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JULY 2022

FROM FESTIVALS TO FABULOUS FOODIE FINDS, CELEBRATE SUMMER IN THE CITY WITH OUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO CAMBRIDGE’S BEST BITS THIS JULY In the Sun A place

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Music to your ears

EDITORIAL Editor in chief Nicola Foley 01223 499459

fter the quiet summers of the pandemic, the Cambridge event calendar is firing on all cylinders once again this July. Gatherings such as Secret Garden Party and We Out Here return, along with the beloved Cambridge Folk Festival, while The Big Weekend – on hiatus since 2019 – reclaims its rightful spot on Parker’s Piece. Running from 1 to 3 July, expect music from S Club, Heather Small and London Afrobeat Collective, a huge firework display and family activities galore – and, as always, it’s totally free. Catch our round-up of the best bits, plus an interview with headliners The Hoosiers (remember them?), from page 30. Another major event making a comeback this year is Cambridge Pride. After a joyful – if rainy – debut in 2019, the organisers have big ambitions for this year and beyond. We meet the team, and the city’s drag royalty, on page 36. In this month’s Savour & Sip, we sit down with sustainable chef Melissa Hemsley – who shares recipes from her latest cookbook Feel Good and demonstrates how to make kitchen scraps sing – as well as local food author Jenny Jefferies, who chats about farm-to-fork eating and her new release, For the Love of the Land II . The spotlight also falls on the best pick-your-own farms in the area for anyone looking to harvest summer fruits; plus this month’s Food News yields exciting new openings, events and more. Enjoy the issue and see you next month!

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. 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 Ad manager Maria Francis 01223 492240 mariafrancis@bright-publishing.com CONTRIBUTORS Mark Box, Charlotte Griffiths, 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

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Contents

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04 Starters Our favourite Instagram pics of the month, plus brilliant buys from local indies 07 Culture Club Art, theatre, interviews, book picks, cinema hits, street-style portraits and other highlights 30 The Big Weekend Featuring S Club, Heather Small and more, the much-loved free festival is back with a bang! 36 Love & Pride The lowdown on this month’s celebration of the LGBTQ+ community in Cambridge 41 Indie Week After a tough few years, the city’s independent businesses are rallying – good news for everyone 47 Savour & Sip New openings, an ode to peas, top PYO fruit farms and some vibrant recipes

62 Eco Cambridge Discover an amazing array of vintage shops – and why you should be buying pre-loved 65 Beauty Essential makeup purchases to see you all the way through the sunny season 69 Saffron Walden Spotlight Another visit to one of Cambridge’s favourite A look at the region’s wave of luxurious properties designed especially for over 55s 79 Indie of the Month The team from local company Inspired Kitchens share what makes their offering unique 81 Home & Garden Make a stylish outdoor haven with the help of alfresco entertaining picks and gardening tips neighbours to discover what’s new 73 Retirement Living

Cover illustration by Lucy Woolcomb, inspired by an Instagram photo by @duffers102 .

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STARTERS

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THIS MONTH’S MUST-HAVES FROM LOCAL INDIES

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1. Sandals, £35, Ark Step into summer in style with these vibrant striped sandals from Ark 2. Clapmash fruit tin plate, £7, Curating Cambridge Inspired by a 17th-century bowl from the Fitzwilliam Museum’s collection, this tin plate is available at online shop Curating Cambridge 3. PcVosa short shirt green, £30, Iris & Violet This boxy-cut blouse with mint-green stripes is the perfect throw-on, for work or play 4. Leopard everyday pouch in orange, £30, Lilac Rose This playful pouch by Elizabeth Scarlett makes a statement with intricate embroidery and orange velvet 5. Vases, £10.95, Angela Reed A trio of dainty bud vases in glazed turquoise glass: ideal for adorning your summer table 6. Sunshine Club dip-dye neon candles, £14.99, The Manor Gift Shop Created in the foothills of the Alps in Bavaria, these dip-dyed candles will brighten up your decor

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Culture Club FOXY MUSIC

Cambridge Folk Festival returns at the end of July, with appearances from Passenger, Billy Bragg and Suzanne Vega

GET OUTSIDE fit as a fiddle FILL THE MONTH WITH A HEALTHY DOSE OF ART AND MUSIC IN THE SUNSHINE

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West End hit Showstopper! The Improvised Musical comes to THE SHOW MUST GO ON JULY THEATRE Cambridge Arts Theatre from 30 June to 2 July. Starting from scratch with each performance, The Showstoppers take suggestions from the audience and then turn them, miraculously, into a fabulous spectacle with plenty of singing, dancing and hilarity. Concluding the schedule for the Arts Theatre is a thrilling production of William Shakespeare’s epic historical tragedy Julius Caesar , which runs from 28 to 31 July. At the ADC, there’s a mixed medley of shows, including a performance by Ballet Central on 8 July. This is put together by internationally acclaimed choreographers, spotlighting the skill, artistry and versatility of the company’s young dancers. From 12 to 16 July at Corpus Playroom, the ADC brings you The Firefolk in the Air , a new play by David Hutchison that follows university vice chancellor Julie Richards, as she decides what to do after an eminent professor is caught in a moment of lust with one of his post-grad students on a canal towpath. Back at the ADC on 29 and 30 July, there’s a chance to see Sparkling Eyes , a musical created by writers and musicians local to Stamford and Peterborough. It follows the family dynamics between three sisters after they inherit a necklace given to their mother by a Russian tsar. Ever the source of innovative theatre, the Town and Gown has lots of quirky shows coming up, including The Unicorn on 8 and 9 July, an unmissable play about a woman trying to find a balance between her sexuality and what society expects of her. On 16 July, catch the multimillion-hit TikTok personas of the Sugarcoated Sisters. This is followed by The Silent Treatment on 21 July, which follows a singer’s journey of self-revelation after she loses her voice.

THE MUST-SEE EVENTS AROUND CAMBRIDGE THIS MONTH

The highly anticipated Cambridge Folk Festival returns after a two-year hiatus, from 28 to 31 July. Described by Songlines magazine as ‘the jewel within the UK folk festival circuit’, it attracts some of the best acts around, with headliners including the prolific Suzanne Vega, Billy Bragg and Gipsy Kings. Passenger also returns, having risen to international chart-topping fame since his debut at the festival’s emerging talent stage in 2011. There will be appearances from Seasick Steve, known for his explosive live performances, plus American eight-piece soul band St Paul and the Broken Bones, the up-and-coming acoustic singer-songwriter Billie Marten – and O’Hooley & Tidow, who wrote the closing theme for hit drama Gentleman Jack , celebrating ten years performing together. Cambridge Folk Festival is known for drawing people back year after year, with a vast selection of activities spread throughout the grounds of Cherry Hinton Hall – ranging from tai chi, yoga, storytelling and singing workshops, to talks on issues such as mental health, being a woman in music, and the environment. There’s plenty for children, too, with clog dancing, ceilidhs, face painting, crafting, a huge play park and paddling pool to keep the whole family entertained. Day tickets are available at cambridgefolkfestival.co.uk , with the option to extend to a festival ‘sleepover’ by purchasing camping tickets for either Cherry Hinton Hall or Coldham’s Common. CAMBRIDGE FOLK FESTIVAL SONG AND DANCE

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FINELY TUNED STRINGS ATTACHED

String players in the market for a new instrument will want to pay a visit to Stamford Strings, 50 minutes from Cambridge. You can expect to find some of the finest instruments from new makers, alongside antique violins,

bows, cases and accessories. Its most recent addition is the

Brazenose Violins range, which has been created by violin teacher, luthier and owner of Stamford Strings, Libby Summers. “Brazenose Violins is setting a new standard for student and professional instruments,” she explains. “These are handmade in selected luthier workshops, hand- varnished in small batches – then professionally finished and set up in Stamford Strings’ workshop here in town.” Brazenose Violins, violas and cellos all come in a variety of different models, for every kind of budget and standard of player, with prices starting at £1,500. Trials are available at Stamford Strings’ music studio. For more information, head over to stamfordstrings.co.uk or brazenoseviolins.co.uk

Don’t Miss! FROM CLASSICAL MUSIC TO COMMUNITY CRAFTS, SEEK OUT SOME OF THESE LOCAL HIGHLIGHTS

CAMBRIDGE PHILHARMONIC: MAHLER 2 9 July, Ely Cathedral, 7.30pm, £15-£30 Mahler’s awe-inspiring Symphony No 2 is a celebration of life itself – and one of the composer’s greatest works. Hear it in the epic setting of Ely Cathedral.

VILLAGE DAY & MISHRA

AN EVENING WITH DAVID SEDARIS 24 July, Cambridge Corn Exchange, 7.30pm, £28-£38

17 July, Stapleford Granary, 11am-4pm, free Stapleford Granary’s popular Village Day returns, promising beautifully decorated stalls, delicious street food and some sensational music from folk band Mishra.

Join David Sedaris, one of America’s pre-eminent humour writers, for an evening of sardonic wit and incisive social critiques.

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THE COLLABORATION CHOIR All together now ALEX FICE SHOUTS OUT THE CAMBRIDGESHIRE-BASED TROUPE THAT CHAMPIONS HAVING FUN AND BUILDING

COMMUNITY THROUGH SINGING Arriving at Clay Farm Centre in Trumpington, I am met by the sound of upbeat pop music and a hubbub of chatter. Stepping through the doors into the community centre, I am spotted by The Collaboration Choir’s founder and leader, Carrie Rawlings, who establishes which of the three voice parts – lowers, mids and uppers – I should join. Taking a seat among my fellow mids, I am struck by how friendly and open everyone is. Clearly a new face, I am quickly taken into the fold and enveloped by greetings. The music is turned down and Carrie steps forward, wearing a microphone (à la aerobics instructor) that carries her voice effortlessly to the back of the hall: it’s time for the warm up. Following her lead, we repeat lines from classic hits, slipping from James Blunt to Mika, via Alphaville and The Calling, gradually working through voice ranges to warm up the vocal cords. We then turn to the music we’ll be learning this evening. While many choirs have sheet music that maps out the notes for each voice part, The Collaboration Choir uses a pared- back lyric sheet, marked in bold where there’s harmony. It’s a simple, yet effective way of getting people out of their copies and into the room, with no time wasted trying to find your place. Here, it’s all about the singing. Carrie arranges all the music herself, she explains after rehearsal. Obsessed since a little girl, she performed in choirs and orchestras throughout school years and went to university to study musical theatre. “I’ve always wanted to sing and act. The thing I love about music is telling a story,” she explains. The influence of Carrie’s background in drama is felt in every aspect of her leadership. For starters, she has a magnetic

stage presence that is completely engaging, offering useful tips and amusing analogies to help us get around trickier bits. She’s also extremely funny, sharing anecdotes from her life with the delivery of a stand-up comedian, eliciting guttural laughs and the occasional cackle from the choir. “That’s the actor in me coming through – you want the audience to love you!” Then, there are the practical games and exercises she uses to help us, such as speaking the lyrics, so they don’t become too rigid when sung. Carrie tells us that, at the next rehearsal, she’ll invite someone to stand at the front and recite the lyrics aloud to the choir. But, to her amazement, one woman raises her hand and asks if she can do it then and there, as she has to give a talk to 200 people the next day and hasn’t done any public speaking since the pandemic. It’s an incredibly moving moment that not only helps us feel the meaning of the lyrics more keenly, BELT IT OUT If you fancy giving something new a try, sign up for a free taster session – you don’t need any choral experience to join in

but also creates a strong sense of togetherness within the choir, as we show support to a fellow member in a way that is truly meaningful to them. It’s moments like this that demonstrate the important role choirs play within society, helping to nurture a sense of community. “I kept coming back to this word ‘collaboration’, I couldn’t escape it,” says Carrie. “I just kept thinking, what do I want to do with this choir? I want to engage different groups of people and various creative industries.” In this spirit, Carrie has generated plenty of opportunities for the three branches of the choir – based in St Neots, Huntingdon and Cambridge – to perform together. The choirs sung in a flash mob at the St Neots Street Food Festival back in May; they will be performing at the Big Weekend in Cambridge this month; and there are even plans in August to record an EP featuring all the songs the choir has learnt so far. Also in the works for next year is a festival that will seek to bring choirs together from all over Cambridge – so stay tuned! Since starting in April, The Collaboration Choir has acquired over 300 members. “Many people think that singing isn’t for them, but I say just come along and try it for yourself!” The Collaboration Choir rehearses in Cambridge on Wednesday evenings from 8pm- 9.30pm. For information on how to join, head over to thecollaborationchoir.com.

She’s also extremely funny, sharing anecdotes from her life with the delivery of a stand-up comedian

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3 JULY ADAM ANT Cambridge Corn Exchange, £45.50 3 JULY THE UTOPIA STRONG Cambridge Junction, £19.50 9 JULY LE VENT DU NORD Cambridge Junction, £20 15 JULY THE SCRIPT Newmarket Racecourses, from £39.20 18 JULY NIKNAK: SANKOFA Cambridge Junction, £14.50 22 JULY MARTIN KEMP Cambridge Junction, £18 22 JULY QUEEN SYMPHONIC Newmarket Racecourses, from £28 23 JULY JOHN CALE Cambridge Corn Exchange, from £38 26 JULY EXTC Cambridge Junction, £18 29 JULY ANNE-MARIE Newmarket Racecourses, from £30.24 FOR THE DIARY

© HELENA G ANDERSON

Hidden gem

The building at 186 Gwydir Street harbours a miraculous secret. From the outside, it boasts an attractive, but familiar façade, falling into line with the countless terraced houses that sprang up between Parker’s Piece and the railway line during the Victorian era. Inside, it’s another story, decorated from top to bottom with intricate designs inspired by arts and crafts masters such as William Morris and John Henry Dearle. Bought by decorative artist David Parr in 1886, when it was highly unusual for working- class people to own property, the house soon became a canvas for David to practise and adapt designs he had learnt through his work with local firm F R Leach & Sons. By day, David could be found on the lavish painted decorations of All Saints’ Church, Queens’ College and Jesus College Chapel; by night, he would return home to continue his work by candlelight – gradually transforming his home into a masterpiece. He lived there until his death in 1927, upon which his granddaughter Elsie Palmer moved in to keep her grandmother company. She raised her family in the house, filling it with memorabilia and knick-knacks, alongside the items her grandfather collected throughout his life. The house was discovered by Tamsin Wimhurst in 2009, who purchased it after Elsie’s death in 2014, setting up a charity with the aim of opening the house to the public. It underwent two and a half years of conservation, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, before opening in 2019. “The idea was to restore the house back to a well-kept, cared-for home – just as Elsie would have had it in her heyday,” explains Charlotte Woodley, Pilgrim Trust curator. “Elsie’s family were very generous, in that they left us most of her belongings, so there’s this really interesting David Parr House

juxtaposition between David’s extraordinary work and Elsie’s lifetime of domestic living.” The discovery of David Parr’s house also marked a breakthrough in telling the story of the city’s cultural heritage from a working-class perspective. “When people come to Cambridge, they can find examples of the Leach firm’s work all over the city. What they see in these places is the finished product, but David Parr’s house is unique. It gives you the starting point of that work,” says Charlotte. “There’s so little recorded about the people who produced these great works, but working-class histories are becoming more relevant – people want to understand the other side of the story.” This month, another local history will be explored in a special, free-to-visit exhibition about the Newton School of Metalwork, on display in the visitor’s centre until 30 July. It’s hoped the exhibition will revive this near-forgotten story about local arts and crafts workmen. “We’re absolutely sure there must be loads of people around Cambridge in possession of Newton School pieces, so it would be great to uncover them,” says Charlotte. Bookings are now open for visits to the house until the end of August, followed by a new release for the autumn season. You can visit the Newton School of Metalwork exhibition separately, but booking in advance is still a must – head to davidparrhouse.org to find out more. FOND TIMES David’s granddaughter Elsie (above) shared memories of her family. Find recordings of her recollections on the David Parr House website

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Alfresco entertainment

WONDERLAND DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE KD Theatre Productions will bring Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland to life, with magical outdoor performances set in the Dean’s Garden at Ely Cathedral from 21-24 July. Meet friends and foes alike – from Mad Hatter to White Rabbit, Cheshire Cat and Queen of Hearts. This adaptation is packed full of energy, humour and catchy songs to delight the entire family. Ely Hampers will also provide bespoke picnic hampers as an extra option when booking your tickets. More information available through Ely Cathedral’s website: elycathedral.org

MOVIE MAGIC SIT BACK AND RELAX Enchanted Cinema returns for another summer of inner-city cinema delights, hosting events throughout July at Shelford Rugby Club. Expect large screens, stretch tents, pre-theatre entertainment and plenty of enticing food and drink. In August, Enchanted Cinema will head to the award-winning pub in Bartlow, The Three Hills, where you can enjoy an unparalleled big-screen experience in a stunning alfresco setting at the end of a long summer’s day. For a full listing of films, ranging from classic musicals to the

latest blockbusters, check out Enchanted Cinema’s Instagram @enchantedcinema . enchantedcinema.co.uk

5 Jun - 25 Sep

MUSIC IN THE PARKS OPEN-AIR BOOGIE

Throughout the summer, there will be a series of free afternoon concerts from 3pm to 5pm – in some of Cambridge’s most beautiful green spaces. Music in the Parks is a well-established tradition, organised by Cambridge City Council and sponsored this year by Graduate Cambridge hotel. On 17 July, enjoy the unmistakable sound of summer as CSD Brass play at Dudley Road Recreation Ground. On 7 August, Cambridge Rock Choir will bring a dose of feel-good chart hits to Chesterton Recreation Ground. Then, on 21 August, enjoy a performance from Waterbeach Brass over at King’s Hedges Recreation Ground. Later, on 18 September, head to Jesus Green to hear Cubafrobeat and Cambridgeshire Youth Jazz Orchestra in association with Cambridge Jazz Festival. The series concludes on 25 September at Graduate Cambridge, ending on a high thanks to City of Cambridge Brass Band. cambridgelive.org.uk/city-events

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GET YOUR LAST-MINUTE

8-10 JULY ELY FOLK FESTIVAL

This brings together the best folk and roots acts, with morris dancing, ceilidhs and a real ale bar fuelling merriment throughout the weekend. 15-31 JULY CAMBRIDGE SUMMER MUSIC FESTIVAL Your local festival for large-scale orchestral arrangements, choral concerts, jazz, guitar, folk music and more – in some of the most idyllic locations that Cambridge has to offer. Based in Abbots Ripton, We Out Here runs the gamut of musical genres, with jazz, soul, hip-hop, house, afrobeat and electronica all on tap. 27 AUGUST 25-28 AUGUST WE OUT HERE HIFIELDS FESTIVAL Make some memories and dance the weekend away in the lush woods and meadows of Hifields, just a short distance away from Newmarket. 17 SEPTEMBER DSCNNCT Returning for its third year, this festival is the place to go for premier house and drum & bass, with music from Max Dean, Saffron Stone and Shadow Child, among others.

11 July - 27 Aug

CAMBRIDGE SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL IF MUSIC BE THE FOOD OF LOVE As one of the UK’s best-loved Shakespeare celebrations, the Cambridge Shakespeare Festival offers the chance to see some of the Bard’s iconic stories in spectacular settings, including the colleges of King’s, Downing, Trinity and St John’s. This year, it celebrates its 35th anniversary, with six plays performed over July and August – beginning with Twelfth Night , As You Like It and King Lear from 11-30 July. “The festival has grown enormously over the past 35 years, not just in terms of the number of plays we present, but also its significance in the lives of regular attendees,” says artistic director David Crilly. “We often get people telling us that the festival was their first encounter with Shakespeare, and they’ve been hooked ever since. Several people have contacted me to say they met their future partners here, and two men chose the festival as the occasion to propose to their respective girlfriends. They now come back every year to celebrate their wedding anniversaries. It’s good to know we have a place in the hearts and lives of so many people.” For more information and to book tickets, visit cambridgeshakespeare.com

10 July

THE FAIRHAVEN SINGERS

The Fairhaven Singers return with one of the highlights of Cambridge’s high season: Music for a Summer’s Evening. Held in the majestic setting of Queens’ College Chapel on 10 July at 7.30pm, the choir will sing a selection of works by Mozart, Schubert and Parry. The interval provides a chance to soak up the evening air, while enjoying fresh strawberries and a glass of fizz next to the River Cam. Earlier in the day, at 4.30pm, find a family-friendly version of the concert, featuring a condensed 30-minute programme. Children will be offered the chance to come and stand next to members of the choir, to hear their wonderful singing from within – inspiring the next generation of singers and listeners! fairhavensingers.org.uk MUSIC FOR A SUMMER’S EVENING

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EXHIBITION HIGHLIGHTS CABINET OF CURIOSITIES CAMBRIDGE OPEN STUDIOS Every weekend from 2-24 July, artists in Cambridgeshire will open up their working studios to the public, with the opportunity to browse and buy art by local painters, jewellers, ceramicists, woodworkers, sculptors, textile artists, photographers and more. EXTRAORDINARY OBJECTS, SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS ARE DINOSAURS The latest exhibition from Extraordinary Objects showcases a spectacular selection of natural history, alongside paintings from The Connor Brothers’ hugely popular Regression series. Open to the public from 2 July to 2 October.

OGRE THE TOP

Shrek: The Musical From 13 to 23 July, Cambridge Theatre Company brings its latest crowd-pleaser to the Great Hall at The Leys – a production of Shrek: The Musical ,

been adapted thanks to convincing prosthetics, fantastic costumes, special effects and incredible attention to detail from the cast. “I like the challenge of staying as close to the film character as possible, putting my own spin on things. His idiosyncrasies and dodgy Scottish accent are iconic, so I’ve tried to replicate them as closely as possible. I’ve played well-known characters before, like Fagin from Oliver! , and love bringing them to life.” Expect dancing rats, a fire-breathing dragon, a biscuit with attitude and more. Visit camtheatrecompany.co.uk for tickets.

starring Scott Riley. After hordes of fairy-tale creatures are dumped on his swamp by Lord Farquaad, Shrek embarks on a perilous quest, accompanied by the mouthy Donkey, to rescue Princess Fiona. “There are laughs throughout, with original musical numbers such as Big Bright Beautiful World , Don’t Let Me Go and Freak Flag ,” says Scott. “It’s a roller coaster of emotions from beginning to end.” A family favourite, Shrek has

KETTLE’S YARD, HOWARDENA PINDELL: A NEW LANGUAGE

Running from 2 July to 30 October, Kettle’s Yard’s latest array centres on the art of Philadelphia-born Howardena Pindell, whose work shines a light on some of the pressures, prejudices and exclusions she has faced as a Black artist and woman throughout her life.

SCHOOL’S OUT FOR SUMMER ACTING UP

CROWNS AND GOWNS II AT ELY CATHEDRAL

Running until 11 August, the latest Ely Cathedral exhibition is a celebration of fabulous costumes and jewels from major movies and TV programmes that were filmed in some of the UK’s most notable cathedrals. Located in the majestic, light-filled Lady Chapel, this visually enticing display will showcase iconic dresses and outfits from The Young Victoria , Wolf Hall , The Spanish Princess , The Other Boleyn Girl , The King’s Speech , Macbeth and The Crown . For more info, head to elycathedral.org

Summer holidays are all kids can think of right now, but it won’t be long before the spark fades and a need for stimulation takes over. Encouraging your child to try a hobby or take a course is a great way for them to discover passions, build confidence and make friends. The Young Actors Company provides those aged five to 21 with an opportunity to hone acting skills through a mixture of engaging and entertaining classes, workshops and events through the year. Taught by industry professionals, the company gives young people insight into what it’s like to act for TV and film, theatre and radio – and even a professional agency to represent young actors looking for work. It also offers a one-week summer school over the break, specialising in filmmaking or theatre production; this year, courses run from Monday 1 to Friday 5 August, or Monday 22 to Friday 26 August. For more information, visit theyoungactorscompany.com

EXTRAORDINARY OBJECTS

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BACKSTAGE Shake (speare) it Up STEELY WOMEN, MEDDLESOME MEN AND LAUGHS ABOUND IN DRAMA IMPACT’S THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, FINDS MIRIAM BALANESCU

7-9 July

hakespeare is often praised for the never-wilting universality of his work, from star-crossed lovers in Romeo and Juliet to power-

hungry politics in Macbeth . Infamously, one play that has not aged quite so well is The Taming of the Shrew – a tale of one unwieldy woman who must be subdued before she can be married. Due to its controversial plot line, many theatre companies hesitate before taking it on. But Drama Impact, now touring the UK, sees that as part of the appeal. “During lockdown, we all got together as a group and read about 25 plays on Zoom,” says David Houston, Drama Impact’s founder, playing Petruchio. “It’s always a big thing to produce one of these plays, because there’s a lot of time and investment involved. “As it’s so controversial, there’s something edgy about it,” David continues. “We were a bit scared, to be honest. But eventually realised the crux is that it’s a love story. My vision became this meeting of two powerful, extreme characters, and the situations they found themselves in – particularly Katherina.” Joanna Nevin acts opposite him as the shrew who must be tamed. “Women living in a world where they’re under pressure to conform is an enduring issue,” she says. “It’s how you negotiate your way through a world like that. Kate’s initial response

GET LOST IN THE DRAMA The Orchard Tea Garden is the ideal picturesque location to soak up the play

speak a few words and have a lot of fun,” explains David. Joanna adds: “It’s about making Shakespeare not just for the elite.” Alongside the shows, they run educational workshops and have toured open-air theatres since 2018. “Shakespeare’s plays were written for the daylight hours, not a conventional theatre. One of the wins you get when performing

is: ‘The only way I’m going to avoid being married off to a man I don’t love is to make myself utterly repellent.’ Petruchio and Katherina eventually find a way to be themselves in this world, but still survive. I believe that Shakespeare gives Kate the longest speech in the play for a

in that setting is the relationship with the audience,” says Joanna. “It’s an invitation to look people in the eye, ask them questions and invite their answers.” “We all have to be honest with our stagecraft, feeling the space – it’s natural, it’s in the moment, and

There’s a lot of time and investment involved

Drama Impact will take to the grassy stage at The Orchard Tea Garden from 7-9 July – although this venue isn’t without challenges. “We definitely get our 10,000 steps,” says Rich Watkins. “It’s a little adventure every time we go – it’s not the biggest space we perform in, but the journey to get from our wings onto the stage is like an outdoor track.” The cast recount planes, orchestras, cats, dogs and many other disturbances among their experiences outdoors. And, of course, says David: “The rain it raineth every day.” Come wet weather or shine, audiences should expect expert improvisation, audience interaction and side-splitting laughs from The Taming of the Shrew this summer. Tickets can be booked at dramaimpact.com

reason, with words of extreme eloquence. We’re now in the voyage of discovering what she is really saying with those words, in our rehearsal process.” Founded in 2014, Drama Impact is a group of independent actors whose Elizabethan productions come with a twist. “We do a pre-show workshop, where we invite people up to try on the costume,

we’re really present as the characters,” says Lillie Prowse, playing Tranio. “Looking out at these beautiful locations can change the way the words have meaning.” In the 13th century, actors plied their trade from wooden carts trawled around the streets. By Shakespeare’s time, the Globe Theatre was one of the most prominent performing venues.

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

SCREEN TIME

HEAVY IS THE HEAD

MIRIAM BALANESCU SPEAKS TO KEVIN LOADER, ROGER MICHELL’S LONG-TERM PRODUCER, ABOUT THEIR FINAL FILM TOGETHER – ELIZABETH: A PORTRAIT IN PARTS

like the still point in the middle of the circle, where all this history swirls around her. A lot of that history, my whole life to date, feels like it comes from a distant era – a different world.” The grim, colonial implications of British rule, along with the Queen’s entrenched cultural significance, are brought to light. “Her life has connected the whole 20th century,” says Kevin. “It was always going to be a royal documentary that didn’t feel like other royal documentaries.” Roger and Kevin co-founded the production company Free Range Films in 1996 and made several films together. “Like any marriage, it’s quite good to have some outside relationships,” Kevin says. “There are other constants in my professional life, but none of them have quite the history that Roger had.” On releasing Roger’s final film without him, Kevin says: “I feel sad he won’t get to sit with audiences to watch it. Whatever he was making, he wanted it to really affect people and immerse them. We spoke every day, and now we can’t. It does feel like a ghastly amputation in some ways.” As undergraduates at Cambridge University in the late 70s, each dabbled in the theatre and film scene – although Roger outran Kevin’s involvement. “He had the archetypical star theatre career, directing a million productions at the ADC. I saw many of those. It was extraordinary, the energy he had for new plays back then. “The big thing about Cambridge was the education of watching films,” Kevin says. “It was an era when you could go to late-night screenings of Buñuel, Renoir or Mizoguchi at the Arts Cinema. If you could stay awake between 11pm and 1.15am, you could see everything by these masters of cinema over a two- or three-week period. When you get out into the working world, you never quite find that time again.”

hen Roger Michell and Kevin Loader started Elizabeth: A Portrait in Parts in September

2020, they had little inkling that it would be swept into this year’s Jubilee furore – or that it would be their final collaboration. The acclaimed Notting Hill director, Michell, passed away one year later, wrapping up the documentary’s sound mix on the day he died. Perhaps an unlikely conclusion to his career, Elizabeth was Roger’s lockdown project. Since filming was difficult, he could stitch together archival footage instead, needing only to find the right subject. “I worked with Roger for 30 years. When he wanted to do something, I often got the first chance to join in,” says Kevin. “I wouldn’t give that up lightly.” In the tradition of montage documentaries such as Julien Temple’s London: The Modern Babylon , Elizabeth fuses jarring audio and visual elements to make each fragment sing. “The compression of time and non-chronological strategy allows you to pick out some thematic unity in her life. There are moments where she seems

A CERTAIN MAJESTY The Queen has been a figure of continuity for many, and this documentary stitches together decades of archival footage

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SCREEN TIME

Daisy Edgar-Jones is busy this year, with another leading role in this Jon Krakauer adaptation – unpicking the events that led to a religiously motivated murder. Where to Watch: Disney+ | When: 27 July UNDER THE BANNER OF HEAVEN

The next major Jane Austen flick lands this summer, with Dakota Johnson taking on Anne Elliot – expect romantic rollercoasters and winning, cringey moments. Where to Watch: Netflix When: 15 July PERSUASION

An intimate look into the lives of one Iranian family on a road trip. This debut from Panah Panahi is an instant hit. Where to Watch: Cambridge Arts Picturehouse When: 29 July HIT THE ROAD

Completing Jonas Carpignano’s Calabrian trilogy, a daughter traverses murky mafia territory. Where to Watch: In selected cinemas When: 15 July A CHIARA

Picturehouse Picks REVISIT THE CLASSICS, CATCH SOME THEATRE AND DON’T MISS A DALEK DOUBLE BILL AT THE PICTUREHOUSE THIS JULY

DR. WHO: CLASSIC MOVIE DOUBLE Step into the Tardis and back in time with these two classics. The very first big-screen adaptation of the cult television series, Dr. Who and the Daleks , plus a cyber second helping, Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 AD . Screenings from 10 July

ITHAKA + LIVE Q&A WITH JOHN AND GABRIEL SHIPTON Delve into the Julian Assange controversy with this acclaimed documentary. Following Assange’s father, John Shipton, the film charts the campaign for his son’s freedom. 8pm, 13 July

ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST Revisiting the film-music master Ennio Morricone as part of a special season, this iconic western sees baddy Henry Fonda and the enigmatic Charles Bronson go head-to-head in the

NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE: PRIMA FACIE

Watch Jodie Comer shine in her West End debut in Suzie Miller’s applauded drama. A glittering young barrister faces a moment of crisis in this play, which cross- examines patriarchy in the law. 8pm, 21 July

dusty plains. 7pm, 17 July

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CULTURE CLUB

ON THE SCENE

MIRIAM BALANESCU HEADS BACKSTAGE AT TALL TREES TO MEET UP-AND-COMING ARTIST MAX POPE Songs of the Divine

14 July

or many musicians, chopping and changing between multiple jobs is a given. In a notoriously low-paying industry, it can be a

struggle to keep the cash topped up. Less common is for artists to flit between types of work and equally enjoy each. Brit School graduate Max Pope is as much a gardener as a musician. Scattered in among sowing seeds, weeding and pruning, the young artist plays guitar, teaches music and, all-importantly, writes songs. “Music had lost the therapy aspect,” he says. “I started doing gardening randomly and didn’t expect to love it as much as I do. It brought my creativity back. This has now turned into something I can’t really live without. “When you’re making music, it’s so much in your head,” Max continues. “Gardening is the opposite. There’s something about the process of creativity mirrored in nature and its changes. Things never stop growing and the job is never done. They both come back to learning not to obsess about an outcome.” A breezy, charming nonchalance is identifiable in Max’s trickling, dulcet soundscapes, cruising between psychedelia, soul, punk and the blues. An easy-going attitude also pervades his gardening work, although his early days in the music business weren’t quite so laid-back. Plucked out of school at 16, Max was thrown into the deep-end of the music industry, so decided to take a break after a couple of years – which is when he became green-fingered. “I realised I wasn’t sure what sort of music I wanted to make. In hindsight, it would have been better to keep writing songs and exploring.” This hiatus gave Max the headspace to discover his style. “You realise a lot about yourself when you’re pushed into a place that you don’t enjoy being in,” he says. “I certainly knew what I wasn’t when I came out of that situation.”

SOUND WAVES Max’s LP Counting Sheep arrives 1 July – catch these latest tunes and some older classics on July 14

even his nan. “Collaborations have been about me wanting to step out of my comfort zone,” he says. Soon to be making his Cambridge debut at Tall Trees, Max says: “None of us take playing live for granted any more. There’s a different energy.” He is among the first national artists to visit this eclectic venue, founded by Jonathan Czerwik, set to become a go-to destination for performers. First opening its doors in 2021, with high-calibre musicians and leafy interiors, Tall Trees has fast become a favourite with locals. “It’s about community and togetherness through music – bringing new experiences to Cambridge,” says Jonathan. “We’re working to make this a destination for touring acts from around the UK, to see this as the place for more quirky gigs. “We’re mainly trying to put on nights we would like to go to ourselves,” Jonathan insists. There is a treasure-trove of loved artists and future stars on the bill over the coming months: catch Max on 14 July.

More ‘on the Radio 6 side of things’, despite Max’s old-school, nostalgic sound, he has picked up a steady stream of followers on a platform which has been making or breaking musicians, TikTok. “Even during my time, things have completely changed,” Max says. “I’m certainly no expert – I feel like a granddad mostly – but I’m realising that if something’s not coming out naturally, then it’s not worth doing. I’m never going to be a slave to algorithms.” For Max, writing has often been a solitary pursuit, a form of introversion and escapism, although he has recently teamed up with Conor Albert, Hohnen Ford and

A breezy, charming nonchalance is identifiable in Max’s soundscapes

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CULTURE CLUB

Book Club CAMBRIDGE EDITION RELAX WITH A SUMMER READ: THIS MONTH’S TOP PICKS INCLUDE AN ADVENTUROUS ORNITHOLOGIST, AN ANTHROPOMORPHIC EGG AND MORE

WORDS BY CHARLOTTE GRIFFITHS

ISAAC AND THE EGG

BY BOBBY PALMER

Isaac Addy has found an egg: a two-foot- tall one that’s surprisingly light and soft, as if it’s been hard-boiled and peeled. The egg’s appearance has distracted him from an empty-hearted, last-ditch attempt to end his life, and instead he resolves to take it home and care for it. Isaac is grief-stricken and ragged with emotion at the sudden recent loss of his wife, Mary. He questions his own sanity even further when the now-warm egg sprouts arms, feet and a face, beginning

to totter around his house exploring – and in some cases, eating – remnants of the couple’s life. The duo slowly tackle the logistical challenges of returning to life after death, forming a sort of sweet double act, ticking off the tasks required to reset the house – and Isaac’s heart. A comically surreal, yet totally sympathetic exploration of the insanity felt when you lose a loved one. And a reminder of the cruel fragility of reality: all it takes is a gentle tap to break the shell.

He questions his sanity further when the egg sprouts arms, feet and a face

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CULTURE CLUB

This sweeping, nostalgia-soaked summer read is a coming-of-age epic that traces the connection between three ten-year-old friends: Adrien, Etienne and Nina. We first meet them at primary school in 1986, where chance bonds are forged, linking them through 30 years of life: they each tackle childhood trauma, first loves, loss, work and relationship crises aplenty, before their carefully planned lives take truly unexpected turns. In 2017, a car is pulled from the lake near their childhood homes and a body is found inside – attracting the attention of local journalist Virginie. She knows the three friends and sets out to solve the mystery, reconnecting the lapsed links between the trio and proving that no matter how well you think you know someone, there are still hidden depths to reveal. Valérie Perrin has a talent for capturing the complex nature of human relationships, somehow spinning domesticity into heart-stopping drama – and rendering her books unputdownable. This longer novel is an ideal accompaniment to a break in the sun. Three BY VALÉRIE PERRIN

A BIGGER SPLASH Valérie Perrin was born among the Vosges mountains in France, near the German border. This is her second English-language novel

What if enough is enough? What if you took a deep breath, stopped caring what other people thought, and realised that most people aren’t thinking about you at all? Radically Content is the first book from writer Jamie Varon, who has spent the past few years sharing her approach and amassing a sizable audience online, who find reassuring truths in the posts she uploads to social media. This book is a mix of her own story and advice for adjusting your approach to life’s unexpected challenges: the pages are peppered with perspectives and tools she’s found useful when shaking off Radically Content BY JAMIE VARON

the draw of ‘hustle culture’. What if we stopped wanting more and instead found radical, true contentment in the simple things around us, which we ourselves have chosen? What if we stopped wanting what we’ve been told we need to be happy, and instead focused inward, finding out what our own unique form of peace truly looks like? A beautifully written manual for anyone resetting after the past few years; for those who feel small in their own lives, disillusioned by the world’s focus on perpetual acquisition – this book can help lead you back to joy.

A captivating glimpse into the life of Mya-Rose Craig, a passionate 20-year-old ornithologist and environmental activist. British-Bangladeshi Mya-Rose first appeared on screens in the 2009 BBC Four documentary Twitchers , which followed her avian-loving family’s quest to see 300 birds in one year. This new book allows Mya-Rose to share her own life story, including her mother’s battle with mental health crises, her father’s shepherding of his family around the globe in pursuit of even more bird sightings, and the deep love of nature that’s embedded in all their lives. Mya-Rose is thought to be the youngest person ever to see over half of the world’s species of birds: the exceptional dedication and laser-like focus required to surpass this milestone is now being applied to larger issues such as equal access to nature, the climate crisis and loss of biodiversity. Required reading for environmentalists of all ages – although bird-lovers may be left envious of her extended avian adventures around the globe. BY MYA-ROSE CRAIG Birdgirl

FLYING THE NEST Sharing a title with the blog Mya-Rose has penned since age 11, Birdgirl is a chronicle of her family’s adventures to date

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CULTURE CLUB

THE ELY-BASED AUTHOR JILL DAWSON SHARES A PEEK INTO HER ENCHANTED WRITING LIFE AS HER LATEST NOVEL, THE BEWITCHING, IS RELEASED

INTERVIEW BY MIRIAM BALANESCU

I’ve often written from the point of view of a maid. They’re invisible to people. I know that because I was a nanny as a young girl to various households. They’re the perfect narrator. I started to go deaf at the beginning of lockdown. I didn’t know why. I went to my audiologist, and he said it wasn’t age. There was a mystery to it. I began wearing a hearing aid. I gave Martha, my narrator, partial deafness, so I could explore what it feels like to only hear some things. In lockdown, when people had masks on, I didn’t know if they’d spoken. I realised that was Martha’s position – she feels as if she keeps missing things. I have old-fashioned notebooks and will go on a walk, then sit and write. Around Warboys, I would stroll from the church to the squire’s house, down to the pond and see how long it took me, thinking about what Alice might be doing – and scribble. Then I come back, sit at my desk and see what comes out. I write according to what I’m feeling like that day and it goes all over the place. Then there’s a draft needed where I try to put it into shape. I try to stay with my own creative logic. There’s a lot of confidence required to hold your nerve for two or three years while you’re writing, to see if you can pull it all together. The Bewitching is out on 7 July, published by Hodder. Jill Dawson will speak at St Peter’s Church, Ely, on 14 July at 7.30pm

here’s something irresistible about the Cambridgeshire Fens. I found a quote from Virginia Woolf, who visited

Alice, my character, being a bit grumpy and postmenopausal was enough to damn her. Older women and those who spoke out of turn were often accused of witchcraft – I found that interesting amid the MeToo movement: we see a history of punishing women for speaking their truth. I started reading all kinds of accounts, a crash course in witchcraft studies. I’ve worked on this terrain for 20 years and tried all sorts of explorations of fact, in fiction, changing names, changing events. I do have some fidelity to the past. In that regard, I’m closer to a historian, perhaps, than a novelist. The writer’s trick bag includes exploring how people might have felt, or their personality. When I looked into the births and deaths of the Throckmorton family, there was a Gabriel – I found his death certificate. That murky territory is always a novelist’s favourite. I wasn’t going to book parties or literary events. It felt quite liberating to be left in my own head, without that chatter of the literary world. My husband’s an architect and we visited 16th century buildings and houses. I love that research.

Warboys when she was 17, about their stunning flatness, how bleak they are, but how they give her joy – utterly expressing how I feel. When working on The Bewitching , it was lockdown and I was going for a walk every day. I would see muntjac, hares, marsh harriers and egrets just five minutes from my house – I even spotted an otter. All of those details found their way into my novel and it felt quite magical. Witches were believed to turn into hares. It was thought it was a way you could spot one – if you saw a hare racing across the fence and your dog chased and injured it, then you might see an old woman with a wounded leg. Many believe it’s the males that box for dominance during the mating season, but, rather horribly, it’s the female hare fighting off the males. When I first went to Warboys, I remember wandering around the churchyard, right next door to the Throckmorton house. There was an obsessive religious quality to daily life. For

That murky territory is always a novelist’s favourite

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