May is just around the corner and spring has sprung –honest! The mayflower is blossoming and the longer days bring a promise of summer. Apparently this month includes Hummus Day, an appreciation of the delicious dip, and World Naked Gardening Day, which to be honest we won’t be participating in, at least until it starts to warm up a bit… Instead, we’re going to get stuck into the fabulous events and activities that are taking place across Cornwall.
The Bodmin Moor Poetry Festival is returning for its fifth year with an abundance of talks, walks, workshops and performances to inspire and delight, and John Akomfrah’s acclaimed Vertigo Sea exhibition will be coming to Penzance. A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be enchanting audiences at the Hall for Cornwall, and Dylan Thomas fans have the chance to a uncovers the early years of the world famous poet in Mousehole. Get to the Fowey Festival of Art and Literature for a Daphne du Marier fix alongside a broad range of events with authors, speakers, musicians, artists and much more.
Music-lovers can indulge with Edwina Hayes’ angelic voice and charisma as part of Carn to Cove’s programme this month, and Open Studios Cornwall opens the doors to studios across the county. Join Falmouth in rolling out the red carpet for the greatly anticipated world premiere of Trevithick (starring Kernow King, no less!) – the story of Cornwall’s greatest son, or you can explore the beautiful Port Eliot house by candlelight.
With so many lovely things happening in the Duchy this is just a sample of the events and activities on this month, with a special half term top picks coming soon!
John Akomfrah’s Vertigo Sea
30th April – 25th June
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.
Find out more on the Newlyn Art Gallery’s website here.
Performing a collection of her own songs and covers, Edwina Hayes’ gorgeous voice and enthralling stage presence make her one to mark on the calender this month. Described as a true natural talent of gentle folk-Americana, Hayes’ has opened for greats including Jools Holland and Van Morrison, and has played on stages from Glastonbury to the Royal Albert Hall… and now Trensanton Chapel!
For booking and more information on Carn to Cove’s rural touring programme, visit their website.
Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature
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!
Visit the Fowey Festival website.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Hall for Cornwall
10th – 14th 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.
Find out more on the Hall for Cornwall website.
Kernow King is Trevithick!
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.
Battle of the Bands Cornwall 2016
Princess Pavillion, Falmouth
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.
Find out who’s playing and book tickets here.
Museums at Night
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. 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.
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.
More info and bookings can be found Cornish Riviera Book Office website.
An Kevewi Kernow! ‘The Cornish Party’
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 talented groups and individuals. Bring your St Piran flag to wave high as you swell with local pride (and enjoy free Cornish inspired snacks during the interval).
Find out more on the Trebah website.
The Zig Zag Way
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. As always, dress for all weathers at this fantastic open theatre!
Visit the Minack’s website.
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.
Open Studios Cornwall
28th May- 5th 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.