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September 2020: What’s on in Suffolk & Cambs

Hello September 2020! It's a new month and there's a whole load of fun ahead of us from foodie pop-ups and drive-in cinemas to hot new exhibitions and comedy.

EXHIBITION: The Good Companions: The many roles of our canine friends, National Horseracing Museum, Newmarket, until 1 November

Violet Munnings on Exmoor, c1924, by Sir Alfred Munnings, copyright the estate of Sir Alfred Munnings, Dedham, Essex

If you love dogs as much as we do, this will be a must-attend exhibition. The Good Companions: The Many Roles of our Canine Friends opens on 28 July and is a compelling and engaging exploration of our relationship with dogs down the centuries. The exhibition will feature paintings, drawing, sculptures, photographs, books and objects, even taxidermy of four-legged friends, all depicting our favourite furry friends. Book here.

THEATRE: At home with…, The Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds, 3 Sept

September 2020 what's on

One of our region’s most historic and well-loved theatres has launched a brand new online series of event called At Home With… The programme kicks off with actor, writer and winner of the 2017 Great British Pantomime Lifetime Achievement Award Christopher Biggins having a good old chin wag with his gal pal, Lesley Joseph best known for playing seriel adulterer, Dorien Green in the television sitcom Birds of a Feather on 3 Sept. Tickets holders can submit questions for the pair in advance. More events to be announced later in the month.

MUSIC: Baroque Classics in the Orchard, The Orchard Tearooms, Grantchester, 4 Sept

Does anything sound more idyllic than listening to live classical music in the stunning surroundings of The Orchard Tearooms gardens? We think not. You can catch Eboracum Baroque there on the 4th Sept playing a new programme of music featuring works by Handel, Purcell and Vivaldi including operatic arias, concertos and instrumental suites. Performed on period instruments with singers. There are of course refreshments too. Heaven!

CINEMA: Duxford Drive-In Cinema, IWM Duxford, 3 – 13 September 2020

Brilliant news for all plane and history enthusiasts – IWM Duxford has reopened with a new drive-in cinema concept. Pull up on the runway to see fabulous films from the safety of your own car like 1917, The Greatest Showman and Saving Private RyanDetails here.

SUPPER CLUB: Bicicletta X Bare Bones BBQ Pop up, Saffron Walden, 5 Sept

September 2020 supper club

BBQ specialist Jack May from Bare Bone Smoke and Live Fire BBQ is joining forces with Saffron Walden’s Bicicletta on September 5th for a gourmet supper club. Jack (who has worked at The Cricketers Clavering and Jamie Oliver’s Barbecoa St Pauls) will be cooking a 3-course meal featuring locally sourced and expertly prepared meat. There will be a full bar featuring local beers too.

CINEMA: The Enchanted Cinema, Gonville Hotel, 5 – 20 Sept 2020

The Enchanted Cinema is also back this autumn with its heavenly mix of al fresco cinema, a bar fully-stocked with local brands and live music from local artists. This month you can catch Romeo & Juliet, Hook, Rocketman, and Fight Club in The Gonville’s gorgeous gardens. Book here.

FESTIVAL: Classics at Glemham Hall, 6 September

If you love your old cars, get yourself to Glemham Hall near Woodbridge on the 6th as the parkland will be peppered with all things vintage motorcar. Rest of the family not so enamoured with your love of old rust buckets? Entice them with the promise of live music, an arts and crafts marquee, auto-jumble, children’s entertainment, a licensed bar and trade stands. Tickets here.

CINEMA: The Library Presents Drive-in Cinema, Ely, 12 September

The Library Presents have teamed up with Babylon Arts for a day of drive-in cinema at Lancaster Way Business Park on 12 September. Drive up and watch the big screen playing Moana, The Hunger Games or Grease through your windscreen. The drive-in cinema is a chance to catch some film action while The Maltings prepares to reopen. Find tickets here.

COMEDY: Custard Comedy at Quy Mill’s Big Garden Bar, 12 Sept

While it’s still warm enough it’s time to enjoy some socially-distanced night outs and one of our top picks is Custard Comedy‘s evening of alfresco entertainment at Quy Mill’s Big Garden Bar on 12 September. TV comedians Paul Sinha (from The Chase) and Laura Lexx will be performing from 5pm until 8pm.

CULTURE: Author events at Heffers Bookshop, Cambridge, throughout Sept


Heffers Bookshop in Cambridge has another stellar line-up of literary stars to see you through September. The online talks and events start on 3 Sept and run until 22nd. The highlight of the month is on 17 Sept when you can catch Christopher Paolini (author of international bestseller Eragon) in conversation with John Scalzi following the publication of his new book. You can also see Raynor Winn, bestselling author of The Salt Path, on the 22nd talking about The Wild Silence – and all that led her to write it. Other authors include Nick Hayes on the 15th, Richard Ovenden on the 10th and Emily Levesque on the 3rd. Find full details here.

THEATRE: Theatre on the virtual coast, Southwold, until 12 Sept

It’s not a good time for our arts industry, but thankfully Theatre on the (virtual) Coast is keeping live theatre alive and us entertained, broadcasting from Southwold Arts Centre every weekend until 12 Sept! The season features two premieres including All 4 One – a new comedy by Jan Etherington and Gavin Petrie and Attagirls! by Stewart Ross, a drama celebrating the contribution made by female pilots in World War II. Find all the details and book tickets here.

FESTIVAL: Open Cambridge, 11 – 13 September

The annual Open Cambridge weekend is going ahead this year with a slight difference… it’s now a virtual event with a series of pre-recorded and live tours and films that can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home. In fact because it’s virtual you’ll be able to cram way more culture into one weekend than you would on foot (although you won’t burn as many calories!). There’s everything from stunning garden tours, and fascinating behind-the-scenes films from some of the city’s iconic venues to the chance to see previously unpublished historical photos and museum tours. A true celebration of our incredible city. Have a look at the programme here.

THEATRE: Humble Pi: Matt Parker’s Comedy of Maths Errors, Cambridge Junction, 30 Sept

You might have to be a certain type of person to find this one funny (I personally never found anything hilarious about maths!) but lovers of numbers will enjoy this look at the greatest mathematical near-misses and mishaps involving planes and bridges. The stories are meant to be fascinating and even if you hate maths you’ll be impressed at Parker’s ability to make maths hilarious. Tickets here.

ART: Beckie Reed at Byard Art, Cambridge, 10 Sept – 4 Oct

Beckie Reed ‘Moment of Solitude’

If you can’t stop staring at this exquisite piece of art by Cambridgeshire-based artist Beckie Reed you’ll want to get yourself down to Byard Art to see her long-awaited solo show this month. The exhibition showcases Beckie’s incredible treescapes, inspired by her walks through forests.

DAYS OUT: 80th Anniversary Battle of Britain Anniversary Weekend, Duxford, 19, 20, 21 Sept CANCELLED!

Duxford Airshow ©IWM

Now this might sound like one for the boys, but the 80th Anniversary Battle of Britain Anniversary Weekend is set to be a real spectacle. Visit the Battle of Britain Vintage area, indulge in a 1940s hair and beauty makeover (you know you want to) and take in the amazing displays, including the Battle of Britain Proms flying display on the 19th, the Spitfire Flypast, and even a display from the world-famous Red Arrows. Oh, and there are also retro dance classes if you fancy a little Charleston.

COMEDY: Giggles in the Garden, The Willow Tree, Bourn, 23 Sept

The Willow Tree Bourn

There’s not been a huge amount to laugh about this year, so it’s about time we had an evening dedicated to simply having a good old belly laugh and forgetting about the dreaded C-word. Marcus Brigstocke from Live at The Apollo is headlining at this event in the magical gardens at The Willow Tree, Bourn, organised by Custard Comedy. Not to be missed.

COMEDY: Jon Richardson: The Knitwit, The Cambridge Corn Exchange, 25 and 26 Sept

More light relief comes in the form of Jon Richardson at the Corn Exchange at the end of the month. You’ll have laughed at his gags before on 8 Out of 10 Cats and Would I Lie to You? We’re not entirely sure from the description what this tour is all about, but it’s meant to be hilarious.

EXHIBITION: Anglia Textile Works in the Fens, Babylon Gallery, Ely from 10 – 27 Sept

Contemporary textile art group Anglia Textile Works is unveiling its
second exhibition at Babylon Gallery in Ely this month. The group of artists specialise in fine art, design and quilting and this exhibition focuses on the fenland landscape that inspires their work.

FOOD & DRINK: Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival, Snape Maltings, 26 and 27 September

Great news for foodies, Aldeburgh Food & Drink festival is going ahead after all at Snape Matings. Expect all the usual stallholders, yep all 50 or so of them, with some musical entertainment too. Everything will be in line with social distancing measures and will take place outside. The only thing missing will be the live cooking demos and the workshops. More time for eating then!

Caitlin Moran: More Than A Woman Live!

Caitlin Moran Live

This one’s so local you don’t even need to leave the sofa. Yep, thanks to COVID, Caitlin Moran’s latest tour is streaming to a screen near you on the 3rd September – and it’s coming at ’cha live and interactive. Championing her hotly anticipated new book, tour tickets (£21.91) promise to deliver a copy of More Than A Woman, plus a lively digital debate on what life’s really like beyond your thirties. If the original title redefined feminism, Moran’s revamp is set to be a kickass tribute to women’s supernatural ability to get s*** done. So grab your girl gang, tap along for the laughs and get ready to book in a neck massage afterwards – you might just need it after all those knowing nods. Claim your place here.

FAMILY FUN: Star Wars – may the toys be with you, Time & Tide Museum, Great Yarmouth. Until 13 Sept

For those Star Wars enthusiasts of all ages – this is a must see, including not only over 300 toys but classic artwork and designs from the films. Bring your light sabre to keep your social distance!


Pub in the Park’s Drive In Garden Party, 11-13 Sept

Pub in the Park’s Drive In Garden Party, Knebworth

The symbolic home of the rock concert, Knebworth House, is getting back to its pre-Covid roots. Get your groove on from the comfort of your own private garden space at The Drive in Garden Party (11-13 Sept), with Kaiser Chiefs, Basement Jaxx, Gabrielle, Toploader and Rick Astley all hitting the stage. But make sure you wander around the arena between sets to make the most of the game-changing food offerings from Tom Kerridge, Paul Ainsworth and Atul Kochhar. Tickets from £45.

FESTIVAL: London Design Festival, various locations, 12 – 20 Sept

Now in its 18th year, this cool festival features commissions and installations across the city, including The Hothouse, located in the newly coined International Quarter (Stratford). The glasshouse installation provides a controlled habitat for cultivating plants that would not ordinarily grow within the UK’s climate. 

EXHIBITION: Aubrey Beardsley, Tate Britain, until 20 Sept 

Aubrey Beardsley

Here’s the last call to see this awesome retrospective exhibition of Aubrey Beardsley’s work, from his early medievalist and mythological subjects to his bold illustrations covering themes of sex, death and humour. 

EXHIBITION: Electronic: From Kraftwerk to the Chemical Brothers, The Design Museum, London, until 14 Feb

From underground raves to the pioneering sounds used in Dr Who, this exhibition explores the history and culture of electronic music throughout the ages. 

EXHIBITION: Ai Weiwei: History of Bombs, Imperial War Museum, London, until 24 May 2021

Part of Refugees, a free season of exhibitions, artistic commissions and immersive events taking place across IWM London and IWM North, this exhibition draws on renowned artist Ai Weiwei’s ongoing investigation into politics and power.   

EXHIBITION: Steve McQueen, Tate Modern, London, until 6 Sept 

This solo exhibition of London-born artist and director of Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave, Steve McQueen’s portfolio features 14 major works spanning his extensive career in film, photography and sculpture and is the first major UK exhibition since he received the Turner Prize in 1999. So, yeah, it’s a pretty big deal! The display will cover the last 25 years of McQueen’s career, including personal and intimate works such as his early film on a Super 8 camera and this awesome aerial depiction of the Statue of Liberty (above).

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