I get asked fairly often, “What’s on in Cambridge?” Well that’s a loaded question. The answer seems to be quite a lot.
Many venues, many societies, choirs, groups and individuals and many, many students all offering shows and plays and pantos and concerts.
Of course, a more accurate question to ask yourself would be, “What’s on in Cambridge that I actually want to see?”
Then there are all the other questions. Can I afford it? Will I like it? Have I seen it a million times before? Will it excite/entertain/amuse/challenge me? Will I learn something? Will I be glad I made the effort? Will I just get grumpy that people thought it was ok to put that in front of an audience?
I am mostly of the opinion that no theatre visit is ever a complete waste of time. Certainly not if you are a theatre maker because we can all learn something even from the most atrocious show. But then, I go a lot; some people would say that I would buy a ticket for the opening of a handbag.
If, however, you go infrequently and it’s a special thing then it is kind of nice to go with some guarantee that you won’t be swearing all the way home.
But I digress. What’s on in Cambridge?
Sadly, there is no one stop shop to find out – no proper Cambridge listings, the Cambridge news website’s ‘Whats On’ page has no theatre option. The University has its own CamDram – do have a look. Lots of little shows in college venues not just The ADC.
We can all check out The Arts or The Corn Exchange online and the Mumford seems to be trying its best to programme a few things other than in house student stuff. Facebook and other social media serve their purpose too, but you have to sign up and know where to go looking for it.
BUT (drum roll, fanfare, dancing girls and pyrotechnics please) we are soon to have A NEW THEATRE!
What was the old Arts Cinema, then Bar B, then Baroosh and tucked away in Market Passage right in the centre of town, is to be The Town and Gown, pub and theatre. Opening on 27th April with a full and exciting programme of small fringe shows the like of which you usually have to travel to London or Edinburgh to see. This is the best news on the Cambridge theatre scene for years. Plans for the future are exciting – in-house professional productions, professionally touring fringe theatre, musical theatre, cabaret and comedy.
A small, flexible space offering pre-show dining and a proper pub on the ground floor.
I am very excited. Here’s a link to their website: have a look, book some tickets and support this new venture because it is overdue, much needed and a breath of fresh air.