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32 | June 13, 2013 | | Cambridge News

What’s On Family


1. Ride in a tank BUCKLE up for IWM Duxford’s Military Vehicle Show for Father’s Day (Sunday). You’ll be able to jump aboard a tank, clamber on some military motors – plus see some being restored – and try out some military gear (no, not guns!). There will be motorcycles, jeeps, ambulances and trucks to take a look at too, and even a 1918 Vauxhall Motors staff car which was used in War Horse. Tickets cost £18.50 but under 15s go free! Call

2. Become a safari ranger DASH about on a wildlife safari at Coton Countryside Reserve on Saturday. The Grantchester Road centre will be taking wannabe rangers on an adventure packed morning checking out the reserve’s pond life, sweep netting long grass for flyaway creatures and butterflies, investigating moth traps set the night before and rambling round on a mini safari (sadly you’re unlikely to spot any lions or tigers). The session runs from 10am until 1pm and tickets cost £6.50. Contact the head ranger on 07833598155 for further details.

MESSING ABOUT ON THE RIVER: Scenes from Image Musical Theatre’s production of the Kenneth Grahame classic

3. Go pond dipping GRAB a net and go hunting for slippery creatures and skating bugs at Welney Wetland Reserve. On Saturday and Sunday the watery nature centre is offering families the chance to go pond dipping. See what creepy crawlies you can find, keep a look out for dragonflies and see if you can spot any water voles too (but don’t try fitting them in your net!). The sessions run throughout opening hours (9.30am – 5pm) and are included in the usual admission price. Call (01353) 860711 for more information.

4. See a plane or two BUDDING pilots can get a taste for the skies at a flying day in Shuttleworth on Sunday. Pack a picnic and prepare for a day featuring historical vehicles to look at (and dream of driving), followed by flyovers from the Shuttleworth Collection of vintage planes. The show is at Shuttleworth (Old Warden) Aerodrome near Biggleswade and the gates open at 9am. The planes will start wheeling overhead from 2pm. Tickets cost £20 for adults but kids go free. Call (01767) 627927 for more details.

5. Investigate a mystery INVESTIGATE treasures at The Museum of Cambridge (formerly the Folk Museum) on Castle Street on Friday. As part of the museum’s Fab Family Fridays series, little ones – with their grown-ups in tow – can get involved in a mystery object morning, unearthing strange trinkets and guessing what they might be. Pop along to the museum attic between 10.30am – 12.30pm for the interactive workshop. The session is free with the cost of admission but you can get a Family Friday pass for six months of Friday fun for £5.

The Wind in the Willows A

CLASSIC bedtime story is being brought to life this weekend, complete with rowing boats, weasels, a rather jolly toad and possibly, well, you. Image Musical Theatre’s adaptation of Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows, appearing at Haverhill Arts Centre as part of their annual arts festival, is a show that rather relies on the audience getting involved to create a fully-fledged production. Producer and director, Brian Thresh, explains: “It’s a family participation musical, and is quite distinct from any other sort of family show in that the first act of the show is a rehearsal for the audience.” This means that after settling into your seat and taking in the colourful scenery of the riverbank

and Toad Hall, the cast will get everyone’s vocal chords warmed up learning the choruses to four songs that will appear later on in the show. Budding thespians won’t be disappointed either, they can stick up their hands and volunteer to be chosen to take on one of 12 small parts within the final production. Once the cast and kids are all dressed up as rabbits, ducks and naughty thieving weasels, ready to leap on stage when it’s their turn, the show can really begin… It tells tales from the happygo-lucky lives of Mole, Ratty and Badger, a troupe of friends who try to help the rich and exuberant Mr Toad sort his life out and become a better creature, instead of chasing around in flash motorcars all the time.

ᔡ The Wind in the Willows, Haverhill Arts Centre, Saturday, June 15 at 2.30pm. Tickets £6 from 01440 714140 / www.

Exploring the River Bank, the Open Road and the Wild Wood of Grahame’s imagination, it’s when Mr Toad faces the loss of his beloved Toad Hall that he really begins to appreciate his animal companions. “It’s a hugely successful production, everyone’s enjoying it enormously,” says Brian, adding: “All the actors are musical theatre trained, they are extremely good singers and we have a wonderful toad who’s a big, larger than life character which is what you’ve got to have.” The company has been touring musical theatre shows for 17

years, visiting primary schools as well as theatres so they definitely seem to know what they’re doing. “There’s quite a lot of kid’s theatre that is toured and it’s mostly pretty patronising and the poor old parents sit there bored to tears,” Brian muses. “That doesn’t happen with our work because we never write down, we never patronise children.” So why should people come along? “We produce the best family theatre in the country,” he says with a laugh. “Which is true! It’s funny, it’s extremely well written, there’s some wonderful songs; I mean truly wonderful songs.” You’d better start getting into character then. Find out more about Image Musical Theatre on Facebook at

Wind in the willows  

Wind in the Willows at Harverhill Arts Centre

Wind in the willows  

Wind in the Willows at Harverhill Arts Centre