Mon 4 - Sun 10 November 2019
FESTIVAL: Southwold Literature Festival, 7 – 11 November
One of Suffolk’s finest coastal towns, Southwold, is hosting a literature festival, Ways with Words, from the 7 – 11 November. Everything from Brexit and Trump to Thomas Cromwell and climate change will be discussed, plus some comedy to lighten the political mood!
FOOD & DRINK: Oktoberfest, Jesus Green, Cambridge, 8 – 9 November
Hmm Cambridge didn’t get the memo that Oktoberfest translates as ‘October’ Fest in English and should really happen in… October. No matter, that just means more beer drinking for us in November. Cheers to that! The city hosts its Oktoberfest from 8 – 9 November on Jesus Green.
My Piano Pilgrimage, The Apex, Bury St Edmunds, 4 November
Not only is it impressive that Nicolas McCarthy is a concert pianist despite only starting the learn at the age of 14, but incredibly he was born with only one hand. He’s the only one-handed graduate of the Royal Academy and can play Rachmaninoff and Brahms faultlessly. Marvel at his skill during My Piano Pilgrimage on 4 November at The Apex, Bury St Edmunds.
CRAFT: Christmas decoration making session, Art & Soul, St Neots, 6 November
Do you come over all Kirstie Allsopp at Christmas and decide to get crafty? Want to learn some new skills and get all glittery with like-minded creatives? Then you need to get yourself and your artistic flair down to Art & Soul in St Neots on Wednesday 6 November for their Christmas snowflake decoration making session. You need to pre-book, but all materials are provided and you get 10% discount in the cafe. Win win!
MUSIC: Cambridge Music Festival, various locations, 6 – 14 November
Cambridge Music Festival, a boutique classical music festival, is upon us from 6 – 14 November and there’s so much on my head is spinning with trying to work out how many events I can physically make it to. Grammy award-winning Saxophonist Amy Dickson is in town, Joshua Bell is playing Mendelssohn and there’s the 2019n Young Composers Network showcasing up and coming new talent.
MUSIC: Cambridge Soul Festival, The Cambridge Junction, 8 November
Classical not really your bag? How about some soul then? The Cambridge Soul Festival with Geno Washington and The Ram Jam Band comes to The Junction for one night only on 8 November. Expect the finest 60s soul music and the biggest names in the industry.
FOOD & DRINK: The Three Wine Men, Cambridge Guildhall, 9 Nov
Now this is our kinda take on the nativity… The Three Wine Men are coming to Cambridge Guildhall on 9 Nov turning the space into a wine wonderland. The men in question are Oz Clarke, Tim Atkin MW and Olly Smith, but don’t worry it’s not all about the men, they’ll be joined by Susy Atkins of The Telegraph, who will be hosting A Splash of Gin, an area to introduce you to a range of boutique gin distillers. In short it’s a gin and wine festival hosted by the most knowledgeable names in the biz. So you’ll be sure to come away merry and with some amazing Christmas bargains.
FAMILY: Sundown Series, Go Ape Thetford, 9 and 1o November
Go Ape Thetford are open after dark on 9 and 10 November as part of their Sundown Series. You can zoom through the forest on Segways after nightfall, launch yourself off a platform on a zip line into the darkness, or scaling a high ropes course as the sun sets.
THEATRE: The Lovely Bones, Cambridge Arts Theatre, 4 – 9 November
Remember Alice Sebold’s best-selling novel The Lovely Bones? Well, the stage adaptation is coming to The Cambridge Arts Theatre from 4 – 9 November and it’s a stunning piece of theatre that will have you reaching for the tissue box but leave you feeling unlighted all at the same time! Magical stuff.
Christmas fair: Wimpole Christmas Craft Fair, 9 -10 November
It’s a staple of the Cambridge Christmas scene – a meander around the Wimpole Christmas Craft Fair. It’s set in marquees in the grounds (don’t worry, they’re heated) and the market is filled with gifts and more importantly food – those Christmas pounds aren’t going to put themselves on after all!
ART & EXHIBITIONS
Vogue fashion and portrait photographer Tim Walker‘s enchanting, fantastical, frankly insane work is the subject of a new V&A exhibition (until 8 March). Tilda Swinton (below), Björk and, er, Sir David Attenborough are among his subjects and he’s also created 10 new works for the show.
Meanwhile this autumn’s big-hitter is William Blake at Tate Britain, below, (until 2 Feb 2020). The visionary painter and poet’s work will be imaginatively displayed – some of it blown up to enormous scale using digital technology, other works in an immersive room that recreates the space in which Blake first showed his art in 1809.
Elsewhere Into the Night: Cabarets & Clubs in Modern Art at the Barbican (4 Oct – 19 Jan) is probably the nearest I’ll get to clubbing this autumn. It’s such a cool concept – a history of cabarets, clubs, dancefloors and party spaces that inspired artists from the 1880s to the 1960s, including the Berlin cabaret scene in Weimar Germany and Harlem’s jazz clubs and lifesize recreations of some of the hotspots.
Then there’s a major retrospective of 88-year-old Bridget Riley‘s life’s work at the Hayward Gallery (23 Oct – 26 Jan), taking in her famous monochrome, makes-your-eyes-go-funny Op Art paintings from the 1960s among its 70 year career span.
And finally, playing “spot the Angel Of The North” as we drive up the A1 to Newcastle is a family ritual in our house (Geordie in-laws, you see), so I’ve got a soft spot for Antony Gormley’s striking sculpture. His new show at the Royal Academy (until 3 Dec) is billed as his most ambitious in a decade and involves six tonnes of steel mesh, eight km of coiled tubing and a gallery flooded with clay and sea water.