waiting to be plundered, this alfresco musical is a fantastic way to rediscover a Gilbert and Sullivan classic, while making the most of the summer! illyria.co.uk

HIFIELDS FESTIVAL 27-28 AUGUST, CAMBRIDGESHIRE, TICKET PRICES VARY With genres from electronica to jazz, slap bang in the middle of the countryside, Hifields’ mantra is sharing music with friends old and new.

1. Ely Cathedral is giving you the chance to relive the regal glamour of the coronation from 2-5 June, exhibiting the official replica of the Queen’s coronation dress commissioned by Harrods in 2012 for the Diamond Jubilee – and worn by Claire Foy in Netflix hit The Crown . There will also be floral displays by Ely Cathedral’s Flower Guild that represent key events, interests and pursuits in the Queen’s life. Visitors who stay until the evening may even get a glimpse of the Octagon Tower illuminated in red, white and blue. 2. Arbury Carnival returns on 11 June, and this year it will be celebrating the Jubilee – expect fantastic floats, uplifting live music, craft stalls and plenty of jubilant community spirit! 3. Saffron Hall is holding a concert fit for a queen, with music from the Band of the Royal Air Force Regiment on 11 June at 7.30pm. Comprised of full-time professional musicians, it has a special programme planned to mark the occasion, and will raise funds on behalf of the RAF Music Charitable Trust. TOP THREE PICKS FOR CELEBRATING THE QUEEN’S 70TH YEAR OF SERVICE JOY OF THE JUBILEE GO PLATINUM

JAYDE ADAMS: MEN I CAN SAVE YOU 2 NOVEMBER, CAMBRIDGE JUNCTION, £19 The bold, brilliant Bristolian returns with a haphazard guide to modern life. Expect extravagant storytelling and hearty humour aplenty.

BRETT YOUNG 11 NOVEMBER, CAMBRIDGE CORN EXCHANGE, £27 This multiplatinum artist burst onto the scene in 2016, and has since made a name for himself as country music’s leading man when it comes to matters of the heart.

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Community hub

STAPLEFORD GRANARY ALEX FICE PAYS A VISIT TO STAPLEFORD’S VERY OWN ARTS CENTRE, WHICH IS ON A MISSION TO BECOME A BUSTLING DESTINATION FOR CULTURAL EXCHANGE Stapleford Granary has been a stalwart landmark of the Gog Magog Downs for well over a century. Destroyed by fire in 1870, the old Bury Farm was rebuilt as a state-of-the-art Victorian barn used for storing grain, until that was gradually rendered obsolete by the introduction of modern industrial farm buildings from the 1950s onwards. The Association for Cultural Exchange (ACE) breathed new life into the building in 2010, when general secretary Paul Brooke Barnes bought the barn and had it converted into a stylish centre for the arts. Fast forward to 2020, in a bid to spread the philosophy of his father Philip – who founded ACE in 1958 to promote cultural exchange and international understanding – Paul invited freelance musician Kate Romano to take on the newly created role of CEO for Stapleford Granary. Despite an enormous financial hit during the pandemic, the Granary is now an established venue known for excellent music and community events, with sights set on becoming a bustling centre for Stapleford and beyond. But what exactly is an arts centre, and what role should it play in people’s lives? It’s a question Kate has asked herself repeatedly since taking the reins nearly two years ago. “I wrote this blog shortly after becoming CEO, where I laid out what I thought an arts centre should be. It’s a place where art should be made: a facilitator, shelter, connector, a place for inspiring – and looking back. Now, I still stand by that,” says Kate. “We want the community to think of it as theirs, a sort of home from home. It should also inspire; there’s something about being in an arts centre that makes you think and behave differently, and when you leave you take a bit of that with you.” An endless source of inspiration is provided by the Granary’s rich programme of musical events and artist exhibitions, updated regularly throughout the year. A professional clarinettist herself, one fundamental part of Kate’s job is

to assemble a top-notch roster packed with performers of the highest calibre, with the help of Ian Buckle (co-artistic director for classical music) and Trevor Barlow (artistic director for jazz and folk). “We’re interested in fantastic music played brilliantly – and that’s what we’re programming,” she says. “We want our audience to trust us, so even if they don’t know the music, they know it will be a great evening.” The summer schedule is full of rich pickings, from outdoor concerts under a stretch tent in the courtyard, to more intimate recitals in the upstairs concert hall. Plus, there are brand-new children’s workshops, including a Stone Age Stories puppet show led by the Theatre of Widdershins, followed by an optional cave-art print workshop on 19 June. Another highlight is Liz McGowan’s textile exhibition, running from 12 June until 22 July, with cloaks made from natural materials found on Norfolk’s tidelines, reed beds, salt marshes, rivers and barley fields. On the afternoon of 26 June, expect musical fireworks as sensational big band singer Matt Ford hits the courtyard to perform numbers from Broadway, Hollywood and the Great American Songbook. And on 16 July, don’t miss Sean Shibe, one of the most versatile and innovative classical guitarists around. “He’s off-the-scale good,” enthuses Kate. One occasion you won’t want to miss is Stapleford Granary’s Village Day on 17 July – a free, non-ticketed event held in the courtyard and grounds of the Granary. After the success of last year’s inaugural show – which welcomed 800 visitors – this year is shaping up to be a hit. Find food and drink from Boho Kitchen, Fired Up Pizza and Ocean Tree Fish & Chips, a craft village showcasing local pottery, handmade paper, books and antiques, and headline act Mishra’s musical AGAINST THE GRAIN Check out Stapleford Granary’s Village Day (above), try an eclectic art installation (right) or any number of events and services

delights. It’s the perfect chance to explore the grounds and stumble upon hidden treasures – just wait until you discover the idyllic 30s orchard! Kate is keen to underline that a steady evolution is taking place at Stapleford Granary, which will see the much-loved venue transform into a fully fledged arts centre in years ahead. In keeping with its origins, she hopes it becomes a destination for cultural exchange, where people can spend hours discovering all that’s on offer, leaving refreshed and inspired – and with an appetite to come back for more. Book tickets at staplefordgranary.org.uk, where there’s also information on how to get involved, from renting practice rooms and artist workspaces to volunteering at events. Follow them on Twitter @SGArtsCulture and Instagram @staplefordgranary

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MUSIC DIRECTORY

June jams FROM CONCERT HALLS TO CATHEDRALS, YOU’RE NEVER FAR FROM QUALITY LIVE MUSIC IN CAMBRIDGESHIRE. HERE’S WHAT YOUR LOCAL VENUES HAVE TO OFFER THIS MONTH… CORN EXCHANGE 4 June, 7.30pm: Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel with special guest Glenn Tilbrook Marking Steve Harley’s 49th year in music, this massive gig promises plenty of bangers, including the radio icon Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me) . The Cockney Rebel frontman is touted as one of the most charismatic live performers onstage today. And there’s also a special guest appearance from Squeeze singer Glenn Tilbrook, whose irrepressible sense of humour matches his talent for songwriting. 10 June, 7.30pm: Ronan Keating With an epic back catalogue of hits from his time in Boyzone and as a solo artist, Ronan Keating’s dulcet tones have helped to shape pop music since the 90s, providing the soundtrack to so many major life events, from first kisses to first dances. Expect all your favourite tunes, plus a few newbies from Ronan’s latest albums, released during lockdown. 11 June, 7.30pm: The Hollies The Hollies are back on the road to celebrate their 60th anniversary, with what’s promised to be one of the most special shows in the band’s history. Original members Bobby Elliott and Tony Hicks will be on drums and lead guitar, respectively, for an evening of rock ‘n’ roll revelry.

ST ANDREW’S STREET BAPTIST CHURCH 17 June, 7.00pm: Zoë Gilby Trio Cambridge Modern Jazz presents Zoë Gilby, the Parliamentary Awards jazz vocalist of the year for 2019. She will perform songs from new album Aurora , which takes the fine instrumentals of trumpeter Tom Harrell and merges them with smart, narrative lyrics and some sensational vocals. ELY CATHEDRAL 25 June, 7.30pm: Suffolk Philharmonic Orchestra, Mendelssohn: Sunshine and Shade Making its debut at the Ely Arts Festival, Suffolk’s professional orchestra plays music from Mendelssohn that will transport you all the way from the sunny climes of southern Italy, to the fresh, windswept shores of the Inner Hebrides. TOP OF THEIR GAME Steve Harley (top) still tours the world with Cockney Rebel, as well as fronting the Steve Harley Acoustic Band; Madison Violet (above) have received bagfuls of acclaim in their 20-year career, with nine albums to date

THE JUNCTION 15 June, 7pm: Madison Violet

Prepare to have your heartstrings pulled by the earthy harmonies and natural storytelling of multi-instrumental duo Madison Violet, whose musical connection and breathtaking live shows are said to be unrivalled. 26 June, 8pm: Steve Forbert Melding folk and roots-rock with rich storytelling, Steve Forbert was a pioneer of Americana long before it was recognised with its own category by the Grammys. His latest concert will feature new songs from 2022’s album Moving Through America .

THE PORTLAND ARMS 4 June, 7.30pm: Special Kinda Madness

Tribute acts for Madness and the Specials take to the stage together, with two incredible sets of iconic tunes and energetic performance sure to get you on your feet. 10 June, 7.30pm: Wrest This Scottish indie band started out writing songs in Edinburgh’s Old Town, channelling Frightened Rabbit and The National with tender melodies and gorgeous guitar riffs. Now, they’re taking songs from latest album End All The Days for a spin, following rave reviews after the release of their debut in 2019.

TRINITY COLLEGE CHAPEL 26 June, 7pm: Cambridge Early Music, Bach’s Doubles and Triples

Acclaimed violinist Rachel Podger joins the Irish Baroque Orchestra to perform a selection of Bach’s celebrated works for two or three soloists, like the ever-popular Double Violin Concerto .

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HIGH DRAMA The Rocky Horror Show at the Arts Theatre (left); The Life of Patrick Hamilton at the Town and Gown (above); and Kinky Boots at the ADC (below)

THE STAGE IS SET Best of the box office TAKE A TRIP TO THE THEATRE AND DISCOVER THE JOYS OF MARVELLOUS MUSICALS, CHAOTIC COMEDY AND ONE-OF-A-KIND ONE-MAN SHOWS

like London, Edinburgh, LA and New York, this year’s sketch show follows five curious tourists on a holiday filled with hilarity and mayhem. “After four months of writing, editing and rehearsing, we are excited to take you on the trip of a lifetime,” says Kitty Beck, tour manager. “Something that eagle-eyed audience members can look out for is how our quirky characters progress through their 80 days of travel in transitions between sketches, becoming gradually more weathered throughout the show.” Over at Cambridge Arts Theatre, Ore Oduba stars in cult musical the Rocky Horror Show , running from 20 to 25 June. This spirited extravaganza follows newly engaged sweethearts Brad and Janet, who take refuge in the haunted mansion of Dr Frank-N-Furter, a transvestite scientist who initiates the couple in an unconventional sexual awakening. With timeless tunes such as Time Warp , plus a quirky plot, there’s plenty to keep you entertained! Meanwhile, at the Town and Gown’s intimate theatre, take your pick from a variety of fringe-style shows. Highlights include Mark Farrelly’s insight into the life of a successful 1920s writer in The Silence of Snow: The Life of Patrick Hamilton , on 7 and 8 June. It explores the Gaslight creator’s struggle with alcoholism and how his wit darkened as life unravelled around him. On 10 June, for one night only, strap yourself in for time-travelling thriller-comedy LOVE , a one-man show with over 100 characters across a timespan of 10,000 years. It explores the inherent defects of love through the ages.

Cambridge-based community theatre company Festival Players is proud to present a fabulous production of Kinky Boots at the ADC Theatre, running from 2 to 11 June. Based on a true story, this all-singing, all-dancing show follows the unlikely friendship between Charlie Price, who has just inherited his family’s near-bankrupt shoe factory, and Lola, a drag queen in need of a sturdy set of stilettos. One of the challenges for the production team – Covid-19 disruptions aside – was finding a suitable Lola who would meet the exacting descriptions of co-creators Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein: ‘An Afro-Caribbean triple- threat with a prizefighter’s physique, draped in satin; a cross-dresser with a killer voice and winning ways.’ Festival Players found its star in New York drag queen Marcelle LaBrecque, aka Marilyn Monhoe, who flew to the UK especially for the production. The show promises to be every inch as spectacular as Lola’s iconic red boots! There’s also a version of Stephen Sondheim’s hit musical Company , based on the George Furth play about dating, marriage and divorce in the 20th century. “This imagining is a funny and poignant look at marriage, vulnerability and loneliness,” says producer Bella Cavicchi. “Often considered one of the first modern musicals, our hope is to bring to life the question: what does it mean to be alive?” Catch it at the ADC between 14 and 18 June. A treat for comedy lovers, the Footlights International Tour Show hits the ADC from 21 to 25 June. Launching a tour that takes the troupe to places

© RICH EVANS

CAMBRIDGE OPEN STUDIOS 2022 MATTERS OF THE ART

County-wide artists’ showcase Cambridge Open Studios returns from 2 to 24 July – and this year it’s bigger than ever before! Works from 378 artists and makers will be on display in 231 spaces around Cambridgeshire every weekend of July. The events are a chance to browse and discover the handiwork of local creatives, from painters and sculptors to ceramicists and photographers. Meet craftspeople in their natural habitats, find out about the creative process and take home a piece of art if something catches your eye. The event is completely free to visit, and all will be warmly welcomed. For more information, visit cambridgeopenstudios.co.uk

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CULTURE CLUB

MIRIAM BALANESCU CREEPS BACKSTAGE AT THE CAMBRIDGE ARTS THEATRE TO SPEAK TO HILTON MCRAE IN THE DANCE OF DEATH BACKSTAGE Tying the Knot

13-18 June

cting alongside one’s real-life partner is not uncommon, from Emily Blunt and John Krasinski,

to Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz – even the Cambridge Arts Theatre recently saw couple Patrick Duffy and Linda Purl take to the stage. This month, another married pair play a fictional husband and wife at the venue – although their make-believe counterparts are trapped in a match made in hell, rather than heaven. Screen and stage legends Lindsay Duncan and Hilton McRae perform together in The Dance of Death between 13-18 June, for the first time since 1987. “My wife was offered the role of Alice and she said to the director, ‘I’ll do it if you get my husband to play the guy,’” says Hilton. With a wealth of experience on screen, stage and in musicals, the Return of the Jedi star found this play, adapted from August Strindberg by Rebecca Lenkiewicz, far removed from what he’d done before. Written in 1900, it follows a married couple’s gruelling relationship, as they approach a major wedding anniversary – but an outsider’s arrival on the scene kick-starts a storm. “It’s the most incredibly challenging work. Lindsay just said this morning, ‘this is the most difficult play I’ve ever done’,” Hilton says. “Both of them go off on almost surreal tangents.” Hilton’s track record with West End musicals came in surprisingly handy. “I have to do an awful kind of terrifying

MIND BEHIND THE CURTAIN The play is adapted by renowned British playwright Rebecca Lenkiewicz, whose work includes the Oscar and Bafta award-winning film Ida and television’s Secret Diary of a Call Girl

male character Kurt in Strindberg’s original script. In a nod to the pandemic, she arrives on the island where Edgar and Alice live to open a quarantine station. The gender switch posed challenges. “Somehow she has to find ways to side with me, despite my bullying and misogyny,” Hilton explains. While dark, The Dance of Death is cut through with humour. “We haven’t tested it in front of an audience, but we laugh a lot,” says Hilton. “It’s very funny, but terrifying at the same time.” Backstage, Lindsay and Hilton have been giving director Mehmet Ergen trouble. “We really dig deep to get to the truth,” he says. “We might be quite difficult to work with.” A discomforting watch, the play may unsettle the audience – but hopefully confront them with important questions. “People will reflect on their own relationships – and I’m sure they’d be very happy to have a glass of wine immediately afterwards,” says Hilton. “If we do find ourselves in the bar later, I’m certain someone will come up and say, ‘What was that all about?’ And I’ll be able to answer: ‘I have absolutely no idea.’”

Hilton’s character is quite a nasty piece of work – although he isn’t straightforward in the least. “Both Edgar and his wife are cannibalistic,” he says. “They feed off people. So, when some poor person arrives in the house, they’re eaten alive. “Edgar is a bombastic, probably misogynistic, yet a

terribly kind, terribly sensitive bully. He’s angry, weak and febrile. You couldn’t put him in a box,” Hilton insists. Working with his real-life wife, Lindsay, made the process easier: “There is a sort of shorthand between us. When we see each other’s work, we’ll

dance,” he says, while the acting style harks back to Shakespearean drama. “The language is quite heightened.

WE REALLY DIG DEEP TO GET TO THE TRUTH

One tries to make it as conversational as one can, but it does lead to a heightened reality – a form of surrealism.” Honouring the Arcola Theatre’s 20th anniversary, the production was delayed by Covid-19. “It’s a pretty radical piece,” Hilton says. “It’s fairly extraordinary on the relationships between men and women. Strindberg was married three times, unhappily. His wives had even more unhappy times with him.”

come back afterwards, open a bottle of wine and I’ll say, ‘it would be better if you did this’, and she’ll say, ‘it would be best if you did that’. We have a strong working relationship.” The duo is joined by Emily Bruni playing Katrin, a female version of the

18 JUNE 2022 CAMBSEDITION.CO.UK

ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE

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

UNIQUE CAMBRIDGE This month, we would like to celebrate what makes Cambridge special. From crafting your own gin with one of the world’s most innovative distilleries, to trying the best of the city’s food scene – here are some uniquely Cambridge experiences to seek out during your stay THE CAMBRIDGE SATCHEL CO.

MAKE A DAY OF IT Keep your summer calendar packed and pencil in a visit to some of Cambridge’s most exciting hotspots Bridge Street and Trumpington Street. The colourful cake counter has much to tempt, but the spectacularly syrupy, sugary Chelsea buns are the star of the show! GO PUNTING FOR THE ESSENTIAL CAMBRIDGE EXPERIENCE Another thing you can’t leave Cambridge without trying is punting – the absolute best way to see the sights. For the uninitiated, punts are long, wooden boats which glide through water, steered by a metal pole. For a better chance of staying aboard, book in with one of the punting companies and let someone else do the hard work while you relax – head to Mill Lane or Quayside and join the fun.

and blending sessions, or just pick up a bottle of the company’s award-winning spirit to take home. From seasonal specials to a classic dry gin, there’s plenty to try, but the most unique of all is the Anty Gin – the first to be made from insects! CAMBRIDGE ON A PLATE When it comes to Cambridge food legends, Steak & Honour are up there with the best. Responsible for kick-starting the city’s street-food scene in 2012, these burger makers par excellence now have a city- centre restaurant – but you can still catch them flipping patties in their vintage vans. Another local institution is Fitzbillies, a cafe and bakery with branches on

If you’re looking for the perfect memento of your visit to the city, look no further than The Cambridge Satchel Company. From small beginnings on a Cambridgeshire kitchen table, this business has grown into a world-famous fashion brand, selling its handcrafted, traditional-style satchels all over the world. Pop into the gorgeous St Mary’s Passage store to browse the range. CAMBRIDGE GIN LABORATORY Described as the ‘world’s first gin tailor’, Cambridge Distillery offers visitors a chance to create their own bespoke bottles at its Green Street laboratory. An interactive space dedicated to the appreciation of gin, you can book tastings

CAMBSEDITION.CO.UK JUNE 2022 19

SCREEN TIME

FROM THE SMALL TO BIG SCREEN, HERE ARE YOUR JUNE ON-SCREEN ESSENTIALS ON THE BOX

ICON IN THE MAKING Visibly Invisible TWO YEARS ON FROM HER DOCUMENTARY SOMALINIMO, MIRIAM BALANESCU MEETS UP WITH AWA FARAH

in Somalinimo , commissioned by The Guardian . “We spent the first year and a half talking through, trying to get funding. It did take a bit of time thinking about what exactly we wanted to create,” Awa says. She had wanted to crack into the film industry for years, although understanding that she may have to take the long route, unlike her privileged peers. “I had to work part-time and save up to buy a camera,” she says. “I didn’t have the luxury to go straight

wa Farah’s debut film opens with a Somali proverb: “Either be visible or be absent.” This theme of visibility is one she unwinds throughout an examination of four British-Somali women’s experiences at the University of Cambridge: their conspicuous lack (black students totalled just 3% of the student population in 2020) and, paradoxically, how they stand out. Emerging from her research on the UK

into filmmaking – it’s really inaccessible.” Instead choosing to follow a writing path, Awa first tried fashion journalism, then found her footing in academia. “Writing was the

Somali diaspora in 2018, then a photo series on Somali women, film – which she had studied as a module of her journalism degree – felt like the right mode of

I GET TO DO WHAT I LOVE THE MOST

expression. “When Somali people have been talked about in the West and the UK, it’s often been this other type of documentary where it’s very serious. “It never felt like I saw my people depicted in a beautiful way,” Awa says, “which was unlike how I had grown up, because there’s a culture that’s so vibrant. I thought it was ironic that my idea of Somali people is so different from the perception of others.” Together with director Alice Aedy, the two-year-long project culminated

opposite of filmmaking. It was so accessible – I could sit anywhere and write. It seemed to be the best way to get my thoughts out,” she says. Now darting between a PhD and filmmaking – she is part of the production team for an upcoming BBC documentary and writing another short film – life is very busy. “The two are balancing me out, because research is independent and can be lonely,” Awa says. “Whereas with filmmaking, I get to do what I love the most, which is collaborating with people and working together to bring something we’re passionate about to fruition.” Pointing toward Finnish-Somali filmmaker Khadar Ahmed and screenings at Copenhagen Film Festivals, Awa has high hopes for the future of storytelling. “There needs to be more backing for these films, because they do so well when they are created. They just need to have the platform and money. Often, the ones who are left behind are people from marginalised backgrounds. Those communities need to be given a voice because, without that, we would never get an authentic representation of their lives and cultures.”

BALANCING ACT Awa has built up extensive experience writing and producing content – all while pursuing a PhD at the University of Cambridge

20 JUNE 2022 CAMBSEDITION.CO.UK

SCREEN TIME

MEMORIA

Tilda Swinton fans won’t want to miss this majestic, Jury Prize-winning meditation on sleep and memory. Where to Watch: Digital platforms When: 20 June

Alicia Vikander leads the cast in this miniseries remake, itself about the remake of French classic Les Vampires . Where to Watch: Sky or Now When: 6 June IRMA VEP

MEN

ELVIS

Featuring adored actors Jessie Buckley and Paapa Essiedu, a shape-shifting Rory Kinnear and a terrifying number of apples, Alex Garland’s new horror dissects a woman’s psyche.

The director’s first film in nine years, Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis biopic is a bold portrayal which climbs to Shakespearean heights. It stars Austin Butler and Tom Hanks.

Where to Watch: The Light Cinema When: 3 June

Where to Watch: The Light Cinema When: 24 June

Rose Byrne’s hit 80s housewife drama returns this month to stretch and flex once again, with Sheila Rubin facing new dilemmas and some fresh competition. Where to Watch: Apple TV+ When: 3 June PHYSICAL, SEASON 2

An internationally co-produced study of love, art and womanhood from Mia Hansen-Løve, expect a standout performance from Mia Wasikowska. Where to Watch: Selected cinemas When: 3 June BERGMAN ISLAND

Picturehouse Picks CAMBRIDGE’S ARTS CINEMA SELECTS SCREENINGS NOT TO BE MISSED THIS MONTH CULTURE SHOCK & GASPAR NOÉ PRESENTS: SUNSET BOULEVARD AFTER LIFE (1999) A Japanese cinematic gem, Hirokazu Kore-eda’s

JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION For fans of all in the Jurassic sphere, the sixth instalment of the franchise is a must-watch to put on your radar. Completing the Jurassic World trilogy, it follows on from the calamitous Lockwood Estate incident. Screenings from 10 June

GEORGE MICHAEL FREEDOM UNCUT Narrated by the late musician himself, this documentary on the life of George Michael wrestles with his public and private self, with the likes of Sir Elton John, Tracey Emin and Liam Gallagher paying tribute. 8.30pm, 22 June

breakthrough feature questions the gap between life and death. The film achieved worldwide acclaim for its universality and fine-tuned portrayals of memory and empathy. 1pm, 21 June

Continuing Gaspar Noé’s season at the Picturehouse, the director presents Gloria Swanson’s classic ink-black comedy noir about a silent film star. 8.30pm, 13 June

CAMBSEDITION.CO.UK JUNE 2022 21

WILD WOOD FESTIVALS

Into the GROOVE IN A GLADE WOODS SPANNING TWO MAGICAL WEEKENDS IN THE FOREST, THE WILD WOOD DISCO AND THE WILD WOOD RUMPUS ARE TREASURED CAMBRIDGE FESTIVAL FIXTURES, SAYS MIRIAM BALANESCU

rom fairy tales to ancient mythology, Arthurian legend to Victorian romance, the woods have long been imagined as a

place of magic, mystery and enchantment – think gingerbread houses, forest sprites and green men. It’s what makes them the perfect location for a party. “While working on all sorts of different events in and around Cambridge, Horseheath Racecourse got in touch with me to look at the site,” says the founder and director of The Wild Wood Disco, Vicky Fenton. “I didn’t want to do anything big on the point-to-point area, but fell in love with the woodland and asked if I could put on a party. I had a gut feeling that it would be very special. I could picture exactly what I wanted to do, so I used my small amount of savings and went for it.” The festival’s first edition in 2017 saw 800 people take to the forest for two nights of dancing under a canopy of stars. The intimate, mesmeric setting, decked out with world-class light and sound systems, was an instant hit. With its winding passages, nooks and crannies, Vicky and her team added an extra sprinkle of wonder with secret stages, art installations and hidden surprises. “I got a lot of inspiration from Shambala and the woods at Secret Garden Party,” she says. “[Organiser] Fred Fellowes was really kind and gave me lots

RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE The Wild Wood Disco offers a weekend escape into the forest – with a winning combination of relaxing activities in the day, alongside plenty of partying at night

Vicky’s journey with her two festivals has been tough, but rewarding. “It’s been a huge learning curve, but I love it – I can’t imagine doing anything else now,” she says. “The best thing is having a little idea that you think people will love, then making it happen and watching everyone enjoy it. “I’m told that you can feel the love that has gone into the events,” Vicky continues. “We try to employ locally, use lots of the local food trucks and all of our equipment is local, too.” With non-mainstream festivals in Cambridge few and far between, the Wild Wood parties are putting the county on the map as a destination for vibrant nightlife and entertainment. The pair return this year bigger and better than ever, with a Wild Wood Disco bonus night, complete with warm-up party and a Homoelectric Sunday takeover, while The Wild Wood Rumpus has even more family fun in store – wander to the woods to find out what. The Wild Wood Disco is from 17 to 19 June, and The Wild Wood Rumpus is from 4 to 5 June at the Horseheath Racecourse, Linton.

of advice and support – without him I may not have felt brave enough to get it going.” The Wild Wood Rumpus, the disco’s family-oriented sister, was hot on its heels in 2018. “There isn’t much exciting stuff going on for families around Cambridge,” says Vicky. “The festival is exactly what I would have relished taking my kids to. Nothing like this existed then.” Elissa Gold, a fellow Cambridge mum with years of experience designing children’s areas at events like Wilderness Festival and Standon Calling, climbed onboard as partner for last year. The event sources the best children’s entertainers – from theatre romps and circus escapades, to storytelling sessions. The Wild Wood Rumpus emphasises teaching youngsters about nature. “I want to broaden kids’ imaginations, for them to feel like they can run wild and that it’s their space,” explains Vicky. With bushcraft activities and guided nature walks, there is much to explore. “I hope children learn about nature, but also that there is nothing better than playing outside.”

CAMBSEDITION.CO.UK JUNE 2022 23

LOWLAND LEGEND

Uncover the secrets of the Fens SUBLIME SUNSETS, WILD WETLANDS AND FABULOUS FOLKLORE: ALEX FICE SPEAKS TO LOCAL AUTHOR KAREN MERRISON ABOUT HER NEW BOOK, SECRET FENS HIDDEN TREASURES

says Karen. “One story that’s always stuck in my mind is that of Hickathrift, a giant who supposedly fought an ogre to protect a cluster of villages in the Fens. Family members always told me that story since they’d learnt it when they were children, so it was nice to find out more when researching for the book.” Karen’s connections to the Fens through her family and upbringing run deep. As well as writing about the area in her book, she is also the organiser of a festival called Celebrate the Fens Day, bringing together communities throughout the region to showcase its vibrant heritage. Since the first festival in 2020, it has grown and grown, transitioning from online talks to predominantly in-person events, with many local organisations involved. This year’s Celebrate

ambridgeshire is well known for its atmospheric Fenlands: a low-lying area of reclaimed

marshland around the Wash (the largest tidal estuary system in England). Yet, this unique landscape is often described as misunderstood – perceived as wild, daunting and isolated. Now, local author Karen Merrison is on a mission to reveal the secrets of the Fens in her brand-new book, which shares a lifelong love for an area with abundant heritage and stunning landscapes waiting to be discovered. Founder of Fascinating Fens – an initiative that brings people together to celebrate the region through regular events and online talks – Karen is a proud advocate of Cambridgeshire’s famous flatlands. Her upcoming book Secret Fens delves into the area’s rich history, rare wildlife and special local customs, sharing have a fascinating history and heritage, as well as stunning landscapes – the sunsets and sunrises are amazing,” she enthuses. “There’s so much folklore as well, which is certainly underestimated. People don’t tend to know much of this, hence I’ve written about it in Secret Fens . I think they are really magical, and it would just be wonderful if people started to visit or find out more about them.” When writing the book, Karen visited lots of places around the Fens, exploring museums, taking photos and speaking to the locals. She also drew from her father’s stories of life there when he was a child. “My dad’s side of the family has always lived in the Fens, so I grew up listening to tales and memories, which sparked my interest from an early age,” intriguing stories of royalty, giants and Viking warriors along the way. Born and bred in the Fens, Karen hopes the book will encourage people to discover its beauty for themselves: “The Fens

the Fens Day is on 18 June, with events taking place across the weekend from 17-19 June. Beginning with an online launch featuring music, poetry and special guests on the Friday, there will be an open day at Crowland Abbey, a Fen Edge Trail walking tour with

STORIES OF ROYALTY, GIANTS AND VIKINGS

the Cambridgeshire Geological Society, Discover Downham activities in Downham Market, and plenty of opportunities to explore nature reserves and wetlands. Karen will give an illustrated talk about her new book, followed by a meet and greet, on 18 June. With some reports suggesting that the Fens could be flooded within 50 years due to rising sea levels, recording the history and culture of this remarkable Cambridgeshire landscape has never been more important. Thanks to people like Karen, the enchanting story of the Fens seems to be in safe hands. Secret Fens is available to purchase now. To find out more about the area and get involved with Celebrate the Fens Day, visit fascinatingfens.com

LOW PROFILE Renowned for being remarkably flat, the history of the Fens is anything but! Find out about its unique locations, famous figures and ‘Fentastic’ traditions through Karen Merrison’s storytelling

CAMBSEDITION.CO.UK JUNE 2022 25

CULTURE CLUB

Book Club CAMBRIDGE EDITION SOAK UP THE SUN WITH A PAGE-TURNER: THIS MONTH’S OFFERINGS RANGE FROM A BEWITCHING ROMANCE TO A COOKBOOK FULL OF HEART

WORDS BY CHARLOTTE GRIFFITHS

THE SEAWOMEN BY CHLOE TIMMS This bewitchingly sinister gothic

romance is set on Eden Isle, a distant community isolated from the world. Young Esta lives on the island with her pious grandmother, in constant fear of transgressing the barbaric, misogynistic rules that dictate the inhabitants’ lives. Her mother and father mysteriously disappeared the same night as the fire that burned their family home to the ground and scarred three-year-old Esta’s face – but precisely what caused the blaze is just one of the mysteries set up at the start of this haunting book. The women of Eden Isle live in constant terror, forbidden even to look at the sea in case they succumb to the lure of the Seawomen – semi-mythical merwomen alleged to have tried seducing the women and girls of the first settlers. Wives and daughters are tightly controlled by the Keepers and the Ministers, a ruling class of priests led by the all-powerful Father Jessop – as well as the anonymous Eldermothers, who help to carry out punishments, prepare women for marriage and decide when their ‘motheryear’ will start. During this appointed 12 months, a new wife must bear a child or, presumed barren, face ‘untethering’: the barbaric witch-trial- THE WOMEN OF EDEN ISLE LIVE IN TERROR

esque ritual with which this brilliantly imaginative novel begins. A childless wife is sent back to the Seawomen by being bound, drugged and inevitably drowned in an old boat, pushed out to sea by her husband, rendered free to marry again. As Esta grows, so does her curiosity for the Otherlands, and her sense of unease with the constricting rules that dominate her very existence. But is testing her boundaries worth drawing the wrath of the Ministers, or worse – the Seawomen? Did she really see a silvery face flash beneath the shallow waters? With splashes of The Handmaid’s Tale and the isolated, quasi-religious communities in the films Midsommar and The Village , this is a book you can truly submerge yourself in: so take a breath and dive beneath the waves…

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