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What’s on in Cornwall: October 2017


If you were thinking of settling down in your cosiest jumper beside the fire for the foreseeable, think again. October in Cornwall is jam-packed with cultural happenings not to mention the Halloween and Half Term fun. Don’t miss these fab events.


Backbeat Soundsystem, Mount Pleasant Eco Park, Porthtowan, Fri 6 Oct

Big bass & heavy grooves! Backbeat return to the motherland for an intimate show at the wonderfully atmospheric Eco Park. In a UK reggae scene that has long eschewed bands in favour of sound systems, Backbeat brings 8 musicians to the stage. While much of the current scene is centered in London and a few other major markets, BBSS hail from far west Cornwall. Tickets are very limited for this show so make sure you grab yours before they go.

Richard III (a one woman show), Old Bakery Studios, Truro, Fri 6 & Sat 7 Oct

Pushing the boundaries of Shakespearean Performance, Brite Theater have re-imagined Richard III as a bold and engaging one-woman show. The fourth wall has been utterly obliterated, as you the audience take on the roles of all the other characters at Richard’s party in this intimate, exciting and moving production. The multi-award winning adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic about greed, corruption and how charisma can win you everything is back on the road after last summer’s excursions to New York City Fringe and Prague Fringe.

North Cornwall Book Festival, St Endellion, Port Isaac, Fri 6 – Sun 8 Oct

There is a real buzz around as this flourishing miniature festival at St Endellion, directed by celebrated Cornwall-based author Patrick Gale. The festival welcomes an eclectic range of authors and celebrities including biographer of Virginia Woolf and Penelope Fitzgerald, Dame Hermione Lee and bestselling Costa prizewinner Maggie O’Farrell. There will also be a programme of workshops led by some of our leading practitioners, this year covering biography, poetry, lifewriting and art.

The Beautiful Girls, The Watering Hole, Perranporth, Fri Oct 6

The Beautiful Girls join us at The Watering Hole for an epic night of soul/roots/dub music. A must listen if you haven’t heard their music before, The Beautiful Girls are an Australian band with five studio albums, with most famous tracks ‘La Mar’ and ‘Periscopes’. With support from Rob Longstaff.

Woodburner Sessions, Lust Glaze, Newquay, Fri 6, 13, 20 and 27 Oct

Every Friday night through autumn and winter Newquay beach venue Lusty Glaze will be hosting its chilled out Woodburner Sessions. The all-Cornish acts lined up this month include rising-star songstress Rue, South West singer-songwriter Joss White, multi-instrumentalist and singer Joe Francis and acoustic singer-songwriter Noel Prior.

Simon Amstell: What is This, Hall for Cornwall, Truro, Wed 11 Mar

Following a series of critically acclaimed international tours, Simon Amstell begins his fifth stand-up tour of the UK. What Is This? promises to be a deeply personal, funny exploration of beauty, intimacy, freedom, sex and love. Simon Amstell (Carnage, Grandma’s House, Never Mind the Buzzcocks) has won two British Comedy Awards, an RTS Award, a Broadcast Award, a Chortle Award and has been nominated for a BAFTA.

Hong Kong Ping Pong, The Watering Hole, Perranporth, Sat 14 Oct

The second gig of the month at The Watering Hole on Perranporth Beach. Playing an eclectic mix including everything from breaks, to dub step, to hip hop, DJs Morphosis and Fat Harry have spent the last few years working their musical magic to establish Hong Kong Ping Pong as one of the most vibrant, unique, and fun nights in the South West.

Michael Morpurgo’s King Arthur, Hall for Cornwall, Truro, Sun 15 & Mon 16 Oct

An epic tale of deep magic, heroism, love and betrayal. Adapted from the novel Arthur: High King of Britain, by Michael Morpurgo, author of War Horse and Private Peaceful. When a small boy becomes stranded at sea, he is rescued by a mysterious old man who claims to be King Arthur Pendragon. As the old man starts to tell his stories, the boy is transported back to the days of Camelot. Recommended for age 7+.

Richard Alston Dance Company, Hall for Cornwall, Truro, Fri 20 & Sat 21 Oct

Richard Alston Dance Company is an avidly followed UK dance company with some of the world’s most beautiful contemporary dancers. It returns with a programme of three works including a brand new Alston piece to Carnaval by Schumann, played live by the fantastic pianist Jason Ridgway. In Tangent, Martin Lawrance explores the vivid accents and attack of Tango. Gypsy Mixture, a great Alston favourite, has been newly revived for the first time in a decade. With exhilarating dancing to the infectious music of Romanian and Macedonian Gypsy bands.

Tavaziva Dance: Izindava, AMATA, Penryn, Sat 21 Oct

Bawren Tavaziva’s new work Izindava is dynamic, bold and explores human fragility within our changing world. Beautiful yet haunting and provocative, Izindava unearths raw emotions that are unsettling and unforgettable. Growing up amongst persecution and segregation, Bawren’s memories of freedom instilled a strength of spirit and resistance that has shaped this work. Bawren’s unbridled and intricate movement synthesises ballet, contemporary and African dance styles and is performed by a cast of stunning dancers.

The Carvin Jones Band, Acorn Theatre, Penzance, Wed 25 Oct

The Carvin Jones Band is an explosive blues trio fronted by the world renowned Carvin Jones on guitar and vocals, bassist Joe Edwards and drummer Levi Velasquez. Together the band has played 36 countries on 3 continents in 24 months and has been well received by critics and fans alike. The band currently averages around 330 live performances a year. Eric Clapton says of Carvin, “Carvin Jones is a young cat out of Phoenix who I think is the next up-and-coming blues player”. Can’t beat that for an endorsement. The band’s here in PZ for one night only – get down there.

Catherine Ireton: For All The Fires Not Yet Lit, AMATA, Penryn, Fri 27 Oct

A new solo performance of songs and spoken word from Catherine Ireton (Winner of Brighton Fringe Music Award 2016) exploring small acts of courage and how they can be as contagious as fear. Bride-to-be Claire is not going to make a speech at her wedding. No way. She’s just not that type of person. But what if being timid is a good thing? What if being scared is just you starting an adventure? And so it is that a morning’s outing to the shops turns into a 24-hour odyssey where our heroine-in-pyjamas tries to locate her brave bone.

Willie and The Bandits, Princess Pavilion, Falmouth, Fri 27 Oct

Willie & The Bandits are famous for creating an astonishingly huge sound, incorporating eclectic grooves from World music to Heavy Rock, using bizarre instrumentation such as Tongue Drum, Djembe, Lap steel guitar and Double bass they push the boundaries of what is expected of a modern three piece. Although difficult to pigeon hole, Wille and the Bandits are taking roots rock music to a new level. Wille and the Bandits are renowned for their diverse songwriting and often likened to the greats of the 70’s such as Led Zeppelin, Santana and Pink Floyd.


1000 Mouths, Nancarrow Farm, Zelah, Thurs 5 – Sun 8 Oct

A four-day festival of feasts at beautiful Nancarrow Farm – what a way to kick off October. Some of the UK’s most exciting chefs will join Nancarrow’s own chefs feeding 1,000 people with the farm’s organic Red Devon beef. The event is in aid of Action Against Hunger. There will also be local craftspeople doing demos, wild cocktails to sip and live music.

Heligan Harvest Feast Night, The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Sat 7 Oct

Loveday’s chef, Andy Chown will be joining the Harvest celebrations at Heligan for a special feast night. There’s a programme of other events and workshops too, including practical sessions with chefs and gardeners from Heligan and beyond. Tickets for the feast night cost £35 (£30 for Heligan members), and include nibbles and a three-course meal, with live music.

Falmouth Oyster Festival, Events Square, Falmouth, Thur 12 – Sun 15 Oct

This popula annual Festival celebrates the start of the oyster dredging season, the native Fal Oyster and the diversity of Cornish seafood, with four days of feasting, cooking demos with Cornwall’s top chefs, live music, food and craft stalls.. The programme also includes live music, Cornish food produce, arts and crafts, real ale and wine bars, oyster and seafood bars, Working Boat race, Grand Oyster Parade, shucking competition and a Grand Oyster Draw.

Philleigh Way Supper Clubs, Fri 13 & Fri 20 Oct

Roseland cookery school Philleigh Way has two Autumn supper clubs planned this month. The first, on Fri 13 Oct, is a Japanese night with Naoko Kashiwagi of Naoko’s Kitchen and for the second, on Fri 20 Oct, Fiona Were will be in the kitchen. These events have an interactive element, as you can watch the chefs prep dinner and tap them for top tips ahead of dinner party season.

Shine for ShelterBox Supper with Woodfired Canteen, Truro, Fri 20 Oct

Shine for ShelterBox is a new fundraising initiative from the disaster relief charity and kicking things off in fine Cornish style is chef Ben Quinn and the Woodfired Canteen gang. At the first Shine for ShelterBox supper, you can expect a cracking seasonal menu, served to communal long tables. It is a bring your own event and if you’re feeling particularly inspired, you can go home and plan your own.

People & Gardens Charity Feast, Knightor Winery, Fri 20 Oct

The award-winning People and Gardens Community will be taking over Knightor Winery  to create a unique feast of home-grown food this month. The menu will be based on produce grown just down the road at their Watering Lane Nursery in Pentewan, cooked and served by people taking part in the scheme. People and Gardens was established in 1997 with the aim of helping people with learning disabilities or emotional impairments to develop work and social skills. They now grow plants and bulbs for the Eden Project for use in plantings and displays, and also run a successful veg box scheme in the St Austell area.

Roots Reggae Roast, Mount Pleasant Eco Park, Porthtowan, Sun 22 Oct

The best veggie and vegan roast ever, accompanied by music from guest DJs. Roots Reggae Roasts are back for the winter at Mount Pleasant Eco Park and this unique Sunday lunch experience is not to be missed. There will be 3 delicious main course choices, including Vegetarian options (and one will always be Vegan). All roasts are served with Seasonal Vegetables, Roasties, Yorkshire Pud and your choice of Rich Veg or Paul’s Special Jerk Gravy. Adults £10/ Kids £6.

Find out more



OUTspoken & Alternative Visions, Falmouth Art Gallery, until 4 Nov

From Alfred Munnings to Banksy and Sir Joshua Reynolds to Tracey Emin, this thought provoking exhibition celebrates outspoken artists through the centuries. Visit the show to find out more about the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, BUNK!, Futurism and the Manifesto of Red Alan to name a few. Alternative Visions: Undiscovered Art in the South West is a remarkable and celebratory new exhibition which provides a unique insight into a previously undiscovered group of artists and what motivates them to create art (until 9 Dec).

Jeremy Le Grice: A New Survey – Through The Mill, Tremenheere Gallery, Penzance, until Sun 12 Nov

Don’t miss this major retrospective exhibition of distinctive Cornish landscape painter Jeremy Le Grice. Working primarily in West Cornwall, Jeremy Le Grice is one of the most prominent landscape painters of his generation. His atmospheric paintings explore the Penwith landscape, its high moors, windswept cliffs and hidden harbours. This retrospective includes many unknown works from the family and private collections.

Weather Diaries, Atrium Gallery Truro, until Wed 1 Nov

Truro’s newest contemporary art destination, Atrium Gallery, has launched its new exhibition, Weather Diaries. The show will run until Wed 1 Nov and features artists who document and create ‘come rain or shine’ and in a variety of media. Atrium has selected work for this ensemble exhibition that reflects the inspiration that artists take from their immediate surroundings, with a mixture of genres such as landscape, linoprint, ceramics and still life.

Robyn Denny, The Exchange, Penzance, Sat 7 Oct – 6 Jan 2018

A solo exhibition celebrating the work of the influential abstract painter Robyn Denny (1930-2014) presented across both Newlyn Art Gallery and The Exchange. The second part of this exhibition opens On Sat 7 Oct in The Exchange. Denny was one of an internationally acclaimed group who transformed British art in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. His resolutely urban, large-scale abstract paintings captured the cool, modernising mood of the time.

Fun Palaces, Krowji, Redruth, Sat 7 Oct

Fun Palace at Krowji is part of Fun Palaces 2017, a free, international celebration of community, bringing people together with arts, science, crafts and technology. Immerse yourself in artistic investigations, interactive creative activities, craft workshops and technical demonstrations based on the science of creativity and the art of science. Activities and demonstrations will run throughout, led by the community of artist and maker studio-holders at Krowji, Cornwall’s largest creative hub.

Playing With Fire III, Withiel Sculpture Garden, Sun 8 Oct

Ceramicists Jason Wason and Yasuo Terada have exhibited and worked together on many occasions showing in galleries in London, Cornwall and Nagoya, including Ceramica International, Newlyn Orion Gallery and Truro Museum. They are working together once again as LSG’s first artists in residence at Withiel. Using Terada’s kiln building expertise, they have built a kiln and developed a site-specific body of work for this exhibition. Their love of clay and exploration of fire is contagious, setting new, innovative boundaries at Withiel. The exhibition continues by appointment until the end of October. Contact the gallery for more info.

Tate St Ives Open Weekend, St Ives, Sat 14 & Sun 15 Oct

To celebrate the launch of the new Tate St Ives there’s free entry all weekend, giving visitors a first look at the brand new gallery. The new gallery doubles the size of the building, enabling Tate St Ives to show even more exciting art. Over the weekend there will be fun family activities, pop up tours, events and talks, including a firework display on Saturday evening at 20.00.

Find out more

Rebecca Warren, All That Heaven Allows & Modern Art & St Ives Exhibitions, Tate St Ives, from Sat 14 Oct

Rebecca Warren’s first major UK solo exhibition in eight years opens the new Tate St Ives. A Turner prize nominated, British artist, Warren’s exuberant, roughly-worked sculptures are widely exhibited in Europe and the United States. This new exhibition will draw connections between her practice to date and the geographical context and artistic legacy of St Ives.

Modern Art & St Ives, New Permanent Display, Tate St Ives, from Sat 14 Oct

A crop of Peter Lanyon’s, Porthleven (sorry, you’ll have to go and see it in all it’s glory!)

What many visitors have felt was lacking here in the past – for the first time, Tate St Ives will be dedicating spaces to the history of modern art in St Ives, giving key artists a permanent presence in the town where they lived and worked. National and international figures relating to the practice of modern British art in the town will be covered in depth – from Ben Nicholson, Peter Lanyon and Barbara Hepworth to Piet Mondrian, Naum Gabo and Paule Vézelay.

An Evening of Butterflies, Jackson Foundation Gallery, St Just, Sat 14 Oct

Wine, art, music and nature. Contemporary artist Kurt Jackson and Bordeaux’s Cornish winemaker Mark Hellyar will unveil a new Wild White Sauvignon Blanc at this intimate ticketed event in aid of Cornwall Wildlife Trust. Try the wine and hear talks on butterflies, conservation efforts and the effects of climate change. The Old Coastguaurd is providing the canapés and there will be live music from Martha Tilston. Tickets are £5.

Monochrome Exhibition, The Old Coastguard, Mousehole 20 October – 8 January

Monochrome, an exhibition of prints and paintings by four local artists, Gillian Cooper, Catherine Harvy Jefferson Trudy Montgomery, and Paul Wadsworth, opens at The Old Coastguard. All pictures are for sale with prices ranging between £150-£2000. All four artists gain inspiration from the textures and forms of granite, windswept hawthorns, the wild seas and the stormy skies of the Cornish landscape. The exhibition will explore the use of black & white and occasionally one additional colour.

Joe Armstrong, Half Term Exhibition, Harbour Gallery, Portscatho, Sat 21 Oct

Cornwall based painter Joe Armstrong has a half-term exhibition coming up at Muddy award winning gallery, Harbour Gallery Portscatho. Expect a gorgeous selection of contemporary Cornish landscapes – lots of which you’ll recognise. Rich in colour and texture, Joe’s oil paintings are usually done with a palette knife, giving them a beautiful, spontaneous sense of movement.


Eden Ice Rick Opens, Eden Project, Sat 14 Oct

The Eden Project ice rink reopens on Sat 14 Oct for the season. You need to book ahead and also pay for Eden admission if you don’t have a local’s pass already. There are push along penguins to help novice skaters find their confidence and special toddler (from 18 months) and junior sessions – so check times if you have little folk who’d like a go. Adults £7/ Children £6.

Heligan Halloween, Lost Gardens of Heligan, Sat 21 – Sun 29 Oct

Heligan’s magical and mysterious woods will play host to a Spooky Folklore Trail this half term. This year’s trail will take inspiration from the Russian folklore tale of Baba Yaga. Enter the dark woods and stumble upon weird and wonderful ‘going’s on’. Will you find the old creaky house of Baba Yaga? Can you and your family work your way through a Giant spider’s web? Weave your way through the woods and see if you’re in for a fright or a delight. Expect shadow puppet shows, storytelling and Halloween crafts.

National Trust Halloween Trails, Spooky Stroytelling & Pumpkin Carving, venues across Cornwall, Sat 21 – Sun 29

Particularly good if you have National Trust membership – you could make your way around the very many Halloween themed events at these beautiful Cornish spots. Go pumpkin carving at Trelissick, discover torchlit terrors at Tintagel’s Old Post Office, brave Freak Week and Cothele Mill and much more.

Halloweden, Eden Project, Sat 21 – Sun 29 Oct

Brilliant as ever, Eden Project has come up with something really imaginative for Halloween this half term (my kids are going to LOVE this). Pit yourself against Roald Dahl’s infamous villains, springing from the pages of his best-selling books. The whole family can brave challenges from some of the most notorious characters. Tiptoe past sleeping giants and frightful farmers, learn how to spot a real witch, dodge tricks and pranks in the home of the Twits, or take on the dreaded Trunchbull test (don’t get thrown in The Chokey!).

Skillywidden by Squashbox Theatre, Heartlands, Pool, Sat 21 & Sun 22 Oct, 2pm

Meet Skillywidden, the mischievous Pisky and all his faery friends and see the dance of the beautiful Faery Queen. Marvel at the incredible Book of Nature as it comes alive before your eyes. Gasp at the antics of Brian, the amazing mind-reading pig. Brainchild of Craig Johnson, a performer, musician and puppeteer from Penzance, Squashbox Theatre offers quirky, fun and informative shows that children love. £3-4 

Children’s Halloween Baking Course, Rick Stein Cookery School, Padstow, Thur 26 Oct

Got a budding chef in the family between 8 and 12? Things are getting spooky at Rick Stein’s Cookery School, with their Halloween cookery course. With lots of tempting treats to bake and enjoy, this is the perfect way to get in the mood for Halloween – plus take your witches hats and pumpkin cupcakes home with you at the end of the course to spook and spoil your siblings. £40.


What have I missed? I try to keep my finger on the pulse but there’s a lot going on round here! Let me know if you have an event coming up or know about one that ought to be featured here or in this month’s weekly guides. Email me at: 

Find more ideas here

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2 comments on “What’s on in Cornwall: October 2017”

  • Gabrielle Cavill October 17, 2017

    I love craft fairs……do you let us know when and where they are?

    • sophiebaker October 18, 2017

      You’re in for a treat at Christmas then – I’ll be sure to direct you to the best ones but look out for Etsy Made Local in St Ives, Bedruthan’s Xmas Fair and Outlaw events.


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