What’s on this month in Cornwall

PUBLISHED: 15:17 29 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:17 29 August 2018

Newquay Fish Festival celebrates the town’s long association with the sea

Newquay Fish Festival celebrates the town’s long association with the sea


We pick some of the best events and performances happening in Cornwall in September 2018

Summer exhibition at The Old Coastguard

Ends 9 September

There’s a last chance to see the summer exhibition of paintings by Penzance-based artist Catherine Harvey Jefferson at The Old Coastguard in Mousehole before it ends.

Cornwall-born Catherine studied at Falmouth College of Art and Winchester returning to the Duchy and West Penwith in 2005. Painting from a very young age, Catherine comes from a line of artists and seafarers and her work is inspired by the coastlines and landscapes through which she has travelled. She works directly on location, before finishing the paintings off in her remote studio overlooking West Penwith’s coastal plain.

The exhibition of 16 paintings, prints and drawings is the eighth show to be held at The Old Coastguard.

Visit oldcoastguardhotel.co.uk for details.


Taste of Scilly

1-30 September

Every September, the Isles of Scilly celebrates the very best of island food and drink with a month-long festival which goes to the very heart of the local island-based producers. Visitors can enjoy the low-food miles, slow-food culture and savour a fresh foodie experience every day.

Meet local bakers, brewers, chefs, farmers, fishermen and food and drink producers who love to share their stories, passions and creativity. There are tours of small working farms to discover what it takes to build a successful artisan food business on the islands, and there are demonstrations from chefs and fishermen – all keen to show off their skills in the kitchen from baking the perfect scone and crimping pasties to preserving herbs, fishing for razor clams and creating mouthwatering ales and ciders.

Go to visitislesofscilly.com/tasteofscilly.


Heritage Open Days

6-9 and 13-16 September

Heritage Open Days is England’s largest festival of history and culture, with over 40,000 volunteers helping to throw open the doors to celebrate their heritage, community and history. It was established in 1994 and last year’s festival was the biggest to date with 5,588 events, reflecting the rich and diverse cultural heritage of England and its communities.

Spanning the public, private and voluntary sectors, the event encourages communities nationwide to come together to learn, explore and have fun by sharing the treasures on their doorstep.

For the first time in its history, Heritage Open Days will take place over two consecutive weekends in September. This year, in recognition of the centenary of the Universal Suffrage Act, there will be hundreds of events taking place on the theme of Extraordinary Women – focusing on both well-known and less celebrated women.

Heritage Open Days presents an opportunity to visit the new Kresen Kernow project in Redruth, Cornwall’s new archive centre which received £11.7m funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Kresen Kernow will be an exemplary modern archive and library space, bringing together the world’s largest collection of manuscripts, books and documents related to Cornwall, as well as the Cornwall Record Office, the Cornish Studies Library and the Cornwall and Scilly Historic Environment Record, for the first time.

Kresen Kernow will also safeguard the historic Redruth Brewery building at the heart of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site in Redruth.

There will be four hard-hat tours a day of the site as part of Heritage Open Days on 14 and 15 September. Pre-booking is essential on 01872 323127.

Heritage Open Days is also launching a second Unsung Stories project. A ground-breaking artistic collaboration, put her forward, will see the creation of up to 25 new 3-D modelled figurines of present day Extraordinary Women.

Visit heritageopendays.org.uk.


Newquay Fish Festival

7-9 September

Newquay has a centuries old association with fish and the annual Fish Festival in early September attracts more than 20,000 visitors to celebrate this connection with the sea. There are three days packed with entertainment and the chance to sample and buy local produce. There are cooking demonstrations every day – including one from Fifteen Cornwall head chef Adam Banks – which will all promote the variety of fish and shellfish on offer off the Cornish coast. Local hotels and restaurants get behind the festival to promote local seafood and produce. In the food, craft and arts tents you can sample everything from traditional pasties and Cornish cakes to curry, crepes and chocolate fountains.



Son Yambu

9 September

Son Yambu play authentic Son Cubano or Cuban son – the essential Afro-Cuban music that originated in the streets of eastern Cuba at the turn of the last century. Son is a fusion of Spanish and African rhythms and is the root of all salsa music. Formed in 2011, Son Yambu feature a new generation of (mainly) Cuban musicians who are all passionate about maintaining the traditions of the genre, continuing the Buena Vista legacy that put Cuban music back on the map in 1997.

St Ives Guildhall. Book online at crbo.ticketsolve.com.


Third Light

10-14 September

Imagine a Cornish village whose men all came home from the trenches. Imagine a war memorial honouring the living, not the dead. Imagine a place symbolising hope amid horror.

Welcome to Herodsfoot in East Cornwall. Every one of the community’s 13 men who went to war came home, and their names are recorded in stone on the village green.

Through immersive drama, a live brass band and contemporary dance, Third Light tells the moving story of one of Britain’s 53 “thankful villages” – and the only one in Cornwall.

The show was conceived and written by Simon Parker, who said: “You’d think, after a hundred years, all the stories of the First World War would had been told – but it’s surprising how few people know about this ‘thankful’ or ‘blessed’ village.”

First staged at Sterts Theatre in 2014, Third Light played to sell-out audiences.

The play’s author, whose previous productions include Gonamena, Seven Stars, A Star On The Mizzen, and The Illegible Bachelor, said: “My grandfathers both served in France during the First World War, so I was always interested in what they went through. One was gassed, the other suffered a serious leg wound, and although they survived the conflict, when so many didn’t, the miseries they experienced must have been terrible. Their survival was largely a matter of luck – and it is that theme of luck and fortune that runs through Third Light.

“One of my grandfathers joined up at the very beginning of the war as a bugler. He enlisted along with three boyhood friends – all of whom were killed. This left my grandfather asking ‘why me?’ for the rest of his long life – much as the men of Herodsfoot must have felt.”

Directed by Nicola Rosewarne, choreographed by Ben Dunks, designed by Meier Williams, and with the music of Sir Malcolm Arnold and Simon Dobson played live by St Pinnock Brass Band and led by David Johnson, Third Light is performed by an ensemble of 70 professional and community actors and dancers. Bert and Buzz, the two old soldiers central to the narrative, who find themselves reluctantly having to face yet another Remembrance Day parade, are played by well-known Cornish actors, Charlie Barnecut and Iain Marshall.

Third Light is supported by Feast, Arts Council England, Falmouth University, Cornwall Council, Amata, and Scryfa. For tickets visit minack.com or call the box office on 01736 810181.

Comedian Zoe Lyons kicks off her new tour, Entry Level Human, in the Westcountry after its premiere at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It’s a follow-up to 2016’s Little Misfit that garnered critical acclaim and went on to tour the UK.

Zoe’s trademark high energy, brilliantly observed routines and sharply written material has left her with an ever-growing fan base. Last year she won both the Comedian’s Comedian Award and Chortle Best Club Comic. Her TV credits include Mock The Week, Live At The Apollo and Celebrity Mastermind which she won.

Zoe’s tour kicks off at the Watermark, Ivybridge on September 14 and is at Sterts Art Centre, Liskeard the following night. Visit sterts.co.uk or call 01579 362382.


Little Orchard Cider and Music Festival

14-16 September

It’s the sixth year of The Little Orchard Cider and Music festival, a charming Cornish party with some big live bands, a groovy silent disco, the BBC Introducing stage, camping and glamping, secret cider walks and cider tasting all in the beautiful grounds of Healey’s Cyder Farm.

For families, the festival is like a giant playground with entertainment on hand and the chance to meet ponies, chickens, rabbits, ferrets, Pygmy goats and Cornish black pigs. You can also take a tractor ride around the beautiful grounds and blossoming orchards.

Music is at the heart of Little Orchard and the party kicks off in cidertastic style on Friday with veteran Westcountry group The Wurzels.

Headlining on the opening night are Hayseed Dixie - friends who got together in Tennessee to drink whisky and perform ten classic AC/DC songs reinvented as Appalachian Mountain hillbilly rave-ups. That was 17 years ago and the band have produced 14 albums of both original songs and reinterpretations making them undisputed creators of the musical genre, Rockgrass.

On Saturday it’s the turn of the biggest Little Orchard headline act to date – the Fratellis. Famous for chart toppers Chelsea Dagger and Starcrossed Loser, the witty Glaswegian trio’s new album In Your Own Sweet Time will mean a performance laced with old and new hits.

Also performing over the weekend - one man blues band Thomas Ford from the Westcountry and now much in demand at blues, jazz and roots music festivals across Europe and London/Belfast based high energy pop rock duo REWS – songstress Shauna Tohill and beat-maker Collette Williams.

The weekend will include The Rattler Olympics – choose your team and represent your nation, county or farmyard and join in events such as Welly Wanging, Pig Racing and The Barrel Push.

For information visit cornwallciderfestival.co.uk


Looe Music Festival

21-23 September

For three days in September the little harbour town of Looe in South East Cornwall gets hit with big music, manic entertainment and a smattering of culture for good measure. The festival pops up from nowhere to transform the beach and the streets, giving locals and visitors from all over the world a chance to mingle and enjoy the show.

The main stage is on the beach, overlooking the bay, but music pops up throughout the town and spills from venues all over the harbour. The eclectic international line-up covers everything from rock and acoustic to folk and blues.

The line-up this summer includes masters of dub, Dreadzone, English rock guitarist Ginger Wildheart, The Waterboys, The Stranglers and Steve n Seagulls.

There will also be performances from Los Pacaminos featuring Paul Young, The Correspondents, PP Arnold, John Otway, Peatbog Faeries, The London African Gospel Choir, Gaz Brookfield and the Company of Thieves.

Local talent will be showcased on the BBC Music Introducing Stage, curated in partnership with BBC Music Introducing in Devon and Cornwall. It’s a chance to catch the region’s finest under-the-radar musicians, soon-to-be-superstar bands and the best new acts.

Artists already announcing include The Rowan Tree with their original approach to exploring traditional Celtic sounds, Cornish singer Stevie Neale, Winter Mountain, the four-piece Sam Richardson and the Renegades, Seven Cities and Auction for the Promise Club who appeared at Looe a few years ago.

Closing on Sunday night will be Indie Pop quartet Blue RIver.



An evening with Michael Palin

26 September

TV globetrotter, actor and author Michael Palin is breezing into Cornwall’s seafaring capital to talk about his major new book, Erebus: The Story of a Ship.

The fate of the sailing vessel HMS Erebus had been a mystery for more than a century and a half until it was discovered four years ago on the seabed in the frozen wastes of the Canadian Arctic, coated in woolly underwater vegetation.

Monty Python stalwart and master explorer Michael will be talking about his own experiences as he set out to uncover the true tale of the ship, from its construction in the naval dockyards of Pembroke in 1826 to its abandonment during Franklin’s ill-fated Arctic expedition, and to its final rediscovery in 2014.

He travelled to locations across the world – Tasmania, the Falklands, the Canadian Arctic – both to search for information and to experience at first hand the terrain and the conditions that would have confronted the ship and her crew.

In his evocative and epic account, Michael explores the intertwined careers of the men who shared its journeys: the dashing James Clark Ross and the troubled John Franklin. And he vividly recounts the experiences of the men who first stepped ashore on Antarctica’s Victoria Land, and those who, just a few years later, froze to death one by one in the Arctic wastes as rescue missions desperately tried to reach them.

The evening, hosted by the Falmouth Bookseller, starts at 7pm at The Church of King Charles the Martyr, Church Street, Falmouth. Call the Bookseller on 01326 312873 to book tickets, priced £20 each, including admission and a copy of the book.

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