Holly’s Highlights Week 0

Marmite and cheese with Rodin, lime jelly with Cumberbatch: HOLLY STEVENSON shows you how to devour another week’s culture.

a question of taste Cambridge captain scott coriolanus culture Fitzwilliam Museum Holly Stevenson holly's highlights impressionist gallery scott polar museum Sherlock week 0

For this week’s theatre and comedy, check the Theatre Guide Dog.

I have just emerged from the cultural wasteland that is my hometown of Luton (It is a town by the way, not just an airport. Though the sort of town that would feature in a dream that also stars Freddie Kreuger). As I have subsisted exclusively on a crash diet of comedy DVDs and Chaucer over Christmas, it’s time you and I crammed some proper culture down our gullets. Possibly whilst holding our respective noses.

Art – Re-opening of the Impressionist gallery at the Fitz

Where? Fitzwilliam Museum

When? Open now

Why? Impressionism is the Marmite of the art world; to some it is a sublime expression of the natural world, to others it is just artists being lazy. The newly renovated gallery features Monet, Matisse and Renoir, as well as sculptures by Rodin. I may well check out the new space with some Marmite and cheese sandwiches. Now that’s a truly unbeatable combination.

Monet’s Springtime

Film – Coriolanus

Where? The Vue, Grafton Centre.

When? from Friday 20 January.

Why? Directed by Voldemort himself, Ralph Fiennes’ Coriolanus is more Call of Duty than Kenneth Branagh. It’s Shakespeare with assault rifles. It’s got the guy from 300 in it. The screenplay is from the writer of Gladiator. There’s revenge, betrayal and Roman politics. Arrive early: there’ll be Classicists queueing round the block.


Food – A Question of Taste

Where? BBC2

When? 8.30pm Monday 16th

Why? Put simply, this show is fucking hilarious. Unintentionally. It’s the Beeb’s new quiz show, comprising of two frighteningly middle class teams (the team names this week were ‘The Gastronomers’ and ‘The Epicurean Fails’. Seriously) being asked foodie questions by Kirsty Wark; with William Sitwell in ‘Kitchen Corner’, telling you pointless facts about eatables you will never get to consume in a million years. This concoction is then dusted liberally with atrocious puns (random example: the first round is called ‘see food’) that the audience feel compelled to laugh at for just a little too long. Essential viewing, if only because it reminds you that your life has a meaning. Watch while munching the last of your Christmas chocolate.

TV – Sherlock

Where? BBC 1

When? Sunday 15th Jan 9 pm

Why? I haven’t been this excited about a TV event since Fatima got a cockroach stuck up her nose. Not only is the show classy, compelling, intelligent and breathtakingly filmed, but Benedict Cumberbatch being authoritative and slightly angry makes me quiver more than a half-set lime jelly. Come Sunday I will need a bucket to catch the drool.


Something different – These Rough Notes: Captain Scott’s Last Expedition

Where? Scott Polar Museum, Lensfield Road

When? Until 5th May

Why? It’s a big year for the Museum – 2012 marks a hundred years since Captain Scott’s last expedition and his sad death in the depths of the Antarctic. In fact, this Tuesday (Jan 17th) is exactly a century after Scott and his men reached the South Pole. This exhibition showcases the letters and journals of the group; including Scott’s diary and the final heart-breaking letters to his widow. Take a trip down there and the freezing-your-tits-off weather suddenly won’t seem so bad.

Music – Standard Fare

Where? The Portland Arms, Chesterton Road

When? Friday, 8 pm

Why? The Portland Arms is your bog standard music pub – a grotty big back room converted into a stage and painted black. But its Cambridge’s main alternative venue and as such attracts some really great up-and-comers. Friday’s gig is a nice, gentle introduction into a Cambridge indie scene generally ignored by students. Standard Fare offer an ironically standard fare of cheerful, high-quality, guitar-driven indie pop. Their support acts, Tigercats and Model Village are also pretty solid. If ‘up-and-comer’ puts you off, never fear: these are all ‘proper bands’, with labels and Spotify and iTunes, not bedroom shoegazers. It’s fun stuff and worth breaking out of the bubble for.

Easter island by Tigercats