From gripping thrillers to witty comedies; beautiful ballets to star-studded dramas, the new season at Cambridge Arts Theatre is brimming with first-class entertainment. In time-honoured style, the season will be rounded off with a glittering panto, running from late November until early January. This year’s all-singing, all-dancing show is Cinderella, starring ballet dancer Wayne Sleep as an Ugly Sister, plus Cambridge’s legendary panto dame, Matt Crosby.
Another must-see for families is Malory Towers, an adaptation of Enid Blyton’s classic boarding school-based series of books. Midnight feasts, Cornish clifftops, live music and breathtaking animation await on this adventure with Darrell, Mary Lou and the rest of the gang between 4 and 7 September.
Things take a turn for the sinister when The Girl on the Train comes to town from 23 to 28 September. Based on Paula Hawkins’ successful novel, the play follows heavy drinker Rachel, who longs for a different life. Her only escape is on her commute, when she watches a happily-in-love couple as her train passes their house. But when one half of the couple disappears, it becomes apparent that all is not as it seems, and dark secrets are waiting to be unearthed…
Also bringing a chill to the Cambridge air later in the year is The Lovely Bones: a heart-rending story of life after loss which runs 4 to 9 November. An adaptation of Alice Sebold’s novel that Stage Review describes as “nothing short of a masterpiece”, the show follows the brutally murdered Susie Salmon in her afterlife, as she watches over her family.
Fancy something a little lighter? Join comedian and actor Miles Jupp for The Life I Lead, a funny, moving portrayal of David Tomlinson’s fascinating life story. A World War II fighter pilot who went on to famous roles such as Mr Banks in Mary Poppins, Tomlinson’s real life is every bit as extraordinary as the parts he played. Catch the show from 10 to 14 September.
Also promising laughs is Posh, which follows the debauchery of an exclusive Oxford Uni dining society with echoes of the Bullingdon Club. First performed in 2010, Posh’s harpooning of privilege and entitlement has never felt more relevant.
There’s dance, too, courtesy of captivating all-male dance troupe BalletBoyz (15 to 16 November), plus live music from vocalist Clare Teal and her ‘Big Mini Big Band’ (3 November).
The Cambridge Greek Play returns for its triennial outing from 16 to 19 October, this time with epic tragedy Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles. Performed entirely in Ancient Greek, this Cambridge University tradition dates back to 1882, and counts Rupert Brooke and Tom Hiddleston among its alumni.