Holly’s Highlights: Week 1

After a week of being distracted by totty, HOLLY STEVENSON finds new ways to distract herself.

Cambridge Cheese Company Cambridge New Writing Festival culture Feminism Film food hairy bikers highlights Holly Stevenson holly's highlights Katie Price Kettle's Yard Liz Jones the descendants The Junction TV Union vorticist week 1

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

I am suffering serious withdrawal symptoms. After being spoilt for choice last week when it comes to thinking male totty, both Sherlock and Stargazing Live have finished (one night I even managed to watch the two back to back. I made sure I locked my door first). And this week? A choice between Gregg Wallace, John Torode or Frank Skinner. It’s like I’ve had a gourmet buffet wrenched away from me and replaced with a naked Michael Portillo covered in day-old sushi. Thankfully, culture in Cambridge is looking as fresh and as appetising as ever:


What? This House Believes the only Limit to Female Success is Female Ambition

When? 7.30pm, Thursday 26th January

Where? The Union, obviously.

Why? Silly title aside (what is ‘female ambition’? Does it wear pink stilettos?), this promises to be a gem of a debate. Not only does it feature Katie Price, a woman who prefers to display her 30DD-sized feminist views loud and proud, but Liz Jones, who, in one of her columns, wrote: ‘I do believe that any man who moves in with a woman…should take it as read that she will want to use them to procreate, by fair means or foul, no matter how much she protests otherwise.’ Worth the Union’s membership fee on its own.

Liz Jones. International sperm thief extraordinaire.


What? Hairy Bikers’ Best of British

When? 7pm, Wednesday 25th January

Where? BBC2

Why? Having checked every hour of the TV schedules, I have discovered this is the one programme on the BBC that is not a) about sex, b) a repeat, c) a spine-crackingly awful rehashing of Room 101. Plus, Geordie accents are always entertaining.

Please God don’t let this be about sex.


What? Henri Gaudier-Brzeska: Vorticist!

When? Until 1st April

Where? Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street

Why? A movement with adherents that sound like a who’s-who of writers that make me want to hide under my bed in terror (Ezra Pound, Wyndham Lewis, T.S Eliot), Vorticist works incorporate elements of machinery worship and dynamism. An engineer’s wet dream.

Henri Gaudier-Brzeska – Sketch of ‘Bird Swallowing a Fish’, 1914


What? The Descendants

Where? Vue, Grafton

When? From Friday 27 January

Why? Best Picture at the Golden Globes and tipped to win big at the Oscars, this is the new film from Alexander Payne (Sideways, Election, About Schmidt), who specialises in tragicomedies about lonely and inept men who drive their wives to infidelity and their children to tears. Where does he get his ideas from? It’s set in Hawaii and stars George Clooney, who still looks as hot as he did in ER (if you sit at the back and bury your head in your popcorn).



What? Cambridge Cheese Company

When? When you have a cheese craving.

Where? All Saints Passage

Why? Why not? As well as the finest cheeses money can buy, this cheery little shop has locally sourced bread, olives, chilis and even real ale. And they’ve got haggis in for Burns’ night.

Dare I venture a ‘nom nom nom’?

Something different

What? Cambridge New Writing Festival

When? 26th-29th January

Where? The Junction

Why? Forget Oscar Wilde-wannabes draped over chaise-longues, this three day festival includes original short films, monologues and one-page plays that are (sometimes quite literally) hot off the press, and the audience gets to vote for their favourites. And the best thing about all of this? It operates on a pay as you like policy. If I’m in a perverse mood, I will pay the cost of a notepad and biro.