Find out who the public wanted to see perform in Cambridgeshire libraries this spring…

26 March 2024

The Library Presents has revealed full details of its upcoming programme, after inviting local residents to help choose the acts they would like to see.

Over 570 Cambridgeshire residents have helped to shape the programming for the upcoming season of The Library Presents, choosing from a menu of 40 music, puppetry, dance, circus, theatre and storytelling events.

Tickets go on sale on Tuesday 2 April. The 15-week programme, with events hosted by 19 libraries across the county, begins with a performance of Thumbelina, brought to life through live music, dance and song, on Saturday 20 April in Ely Library.

Loyal fans of The Library Presents will spot a few firm favourites on the programme, with hugely popular events such as The Opera Dudes, Samba Drumming and Fused Glass workshops set to return.

It’s clear that the local community also supports diversity and has an appetite to try something new, so this season also welcomes some intriguing new acts, including Conception Mary Shelley: The Making of a Monster, when Mary has a brutal confrontation with her creation; while families are invited to come on a magical journey into the plant world in a theatrical piece, The Greenhouse.

Further highlights for the upcoming season:

  • Live music performances – spanning a range of genres from traditional folk from The Moonrakers; a classic silent film screening with live music by Minima; foot-tapping rhythms from Paprika, blending Eastern European, Balkan, Gypsy and Classical music into a whirlwind of frenzied virtuosity.
  • Theatre productions for all ages – including A Waltz in New Orleans, a story of rhythm, jazz, opera and West African music and puppetry for family audiences from Half a String, Garlic Theatre and Scarlet Oak Theatre.
  • Workshops in clay, mosaic making, drumming, writing and more.

“We are incredibly excited to announce details of The Library Present’s spring season,” said Councillor Tom Sanderson, Chair of the Communities, Social Mobility and Inclusion Committee at Cambridgeshire County Council. “The response from our community has been overwhelming – their selected line-up really does offer something for everyone.

“We believe that our libraries are more than just places for books. They are vibrant community spaces where people can come together to engage with culture and creativity. The Library Presents continues to demonstrate the power of community collaboration and the important role that libraries play in creating a greener, fairer and more caring Cambridgeshire."

Thanks to public funding through Arts Council England, tickets are good value and priced between £2 and £10. A variety of concessions are available for children, students, senior citizens, the unwaged and disabled and family savers. Some events offer ‘pay what you can’ options.

Hazel Edwards, South East Area Director, Arts Council England shared their view on the secret to The Library Present’s success, “Since 2018, audiences of over 30,000 have been attracted to the programme as somewhere that people of all ages can access and enjoy an arts experience at an affordable price, right on their doorstep.

“I’d urge anyone who has yet to try The Library Presents, to pick something from the Spring menu and experience it for themselves!”

Tickets are expected to be popular, so buy early to avoid disappointment.

Take a look at the full programme schedule, pick up a brochure and purchase tickets in libraries and online: