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Theatre News

New Drama, Famous Plays and Books on Stage in Cambridge

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Summer rushes into the Cambridge Arts Theatre on 7 June with the new Bill Kenwright touring production of Alan Ayckbourn’s If I Were You. Starring Liza Goddard and Jack Ellis, this is not to be confused with another production of the play being staged by the Mill at Sonning. The Cambridge run ends on 12 June and the national tour also takes in Eastbourne later in the month. English Touring Theatre’s production of the new Jonathan Harvey play Canary follows between 15 and 19 June.

A flurry of flamenco takes the stage on 20 and 21 June with the Jaleo troupe and then it’s back to drama. Simon Callow plays Shakespeare – The Man from Stratford in a new play by academic and biographer Jonathan Bate as part of a major new national tour from 23 to 26 June. The re-cast Ronald Harwood revival – Quartet – with Sam Kelly replacing Edward Hardwicke and with Gwen Taylor, Susannah York and Timothy West in the other main roles is from 28 June until 3 July.

Young playgoers can have a taste of George’s Marvellous Medicine from 6 to 10 July and there’s another book adaptation in the shape of Guess How Much I Love You scripted by David Wood between 19 and 22 July. Two sparkling revivals from Shakespeare’s Globe on Tour take over the Master’s Garden at Emmanuel College. The Comedy of Errors is on the lawn from 13 to 18 July and the magic of weaves its spells from 10 to 15 August. It’s not just children’s books which are adapted as plays, of course. Nina Bawden’s Carrie’s War arrives in Cambridge for the week of 7 September from the West End; it stars Brigit Forsyth and Hannah Waterman in the story of evacuees from the Blitz to a remote Welsh valley during the Second World War. Daytime performances during the same week are of Tall Stories production of Room on the Broom, from the book by Julia Donaldson illustrated by Axel Scheffler – creators of The Gruffalo.

A stylish revival is promised for 4 to 9 October in the shape of Peter Hall’s Bath production of Sheridan’s The Rivals, which of course is set in that fashionable 18th century watering place. For 18 to 23 October there is the new cast of Calendar Girls, a box-office success on its last visit to Cambridge. There will be other shows to be announced for the autumn, when touring plans have been settled – and the annual pantomime, Aladdin this year, takes over the Arts Theatre from 9 December through to 16 January.


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