Cambridge Edition May 2024 - Web

Make the most of May with our summer festival guide, springtime recipes to try at home, the latest cultural happenings around Cambridgeshire and a whole lot more. Find your free copy today or read online here.



MAY 2024



IN MY SPACE Step inside the ancient walls of The Crooked House

SPOTLIGHT ON NEWMARKET How to spend 24 hours in the home of horse racing

POET’S CHOICE Truth-telling and becoming TikTok famous with Wendy Cope


Use #instacamb for a chance to feature!



Our favourite Cambridge Instagram pics of the month






COME WHAT MAY I t is my pleasure to introduce you to the May issue of Cambridge Edition . As you may have already spotted, this edition introduces our bold new look. Like the flowers on the market stall adorning this issue’s cover, we are blossoming into our newest incarnation, and hope you love it as much as we do! As new shoots burst into the city’s green spaces and we begin to bathe in the light of long Cambridge evenings, we too are harnessing the energy of the month and breathing new life into these pages. Channelling our new tagline – Local Living Done Well – we’re stripping our content back and giving more space for fantastic local stories to breathe, weaving our way through the city’s fabric to provide you with a curated lens through which to explore the area. Regular readers may spy a few new features, starting with The Agenda – your bitesize bulletin and handbook for cultural happenings in the month ahead. Elsewhere, we are honoured to include the remarkable Crooked House of Lavenham for the second spotlight of our In My Space series. If you’re curious to know what it’s like to fall in love then buy your 600-year-old dream home together, all in less than a year, find out more on page 78. Meanwhile, in True Stories, we delve into the folk tradition of morris dancing

EDITORIAL Editor in chief Nicola Foley 01223 499459 Editor Phoebe Harper 01223 492249 Editorial director Roger Payne

Chief sub editor Matthew Winney Sub editor Minhaj Zia Junior sub editor Molly Constanti

ADVERTISING Sales director Sam Scott-Smith 01223 499457 Ad manager Maria Francis 01223 492240 Senior sales executive Claire Cornish 01223 499453 CONTRIBUTORS Miriam Balanescu, Mark Box, Charlotte Griffiths, Charlotte Phillips, Anna Taylor, Angelina Villa-Clarke & Elisha Young DESIGN & PRODUCTION Design director Andy Jennings Magazine design manager Lucy Woolcomb Junior designer Hedzlynn Kamaruzzaman

as the Devil’s Dyke Morris Men welcome the May Day sunrise at Wandlebury. Esteemed poet Wendy Cope shares a poem with us while reflecting on her writing career, and we speak with one of the co-curators of a new display as a Renaissance masterpiece pays the Fitzwilliam a visit. Aside from the above, this issue holds a bounty of local content to entertain, inform and inspire. Thank you for reading and we hope you enjoy!

Ad production & cover illustration Holly May

MANAGING DIRECTORS Andy Brogden & Matt Pluck TYPEFACES Nyght Serif / Maksym Kobuzan from Tunera Type Foundry Oculi / James Hultquist-Todd from JTD Halyard / Eben Sorkin, Joshua Darden and Lucas Sharp from Darden Studio Freight Text / Joshua Darden from The Freight Collection Find us @cambsedition

Phoebe Harper, Editor




Cambridge Edition Magazine Bright Publishing Ltd, Bright House, 82 High Street, Sawston, Cambridgeshire CB22 3HJ, 01223 499450, • 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.




1 Bramblecrest teal motif scatter cushion, £22.99, Glasswells 2 Manasi 7 eye glow in ayame, £32, Pure Source 3 Haxby throw, £36, Iris & Violet 4 The Kate, £250, Cambridge Satchel Company 5 Fern jug, £18.95, Angela Reed




ON THE COVER 12 / A LIFE’S WORK Perfect poetry with Wendy Cope 2O / ALL BELLS & WHISTLES May Day with the Devil’s Dyke Morris Men 43 / 24 HOURS IN NEWMARKET Your guide to the home of horse racing 46 / A DAY AT THE RACES Highlights of the summer season 49 / FESTIVAL GUIDE Seven of the finest from Cambridgeshire 78 / IN MY SPACE Meet the Crooked Men of Lavenham

41 / ASK ELISHA Our columnist shares her top Asian hotspots EDUCATION EDITION 55 / ALL ABOARD! A look into why boarding schools matter HOME EDITION 67 / INTERIORS Putting the fun back into furniture 75 / EDITION LOVES Statement pieces for the home 82 / IN THE GARDEN All the jobs for spring


15 / FULL OF THE JOYS An audience with comedian Spring Day 18 / BOOK CLUB The top reads for the month ahead 24 / HUMANS OF CAMBRIDGE Portraits from the city’s streets 27 / COMPETITION Win a year’s worth of exciting live gigs FOOD EDITION 34 / FOOD NEWS Tasty titbits of foodie happenings 36 / RECIPES Local favourites to try at home


08 / THE AGENDA The dates to note in your diary for May 10 / THE TRAVELLING MASTERPIECE Botticelli comes to the Fitzwilliam Museum



NATIONAL TREASURES A Botticelli masterpiece arrives at the Fitzwilliam Museum WORDS OF WISDOM Wendy Cope shares a poetry collection for the times CULTURE EDITION WHAT’S ON? Fill up your diary with May’s most intriguing cultural events

CAMBSEDITION.CO.UK MAY 2024 07 Don’t miss this powerful exhibition from Syrian artist Issam Kourbaj. Showing at the Heong Gallery, the vital display assembles works from across the 13 years of the Syrian conflict and boldly tackles themes of displacement and migration. Although Issam himself has called Cambridge home since 1990, the artist questions the true meaning of the word – especially for the millions of migrants forced to leave their original place of belonging. Despite leaving his native homeland, we see how the artist still makes the journey there daily through the work of his own two hands. This display runs alongside a concurrent exhibition, Urgent Archive , at Kettle’s Yard. Catch both before they end on 26 May . You Are Not You and Home Is Not Home – last chance!





English Touring Opera: Manon Lescaut, Cambridge Arts Theatre Puccini’s tragedy is brought to life with a surreal transformation. Performances will run until 3 May.

Enchanted Cinema, Jesus Green Lido Settle in for a night under the stars with a sing-a-long screening of The Greatest Showman . You can also enjoy live music and a fun summer BBQ.


Six Inches of Soil, Saffron Screen At 7.30pm, Saffron

Walden’s community cinema will show this powerful documentary on British farmers vs the industrial food system.


2 15



Penelope Quadrangle and the Meaning of Friendship, ADC Theatre Loyalty between friends is pushed to the limit as a murderous plot unfolds between two besties. Performances end 18 May.

Textiles Therapy, Museum of Cambridge Part of The Stories Behind the Stitches exhibition, this talk explores the diverse, historic use of textiles as an outlet for mental health, mourning, disability and injury.

1 May



18 19





Retrogusto pop-up, Grand Arcade Visit the sustainable fashion brand’s pop-up until 27 May and check out a multitude of exciting events like this hand repair workshop.

Queer Utopias, Wysing Arts Centre An intimate festival of queer culture in Wysing’s rural setting including a zine fair, live performances, talks and much more.

Disconnect-Reconnect, Cambridge Artspace New exhibition group 4 Ways of Seeing stages its debut display encompassing painting, print, textiles and sculpture. Ends 19 May.

Elephant Sessions , Cambridge Junction In partnership with Cambridge Folk Festival, the celebrated trad band play a series of intricate tunes with support from Ellie Gowers.

Dates for the diary for your Cambridgeshire culture fix



Frank Skinner, Cambridge Corn Exchange

Don’t miss the comic legend as he performs his new show, 30 Years of Dirt .




17 May



Cambridge Nature Festival, various locations


Celebrate nature on your doorstep with a vibrant programme of events and activities. The full listing will be announced in early May. Ends 30 June.


Cambridge Town & Country Fair, Parker’s Piece Free to enter and fun for all, the fair returns with several exhibitors. 30 SEP An Audience with Lucy Worsley, Cambridge Corn Exchange Join the celebrated historian as she dives into the life and work of author Jane Austen. HISTORY 18 OCT COMEDY


Cambridge Fringe Check out a host of brilliant comedy acts which capture the essence of expression in venues all around the city, running both Saturday and Sunday.

20 FESTIVAL Cambridge Beer Festival, Jesus Green


Fenland Folklore and Flora, Cambridge University Botanic Garden Join the acclaimed authors Ajay Tegala and Zoë Howe for an intriguing hour of botany and local lore. Admission is £5 per person.

The longest-running Camra beer festival returns for a five-day extravaganza of booze and food. Ends 25 May.

22 30

Paul Foot, Cambridge Junction



The comic breaks new ground with his most personal, surprising and inspired stand-up offering ever.

An Evening with Jennifer Saint, Waterstones Cambridge Don’t miss the queen of mythological retelling discuss her thrilling latest work, Hera .

Mill Road Poetry Group, Hot Numbers Gwydir Street Enjoy an evening of readings from local poets. Tickets cost £5 and readings start 7pm.



ART THE TRAVELLING MASTERPIECE Join us as Botticelli’s Venus and Mars makes its temporary home at the Fitzwilliam Museum. Delve deeper with the display’s co-curator, Kate Noble

A n icon of the Renaissance home in London’s National Gallery since its original acquisition in 1874. Now, as the gallery celebrates its 200th anniversary, the painting is being lent for the first time ever. “We’re very excited to be hosting this extraordinary painting,” introduces Kate Noble, co-creator of the new display National Treasures: Botticelli in Cambridge. The display will open in the Fitzwilliam Museum’s Octagon Exhibitions gallery later this month. Venus and Mars is originally thought to have been commissioned for a bedchamber as part of a wedding celebration, and was therefore intended for both male and female audiences. Portraying the love affair between the ancient deities Mars and era, created circa 1485, Sandro Botticelli’s celebrated painting Venus and Mars has not left its Venus, it draws from Ovid’s Metamorphoses – a body of work which would have been familiar to people of 1400s Italy. “Botticelli seemingly depicts the moment before the couple are caught by Venus’ husband Vulcan,” Kate explains. “The juxtaposition of a clothed woman with a naked man was unusual in the art of this time, where the reverse was more often found.”

The juxtaposition of a clothed woman with a naked man was unusual in the art of this time, where the reverse was more often found Rather than appearing in isolation, the painting is to be displayed alongside three other works from the museum’s Renaissance collection, encouraging new thinking about its original setting, viewers and meaning. “The display creates a space of contemplation for a wider audience than perhaps these pieces normally reach. It will invite new, sometimes complex or contradictory readings and perspectives,” continues Kate. The works included reflect the rebirth of the philosophies and values of ancient Greece and Rome that occurred in Italy throughout the 15th and 16th centuries, creating a taste for works of art inspired by

classical poetry and myth. This movement led to a reintroduction of images of nude bodies into domestic spaces. Joining Botticelli’s work are two other objects depicting nudity across the sexes – a statuette of Apollo and a maiolica plate – both of which belonged to a female patron and connoisseur of the arts, Isabella d’Este. “The statuette would have been displayed in her study-treasury and the plate on her dining table. Elsewhere, we also have the Titian painting Venus and the Lute Player – which would have been commissioned by a wealthy patron and displayed in a private picture gallery.” All four works were likely intended as conversation pieces for both men and women when they were originally displayed, but it is the discussions they spark today – some 500 years later – that are the preoccupation of Kate and her team. “Our approach is inspired by our wish to combine traditional art, historical expertise and knowledge with the findings of our participatory research programme,” she says. “We would like visitors to pause, look, learn and immerse themselves.” National Treasures: Botticelli in Cambridge is on display at the Fitzwilliam Museum from 10 May to 10 September


POETRY A LIFE’S WORK Telling truths, TS Eliot and taking over TikTok; Wendy Cope reflects on a life in poetry




I ’ve written a handful of poems in the last six months, but aside from that I have not done much writing recently. My collected poems will be released next September, which includes several published poems but also plenty which haven’t been included in any of my books. I haven’t felt much of an inclination to write, but that hasn’t worried me. I’ve lost the enthusiasm for writing and that’s OK – I’m 78 so I think it’s alright to retire. Now, I feel my work is complete. My poems normally begin with an idea or a few words which might form a line; I write them down then come back to them later. I mostly write in my study at home in Ely, but when I’m away, I have found being alone in hotel rooms to be quite fruitful. Trains are too bumpy to write on, though I’ll often make up short poems in my head then write them down later. Being alone or spending time doing nothing in particular helps with my writing. I need some kind of movement if I’m stuck, even if it’s doing a bit of washing up. I still read a lot of poetry – Larkin, Housman and Fleur Adcock are a few of my favourites. Reading poetry in small doses is a great habit to get into – it enriches your life. Telling the truth has always been my priority. If I’m struggling to write, I will always ask myself: ‘What is the truth of the matter?’ TS Eliot was very good on that – he believed the principal difficulty for a poet is working out the difference between

what you think you ought to feel and what you really feel. Truth to feeling is extremely important to me, and then it’s all about finding the words to describe something as accurately as possible. Words are the starting point, then it’s about finding form. Shakespearean sonnets are my favourite, but I also like to experiment with haiku and villanelles alongside others. When I was first published , I encountered hostility from the poetry world. I have always had a warm and affectionate readership, but that’s entirely separate from the world of poetry. There has always been ill feeling there, and I think that’s because I just suddenly appeared and my first book got massive publicity. This was hard for other poets, and there is always this idea in the arts that if something is popular, then it can’t be any good. I’d like people to make the distinction that some things can be both. Recently, a few young people I knew told me I was big on TikTok, and I had no idea what that was since I don’t do social media! My publishers caught wind of it and had the idea of putting together a small book with some of these popular poems, and others which I thought this younger generation might like ( The Orange and other poems , published by Faber & Faber). None of my friends had even heard of it – it’s all been entirely online or word of mouth. I had just come out of spinal surgery and was recovering in an extremely expensive nursing home at the time. When I checked on Amazon and saw how well The Orange and other poems was selling, I felt some relief that my next royalty cheque would probably be alright! Wendy Cope will be doing a poetry reading at Stapleford Granary on 19 May at 3pm. Book your tickets at The Orange At lunchtime I bought a huge orange— The size of it made us all laugh. I peeled it and shared it with Robert and Dave— They got quarters and I had a half. And that orange, it made me so happy, As ordinary things often do Just lately. The shopping. A walk in the park. This is peace and contentment. It’s new. The rest of the day was quite easy. I did all the jobs on my list And enjoyed them and had some time over. I love you. I’m glad I exist.  — Wendy Cope

PEEL BACK THE LAYERS Wendy’s TikTok fame has inspired her latest collection



COMEDY Full of the joys From Christian cults and dark humour to escaping Midwest America; stand-up comedian Spring Day makes her Cambridge Fringe debut A n American transplant whose comedy career originally took off in Japan, you may recognise Spring Day from BBC’s Live at the Apollo , or from one of the seven solo shows she has performed at Edinburgh Fringe festival. Don’t let the hopeful cheer of her name fool you – it’s the darker side of humour where Spring thrives best. She’s known equally for her sassiness and her shock factor. “I provide dark comedy for nice people,” she tells us. “Many people have developed a dark sense of humour to cope with various things life throws at them, but are afraid of being perceived as a terrible person.” Through her comedy, Spring endeavours to give those people a safe space to be themselves by ‘being irreverent in a way that will hopefully land on the right side of history’. Describing her style as ‘sharp, dark and bubbly’, it was during her time at university that Spring realised comedy was the path for her, after watching a gig by legendary American comic Paula Poundstone. Other formative influences for the comedian also include Kathleen Madigan, Sam Kinison, Jonathan Winters and the Coen brothers. “I just assumed stand-up was this thing people already on TV did.” New horizons American-raised, a fluent Japanese speaker and now a resident Londoner, Spring’s global trajectory continues to inform her comedy, particularly having come from a place where such adventures don’t fall within the usual status quo. “Where I come from, no one takes gap years or

I provide dark comedy for nice people

invests in international travel to ‘broaden one’s horizons’,” she shares. “I was never supposed to leave Midwest America, let alone live abroad for almost the entirety of my adult life.” Spring’s upbringing is unpacked in her new work in progress, Exvangelical – a show in which she dives into the defining chapter of her life, when she spent 13 years (aged 13 to 26) living in a Christian cult, and why she eventually decided to leave. “It’s a show about giving yourself permission to change your mind about something that used to completely define you,” she shares. Later this month, Spring will be trialling the show on Cambridge audiences as part of the Fringe – a prospect she looks

forward to as her first time performing in the city. Outside of her performance, you’ll find Spring catching some of her favourites do their stuff: Maureen Younger, Yuriko Kotani and Aaron Twitchen. “They’re all extremely funny and I’m happy to hear they’ll be performing at the Cambridge Fringe.” Spring Day will be performing her show, Exvangelical, in The Boathouse at 3.30pm on Sunday 26 May as part of Cambridge Fringe. Tickets available at



MUSIC (G)RIFFING OFF THE GREATS As the group readies themselves to play at The Cambridge Club Festival, we get to know the front man behind funk band Mr Griff


F or Ian Griffith – the front man after whom funk-adjacent Cambridge collective Mr Griff is named – his present-day sound boils down to his youth. “I have memories of my mother, who, every time I came home from school, would have Motown Records on and she’d be dancing and singing in the kitchen,” Ian recalls. “My dad ran a mobile disco back in the 80s. I used to go with him when it was his turn for parenting duty.” A drummer-turned-songwriter, Ian took the leap from session musician to solo artist during the pandemic. “I’ve gone from being behind the kit to in front of it,” he explains. “I lost my mum at the start of the pandemic and I’ll never forget walking

out of the hospital after she passed away. The whole world was silent. I remember thinking the whole world is echoing my emptiness. I felt like a whole new chapter in my life was coming; and then I started discovering I could write songs and had all this stuff to write.” Now, two and a half albums in, Mr Griff is a fixture of the Cambridge festival circuit. At The Cambridge Club Festival, the group will be serving up a medley of the old and new. “I’m excited about the performance of new material,” Ian says, “especially on a larger scale. There’ll be a little insight into the new album there as well.” Despite only getting started four years ago, the name Mr Griff crops up repeatedly

on line-ups. The group play regularly at the Junction too. “I’m someone who grows roots,” Ian says. “I ran the Funk Jam at La Raza for about seven years, and I also had my own night which was called Cambridge Jazz Funk Soul. “I want, for us as a band and me as an artist, to be able to proudly say: ‘Yes, we are from Cambridge, we are representing the city.’” In its few years, the group has also expanded exponentially – from an initial five members to now numbering eight. If money wasn’t a limit, Ian admits: “I’d have a 20-piece band.” Watch this space. Mr Griff will be playing at The Cambridge Club Festival on 9 June. Tickets available at


CULTURE EDITION Book Club Dive into this month’s reads, from enthralling myths to joyful summer escapes




A summery, seductive love letter to life in London, this unputdownable novel introduces us to thirty-something Maggie and partner Ed in 2019, as the couple are on the cusp of quitting expensive Hackney for a cheaper and more achievable life in Basildon – near to where they both grew up. Maggie is newly pregnant and being closer to their families makes sense for their futures, but leaving this sparkling, intoxicating metropolis proves harder than they first thought. Is having a baby the next adventure, or the end of life as they know it? Maggie needs to tell her best friend Phil that she’s leaving the city, but before she can reach him, Phil bumps into Ed in Liverpool Street station on the edge of doing something unexpected – should Phil tell Maggie? He wrestles with this, alongside whether he should quit his soul-sapping job and confusion about growing feelings for his flatmate Keith, who’s technically in an open relationship but is unavailable in the way Phil wants – or is that exactly what he wants? Meanwhile in the suburbs, Phil’s mum Rosaleen is trying to meet up with her son to tell him face to face about her recent cancer diagnosis, yet his slippery, ever-moving schedule and shifting priorities keep him beyond her grasp. Saturday night looms: will everything come together as planned, or will it come crashing down around their ears? Or, more painfully to admit, will life just keep rolling on whatever happens, like the silent Thames which stars at the start of this novel? The duo’s decisions ripple out, interfering and aligning with their friends’ and families’ lives in a series of beautifully drawn vignettes. You’ll long for some post- work drinks outside busy pubs on balmy evenings, that feeling of everyone looking for something to happen – as McKenna puts it – in pursuit of the hypothetical, myriad possibilities on offer to those lucky enough to live near the centre of our capital city.




Newman is back on bookshop shelves, and I didn’t think this would be possible, but her new book might be even better than the last. Sandwich is beyond stunning; it’s a sun-kissed, shimmering paean to parenthood and the wondrously complicated task of being a human in this difficult world. Rocky and husband Nick have rented the same seaside cottage at Cape Cod in which their family has been summering for decades. Their grown-up daughter Willa and son Jamie, as well as Jamie’s girlfriend Maya – and the family’s elderly cat Chicken – are all coming together for a blissful week, which is part-scripted by joyful, precious tradition, part unknown waters as they all age and change, growing into their new selves. Rocky is wrecked by surges of menopausal rage, and completely incapacitated by the love for her children. Her beloved parents arrive for a short stay, older than they were before, but resisting the fragility of their ageing bodies and the compromises that must be made for them. Every corner of the cottage is layered with sepia-tinted memories of past holidays. Now, uncertainty for the future flickers before them, challenging them to stay together in the face of various happenings. Secrets are revealed, new connections are made and life – as ever – will never be the same again. I can’t urge you enough to pre-order this – you’ll laugh out loud, then be in floods of tears, getting a glimpse of the joy and panic of being a parent to beautiful, almost-adult children.

JENNIFER SAINT HERA Another powerful retelling of Greek myth by Jennifer Saint (the acclaimed author of Ariadne and Elektra ), this tale follows Hera, wife of Zeus, who is historically described in single monochromatic sentences, dismissed as nothing more than a spiteful stepmother and jealous wife. Here, Saint’s retelling portrays her complexity, passion and force, thus transforming her into vibrant technicolour. We’ve known how Hera’s life pans out for thousands of years, but in this version we get to understand more about her motives and interior decision-making, guided by past events. We see her blissful life as a young goddess and the triumphant takeover of Mount Olympus, working alongside her brother Zeus to overthrow their tyrannical father Cronos and establish a new regime. She assumes that she’ll be invited to rule at Zeus’s side, but then shadowy conversations take place without her and – before she can realise what’s happening – she’s been cast aside. An offer of marriage comes from Zeus (the Greek gods famously being quite relaxed about siblings getting married) and she eventually accepts, realising it’ll be easier to help steer the gods from Zeus’s side rather than from outside the inner circle. Slowly, she realises Zeus is becoming just as cruel as the regime they overthrew together; she wrestles with her husband’s numerous infidelities and infamously rapacious nature, trying to balance out his harmful actions while plotting against him – all the while having her heart broken time and again by friendships, hopes and crushed dreams for society. Saint is a hugely accomplished writer and her flowing, lyrical descriptions – particularly of the lush Greek forests and hillsides Hera traverses – will make you long for a trip to the Mediterranean islands. The dream would be to enjoy reading Saint’s newest on an Athenian beach, but even if you’re simply spending your summer sprawled by the lido, be sure to get your hands on a copy.


All Bells & Whistles As May Day dawns, the Devil’s Dyke Morris Men come together to welcome the sun with a dance. We cast our eye over this curious folk tradition


I t’s sunrise, 5.27am, and a lone he plays a short tune known to raise the hairs on the back of your neck, and the Morris Call rings out above the vibrant Wandlebury woodlands. What follows is a spectacle of dance performed by the Devil’s Dyke Morris Men (DDMM) as they herald the start of the 2024 dancing season, before rejoining the crowd for hot drinks and bacon rolls. Taking their name from the ancient earthwork that carves its course through Cambridgeshire and Suffolk, DDMM are presided over by squire Randall Scott. Originally formed out of the Cambridge Morris Men, via Staploe Hundred Morris Men and Staines Morris Men between 1975 melodeon player strides out to his designated spot with his back to a silent audience. Facing the sun, and 1981 – currently, the side numbers 21 active members of male dancers and musicians of both sexes. “Morris these days covers various styles of dance, from East Anglian molly dancing to north-west clog dancing, two types of sword dancing and the Cotswold morris dancing that we currently perform,” Randall explains. The latter consists of the classic hanky-waving, stick-clashing and hand-clapping associated with morris, danced by men dressed in white sporting a coloured baldric. Throughout the spring and summer months, it’s a common sight outside of pubs on a Thursday evening.

Why May Day? Nowadays perceived as a quintessentially English – and undeniably eccentric – folk tradition, the roots of morris dancing have become obscured by history. General theories suggest the phenomenon arrived on British shores from Europe in the 15th century, with its first mention recorded in 1448. Fast-forward from the medieval period, and the dances you’re likely to see today derive from the great revival of the 19th century championed by Cecil Sharp. This Edwardian folk enthusiast pioneered a personal mission to collect country songs and dances originating from rural populations across England to ensure their preservation. During this time, Cecil collected and recorded steps and dance patterns from various Cotswold villages, from which the routines now take their name; like Bledington and Ducklington. Although crucial to the preservation of these historic traditions, Cecil’s work perpetuated a largely unfounded link with paganism that still survives to this day. Indeed, despite May Day being bigger than Christmas for some morris dancers, none of the sides encountered by Cecil actually danced on 1 May. “At the risk of bursting a bubble or two, I’m afraid there’s no significance in dancing at dawn on May Day,” says Randall. Perhaps even more disappointing for local readers, the May Day tradition can actually be historically traced to ‘the Other Side’, when in 1923, members of Oxford University’s English Folk Song and Dance Society (EFSDS) first danced through the city streets at 6am after choristers finished singing from Magdalen Tower. Randall suggests that, during the next great morris dancing revival of the 1970s, the Morris Men would dance on dates that had ‘a whiff of paganism’ associated with them to widen their appeal, including at Wandlebury. “There are several reasons behind the existence of morris dancing, many of which are based around the practice of paganism, which are largely unfounded,” he expands. “That being said, until fairly recently we did have our own druid!”

Anything that can broaden our cultural horizons just has to be a positive thing A new dawn From the days of Cecil Sharp to the great 1970s revival, you might say that morris dancing is now undergoing a third wave of resurgence today, as an increasing number of people are turning to folk customs thanks to their elemental links to nature’s cycles and historic ties in the context of a post-pandemic, post-Brexit UK. For many practitioners of the art, such traditions can offer solace, with a strong sense of community, identity and authenticity beyond the isolation perpetuated by a commercially driven

RINGING IN SPRING As dawn breaks, a melodeon player signals the start of the dancing season



world which has arguably become overly reliant on technology. Last year’s May Day gathering in Gloucestershire attracted record numbers, while many were surprised when morris dancing made a main-stage performance at the 2023 Brit Awards, as the progressive all- female side Boss Morris danced alongside Grammy-award-winning band Wet Leg. Such mainstream exposure was a huge step for a subculture long considered risible. For Randall and the DDMM, dancing is an invaluable outlet of enjoyment and community, and the side is always on the lookout for new recruits. “There is sociability, affability, good nature and a willingness to share a glass of beer to make new friends,” he shares. “Anything that can broaden our cultural horizons just has to be a positive thing – and morris dancing more than adequately fits the bill.” Learn about the dance at and visit


The A-lister romcom is back with Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt dialling up the charm. A dashing stuntman (Gosling) must find his actor look-alike who has gone missing. 2 May The Fall Guy

Alice Rohrwacher’s twinkling cast, led by Josh O’Connor, all glow in this ambiguous, archaeological, Italian treat. A drama as perfectly chiselled as an Etruscan statue. 10 May La Chimera

Cinematographer Hélène Louvart applies her magic realist gaze to Damascus, a city crippled by war. Director Soudade Kaadan walks the line between levity and tragedy. 3 May Nezouh

Luna Carmoon is one of the UK’s most hotly tipped new directors and her first feature doesn’t disappoint. With its beguiling approach to grief, this is 2024’s most exciting debut. 17 May Hoard

Puberty is painful for Zaffan in this biting film grappling with girlhood. Amanda Nell Eu is a force to be reckoned with, having won the Grand Prize at Cannes Critics’ Week. 17 May Tiger Stripes

This sumptuous, light-footed film from Marija Kavtaradzė takes a deep dive into intimacy without physicality, as a dancer and sign language interpreter find their own language of love. 24 May Slow

PICTUREHOUSE PICKS Get your film fix with these recommendations from the Arts Picturehouse

Set to become a queer cult classic, this neo-noir fronted by Kristen Stewart revs up the drama. Rose Glass’s second film is a staggering follow-up to Saint Maud . 3 May Love Lies Bleeding

This 1976 doc-comedy follows Connolly on tour in Ireland. Made by Murray Grigor and David Peat, it was filmed over two days. 16 May Billy Connolly: Big Banana Feet


Anya Taylor-Joy and Chris Hemsworth collide for the latest instalment in the Mad Max Saga , which sees a young woman caught in the middle of battling warlords. 24 May

Browse May’s unmissable movies



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

@onecompletecadence, student





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


@bo0meringue_, Dr Eleanor Drage, researcher at the University of Cambridge’s Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence



COMPETITION WIN BIG WITH MASH! Don’t miss your chance to come away with two tickets to five live shows of your choice

F rom modest beginnings, Mash’s reputation as Cambridge’s only independent, grassroots music venue and club is anything but. Located in Market Passage – in what was formerly known as Fez Club – since 2021, Mash has been shaking up the Cambridge nightlife scene with its anti-establishment ethos and endless roster of industry talent, entertaining revellers with club nights and an impressive programme of live music. Now celebrating its third birthday, Mash is offering one lucky reader the chance to win complimentary access to five live shows of their choice at the venue. The best part? A plus one is automatically included. All you need to do is turn up on the door and present your ID. Your name (+1) will be added to the guest list, should you be lucky enough to win this prize. Looking to the rest of the season, this eclectic venue will host musical talent like Willie J Healey, folk favourites The Staves and soul singer Jordan Mackampa.

MASH IT UP You and a lucky plus one could be invited to enjoy five live music shows of your choice for free!

You will be spoilt for choice with a vibrant array of emerging talent, seminal heritage artists and a celebration of top tribute acts including Noasis and Ultimate Coldplay. Or, if you’re looking for something a little bit different, try The Karma Klub – an alcohol-free fitness class combining 90s clubbing culture with the most fun workout you’ve ever experienced. For a chance to win this fantastic prize, visit or scan the QR code for instant access.


T&Cs Entries are for over 18s only. No cash alternatives are available. Competition closes Friday 31 May 2024. Mash is a 16+ venue, all under 18s must be accompanied by an adult. The winner will have their name on the guest list for five select live shows. You will just need to bring ID and give your name on the door. Your plus one is automatically included. Full terms and conditions are available on the Cambridge Edition website.


Support the Indies From fine food to tasteful kitchens, choose independent with these brilliant local businesses


Founded in 2019 by cheesemonger Suzannah Watson, Meadows is a specialist neighbourhood delicatessen improving the future of food. Originally opening in Newnham, Meadows now has a second location on Mill Road, where you will find fresh staple produce alongside artisanal cheese – including sourdough bread from local bakers, organic and regeneratively grown fruit and vegetables, plus Cacklebean eggs. Suzannah is passionate about sourcing food from the best producers across East Anglia, including Pump Street Chocolate, Strangers Coffee and Peichin’s Table. Meadows also offers quality lunches, cakes and bakes cooked in-house, after originally opening its kitchens to eliminate food waste from the store. Stay tuned for new product releases, supper clubs and workshops. @meadows_camb



Specialising in luxury stationery, calligraphy and creative workshops, Sleepy Bee Studio was founded in 2019 by Charlie and Gavin Allen. They first began trading at All Saints Craft Market, before selling online and expanding to wholesale. Business took off during the pandemic after requests flooded in for letter sets, as people sought to contact loved ones. And in 2023, Charlie began running modern calligraphy and wax seal workshops in the art studio at Stapleford Granary. She now offers live calligraphy and wax seal events, bespoke corporate projects and team workshops. Whether you’re looking for luxury paper goods or want to be part of an engaging workshop, join their community of creatives, writers and stationery lovers. @sleepybeestudio |


Covet Clothing is an online platform for buying and selling high-quality, pre-loved fashion items. The brand caters to women aged 25 to 75, including maternity wear and plus sizes, and is also developing a children’s collection. For founder Andrea, Covet’s simple selling process sets the business apart. Sellers can send in their used items while Covet handles the quality checks, sets reasonable prices and markets items on its website and social media. The brand simplifies the process for busy women to monetise unused clothing, providing fashion options which align with their own style and promoting sustainable practices beyond fast fashion’s superficiality. | COVET CLOTHING


Tomas Kitchen Living

With a production centre and design studio based in Cambridge, Tomas Kitchen Living comprises British designers and manufacturers who excel in creating beautiful kitchens and freestanding furniture. The brand prides itself on a strong design identity, excellent value and superb quality – with solid oak drawers and robust plywood cabinets. Everything is covered under one roof. From initial design conception to manufacturing and installation, the service is first class and friendly. Tomas Kitchen Living is a specialist retailer for top Danish furniture and lighting brands. @tomaskitchens |



Get set for a summer of screenings Cambridge BID unveils this year’s programme of outdoor cinema T he Market Square outdoor cinema experience is back this year, featuring double screenings throughout May, June, July and August. The films will kick off at 6pm and 8pm, offering a chance to enjoy two different features each evening. Following the enormous success of the Netflix series One Day , Cambridge BID will be bringing the original film to you in May. Don’t forget to bring some popcorn and pop along for a memorable evening under the stars. While there will be some seats provided, do bring your own to ensure a cosy and comfortable viewing experience. This year’s film event on Station Road promises to bring excitement and entertainment, with screenings scheduled for 19 June and 4 September. The Copper Tree Gin Bar will also be on hand to serve cold refreshments during the film. Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Films start at 6pm, with Barbie on 19 June and Wonka on 4 September.

31 MAY 6pm The Super Mario Bros Movie 8pm One Day 28 JUNE 6pm Trolls Band Together 8pm Mean Girls (2024) WHAT’S ON?

26 JULY 6pm Wish 8pm Barbie

30 AUGUST 6pm Migration 8pm Wonka

IT’S SHOWTIME Get cosy and enjoy a movie screening outdoors

Find out more at

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

UNDER THE RADAR Elisha Young’s top picks for Asian feasting WHAT’S NEW? Your essential hotlist of local culinary delights FOOD EDITION FANCY A TIPPLE? A springtime recipe for World Cocktail Day

Touch up your cookery skills with a range of masterclasses led by Liz Young from The Modern Table. With summer waiting in the wings, find fresh inspiration for BBQ season in a class focusing on sensational sides and sauces designed to accompany whatever’s sizzling away on the grill. Harnessing flavours from all over the globe, Liz still has space in her May classes on preparing the perfect grazing table and mastering easy summer dining. With hands-on tuition in small groups designed to be relaxed, fun and inclusive, book a spot now to ignite your culinary skills. Priced at £95 per person. Make a meal of it



GOOD VIBES ONLY Known for its electronic music nights, Roll On is stepping into the light with a day party for the early May bank holiday weekend. The inaugural event will be held on Sunday 5 May at the Hot Numbers Roastery in Shepreth. Food and coffee will be provided in-house by Hot Numbers, with brunch served between 12 noon and 3pm and sourdough pizzas until 8.30pm. With a full-day bar, beer will be provided by Brewboard plus wine from Mill Road’s Bacchanalia. The Roll On DJs will be serving up the tunes from 3pm to 10pm.

On 21 May , neighbourhood pizzeria Scott’s All Day will be teaming up with one of its Cambridge-based suppliers, Thorne Wines, to deliver a sumptuous wine and pizza tasting evening. Priced at £47.50 per head, guests can enjoy five wines from around the world paired with five different courses of pizza slices. What’s not to love? Head to to book your spot now! Match made in heaven

Local events and recipes to whet your appetite



Running from 10 to 12 May , the Eddington Beer Garden will be returning following a hugely successful inaugural event last year. Free to attend, head on down to Eddington Square as the space comes to life with a pop-up outdoor experience. Guests can expect a standout bar showcasing the produce of local breweries, distillers and suppliers, accompanied by a tantalising selection from Cambridgeshire’s best- loved street food trucks. In addition, enjoy garden games, tasting sessions, plus a lively programme of entertainment and community performances. Later this month, charming countryside pub The Tickell Arms in Whittlesford will be hosting its own event from the evening of Friday 24 to 26 May . With over 25 real ales and ciders to choose from, attendees can also enjoy live music and street food. If beer’s not your thing, there will be a gin and Pimm’s bar. BEER FESTIVALS GALORE!

Monster brunch The Garden House Brunch returns on 18 May , offering diners the chance to indulge in a three- course menu in a tasteful riverside setting. There’s a mouth-watering selection of dishes, including English muffins with smoked salmon, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce, buttermilk fried chicken served with French toast, or Garden House granola with berries and yoghurt as a healthier option. Best of all, guests can enjoy free-flowing cocktails, prosecco or bottled beer and a live DJ channelling that feel-good vibe with house music and club anthems playing throughout the day. Served from 12.30pm to 2pm or 3pm to 4.30pm, tickets are priced at £55 per person. Find out more at

CHEERS TO 50 YEARS! Cambridge Beer Festival returns to Jesus Green from 20 to 25 May The city’s favourite knees-up, this year’s Cambridge Beer Festival is extra special. “We’re delighted to be celebrating our 50th anniversary and this year’s festival will be better than ever,” says organiser Anthony Mobbs. Buoyed by the success of last year’s event following a three-year hiatus – due to the pandemic’s impact on the hospitality industry – a dedicated team of volunteers have been hard at work selecting and ordering an unparalleled array of beverages. “We’re looking forward to trying some of the best beer, cider, wine and mead from around the UK and beyond.” Head to to check opening times and ticket prices.



You will need (serves four) • 2 large shallots (roughly chopped) • 1 leek (roughly chopped) • 200g white potatoes • 300g asparagus tips • 200ml chicken or vegetable stock A popular choice from the specials board at Cafe Foy, make the most of asparagus season with this deliciously light soup ASPARAGUS AND PECORINO SOUP 1 Cut your baguette into angled slices. Melt a little butter and coat the bread. 2 Grate over some parmesan and bake in the oven until crisp and golden. For the soup 1 Peel the potatoes, dice and leave to boil in salted water until very soft. 2 In a separate pot, melt a generous knob of butter and a touch of olive oil. 3 Sweat the shallots and leek until translucent but don’t let them colour. 4 Add the asparagus and a dash of the stock to the pan and cover. Cook gently until the asparagus is quite soft but still retains its colour. 5 Add the rest of the stock, the cream, the pecorino cheese and the baby spinach to the pot and remove from the heat. Stir in the cooked potatoes and blend. 6 Once blended, check the seasoning and add lemon juice, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. 7 Serve with a parmesan crouton, a dollop of crème fraiche and some cut chives or flat leaf parsley. Bon appétit! • 100ml double cream • 1 bag baby spinach • Lemon juice • 100g pecorino (grated) • 1 baguette • Butter • Handful of parmesan Step-by-step guide For the parmesan crouton

SEASONAL FRESHNESS An ideal springtime soup to tempt in the warmer weather, with bright flavours that pack a punch



Spring blossom cocktail Marking World Cocktail Day on 13 May, The Varsity shares a tantalising recipe to enjoy at home or over stunning views of the city at its newly reopened rooftop terrace

4 Shake well. 5 Once shaken, tap the side of the shaker to break the vacuum seal. 6 Pour into the glass with double strainers and garnish with edible flowers. 7 Enjoy!

You will need • 50ml Botanist gin • 20ml lychee liqueur • 20 ml lemon juice

Step-by-step guide 1 Pour the gin, lychee liqueur, lemon juice, apple juice and raspberries into a cocktail shaker. 2 Fill a tall glass with ice. 3 Put the top on the shaker and give it a tap to lock it in.

• 80 ml apple juice • 2 fresh raspberries • Edible flowers (optional)


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