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Diary Dates: Top autumn events across the area

Velvet looks forward to art, comedy, drama, dance, music - and a chance to go behind closed doors in both Cambridge and Newmarket


Watercolourists from across East Anglia will be showcasing their exquisite creations in a new exhibition at Babylon Gallery, Ely.

WaterWays – a Festival of Watercolour 2022 will feature original paintings which explore different ways of combining water, pigment, paper and brushwork to create unique watercolour flows, textures and compositions.

Original framed and unframed paintings and cards, offering a variety of perspectives of the local area and beyond, will be on sale at the exhibition by the Society of East Anglian Watercolourists (SEAW).

Visitors can sign up to three full-day workshops on combining watercolour and collage, painting sea and sky and painting boats, taking place September 5, 12 and 19. There will be a chance to win £75 off a painting by voting for a favourite artwork in a draw, plus SEAW artists will be available to discuss their work, open up their sketch books, and offer short watercolour demonstrations.

SEAW patron and award-winning artist Lillias August RI, who is a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours, says of watercolour painting: “The huge variety of combinations between the three main elements – water, pigment and paper – never cease to challenge, inspire and excite both those who do it and those who look at it. It can be both spontaneous and more calculated and all methods, however different, can be masterful and captivating.”

Originally named the Royal Watercolour Society Friends in East Anglia, SEAW was set up by Richard Sorrell, President of the Royal Watercolour Society, between 2006-9, and has 65 members and more than 65 friends.

WaterWays – a Festival of Watercolour 2022 is at Babylon Gallery, Ely, September 1 – 25, 12 – 4pm every day, except Mondays. More at eastanglianwatercolourists.co.uk or babylonarts.org.uk or email SEAW@gmail.com.


Black Blues Brothers at The Apex Bury (58544322)
Black Blues Brothers at The Apex Bury (58544322)

Brace yourself for some seriously big energy as The Black Blues Brothers use chairs, tables and coat racks in their thrilling tribute to the legendary cult movie.

Expect edge-of-the-seat moments as the acrobatic troupe perfect jaw-dropping balancing acts and create human pyramids in breath-taking routines.

Get up to get down to a soundtrack of The Blues Brothers favourites including Soul Man and Gimme Some Lovin’ as The Apex, Bury is transformed into a nightclub, reminiscent of the Cotton Club.

The Black Blues Brothers is at The Apex, Bury, September 22. More at theapex.co.uk


The Magpies (58544360)
The Magpies (58544360)

They burst onto the UK folk scene in 2020, with their powerful vocals and glittering instrumental ornamentation attracting worldwide acclaim. Two years on, The Magpies continue to ‘make waves wherever they play’ thanks to their fresh brand of transatlantic neo-folk.

Made up of accomplished musicians – guitarist Bella Gaffney, banjo player Kate Griffin and fiddle player Holly Brandon - the top-flight trio have wowed with live performances at Cambridge Folk Festival and Glastonbury, as well as in international shows in Canada and Portugal.

Following the success of their smash debut Tidings, The Magpies release their second album on October 14, and head out on a UK and Ireland tour, stopping at Saffron Hall on October 21.

For tickets visit themagpiesmusic.com


Henry Cecil Newmarket Open Weekend Ed Dunlop. Picture by Mark Westley (58544324)
Henry Cecil Newmarket Open Weekend Ed Dunlop. Picture by Mark Westley (58544324)

Head to British horseracing’s HQ this month for the action-packed Henry Cecil Open Weekend in Newmarket.

Delve behind the scenes at some of the country’s best-known racing yards or marvel at gymkhanas and dog shows, whilst raising funds for the event’s charity partners;

Racing Welfare, the National Horseracing Museum, Newmarket Day Centre and the Newmarket Heath Ambulance.

Last year’s event attracted record crowds, raising £60,000, to support the racing industry and its workforce.

The Henry Cecil Open Weekend takes place September 17 – 18. Purchase tickets at thehenrycecilopenweekend.co.uk


Open Cambridge (58544354)
Open Cambridge (58544354)

Fancy a peek at some banned books at the Whipple Library or a glimpse of amazing finds collected from Darwin’s Voyage of the Beagle? There’s a chance to do both during Open Cambridge, a festival of history and culture, offering 100 fascinating free events.

Part of the national Heritage Open Days scheme, which has a theme of ‘astounding inventions’, the festival encompasses walks, talks, tours and online events, running September 9 – 18.

Highlights are set to include From Darwin to Dodos, a guided tour around the Museum of Zoology; discovering artefacts and heart-rending stories of those stationed at Bottisham’s World War II Airfield; and uncovering the city’s lesser-known characters in a Green Badge Guide Walk entitled Cambridge: The Irrelevant and the Irreverent.

Don’t miss the chance to venture into Cambridge’s famous Grade 1 Listed Leper Chapel, which dates from 1125, see inside Hobson’s Conduit monument, and learn which ‘Astounding Inventions’ masterminded in Cambridge now help to feed the world in a talk at the University’s Department of Plant Sciences.

For the full programme, visit opencambridge.cam.ac.uk


Maise Adam, Picture Matt Crockett (58544352)
Maise Adam, Picture Matt Crockett (58544352)

Yorkshire-born mistress of mirth Maisie Adam cut her teeth on the comedy circuit in 2016, when, for her first ever gig, she clocked up a full hour set; a rare feat for an inexperienced stand-up. Within a matter of months, she’d triumphed in the UK’s largest stand-up contest – So You Think You’re Funny? - previously won by her comedy hero Peter Kay.

Since then, Maise’s appeared on various shows including Live at The Apollo, Mock The Week and The Last Leg and clinched yet more awards. Treat yourself to a night of laughter in the company of Maisie, known for her unique mix of anecdotal material and witty charm, at Cambridge Junction on October 14.

Find out more at junction.co.uk

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