Although more often than not we all love to jump on a train and hit the West End to see the best actors and actresses in the London theatre, with some of us even being extravagant enough to board a plane to New York for the weekend to catch the latest show on Broadway.
However look no further than your local county as Cambridge Arts Theatre is celebrating its 75th anniversary season.
Cambridge Arts Theatre had promised us that through the months of June to November they are going to provide us with their best ever season to mark their glorious 75th anniversary. Their press release states that these months will be jam-packed with new productions, classic revivals, comedy shows, family shows and a special appearance from one of the London’s stage top legends.
So far June has seen an amazing launch of the Cambridge Arts Theatre 75th anniversary season with the very popular Avenue Q then moving on to Communicating Doors a popular Ayckbourn play. The summer season that the Cambridge Arts Theatre kept hotting up even though our weather was not keeping up with the ground breaking introduction of a new play called Love Love Love by Mike Bartlett. This play takes us back to the summer of love following a hedonistic couple originally from the 60s and how forty years later generational clashes begin to emerge.
If this play was too high brow for some of you, the Arts Theatre also provided a scratch and sniff stage version of David Walliams’ book Mr Stink. Apart from reeking out the auditorium the younger members of the audience were astoundingly happy with the gruesomely smelly and wickedly funny event ending off the June season, City Connect is pleased to announce that the Calendar Girls are back still daring to reveal nearly all and to our delight starring the likes of Lesley Joseph and Ruth Maddock.
If June was not enough to whet your appetite then July has an even better packed month for you. We start this month with a black Irish comedy called Beauty Queen of Leenane. This play was written Martin Mcdonagh whom you may be more familiar with from his In Bruges fame. The Beauty Queen of Leenane is a story of a lonely spinster and her overbearing mother. We at City Connect are looking forward to attending this play.
July then shows us more comedy in the form of Alarms and Excursions which is a show which has been broken down into eight short plays which consist of new material especially written for the 75th anniversary season. As we near the end of July and enter into August, we are delighted by the return of Mowgli and his adventures with that lovable dancing bear Baloo in this children’s classic The Jungle Book. It has been mentioned that this production as presented by the Birmingham Stage Company brings a totally new aspect to the story.
Cambridge Arts Theatre calms down the energy with a performance of JB Priestley’s Eden End set in the early 20th century concentrating on hidden heartaches of the main family of the tale. If that’s not enough The Woman in White, a favourite classic Victorian chiller, has confirmed that Colin Baker of Dr Who fame will be starring alongside Peter Amory in the Wilkie Collins classic.
As the summer sun hopefully rears its head the Arts Theatre will once again be going al fresco this time in the glamorous setting of the Masters Garden at Corpus Christi College. Cambridge Arts Theatre has joined forces with The Globe (London) and we have it on good authority that their rendition of Hamlet in the open air of such historical grounds will definitely be one not to miss.
For an added bonus and a definite highlight of this 75th anniversary season of the Cambridge Arts Theatre we welcome back a student who first appeared on stage here at Cambridge University to play an important role in Eduardo De Filippo’s The Syndicate. If this gripping tale of organised crime in both Naples and New York was not enough to get your attention, City Connect highlights that this Cambridge student is none other than Sir Ian McKellen.
From September to November as we say goodbye to summer and welcome in the autumn, the Cambridge Arts Theatre 75th anniversary season still keeps us glued to our seats with Moliere’s Tartuffe which has been updated by Roger McGough. We also have End of the Rainbow telling the tale of Judy Garland’s 1968 comeback and another Ayckbourn classic Seasons Greeting graces the programme.
A personal favourite of mine is Alan Bennett’s original play The Madness of George III steeped in royal destinies, political travesties and personal upheaval and I’m looking forward to the autumn when it graces the stage. One of my fellow editors is just as excited if not more so that the National Theatre’s production of an Inspector Calls is also making a welcome return to the Cambridge Arts Theatre.
For those of you with children, Horrible Histories complete with 3D bogglevision is appearing at half term followed by Mike Bartlett’s second play of the season Earthquakes in London.
This fabulous line-up for the Cambridge Arts Theatre 75th anniversary season is rounded off by Nick Fisher’s latest comedy Basket Case and if The Madness of George III was not enough to keep me happy this season then I’m even more pleased to announce that Nigel Havers will be starring in Basket Case.
With such an amazing season of theatre in store, one wonders what the Cambridge Arts Theatre will bring us for Christmas however in the meantime I look forward to living in the present and booking my tickets.
Images reproduced from southwestshows.co.uk, pukaarnews.com and assets1.theatreroyal.org.uk
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