ESP March 2022

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Peterborough’s essential What’s On and Where To Go Guide!

Half Marathon + 5K Fun Run


16 OCT

n Fast flat course on closed roads

n Event village

n Pre race warm up and chip timing

n Race pacing

n Medical support

n Medal and post race refreshments

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Even more news and events on

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Bringing you the best of local Leisure and Lifestyle in Greater Peterborough for over 20 years!

Peterborough’s essential What’s On and Where To Go Guide!

Welcome to our Spring Special issue of ESP Magazine. At last - lighter longer nights and the party’s getting started again. It’s time to get social and this issue is packed with good vibes.

There’s so much to look forward to with several new festivals coming our way, old favourites making a welcome return, special events and concerts coming to the Embankment. Whether it’s music, comedy, theatre, dining out, art or activities, as ever ESP has got the lot. We are proud to be the media partner for the Peterborough Dragon Boat Festival once again and so happy to see this fantastic event return, so get ready to take to the water and raise money for Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice. Like most charities they have been hit hard so fundraising this year is all the more important. We’ll see you there on Saturday June 11, so get your entries in.

We’ve been letting you know what’s on and where to go for over 20 years and everything you love about ESP is online on our website and social media. We’re constantly updating our content to keep you up to date every week, so don’t miss out on all the latest leisure and what’s on news. If you have anything for us to mention in future please email me, Sharon McAllister, Editor

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Cover Image Anne-Marie Design Tony Mayer Photography Mike Harris Wayne Bloye Chris Brudenell Contributors Pep Cipriano Gavin Miller Karen Devine Michael Clarke Darren Grigas Sarah Slack Kelly Jackson Karen Miller

ESP Magazine is an independent publication written, researched, designed and published by ESP Media. The views expressed in the magazine are those of the individual writers and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. All design and artwork is the copyright of the respective owner. Reproduction of any part of this publication is strictly prohibited unless written prior consent is given by the publisher.

For details call 01733 202694 WEDDINGS – PORTRAITS - COMMERCIAL

Entertainment Blood Brothers Peterborough in for a SHREKtacle this Spring Hot off the back of their critically-acclaimed production of Elf the Musical, PODS return to The Cresset to perform the Broadway smash hit, Shrek the Musical. “Once upon a time, there was a little Ogre named Shrek….” And so begins the tale of an unlikely hero who finds himself on a life-changing quest alongside a wise-cracking donkey and a feisty princess who resists her rescue. Throw in a shorttempered bad guy, a cookie with an attitude and over a dozen other misfits, and you’ve got a SHREKtacular production that turns the world of fairytales upside down in an all-singing, all-dancing must-see musical comedy.

Bill Kenwright’s production surpassed 10,000 performances in London’s West End and few musicals have received quite such acclaim as the multi-award winning Blood Brothers. Written by Willy Russell, the legendary Blood Brothers tells the captivating and moving tale of twins who, separated at birth, grow up on opposite sides of the tracks, only to meet again with fateful consequences. The superb score includes Bright New Day, Marilyn Monroe and the emotionally charged hit Tell Me It’s Not True. See it at the New Theatre from Tuesday March 29 – Saturday April 2. For tickets call 01733 852992 or visit

Get ready to spice up your life as The Cresset will be taking you back for good and prepares to hit you one more time with the ultimate 90’s party night out!

We loved their productions of Hairspray, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Elf, so we can’t wait for the regional première of their latest show which is set to be another sell-out success.

The music of a generation is brought to life with fantastic vocals, genius costumes and of course; all the dance moves you know and love. From Take That to Oasis, Spice Girls to Supergrass get ready for this non-stop 90’s extravaganza as we set you free and pump up the jam on Friday May 6.

To book call 01733 265705 or visit

From the writers and producers of Hormonal Housewives and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, it’s time to get away from it all and join the Housewives on Holiday! What’s better than letting your hair down with the girls? Letting your hair down with the girls on HOLIDAY! Holidays, like women, come in all shapes and sizes. From wild partying to wild swimming. From Club 18-30 to Club 80-130. Join the ladies as they romp through a tapas selection of holiday fun. From the Costa del Sol to the Costa del Clacton there’s no sucking in your belly on this beach. You’re among friends. Slap on the Fun Factor 50 and let it all hang out at The Cresset on Tuesday June 2! For tickets call 01733 265705 or visit

90's Live

Based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation film, Shrek the musical is a Tony Awardwinning fairy tale adventure, featuring all new songs and a side-splitting story guaranteed to delight audiences of all ages.

Shrek the Musical runs from May 24-28 at The Cresset, 7.30pm nightly with Saturday matinee at 2.30pm. Special Opening Night Offer - all tickets only £15 (standard price £20 adults and £17.50 concessions)

Housewives on Holiday

For tickets call 01733 265705 or visit

Giovanni Pernice This Is Me One of our Strictly favourites is back at The Cresset as the Italian stallion Giovanni Pernice returns with another lively Latin show on Tuesday May 3. We caught him last time and can thoroughly recommend it – expect plenty of cheeky banter and of course fab-u-lous dancing from the Strictly champion in his brand new show. It’s a ten from us! For tickets call 01733 265705 or visit

Sweet Caroline - A Tribute to Neil Diamond It might have become a footy anthem but Neil Diamond fans have been singing along to sweet Caroline for years! If you’re a fan, enjoy the next best thing with this cracking tribute featuring Gary Ryan, as seen on Stars In Their Eyes. Taking it back to where it began, this musical journey celebrates 50 years of a legend in a fantastic show at The Cresset on Friday April 29. Spanning all genres from the reggae of Red Red Wine, through the country of Cracklin' Rosie to the Hollywood music of The Jazz Singer it’s all here. For tickets call 01733 265705 or visit


Strictly Stars at the New Theatre If you’re a Strictly fan the New Theatre has a great line-up of some of the top stars, past and present heading for Peterborough. The Ballroom Boys double act Ian Waite and Vincent Simone are set to return on Sunday April 17 with a brand new show. The fabulous Strictly Come Dancing stars promise another wonderful evening of old-fashioned variety – dance, comedy and song. Then it’s everyone’s favourite on Saturday May 14 for An Audience with Anton Du Beke. Join the King of Ballroom and Strictly legend for an intimate evening of conversation, laughter, song and dance. Strictly Come Dancing and The Greatest Dancer reigning champion Oti Mabuse is creating a show like no other and we get to see it on Tuesday May 17. Prepare for a night of electrifying choreography as Oti is joined by some of the world’s greatest dancers and the West End’s finest singers and musicians. Book now on 01733 852992 or visit

Paul Zerdin: Hands Free Back by popular demand, Paul Zerdin and everyone’s favourite puppets are heading our way with a brand new UK tour stopping off at the New Theatre on Thursday April 7. Sam, Albert, Baby, Roger the bodyguard and an urban fox have all survived 2020 locked down with Paul… well nearly. As well as his hilarious characters ‘Hands Free’ features Paul giving us a glimpse into his own world showing us what it’s like to be able to throw your voice in everyday situations where anything and everything can talk back! Don’t miss out on your chance to see the winner of America’s Got Talent, the star of London’s Palladium Panto and without doubt one of Britain’s finest entertainers. Book now on 01733 852992 or visit

We Will Rock You The one we’re all waiting for this summer is the worldwide smash hit musical by Queen and Ben Elton when it arrives at the New Theatre from Monday June 13 – Saturday June 18. This multi-million-pound show, We Will Rock You is guaranteed to blow your mind, with 24 of Queen’s biggest hits delivered in a show that boasts the scale and spectacle that marked the bands’ legendary live performances. Brian May said: “This is a stunning state-of-the art new-look production of WWRY – but of course the original story is now more relevant than ever. We’re confident WWRY fans will love revisiting the world’s first true Rock Theatrical, and a whole new generation will now discover the VIBE!” Don’t hang about for tickets for this one, book now on 01733 852992 or visit

Take That Experience As Take That celebrate over 30 years as the UK's number one boy band, The Take That Experience mark over a decade together as their most popular and recognised tribute act. With acclaimed vocal performances, stunning replica costumes and iconic dance routines, The Take That Experience recreate the magic of Take That live on stage with their ‘Greatest Hits Tour’. Get ready to scream for your boy band faves at The Cresset on Friday May 13! For tickets call 01733 265705 of visit


Events Soul Sisters To Premiere at the Cresset The world premiere of a new comedy musical is heading to Peterborough and sisters this one’s got soul! Soul Sisters stars Amelle Berrabah (Sugababes), Nicole Faraday (Bad Girls) and Wendi Harriott (The Voice) as Dionne, Monique and Rachael otherwise known as 80s chart topping trio ‘The Fabulettes’. RED Entertainment, producers of hit comedies Hormonal Housewives and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, are bringing the world premiere of Soul Sisters, a fabulous new show packed with plenty of heart and soul to The Cresset in Peterborough on Wednesday May 4. Soul Sisters is an exhilarating new soul musical that will take you on a journey of success, survival and sisterhood. Join the three friends during a visit to a classic holiday camp Soul Weekender, as they seek to reclaim that elusive closeness they once shared as starry-eyed teens. Leading the cast is former Sugababe, Amelle Berrabah. “When I read the script, I knew I wanted to be in this amazing show instantly,” said Amelle. “I understand the dynamics of being in a girl band, the unspoken bond, the friendship, the respect for one another and knowing what the other is feeling with just a simple look.” Also joining the cast is Bad Girls and Emmerdale star Nicole Faraday who’s previously toured in the UK in the critically acclaimed Eva Cassidy Story. "As a former cast member of both Bad Girls and Bad Girls the Musical, I am very used to working with an all female cast,” said Nicole. “The music is amazing, the storyline crackles along with twists and turns and the girls are fabulous. I am uber excited to tour this show and give the audience a moving, fun and musical night out!" Completing the trio is Wendi Harriott who came to the public’s attention with her powerhouse vocals on ITV’s The Voice. Matt Brinkler, Executive Producer at RED Entertainment said – “Bringing new musicals and comedy to theatres all over the country is our passion at RED Entertainment. This show is an absolute corker, it’s the British answer to the Dreamgirls and the biggest touring musical of 2022. With a brand-new score full of soul and a fantastic rollercoaster of a story packed with both hilarious and heart-warming moments we know audiences will be up on their feet across the UK!” To book call 01733 265705 or visit


World Famous Street Artist at City Museum

Sacrewell Easter

If you haven’t already visited the fantastic street art exhibition, Urban, at Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery yet it’s running until May 29, but here’s another great reason to go.

If you’re looking to entertain the kids over the Easter break, there’s loads of fun for all the family at Sacrewell, near Wansford.

Street and contemporary art fans will have the chance to get up close and personal with one of the world’s most celebrated names in An Evening With Pure Evil – aka Charles Uzzell Edwards. He’s hosting a talk and question and answer session about his work on Friday April 1, from 7pm to 9pm.

From April 2 until April 18, a whole host of Easter-themed games will be happening in the farm gardens and grounds, including the hunt for special eggs hidden around the site. Great fun for the young and young at heart, fellow egg hunters are encouraged to work together to solve the clues that will lead them to a tasty chocolate treat. There will also be a hunt for the golden egg during a duck hunt, egg and spoon racing, and the ‘egg shy’ – similar to the Coconut Shy!

London-based Pure Evil is a gallerist and musician who’s exhibited his work worldwide and some of his art features in the museum’s latest exhibition alongside works by Banksy, Damien Hirst and My Dog Sighs amongst others. Sheena Carmen, gallery curator at the museum, said – “The success of Pure Evil’s dripping tear celebrity portraits has taken him around the world, and we have several of those pieces on display. We’re looking forward to hearing about his story and how his trademark painted bunny rabbits started and about his appearance on The Apprentice among other things.” To book visit hows/1173621736


You can even meet the Easter Bunny in the Bunny Burrow at selected times throughout the day, which the kids will love and there’s a chance to hop on a tractor ride around the farm looking out for hidden Easter objects whilst onboard. Slots are limited so book in advance. There will also be ample opportunity to get crafty, with children invited to create their own Easter decorations in the craft room to take home with them. In addition to the Easter Fun Day, Sacrewell is open as usual for visitors. There are plenty of attractions to keep the whole family entertained throughout the year, including the 18th Century watermill, indoor and outdoor play areas and a host of loveable rare breed farm animals. Plus there’s the artisan courtyard which has treats for the grown ups. For further information and to book visit or call 01780 782254.

Bourne Festival is Back This fantastic beer and music festival in Bourne is making a welcome return to our social diary this summer so make sure it’s in yours too. Organised by Bourne & District Round Table and held at the Wellhead Field this one promises to be extra special as it’s their 20th anniversary – which just goes to show how popular it is! We’ve been along several times and it’s a great few days of drinking and live entertainment and as it’s also being held over the Jubilee Bank Holiday we reckon this one is going to be big. It’s all kicking off on Thursday June 2 running through until Sunday June 5 so it’s wise to invest in an event pass for £7 so you can keep popping back. After all, there are 80 real ales to sample, 25 ciders, food stalls and a fairground to enjoy and of course a fabulous line up of live music as always. Keep an eye on their Facebook page and our online Gig Guide on and we’ll list the line-up as soon as we have it.

Easter Holiday Activities at Nene Park There’s plenty to keep all the family entertained at Nene Park over the Easter holiday break. From their Easter egg hunt and holiday trail to archery and climbing sessions there is something on every day in the Park from April 2 – 18. For nature lovers there’s an evening bat walk and a Charming Worms event for children. For water sports enthusiasts, they’re running a number of sailing courses for both children and adults as well as the fantastic range of Pay and Play paddle sport hire. They will also be running daily passenger boat trips on the lovely new electric boat and there’s cycle hire throughout the holidays to make the most of the Park. It’s a great time to enjoy the great outdoors and explore the meadows, woodland and lakes on foot or by bike, visit one of the play areas or stop off at one of the cafés. Take a look at to find out more and to book in advance for any specific events and activities.


Roar-some exhibition at Peterborough Cathedral Snap them up – tickets are now on sale for an amazing dinosaur exhibition coming to Peterborough that we’ve been waiting so long to see.

Photos: Natural History Museum London

The Revd Canon Tim Alban Jones, Vice Dean of Peterborough, said – “It is very exciting to be able to host this impressive Natural History Museum exhibition here in Peterborough. We hope it will be a highlight of the school summer holidays for many of our visitors and we are especially looking forward to welcoming lots of families.


he spectacular Natural History Museum’s touring exhibition, T. rex: The Killer Question was due to be shown in 2020 and 2021 but was delayed due to the pandemic. Now it’s finally set to take over the city’s iconic building from July 18 – September 3. This world-class exhibition has nine roaring and moving animatronic dinosaurs of various sizes, including a three-quarter size T. rex. A 12-metre-long static model of a T. rex and a life-size T. rex skeleton will also be on show, facing each other across the Cathedral transepts. It poses the killer question: Was T. rex a ferocious hunter or a mere scavenger? In the exhibition you’ll be able to study the behaviour of several different dinosaur species, from the small and agile Sauronitholestes, to the savage Dromaeosaurus and the planteating Tenontosaurus. Bones and fossils will also be on display, to see what they can tell us about T. rex.

world and motivate people to become advocates for the planet.” Tickets to see T. rex: The Killer Question are £6 per child (aged 3-16 years), £8 per adult and £25 for a family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children aged 3-16 years, or 1 adult and up to 4 children aged 3-16 years). A booking fee applies. The tickets are available via the Cathedral’s website or by calling Ticket Source on 0333 666 3366 during office hours an (additional £1.80 fee applies).

“The models of these amazing pre-historic creatures will no doubt inspire a sense of awe and wonder, even more so when you are seeing them in the magnificent setting of our medieval Cathedral.” The exhibition was due to head here two years ago but was postponed due to the pandemic so it’s fantastic to finally get to see it on display. Brad Irwin, Head of Global Engagement at the Natural History Museum said – “We are thrilled to be bringing T. rex: The Killer Question to Peterborough at last. We hope that the exhibition will be able to educate and entertain an entirely new audience about dinosaurs, specifically the awe-inspiring T. rex. It is our hope that these exciting animals that once roamed the earth can inspire a love of the natural

Following last year’s hugely successful tour of Macbeth, The Lord Chamberlain’s Men, who’ve been performing popular open air theatre for more than 15 years, return with this great Shakespeare comedy as part of their national tour.

Easter Monday Mystery There’s more family fun at Peterborough Cathedral with an Easter Monday Mystery to solve over the holidays. Just drop in with the family anytime between 10am and 4pm on April 18 to join in the fun. Test your powers of deduction and see if you can solve the Easter Monday Mystery in a series of games, clues and puzzles, and see if you can work out why the tomb is empty and what might have happened when. It’s free to join in and entry to the Cathedral is by donation.


Just take a chair, a picnic and a glass of something chilled and settle down on the green with the cathedral as a wonderful backdrop to the show.

Outdoor Shakespeare Performance If you’re looking forward to the summer and enjoy some outdoor theatre, Peterborough Cathedral always has some great performances staged in the grounds. The Lord Chamberlain’s Men, a company with a history stretching back to William Shakespeare himself, are bringing us an outdoor performance of the wonderful comedy, As You Like It on Wednesday June 15.

Peter Stickney, Artistic Director and Producer says – “As You Like It is a wonderfully warm, funny and rich play. We follow our main characters as they flee or are exiled from the court to set up new lives in the Forest of Arden. There will be plenty of songs and laughs, some classic Shakespearean cross-dressing confusion and a spot of wrestling." Tickets are £17 for adults, or £10 for children plus a booking fee. Book tickets online on the cathedral website or call the box office on 0333 666 3366

Pep Cipriano

ESP’s longest serving columnist has championed Peterborough in his passionate trademark way for more than 20 years.

CITY CELEBRATION AT LAST! What’s your favourite day of the year? Most people would probably say it’s their birthday, Christmas Day, August Bank Holiday or the anniversary of their divorce. Well, mine’s Daylight Saving Time in March when spring officially begins and summer is knocking on the door. The clocks have gone forward and instantly I begin to get excited about being outside more and turning my heating off, so I can afford to eat again. There’s so much to savour on our doorstep in the next few months and spring meeting summer is being marked in the best way possible with a festival at Ferry Meadows between May 13 and 15. The Peterborough Celebrates Festival is a three-day family event packed with free entertainment, sport and arts that promises to bring

together everything that’s great about Peterborough – you can read all about it in this issue. It’s been a long time coming and I really do hope it’ll be the start of an annual city celebration event, which has been missing since the demise of the Peterborough Festival that used to be held at Central Park. Please let this festival not be a one-off. A city (soon to be a university city) the size of Peterborough should be hosting a showcase celebration like this every year without fail. But support starts with us and that means no trips to the coast or nearby cities that weekend please – we need to keep it local. Check out all the details on



There are a handful of festivals and events taking place on the Embankment this year (more to come with the new masterplan) but the one I’m most excited and proud about is the return of the Great Eastern Run on October 16. I’ve ran our city’s half marathon three times but the relationship I have with it is a deeper one after leading on the event’s marketing and PR for six years. As a member of the organising team, I lived and breathed The Great Eastern Run for 10 months a year and used to joke that running it was easier than working on it! The race took a mammoth effort to manage by a small team at the city council who worked with sponsors, charities, volunteers, contractors and an excellent running advisory group. A couple of years before the last race in 2018, we reached the dizzy heights of more than 5,000 half marathon participants and almost a thousand fun run entries. However, its potential was never properly achieved because of certain barriers to growth and new additions to running events nationally.

So, that’s it, a small pile of rubble in the corner of where the beer garden used to be was what was left of The Solstice and Radius. The Solstice was an instant hit when it opened in the late 1990s and it consistently drew crowds right up until its closure. It was a neutral venue, meaning you wouldn’t be offended popping in for a drink no matter what side of the night scene fence you sat on.

Hopefully now the sky’s the limit for this excellent half marathon, following the announcement of an external company who are organising it with the council’s support.

It was a crowd-pleaser venue and I always had a good time in there. I even saw the New Year in at The Solstice in 1999, that’s how good I considered it to be.

I’d charge around on race day helping to ensure the smooth running of the event and occasionally I’d get the chance to catch a word with some of the race’s previous entrants and life-long supporters.

But like most things in life, the venue was temporary and time moves on. Apartments will be taking its place and what a fitting tribute it’d be if the block was named The Solstice. I’d drink to that.

LITTLE ITALY RETURNS TO CITY CENTRE Another great event that’s always attracted hundreds of people is the Italian Festival and it’s back! Get September 18 in your diaries and don’t bother eating that day because in true Italian Festival tradition Cathedral Square, Long Causeway and Bridge Street will be full of food offerings representing the best of Italy. There’s also wine making and a Prosecco bar, plus lots of live entertainment from the Guild Hall stage. This year’s special guest has yet to be confirmed but I’ve been reliably informed the Italian Community Association are in talks with a couple of top celebrities that I know will draw a big crowd. Watch this space for all the latest on the country’s longest running Italian festival. 10

One of those advocates is Phil Elmer – the man who got me into running 15 years ago. In this photo he’s probably going on about how I practically wore everything I owned (it was freezing) for my first 10k. His wife Alison (also pictured) makes damn good puddings, which is probably the reason I went over and spoke to them in the first place (sorry Phil).

BRIDGE STREET READY FOR A BIT OF BIJOU Remember The Apprentice episode about Bouji Cruises? For a minute I thought the ‘brand’ was coming to town and we were going to be a laughing stock, but that’s what I get for skim-reading. So, on closer inspection, the press release sent to me was introducing Bijou – a new venue offering coffee, tapas, wine, music and cocktails in what was most recently an Oxfam charity shop on Bridge Street.

GETTING EXCITED ABOUT TWO WHEELS! The 2022 Devitt MCN Festival of Motorcycling is back and bigger than ever this year and as always, I’ll be sitting on and salivating over as many bikes as I can.

What’s on offer should add to the scene but what’s definitely going to make it top of my list to check out is the inviting décor. Set over two floors, it’s been thoughtfully and beautifully designed to provide an intimate, contemporary, warm, and inviting Bijou environment. Best of all, you don’t need to be a Bouji type to go there. Have a peek at the latest

Peterborough Arena will be awash with everything two wheels, including all the major manufacturers exhibiting and bargains to be had on motorcycle clothing and accessories.


You can also take test rides and new to this year are Silverstone Auctions, who’ll be hosting a live auction of classic and contemporary motorcycles.

Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather has been voted the UK’s favourite gangster movie of all time, which is no surprise.

It’s on the same weekend as Peterborough Celebrates, which could mean more visitors to both events. To book, visit


Here’s a text exchange between PCRFM presenter Keith Dalton and myself, which proves he’s not been to Specsavers since 1981. We were at the New Theatre watching the excellent Firedance show starring Gorka and Karen from Strictly.

His eyesight was fine to start with because we all know I obviously look like Gorka. But how does professional dancer Karen Hauer remind him of his Saturday morning co-presenter Claire Tod? I sit next to the lovely Claire when I’m invited onto their show every month, but comparing her to Karen is a bit like saying Harry Kane reminds me of Leonardo Di Caprio. Keith: maybe it’s time for a prescription check.


It’s time I gave a big right hook of a shout to the guys at Boxing Futures gym in Yaxley. My body and mind are kept in check at their boxing circuit sessions and every penny I pay goes directly to the Boxing Futures charity. The Boxing Futures team have built a safe place where young people can express themselves and realise their potential by empowering them through non-contact boxing. The crew, which includes former city boxer Cello Renda, help young people develop their physical and mental wellbeing and build the confidence they need to navigate life’s everyday challenges. Like all charities, Boxing Futures are always grateful for support and donations. The team will be hosting the excellent Yaxley Festival’s (same weekend as Peterborough Celebrates) health & wellbeing zone and are inviting businesses to sponsor their activities. To get involved, email

But what is a surprise is the omission of other notable gangster movies like Once Upon A Time In America, Road To Perdition and White Heat (or any James Cagney gangster film for that matter).

Here’s the top 10. Discuss. • The Godfather • Pulp Fiction • Goodfellas • Reservoir Dogs • Bonnie and Clyde • The Untouchables • Scarface • Gangs Of New York • The French Connection • Bugsy Malone



Festivals are all things great for all people, but here are my (tongue in cheek) thoughts. Don’t you just love… lobster skin, flip-flops with the Brazil flag on, £9 for a pint, £7 for a hotdog, nowhere to charge your phone, meaningless conversations with people you went to school with, bumping into your ex, and bands that shout instead of sing.

HE ACT! CAUGHT INh T sic an unforgettable mu

e wit An unforgettable nam al legend. re to bump into a loc asu ple a history. Always

CIAOS OUT! No names this time. If you’re reading this and you’ve met up with me face-to-face since the turn of the year and listened to my broken record, thank you. It’s time for a change and I’m working on it…


MCN Festival OF MOTORCYCLING It’s fantastic to see the return of some of our biggest outdoor events this year, and one of our favourites, the Devitt MCN Festival of Motorcycling, is roaring back into its usual spring slot over the weekend of May 14-15. This year’s show also includes a massive Ducati test ride fleet, so if these are your wheels of choice you can try them out over the weekend. Star of the Bologna fleet is the latest 170bhp Multistrada V4 with no fewer than nine V4 S and three extra special V4 Pikes Peak models to try, the sportiest Multistrada Ducati has ever produced.

It’s one of the biggest and best outdoor shows in the UK and we’re proud to have it here at the East of England Arena and can’t wait to see Peterborough’s parkways full of impressive twowheeled machines. Whether you’re a biker yourself or just like watching the stunts and shows it’s a great day out packed with action and entertainment. There are hundreds of manufacturer test rides available, a full weekend of live events, the very best evening entertainment and some of the UK’s top retailers selling discounted kit – it’s the perfect way to kick off the biking season. For 2022 they’ve added something extra special to the show, a full road and race bike auction courtesy of Silverstone Auctions. The Saturday auction will have lots for every pocket and taste including rare race bikes, barn finds and immaculately restored machines. Lots that have caught our attention so far are a pristine 1983 Honda CB1100RD with very low miles and exceptional paintwork plus a clutch of 1980’s 125cc race bikes, all to be sold without reserve. More lots will be added in the coming weeks so check regularly for updates. As well as the auction, if you’re thinking of buying a bike this is the perfect event. You can browse the UK’s best club displays to see what’s out there and even test ride new 2022 models from all the major manufacturers. 12

The fleet also includes several Scrambler models to try out including the stunning Scrambler 1100 Tribute Pro, Urban Motard and Desert Sled. If you’re keen on making a few repairs and improvements you can scour the autojumble for 1000’s of bargains or find great deals on motorcycle kit and accessories in the Bargain Barn. The festival certainly celebrates all things motorcycling and in the Live Action Arena you can enjoy a full weekend of proper racing with the DTRA, be amazed at the carnage in the Moped Mayhem and see the most incredible death defying stunts from the best in the business… all viewed from the safety of your seat with a beer. There’s plenty of other entertainment too so you can kick back and enjoy some great live music. Why not make a weekend of it and camp on site then you can get together with some mates and party through the night. Don’t hang about as you’ll save by booking discounted tickets in advance. A standard adult day ticket is just £15 or camp for the weekend for only £35. Campers get show entry on Saturday & Sunday, plus access to the live music on Friday and Saturday night and kids go free.

Book now on and we’ll see you there!

Kelly Jackson

Former journo Kelly Jackson has lived in Peterborough just over 10 years. She enjoys visiting eateries in and around the city, especially if it’s dog friendly so her canine companion can join in!

The Tea Horseshoes – Yaxley’s New Tearoom Everybody loves a bit of cake, me included. So, when I discovered on Facebook that the Three Horseshoes pub in Yaxley had recently turned its front bar into a tearoom, it was the perfect excuse to escape my home ‘office’ in pursuit of a new remote working spot. Homemade treats and a pot of tea are big motivators, after all!

Fairy lights draped over beams and flowers on tables – plus scones and a ‘Cake of the Week’ tantalisingly displayed at the bar – help to transform this part of the pub into a cosy and intimate tearoom from Wednesday to Friday. Not to mention it’s affectionately named ‘The Tea Horseshoes’. I was won over before I’d even taken a bite of food. I’ve been to my fair share of tearooms, both locally in and around Peterborough and further afield. I never need a reason to indulge in tea and cake, so I count myself a bit of a connoisseur of such things. On my visit I chose a slice of that week’s signature cake – a lightly spiced ginger sponge topped with a vanilla and lime buttercream and a layer of homemade lime curd (are your tastebuds watering yet?) which came served on a patterned China plate that wouldn’t seem out of place at any vintage tea party. I say a slice of cake – a slab is a better description. The portions are irresistibly huge. You get your money’s worth here! A pot of tea for one (Yorkshire Tea, no less) washed the soft sponge and velvety filling down a treat. Surrounded by a warm and welcoming atmosphere and the aroma of freshly baked goodies, it was a very good destination to set up my laptop for a working lunch. If you prefer savoury over sweet, you can choose from a selection of sandwiches and other items on the menu. Next time I think an afternoon tea might be on the cards! Check out ‘The Tea Horseshoes’ for yourself. It’s open between noon and 3pm, Wednesday to Friday. Gluten free and vegan options are also available.


Afternoon Tea at The Chalkboard

Anyone who says they don’t like afternoon tea has obviously never been to The Chalkboard in Peterborough! hour period – this I wasn’t expecting. Especially being able to mix and match cold and hot drinks. My friend and I took full advantage by ordering pots of breakfast tea to wash down the sugar and sampling the delicious sounding elderflower press and raspberry lemonade (recommended by our accommodating waitress). If you’re not driving, you can add bubbles, too, for a few pounds more. Our waitress frequently stopped by our table to check if we wanted refills. 4.

Instead of a traditional cake tier, our afternoon teas came served on individual chalk boards – a unique and rather apt touch.

We agreed next time, we would swap one of the portions of cake for something lighter like crisps. And that we would certainly don a stretchy waistband! The Chalkboard’s pick your own afternoon tea is from £25 per person.

It’s been on my list of local afternoon tea venues to try for absolutely ages, but I’d just never seemed to get round to it. When a friend suggested a long overdue catch up over sandwiches, cake and scones at The Chalkboard next to the Key Theatre, it was a big resounding yes – how soon can we go!


The option to pick your own afternoon tea was a first for me. And what a brilliant idea it is! Two sandwich fillings, a Grasmere pork pie, two slices of rather large cake and a scone later, and I was wishing I’d worn leggings over jeans. What I didn’t like – trying to decide what to include in my bespoke afternoon tea! Everything on the menu sounds delicious so it was a toss up between treats I knew I’d like or a wildcard. In the end I went for a chocolate and orange slice cake and a rainbow cake – old habits die hard!


Bottomless hot and/or cold drinks over a two-

Four things really stood out to me – those who know me know how much I LOVE an afternoon tea, so these highlights made the experience even more enjoyable: 1.

The stunning riverside location. I can’t think of a more picturesque setting for a tearoom.

Afternoon Tea with an Italian twist

Think afternoon tea and what springs to mind? Small square sandwiches filled with cheese and cucumber or egg mayo, to name a few, slices of cake and scones with cream and jam – am I right? At the Bean Around coffee shop in Peterborough, you get all this albeit with an Italian twist – and it’s a rather splendid take on the traditional British afternoon tea! We delighted in a selection of Italian savouries, sweets and pastries all tantalisingly displayed over three tiers, combined with the usual scone, jam and cream. This was enjoyed with a large mug of tea; coffee lovers can opt to wash down their food with a creamy sweet coffee instead. It was a welcome surprise to try some Italian favourites rather than sandwiches. My top choice of the savoury items was the arancini, stuffed balls coated in breadcrumbs and deep fried, oozing with mozzarella. Dough parcels filled with ragu were also on the menu – and what an addition they were! This was followed by scones and finally, a wide selection of various Italian cakes and sweets, with chocolate and lemon among the flavours. You usually leave an afternoon tea feeling stuffed to the brim and vowing never to eat anything but salad ever again – or is that just me? I didn’t feel this way after our food at the Bean Around. There was enough to go round and fill our bellies, but our plates weren’t overloaded. A good and rather tasty experience all round. Afternoon tea for two at BE.AR. The Bean Around café on Cathedral Square in Peterborough is from £25. You can upgrade your tea or coffee to a glass of prosecco for an additional charge.


The Brewery Tap – a Taste of Thailand in Peterborough Mention the word ‘quiz’ and you can guarantee I’ll be there. Although I cannot promise I’ll be on the winning team! It’s the taking part that counts, anyway. Which is what I soon discovered when I was invited to make up a team at the weekly quiz at The Brewery Tap in Peterborough. Before the competitiveness got underway it was time to umm and ahh over the delicious Thai food for which the pub is known. Although I’ve visited often, I always make sure to try something different from the menu. Thai food is among my top three favourites and in my opinion, the quality of the food at The Brewery Tap is just as good as any I tasted in the Land of Smiles (it’s just a shame we can’t also get the weather to match in Peterborough)! On this occasion (and for no other reason than it was our first quiz night) it was a three-course Thai feast. As the quiz takes place in the function room, that’s where we dined in anticipation of the evening’s entertainment. There’s nothing worse than having to bolt down your food! The ambience of the room was calm and relaxing (perhaps to get everyone in the mood)? With a giant Buddha looking over at us from the wall, it was like a Thai oasis. Top-notch customer service made the evening even more enjoyable. Us guests in the function room had our very own waitress, who chatted and joked with everyone throughout the night. I only had to think about what I wanted to drink next, and she appeared at our table ready to take orders. Wonderful! Likewise, the jovial quiz master talked to all quizzers in the room, sliding up to each table during the breaks to find out how each team was getting on. The meal didn’t feel rushed in the slightest. In fact, it was a nice change to be able to spread the three courses throughout the evening, knowing we could take our time as we were here for the duration. Our tempura vegetable starter (a huge plateful


which we shared among our group) was served before the quiz got underway. We were halfway through our main course – mine being special fried rice with chicken – when the questions kicked off. The presentation of my special fried rice was Instagram-worthy, and it took me until the end of the third round to polish it off. That didn’t stop me from ordering dessert – who else has a sweet tooth? I just couldn’t resist the mint ice cream with chocolate sauce. A single portion was big enough for two at the very least! Love quizzes? Partial to a taste of Thailand? Tuesday evenings at The Brewery Tap are where you need to be. You might even be lucky to win a cash prize – my team narrowly missed out on nabbing the jackpot, but we weren’t too worried. We’re already planning our next quiz night. Quiz nights at The Brewery Tap take place every Tuesday in the function room at 8pm.

with finer dining available in the hotel and classic dishes in the pub. Orton Hall Hotel Manager David Greenwood told ESP – “The hotel has been run very successfully in the past but now we want to cement ourselves as a hotel for the community and the place you would want to send your friends to stay. “Our chefs use locally sourced ingredients, all freshly cooked on site with dishes which change with the seasons. The Huntley Restaurant inside the hotel offers a wonderful new menu and excellent quality dining. It’s our intention to create our own kitchen garden to supply both venues in future.

Orton Hall Hotel and The Ramblewood Inn have both always been great destinations locally for everything from beautiful weddings and afternoon teas through to pub grub and a pint.


he gorgeous grandeur of Orton Hall Hotel and Imagine Spa and the cozy traditional charm of the Ramblewood Inn have both proved popular over the years but there are exciting changes on the way. If you haven’t visited for a while it’s time to head down and appreciate the changes. Now under the independent ownership of Art Hotels Limited big improvements in both venues are underway. A fantastic new team of chefs have already transformed the menus in both the hotel and the pub using the best of local, seasonal ingredients

“The pub’s wonderful classic pub dishes are complemented by a small but quality choice of real ales including Tribute and Landlord and what could be the largest selection of Gins in Peterborough, and there are two beautifully lit garden seating areas where you can enjoy food and drink all day.” There are exciting plans ahead with the hotel accommodation being upgraded to reflect the opulence and style of a country house, a forest venue is being created for outdoor weddings amongst the trees and the beautiful ‘redwood walk’, the tree lined avenue leading from the original entrance gateway, is being restored. The car park has been improved and the Imagine Spa is also being extended to allow for extra gym equipment to be installed so you can exercise whilst looking out through the trees. Orton Hall Hotel has always been a fantastic wedding destination but is also perfect for special occasions, fine dining and afternoon teas in the stunning orangery. Whatever the occasion, David intends to make Orton Hall your first choice.

The Village, Orton Longueville, Peterborough, PE2 7DN. Tel: 01733 391111

Now I’ve heard of that!

• A traditional county pub with log fires, old world charm and a warm welcome for all, this wonderful hidden gem has transformed itself over the past year into a place not to be missed.

• A small but quality choice of real ales and what we believe to be the largest selection of Gins in Peterborough.

• A fabulous menu of home-cooked food, using the best of local, seasonal ingredients and classic dishes.

• Entertainment for all, with pool, table football, an 85” TV showing sports and more.

• Outside gardens both front and rear where you can enjoy food and drink all day.

We believe we have something for everyone – come in and see if we are right.

Tap & Tandoor – Indian cuisine at its finest! If you’d asked me last month what my favourite cuisine was, I’d have said Mexican with Italian hot on its heels. But that’s about to change when it comes to dining out in Peterborough. grazed on succulent cuts of chicken tikka, chicken wings, kebabs and lamb chop (we both marvelled at the tender texture of the lamb). Everyone knows you can’t have Indian food without a bowl of pilau rice and naan bread, so this complemented our mixed grill. We ordered two plain naans but could have shared one between us – they are massive.

I’d heard friends and colleagues talk about this great Indian restaurant in the centre of Peterborough, but never paid much attention. If I had, perhaps I’d have discovered the delights of the Tap & Tandoor before now! This independent gem, tucked away down the side of Queensgate shopping centre, provides craft beer, cocktails with an Indian twist and speciality plates not often seen on menus at other Indian restaurants. As you’d expect on a Friday night in town, the atmosphere was buzzing when we walked in for our 7pm reservation. What I didn’t expect, however, was to be greeted by a relaxed and laid-back vibe, which makes perfect sense considering the Tap & Tandoor promotes itself as an Indian gastro pub. With sport playing on the TV in the background and wooden bar stools for diners wanting a pre-dinner drink, it combines the

warmth and comfort of a traditional British pub with the exotic cuisine of India remarkably well. On to the food – where should I start? We took the waiter’s recommendations of sampling various dishes to get a real taste for the different food on offer. From the small plates we selected chilli prawns, plus beer battered bhajis and okra fries from the sides. Let me begin by saying that if you like onion bhajis, then you need to sample the ones at Tap & Tandoor. The waiter told me they were larger than usual but even then, I wasn’t prepared for their size. And I couldn’t believe it when my partner, who isn’t a fan of onion, had several mouthfuls and claimed the bhajis were superb – high praise indeed! One of the menu highlights is the mixed grill, a sizzling selection of meat cooked over charcoal. We

The meal was rounded off with dessert, of course. The mango sorbet was creamy and a refreshing end to the feast. In keeping with the Tap & Tandoor’s gastro pub theme, the sticky toffee pudding had an Indian twist, which turned out to be traditional Indian ice cream boasting an incredible taste. I simply can’t finish this review without mentioning the cocktails! Mango being one of my favourite fruits, I opted for the Alphonso Kenth – named after the pub’s founder. It consisted of gin, two different types of mango and Indian spices sprinkled on top, which gave it a great after kick. Among the amazing food, I’ve discovered my new after work cocktail haunt. The Tap & Tandoor is open Tuesday 4pm to 11pm, Wednesday and Thursday 12 noon to 11pm, Friday and Saturday 12 noon to midnight, and Sunday 12 noon to 10pm. Visit

The Lakeside Café at the watersports centre seems to go from strength to strength and is always popular especially now with its undercover doggy friendly conservatory and extra seating outside. So it’s great that the Ferry Meadows café next to the Visitor Centre is getting a revamp. The original café in the Park was due for a refresh and has been getting a full refurbishment, thanks to Meadow Brown Restaurants which also operates the Lakeside Café.

New Look Ferry Meadows Café We’re big fans of a walk, talk and snack break at Nene Park – a wander round the lakes justifies the huge slice of cake and hot chocolate of course!

Ferry Meadows Café is where it all started for Raj Regmi, Managing Director of Meadow Brown Restaurants Ltd who says: “Ferry Meadows Café holds a very special place in our hearts. We are hoping to transform the look and feel of the café, enhancing the customer experience whilst retaining the values that our customers love. Expect big things; a clean, contemporary interior that flows better, with a delicious new menu, still focusing on locally sourced produce, cooked freshly to order. We are excited for the future and cannot wait to welcome you all to our new look café.” The café refurbishment should be complete in time for the Easter holidays so that’s a another reason to visit Nene Park and take a look. Exciting changes will also be happening soon in the Visitor Centre with more announcements on these coming soon.

Read all of our latest food reviews on 18

Take a trip to Vine House Farm We’ll be popping down to do a full review on Vine House Farm Café very soon so keep an eye on our website and socials, but we can already recommend it from previous visits. It’s proved hugely popular since it opened at Deeping St Nicholas and has become a great little drive out for a change of scene. Vine House Farm is passionate about British and locally sourced food, and they work hard to bring customers as much Lincolnshire produce as they can, both in their Farm Shop and lovely 70-seater café. Sitting outside on a sunny day on the extensive decking area overlooking the wildlife garden and pond is a real treat. It’s especially good if you’re taking your four-legged friend who can enjoy a little walk around the garden after you’ve had your food. They offer breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea with vegetarian and vegan options where possible and plenty of seasonal specials such as quiches, frittatas, burgers, salads and savoury pancakes. After you’ve had a cuppa and a snack you can have a look round the adjoining farm shop and pick up even more tasty food to take home such as Grasmere meats at the butchery counter, bread and cakes from Pacey’s Bakery and lots more treats, as well as gifts and a wide range of bird food, feeders and accessories.

Late Night Bites at Turtle Bay Peterborough’s Caribbean restaurant and bar Turtle Bay have launched their ‘Late Night Eats’ deal, available as part of their late Happy Hour, which runs throughout the week. This great new offer includes two small plates as well as four of their fabulous cocktails, all for £23.50! Available as part of Late Night Happy Hour from 9.30pm Sunday Thursday, 10pm Friday - Saturday If you’re on a night out this is the perfect social grazing option to go alongside Turtle Bay’s glorious tropical cocktails. Get ready to eat, drink, and dance the night away enjoying the Caribbean social. There’s an eclectic range of vibrant and delicious small plates to choose from so everyone is covered, including Crispy Chilli Squid, Jerk Pit Ribs, Mac ‘n’ Cheese Bites (v) Chilli Cheese Roti (v) Trini Doubles (ve) Trinidad & Tobago street food. The choice of cocktails covers everything from their legendary cocktail menu with classics including the new Pineapple Daiquiri the Coconut and Grapefruit Mojito, Spiced Julep and the Rum Runner. For more information or to book a table, visit


Peterborough’s bottle shop Bottle and Board is celebrating its second anniversary in April and since opening in Wentworth Street they’ve introduced us to some amazing beers and ciders to enjoy at home. Owners Gina and Eddie Baines are beer aficionados who’ve been carefully selecting great quality ales for us to choose from and the chance to try something different.

Although there is a tasting bar and you can have a drink on site this isn’t a bar or a micro pub, but somewhere to buy some rare and unusual brews you can relish at home or buy as a gift for that beer lover you know. Gina says they’re often asked why they decided to open their bottle shop here in Peterborough, but with the city’s strong history with beer, the second largest beer festival in the country and some great pubs and bars, it all made sense. “I believe that Peterborough has potential to be a vibrant and exciting place to go out and enjoy a drink and is fast growing, prompted by bars like Stoneworks providing a different beer offer to a younger group of drinkers that want more than just a good pint of cask ale. Not that there’s anything wrong with a good pint of cask, that’s where we began and we still enjoy a pint or two, there are pubs like The Bumble Inn and The Ostrich doing just that. So adding a bottle shop to the offer seemed a good idea and the response we’ve had from our customers has made us confident there is a space for us.” If you’re still not sure what a bottle shop is Gina explains – “Our main focus is for customers to buy beer to drink and enjoy at home,

the idea is that the customer buys themselves something interesting on tap from the tasting bar, takes a seat and while they enjoy their beer they either look through the fridges or the beer menu. We are on hand to advise and give you information about the beer and guide you through the process. Once you’ve chosen we will pack them for you while you try something else from the tasting bar.” The beers and ciders on offer change with the seasons and they currently have 170 beers available and they’re not brews you’ll find easily elsewhere. “The beers available in the shop are not easy to find in this country,” adds Gina. “ I spend many hours tracking down suppliers and beers so that we can be sure we always have something new and exciting for our customers. Buying from a bottle shop you get a far more personal service and the expertise with regards to what food the beer matches, how it should be drunk and help with choosing the right beer for you.” Bottle & Board are also planning more events for this year, so if you’re interested in joining just follow them on Facebook.

Try a taste of

something different

at Peterborough’s Bottle Shop in the Beers and ciders you won’t find


• Over 170 carefully selected beers and ciders to choose from • Takeaway discount 15% • Personal service and expert advice from Gina and Eddie • Tasting Bar, Special Events, Gift Packs

Bottle and Board 11 Wentworth Street, Peterborough PE1 1DH Tel: 01733 685300

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Peterborough goes loud and live! This summer everyone’s ready to party and Peterborough’s Embankment is the place to be in June. Three massive outdoor shows are heading our way as major bands and superstar DJs prepare to get Peterborough up and dancing.

Photo: Pawel Wieloch

It’s been a while since we’ve seen the Embankment host some big names but now we have top DJs bringing us the Ibiza sounds of Café Mambo, Simply Red and the Manic Street Preachers all appearing over three days making this June the hottest yet.

Café Mambo Ibiza

First up on Friday June 10 iconic dance music brand, Café Mambo Ibiza brings us Classics On The Embankment, an unmissable outdoor dance music event. The legendary Ibiza brand will bring thousands of dance music fans together for an unforgettable experience under the stars giving us the chance to relive the massive tunes that provided the soundtrack to generations of Ibiza adventures. Serving up the classics are some of the biggest DJs in dance music; Paul Oakenfold, Roger Sanchez, a huge special guest to be announced, and Mambo resident Andy Baxter. Live PAs on the night, performing some of house music’s best loved tracks, come from Julie McKnight, Robin S and Sonique. For over 25 years, Café Mambo Ibiza has been synonymous with quality dance music. It became the place to meet for guaranteed good times and to watch the incredible Ibiza sunsets. It has played host to all the big names in dance music, not to mention the infamous BBC Radio 1 Ibiza weekends. Paul Oakenfold is widely credited as one of the first DJs to ‘discover’ Ibiza and to bring the unique Balearic vibe back to the UK and became one of the first true superstar DJs helping steer the sound of Ibiza for years to 22

come. His Cream residencies at Amnesia are the stuff of legend. Roger Sanchez will also grace the Café Mambo Ibiza turntables. The Grammy Award-winning Stealth Records boss led the global New York house explosion in the 90’s and has never looked back. His Release Yourself Ibiza night held long term residencies at some of the island’s best clubs including Pacha and Amnesia and he continues to play at respected Ibiza nights such as Defected and Glitterbox. Julie McKnight will be flying in to perform her seminal hit Finally – a true Ibiza anthem. Robin S, best known for the global smash Show Me Love, arguably one of the most recognisable house music tracks ever will also perform and Sonique will bring us her No.1 hit the huge Ibiza tune, It Feels So Good. It’s safe to say this is going to be Peterborough’s biggest party! Singing along to these incredible artists with our hands in the air will be a moment to remember so if you’re a dance music fan, don’t be anywhere but Peterborough Embankment.

Simply Red Simply Red have announced five huge live outdoor dates for summer 2022 and one of them is right here as Mick Hucknall brings his unique brand of UK soul and pop to Peterborough Embankment on Saturday June 11. Also lining up is very special guest, UK soulful dance diva, Lisa Stansfield. Simply Red, one of the UK’s biggest bands will perform a catalogue of unforgettable hits, including Something Got Me Started, Stars, Fairground and the US No.1 hits, Holding Back The Years, and If You Don’t Know Me By Now. Few bands have enjoyed the success and longevity of Simply Red. With over 60 million albums sold worldwide and with their most recent album Blue Eyed Soul crashing into the UK charts at No. 6, proving they’re as relevant as ever.

Mick Hucknall formed Simply Red in 1985 in Manchester and enjoyed immediate success with first single Money’s Too Tight To Mention followed by a decade of superstardom and global hits. Talking about the live shows lined up for summer Mick Hucknall said, “I’ve spent most of my life going out and singing for people, and it has felt strange not to have that for such a long time. It’s wonderfully inspiriting that people can go and see bands again now, and I can’t wait to get back on stage.”

Their live show is renowned for its high quality with Mick Hucknall long-established as one of the great vocalists of contemporary music. It’ll be an amazing night with some incredible support from the one and only Lisa Stansfield. After being introduced to Coldcut in 1989, her guest vocals helped People Hold On storm the charts and led to a solo career which saw the Rochdale star conquer the world with her soulful dance music.

Manic Street Preachers

Rounding off this incredible weekend of music the Embankment will be rocking to the Manic Street Preachers on Sunday June 12. The iconic rock band have headlined countless festivals including Glastonbury, T In The Park and Reading Festival and will now take to the stage in Peterborough.

Photo: Alex Lake

Manic Street Preachers are synonymous with 90’s alternative rock and if you’re a fan this is your chance to see them right on your doorstep as they perform iconic hits such as Motorcycle Emptiness, Design For Life and Everything Must Go, as well as UK No.1 hit singles If You Tolerate This Then Your Children Will Be Next, and The Masses Against The Classes. With 14 studio albums to their name since their 1992 debut Generation Terrorists, including recent official UK No.1 smash The Ultra Vivid Lament, released in September last year, Manic Street Preachers remain a force to be reckoned with. The Embankment situated alongside the River Nene is the perfect location for these incredible outdoor summer events and we absolutely cannot wait!

For more information and to purchase tickets visit



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Global pop superstar and ESP’s spring issue cover star Anne-Marie will be making her Newmarket Nights debut on Friday July 29. The Jockey Club Live events continue to be renowned for combining an electric evening at the races with a spectacular evening concert in an informal and relaxed open-air setting. Since her breakthrough in 2016, Anne-Marie has become one of the globe’s most successful pop stars. She has over 5 billion streams to her name and earned a platinum debut album alongside five Top 10 UK singles. She has garnered dozens of award nominations – including being a nine-time BRIT award nominee – sold out tour dates across the globe and even supported Ed Sheeran on the biggest tour of all time. Anne-Marie and her unique, striking voice first hit the music radar when she guested on tracks by Rudimental and went on to score a number one hit as the main vocalist on Clean Bandit’s worldwide No. 1 single, Rockabye. A former threetime world Karate champion, Anne-Marie’s selfeffacing attitude and anthemic, highly personal songs about being cheated on, body issues and gender free love have made an extraordinary connection with millions of fans.

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The line-up for this summer is already a hot one with not just Anne-Marie but the likes of Paloma Faith (June 17), Rudimental (June 24), The Script (July 15), Queen Symphonic (July 22), The Wombats (August 5) all lined up to appear, finishing off in style with Pete Tong & The Heritage Orchestra (August 12). Sophie Able, General Manager of Newmarket Racecourses, said – “Rudimental headlining in 2019 was one of our favourite nights the course has seen, the crowd really embraced the festival feel and we can’t wait for the band to bring their epic live set back this June. They’re the perfect final act to complete our summer line-up.”

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Rudimental also can’t wait to return – “Our show at Newmarket in 2019 was unbelievable and we’re definitely going to make sure everyone is up and dancing in June. We’re so excited live music is back – here we go!”

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For tickets head to

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In 2021, she released her sophomore album Therapy, which includes highlights Our Song with Niall Horan, Kiss My (Uh Oh) with Little Mix and Don’t Play with KSI and Digital Farm Animals. It also saw her kicking-off the year as a new, and winning, coach on Saturday night prime time show, The Voice. Starting out with no connections in the music business, no appearance on reality television, the girl who cut her teeth in small West End roles and performing with a soul covers band in her hometown of East Tilbury, Essex, Anne-Marie admits nothing had prepared her for the onslaught of fame. “I’ve always felt that everything seems to happen to me by accident. Major imposter syndrome. I’d never had a plan, other than to write music and sing which I’d been doing since I was a kid in my bedroom at home. And then everything got bigger and bigger and I was on stages playing to thousands of people and flying all round the world. To be honest it was overwhelming.” Now though, she’s ready to get back out there and make sure this summer is one to remember – “I’m so excited to be headlining Newmarket Nights for the first time. There’s nothing I love more than performing live especially in the summer – bring on July!”

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paparazzi Caught in the act? The ESP Paparazzi crew have been out an about capturing you in the act of having a great time once again as nightlife starts to liven up in the city centre. Our new recruit Wayne Bloye was behind the lens and Teddi the Drag Queen and friends were keen to strike a pose at Charters. There was a great atmosphere at this Haus of Queerio party night and several groups had really gone for it dressing up. You can next catch their Filthy Gorgeous event on the last Saturday of the month over at The Queens Head. The Ostrich on North Street has a great reputation on the live music circuit (just check our Gig Guide and you’ll see!) and the pub was packed with live tunes provided by Lizzy on the Loose. Their beer garden was also jammed and the place was buzzing inside and out. Our final stop was Embassy on Broadway where punters were enjoying cocktails and tunes. We’ll be out with our cameras again very soon so keep an eye on our social media.



Come on… let’s celebrate! We all need some good times and the Peterborough Celebrates Festival is here to kick-start some brighter times and good vibes, all in the beautiful setting of Ferry Meadows. We all definitely need some fun and a family friendly open air festival will mean everyone can attend in the fresh air without having to worry and enjoy seeing Peterborough’s diverse communities create some great food, art and entertainment over the weekend. “We wanted to work with the community to provide a festival for the city, by the city,” explained Matthew. “It’s a really broad offer because of the number of partners who’ve already signed up.”

During the pandemic walks at Ferry Meadows were a lifesaver for many but now Nene Park Trust wants to thank the community for pulling together during that time and celebrate what we have. They’ve joined forces with various partners to create a fabulous free community festival running from May 13 – 15 with themed activities covering everything from arts and culture to world food and sports. Matthew Bradbury, Chief Executive of Nene Park Trust told ESP – “We were trying to find something for the whole city to look forward to having been through such a tough time, but at the same time celebrating our communities that are so brilliant at looking after each other. “We wanted to bring together everything that’s great about Peterborough as well as thanking the community for holding out and supporting each other through an incredibly difficult couple of years.”

The Peterborough Celebrates Festival will kick off on the Friday night then there’ll be a full day of fun and activities on the Saturday with a variety of music on stage and a big family day is planned for the Sunday. There’ll be a stage featuring music and theatre all weekend, a broad cultural offer, arts, crafts and local organisations coming together. Split into activity areas the festival will include sports and activities, a world food tent produced by the diverse communities of the city selling food, school choirs, singers and entertainers and there’ll be a big top with circus style entertainment. “It’s all designed to be inclusive and accessible to all to enjoy,” says Matthew, “but being eco friendly and mindful of climate change is also forming a big part of the plans with sustainability at its heart. “Nene Valley Railway will be running a shuttle service from Railworld in the city centre and parking there will be free.” This fantastic free family event is supported by funding from a range of partners including Peterborough City Council, the Arts Council and the National Lottery Community Fund – Platinum Jubilee Fund. There will be elements of the event celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee. It’s been a while now since Peterborough has seen a large scale community festival so we can’t wait and this will get the events season nicely underway in the city with plenty more to come. Matthew says they were keen to take the lead – “I think it was important Nene Park Trust took a lead on this. We are one of


the largest charities in the city and are taking a leading role with arts, culture and community with the programme we’re looking at and felt it was right to show some leadership at a time when council budgets are under enormous pressure. Vivacity used to look at this sort of approach and so we felt are stepping in when perhaps other organisations are unable to. “What we’ve done is provide a co-ordinating role – many other organizations have got behind the idea and it’s a big team effort now. What we’ve managed to do working with partners is reach other communities we feel we should be reaching across the city and that’s been the big challenge. “For the Park I think it demonstrates we can put on different types of community based events that really deliver impact. We’re all about improving people’s lives and this is a great opportunity for us to run an event we hope will do exactly that. If it goes well we will look to do something again in future, probably biannually.

“In terms of impact for the city we hope it will lift everybody’s spirits at a time when they really need uplifting. It will be a really good quality family offer for the weekend and we hope everyone will come and enjoy it and take it in the best spirits as just a weekend to enjoy.” It’s going to take an army of volunteers to help make it happen so they’re appealing for people to become ‘festival makers’ similar to the games makers at the Olympics to help out. Community organisations, groups and businesses are being asked to come forward if they feel they can support the event through exhibiting, sponsoring, or volunteering. For more information about the festival or to get involved, please visit

Karen Miller

Karen Miller is a qualified Style Coach and Personal Development Consultant who prides herself in making her clients look and feel fantastic and ultimately achieve greater success in their work and personal lives.

What to wear to a wedding...

Wedding season is fast approaching and after the last couple of years of restrictions it seems that weddings are now back in full swing. With a never-ending stream of invites the panic may be real! So I’ve rounded up some tips to help you before you hit the shops and provide some inspiration in your search for the perfect wedding outfit. Do you need a whole new outfit? This may seem like an obvious point, but before you embark on shopping for your wedding outfit, decide if you need to go shopping at all. Are there items in your wardrobe that can be adapted to keep the cost of your outfit to a minimum by wearing them with updated accessories? If you decide on an outfit that you already have, ensure that it still fits you perfectly. If it doesn’t quite fit, take it to be altered, a good tailor or dress maker will be able to alter it to look like new. If you have decided on a new outfit ensure that you have in mind what you’re prepared to spend including shoes and accessories and also think about what type of wedding it is that you’ve been invited to, is there a particular theme i.e. vintage or glam.

Where to shop One of the worst times to be wearing the same outfit as someone else is at a wedding. If your budget dictates that you’re buying from the highstreet then being more creative with your outfit will help you adapt it if another guest happens to be wearing the same. Separates can be a good way of avoiding this happening or if you’re wearing a jumpsuit, dress or suit ensure that you can switch it up with your accessories. Avoiding statement prints off the high street is also a good idea if you’re concerned someone else may be wearing the same outfit. One of the questions I often get asked is where to buy ‘Mother of the Bride’ outfits, this is nearly as important as the bride’s dress! For high street brands I recommend, Phase Eight, Reiss, The Fold and LK Bennett. However for a slightly higher price point and a more exclusive design small boutiques and designers who specialise in weddings are also a great place to start. Anne Furbank has some lovely outfits from a range of


designers, and Matches and Net-a-Porter have an extensive range of outfits for both wedding guests and bridal, and stocking brands such as Zimmerman, Self Portrait, Emilia Wickstead and many others.

Pre-loved One of the easiest ways to minimise the chances of having the same outfit as another guest is to buy something that is pre-loved. Local to Peterborough, Circles in Yaxley has some amazing designer outfits, particularly for mother of the bride as well as a superb collection of hats and accessories, Another amazing find for actual wedding dresses is Lily Rose Bridal Boutique in Peterborough. They specialise in affordable, ex sample, vintage, pre-loved as well as brand new bridal dresses and accessories,

Can you wear black to a wedding? This can be a tricky one, it used to be considered inappropriate to wear black to a wedding, however, it now tends to be more about how you wear it rather than not wearing it at all. Make sure you add colour through your accessories, hats, wraps, shoes and bags and a more colourful shade can be added to a black or dark coloured outfit.

Accessories As with any occasion accessories are a fabulous way of making your look more individual to you. If your style is more quirky, take the opportunity to add creative touches from vintage shops or individual boutiques. Ensure that any jewellery complements your body shape and draws attention to your best features. If your style and outfit is more glam then take the opportunity to add some glitz with fake fur or sparkle. Embellished shoes are huge this season and cater perfectly to weddings and occasion wear.

Hair and Makeup Finally, hair and makeup are the finishing touches to any outfit at any time, immaculate grooming makes a huge difference to the overall appearance. If you’re wearing a hat or fascinator, make sure that your hairstyle complements the style of either. Also remember that makeup translates differently on camera, which is why some people look very different in pictures to how they look in person. I’d always recommend having your makeup done professionally, however if you are doing your makeup yourself, a good tip is to have a practice before the day and take a picture either on your phone or get someone to take it for you, this will show you if you need to add or take away or even change the colours slightly to make sure it complements what you are wearing and looks fabulous on camera.

Lily Rose Bridal - size 8 £495

Lily Rose Bridal - size 6 £490

Lily Rose Bridal - size 12 £495

Self Portrait £280

Cho Chi London £70

Lipsy £88

Invitations by Veni, £199 Lavish Alice


Forever Unique £120


The Cresset is 44 and remains one of the very best venues for entertainment, for celebrations, for community and for you!


t’s hard to believe it was 44 years ago that the Queen officially opened The Cresset in Bretton – and just like HRH this wonderful community venue has achieved a lot.


remember when you buy a theatre ticket you’re not only getting a great night out, you’re doing your bit by supporting the work of the YMCA to transform lives!

The Cresset is so much more than a theatre despite not being subsidised by anyone – it is entirely self funding with all profits being transferred via Gift Aid to its parent charity YMCA Trinity Group each year.

The Cresset was designed to be the hub of the community and it certainly is whether it’s the theatre, shops and services, gym, community facilities or the pub – there’s something for everyone.

The 2014 merger with YMCA Trinity Group secured the future of the building and the organisation for the future. All profits are invested back into the community through facilities and services and through the work of the YMCA. Their work includes: Mental Health in schools, Accommodation Services, Health & Wellbeing, Youth Justice or Access 2 Employment – so just

The Fayre Spot pub which is part of The Cresset complex has been serving up the pints since 1983 and after a fantastic £250k refurbishment gave it a great refresh in 2018 it’s still looking good. The revamp created more seating, an increased dining capacity, and disabled access was also improved, with the new open plan layout.

For Celebration… Now that celebrations are back on The Cresset is back to throwing some great parties. Whether it’s a work knees up, a wedding or other special occasion these guys know how to make a bash that won’t break the bank really go with a bang. We’re all holding on to our pennies but with their party packages and range of function suites to choose from we think they’ve got it sewn up and you can have that good time you so deserve right now. Aside from the parties they can also cater for conferencing now we’re not all working from home, and banqueting for any works events.


For Entertainment… The theatre always has a full programme of entertainment lined up with some great tribute acts like dS:uK the Dire Straits tribute (April 22) and The Take That Experience (May 13), shows like Menopause the Musical (April 6) and Soul Sisters the Musical (May 4) and Strictly stars like Giovanni Pernice (May 3). It’s also the home of live comedy with top names like Jimmy Carr, Omid Djalili and Al Murray (April 27) all heading our way (just take a look at our comedy pages) and when you need the laughs – as we all do right now – you can guarantee there’ll be a stand-up star appearing there on tour very soon or one of their Cresset Comedy Club nights providing an evening of great stand up with a mix of comics. It’s the longest running comedy club in the city now and regularly sells out for a reason.

For Community… As well as the independent shops and services it’s also home to the YMCA gym, another community facility that’s accessible to all. Affordable and friendly there’s no contract required and they offer everything from weights and gym equipment to classes including Zumba, yoga, circuits and lots more. The Cresset also house Bees In The Hive Pre-school providing high quality care and learning opportunities for children aged between 2 and 4 years, The Church of the Holy Spirit who offer worship and community for local residents, and Goldhay Arts, a registered charity offering weekly sessions in the performing and visual arts to adults with learning disabilities since 1994. The Cresset’s Performing Arts programme offers creative opportunities to young people across the city, working with schools and groups to allow young people to explore their talents through various aspects of performing arts. Their latest project – Our Queen’s Story – is a competition for primary school children asking them to present an important moment or event in The Queen’s life through the medium of performing arts. It’s supported by The Cresset’s Performing Arts Development Programme, Peterborough Reads and the National Literacy Trust, giving children a chance to express their creativity but also to celebrate a special moment in time they’ll always remember.

Whether it’s enjoying a pint and some music or sport in the Fayre Spot pub, working out in the YMCA gym, going to a show or browsing the independent shops in the centre, The Cresset has something to offer all of the community. Still looking good after an extensive refurbishment The Fayre Spot has brought back all of its great entertainment and also has a new food menu for you to try. It’s family friendly in the Fayre Spot and its open 7 days a week serving breakfast through to lunch and dinner or a pre-show supper and a cracking Sunday lunch. There’s karaoke, discos and live music (check our Gig Guide for their live music dates) as well as a pool table, dartboard and jukebox. There are some great independent shops and services too including R & R Tanning, the Barber Shoppe, Cresset Shoe repairs, Crafty Jax, Eastern Ink Tattoo and OMG Accessories.

For You… Theatre 01733 265705

Events 01733 842513

Fayre Spot 01733 842518

To check out what’s on offer at The Cresset and opening times just head to Follow us on all the usual socials!


Karen Devine

Karen Devine is a Peterborough based Registered Nutritional Therapist, Colonic Hydrotherapist and Naturopath

ESP’s wellbeing expert, Karen Devine looks at how to give your body a spring clean of its own… Spring is here; we can officially awaken from our winter slumber and look forward to new energy, warmer temperatures, and the longer brighter days.

There are many ways to support/improve lymph flow (remember to have the elimination routes working well), here are just a few:

It’s the perfect time for us to clear out, refresh and renew. We naturally find the drive to de-clutter our homes, cars, offices, gardens, wardrobes and life in general.

We are naturally drawn to a health kick and find that we ‘want’ to eat more raw foods such as fruits and veggies, leafy greens, smoothies, juices and get more outdoor exercise. By doing all this we start to feel better as we are in fact supporting our detoxification systems, increasing our hydration and fibre intake – all of which can help our body eliminate wastes. One elimination route that can be overlooked though, is our lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a subject I love and teach about the most (along with bowel health), it’s a huge subject so I can only give you a brief overview here. One important message to note is that we need to ensure good eliminations i.e. (bowels, kidneys, lungs, skin etc) before really getting our lymph moving. No point in moving something that has nowhere to go! The role of our lymphatic system is important for health, our trillions of cells eat and excrete just like we do, their waste must be removed otherwise toxicity will build up. This is one of the main jobs of the lymphatic system. Here are some other major functions it performs: •

Immunity – produces immune cells

It transports larger molecules such as fats (lipids) from the gut to transport them into the blood, This is what gives the lymph fluid its milky appearance

Maintains the body’s fluid balance

We have more lymphatic fluid than blood – this gives us a clue to its vital importance in health. Our lymph fluid flows through many vessels, passing through lymph nodes to filter out bacteria and more before it is taken into the bloodstream. Unlike blood, which is pumped around the body by the heart, our lymph fluid is pumped around by muscle contraction; with this in mind we need to move our body on a daily basis, our lymph needs movement such as walking, stretching, running or lifting weights. If we don’t move, our lymph (which is a slow moving fluid as it is), drastically slows down and stagnates. Our diet can also slow lymph flow as it becomes overloaded with mucous created by the intake of excess cow dairy, gluten, sugar/refined carbohydrates and more. When we are congested in our body this is a sign our lymph is not flowing well. Many outward signs could be: • • • • • • • • • •


Skin outbreaks/congestion/blemishes Puffy face/body Low immunity (i.e picking up lots of colds/viruses) Under eye bags and puffiness in the body Bloating/water retention Stiffness Fatigue Weight gain Headaches Hormonal issues and much more!

• • • • • • • • • •

Movement, even if you can only manage small short walks, lifting weights etc. Rebounding (a small trampoline), even just walking or gentle bouncing can help move the fluid Bowel focus – lots of lymph gets dropped into the bowel, if your bowels are not optimal your wastes are backing up Dry skin brushing Massage (there are specific massages that work on the lymph) Hydrate – we need this to help our lymph move out the ‘rubbish’ from the cellular spaces Deep stretching/yoga Deep breathing exercises Moving stagnant energy with Qigong or Tai chi. Stop wearing tight cloths – this nips off our lymph system A diet that encourages eliminations such as a high alkaline diet (fruits, vegetables – especially leafy greens rich in chlorphyll), sprouted seeds, nuts etc. Cold showers – or at least warm to cold to stimulate the muscles to propel the lymph (this has many other benefits too)

Our emotions can have either a positive or negative effect on this flow. For example, long term stress can create inflammation, it can also cause the body to tighten externally (muscles) and internally which can affect our circulation including lymph flow. Stress keeps us in the fight or flight reaction in our body which weakens our systems including digestion, hormones and more. Learning to ‘be’ instead of ‘doing’ all the time helps to calm the body – nature walks, soothing nature sounds or other sound therapy or using breath work will bring your attention back into your body. We’ve all been through the wringer in the past couple of years. Going within is so important, withdrawing from the noise of the world is key to calming our over stimulated nervous system. It is only in this calmer, more reflective space that we will know our next steps forward and find true peace. N.B for those with health issues please seek advice from your GP, consultant/practitioner before making changes to your diet and lifestyle – this is for general advice only. The lymphatic system is a huge subject, if you would like to know more and ‘get to know your lymphatic system’ then do get in touch with me as I offer many programmes/ education/webinars on this and many other topics on detoxification, colonics, nutrition and healing.

Castor Lodge Care Home near Peterborough provides a warm welcome as soon as you set foot through the door.


pecialising in residential care, dementia care and short-term respite care, Castor Lodge is home for up to sixty-eight people. The care home is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities to cater for a variety of care needs. The stunning facilities provide a luxury lifestyle, enabling people to live as they would normally, with the added pleasure of having company (and no chores).

“The stunning facilities provide a luxury lifestyle, enabling people to live as they would normally...” Castor Lodge is managed by Nogi John, one of Country Court's most experienced home managers. Nogi has previously managed Country Court Nursing Homes in Boston and Spalding. She has been recognised for her

outstanding care with a 'Care Leadership' Award at the 2018 Lincolnshire Care Association Care Awards. She is passionate about providing specialist person-centred dementia care. Nogi’s highly trained staff team are on hand around the clock, creating an environment for our residents where they feel comfortable and safe. Staff get to know each of them and their families individually, enabling them to provide care tailored to their needs. As part of this, we endeavour to go beyond solely providing round-the-clock healthcare, offering a choice of interesting and tailored activities to engage our residents and help them maintain a healthy, active lifestyle. Castor Lodge is a wonderful place to start the next chapter of life. For more information about life at Castor Lodge Care Home contact Customer Relations Manager, Laura Mills on 01733 731 455 or email


Great Eastern Run

16 OCT

Peterborough’s largest running event is set to return this October with a new organiser and it’s time to start training. The Great Eastern Run attracts thousands of runners and raises thousands for charities so it’s fantastic to have it back on the race calendar and back in Peterborough. Good Running Events are staging the half marathon’s return on Sunday October 16 including the 5k fun run in aid of Stamford based charity Anna’s Hope. Always popular for its fast, flat route on safe closed roads through the city, it’s ideal for clocking a new personal best in the half marathon. The event has always seen local people turn out in force at the race village on the Embankment and throughout the city’s streets to cheer on the runners and encourage the fun runners to make it to the finish line. Good Running Events has brought many running events to the East Anglia race calendar including the popular Run Sandringham series and Run4Colour East Anglia. Director, Aaron Murrell says – “We cannot wait to bring the Great Eastern Run back to the streets of Peterborough in 2022. We are keen runners ourselves and have taken part in the Great Eastern Run previously, and so are aware of how well it has been organised and supported locally in previous years. We look forward to taking the reins of this prestigious, well supported event going forwards, and bringing it back to the race calendar this October.” Several of the ESP team have run the race in the past, ranging from the fun run to attempting a personal best in the half marathon and they all say it’s an amazing experience.

runners who’ve said they'd have struggled to complete the full distance without that support and encouragement. I fully echo that statement.” Our resident runner Darren Grigas never likes to make it easy on himself and even tackled the half marathon with a heavily loaded army rucksack on his back to raise money for charity Anna’s Hope. “It’s always great to see people from all walks of life, ages, shapes and sizes setting out to cross that finish line and make themselves and their loved ones proud,” says Darren. “I’m always inspired by every runner on a course chasing a goal, whether they’re the fastest or the slowest doesn’t matter, they’re still out there doing it for their own reasons and I love that. “A quote I like says; ‘You don’t have to be great to start but you have to start to be great’ and in my opinion being great doesn’t have to mean being the fastest or the best, being great is relative to you and your own personal goals, being a better you, making yourself and others proud. If your best is an hour slower than an elite athlete then so what? It’s your best and your goal nailed, so good for you, wear that medal with pride!” Whether you’re a first time competitor setting yourself a challenge, an experienced runner looking for a personal best time or a fun runner dressed as a chicken ready to tackle the 5k to raise money for a good cause, it’s time to get your name down and celebrate the return of this wonderful event for Peterborough. “As organisers, we are passionate about creating a positive, long lasting running event experience for our participants, and look forward to

seeing the thousands of runners return to the streets of Peterborough city centre this autumn,” adds Aaron. “Before the pandemic the Great Eastern Run was growing year on year and is an event that the people of Peterborough always get behind, so expect hundreds of spectators to line the course and cheer you on your way!” Peterborough City Council is working closely with Good Running Events to see the return of this much loved event and Cabinet Advisor for Housing, Culture and Communities, Councillor John Howard says – “As a runner of the Great Eastern myself, I know how loved this event is in our city and beyond. A lot of effort has gone into seeing the race return for 2022, and equally important was to ensure we had an organiser which has the experience and contacts that will allow the event to grow and expand in the years ahead. “Whether as a runner, spectator or local business, we urge everyone in our city to get out and support the return of the Great Eastern Run this October.” To register for this year’s half marathon and 5k fun run visit the Great Eastern Run website

ESP’s Michael Clarke says – “The Great Eastern Run creates an atmosphere in Peterborough unlike anything else. First of all, there's an incredible cumulative sense of achievement upon completing the challenge itself. You can feel it in the air. “Secondly, it brings out the best in our city. You'll find thousands of locals scattered along the route cheering on participants. I've spoken to many

Enter now 36

Holiday fun close to home Money might be too tight to mention but there are plenty of ways to enjoy a day out, staycation or weekend break without having to travel far. Save your petrol pennies and stick local for a change of scene that might just be on your doorstep. experienced skiers, I’d love to tackle it one day but for now I was happy enough just standing up, maybe next time!”

Jet Skiing “These are some big powerful machines and can fly if you’re confident enough to give them a real go. To be honest you don’t even need to be going full whack to have a great ride skimming along the water. “There are two lakes for jet skiing extending out to around 40 acres, that’s a great amount of space to race around on. These machines are awesome fun! ” Spare time or a holiday often means we want to try some new outdoor activities now the weather’s better. Rather than just an afternoon out, why not pitch the tent and make a weekend of it trying out some new challenges on and off the water. Now spring is here local activity centres are starting up their new season so you could camp out at places like Tallington Lakes or Nene Park and make the most of all their activities by day and enjoy a chat in the bar overnight.

Climbing “From the foot of the brilliant 15 metre climbing tower looking up it's a daunting but inviting structure, the four sides vary in difficulty getting progressively more challenging as your confidence grows and abilities improve. On each side of the tower the amount of holds become sparser and the angles of the walls along with overhangs and protrusions become more challenging. There’s certainly enough to challenge climbers of varied strength and ability.”

Tallington Lakes Leisure Park is a hidden gem just down the road from Stamford and Peterborough nestled in landscaped woodland surroundings with extensive camping facilities, and a bar and pool to use on site. The expansive huge fresh water lakes are ideal for sports enthusiasts, holiday makers, kids’ parties or just a chilled fun family day out. The Watersports Centre, Water Ski & Wakeboard School and Climbing Centre all open in April for the new season so there’s plenty to try, and one man who has is our resident ESP ‘action man’ Darren Grigas. Darren and his family have had a go at just about every activity at Tallington Lakes so here’s his run down on some of the activities you can try out this spring and summer…

Water Skiing “They’ve got kit to lend but also have a huge pro-shop full of kit for all sorts of sports for anyone wanting to buy their own. I was already suited up so headed to the water’s edge for a briefing from my driver and instructor Matt. He was a top chap and talked me through every step of how to get into the water, hold the bar, stand up correctly and hopefully stay upright. “I started with a few laps of the lake hanging onto a bar from the side of the boat. There’s a big ramp in the water for the more


Stand Up Paddle Boards (SUPs) “I’d been wanting to try stand up paddle boards for some time so finally I got to have a go. To be fair, it’s pretty straight forward, Craig our instructor briefed us on where to stand, how to hold the long paddle and encouraged me to try a few tricks in the hope I’d fall off. It was of course a success but hey, what’s the point in wearing a wetsuit if you’re not going to get wet right?” Darren and his family have also had plenty of fun raft building and water zorbing as well as sailing, windsurfing and kayaking. There’s such a lot to try out in a beautiful location so why travel further? The staycation makes sense! Check out for more details.

Could you Foster with us?

Have you ever thought about fostering, but aren’t sure if you’d be eligible? The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fostering Service is answering frequently asked questions to encourage people of all backgrounds to consider providing loving, stable homes for vulnerable children and young people across the county. Some of the most frequently asked questions include:

Q: Who chooses which child(ren) will live with us? A: Once you’ve been approved as a Foster Carer, we will contact you with the details of the child(ren) needing a foster home. We will then continue to work with you to make sure your journey has the best possible outcome. When you foster with us, you will receive:

Q: I identify as LGBTQIA+ – can I foster a child?

• generous allowances and carer perks

A: Yes – we welcome Foster Carers from all backgrounds and people of any gender or sexual orientation.

• an individualised training programme tailored to your needs

Q: Can I foster if I’m single? A: Yes – you can be single, in a relationship or married and still foster with us. Q: I work full time – can I foster? A: Yes – we offer different types of fostering which can fit around your work commitments. Q: Can I foster a child from a different ethnic background or religion? A: Yes – you can be from a different ethnic background to the child(ren) you foster and can be of any or no religious faith.

• a dedicated skilled and experienced Supervising Social Worker If you’re compassionate, resilient, over 21 years of age, have a spare bedroom, and believe you can offer a safe, supportive environment in which children and young people can thrive, please visit the Cambridgeshire or Peterborough Fostering website, call 0800 052 0078 or text FOSTERING to 60777. You can also follow us on Facebook at @CCCFosteringService and @PCCFostering.

Mikey Clarke

Our ESP writer who’s the go to guy in our team for interviews, reviews, quizzes and trying out new things! bankside entertainment, food stalls and a great atmosphere are guaranteed, so bring your family and friends and celebrate the return of this much loved event! I can’t wait to see you on the day.” The 2022 festival will once again raise vital funds for Peterborough’s Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice. The team that raises the most money will be awarded a charity trophy and win a prize of an escape room experience at Escape Peterborough. Nilesh Patel, the hospice’s Senior Community Fundraiser, said: “It was fantastic to see so many people at the launch who had an appetite for having fun and taking part in the festival. We are really grateful to be the chosen charity and for the support of those in our local community. The funds raised will help us to continue to deliver our expert and compassionate care and fill someone’s last days with love.”

Ready, set, paddle! There's that classic saying, "You don't know what you've got till it's gone." Peterborough Dragon Boat Festival is back for 2022 and I couldn't be more thrilled to be taking part once again. I've always enjoyed the annual event, but it wasn’t until the cancellations (due to reasons I'm tired of talking about) these past two years that I'd come to realise just how much I had looked forward to it. You may have noticed a huge brightlycoloured 30-foot-long dragon boat on display in the Serpentine Green shopping centre recently. It was pretty hard to miss! This was to promote the fact that entries are now open for the 22nd Peterborough Dragon Boat Festival, which will be held at Peterborough Rowing Club on Saturday June 11. On the day, teams will race across a 200metre course on boats with a dragon’s head at the bow and a drum for keeping the beat with rowers’ strokes. Representatives from the festival’s organiser NewWave Events, sponsor Whirlpool UK and chosen charity Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice were on hand at the launch to answer


questions and allow people to take some truly Instagram worthy pics from inside the boat. It would seem that it's not just my ESP team and I that are desperate to once again socialise, get competitive and have some fun, as several teams have already signed up, including organisations Whirlpool UK, Fenmarc Produce, People, Systems & Process (PSP) Ltd, BNI Synergy Peterborough, British Sugar and more – all of which I hope to be defeating on the day. Yes, the fight talk has already begun! Alicja Mierzejewska, Executive Director of NewWave Events, said: “It’s amazing to see the amount of interest in the festival this year. We have many companies from previous years entering again and it’s also great to see new companies entering to fundraise for Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice. “This popular event sells out every year and I’m glad that NewWave Events can bring this event back to the community for the 22nd year. Plenty of

Ian Moverley, Public Affairs Director at lead sponsors Whirlpool UK, added: “We are delighted to be participating in the Peterborough Dragon Boat Festival again this year. Sue Ryder is close to the hearts of many of our colleagues here at Whirlpool, and we often get involved in volunteering and fundraising activities to support the great work they are doing. A number of our colleagues have been involved with the festival for many years – it is a brilliant day out for our teams and their families and friends.” The thing I love the most about the many previous years I've participated is how different the teams are. Some will gorge on burgers cooked freshly on their BBQ whilst enjoying a few beers whilst others will be creating their strategy and taking it all really seriously. The thing we all have in common is that we're there to have a good time. ESP is proud to be the media partner of the event and I genuinely can't wait to be taking part again on Saturday June 11 with our team the ESP Motley Crew, and highly recommend that you take up one of the few remaining spaces. I hope to see you there. For more information and to sign up, please visit their website for all the details or contact the fundraising team at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice at or on 01733 225999. Mikey Clarke

Gavin Miller Peterborough’s longest serving film critic with a passion for movies.

DR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS Released: May 5 Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Chiwetel Ejiofor Director: Sam Raimi

After the juggernaut success of Spider-Man: No Way Home – Benedict Cumberbatch’s magician Dr Strange continues from where he left off. All release dates are correct at time of going to press

If playing a major role messing with the multiverse in Spidey’s third film wasn’t enough, this time Strange casts a forbidden spell that opens up the door to this mysterious alternate reality once again to fight a new adversary – himself. Even with the aid of Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch and Sorcerer Supreme Wong (Benedict Wong) it looks like this time he’s bitten off more than he can chew – especially with former mentor-turned-enemy Karl Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) putting a spanner in the works.

FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE SECRETS OF DUMBLEDORE Released: April 8 In this third 1930s-set instalment in the Fantastic Beasts series, Jude Law’s Albert Dumbledore entrusts protégé Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and friends with a mission to battle influential dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen replacing the axed Johnny Depp) and his army. As World War II approaches the Wizarding World must question their involvement in the conflict.


TOP GUN: MAVERICK Released: May 27 This sequel to the Tom Cruise movie that really put him on the Hollywood map, sees the legendary Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell – still dodging the advancement in Navy aviation ranking that would ‘ground’ him – train a group of specialist pilots, that includes the son (Miles Teller) of his late best friend ‘Goose’. Oscar-winner Jennifer Connelly co-stars alongside Val Kilmer’s iconic Tom ‘Iceman’ Kazansky.

Rachel McAdams’ love interest Christine Palmer also returns, alongside debuting super-powered teenager America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), for this mind-bending sequel which also reportedly boasts several iconic cameos in the multiverse – including an appearance by Patrick Stewart’s Professor X. One thing’s for sure, with close ties to TV series Loki, and direction from Spiderman 1-3 (2002-07) helmer Sam Raimi – this is going to conjure a brand new path for the Marvel Cinematic Universe for years to come.

JURASSIC WORLD: DOMINION Released: June 10 The final part of the Jurassic World Trilogy literally goes full circle – with doctors Alan Grant (Sam Neill), Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) and Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) returning from the original Park film. Four years after the destruction of Isla Nublar, they join Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) as dinosaurs now live – and hunt – alongside humans across the world.



Released: March 25

Released: March 31

Michael Bay (Bad Boys) helms this action-thriller (a remake of the acclaimed 2005 Danish film) that sees two adoptive brothers – Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain) and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Matrix Resurrections) – steal an ambulance with a wounded cop in tow, after their bank heist goes awry.

After the box-office success of the Venom films, another major character from the recently renamed Sony’s Spider-Man Universe (SSU) – in the form of Jared Leto’s biochemist-turned-vampire Michael Morbius – gets his time to shine in this comic-book actioner, with Michael Keaton returning as Vulture.



Released: April 1

Released: April 13

This sequel to 2020’s hugely-successful video game-inspired adventure sees legendary characters join James Marsden and gang. When Jim Carrey’s Dr Eggman teams up with Knuckles the Echidna (Idris Elba) to try and locate the Master Emerald, it’s up to Sonic (Ben Schwartz) and his fox pal Tails to stop them.

Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum headline this treasure-hunting action-comedy caper, that costars Brad Pitt. When Bullock’s romance novelist and her cover model (Tatum) get swept up in a kidnapping attempt by Daniel Radcliffe’s eccentric billionaire, it sends them spiralling into a cutthroat jungle adventure.



Released: April 29

Released: May 27

Hugh Bonneville, Phyllis Logan, Jim Carter and co, all return for the sequel to the 2019 movie event that transpired from the iconic 2010-15 series. Laura Haddock and Hugh Dancy join the ride as the Crawley family goes on a grand journey to the south of France to uncover the mystery of a newlyinherited villa.

The popular adult-orientated-skewing animation gets the big-screen movie treatment – as the Belchers’ family livelihood is put in jeopardy. When a sinkhole blocks the entrance to their fast-food restaurant – ruining Bob’s (H John Benjamin) expected financial windfall for a successful summer – the kids look to solve the mystery.


OBI-WAN KENOBI Released: May 25


One of the most highlyanticipated TV series events of the year launches on Disney Plus – with the same fanfare as a major summer blockbuster. Filling the void between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, Ewan McGregor returns as legendary Jedi Master, ObiWan Kenobi – watching over a young Luke Skywalker – for this bigbudget limited six-episode streaming run. During this time, Obi-Wan has to evade the Empire’s elite Jedi hunters – led by Rupert Friend’s (Hitman: Agent 47) Grand Inquisitor – still invoking Order 66, while in exile on the desert planet of Tatooine. ‘Fanboy’ continuity is giddily provided with Joel Edgerton and Bonnie Piesse returning as Luke’s guardians Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru respectively – roles they portrayed in 2002’s Attack of the Clones – and more majestically, Hayden Christensen reprising the role of vengeful Sith Lord, Darth Vader. Get your makeshift lightsabers at the ready – as this should be out of this world . . .

(XBOX SERIES X/S / PLAYSTATION 5 / XB1 / PS4 / PC) – OUT NOW The legendary shared-world first-person shooter Destiny 2 once again lights the way with its majestical The Witch Queen expansion. Running alongside new seasonal content with Season of the Risen, your Guardian looks to take back the Light from Hive God Savathun in a mysterious – and far more taxing – destination called the Throne World. Along this dark road you form an uneasy alliance with the Cabal as you tackle Hive enemies that now wield the same powers as Guardians.


With a brand new campaign, weaponry (cue The Glaive) and crafting system, matchmaking activities, and landscape to explore – complete with new public events and patrols – this really gives the genre-defining Destiny 2 an extra grandiose layer. Coupled with new seasonal activities that includes PsiOps Battlegrounds, a Synaptic Spear artifact, and an expanded Void subclass, there’s a veritable feast of new content that really takes the franchise to the next level – whether you’re an established Guardian or newbie. It’s time to let the Witch Queen exalt her magical spell . . .


Sarah Slack

Sarah’s been a scout for the Edinburgh Comedy Awards for 10 years, has written for Chortle, Funny Women and British Comedy Guide, and has been the panel co-ordinator for the Leicester Comedy Awards.

Bill Bailey Announces Rescheduled Peterborough Date After interviewing Bill Bailey at the end of 2021 for our website it was so evident that Bill just couldn’t wait to return to performing live comedy, which is why it was so disappointing when his initial dates in January had to be postponed due to Covid-19. Luckily Bill Bailey has announced he’ll be performing his brand new ‘En Route to Normal’ tour in Peterborough on the rescheduled date of Wednesday May 4 at the East of England Arena, and if you haven’t got your tickets yet then you’ll be pleased to know that limited numbers are still available. Despite 2020’s various lockdowns Bill Bailey still managed to end the year on a high after winning popular BBC television show Strictly Come Dancing thanks to his impressive moves and the amazing choreography of his dance partner Oti Mabuse. Prior to Strictly however Bill had already carved a reputation for himself as one of the country’s most popular comedians thanks to his roles on shows such as Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Black Books and Spaced, alongside various panel show appearances on shows such as QI, Have I Got News for You and 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown. Bill is also known for being an exceptionally talented musician, which he showcased in his performances at London’s Royal Albert Hall and the resulting critically acclaimed BBC2 television broadcast of his musical comedy show ‘Bill Bailey’s Remarkable Guide to the Orchestra’. In 2011 Bill was also invited to perform at Sonisphere Rock Festival in Knebworth alongside headliners Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax, where Bill rocked out with some 60,000 metal fans at one of the biggest comedy gigs in the world. Described by the Telegraph as ‘still one of the funniest and most brilliantly original comedians around’ make sure you book your tickets by visiting

Stewart Lee Returns to the New Theatre Regular readers will no doubt know already how much I love the work of Stewart Lee, with his live performances, riveting reads and his amazing show ‘Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle’ helping to provide him with a notable reputation as one of the country’s most loved intellectual comedians. It’s therefore great to see that he’ll be bringing back to the New Theatre a brand new performance of his Snowflake/Tornado show – only this time with new material and a different perspective on world events than the one he had when he last performed this show in Peterborough back in February 2020! Performing this year on Saturday May 21, this show will consist of two 60 minute sets back to back, which will combine Stewart’s views on his position in the comedy marketplace after a mistaken Netflix listing, as well as his questioning of his liberal values in the current political climate. Critics have already described the Snowflake/Tornado tour as ‘joyously funny’ (The Guardian) and ‘a virtuoso piece of physical comedy’ (The Telegraph). For tickets call 01733 852992 or visit

Flo & Joan Bring New Musical Show to Stamford Multi-award winning musical comedy duo (and sisters) Flo & Joan are climbing out of their pits, armed with a piano and percussion section to bring you a brand new show of their critically acclaimed songs and comedy. Performing at the Stamford Corn Exchange on Friday May 13, Flo & Joan are known for their unique, sharp-tongued style, which has taken them around the world with multiple sell-out tours and appearances at the Just For Laughs Festival Montreal and Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Now they’re back with their biggest ever UK national tour, poking around all the classic topics of the day: over-thinking, alien lovers and fringes. As seen on Live at the Apollo (BBC2), The Royal Variety Performance (ITV), The Russell Howard Hour (Sky), Jonathan Ross’ Comedy Club (ITV), online with over 50 million views of their viral songs, in your personal nightmares, and in ‘Alive on Stage’, their own special available worldwide on Amazon Prime. To book your tickets, please call 01780 766455 or visit

Comedy at The Cresset This spring there’s a fantastic line-up of comedy shows coming to The Cresset and whilst many of their shows have already sold out, readers will be glad to know that there are some performances with tickets still remaining. Performing on Wednesday April 13, Reginald D Hunter is returning to the UK stand-up scene with a brand-new show called Bombe Shuffleur. Unafraid to tackle head on the subjects the rest of us skirt around, Reginald is the voice of his generation – searingly honest, brutally funny and uniquely placed to commentate on the unfolding meltdown of life as we know it. There are also still some tickets available for Al Murray’s latest tour Gig For Victory when he performs on Wednesday April 27. Described as ‘stand up gold’ by The Guardian, Al Murray will be bringing his popular character of the pub landlord to Peterborough for one night only in order to provide his unique perspective on post-pandemic life which has made him a celebrated comedian and household name for the past twenty years. Lastly, The Cresset’s popular monthly comedy club will also be held throughout the year, including dates on Friday April 29, Friday May 27 and Friday June 24. For more information or to purchase tickets for any of these shows at The Cresset, please call 01733 265705 or visit



Paul Chowdhry Following a complete sell-out 2021 tour, star of global smash hit Live Innit, Taskmaster and the first British-Asian stand-up to sell-out London’s Wembley Arena adds extra 2022 dates to his tour, including a date at Peterborough’s New Theatre. After barely surviving the pandemic, and with two years of pent-up killer material, Paul tackles the UK’s handling of the pandemic, why the rules of six only worked for white people, fame, England football fans and Tom Cruise landing his helicopter in someone’s garden. For tickets call 01733 852992 or visit

April 29

Alfie Moore Performing at the Stamford Corn Exchange, join BBC Radio 4’s cop-turned-comedian Alfie Moore for his latest stand-up show. Fair Cop Unleashed is based on a dramatic real-life incident from Alfie’s police casebook. Relive with him the thrilling ups and downs of the night a mysterious clown came to town and more than one life ended up in the balance, and enjoy Alfie’s unique brand of humour hilariously woven together with his personal insights into his life on the front-line of the police force. For tickets call 01780 766455 or by visiting

May 5

Daliso Chaponda Finalist of Britain’s Got Talent and star of BBC Radio 4’s Citizen of Nowhere, Daliso Chaponda is back out of the house and on a stage with a new hour of the slickest, sharpest look at life. Performing his new show, Apocalypse Not Now, at the Key Theatre, it’s fair to say that 2020 hasn’t been going to plan for Daliso but he’s been performing online daily to millions of viewers, so this is your chance to see what this master of satire has been cooking up during lockdown. For tickets call 01733 207239 or visit

May 6

Terry Alderton Described as ‘a comedian of dizzying inventiveness’ by The Times, join popular comedian Terry Alderton for a brand new show at the Stamford Corn Exchange. Terry’s known for regularly performing all over the globe and has previously played the Melbourne Comedy Festival, New Zealand Comedy Festival, Edinburgh Comedy Festival, Canada’s Just For Laughs, Dublin and Galway Comedy Festivals and many more. For tickets call 01780 766455 or by visiting

May 6

Hannah Brackenbury Join award-winning musical comedy performer Hannah Brackenbury as she presents a joyful and poignant musical tribute to the late, great comedy genius Victoria Wood. Performing at the Key Theatre, this hilarious and uplifting hour-long show celebrates the life and musical work of a much-missed British comedy icon and features a generous helping of classic Victoria Wood songs including Pam, Bum to the World, Music & Movement and the unforgettable 'Ballad of Barry & Freda', deftly interwoven with Brackenbury's own original songs, witty poems and tender monologues written in memory and celebration of her life-long comedy hero. For tickets call 01733 207239 or visit

May 20

Katherine Ryan Creator and star of Netflix show The Duchess along with two Netflix comedy specials, comedian Katherine Ryan makes a hugely welcome return to the stage with her brand-new live show, Missus. Performing at the New Theatre, having previously denounced partnership Katherine has since married her first love, accidentally. A lot’s changed for everyone and audiences can look forward to hearing Katherine Ryan’s hilarious new perspectives on life, love, and what it means to be Missus. For tickets call 01733 852992 or visit

May 25

Lou Sanders Performing at the Key Theatre, Lou Sanders is bringing a new touring show, One Word: Wow, to Peterborough this spring for an evening with one of the country’s most original up and coming comedians. Described as ‘a comedian who leaves you wanting more’ by The Times, Lou is probably best known for being champion of series eight of Taskmaster and as a co-host on Mel Giedroyc’s Unforgivable. She’s also previously appeared on QI, Travel Man and as a frequent co-host for various live radio shows. For tickets call 01733 207239 or visit their website

May 30 May 9

Paul Merton’s Impro Chums

Following a sellout 2019 tour, the comedian, broadcaster, writer, campaigner and all-round good egg Sandi Toksvig returns to over 35 UK theatres with her brand-new show, Next Slide Please. In an evening of warmth, love and laughter at the New Theatre Peterborough, Sandi will explore reasons to be cheerful after many long months of coronacoaster gloom for an evening of fascinatingly funny facts, silly jokes and a quick-fire Q&A. For tickets call 01733 852992 or visit

Paul Merton, Richard Vranch, Suki Webster, Mike McShane and accompanist Kirsty Newton are back on the road in 2022 to visit some of their favourite parts of the UK with another evening of mindblowing improvisation. Performing at the New Theatre Peterborough, the collective improvisational experience embodied in the Chums is a joy to behold as they flex their improvisational muscles to delight and entertain audiences. For tickets call 01733 852992 or visit

Sandi Toksvig

What’s on… we’ve got it licked! Find out where the laughs are at on


GET READY TO ROCK AT MUSIC FESTIVAL IN PETERBOROUGH Summer festivals are back and there’s a great one heading to Peterborough as The Cambridge Rock Festival is being held here for the first time. The family-friendly music festival will be taking place at the East of England Showground in Peterborough from June 16-19, having been forced to postpone during 2020 and 2021. British husband and wife duo When Rivers Meet will headline the event on Sunday June 19 and the other final headliner is Franck Carducci and the Fantastic Squad. They join other headliners already announced – Focus, Cats in Space, Atomic Rooster and a total of 65 acts lined up. The CRF started in 2004 as a family-run event, which in essence it still is. Dave Roberts, Festival Director, told ESP – “The aim has always been to provide great entertainment, and avoid the corporate nature of many larger festivals as far as possible. All the proceeds from ticket and drink sales go to help fund the event rather than pay the organisers.

“Despite being run and stewarded by enthusiastic volunteers, who make it perhaps the friendliest festival you will find, many festival goers and indeed many bands have said it is one of the best run festivals they’ve ever been to.” The annual music festival has seen nationally and internationally well known acts perform on its various stages, but has also taken the opportunity to promote new and local bands too – there are several Cambridge/Peterborough acts appearing on the bill, including local favourites on the rise Austin Gold and Aladdinsane who hail from the city. The event has regularly featured up to three stages and usually runs for four days from Thursday to Sunday, with anything up to a hundred bands appearing each year. Dave added – “We’re sure that the move has great benefits for all those attending, including tiered seating, hard standing car park and site roads, permanent buildings, better transport links and more affordable accommodation for those not wishing to camp. On-site camping with parking by your tent and free car parking will all continue.” Headliners When Rivers Meet are a duo fast creating waves having released their longawaited debut album We Fly Free to critical acclaim from the UK radio and rock music magazine media as well as reaching No. 1 in the Blues Album Charts on iTunes. They are planning to tour the US later this year. Franck Carducci and the Fantastic Squad are from Europe and have been building a large following with their imaginative music and fantastic stage show – costumes, make-up, psychedelic atmosphere and humour. Think Genesis, Alice Cooper and David Bowie, Led Zeppelin and Pink-Floyd. The festival will continue to feature its usual real-ale bars with over 70 real ales and 25 farmhouse ciders on sale, and the new specialist Gin, Pimms & Prosecco Bar.

Photos: Trevor Cotterill

You can see a video of all the acts and of previous festivals on the website so take a look and then get yourself booked in for a great weekend of live music right here in the city. Advance day and weekend tickets are available on

For the latest gigs visit 46

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Iron Horse It’s time to get back out there and get your social life up and running and the Iron Horse Ranch House in Market Deeping has everything from music to food, karaoke to comedy. With the addition of their fantastic outdoor marquee and bar the options have really opened up and there’s a huge range of exciting events planned. This great new space has transformed the venue and is also available to hire for community activities and family celebrations. Don’t miss the Easter Festival on April 16 and 17 packed with live music, beers and ciders – grab a weekend pass for £7.50. Enjoy the laughs at their regular Funhouse Comedy nights on April 27 and May 25 with a cracking line-up of comics, or if you like your books the Iron Horse is the venue for some of the Deeping Literary Festival events with author signings and talks at the end of April. There’s something for everyone with a Movie Cabaret night hosted by Haus of Queerio on May 6, as well as regular live

bands and open mic nights and of course great food. It’s well known for being a popular place for bike fans with regular bike nights on Thursdays and frequent ride outs. On May 7 it’s one for the ladies to celebrate International Female Ride Day. Then it’s the big Jubilee Bike Show on June 7 with added entertainment. If you’re more of a fan of your four-legged friend rather than your two wheeled machine try their monthly Doggy Coffee Mornings on April 6 (and the first Wednesday of evey month) between 10am and 12 noon for a chat over a cuppa and a dog biscuit! For everything that’s coming up, check out their website

Check out for more.

Photo: James Ayley @ Blu_jay photo


Live Music News from the local music scene.


We’re big supporters of the local live music scene here at ESP and we’re always pleased to be able to tell you about new bands on the local circuit. If you want to look good on the dancefloor, don’t be a mardy bum and get yourself out to see Peterborough’s new tribute to the Arctic Monkeys – our very own Arctic Roll. The band formed in January and is made up of lead singer Danny Dill, guitarists Kaine Johnson and Chris lopatka, bassist Gianni Davies and drummer Damian Vidal. Danny told ESP – “There’s a huge gap in the market as there are not many tributes to this great band in the UK and we’re all fans and have been since the mid naughties. “You can expect a true rendition and that authentic Arctic Monkeys sound when you come to see us – high energy! We aim to replicate every aspect of the Arctic Monkeys on stage even down to attire worn. You’ll hear A and B side tracks from us from almost every album released.” The guys are excited to get going with multiple headline slots already confirmed and an ITV covered festival booked in the north this summer. It’s no surprise that they’re already in demand up north where the original band hail from.


So if you’re fed up staying in and fancy being in a music video instead, snap out of it and catch Arctic Roll belting out all the tunes you know and love at Liberation nightclub in Peterborough on April 3 and be part of the crowd for their new video. Danny says – “We are filming our promo video and require a crowd to be filmed as part of it, it’s 400 people capacity and first come first served. We have it booked exclusively for the video and estimate filming to take around 5 hours, the bar will be open and there will be a DJ on in between takes.” You can then catch them in action at their big local launch gig on April 15 at Coyotes Bar & Grill in Peterborough from 9pm with the great originals band Prima Volta providing support, it’s free entry so don’t miss out! Sadly Chris couldn’t make the photo shoot for this shot by James Ayley @ Blu_jay photo due to Covid but he’ll definitely be there for the video! Any bookings for Arctic Roll can be made through their Facebook page.

ANNUAL CHARITY SOUL NIGHT IS BACK! After a two year delay due to Covid restrictions the Motor City Vipers are back at last with their popular annual charity soul night at The Brewery Tap on Saturday April 2, raising funds for Sue Ryder Care at Thorpe Hall Hospice in Peterborough. Well known for playing the best of Motown and Northern Soul classics you can expect 60s and 70s soulful floor-fillers from The Temptations, Wilson Pickett, The Four Tops and Dobie Gray, to The Supremes, Smokey Robinson and Otis Redding; they promise to have you up on your feet all night long! In addition to the sensational sound of an 8-piece live soul band, the event also includes support from top soul DJs and Brewery Tap regulars, Julian R and Paul D, spinning more of your favourite soul and Motown tunes into the early hours. “We’re looking forward to hosting another amazing night of soulful shenanigans and hoping that, after a two year absence, it will turn out to be a sell-out show for this great cause,” said Vipers frontman, Alec Chapman. Motor City Vipers were formed in the spring of 2009 and have gained themselves an enviable reputation as one of the UK’s most exciting live soul bands – having played on the same bill and supported music legends as diverse as The Blockheads, Neville Staple (The Specials), Kiki Dee, The Commitments, Diane Shaw and Geno Washington, as well as playing at festivals and events up and down the country. The evening will include a raffle and auction to raise much-needed funds for Sue Ryder Care. Tickets are £10 each and are available online or by credit/debit card from the Brewery Tap on 01733 358500. Order online at

Come and join us at a pub that’s at the heart of the community and has charity at its heart!


See the ESP Gig Guide for all our Live Music nights.

Sat April 2 The One Eyed Cats Sun April 3 Dave Smith solo acoustic Sat April 9 Another Girl, Another Planet Fri April 15 Easter Mighty Karaoke Sat April 16 Division Sat April 23 Last Minute Brigade Sat April 30 Candy Twist Sun May 15 Salmon Dave Sat May 21 The Guards Fri June 3 One Eyed Cats Sun June 12 Arctic Roll

Summer Charity Beer Festival

June 30 - July 3 In aid of Heltwate School

Staniland Way Werrington 01733 327696

PETERBOROUGH BEER FESTIVAL RETURNS The biggest bar in Peterborough is set to return on August 23-27 on the Embankment and it can’t come soon enough. It’ll be so good to see this fantastic CAMRA event back in the city and as usual the huge range of beers, ciders, gins and world brews will all be complemented by some cracking live music every day. You can’t beat some great tunes with a great beer in hand. We’ll have all the details in our next issue but keep an eye on which is constantly updated with all the leisure news as we get it and of course follow Peterborough Beer Festival on Facebook.

KENNY THOMAS HEADS TO THE KEY THEATRE One of the best loved UK Soul singers comes to The Key Theatre Peterborough on Tuesday May 17 for the final show on his tour celebrating the 30th Anniversary of his debut album Voices which has been rescheduled from last year. Kenny Thomas was one of the most popular UK soul dance vocalists of the early 1990s. His biggest UK hit came in 1991 with Thinking About Your Love (number 4), while his debut album Voices released in 1991 sold more than 600,000 copies in the UK alone. Now 30 years on Kenny will perform the album live with full band as a celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the release of the album. Special guest on the tour is New Orleans born and London based soul singer, Acantha Lang. She blends Staxinspired funk with Southern blues and her career has been steadily burgeoning earning endorsements from legends like Joe Bonamassa and noted tastemaker Craig Charles (BBC 6Music / BBC Radio 2) who described Acantha as – “brilliant…

an independent artist destined for world domination” in an interview for Blues & Soul Magazine. Local soul funk fans who caught Shalamar on their last visit to the city in 2019 may also be interested in a road trip to see the band this May and June. They’re performing along with special guest Phil Fearon at The Derngate Northampton on Friday May 27. Expect all the classic dancefloor and soul anthems in one night. Book your tickets now And if you really fancy treating yourself to a special night out then the following week the band make an overdue return to the legendary London Palladium on Jubilee Bank Holiday Thursday June 2. Special guests on the night will again be Phil Fearon & Galaxy and opening the show Louise Mehan, the voice of UK based band Soulutions. Tickets from

CHARTERS BEER FESTIVAL AND BANDS We’re all looking forward to the return of Peterborough’s big beer festival on the Embankment but how about this for a cheeky warm up to get you in the mood? Charters Bar has a fantastic Easter Beer and Cider Festival lined up from April 14-18 with 20+ real ales to sample, 15+ different ciders and a whopping 35+ different gins available! It all kicks off with a Quiz on Thursday April 14, then the live music gets underway on Friday April 15 with Black Dog Murphy, Groove Cartell take the stage on the Saturday and on Sunday there’s laid back tunes with Division at 3pm followed by the popular music quiz at 6.30pm. If you haven’t checked out their amazing new beer garden yet this is an ideal opportunity – it’s huge!



If you want to get your gigs in ESP for free, e-mail:


*Gigs are subject to change – always check before you head out! MARCH FRI MAR 25


Clarksdale Contract The Ostrich North Street


The Falcon Hotel Whittlesey

RAMSHACKLE SERENADE The Brewery Tap Westgate

RADIUS 45 The Yard of Ale Oundle Road

SAT MAR 26 VELOCITY The Ostrich North Street

THE EXPLETIVES Charters Town Bridge

DIRTY RUMOUR The Ploughman Werrington

MISCELLANEOUS Iron Horse Ranch Market Deeping

TOMMY PHILPOT The Dragon Werrington

ALL KILLER NO FILLER The Yard of Ale Oundle Road

TRUE BRITISH MAYHEM The Lime Tree Paston Lane


The Bluebell Werrington

GLAM SLAM GLITZ The Fayre Spot Bretton

DIRTY RUMOUR The Angel South Witham


The Ostrich North Street 4.30pm

TOM WRIGHT Charters Town Bridge

THE LEGIONNARES 77 The Blue Bell Dogsthorpe


The Ploughman Werrington



MORNING GLORY The Yard of Ale Oundle Road The Crown Lincoln Road


XX (2012)


The Crown Lincoln Road

CUTTING LOOSE The Yard of Ale Oundle Road

SAT APR 2 VELOCITY The Bell Deeping

THREE PHASE Iron Horse Ranch Market Deeping

REVOLVER The Crown Lincoln Road

LIVE BAND The Yard of Ale Oundle Road


The Ostrich North Street

THE ONE EYED CATS The Ploughman Werrington

The Three Horseshoes Yaxley The Crown Lincoln Road


Iron Horse Ranch Market Deeping

23 REASONS The Fayre Spot Bretton


DIZZY MISS LIZZYS Blind Tiger Cowgate

CARPARK RENDEZVOUS The Ostrich North Street


LEE WILKINSON The Parkway Sports & Social Club Maskew Avenue

CITIZEN SMITH The Yard of Ale Oundle Road

SUN APR 3 SUN APR 10 THE PALMY UKE BAND 4.30pm The Ostrich North Street

DAVE SMITH SOLO ACOUSTIC The Ploughman Werrington


The Ship March


The Ploughman Werrington

ALL THE SMALL THINGS The Bluebell Dogsthorpe


The Riverside Bar Sutton Bridge





Iron Horse Ranch Market Deeping

ACOUSTIC NIGHT The Ale House Ramsey


3pm Charters Town Bridge

LIVE MUSIC The Ploughman Werrington


Charters Town Bridge

HIGHWAY STAR The Ostrich North Street

CANDY TWIST The Yard of Ale Oundle Road


The Ploughman Werrington

GROOVE CARTELL Charters Town Bridge




The Crown Lincoln Road

The Ostrich North Street



Brewery Tap Westgate


FRI APR 22 DIZZY MISS LIZZYS The Burghley Burghley Road

2012 BAND

The Crown Lincoln Road


The Parkway Sports & Social Club Maskew Avenue


THE EXPLETIVES The Crown Lincoln Road

The Ploughman Werrington





The Ale House Ramsey



The Blue Bell Dogsthorpe


The Ostrich North Street - 8.30pm

Brewery Tap Westgate



The Ostrich North Street

For the latest gigs visit 50



1pm The Ostrich North Street

4.30pm The Ostrich North Street


The Blue Bell Dogsthorpe


The Ostrich North Street



SUPER UNKNOWN The Ostrich North Street

FILTHY CONTACT The Fayre Spot Bretton

THE JUNK PUPPETS The Crown Lincoln Road

LIVE BANDS The Lime Tree Paston Lane

LAST MINUTE BRIGADE The Ploughman Werrington

SUN APR 24 DAVID JAMES SMITH 4.30pm The Ostrich North Street

MAY SUN MAY 1 THE HIGHROLLERS The Ostrich North Street


The Ploughman Werrington


PALMY UKULELE BAND The Ostrich North Street


The Blue Bell Dogsthorpe


The Met Lounge Bridge Street Ticketed

THE EXPLETIVES The Ostrich North Street



The Falcon Hotel Whittlesey


The Fayre Spot Bretton


Iron Horse Ranch Market Deeping

DUSK TILL DAWN Brewery Tap Westgate

HARD TO PLEASE The Crown Lincoln Road

The Bluebell Werrington

BLACK ROSE SOCIETY The Ostrich North Street

KORPSE + BLOODTRUTH + SUPPORT The Met Lounge Bridge Street Ticketed

CANDY TWIST The Crown Lincoln Road






The Ostrich North Street

CANDY TWIST The Ploughman Werrington

KICK BACK The Crown Lincoln Road

LET THERE B/DC Iron Horse Ranch Market Deeping


The Parkway Sports & Social Club Maskew Avenue

The Grainstore Oakham The Crown Lincoln Road

HUSH Coopers Bretton

VOODOO HAZE Iron Horse Ranch Market Deeping

VELOCITY Charters Town Bridge

RADIUS 45 The Ostrich North Street


The Farmers Arms Yaxley

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SESSION + LIVE MUSIC 4.30pm The Ostrich North Street


The Blue Bell Dogsthorpe


Iron Horse Ranch Market Deeping

ACOUSTIC NIGHT The Ale House Ramsey


FRI MAY 13 TIGER CLUB The Ostrich North Street

CANDY TWIST The Crown Lincoln Road


ACES & 8’s The Crown Lincoln Road


The Royal British Legion Yaxley


Coyotes Bar & Grill New Road

DIZZY MISS LIZZYS Charters Town Bridge

SUN MAY 15 SALMON DAVE The Ploughman Werrington

THE MIDNIGHT CALLING The Blue Bell Dogsthorpe

TUE MAY 17 KENNY THOMAS + ACANTHA LANG The Key Theatre Embankment Ticketed


TERRA IV + VANTABLACK & MORE The Met Lounge Bridge Street






4.30pm The Ostrich North Street



4.30pm The Ostrich North Street

THE NUMBERS The Blue Bell Dogsthorpe


The Ploughman Werrington

THE ATOMICS The Blue Bell Dogsthorpe


ACOUSTIC NIGHT The Ale House Ramsey






FRI MAY 20 8 FOOT UNDER The Ostrich North Street

MORNING GLORY The Crown Lincoln Road

QUEEN TRIBUTE REAL MAGIC The Parkway Sports & Social Club Maskew Avenue

SAT MAY 21 DIRTY RUMOUR Post Office Club Bourges Boulevard

THE MONEY SHOT The Ostrich North Street

THE RETURNS The Crown Lincoln Road

THE GUARDS The Ploughman Werrington


Iron Horse Ranch Market Deeping

TOUR-ETTES The Lime Tree Paston Lane

FRANKLY MY DEAR The Bluebell Werrington


The Parkway Sports & Social Club Maskew Avenue

The Ostrich North Street

The Ostrich North Street



The Ship March



The Burghley Burghley Road

Brewery Tap Westgate

CUTTING LOOSE The Crown Lincoln Road

LAST MINUTE BRIGADE Iron Horse Ranch Market Deeping

FRANKLY MY DEAR The Ostrich North Street

HIGH ROLLERS Brewery Tap Westgate


The Parkway Sports & Social Club Maskew Avenue


RICHARD HALL 4.30pm The Ostrich North Street

The Blue Bell Dogsthorpe


THE MONEY SHOT + UPON THIS ROCK The Blue Bell Dogsthorpe

BENT BACK TULIPS The Ostrich North Street

CAUSTIC LIGHTS The Crown Lincoln Road


Charters Town Bridge




Iron Horse Ranch Market Deeping



The Embankment Ticketed


The Ostrich North Street



The Crown Lincoln Road


The Ploughman Werrington

TRUE BRITISH MAYHEM The Blue Bell Dogsthorpe




The Ostrich North Street

THE GANGSTERS Brewery Tap Westgate

SAT JUNE 25 DIRTY RUMOUR The London Inn Stamford



The Crown Lincoln Road

East of England Arena Ticketed


The Yard of Ale Oundle Road

COSMIC RODNEY The Crown Lincoln Road

BLACK DOG MURPHY The Ostrich North Street

The Embankment Ticketed


3pm The Ploughman Werrington


The Ostrich North Street


The Fayre Spot Bretton





East of England Arena Ticketed



The Ostrich North Street


East of England Arena Ticketed

The Burghley Burghley Road

TRUE 90s


The Blue Bell Dogsthorpe



The Crown Lincoln Road


Charters Town Bridge



4.30pm The Ostrich North Street


The Ostrich North Street

The Three Horseshoes Werrington



The Ploughman Werrington

The Crown Lincoln Road





The Ploughman Werrington


3pm Iron Horse Ranch Market Deeping



The Crown Lincoln Road



Iron Horse Ranch Market Deeping


The Burghley Burghley Road

The Ostrich North Street


The Ostrich North Street

The Fayre Spot Bretton


The Ploughman Werrington

Post Office Club Bourges Boulevard

The Ostrich North Street

MISCELLANEOUS Iron Horse Ranch Market Deeping

SUN JUNE 26 DAVID JAMES SMITH 4.30pm The Ostrich North Street

CAUSTC LIGHTS The Blue Bell Dogsthorpe