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A new season of The Library Presents is around the corner with a jam-packed programme of arts performances and workshops taking place in 22 libraries across the county from 2 February.

After a successful winter season which saw more than 1,100 people attending over 56 workshops and performances between September and December 2018, The Library Presents spring season starts on Saturday 2 February and will continue to take high quality arts activities into the heart of communities until Saturday 25 May.

There are 22 libraries involved this season, including three new ones: Burwell, Great Shelford and Rock Road. Other participating libraries are: Arbury Court, Barnwell Road, Cambourne, Cambridge Central, Chatteris, Cherry Hinton, Ely, Histon, Huntingdon, Littleport, March, Ramsey, Sawtry, Soham, St Ives, St Neots, Whittlesey, Wisbech and Yaxley.

Funded by Arts Council England and created in partnership with Babylon ARTS, 'The Library Presents’ spring season has been put together by over 90 people who helped participating libraries to choose events for their communities. It includes performances of dance, music, magic, puppetry, comedy and theatre as well as workshops in music, art, writing and performance skills.

Early in the season adults can explore the painting style of James Whistler at Whistler Watercolour workshops run by The Fitzwilliam Museum in Ramsey, Cambourne and Whittlesey (2 February, 14 and 28 March) to coincide with the Fitzwilliam’s new exhibition Whistler & Nature starting in January.

Chase away the winter blues with some laughter at Ramsey Library on Thursday 21 February with superb comedy show The Improvised Book Club, inspired by audience anecdotes and books from the library.

Families can hear stories from different cultures told by Malcom Busy and then create their own story comic with illustrator Irina Richards at the Comics & Storytelling workshop in Ely Library on 9 February.

St Ives, Barnwell and Yaxley Libraries explore the wonders of Space in the 50th year since the first man walked on the moon with the award-winning family show Rocket Girl on 16 March and 30 March.

The Opera Dudes are back in Cambridgeshire with performances in Soham, Cambourne and Cherry Hinton Libraries of O What a Beautiful Evening! a show filled with favourite tunes from musicals and the silver screen. Other musical offerings include some brilliant folk songs in A Victorian Farmer’s Year in Song at Ely, Chatteris and Burwell Libraries and Blues, Country and Folk with Sunjay at March Library.

In April, celebrate Shakespeare’s birth with two brilliant re-interpretations. Super Hamlet 64 is a fast-paced show with references to almost every videogame ever and the perfect choice for those looking for an entertaining evening (Ely Library on Friday 26 April). In Cambourne Library, families can enjoy a clever and fun re-telling of Romeo and Juliet, performed using only what is in the actor’s suitcases (Saturday 27 April).

Cambridgeshire County Council’s Chair of the Highways and Community Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Mathew Shuter said: "The Library Presents is offering another season of arts delights across the county and I am pleased to see more libraries taking part season after season.

“Our libraries are fantastic places to explore new worlds and open your horizons so delve into the programme and let yourself be surprised and discover something new this spring.”

Amy Vaughan, Director, Cambridge, Arts Council England, said: “Libraries already play a vital role in our local communities, providing safe spaces for people to read, meet new people and find support for their health and wellbeing. The Library Presents builds on this beautifully, working with local communities to programme an amazing range of theatre, music, spoken word performances, exhibitions and workshops that will engage and entertain people across Cambridgeshire. The Winter season was really well received; and I hope The Library Presents can top that this Spring.”

The full programme is available now and tickets can be booked in participating libraries, by phone or online www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/arts.

Pied Piper by Norwich Puppet Theatre, one of the shows presented in libraries this season.

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