What’s On In Cornwall: August 2017
Off somewhere nice on your hols? Save it for September! August is jam-packed full of great Cornish events, so there’s really no need to go anywhere at all. From feast nights on riverbanks, to pirate parties and music festivals, can I squeeze it all in? I’m going to give it my best dear readers…
Oh – and do you have kids? I’ve made a Special Muddy Kids’ Guide for August in Cornwall.
Falmouth Week, Fri 4 – Sun 13 Aug
Falmouth Week is a major attraction for locals and visitors alike. With its origins in a local sailing regatta dating back at least far as 1837, the Week has evolved into not only a major sailing competition in the SW but also an opportunity for sailors and landlubbers to enjoy the many daytime and evening attractions in the town. Plus The Red Arrows, a pink wig parade and fireworks? I’m there!
Penzance Pirates on the Prom, Sun 27 Aug
Where could you possibly find 15,000 pirates in this day and age? Well, head to PZ on Sun 27 Aug and you may find even more, as the town attempts to hold onto its record for the largest gathering of pirates. A noble pursuit and quite a spectacle for everyone else! If you want to join in, you’ll find rules for pirate attire on the website. It costs £2 per person to join and all proceeds will go to the RNLI.
MUSIC & FESTIVALS
REMIXED: Symphonica ft. Mr Switch + Hackney Colliery Band + Red Hot Chilli Pipers, Lusty Glaze, Thurs 3 Aug
Dubbed ‘the ultimate beach party’ this Sundowner session promises songs you know and love as you’ve never heard them before. A fusion of sounds between a twenty piece orchestra led by composer Miles Hancock and four times World Champion DJ, Mr Switch, they are renowned for taking the best club classics and reinventing them in a way never heard before. In addition, there will be contemporary brass band Hackney Colliery Band and The Red Hot Chilli Pipers, who are all about bagpipes with attitude and drums with a Scottish accent.
Symphony by the Sea, Lusty Glaze, Fri 4 Aug
After a stunning second year of classical music on the sand the orchestra is back for their spectacular return performance in 2017! Lusty Glaze Beach and Cornish Sinfonia will once again team up to bring you an evening of spine tingling music next to the ocean, rounded off by a stunning firework display. This will be the third year of this unforgettable event.
Toots and the Maytals, The Wateringhole, Perranporth, Weds 9 Aug
It’s the last Bands in the Sands gig of the summer (already!?) Toots and the Maytals are one of the best known ska and rock groups in the world. Frontman Toots is compared to Otis Redding, and named one of the 100 Greatest Singers of all time by Rolling Stone. With so many great hits, this is an act that’s perfectly suited to the beach bar vibe.
Boardmasters Festival, Newquay, Weds 9 – Sun 13 Aug
Situated across two locations along the beautiful Cornish coastline, Boardmasters is a surf and music festival with a big following. The Fistral Beach site, where surfing in the UK began, plays host to the best in action sports including surf, skate and BMX competitions. The party can be found at the festival site at Watergate Bay, where there will be eight music stages and acts this year include Two Door Cinema Club, Jamiroquai, Alt-J, Flaming Lips and Stormzy.
Stone Roots EP Launch (with Suzie Mac and Ben Thorpe), The Wateringhole, Perranporth, Weds 16 Aug
Join Stone Roots for an extra-special show to celebrate the release of their long awaited EP ‘Some Kind of Sign’, with one-night-only special guest players and superb support acts Suzie Mac and Ben Thorpe. “Funk-pop band Stone Roots combine soulful vocals with tight-knit funk grooves, creating an infectious, energetic sound that’s guaranteed to get you moving. ‘Best Music Act’ finalists (WOCA’s 2016) with regular airplay on BBC Introducing, Stone Roots have gathered a strong following on the Cornish Music Scene.”
Cornwall Folk Festival, Wadebridge, Thurs 24 – Mon 28 Aug
The bank holiday weekend is all about folk music in Wadebridge, with four nights & three days of concerts, sessions, folk clubs, dancing, workshops, craft fairs & children’s events in the beautiful market town. This year’s line-up includes local and international stars including Cara Dillon, Dougie Maclean and Dosca.
Stand up in The Wyldes, North Cornwall, Fri 25 – Sun 27 Aug
There’s a stellar comedy line-up to look forward to at Cornwall’s own stand-up festival, including Bill Bailey, Katherine Ryan, Russell Kane and Alan Davies. Expect a packed programme of comedy and music which will run across the venue’s five stages, alongside local street food, bars, and entertainment across the whole festival site. Day and weekend tickets are available.
THEATRE & DANCE
Bring on the Bollywood, Hall for Cornwall, Truro, Tues 1 – Sat 5 August
With a dynamic cast of celebrated British Asian performers and young rising stars, this comedic musical of East meets West is set to bring the colour, vibrancy and beauty of classic Bollywood to the British stage. Katrina Pawar, a British Asian woman returns to her ancestral home for her younger brother, Lucky’s wedding, but her meddling mother is also determined to find her a husband. Potential suitors appear in the shape of the dashing Bollywood actor, Amit and his newly eligible cousin Ronny, a withdrawn young man. So what could possible go wrong?
The Emperor’s New Clothes, Bedruthan Hotel, Weds 2 Aug & Trebah Gardens Amphitheatre, Thurs 3 Aug
If you missed it at The Minack earlier this summer, here’s your chance to see Ilyria’s The Emperor’s New Clothes at a choice of two fab Cornish venues. Billed as their cheekiest show ever, The Emperor’s New Clothes is a fab retelling of the Hans Christian Anderson tale in which two swindlers trick the emperor, offering him the ability to identify fools by making him clothes that only the wise can see.
Simon Birch Dance – Shoreline, Watergate Bay, Praa Sands, Porthmeor, Sat 5 – Sun 13 Aug
In addition to the amazing outdoor theatre that’s been on in Cornwall this summer, August offers up some exciting dance performances too. Shoreline is a work that explores our mysterious connection to the sea. It is amphibious – danced on the sand and in the water to live choral music. It is a metaphor for the storms we all endure, the moments of tranquillity we seek and the borders and boundaries we fear or dare to cross. This Shoreline performance is part of A Pinch of SALT dance festival!
My Fair Lady, Sterts Theatre, Upton Cross, dates throughout August
Toasted by some as the ‘perfect musical’ Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s My Fair Lady, tells the tale of Eliza Doolittle. The scruffy cockney flower seller in Covent Garden is transformed into the pride of London society through a wager between Professor of phonetics Henry Higgins and his friend Colonel Pickering. But once the bet is over, what’s to become of a flower girl from the gutter who is too eloquent for her profession? Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Arsenic and Old Lace are also on offer this month.
Rogue Theatre’s Lost Gardens Summer Ball, The Lost Gardens of Heligan, until Sat 19 Aug
& Wild Woodland Summer Ball, Tehidy Woods Weds 23 Aug – Sun 3 Sept
Known for their immersive theatre adventures, multi-award-winning Rogue Theatre will be weaving its magic at The Lost Gardens of Heligan this summer, before bringing their new show to Tehidy Woods, from Weds 23 Aug. “The Lost Gardens Summer Ball is an exuberant, bewitching, and fun exploration into a world whose magic was lost in time, but not entirely forgotten!” Rogue’s shows are billed as suitable for families, adults and children of all ages who hear the call of the wild. From experience, there is lots that will go over little heads but the music, costumes and magic still manage to hold them entranced.
Shows at The Minack Theatre, Porthcurno, throughout August
This month at The Minack kicks off with The Wicked Lady (31 July – 4 Aug), the tale of a bored aristocrat who takes to a life of highway robbery. Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island follows (7 – 11 Aug), then two Shakespeare favourites, The Comedy of Errors (14 – 18 Aug) and Twelfth Night (21 – 25 Aug). And recent West End hit Gypsy ends the month (28 Aug – 1 Sept), which is also peppered with storytelling from Squahbox and others.
The Third Policeman, venues across Cornwall, until Sat 26 Aug
This fun summer show from renowned Cornish company, Miracle Theatre will be popping up all over the Duchy this month. The production, written by Flann O’Brien, ventures into a world somewhere between Alice and Wonderland and the Marx Brothers, where the earth is not round but sausage shaped and night is actually and accumulation of black air; where eccentric policemen fall in love with bicycles and you can visit eternity via a rickety life, hidden in the heart of rural Ireland. I saw this quirky show earlier on in the summer at Mount Pleasant Eco Park but there are lots of amazing outdoor venues lined up this month too.
Shows at Penlee Open Air Theatre, Penzance, throughout August
This historic outdoor theatre since 1948 seats about 300 people and is built on the site of the old Penlee House tennis courts, with a turfed area that acts as the stage and an enchanting fairy-lit entrance. The line-up for August, includes Illyria’s Mikado and some Shakespeare classics, including Twelfth Night, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet. The month ends with a comic take on Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations and there’s lots of kids theatre to choose from too. Don’t forget to order a warming, pre-show curry and naan bread for evening performances.
Tipping Point, by Ockhams Razor, The Royal Cornwall Showground, Wadebridge, Thurs 17 – Sat 19 Aug
As part of A Pinch of SALT dance festival, aerial theatre company Ockhams Razor will be performing Tipping Point at The Royal Cornwall Showground, with four shows over three days. The show is set on a circular stage with the audience gathered close around and the five performers use metal poles balanced on fingertips, hung from the roof, lashed, climbed, swung from and walked along to tell their stories. The music is special too, with a multi-layered surround sound musical landscape, especially composed by Adem Ilhan & Quinta, who have previously worked with Radiohead, Hot Chip and Bat For Lashes.
Hansel & Gretel by Cscape Dance Company, The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Tues 22 Aug – Sat 2 Sept
The last of the summer shows, presented as part of A Pinch of SALT dance festival, is Hansel and Gretel – a promenade performance at The Lost Gardens of Heligan. Taking in the winding pathways, Cornwall’s leading landscape dance and theatre company invites you to enjoy some of the light, dark and sweetness of this classic fairytale in their brand new show.
Outdoor Cinema, dates and venues throughout Cornwall
When the sun shines, everything in Cornwall moves outdoors. Skylight Cinema and Silent Summer Screenings have a line up of outdoor film screenings around the county this month. Book to see cult classics at unique venues from castles to cattle markets.
Craftschool, Newlyn Art Gallery, until Sat 16 Sept
Craftschool is an exhibition and workshop space that explores the art of making, the connection to materials, the sharing of skills and the repair and recycling of objects to extend their functionality. The artists exhibiting in the upper gallery (including finalist in the BBC Woman’s Hour Craft Prize, Celia Pym) will share the space with a practical workshop for one-hour ‘taster’ classes led by regional makers (free with admission). Visitors are invited to try their hand at a range of crafts, such as at spoon-carving, weaving on cardboard looms or crafting a wooden whistle. In the lower gallery there will be a display of work by makers based in Cornwall working in wood, metal and fabric, with an emphasis on purity of materials and function, alongside black and white portraits of the makers in their workplace. There are also exhibitions from artists Nina Royle (until 19 Aug) and Samuel Basset (from 21 Aug) to see this month.
A Certain Kind of Light, The Exchange Summer Exhibition, The Exchange Gallery, Penzance, until 23 Sept 2017
A Certain Kind of Light: Light in Art Over Six Decades at The Exchange gallery in Penzance explores how artists have responded to light, its transience and effect. See paintings, sculpture, photography and installation, created from the 1960s to the present day, by fourteen leading artists. As part of the exhibition, and to mark the tenth anniversary of the opening of The Exchange, Cornwall-based artist Peter Freeman has updated Lightwave, the dramatic lighting display illuminating the glass façade of the building that he first created when the Gallery opened in 2007.
Fisherman’s Shelter Pop-up Exhibitions, Portscatho, every Friday, Sat & Sun until Sun 13 Aug
Muddy award-winning art gallery The Harbour Gallery Portscatho is hosting a series of pop-up exhibitions at the Fisherman’s Shelter (just 50 metres away). The last two are on this month, with landscape painter Jenny Aitken (Fri 4 – Sun 6 Aug) and artist and illustrator Claire Henley (Fri 11- Sun 13 Aug). The first exhibition day will be from 6.30 – 8pm, with a wine open evening, where you’ll get a chance to chat with both the exhibiting artist and the Harbour Gallery staff. Then on the following two days, the artist will be there from 11am – 4pm.
James Turrell’s Skyspace at Dusk, Tremenheere, Gulval, Fri 25 Aug
The second opportunity this summer to experience American artist, James Turrell’s Skyspace at dusk, at Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens. Background illumination will under light the ceiling of the space and provide a telling contrast with the sky. The shifting balance between the interior and exterior light will provide a contemplative and hypnotic transition. You are welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy in the gardens before hand or pop into to the fab Tremenheere Kitchen, open for dinner from 6pm. £10 per person. Numbers are limited, advanced booking is essential.
The Studio & The Sea, Tate St Ives, until Sun 3 Sept
Don’t miss your chance to see the two-part exhibition The Studio & The Sea that runs until early September at Tate St Ives. Visitors to the ocean-facing galleries will find large-scale paintings, films and sculptures by Jessica Warboys. The British artist created some of her pieces on a nearby beach, casting mineral pigments onto the damp canvas and submerging it, before dragging it ashore to let the elements ‘paint’ the canvas. That Continuous Thing explores 100 years of studio pottery, with over 80 works from more than 50 international artists.
Bees in My Bonnet Exhibition, Jackson Foundation Gallery, St Just, until 19 Aug
A unique presentation of contemporary art and science, this exhibition, highlighting the importance and plight of bees and other pollinators, has toured from its initial prestigious opening at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History (where it attracted over 100,000 visitors) to take up residence at the Jackson Foundation Gallery in Cornwall, a large new environmentally informed art space near St Ives. Acknowledging the dangers faced by British bees, Kurt Jackson has spent the past few years exploring the world of pollinators, producing a collection of pieces that are also informed by his grounding in the sciences and his experience as a beekeeper in Cornwall. The exhibition features new and unseen paintings and sculpture as well as material from the touring exhibition.
Woodfired at West, Porthmeor Beach, St Ives, every Tues and Thurs
If you haven’t made it to one of Woodfired Canteen’s pop-up, mid-week suppers on Porthmeor Beach yet, August’s, er…. balmy evenings are the perfect opportunity! If the weather is dry, dinner will be served outdoors, so a few extra layers may be required. As always with Woodfired Canteen, you can expect super tasty food from the grills and a great community feel, with a single menu served to the centre of shared tables. There are two sittings, at 6pm and 8pm and the set menu (a meat or veggie option) costs £25, for nibbles, a hearty main with bread from St Ives bakery and a pud to take away.
La Cantina Community Lunches, Mount Pleasant Eco Park, Every Fri
Every Friday the fully vegetarian cafe at Mount Pleasant Eco Park will be open between 10am and 2pm, with a warm, relaxed atmosphere, long wooden sharing tables, wifi (if you can’t do without it!) and delicious seasonal food. All members of the community are welcome for coffee, cake, lunch or simply the chance to enjoy the site. The menu is small and changes each week and with the seasons (vegan menus always available). The lunch coincides with Volunteer Fridays: aimed at adults, these free sessions offer unique hands-on learning opportunities, and training in a variety of practical, and sustainable land-based skills.
Knightor Winery Feast Nights, Fri 11 & Fri 25 Aug
This month’s themed feast nights at Knightor Winery include a Fowey Valley Cider Feast – with plenty of cider-infused dishes, with crab and woodfired porchetta starring, and a Revolver Rum Caribbean Feast. At £25 for three courses and a pre-dinner drink, these are some of the more affordable feast nights around. If the weather is good they will be held outside in the courtyard and guests can arrive early for a pre-dinner winemaker’s tour for a little extra cost.
Wild Wine Club at Port Eliot Estate, Sat 12 & Thurs 17 Aug
Wild Wine Club offer truly special feast nights in gorgeous Cornish locations. This month they are hosting two events in the beautiful Port Eliot Estate. For the first ‘By The Water’s Edge’ (Sat 12 Aug), they’ll be pairing wines from the vineyards of the French Mediterranean with a five-course feast, inspired by the ‘fresh from the sea dishes’ of the South of France. The second evening, held in the Orangery, will explore the amazing wines produced in the South of France, paired with vibrant summer veggies and freshly grilled meats.
Cornish Wild Food Camp Out, Mount Pleasant Eco Park, Sat 19 Aug
You’re invited to CAMP-OUT at the Eco Park in Porthtowan this summer. Wild camp and be immersed by nature at these family-friendly evenings full of freshly made delicious food, twilight nature and wildlife watching, moongazing or stargazing and some all important acoustic music helping guests wind-down by the campfire. Forage for wild food with Matt Vernon and watch him transform it into a Wild Super-food Vegan Pilaf, followed by a proper hot chocolate and toasted marshmallows by the campfire. £10 per adult*, 6-12 year olds £5 and under 5’s free *add standard rate for pitches on top of this.
Limited places are available, so please called 01209 891500 to book ahead.
Find out more at Mpecopark.co.uk
Afternoon Tea & Tunes in the Park, Penventon Park Hotel, Redruth, Sun 20 Aug
Indulge in a sumptuous Penventon Traditional Afternoon Tea and enjoy the relaxing tones of Oram & Latarche jazz, in the Penventon Parklands. £15.95 per person (children 7 – 12yrs £10.95). Limited numbers, booking essential.
SkyBar, Polzeath Thurs 17 – Sat 19 Aug & St Agnes, Thurs 24 – Sun 27 Aug
After a couple of events in Devon last month, Skybar is back in Cornwall to see out the summer. The pop-up, après-sea party – with its bar, eats and beats – will be in Polzeath for the first time in the grounds of The Point with three themed nights to choose from. Then its comes home to St Agnes, where Skybar began, at the end of the month, with four nights of great food, drinks and music planned.
Bowgie Ale & Cider Festival, Bowgie Inn, Crantock, Fri 25 – Mon 28 Aug
If you’ve braved the bank holiday traffic and left the house, or even more impressive, travelled to Cornwall from up country – you’ll need a beer this bank holiday. And what a perfect spot! The Bowgie Inn overlooks Crantock Beach near Newquay and at this annual event, there’ll be over 60 ales and ciders to guzzle. There will also be live music, food and family entertainment. It’s all in support of Cornwall Hospice Care, so you can feel doubly good as you enjoy a pint or two in the sunshine.
Newlyn Fish Festival, Newlyn Harbour, Mon 28 Aug
The UK’s biggest fish festival is back for its 28th year on the 28th! Guests will be treated to cookery demonstrations, fish displays, crab picking demonstrations, two music stages, luggers in the harbour, trawlers racing, gigs sprinting, children’s rides, entertainment and education, lots of fabulous food to enjoy plus art and craft stalls to explore. The Newlyn Fish Festival is organised in aid of The Fishermen’s Mission, which provides care, compassion and support to working, retired and disabled fishermen and their families.