A new season at the arts theatre brings a variety of top quality performances from dance, to serious drama
The recently unveiled new season programme for Cambridge Arts Theatre serves up a feast of theatrical treats, from spine-chilling dramas to political thrillers, critically-acclaimed comedies and stunning ballet performances.
Starting the autumn series in style is The Real Thing, Cambridge Arts Theatre’s major new co-production of Tom Stoppard’s award-winning masterpiece. Starring Laurence Fox (Lewis, A Room with a View, Gosford Park), the plot centres around a bed-hopping coterie of theatre luvvies for whom the lines between art and reality grow increasingly blurred. Catch it from 6-16 September.
Following that, running 19-23 September, is the spine-chilling Wait Until Dark, a stage rework of the 1967 Hollywood thriller featuring Audrey Hepburn. Alone in her apartment, a blind woman becomes embroiled with a group of conmen hatching an elaborate scheme. Left to fend for herself and with the phone line cut and the house plunged into darkness, can she outwit the murderous visitors? Expect much edge-of-seat teetering as the tension builds.
Hot on the heels of a dazzling West End run, the sumptuous stage production of The Kite Runner arrives at the Arts Theatre on 25 September. Based on Khaled Hosseini’s international bestselling novel, this unforgettable story follows two childhood friends in Afghanistan about to be torn apart by war.
Also hitting Cambridge fresh from the West End is Around the World in 80 Days, which sees the fabulously wealthy Phileas Fogg wagering his life’s fortune on a bet that he can circumnavigate the globe in 80 days. Described by The Independent as a “magnificently preposterous romp”, this inventive take on the classic tale is performed by just eight actors playing 125 different characters; their story taking them from misty Victorian London to exotic far-flung corners and through the gun-toting Wild West. Catch it 14-18 November.
From the fantastical to the farcical, when Alan Ayckbourn’s hilarious How the Other Half Loves arrives at the theatre at the end of October. Misunderstandings, mendaciousness and marital mishaps abound in this middle-class comedy of manners, which stars Robert Daws (The Royal, Outside Edge), opposite Caroline Langrishe (Lovejoy, Holby City), plus Charlie Brooks (Eastenders), Leon Ockenden (Coronation Street), and Sara Crowe (Four Weddings and a Funeral).
Continuing Ayckbourn’s tradition of social satire is Rules for Living, a darkly funny hit comedy which runs 3-7 October. A family gathers on Christmas Day; their individual foibles and tensions with each other creating a descent into chaos as the drinks flow and obligatory games intensify…
Treat yourself to a duo of music performances of the highest calibre during October, beginning with Clare Teal and her Mini Big Band, who’ll be honouring the musical legacy of the high priestess of jazz, Ella Fitzgerald, on the 8th. Then, on the 15th, spend an evening in the company of Dan Forshaw and his sextet, celebrating the legendary Blue Note jazz era.
There’s dance, too, courtesy of awe-inspiring all-male company BalletBoyz (22-23 October), plus family theatre in the shape of Grufallo’s Child (15-18 November).
From 16-21 October it’s the turn of The Best Man – Gore Vidal’s award-winning play about two presidential candidates and their race to the White House.
Round off the year with the Arts Theatre’s traditional pantomime, which is always a glittering, grandiose affair. This year the cast are taking on Jack & The Beanstalk, so expect the climb of your life with Matt Crosby (Cambridge’s favourite panto dame), et al.