11 top cultural picks happening in Cornwall during May 2016

PUBLISHED: 11:10 10 May 2016 | UPDATED: 12:39 30 August 2017



May is here and spring has definitely sprung! The longerdays bring a promise of summer. Here is a list of some of the most fantastic events and activities that are taking place across Cornwall.

1. John Akomfrah’s Vertigo Sea atThe Exchange

30April – 25June

An immersive, multi-screen meditation on our relationship with the sea, John Akomfrah explore its role in the history of slavery, migration and whaling. Vertigo Sea marries human and natural history through a 48 minute film that delivers a potent reminder of current issues around the refugee crisis and global migration.

For more information, see the Newlyn Art Gallery’s website: http://newlynartgallery.co.uk/

2. Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature, Fowey

6th-14th May

With a slight change to their name, the Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature is back in its eighteenth year. For the Daphne du Maurier fans there are plenty of events, as well as a diverse range of authors, speakers, musicians and artists to inspire and excite. There are workshops, concerts, Art Trail, plus guided walks and boatrips – not just for book-lovers, this festival has something for everyone!


3. A Midsummer Night’s Dream,Hall for Cornwall

10 – 14 May

In a magical enchanted forest, four young lovers find themselves crossing the Fairy King and Queen’s feud for an extra special Midsummer adventure. Expect mischief, magic, love and dreams in Shakespeare’s most spellbinding play. This unique production is created by the Royal Shakespeare Company with members of Carnon Downs Drama Group playing the parts of Bottom and the Mechanicals.


4. Kernow King is Trevithick,The Poly


Artist, engineer… magician? Trevithick! is the true story of the man who revolutionised the use of steam, with Cornwall comedy legend Kernow King bringing Richard Trevithick to life for the world premiere of this biographical comedy. Set to wow audiences with laughs that will set a fire in your belly whilst telling the tale that is tainted by tragedy, Trevithick! is a must see this month.

Visit The Poly website for more information: http://thepoly.org/whats-on/theatre/

5. Battle of the Bands Cornwall 2016,Princess Pavillion


Following from last year’s success, Battle of Bands Cornwall is jam packed with the crème-de-la-crème of local talent. 11 acts battle it out for the chance to play at Boardmasters festival this summer.


6. Museums at Night,Port Eliot


Come and experience Port Eliot at night where the house will be bathed in candlelight and filled with music for a sensory feast. Be transported back to a time before electricity and enjoy wonderful performances from local choirs and musicians and listen to historic tales of the house before soaking up the atmosphere with a glass of wine at the bar.

For more information, visit the Port Eliot website: http://www.porteliot.co.uk/events.php

7. History Through the Looking Glass present Dylan Thomas in Cornwall,The Old Coastguard Hotel, Mousehole


Poet Dylan Thomas was a frequent visitor to Cornwall, though little is known about what filled the emerging young poet’s time, other than when he took the woman he loved to tie the knot at the Register Office in Penzance. However, in 2015 this changed when an unpublished biography written by a rooky newspaper reporter was unearthed, detailing the adventures of the two young men during their friendship.

Inspired by these memoirs and local news stories from that time, and created as part of the International Dylan Thomas Day celebrations, this fascinating history performance walk takes you through Penzance and Mousehole to uncover the early years of the now world famous poet, and a give taste of life in pre-World War II Cornwall.


8. An Kevewi Kernow! 'The Cornish Party,Trebah Amphitheatre


Celebrate Cornwall’s unique spirit at this Cornish Party! From the Cadgwith Singers to local folk duo Salt and Sky, the Trebah Ampitheatre welcomes some of Cornwall’s most taleted groups and individuals. Bring your St Piran flag to hold high as you swell with local pride (and enjoy free Cornish inspired snacks during the interval).

Find out more on theTrebah website.

9. The Zig Zag Way,The Minack


A powerful story of mining and migration, and the coming together of two entirely different cultures through the movement of a Cornish mining community to Mexico in the 19th century, The Zig Zag Way weaves a story through cultures and across time to paint a picture of love, revolution and sacrifice. Part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site’s TINTH anniversary celebrations, this gripping tale brings you story-telling at its most colourful, visual and touching.


10. Bodmin Moor Poetry Festival


Get ready to be excited and inspired by a varied programme of readings, workshops, music and visual art at the fifth Bodmin Moor Poetry Festival. This year we are treated to coastal and country walks, early morning yoga workshops and a fiery Flamenco presentation to get the blood pumping and the creative juices flowing!

Whether you pick and mix events or stay for the whole weekend, the full programme and more information can be found on the Bodmin Moor Poetry Festival website: http://bodminmoorpoetryfestival.co.uk/

11. Open Studios Cornwall

28 May- 5 June

Artists across Cornwall throw open their doors in celebration of the wealth and talent in the county. This is the perfect opportunity to have a snoop around studios, discover new favourites, or buy directly from the artist. For those wanting to try their hand at creating their own works of art, there are also some fantastic workshops in painting, drawing, pottery, printing, glass making and more.

Look out for the orange O signs as you travel around, or visit the Open Studios Cornwall site for a full programme and more information. http://www.openstudioscornwall.co.uk/

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