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Two powerful women walk on to the stage in identical clothes, black velvet trouser suits. There is a thrill of tension. One will play Mary Stuart, Mary Queen of Scots, the other will play Queen Elizabeth I. The audience doesn’t know who will play who, and neither do they. At each performance, the spin of a coin will decide. When the courtiers bow to the queen, the die is cast, the play starts.

Everything that opera can do is here. English Touring Opera’s double bill of short Puccini operas, which reached Cambridge Arts Theatre this week (April 16-21) included the tragic Il Tabarro (the cloak) and the comic opera Gianni Schicchi named after a character who deceives all the others to do a good deed.

Craig Smith

The English Touring Opera company presents Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and Puccini’s Il Tabarro and Gianni Schicchi at the Cambridge Arts Theatre.

On the first night of The Importance of Being Earnest in 1895 the story goes that the father of Oscar Wilde’s lover, Bosie, planned to disrupt the play by throwing rotten fruit. Wilde got wind of the plan and The Marquess of Queensbury was refused entrance to the theatre. If the playwright had seen this production by The Original Theatre Company, he might have welcomed him in.

Ian Waite and Oti Mabuse will deliver a night of Latin and ballroom numbers at the Cambridge Corn Exchange on Saturday April 14.

The Importance of Being Earnest, by the master of comedy Oscar Wilde, is at the Cambridge Arts Theatre from Monday 9 to Saturday 14 April.

Tackling the often depressing reality of growing old, Quartet is a purposefully slow-paced tale of four ageing opera singers whiling away the last of the days in a care home for artistes.

Join KD Theatre on an exciting adventure along the riverbank when they stage a new production of Kenneth Grahame’s family classic ‘The Wind In The Willows.’

An award-winning Whitney Houston tribute show is at the Cambridge Corn Exchange for one night only – on Saturday April 7.

Quartet, a charming tale of four ageing opera singers, is on the Cambridge Arts Theatre stage from Tuesday 3 to Saturday 7 April.

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