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Mixed Menus in Cambridge

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Programming for the summer can be awkward for a theatre right in the heart of a historic city with an 800 year-old academic history. But there's something for all tastes and ages on offer in Cambridge this year, both indoors and outside.

The Arts Theatre season launches on 1 June with Terence Rattigan's 1948 drama The Winslow Boy which he based on a true story of 1910. Stephen Unwins' production stars Timothy West as the high-flying barrister who becomes involved in the case of a naval cadet accused of theft. It runs until 6 June (reviewed on 19 May).

More Rattigan in mid-August when is paired in an unusal double-bill coupling, with Anton Chekhov's Swan Song in a translation by Stephen Mulrine. Peter Bowles plays both Andrew Crocker-Harris and the old Russian actor who has just given his last performance in Peter Hall's production which is in Cambridge from 10 to 15 August.

Thrills of a different kind are offered by the Agatha Christie Theatre Company's production of Spider's Web between 8 and 13 June (reviewed on 12 March). Then there's Ian Dickens' new production of Frederick Knott's Write Me a Murder from 29 June until 4 July. The cast includes Leslie Grantham, Christopher Villiers, Paul Opacic and Helen Weir, all familiar faces from television.

Two very popular children's books take to the stage in June and July. The first is Judith Weir's The Tiger Who Came to Tea in the musical adaptation by David Wood. There are daytime performances between 25 and 28 June. Then Francesca Simon's Horrid Henry – Live and Horrid! makes his presence felt with early evening performances from 8 to 11 July and matinées on 9, 10 and 11 July.

For this year's Hotbed Festival, Menagerie has expanded from The Junction into co-production with The Pleasance. Hotbed is a celebration of new, often very new, writing and an essential staging post for playwrights hoping to gain plaudits and awards on the Edinburgh fringe. is the festival's major new offering but there's also a new play by Janice Okoh – Egusi Soup – and work-in-progress including Chris Dobrowolski's Antarctic Advertures

Shakespeare's Globe is on tour this summer (that's the company, not the building). The Comedy of Errors will take place in the Master's Garden of Emmanuel College from 18 to 23 August – whatever the weather, we are promised. A Midsummer Night's Dream follows between 25 and 28 August. Wheelchair spaces will be provided but no seating, though those theatre-goers who arrive early with their own chairs may be able to be accommodated with them.

Back under cover at the Arts, the summer season closes with Michael Frayn's latest play Balmoral. It stars Rik Mayall in a comedy which presupposes that the 1917 Revolution happened not in tsarist Russia but in monarchial Britain. The former royal summer retreat is now a writers' commune. Then the arrival of a government inspector is announced...


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