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What's On: Theatre's back and gigs are booking

Arts and culture continue to help us transcend world gloom, with theatres reopening, galleries staging fascinating exhibitions and top-class gigs being booked for 2021. Good times!

Play Time

A launch pad for the careers of some of Britain’s finest actors – from Rachel Weisz and Emma Thompson to Stephen Fry and Sir Ian McKellen - the ADC Theatre reopens its doors this month.

Closed during the summer owing to the pandemic, the Cambridge venue will launch with a scintillating season of student theatre, comedy and music.

Season highlights will include Shakespeare’s Macbeth; Broadway smash Chicago; classic lesbian drama Last Summer At Bluefish Cove; poignant, uplifting musical, Little Voice; and the annual CUADC and Footlights Pantomime Sleeping Beauty, promising a tinsel-topped medley of hilarious jokes and original songs.

All the shows will be livestreamed – to be enjoyed from home – with the opportunity for audience members to watch some of the plays in a socially-distanced auditorium, if they so desire.The theatre’s performers and technicians will be following the government’s social distancing guidelines, with compulsory face masks and increased hygiene measures in the auditorium to keep spectatorssafe.

“We can’t wait to re-open our doors again,” says the ADC Theatre Manager, Jamie Rycroft. “The management team has been working hard to come up with a way in which audience members, performers and technicians can remain safe while watching and staging live theatre again. And if you’re not quite ready to return, you can watch all of our shows from the safety and comfort of your home.”

The first half of the autumn season went on sale on September 14, with the second half bookable from October 16. Happy viewing!

Book tickets by calling the Box Office on (01223) 300085 or online at adctheatre.com

Nice One

As quirky names go, the reallyverynice art gallery in Bury St Edmunds clinches a gold star. Its distinctive title, however, sums up perfectly the gallery’s bounteous offering of original hanging art, unique ceramics and mixed media pieces. Among the local, national and international artists on the impressive roster are Cambridge sculptor JJ Vincent, whose handmade ceramic creatures are bursting with personality; Ostinelli & Priest, creators of stunning, charismatic animal sculptures; Garth Bayley, a painter of big, bold expressionist works in oil; and Sallie Wakley, whose realistic animal sculptures are inspired by a life-long love of nature.

Even better, every original work is exclusive to the gallery, so you can select something ‘really very nice’ and know you’re getting a one-of-a-kind treasure.

reallyverynice art gallery is at 29, Churchgate Street, Bury St Edmunds. Visit reallyverynice.co.uk

Happy Ending

Biffy Clyro (42044766)
Biffy Clyro (42044766)

In what has been a decidedly dark time, we all need a large dose of positivity right now. Thankfully Scottish rock titans Biffy Clyro have responded to the klaxon with their ninth album ‘A Celebration of Endings’ dubbed ‘Glorious, elevating and energising’ and ‘shot through with hope and optimism’. Even more heartening is the news that the dynamic power trio have just announced a series of six intimate UK gigs next year, including a Cambridge date in April.

The ‘Fingers Crossed Tour’ will be a rare opportunity to revel in soaring Queen-style vocal harmonies, bombastic synth, and stadium style madcap rock. Bring it on.

See Biffy Clyro at Cambridge Corn Exchange on April 13, fingers crossed!

Book tickets at cambridgelive.org.uk

Shore Thing

Garry Raymond Pereira at Byard Art(42044773)
Garry Raymond Pereira at Byard Art(42044773)

Garry Raymond Pereira’s dramatic landscape paintings have a truly transcendental quality to them. Gaze at his powerful seascapes and you’ll be transported to a windswept beach, the breeze whipping around your face and the waves crashing into shore.

Garry, who specialises in painting the East Anglian countryside, the Lake District, and the Highlands, makes preliminary sketches on location, later working them into more refined pieces.

An award-winning artist, who has exhibited in London, Singapore, Toronto, Dubai, Hong Kong and the USA, his passion for his work is unerring. “Without wishing to sound dramatic, my life has been and continues to be a devotion to painting,” he explains. “My aim always being to offer up something of its original source, some form of connection to the human condition, and a continuing investigation into the properties of paint.”

See his latest works on show at Byard Art, King’s Parade, Cambridge, October 8 to November 1.

Find out more at byardart.co.uk

Body of Evidence

Though sculpted in vastly different eras, almost 500 years apart, two depictions of the male body on show at The Fitzwilliam Museum bear striking similarities. Currently being exhibited at the Octagon Gallery, the hyperreal male figures - St Sebastian (1530s) by Renaissance artist Alonso Berruguete and Action 125 (2011) by contemporary artist Reza Aramesh – are incredibly alike in materials, scale and idealization of the male body. Both sculptors have focused on pain and suffering, defiance and martyrdom in their extraordinary representations.

You can see the juxtaposing display at Gallery 10 until Sunday, October 25.

The Fitzwilliam Museum is at Trumpington Street, Cambridge. Find out more at fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk

Pictured: Alonso Berruguete (c.1488–1561), St Sebastian, on loan from Colnaghi Ltd and Reza Aramesh (1970–) Action 125: Tikrit city, Iraq, Prisoner of war. Monday, April 14, 2003, on loan from a private collection

Curtain Up

It’s time to take your seats as the curtain rises this month at Cambridge’s new Town & Gown Pub & Theatre. Located on Market Passage, in the 1866 building which once housed Cambridge’s Arts Cinema (latterly B Bar and Baroosh) – the Town and Gown is a multi-purpose venue where people can ‘meet, drink, eat and revel’.

Whilst there’s dining and drinks downstairs, and various unique spaces which can be hired for events, the top floor boasts the Black Box Theatre, featuring the best of professionally touring fringe theatre, cabaret, musicals and home-grown productions.

With an emphasis on ‘the marvellously unique and quirky’, the autumn programme is packed with curiously entertaining acts including Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer (Oct 9-10), on a quest to reconnect Hip-Hop with manners and the Queen’s English; Bingo at Tiffanies with Audrey Heartburn (Oct 16) – think bingo hilarity, raucous singalongs and glamorous dancing; and Dracula! One Bloody Fang After Another – a comic retelling of Bram Stoker’s classic, featuring one man and 18 roles; there’s so much at stake! (Oct 30-31).

The Black Box Theatre is a flexible studio, with performances able to take place in various layouts, meaning the audience (of up to 110) enjoy an intimate, up-close and personal experience.

The Town and Gown Theatre Manager, Karl Steele, says: "We are thrilled and really proud to be opening a new venue during these difficult times rather than closing one. The hospitality and theatre industry is taking a massive punch at the moment and we are doing everything we can to reignite some movement in our industries.”

The venue name derives from Cambridge’s two distinct communities; the local population and the university dwelling community – and it’s hoped the two will set aside their rivalries at The Town & Gown.

Performances at the theatre will commence on October 9 with social distancing measures in place.

For more information about the new venue and to book tickets, visit townandgown.co.uk/theatre

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