Cambridge Arts Theatre is thrilled to unveil an outstanding Autumn 2021 and 2022 season, and the second programme of productions since the COVID-19 closure.
The coming months will bring famous faces, an eclectic range of genres and world-class entertainment to welcome audiences back to live performance.
Firstly, Cambridge Arts Theatre is delighted to announce this year’s traditional family pantomime, Aladdin (2 Dec 2021 – 9 Jan 2022). Cambridge’s favourite pantomime dame Matt Crosby will return to star as Widow Twankey with further casting to be announced. Expect singalong songs, sparkling costumes and side-splitting jokes for the whole family to enjoy. Christmas in Cambridge just wouldn’t be complete without the Arts Theatre panto and Aladdin promises to be bigger and better than ever before.
World-class dramas and renowned actors are set to complement the Arts Theatre stage. Julian Clary and Matthew Kelly join forces in Ronald Harwood’s affectionate and hilarious portrait of backstage life in The Dresser (12-16 Oct); Ian McDiarmid stars in Julian Barnes’ wryly comic and unsentimental perspective on the complicated business of ageing in The Lemon Table (2-6 Nov); Cambridge University’s Marlowe Society transport audiences to an enchanted Athenian forest as they present Shakespeare’s greatest comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream (26-29 Jan); Dame Penelope Keith stars in Stephen Wyatt’s bittersweet comedy Two Cigarettes in the Dark (3-12 Mar) where she plays Isabel – bright, witty, fiercely independent and not ready to go peacefully as she faces the end; Michael Morpurgo’s beloved novel Private Peaceful (14-19 Mar) tells the tale of the Peaceful brothers, set against the epic backdrop of WWI; Olivier Award-winners Griff Rhys Jones and Janie Dee star in An Hour and a Half Late (4-9 Apr), a devastatingly funny portrait of married life and Gavin & Stacey’s Mathew Horne and The Pembrokeshire Murders’ Keith Allen star in Harold Pinter’s 1960s masterpiece The Homecoming (11-16 Apr), a bleakly funny exploration of family and relationships.
You’ll be able to hear a pin drop as four edge-of-your-seat thrillers will leave you hooked this Autumn. Starring Tom Chambers, Diana Vickers, Christopher Harper and Michael Salami, an all-star cast of stage and screen favourites bring Alfred Hitchcock’s iconic, genre-defining film Dial M for Murder (5-9 Oct) to life; EastEnders icon Adam Woodyatt stars in the world premiere stage production of best-selling author Peter James’ latest addition to the thrilling Roy Grace series, Looking Good Dead (31 Jan-5 Feb); based on the classic detective board game, Cluedo (14-19 Feb) is the hilarious spoof of a thriller which will have you trying to work out whodunnit… with what… and where.. and based on the iconic film, Fatal Attraction (25-30 Apr) is transformed into an intoxicating stage adaptation of the definitive movie thriller.
Young theatregoers (and their grown-ups!) will have the perfect reintroduction to live theatre with fantastic productions for the whole family to enjoy. Best-selling author David Walliams’ Gangsta Granny (27-30 Oct) hits Cambridge throughout October half-term, ideal for children aged 5+; you can enter into a magical world of myths, legends and magnificent monsters in Dragons and Mythical Beasts (18-20 Nov), a fantastical new puppetry show and spellbinding adventure for ages 3+ and George Orwell’s world-famous fable Animal Farm (8-12 Feb) is reimagined into a dynamic, daring and contemporary stage adaptation by an award-winning creative team.
You’ll leave the stalls laughing with some brilliantly funny comedies on offer. Alan Ayckbourn’s comic masterpiece of social climbing in 1970s suburbia Absurd Person Singular (7-11 Sept) fuses a potent mix of farce and black comedy; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s celebrated detective story The Hound of the Baskervilles (16-18 Sept) gets a brand-new, brilliantly theatrical and wonderfully comic twist in a ‘rib-bustingly hilarious’ (The Times) production; the then unknown Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel set sail from Liverpool to New York in Told by an Idiot’s hilarious and deeply moving Charlie and Stan (20-25 Sept), a homage to two men who changed the world of comedy forever; the hysterical Mischief (The Play That Goes Wrong) take you on a journey from an unruly classroom of six year-olds, anarchic high school teenagers to the challenges of adulthood in Groan Ups (18-23 Oct); the classic and much-loved 1970s television series The Good Life (9-13 Nov) is reimagined on stage starring actor and comedian Rufus Hound and Preeya Kalidas and esteemed actors Patricia Hodge and Nigel Havers star in Noël Coward’s gloriously entertaining comedy Private Lives (22-27 Nov).
Recognisable faces from a host of professions will impress audiences with their respective talent in a series of one-night-only events. Direct from London’s world-famous jazz club, The Ronnie Scott’s All Stars (3 Oct) combines live jazz, archive photographs, video footage and narration to celebrate it’s incredible history; audiences can experience the man, the actor and his many roles in the unmistakingly unique event David Suchet: Poirot and More, A Retrospective (10 Oct); two multi award-winning UK jazz musicians, Claire Martin OBE and pianist Nikki Iles (17 Oct) join forces for a concert of songs recorded by legendary singer Tony Bennett and great jazz pianist Bill Evans; TV presenter, naturalist, conservationist and award-winning photographer and author Chris Packham (24 Oct) discusses his travels and photography in a funny, inspiring and irreverent one night event; the award-winning jazz vocalist and Jazz FM presenter Clare Teal (7 Nov) celebrates 100 years of pop music alongside her sextet; artist and activist Ai Weiwei (14 Nov) tells the story of his extraordinary life lived under extraordinary circumstances and discusses his widely anticipated memoir, 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows and the larger than life actor, writer and presenter Brian Blessed (16 Nov) combines anecdotes from his illustrious acting career with tales of his adventuring – may not be suitable for people who aren’t expecting the odd expletive!
And last, but by no means least, two hit musicals will have the auditorium dancing in the aisles. West End star Jodie Prenger takes to the stage in Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black’s classic musical Tell Me on a Sunday (30 Sep-2 Oct) and the award-winning Cambridge Operatic Society revive the iconic jukebox musical Priscilla Queen of the Desert (19-22 Jan).
For more information and to book call the Box Office on 01223 503333 or visit www.cambridgeartstheatre.com.