What's on this month in Cornwall

PUBLISHED: 10:17 12 November 2019

Find plenty of inspiration at Bride: The Wedding Show with over 150 exhibitors and spectacular catwalk shows

Find plenty of inspiration at Bride: The Wedding Show with over 150 exhibitors and spectacular catwalk shows

I.Southerin 07957 548633

Our guide to the best events in and around Cornwall, this month it's all about winter outings!

7 November


Man's best friend gets top billing at this charming film festival, currently on its first-ever UK tour.

The Top Dog Film Festival is a collection of canine-inspired short films, all celebrating the unbreakable bond between dogs and humans. From the scruffiest street dogs to the most pampered pooches, and all of our four-legged friends in between, these stories are moving, uplifting and inspiring.

'Humans and dogs share a precious, heart-warming bond, and this brand-new collection of films celebrates the canine companions that enrich our lives,' says tour director Nell Teasdale. 'Whether you're a dog owner or just like dogs, these films are guaranteed to make you laugh, cry and fall in love with man's best friend all over again.'

The Top Dog Film Festival originated in Australia and has a carefully curated collection of stories from independent film-makers all around the world. It had its UK premiere in Edinburgh in May, and is continuing with dates around the country this autumn.

Highlights include, Arthur, the story of a stray dog, severely injured with a large wound on its back who was discovered on day four of a gruelling adventure race in Ecuador by Team Peak Performance from Sweden. This chance encounter led to a 10,000km journey for one dog to join a team and find a home.

The Dogist is the charming story of Elias Weiss Friedman who, after unexpectedly losing his corporate job, set out into the streets of New York City with a camera and a squeaky tennis ball. Since then he's photographed and captured the personalities of 30,000 dogs all around the world, racking up an impressive 3.2 million followers on Instagram along the way.

For more information and to book tickets, see www.topdogfilmfestival.co.uk.


29 November


Griff is on tour with a new stand-up show, All Over The Place, which follows sell-out performances of his previous solo entertainments Jones and Smith and Where Was I? Griff was one half of Smith and Jones, and starred in Not the Nine O'Clock News and Three Men In a Boat. Expect an evening of hilarious true stories, riffs, observations and details of his recent medical procedures. It's packed with wicked insights into the pains of celebrity, the vicissitudes of parenthood and encounters with the great, the good and even the royal.

Griff appears at Launceston Town Hall. Book online at laughablecomedy.com.


13 and 15 November


Andy Parsons is a comedian on a mission with his new stand-up tour, cheerily titled Healing the Nation. The Mock the Week star has never shirked from putting the opinions he expresses on stage into full practice, having hosted People's Votes rallies and fronted the Independent Age's most recent Campaign Against Loneliness.

'I think we're a nation desperate to be healed, in the sense that people would rather come together than diverge,' believes Andy. 'The idea for the tour was that rather than being incredibly one-sided and partisan and throwing stuff at the opposition, it's nice to see both sides of the argument. I'll be taking on viewpoints that wouldn't normally find a natural home in one of my stand-up sets and try to genuinely see the other side of that argument.'

Andy, who performs in Falmouth and Launceston this month, believes that there are always more issues that unite rather than separate us. 'Essentially, people have the same concerns whether it's health or education or jobs, and I want to narrow down the focus of what people do want and bring them together.'

Andy Parsons is at Falmouth's Princess Pavilions on 13 November and Launceston Town Hall on 15 November. For ticket information go to andyparsons.co.uk.


1 November


With a new show called Rose-Tinted, you would think Angela Barnes is a glass-half-full kind of woman. Yet the stand-up, while being bright and cheery in person, admits to being a pessimist. 'I come from a family of pessimists, so maybe it rubbed off,' she says with a laugh. 'But yes, I get accused of being world weary and it's a pretty fair assessment.'

The show's theme came about, she says, after spending much of the past two years doing topical comedy shows - as presenter of Radio 4's Newsjack and a regular on The News Quiz, as well as appearances on Mock the Week and Live at the Apollo.

'Doing those shows you have to be across the news and read a lot of newspapers. The last two years have been an exciting time politically but it does get you down, writing jokes every week about Donald Trump, Brexit and North Korea. But career wise, though, things took off for me.'

Angela, who brings her tour to St Austell Arts Centre, makes no claims about solving the world's woes. 'I'm a clown. If you're looking for me to present solutions you've made a terrible mistake. I can't solve a Rubik's Cube. I want my audience to go away thinking, "Thank God that's not me". By looking at my idiotic life you can feel better about yours.'

Angela worked in health and social care for more than ten years before she became a stand-up and, she says, that makes her really appreciates what she has. 'I have the best job in the world because I know what it's like to have a proper job, to commute during the rush hour, to work really hard to fill someone else's pockets, to go through the daily slog.'

She also says turning 40 has been liberating. 'I think when you're younger you think you can take on the problems of the world. Now I think: if I can't change it, I don't worry about it.'

For tickets go to staustellartstheatre.org.uk.


5 November


Alan Johnson's life, as documented in his three autobiographies, is remarkable. An orphan who grew up in a poverty-stricken west London slum he worked his way up from a postman, to a top union official, MP and then Home Secretary.

He will talk about his extraordinary journey in his show, In My Life, at Launceston Town Hall this month.

'This is a deeply personal story about politics, pop, power and passion,' says the 69-year-old. 'But I don't want people to think this is a show which is just about party politics.

'First and foremost, it's about me; memories of my childhood, life growing up in the 1950s, the people and places which have played a significant role in making me who I am today . . . with plenty of comedy, and music.'

Alan Johnson is at Launceston Town Hall on 5 November and the Red House Plymouth on November 4. Book at laughablecomedy.com.


15-17 November


Previously held in Ilfracombe, this festival of Folk, Roots and World Music moves over the border into North Cornwall for a weekend of great acts at Penstowe Manor Resort.

This year's line-up comprises a mix of traditional sounds from across the UK and wider afield, offering something a little different for those that like a broader musical experience. Headlining will be The Strawbs, Cara Dillon and Steve Harley Acoustic trio with 15 other acts across the three days.

Opening proceedings on the Friday will be The Strawbs with Wildwood Kin, The Salts and Ålesund. The Acoustic Strawbs of the 21st century consist of the founder, constant guiding force, originator and lead vocalist Dave Cousins, described by Rolling Stone as the best Dylan-influenced songwriter to come out of the UK.

On Saturday award-winning singer Cara Dillon tops the bill with music that transcends genres and crosses barriers. Also appearing on Saturday are Roger Davies And His Band, Katherine Priddy, The BeauBowBelles and The Shackleton Trio.

Sunday brings the festival to a close with the Steve Harley Acoustic trio, the legendary Julie Felix, Honey and the Bear and Said The Maiden.

Steve Harley, the original Cockney Rebel, tours frequently with his Acoustic Trio, playing an intimate, unique and atmospheric show. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award for Acoustic Music from the Acoustic Festival of Britain in June 2018. Steve will be accompanied by his Cockney Rebel band-mates of long-standing, Barry Wickens on violin and guitar and James Lascelles on piano and percussion.

Some self-catering accommodation is available at Penstowe Manor Resort at Kilkhampton near Bude and there are plenty of food and drink options throughout the festival.

For information and to book go to solidentertainments.com/folk/bude.


2 and 30 November


Singer songwriter Sarah McQuaid is no stranger to travel. She was born in Spain, raised in America and now lives with her artist husband and their two children in West Cornwall.

The demand to hear her perform live has intensified with the success of her acclaimed fifth solo album, If We Dig Any Deeper It Could Get Dangerous, produced by guitar legend Michael Chapman. And so in September Sarah set out on an autumn tour which criss-crossed America including dates in Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Utah and California. In November she started a run of UK gigs which end closer to home in Liskeard. That's an impressive 57 dates in two countries over 12 weeks.

'I'm really looking forward to getting out on the road again,' says the singer, who recently won a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Ards International Guitar Festival near Belfast.

'This year it's all been short little trips out, so it'll be great to be finally getting my teeth into a proper tour. The US tour is coast-to-coast — we start off in North Carolina and finish with a week of New England gigs - so we'll see a massive range of different terrains and landscapes. I can't wait!'

Sarah has been travelling with her music since her children were much younger and was amused when her husband reported back that mums at the school gates would say how great it was that he was looking after the kids. 'I feel that's kind of insulting to the dads too,' she says. 'I'm very lucky that he is an artist and he's here at the house all the time and has a flexible schedule. And actually they see more of me than when I was working full-time and I'd drop them off at 7am and pick them up at 5pm.

'When I was working as a journalist I was making a comfortable living but wondering if I'd ever get that "big break" in music. I made a very conscious decision that I'd rather live with not making a comfortable living but with the hope of the big break. That's not a choice a lot of people can make. We have a roof over our heads and food on the table. We're quite happy.'

Sarah McQuaid performs at Praa Sands Community Centre on 2 November and Sterts Studio in Liskeard on 30 November. Information at Sarahmcquaid.com.


21 November

Penelope Isles

Penelope Isles is the collaboration of brother and sister Jack and Lily Wolter whose self-produced home recordings portray an honest lo-fi approach when capturing their own music.

The band mix waves of ambient delays and fuzz guitar noise, sonic dynamics and melodic pop hooks entwined with girl-boy harmonies. Their live set is hypnotic, captivating and moving, smeared with glistening psych, dreamlike chimes, and potency that will transfix and satisfy.

After their debut EP Comfortably Swell in 2015, Penelope Isles have consistently toured the UK and Europe and opened for The Magic Numbers, Lost Horizons, Walter TV, Airwaves and British Sea Power.

Penelope Isles play the Old Bakery in Truro (oldbakerystudios.co.uk).


15-17 November


Music promoters Solid Entertainment, who celebrate their 40th anniversary this year, are staging their first-ever rock festival for Cornwall this month with three days of music at Tencreek Holiday Park in Looe.

Determined that their first rock festival in the Duchy would tick all the right boxes, headliners are The Quireboys, Diamond Head and Massive Wagons with 15 other very different, but striking bands performing.

The Quireboys, who appear on the Friday, are enjoying something of a revival selling out venues around the world and with a brand new studio album this year.

Also performing on Friday are Vega, Departed, Sons of Liberty, Killit and Black Whiskey.

Taking to the stage on the Saturday night are Diamond Head with their new line-up of Brian, Karl, Abbz, Rasmus and new bass player Dean Ashton. They have been busy with a marathon tour of the UK, Europe, America and Canada performing 27 shows over 33 days. Saturday's line-up also includes Ken Pustelnik's Groundhogs, Joanovarc, Hollowstar, Void and The Luke Doherty Band.

The pace doesn't let up on Sunday with Lancaster hard-rock quintet Massive Wagons who have toured with Status Quo, Dead Daisies and The Wildhearts and enjoyed rave revies for their latest album, Full Nelson. Sunday patrons can also watch Stray, Collateral, Voodoo Vegas, Ethyrfield and Western Sand.

Cornwall Rocks is at Tencreek Holiday Park and accommodation is available with food and drink on site and free parking.

For information and tickets go to solidentertainments.com/rocks/Cornwall


3 November


Talented artists, makers and artisans from across the Westcountry will celebrate the art of handmade at the Victorian Pannier Market in Barnstaple with everything from home-made sweets to doggie treats, from headdresses to statement jewellery, macramé, ceramics, wood, leather, fine art, prints, illustrations, embroidery, photography and food.

There's a free creative gift-wrapping service for all purchases, creative workshops and food stalls. Entry is £1.50 (free for under 16s). It starts at 10am and finishes at 4pm.

For more information visit devon-pop-ups.co.uk.

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