Holly’s Highlights: Week 0

Fancy doing something cultural to balance out your Freshers’ Week binge? Check out Culture Editor HOLLY STEVENSON’s guide to what’s on this week.

Cambridge can be an intimidating place at the best of times. And, if you want to keep up with the cultural goings-on, it can be even more scary. It’s hard to keep track of every interpretative dance performance and art house film event at the same time as actually having some fun. After all, sometimes you’ll just want to curl up in a ball and watch every episode of Embarrassing Bodies in existence. And that’s okay.

Come shelter here, the sanctuary of the bewildered and busy, where I will take you by the hand and guide you gently but firmly through the best things to do this week. None of this is unmissable. The world will not stop turning if you watch TOWIE whilst drinking coma-inducing amounts of gin instead. But rest assured, your time will be well spent if you check out the following:

FILM: Melancholia

When? Friday 30th September

Where? Arts Picturehouse

Why? Notorious for Nazi-sympathising comments at Cannes Film Festival and for making a film in which Willem Dafoe is nearly masturbated to death (Antichrist), Lars von Trier’s Melancholia is guaranteed to be interesting. Kirsten Dunst stars as the troubled newlywed Justine who copes with depression – all while the rogue planet Melancholia is set to collide with Earth. This will either be horrific or horrifically magnificent. Either way, it’s a guaranteed conversation starter.

MUSIC: Wish You Were Here Festival

When? Saturday 1st October

Where? Various

Why? Because it’s Cambridge’s own mini festival! You’ll see 25 bands for the recklessly good price of £13.50. And don’t think that quantity doesn’t equal quality. Catch the pretty tones of Alessi’s Ark at The Boathouse, the glam rock stomp of Little Death at The Haymakers, and the Led Zeppelin-esque bombast of Pulled Apart by Horses (who were invited by Muse to support them on their 2011 tour) at The Portland Arms, amongst many, many more. This event is only in its second year, so get down there before the indie kids and corporate sponsors do.

Click here to buy tickets.

Tellison headline this year’s Wish You Were Here

Art: Bridget Riley: Colours, Stripes, Planes, Curves

When? 24th September – 20th November

Where? Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street

Why? One of Britain’s leading abstract artists, Bridget Riley’s works play with the viewer’s senses of perception and illusion. Basically, this exhibition will either make you feel sea sick, or like you’re sky diving. The exhibition at Kettle’s Yard deals with her output from the last 30 years. I don’t recommended this if you’re hungover, but otherwise it’s worth a look.

FOOD: Fitzbillies

When? When the afternoon cake craving comes a-knocking.

Where? On the corner of Pembroke Street and Trumpington Street.

Why? This bakery is a Cambridge classic and an event in itself. It’s been through the wars recently, but now rises tall and gooey once again. Their magnificent Chelsea buns have been a Cambridge staple for decades, and since its shock closure in February, we’ve sorely missed its Stephen-Fry-approved glories. Get stuck in.

TV: Fry’s Planet Word

When? Sunday 2nd October, 9pm

Where? Your nearest TV. Or laptop if you laugh in the face of TV licensing rules.

Why? Linguistics hasn’t had the sexy makeover that Physics has, being horrendously complicated and having an inherent lack of opportunities for romantic sunsets and starscapes. However Steven Fry’s soothing tones and unabashed childlike wonder really make this show Quite Interesting. That, and learning that the sign language for Madonna is ‘pointy tits. This week our favourite Cantab tackles identity. I’m hoping to learn why the Scouse accent makes me want to gnaw my own arm off.

SOMETHING DIFFERENT: Scott Polar Research Museum

When? 10am-4pm, Tuesday – Saturday

Where? Lensfield Road, just past the Chemistry department

Why? This Art Fund Prize nominee recently received a big style makeover, and has been praised from all corners. If you want a dose of culture that’s got more teeth and less marble than The Fitzwilliam, the choice is clear as arctic ice. It’s nice and small too.