Kicking off the month with a bit of culture is The Poly, Falmouth, where you can can listen to some spoken word poetry by Cornish-based critically acclaimed spoken word, rap artist and poet Megan Chapman, aka MCMC Spoken. Megan will be speaking about politics and personal subjects alongside several other artists (9 Nov).
Elsewhere, in Truro, cool alt-folk rock band The Little Unsaid, above, are stopping off at The Bakery Studio to promote their new album Atomise that was released earlier this year (22 Nov). And then there’s Camo Clave, performing at Mount Pleasant Eco Park, Porthtowan. The new band, born from Bristol’s thriving Afro Latin scene, is influenced by rumba and reggae with hints of dub and electro. Groovy (23 Nov).
If you’re looking for jazz head to The Acorn, Penzance, for Jazz & Blues guitarist Remi Harris above. Remi has played at several prominent venues including Buckingham Palace and the Royal Albert Hall and in his live shows plays an eclectic mix of jazz standards and new arrangements of popular songs (22 Nov). Or if you’re Falmouth based, The Poly launches its second year of Jazz at the Poly with saxophonist Andy Williamson and more (29 Nov).
ART & CULTURE
The biggie this month is U Studio Festival, hosted at Tate St Ives. The festival of art and artists is created by and for young people (although everyone is welcome!) and has pop-up performances, films, talks, in-house DJ and more in the galleries (23 Nov).
Meanwhile, in Redruth there’s Christmas Open Studios at Krowji. The event is a rare opportunity to inside the studios at Krowji, meet the makers and buy work direct from artists. There’s a launch night on 29 Nov with festive entertainment and live choral music (you’ll get first dibs too!), and then the studios are open from 30 Nov – 1 Dec with pop-up performances from local musicians. Oh, did I mention it’s all free?
Kicking off November’s film fests is brand new Waves Film Festival, which will be showing for the first time at The Poly in Falmouth. There’ll be 14 short films themed around the ocean ranging from 2 – 14 minutes long (1 Nov). Elsewhere, there’s Top Dog Film Festival, showing at The Regal in Redruth. Another newbie, the festival showcases independent films related to dogs and their owners (7 Nov). Cute!
Cornwall Film Festival returns for its 18th year to The Poly – a hotbed for talent discovery and a key annual event for emerging filmmakers to meet alongside eminent personalities from the world of media. The festival attracts passionate film audiences with an International film programme, masterclasses, speakers, director Q&A’s, as well as homegrown Cornish talent (15 – 17 Nov).
Rock on! Bude Blues, Rhythm & Rock Festival returns for its second year at Penstowe Manor Resort, in Bude, with three days of music including headliners Fullhouse Frankie Millers Band, Wille & The Bandits and Sugaray Rayford. Accommodation is included in the ticket price (8 – 11 Nov).
Want more? There’s also Cornwall Rocks on the other side of the county in pretty Looe. Acts include The Quireboys, Diamond Head and Massive Wagons, with accommodation included in the price too (15 – 17 Nov).
There’s also the annual St Ives Shanty Shout which is back for its fourth year. The festival name comes from the Cornish tradition of singing sessions in Pubs with groups performing across the town in venues such as Castle Inn, Golden Lion, The Queens Hotel and more (22 – 23 Nov).
And finally, rolling over from last month is Lowender Peran Festival, a Cornish music and dance festival in Newquay with a series of events celebrating Cornwalls Celtic roots (until 3 Nov).
ART & EXHIBITIONS
The Eden project has an interesting new exhibition starting at the beginning of the month which showcases work created by 15 artists. The project, which is called Unbounded, explores Cornwall’s social and environmental landscapes and how humans impact on it (2 Nov – 26 Jan). Eden Project members can also go to a private view on 6 Nov.
At the Tate St Ives you can see the ongoing exhibition of Nigerian-born artist Otobong Nkanga‘s work, From Where I Stand, which showcases the performance artist’s vast portfolio as well as pieces created especially for the Tate (until 5 Jan). Over in St Just-in-Penwith at the Jackson Foundation there’s a collection of contemporary artist Kurt Jackson’s work titled Frenchman’s Creek, a collection of paintings of the Helford River that famously inspired Daphne du Maurier’s 1941 novel of the same name (until 22 Feb).
Elsewhere at Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange you can see an unusual collaboration between surgeon Dr Grace Pailthorpe and artist Reuben Mednikoff entitled Tale of Mother’s Bones, above, which explores duo’s experimentation with surrealism and psychoanalysis through 90 works (until 4 Jan).
Artist and former illustrator Stephen Lavis has his first major public show of work at the Far & Wild Gallery in Perranporth from 9 – 30 Nov alongside Henrietta Dubrey.
And finally, it’s last call for both Creative Tensions: The Penwith Society of Arts 1949-1960, at Penlee House, Penzance, an examination of the tension between the St Ives Society of Artists and the Penwith Society of Arts (until 16 Nov) along with the current advanced robotics installation at Tate St Ives by inventor Thomas Duggan. The exhibit features Duggan’s new work using porcelain and robotics as well as new pieces created especially for the gallery (until 3 Nov).
On the theatre front this month you can see CAMP Theatre’s new production of Woman In Mind, a comedy that follows the life of a suburban housewife who’s straddled between two worlds – one real, one imaginary. The play is showing at both Lane Theatre, in Newquay (1 Nov) and Sterts Theatre, Liskeard (8 – 9 Nov). The latter venue is also showing a production of Brontë Tavonians, a detective story about the Brontë sisters (16 Nov).
Meanwhile at Regal Theatre in Redruth, you can see ROAST theatre company’s West Side Story, 40 years after the company first performed the musical – expect songs, romance and awesome choreography (13 – 15 Nov). Or there are more fantastic moves from Matthew Bourne’s Olivier-award adaptation of Red Shoes, above, at Theatre Royal Plymouth (18 – 23 Nov).
The Regal Theatre also plays host to the 19th Shakespeare Schools Festival in Cornwall – the nationwide initiative sees over 20k young people from 750 schools perform on 118 profession stages across the UK. This year you can see Macbeth and Hamlet performed by schools in the county (18 Nov).
And finally, for kids there’s Devon-based children’s theatre experts Soapbox Theatre’s Robin Hood packed with puppetry, physical theatre and everyone’s *favourite* – audience participation (16 Nov). And then the biggie for Christmas – Nativity! The Musical at Theatre Royal Plymouth. The show has had two sell out seasons on the West End and this year will again star Love Island’s Dani Dyer – feel good family fun at its finest (26 – 30 Nov).
Jack Whitehall: Work in Progress, Plymouth Pavilions, Sat 9 Nov
Fan of embarrassing public encounters and cringe-worthy anecdotes? Award-winning comic and actor Jack Whitehall comes to Plymouth Pavilions this October, trying out new material before his upcoming arena tour.
Prime Con, Old Bakery Studios, Truro, 9 Nov
Nerd alert! This gaming festival will include retro games, free play, a place to chill out, tournaments and virtual reality experiences.
Yoga pop-up, Old bakery Studios, Truro, 12 Nov
Old Bakery Studios in Truro hosts this drop-in event. No need to worry if your downward dog is a bit rusty, the session is for all abilities.
Healing the nation, Launceston Town Hall, Fri 15 Nov
Comic, writer and Mock the Week regular Andy Parsons is on tour again. This time, he is trying to bring some happiness to heal raw wounds in this currently divided country.
Community Tree Care Day, Mount Pleasant Eco Park, Porthtowan, 24 Nov
Fancy bumping up your eco creds this month? Mount Pleasant Eco Park will be planting hundreds of trees to link up existing wooded areas in Porthtowan. It’s totally free to participate with soup and bread served afterwards.
Crazy for sausages?! Don’t miss the final Sausage Saturday of the year at the Lost Gardens of Heligan where the kitchens are cooking up sizzling sausage dishes for your delectation. Yum! (23 Nov)
Get your craft on at a Seasalt Quilting Workshops but with a twist – you can’t take your creation with you. Instead, remnants will be re-worked into one-of-a-kind patchwork quilt creations by attendees and then donated to St Petrocs, who are working to end homelessness in Cornwall. St Petrocs gives many people a place to call home in their time of need, and the creations from the workshops will help bring colour and warmth to their accommodation. St Michael’s Mount, Marazion (12 & 13 Nov) and Cowslip Workshop, Launceston (21 Nov)
Ok, not quite, but if you can’t wait for the festivities to begin there are a few markets and events beginning this month to get you in the mood, starting with the Christmas Fair at The Eden Project which raises a ton of money for Cornwall Macmillan each year (13 – 14 Nov). Kids can also meet the big guy (Santa, of course) on selected dates from 30 Nov, plus there’s an indoor ice rink up until Feb.
Healey’s Christmas Market at Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm in Newquay will have arts, crafts, food and plenty of Cornish cyder with the markets are set against the beautiful backdrop of a working farm. A family experience with cobbled courtyards lit with magical lights, freshly cut Christmas trees, choirs, carols singers, farm animals, tractor rides, Sunday roasts and mulled cyder (from 16 Nov).
The Etsy Local Christmas Market moves into a bigger venue for 2019, moving from St Ives where it’s been for the last three years to Penryn, meaning there will now be 70 makers, designers and illustrators (30 more than last year) selling quirky Christmas gifts and handmade goods (15 – 17 Nov). And then at the end of the month at Tate St Ives there’s the gallery’s Winter Festival – a series of pop-up 10 minute talks, activities, installations and choral performances (30 Nov).
If it’s Christmas lights you’re after then the biggie is City of Lights festival in Truro – one of the biggest lights switch on event outside of London, the event attracts thousands who come to see the lights, local musicians, dancers and hundreds of awesome lanterns made by local artists, school children, college students and community members (20 Nov).
CHRISTMAS MARKETS & SHOPPING
Bedruthan Hotel’s annual Christmas Fair is on 23/24 Nov this year. Get the free park and ride from Mawgan Porth beach car park and enjoy a host of seasonal workshops and browse stalls from the most talented craftspeople and artisan makers from around the South West. Christmas shopping and self-gifting opportunities galore! (23 & 24 Nov)
If you’re up Bude way, this one sounds awesome. The first Secondhand Social at Juke Boxx in Bude gets underway, where you can buy all sorts of retro goodies including vinyl, books, jewellery, clothing, music/art/surf/skate memorabilia – that kind of shizzle. (If you’ve something to sell you can also get involved, with tables available for £10). (24 Nov)
Charlestown Christmas Market is split across two venues – the main one is Penrice Academy, where there is also free parking. Find some 100 traders including food and drink. There will also be plenty to see in the grounds of The Rashleigh Arms in Charlestown. Their advertising optimistically includes snow, which we can’t guarantee. (23 & 24 Nov)
Late night shopping at Hawksfield on the A39, where shops and boutiques including Jo&Co, Finisterre, The Goose Shed and more will be serving up cocktails and showcasing seasonal gifts. One of Muddy’s favourite cafes, Strong Adolfos, is hosting a quiz (28 Nov).
FESTIVAL: Exeter Literary Festival, around Exeter, Thurs 7 – Sun 10 Nov
Expand the mind, explore the themes and hear the writers in their own words at Exeter’s Lit Fest, featuring a range of fiction and non-fiction titles to be discussed and inspired by. There’s nothing better than being immersed in a good book.
INTERIORS: Country Living Christmas Fair, Business Design Centre, London, 13 – 17 Nov
It’s Christmaaaaas! Well, not just yet, but head London’s Business Design Centre this month and you’ll find heaps of festive stalls from hundreds of British designers, makers, food artisans and crafters. As well as shopping there’ll also be live workshops and talks, plus Prue Leith will be chatting to Country Living’s Editor about all things food at Christmas time on Wed 13.
ART & EXHIBITIONS
Vogue fashion and portrait photographer Tim Walker‘s enchanting, fantastical, frankly insane work is the subject of a new V&A exhibition (until 8 March). Tilda Swinton (below), Björk and, er, Sir David Attenborough are among his subjects and he’s also created 10 new works for the show.
Meanwhile this autumn’s big-hitter is William Blake at Tate Britain, below, (until 2 Feb 2020). The visionary painter and poet’s work will be imaginatively displayed – some of it blown up to enormous scale using digital technology, other works in an immersive room that recreates the space in which Blake first showed his art in 1809.
Elsewhere Into the Night: Cabarets & Clubs in Modern Art at the Barbican (4 Oct – 19 Jan) is probably the nearest I’ll get to clubbing this autumn. It’s such a cool concept – a history of cabarets, clubs, dancefloors and party spaces that inspired artists from the 1880s to the 1960s, including the Berlin cabaret scene in Weimar Germany and Harlem’s jazz clubs and lifesize recreations of some of the hotspots.
Then there’s a major retrospective of 88-year-old Bridget Riley‘s life’s work at the Hayward Gallery (23 Oct – 26 Jan), taking in her famous monochrome, makes-your-eyes-go-funny Op Art paintings from the 1960s among its 70 year career span.
And finally, playing “spot the Angel Of The North” as we drive up the A1 to Newcastle is a family ritual in our house (Geordie in-laws, you see), so I’ve got a soft spot for Antony Gormley’s striking sculpture. His new show at the Royal Academy (until 3 Dec) is billed as his most ambitious in a decade and involves six tonnes of steel mesh, eight km of coiled tubing and a gallery flooded with clay and sea water.
Excuse me, after writing that lot I think I need to lie down until December.