This month’s fun includes family plays, St Piran’s Day, gin festivals, gigs and more.
St Piran’s Day (Thursday 5 March)
St Piran’s Day, the national day of Cornwall, is celebrated each year across the county on 5 March. Saint Piran was the patron saint of tin miners. Traditional ways of celebrating included parades and processions, with almost every community marking the day in some way. Bude, Falmouth, Bodmin, Perranporth, Launceston, Penzance, St Ives and Truro are among the bigger parades – check locally where you are if you want to watch one.
Don’t miss the Trelawny Shout, an annual tradition where the county unites in harmony to recite the Cornish national anthem. Started by their chosen charity of the year, the Cornwall Community Foundation, this year the voice count is expected to exceed 20,000 at 9pm on St Piran’s Day – look out for gatherings in pubs across the county.
Cornish folk singer-songwriter and member of the popular group The Oggymen, Will Keating will be gathering some extra-special guests, including internationally renowned Cornish duo Davey & Dyer, and world-renowned Banjo player John Dowling, for an inspiring and uplifting ensemble of talented musicians all joining together to embrace the Kernow spirit.
The Alverton will also be taking part in the Trelawny Shout.
St Piran’s Night at the Cathedral, Truro Cathedral (Fri 6 March)
A St Piran themed fundraising evening for the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust (RCHT) Charity and Butterfly Cornwall. Featuring a Silent Disco by DeluxX, and entertainment by Ferris Wheel Junkies (cover band), followed by jump jive band Company B, then Cornish sea shanty group Hit & Miss (including Cornwall My Home and Trelawny). There will be a ‘Skinners’ bar and Cornish pasties and saffron buns from Ann’s Pasties.
World Book Day (6 March)
The three words which fill parents with dread in March when a costume is suddenly required. Also a fun way to inspire reading.
Celebrate stories and visit over the weekend with a ‘Where are You Puffling’ themed trail, activity sheets and storytelling at Trerice, the National Trust house near Newquay, and Lanhydrock, near Bodmin, on 7 and 8 March.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Weekend, Eden Project (14 and 15 March)
Enjoy a fun-packed weekend of family activities exploring Eric Carle’s big, bright timeless storybook, The Very Hungry Caterpillar™. Follow the trail, join in with the crafts and listen to storytelling inspired by Eric Carle’s famout book.
International Women’s Day (8 March)
Garbo House – a progressive Women’s Wellbeing Centre in Penzance – is celebrating International Women’s Day with a week of free classes for new participants.
International Women’s Day Cabaret, The Acorn, Penzance (Sat 7 March)
Held in celebration of women everywhere – our struggles, strengths and achievements – proceeds this year will again support PLAN (educating girls globally) and other local charities supporting women and children.
This year’s fabulous line up features music from acoustic duo Campion, folk singer, Chris Symons, comedy chanteuse, Joan Oliver, and the brilliant Smith Family Trio, as well as dance performances by The Dinner Ladies and Fountains Ensemble. Other acts include: stand-up comedienne Julie Stone, Jane Pugh sharing her latest anecdotal wisdoms, Sarah Connors’ skit about being childfree, a brief history of Women’s Public Toilets, courtesy of Jak Stringer and Linda Camidge, aerialist Ruth Hawkley on hoop, a short film by Martha Dixon about Merryn’s Home – an orphanage in Kenya, the cabaret has supported previously – and much, much more.
Mother’s Day (22 March)
Free Entry for Mums and Grans, Eden Project, Bodelva, Sun 22 Mar
Bring your mum or gran into Eden for free on Mother’s Day. You can take them on a spectacular floral tour of the world through the gardens indoors and out.
Food & Drink
Botelet Breakfast Club (20 March)
Simple, seasonal and soulful, take your seat by the crackling open fire at the farmhouse table and enjoy a deliciously fresh set menu breakfast with a seasonal twist. Delicious, nourishing for both body and mind, and always someone interesting to chat to – booking is essential.
Nancarrow Feast with Dan Cox, Nancarrow Farm (20 March)
Dan Cox is back to collaborate with the Nancarrow team for a very special fundraising feast. All proceeds from the evening will be going to the Pastoral Collective, a non-profit, grass-roots movement making meaningful change through Regenerative Agricultural practices, integral to what we do here on the farm.
At this very special feast, guests can look forward to a welcome tipple and canapés in the courtyard before settling into the Oak Barn for a three-course feast. The menu will feature Nancarrow’s Organic meat and plenty of local, seasonal ingredients – as ever there will be a delicious menu for those that don’t eat meat.
Gin & Cornish Drinks Festival, The Alverton Hotel (Sat 21 Mar)
The Alverton Cornish Gin and Drinks Festival is a celebration of Cornish producers. Grab a free souvenir glass as the first drink is free. Meet the makers and sample the very best in Cornish drinks. Enjoy live demonstrations where you’ll pick up handy hints and tips to create your own top-notch tipples at home. Makers include Trevethan, Tarquin’s and Curio, Knightor, Polgoon and Sharp’s.
The KVK, Driftwood Spas, St Agnes (7 March)
The ‘KVK’ Trail running race is a unique challenge; a Kilometre of Vert in Kernow! Two laps of a specifically designed route to reach the magic number of 1000m of ascent. 15-miles total distance of inland hills and coastal running with big climbs, and big downhills.
Par Duathlon: The Hare – Cornish Tri Series I (15 March)
5k closed road bike circuit and panoramic views along the stunning coastal run route – Par Duathlon is a treat, whether you are a hare or a tortoise.
Daffodil Week, Cotehele (14 – 22 March)
Saturday Social, Nancarrow Farm (21 March)
Nancarrow Farm will be throwing open the gates for their Saturday Social & two family feasts in our Oak Barn. Meet the newborn lambs, enjoy outdoor activities, live music & more!
Art, exhibitions and workshops
Family pop-up Sundays, Tate St Ives
Make, play, explore and design as a family in the studio and visit the Drawing Station in the galleries. Each session has a different creative theme. Every Sunday in term time, under 18s free, no booking required.
Radical Botany, The Eden Project (until 17 May 2020)
Radical Botany explores the artist’s role in the collecting and recording of flora while uncovering stories about biodiversity, trade and extinction.
The current classification of plants, their taxonomy as we know it, is inherently linked to the acquisition of botanical collections. Artists travelling with scientists collecting evidence of newfound flora would record specimens on their travels and on their return.
Falmouth Spring Festival (19- 20 March)
Falmouth Spring Festival organised by the Falmouth BID, is a wonderful early season celebration of coast, community and culture. Sponsored by the University of Exeter and includes a variety of activities for the whole family.
Falmouth Spring Flower Show (28 – 29 March)
Heralding the start of spring, the Falmouth flower show is the first in a line of successive flower shows which take place around Cornwall to showcase the best of Cornwall spring flowers.
Naum Gabo, Tate St Ives (until 3 May 2020)
The first extensive presentation of Naum Gabo‘s sculptures, paintings, drawings and architectural designs to be held in the UK for over 30 years opens at the Tate St Ives.
The exhibition marks the centenary of the Realistic Manifesto 1920, a set of pioneering artistic principles launched in Moscow by Gabo and his brother Antoine Pevsner. The statement declared that authentically modern art should engage with and reflect the modern age.
Drawing primarily on the complementary collections of Gabo’s work held at Tate and the Berlinische Galerie in Berlin, Germany, it will focus on key themes in his work. Check out our Muddy review here.
A Sharp Pencil, Falmouth Art Gallery (until 21 March 2020)
The super sharp pencil used by Falmouth-based artist Patrick Woodroffe is the inspiration behind this celebration of all forms of drawing. Patrick’s highly detailed drawings will be displayed alongside those by his friend, Peter Markey, who shared Patrick’s quirky sense of humour but developed his own distinctive drawing style. These works will be displayed alongside pencil masterpieces drawn from Falmouth’s collection and loaned by contemporary artists.
Monsters of the Deep, National Maritime Museum Cornwall, Falmouth (from 20 March)
Monsters of the Deep: Science Fact and Fiction is the awaited new exhibition at the National Maritime Musuem. From mummified mermaids to giant krakens the size of an island, the exhibition will take visitors on an immersive tour through the world of deep-sea monsters, both real and imagined.
Monsters of the Deep brings together rarely seen specimens, artifacts and artworks from world-class collections, including Royal Museums Greenwich, the British Museum, the Science Museum, the National Oceanography Centre and Cambridge University Library. Supported by newly commissioned immersive installations, visitors will be able to delve into the incredible stories, beliefs and mythologies around deep-sea monsters, and is the first exhibition to explore this topic in depth.
Music, Film & Theatre
Simon Evans, Launceston Town Hall (Weds 4 March)
The sharp-witted veteran himself Simon Evans is back on tour. Following on from Genius and Genius 2.0, he’ll be bamboozling venues up and down the country with his new show, The Work of the Devil. Evans is said to be one of the most exciting and distinctive talents to emerge on the comedy circuit in recent years. He is a familiar voice on BBC Radio 4 as a regular on The News Quiz, The Unbelievable Truth and Armando Iannucci’s Charm Offensive.
The Festival of Curious Puppetry, Falmouth (until 14 March)
Offering 8 unique puppetry performances, 6 inspirational evenings of talks and an exhibition showcasing puppets from around the world, come and experience the magical world of puppetry. Expect a riot of exciting shows and events to inspire and engage people of all ages in puppetry in all its forms and fancies. From clothes peg to carved exquisiteness puppets tell us their stories and open worlds of visual possibility.
Shextreme Film Festival, The Poly, Falmouth (Sat 7 Mar)
Leading the charge for gender equality in adventure filmmaking, Shextreme’s UK tour takes the best of the 2019 festival out on tour, electrifying audiences with an exciting and inspiring celebration of adventurous, active women.
There is no shortage of amazing women in adventure. However, there IS a shortage of filmmakers sharing their empowering stories on screen, and Shextreme addresses this through its action-packed programmes of active, adventurous women both on screen and behind the camera.
Shextreme’s UK film tour has assembled a selection of inspirational stories, encompassing mountaineering, biking, surfing, skiing, slacklining and more. Prepare to be inspired!
Using a raucous combination of physical theatre, live music and clowning, Scratchworks will unfold the untold tale of the four feisty forgotten females from the Great Train Robbery.
Songfest 2020 – Spectacular Songs For the Heart and Soul, Launceston (10 March) Falmouth (12 March) Penzance (16 & 17 March) Wadebridge (23 & 24 March) Plymouth (25 March)
The Cornwall Music Education Hub’s annual vocal showcase returns with a new set of songs for 2020, this time focussing on wellbeing and feeling good! Children from local schools will be performing in this year’s massed Songfest choir with performances by local soloists and school choirs in the first half of the show.
Dom Joly’s Holiday Snaps – Travel and Comedy in The Danger Zone, The Acorn, Penzance (17 March)
Trigger Happy TV’s poster boy, writer and broadcaster Dom Joly is undertaking his first UK tour since 2011. Hear about his exploits as a serial globe-trotting and seeker of dangerous travel spots. From North Korea to Chernobyl.
Joly famously attended school with Osama Bin Laden and armed with a trusty Powerpoint, fans can expect his holiday snaps to provide comedy and a sense of danger. The best-selling author will meet fans after the show to sign copies of his latest book, The Hezbollah Hiking Club.
Medea On Our Hands, Minack Theatre, Porthcurno (17 March)
This performance is a visceral ensemble, a response to horror, to the extremes of human hurting and rage. Anger is an energy. Breathe stops… At the very edge of love… This is a collaborative interpretation of Euripides’ MEDEA, devised with members of The Actor’s Wheel, Plymouth Marjon University.
The South, The Acorn, Penzance (19 & 20 March)
The South is an impressive 9 piece band that features former members of The Beautiful South including singer Alison Wheeler and lifelong sax player Gaz Birtles. Since Dave Hemingway, the original singer, left the group at the end of 2016, Gaz has moved across to front the band with Alison and taken on vocal duties. They play the songs made famous by The Beautiful South and bring back the full flavour and arrangements with this exciting live band.
Percy Pengelly and the Wibble Wobble, Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens (28 March – 12 April)
From Cousin Jack’s who created the Mousehole Cat stage show comes Percy Pengelly in his Cornish big top. Suitable for all the family for 3+, wibble wobble your way through Percy’s tall tale of ups and downs as he searches for a new career in Cornwall. Witness his fall from world-famous tightrope walker to super dooper pooper scooper before reaching the giddy heights of fishing port rooftops. Find out what the future has in store for Percy Pengelly in this brand new live-action production performed in-the-round in a beautifully re-imagined circus top.
Tales from the Trees, Minack Theatre, Porthcurno (30 March)
‘Tales from the Trees’ is a terrific tangle of puppetry, storytelling, live music and comedy, with a theme that embraces natural history, folklore and ecology.
Hetty Feather, Minack Theatre, Porthcurno (31 March – 12 April)
Jacqueline Wilson’s best-selling children’s book, Hetty Feather, comes to The Minack in a thrilling adaptation by award-winning writer, Emma Reeves.
Growing up in the Foundling Hospital is bleak and the future a life of endless drudgery, but for courageous red-head Hetty another world is possible, if only in her imagination. Hetty dreams of finding the unknown mother who gave her up and learning who she really is, but when she encounters the glamourous, flame-haired circus performer, Madame Adeline, her dreams become dangerously entangled with the perils that lurk in the real world.
Magic Goes Wrong, Penn & Teller, Vaudeville Theatre, London, throughout Feb and March
Co-created by magic rebels Penn & Teller, Mischief Theatre conjures up and evening of grand illusion to make your head spin. The show hinges on a hapless gang of magicians and (of course) things soon spiral out of control. From the same team who created Olivier award-winning Peter Pan Goes Wrong. 11+ age recommended. Now booking until August 2020.
Steve McQueen, Tate Modern, London, 13 Feb – 11 May
So cool, you’ll be name dropping this one all month. London is Steve McQueen’s home town and this is the first major exhibition of his work here since he won the Turner prize in 1999. Also the director of Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave, Steve McQueen’s portfolio features 14 major works spanning his stellar career in film, photography and sculpture. The display will cover the last 25 years and include personal works such as his early film on Super 8 camera and this breathtaking aerial depiction of the Statue of Liberty (above). The show also coincides with McQueen’s latest artwork Year 3, on show at Tate Britain until 3 May.
Pretty Woman The Musical, Piccadilly Theatre, London, until 2 Jan 2021
It may not be the most #MeToo show of the year – but hell, it’s an of-its-time classic, right? Hot on the heels of its hit Broadway premiere in 2018, Pretty Woman this month begins its West End residency. Let’s be honest it’s going to be a huge crowd puller, so book up fast. Plus, the production has some major names with choreography from two-time Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots, Legally Blonde, Hairspray) and an original score from Grammy winner Bryan ‘Everything I do, I do for you’ Adams.
Mama Mia, how we love a bit of ABBA, and this spectacular night out at the O2 is a definite must-see. Created by the one and only beardy one Bjorn Ulvaeus, this immersive all-singing, all-dancing theatrical dining experience awaits you (booking until May 2020). Over the course of four hours (you’ll need a lot of Cosmo-fuelled endurance we reckon) you get a four course gourmet Mediterranean meal and a fabulous ABBA disco. Pure pop escapism, and we want to be there right now.
Message in a Bottle, Sadlers Wells, throughout Feb and March
They were some of the songs that defined the 80s and 90s – Roxanne, Every Breath You Take, Fields Of Gold and Shape of My Heart. Iconic hits of 17-time Grammy Award-winning artist Sting. So our cool culture alarm went off big style with Message In A Bottle – a spectacular new dance-theatre show from triple-Olivier Award nominee, Kate Prince, Featuring exhilarating dance dazzling footwork and breathtaking athleticism set to the music of Sting, this uplifting show is a story of humanity and hope.
Picasso and Paper, Royal Academy of Arts, until 12 April
Picasso didn’t just draw on paper – he tore it, burnt it, and made it three-dimensional. From studies for ‘Guernica’ to a 4.8-metre-wide collage, this simply brilliant exhibition brings together more than 300 works on paper spanning the artist’s 80-year career. Don’t forget to book ahead people, big crowds are expected at this one, give yourself enough gawp time (1 – 2 hours) and tickets start at £18.