A New Year’s Celebration, Saffron Hall, Saffron Walden, 4 Jan
Welcome in the New Year in classical style at Saffron Hall on the 4 Jan when the BBC Concert Orchestra will be playing some of the nation’s most-loved favourites. BBC Young Musician winner Martin James Bartlett will be playing Rachmaninov’s Variations on a theme of Paganini and the BBC Concert Orchestra conjure up the Viennese spirit with Strauss waltzes and Mozart’s A Little Night Music.
Oasish, The Apex, Bury St Edmunds, 9 Jan
That’s Oasis with an ‘h’ on the end, before you don your ’90s fan t-shirt and start screaming Wonderwall! This is a tribute band worth seeing though – since forming in 2004, Oasish have performed at Wembley Stadium, The National Indoor Arena, Manchester Academy, on The One Show, The Gadget Show, Inside Out, GMTV, and The Culture Show. All together now… “Today is gonna be the day
that they’re gonna throw it back to you”
Britten Sinfonia, The Apex, Bury St Edmunds, 19 Jan
Britten Sinfonia are back in Bury performing two of Bach’s Brandenburg concertos as well as his double violin concerto, Shostakovich’s stunning, sombre chamber symphony and two beautiful pieces by Arvo Pärt.
Caravan Palace, Cambridge Corn Exchange, 25 Jan
Get in quick for this one… Caravan Palace are in Cambridge and all their shows are sell outs so it’s not to be missed. They’ve recently performed at Brixton Academy, Somerset House, Glastonbury, Boomtown, Secret Garden Party and Wilderness, and now… Cambridge Corn Exchange (not a come down from Glasto at all then!).
Brass Funkeys, The Junction, Cambridge, 31 Jan
This London-based band who take their inspiration from New Orleans are coming to The Cambridge Junction as part of their 14-date tour. The show features 13 original tracks as well as weird and wonderful covers such as Gorillaz ‘Dirty Harry’ and Royce Wood Junior ‘Honeydripper’.
The Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake, St Petersburg Classic Ballet, Cambridge Corn Exchange, 1 – 4 Jan
Didn’t get a chance to catch a festive ballet over Christmas and fancy watching some people who didn’t stuff themselves silly with mince pies strut their elegant stuff? Get yourself to the Corn Exchange to watch the incredible St Petersburg Classic Ballet perform The Sleeping Beauty or Swan Lake on the 1 – 4 Jan.
Oliver!, The Apex, Bury St Edmunds, 2 – 4 Jan
Consider yourself at home’ at Bury’s Apex from the 2 – 4 Jan when award-winning CTC (Childrens Theatre Company) perform Lionel Bart’s classic musical OLIVER!, based on Charles Dickens’ novel, Oliver Twist. We can’t think of a better way to beat the post-Xmas blues than by humming along to ‘Pick a Pocket or Two’ and ‘Oom-Pah-Pah!’.
The Wind in the Willows, The Junction, Cambridge, until 5 Jan
Not in the mood for Panto this season? Luckily for you The Junction has decided to show something for any Panto haters out there – The Wind in the Willows. There’s all the fun of the festive season with comic timing, singing, dancing, bad jokes and pop culture references but no Widow Twanky or “Oh no he isn’ts” to drive you mad!
My Cousin Rachel, Cambridge Arts Theatre, 13 – 18 Jan
Buckle in for a menacing psychological thriller by Daphne du Maurier, author of Rebecca and Don’t Look Now. Follow Countess Rachel Sangalletti (murderess, seducer, thief, enchantress) as she travels to Cornwall in this classic Gothic romance. Helen George from Call the Midwife is Rachel, while star of the stage Jack Holden plays Philip, Rachel’s cousin.
Susie Dent: The Secret Lives of Words, The Apex, Bury St Edmunds, 15 Jan
Tick tock tick tock, you’ve got 30 seconds to work out the clue or Susie Dent from Dictionary Corner will. Fascinated by language and where some of our bizarre words come from? Susie will retell the adventures that lie hidden within such words as lasagne, bugbear and explain the mysterious disappearance of kempt, gormful, and ruly.
Josie Long: Tender, The Junction, Cambridge, 17 Jan
New mothers and anyone looking for a bit of light relief will love this show from three-time Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee Josie Long. Her brand new comedy show touches on the mind-bending intensity of motherhood, and focusses on kindness, joy and generally feeling optimistic about the future.
The Sound of Music, Cambridge Arts Theatre, 22 – 25 Jan
The hills are alive with the sound of music… hang on what hills? This is Cambridge! We might be lacking the landscape of Ausrtria, but you can still enjoy this classic story of bravery and love as the Cambridge Operatic Society revive the beloved musical The Sound of Music in a sparkling new production. Pitch perfect renditions of Do-Re-Mi, My Favourite Things and How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? are guaranteed.
Stephen K Amos: Everyman, The Junction, Cambridge, 24 Jan
Stephen is on a one man mission to bring about world peace. No this isn’t an American Beauty pageant, but a much-needed show reminding us what we have in common in the midst of all this Brexit madness. Expect achingly funny anecdotes, hilarious takes on the everyday and Stephen’s infectious charm. Guaranteed to make you feel good.
The Showstoppers’ Kids Show, Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds, 25 Jan
All the family will love The Showstoppers’ Kids Show, which takes kids’ ideas and turns them into marvellous, musical adventures from scratch, right there and then. The audience decides everything, from where the story is set, the what happens and who the characters are. Any budding theatre producers will love it.
Dance to the Music, The Apex, Bury St Edmunds, 28 Jan
Missing Strictly already? Quickstep your way to The Apex in Bury for Dance to the Music, a glamorous dance show, created, directed and choreographed by ex Strictly Come Dancing professional, Kristina Rihanoff. All the best bits of the ballrooms will be on show with fabulous costumes, awesome vocals and choreography that will wow.
Othello, Cambridge Arts Theatre, Jan 29 – 1 Feb
‘I am not what I am.’ What are you then Othello? Find out from The Marlowe Society, Cambridge Uni’s leading dramatic institution, when they come to the Cambridge Arts Theatre. The society has launched the careers of some of Britain’s greatest actors including Derek Jacobi, Simon Russell Beale, Emma Thompson and Rachel Weisz, so look out for future stars.
Sandi Toksvig Live! National Trevor, Cambridge Corn Exchange, 29 Jan
Sandi is giving the cake tasting a rest and touring the country with her one woman comedy show instead, which includes tall stories, fascinatingly funny facts, really silly jokes, a quick fire Q&A and a quiz. Catch her clever wit at the Cambridge Corn Exchange on the 29th.
Ed Byrne, If I’m Honest…, New Theatre, Peterborough, 29 Jan
Ed Byrne is one of the most successful comedians performing in the UK, regularly appearing on TV shows like Mock The Week, Live at The Apollo, and QI, and touring to sold-out theatres. Originally from Ireland, he now lives in Essex with his wife and two children, but comes to Peterborough’s New Theatre with his new observational comedy show show, If I’m Honest – when he’ll be taking a long hard look at himself to work out if he has ANY traits that are worth passing on to his children!
ART & CULTURE
Feast and Fast: The Art of Food in Europe, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, until 26 April
Look at food and you get a pretty good idea about the people who ate it. This exhibition at the glorious Fitzwilliam takes a look at the history and culture of food and eating through a multi-sensory exhibition. You’ll see a Jacobean sugar banquet, a European feasting table and a Georgian confectioner’s workshop. As part of the exhibition there’s a flamboyant 4-metre tall pineapple installation created by the weird and wonderful Bompas and Parr – don’t ask me why! Just don’t go along when you’re hungry!
Suffolk Open Studio’s Winter Exhibition, Ferini Art Gallery, Lowestoft, until Jan 19
Heading to the seaside? Take a detour via the charming Ferini Art Gallery in Pakefield to see the work of local artists in the SOS Winter Exhibition – the perfect place to pick up some new year art work.
Cinderella, Cambridge Arts Theatre, until 11 Jan
You shall go the panto! And when you’re there you’ll get to see Wayne Sleep pirouetting around in his usual fabulous style as an Ugly Sister, plus other famous faces from the cobbles of Corrie, and West End shows like Les Mis and Hairspray. cambridgeartstheatre.com
Beauty & the Beast, The Key Theatre, Peterborough, until 5 Jan
From one beauty to another… this time we’re in France so expect to exclaim ‘oh la la’ a few times as you follow the tale (as old as time) of Belle and her hirsuite prince (no judgement here, some girls like their men hairy!). vivacity.org
Dick Whittington, The Maltings, Ely, until 5 Jan
Dick Whittington is off to London to seek his fortune and find the streets that are paved with gold (see you on the commute Dick!). He’s got his famous feline friend in tow as he aims to save London from a rat. Just an average day in the city then. Expect a live band, stunning set design and glitzy costumes! thelittleboxoffice.com
Aladdin, New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, until Feb 1
Enter A Whole New World of pantomime awesomeness in Ipswich this year with their exotic take on Aladdin. There’s a musical twist for Ali and his genie pal this year with the introduction of over 20 classic songs like I’m A Believer, Papa Don’t Preach, ABC, I Will Survive and Highway to Hell! The theatre will be rocking. wolseytheatre.co.uk
Peter Pan, Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds, until 19 Jan
Journey to Never Never Land with Peter, Wendy Darling and Tiger Lily for a swashbuckling adventure as they take on the villainous Captain Hook. A panto for kids and grown-ups who never want to grow up! Looking for the theatre? Second star to the right of the Greene King Brewery and straight on till morning. Think I’m pun-tastic? Just wait till you see the show. theatreroyal.org
Dick Whittington, Spa Pavilion, Felixstowe, until 5 Jan
Dick got lost on his way to London and ended up in Felixstowe, luckily for us. This panto by Dennis Lowe Theatre Company tells the rags to riches tale of a young man and his cat on an exciting quest for fame and fortune through all the traditional panto mediums – songs, a live band, magic, dance routines, slapstick comedy and bags of audience participation. spapavilion.uk
Peter Pan Goes Wrong, Alexandra Palace, Fri 13 Dec – Sun 5 Jan
Assuredly NOT a panto, this West End production (it showed at the Apollo Theatre in 2015 & 2016) comes to Ally Pally, promising a riotous spin on JM Berries’s classic tale. From the creators of award-winning The Play That Goes Wrong and The Comedy About A Bank Robbery. alexandrapalace.com
A Christmas Carol, The Old Vic, Sat 23 Nov – Sat 18 Jan
This production of festive classic A Christmas Carol staged by The Old Vic’s artistic director Matthew Warchus had such great reviews that it’s returning for round three. It’s adapted by Jack Thorne, co-writer of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. oldvictheatre.com
Goldilocks and the Three Bears, London Palladium, Sat 7 Dec – Sun 12 Jan
This is like fantasy panto casting. I mean, seriously, does it get better than this? Paul O’Grady, Julian Clary, Nigel Havers, Gary Wilmot and – well who cares about the rest, I’m sold. lwtheatres.co.uk
Dick Whittington and his Cat, Hackney Empire, Sat 23 Nov – Sun 5 Jan
The unashamed home of Panto has chosen Dick Whittington and his Cat for this year’s festive offering. Olivier award-winner and panto dame extraordinaire Clive Rowe stars in his 13th panto for the theatre alongside Hamilton’s Tarinn Callender in the leading role. hackneyempire.co.uk
Another newbie is Tutankhamun – Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh at the Saatchi Gallery. One of the biggest cultural events in the winter calendar, the exhibit features 150+ original artefacts found in the Pharaoh’s tomb that was unearthed in 1922 (until 3 May).
Mama Mia! A brand new (and, quite frankly, must-see) exhibition is coming to The O2, London this month – ABBA: Super Troupers is a journey through the Swedish band’s career and will feature personal items and artefacts never seen before in the UK (until 21 Aug 2020).
Other exhibitions worth a snoop are Vogue fashion and portrait photographer Tim Walker‘s enchanting, fantastical, frankly insane collection of work at the V&A (until 8 March); William Blake at Tate Britain, with the visionary painter and poets work blown up to enormous scale using digital technology (until 2 Feb 2020); Into the Night: Cabarets & Clubs in Modern Art at the Barbican – a history of cabarets, clubs, dancefloors and party spaces that inspired artists from the 1880s to the 1960s (until 19 Jan).