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Joyful Jan! What’s on locally this month

Start the new year how you mean to go on - having FUN! - with this culture-buster list of things to do across Suffolk & Cambs this month.


January blues can always be cured with a laugh and lucky for you lot Ipswich’s Regent Theatre has an incredible line up this month including chatty man Alan Carr ( 7-8 Jan); John Bishop (13 Jan); Omid Djalili (20 Jan); Jimmy Carr (22 Jan); Katherine Ryan (27 Jan).

You can also find John Bishop and Katherine Ryan popping up at the Cambridge Corn Exchange on 14 and 28 Jan respectively, alongside Jason Manford with his new stand-up Like Me (19 Jan). Also in this neck of the woods, Rhod Gilbert is back with added tour dates of The Book of John at New Theatre, Peterborough (14 Jan).

Rather see a rising star? Then try one of these local comedy nights in Bury St Edmunds – a fraction of the price of the celeb gigs, plus ‘I saw them before they were famous’ boasting rights if you’re lucky: Theatre Royal Comedy Club (28 – 29 Jan) or Fat Cat Comedy Club at The Apex (9 Jan).


Beautiful Wimpole Estate, all 3000 acres of it, will open up its library for a short period to let us get some well needed relaxation after the festive stress. The Library is one of the National Trust’s largest and is home to over 6000 books collected by previous tenants including Elsie Bambridge, The Jungle Book author Rudyard Kipling’s daughter. Bring a book, slippers, hip flask (until 2 Jan).


Sutapa Biswas

It’s wet and cold, but it’s warm and cultured inside these local museums and galleries. Here’s what’s on our hitlist this month: Gold of the Great Steppe at the Fitzwilliam Museum, a FREE exhibition of outstanding gold artefacts recently discovered in the extraordinary ancient burial mounds built by the Saka people of East Kazakhstan (until 30 Jan); visually disruptive Sutapa Biswas: Lumen at Kettle’s Yard, the first major solo show in 14 years for the British Indian artist (until 30 Jan).


Pirouetting on to the stage to kick off the new year at Cambridge Corn Exchange is Saint Petersburg Classic Ballet with Tchaikovsky’s beloved Swan Lake – expect traditional staging, stunning choreography (and bums — sorry, we know that’s not the point) and a full orchestra (1-2 Jan).

And speaking of bums… Strictly lovers won’t want to miss Kevin Clifton‘s Burn the Floor at Regent Theatre in Cambridge, a ‘revolutionary ballroom production’ (what a tagline) that promises fire, jaw-dropping choreography, and high energy fun (25 Jan).


If it’s fresh air you’re after, head to Cambridge Botanic Gardens to see the beautiful Winter Garden display – the first of its kind planted in 1979, the garden features a wide variety of plants and is a dead cert for inspiring your own patch. Then, from 17 Jan little white soldiers will be standing to attention all over the grounds for the Snowdrop Trail (until 27 Feb). Insta catnip.


Why so serious, Ian? Straight from the I’m A Celeb camp, Adam Woodyatt reunites with his former Eastenders on-screen wife Laurie Brett in Looking Good Dead at Cambridge Arts Theatre which sees disastrous consequences for a man and his family after witnessing a murder. Ah, the gloomy scowl is starting to make sense… (31 Jan – 5 Feb).

If it’s the LOL factor you’re after, three cleaning ladies start a sex chat line to earn extra dosh in Dirty Dusting starring Vicki Michelle (‘Allo ‘Allo!) and Vicky Entwistle (Coronation Street), coming to New Theatre Peterborough (22 Jan). Or on the other end of the theatre spectrum, at the same venue there’s also Peppa Pig’s Best Day Ever (26-27 Jan) with adventures, castles, caves and Daddy Pig in a mankini (ok, that last bit isn’t true but wouldn’t that be fun?).

Britain’s oldest university playhouse ADC Theatre in Cambridge always punches above its weight with the quality of amateur performances and is showing Blood Brothers this month – a great opportunity to see Willy Russell’s iconic play at a purse-friendly price point.


Ayanna Witter-Johnson

Plenty of opportunities to get your classical music fix this month, starting with the annual New Year Celebration at Saffron Hall where there’ll be a cocktail of popular classics in the company of the BBC Concert Orchestra and conductor Michael Seal (2 Jan).

Also showing at the venue, classical cello and song meet alternative R&B and a punk aesthetic (yes, really) with a performance from Ayanna Witter-Johnson (7 Jan), or the accordion gets a modern update from Samuele Telari (9 Jan).

Michael Foyle, the youngest violinist ever to have been appointed Professor at the Royal Academy of Music, will be performing at both West Road Concert Hall (22 Jan) in Cambridge and The Apex in Bury St Edmunds (29 Jan) alongside the East Anglia Chamber Orchestra.

Classical not your jam? The hilarious Rob Brydon comes to Cambridge Corn Exchange with A Night of Songs and Laughter (25 Jan) where he combines his witty stand up, belting singing voice and hopefully gives us an insight into when we’ll be getting that final Gavin & Stacey Christmas special…


Aladdin at Cambridge Arts Theatre

There’s still time to book a panto, “oh no there isn’t” *eye roll*. Aladdin’s showing at Ipswich’s Regent Theatre (until 2 Jan), while Cinderella’s losing her slipper at Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds (until 16 Jan) and also at the Marina Theatre Lowestoft (until 2 Jan). Aladdin’s popular this year as he’s also rubbing his lamp (euphemism intended) at Cambridge Arts Theatre (until 9 Jan).


MUSIC: The Jockey Club Live, Newmarket Racecourse, various dates 

Already dreaming of summer? We hear ya! There’s a jam-packed schedule of concerts at Newmarket Racecourse in Suffolk this year, so saddle up and book ‘em now. Smash-hit singer Anne-Marie is performing on 29 July —  we are so there! You can also catch the fabulous Paloma Faith on 17 June, or The Script on 15 July, and Pete Tong & The Heritage Orchestra on 12 Aug. Giddy on, hot weather.

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