Lottie Unwin: Drama Queen (In Absentia)
The weekly run-down of what’s on in theatres across Cambridge.
It’s never easy stepping into the shoes of a beloved and accomplished predecessor. But never fear, dearest and most loyal of subjects, I am not assuming the mantle of Drama Queen. There was no October Revolution. There is no Petrograd Soviet. I'm just grabbing the reins while Lottie does Team Tab proud on Jailbreak.
HMS Pinafore, Cambridge Arts Theatre – 7.45pm, Monday 1st – Saturday 6th February, (2.30pm matinees on Thursday and Saturday), £10/15
Being performed in association with Gilbert and Sullivan’s 50th anniversary celebrations, HMS Pinafore is sub-titled: "Or, the Lass Who Loved a Sailor" (personally, reminds me of some kind of Aesop’s fable without an animal protagonist) and offers a 1920s reinterpretation of the original Victorian setting. With “saucy” antics and “sparkling dialogue” promised – this claims to be one of the “best loved and endearing shows ever written”. Avoid if you don’t do musicals.
Chinese State Circus, The Corn Exchange – 8pm, Monday 1st – Wednesday 3rd (5pm shows on Tuesday and Wednesday), £16 – £22 per ticket (+ £2 booking fee)
Promising the world’s greatest acrobats, this is definitely offering something different from the usual student theatre circuit, not least because you are unlikely to have seen all the performers in every play you’ve ever seen at the ADC. Give it a go, and if you do, write a review for The Tab.
The Relapse, Downing Howard Theatre – 7.45pm, Tuesday 2nd – Saturday 6th February, £5/6
The Relapse is the first play to be performed in Downing's new, "state-of-the-art" Howard Theatre. Boasting to be one of England’s "favourite Restoration Comedies", this promises a “menagerie of outrageously comic characters”. The Relapse marks the re-launch of the Downing Dramatic Society and the Howard Theatre will provide Cambridge with another theatrical space, so go out and show your support for the thespian scene. Apparently the first night is already sold out.
Pale Horse, Corpus Playrooms – 7.30pm, Tuesday 2nd – Saturday 6th February, £5/6
“Charles runs a bar in South London. He's a man's man, handsome, charismatic. But something's not right: his wife is dead, grief isn't easy and there's a lot of rum that needs drinking. Science can't help him. Religion can't help him. Can Lucy, his new barmaid?” OK, troubled-soul-seeker-seeks-soul-by-nailing-fit-barmaid isn’t the stuff Shakespeare was made of but give it a shot.
I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, ADC – 7.45pm, Tuesday 2nd – Saturday 6th February (with a 4pm showing on Saturday), £6/8
“An hilarious look at the dating game in which four actors take the audience on a merry-go-round of various characters who, each in their own special way, face the realities of dating and marriage in a world where not everything is as easy as in a musical-comedy…” Could just be Friends with a real soundtrack (rather than those periodic 30-second ‘New Yawk’ saxophone trills) but I do always appreciate the correct use of grammar (“An hilarious”).
The Good and Faithful Servant, Corpus Playrooms – 9.30pm, Tuesday 2nd – Saturday 6th February, £5/6
“The poor, world-weary Buchanan, trying to support his well-meaning but generally useless (and only recently rediscovered) family, is the man nobody wants to become: The Good and Faithful Servant.” Cynics apply here.
Over The Bridge, ADC – 11pm, Tuesday 2nd February, £5/6
Does your heart ache from the absence of Blueprint in your life? I know mine does. One Night Only (for one night only – what a clever pun! You can tell they’re Cambridge boys) promise a varied performance of “soul & jazz, rat-pack and classic barner shop to Dizzee Rascal, Queen and Daniel Bedingfield. This group presents an evening of entertainment where the audience will swoon at the soaring melodies, jive to the funky bass, melt with the delicious harmonies, and be brought one step closer to Nirvana by the astonishing falsetto.” Blueprint watch out – there’s always a Westlife waiting to take a Boyzone’s place.
Cigarettes & Chocolate, ADC – 11pm, Wednesday 3rd – Saturday 6th February, £4-6
Cigarettes and Chocolate was written by the late and Oscar-winning director, Anthony Minghella (The English Patient, The Talented Mr Ripley) and offers what I personally assume can only be a winning combination (cocoa and nicotine, what’s not to like?). “Gemma’s stopped speaking. Her vow for Lent is total silence. No one knows why and she’s not about to explain herself. Watch her friends, family, unrequited, and unfaithful lovers react to this negation of words themselves…a dark comedy about the threat of silence to the superfluous, trivial conversations of modern life.” Anyone familiar with the Minghella formula will know this is one not to be missed.
A Salt Poetry Reading, Heffers – 6.30-8pm, Thursday 4th February, Free
Well it’s free. Contributors to this latest poetry collection form local publisher Salt (Contourlines – New Responses to landscape in Word and Image), will be reading some of their poems from the collection.) Lack of information adds an air of mystique which might prove its selling point. Except it’s free anyway. So why not.
Britten Sinfonia, West Road Concert Hall – 8pm, Friday 5th February, £15-29
Pricey, but promises “a programme of music from both sides of the Atlantic that delves into the subtle and rich sonorities of strings and voice…new music, effortlessly crossing the boundaries between classical and pop.” If you haven’t run through most of your term’s budget yet, why not brighten up those eventless Friday nights with a little culture. Mummy’d be proud.