EAT OUT: Kids Eat Free at The White Hart, Dartington Estate, Totnes, until 29 Feb
Yup, that’s right – every Mon-Sat, 12-3pm each day, the littlies can enjoy a free kids’ meal with every adult main. Loads to choose from, including crowd-pleasers like burgers and fish and chips. No minimum number of adults required. Wanna know more before you book? Check out my Muddy review here.
MUSIC: The Simmertones, Exeter Phoenix, Gandy St, Exeter, Sat 1 Feb
Get skanking with the south-west ska and reggae band – who frequently appear on Jo Wiley’s show and have had rave reviews from The Specials and Ruby Turner – with support from The Embezzlers and The Mighty Offbeat.
EAT OUT: Exmoor Food Fest, venues around the region, Sat 1 – Sat 29 Feb
Fancy scoffing and quaffing at some of Exmoor’s finest restaurants, including Michelin-starred venues like Thomas Carr @ The Olive Room, for as little as £10? Er, yes!
THEATRE: The Frog Princess Punked, Exeter Phoenix, Gandy St, Sat 1 Feb
What happens when Ivan marries a frog? A wicked racket of urban meets forest and patriarchy meets feminism – a crazy collage of story, music, songs, and surreal projections v-jayed live. A girl-punk fairytale for adults only.
THEATRE: Drink Rum with Expats, Sh!t Theatre, Theatre Royal Plymouth, until Sat 1 Feb
According to Time Out, (who gave it a 4/5 review) this comedy docu-theatre about the pair’s experience of taking a job in Malta “is about the perils of turning your back on the world in order to pretend there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s about ignoring refugees, ignoring corruption, ignoring home, ignoring abroad, of taking the easy route”. According to the multi-award winning pair themselves it’s another excuse to get drunk on stage. You decide.
MUSIC: Think Floyd, Queens Theatre, Barnstaple, Sat 1 Feb
A new 2020 production featuring music from The Wall and Dark Side of the Moon, plus an impressive laser lightshow. Pink Floyd’s drummer Nick Mason described this tribute band as “better than we are”.
CULTURE: Chinese New Year, University of Exeter, Sun 2 Feb
Say ni hao to the Year of the Rat with a colourful parade around the city centre, starting at George Street at 1pm, then it’s onto RAMM and the uni for stalls, performances and Chinese NY fun in the Great Hall.
THEATRE: I Think We Are Alone Now, Theatre Royal, Plymouth, Mon 3 – Sat 8 Feb
A touring production from the highly-rated Frantic Assembly about how we connect with those we love but sometimes want to strangle – the kids, the husband – with the extra bonus of being co-directed by comedian and actress Kathy Burke of Ab Fab and Kevin & Perry fame.
CLASSICAL: Mozart and Beethoven Pastoral, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Guildhall, Plymouth, Weds 5 Feb
Shed your cares and sit back with the BSO for Mozart’s Don Giovanni Overture and two blissful piano works by Beethoven – Piano Concerto No.4 and Symphony No.6 ‘Pastoral’, with pianist Alfredo Ovalles tinkling the keys. Can’t make the date? They’re also at University of Exeter Great Hall on Thurs 6 Feb.
THEATRE: Bang Bang!, Northcott Theatre, Exeter, Thurs 6 – Sat 15 Feb
John Cleese makes his stage-writing debut with his adaptation of this classic comedy, a blend of French farce and Fawlty Towers, starring Tony Gardener (My Parents are Aliens) and Tessa Peake-Jones from Only Fools and Horses.
MUSIC: Pattern Pusher, Exeter Phoenix, Gandy St, Exeter, Fri 7 Feb
Pattern Pusher are a fun-loving three piece that will fill you with warm summer hooks. Go!
FILM: Banff Mountain Film Festival, Corn Exchange, Exeter, Fri 7 Feb – Mar 26
A brand-new collection of short films from the world’s most prestigious mountain film festival. Perfect for adrenaline-fulled snow-seekers without having to leave your comfy seat.
GIN FESTIVAL: Mother’s Ruin Gin & Vodka Festival, The Soapbox Children’s Theatre, Plymouth, Sat 8 Feb
Plymouth’s award-winning children’s theatre know what we mommas need, so bottoms up to their first ever gin and vodka festival with fantastic tipples from socially responsible distilleries, who use their profits to champion community and environmental causes. Plus, live music from Vince Lee and Becca Langsford, 7pm till midnight.
EAT OUT: DJ Brunch, Pink Moon Cafe, Exeter, Sat 8 Feb
Fancy scoffing to the sound of Biggie Smalls, Tupac, Nelly and Usher from a live DJ whilst you dig in to a delicious brunch? Plus for £20 extra, you can upgrade to a bottomless brunch deal for a one and half hours of unlimited fizz. Tempting.
MUSIC: Masquerade Ball, Powderham Castle, Kenton, Sat 8 Feb
Put on your masks and glad rags for a magical night of music and dance at the castle with bubbly and canapes, a fun casino and an Auction of Promises, topped off by a Fire Show Finale in the Rose Garden.
DANCE: Spirit of the Dance, Queens Theatre, Barnstaple, Sat 8 Feb
Flippering footsies! The Irish dancers are back, celebrating 21 years of synchronised stomping. Thirty million people in over 20 countries can’t be wrong.
COMEDY: Ivan Brackenbury supports Tom Binns: The Psychic Comedium, The Watermark, Ivybridge, Sat 8 Feb
The “jaw-droppingly brilliant” (according to The Scotsman) BBC 1 Friday Night Comedy star and co-writer, Tom Binns as as hospital radio DJ Ivan Branckenbury. Expect ventriloquism, gags and mind-reading. So pure thoughts only, please.
RACES: Armed Forces Race Day, Exeter Racecourse, Sun 9 Feb
Place your bets! Wrap up warm and bring the family for a day dedicated to Help for Heroes with cheaper Tickets for Troops on sale for active and retired service personnel. Seven races throughout the day.
THEATRE: The Cat and the Canary, Queens Theatre, Barnstaple, Mon 10 – Sat 15 Feb
The classic 1922 whodunnit by John Willard takes place in a country house where the decendants of Mr West gather to find out who gets their hands on the inheritance, but get a load of spookily macabre goings-on instead. From The Classic Thriller Company and featuring a lotta well-known TV faces, including Brit Ekland.
CHILDREN’S THEATRE: Dino-Saw, The Soapbox Children’s Theatre, Plymouth, Weds 12 – Sat 15 Feb
Join baby Dino on an adventure and meet dinosaurs big and small. An immersive theatre show for under 8’s (under 1 years go free) by Stiltskin Theatre Company at their award winning children’s theatre.
THEATRE: RSC Shakespeare Season, Theatre Royal, Plymouth, Weds 12 – Sat 22 Feb
The Royal Shakespeare Company returns to Plymouth with three plays from the Bard, kicking off with a #metoo telling of Measure for Measure (12-22 Feb) directed by RSC artistic director Gregory Doran, followed by an imaginative new take on romantic comedy As You Like It (13-20) directed by Kimberly Sykes, concluding with The Taming of the Shrew (18-22) which promises a fresh portrayal of the battle of the sexes.
COMEDY: Laugh out Loud Comedy Night, Honky Tonk Wine Library, Sutton Harbour, Plymouth, Thurs 13 Feb
Scoff and quaff on Honky Tonk’s curated range of fabulous wines while being entertained by compere Tom Glover and headliner Paul McCaffrey, as seen on Live at the Apollo, Impractical Jokers, and Russell Howards Good News to name but a few.
MUSIC: Fairport Convention, Corn Exchange, Exeter, Thurs 13 Feb
The folk troupe’s winter tour promises a mix of old and new, including a fair few Fairport favourites plus plenty from their album Full House, released 50 years ago.
STAY: Valentines Break at Broomhill Art Hotel, Muddiford, Barnstaple, Fri 14 Feb
Looking for a Valentine’s stay for an art lover? Book in quick at North Devon’s quirky art hotel, surrounded by 12 leafy acres of sculpture gardens and covetable objet d’art. I reviewed their Terra Madre restaurant back in the autumn and the food is amaazing.
MUSIC: Seth Lakeman, A Pilgrim’s Tale, Flavel Arts, Dartmouth, Fri 14 Feb
The Dartmoor singer/song-writer on tour in the towns and cities of the Pilgrim Fathers, telling the soulful tale of their epic journey from his timely new album, A Pilgrim’s Tale.
HOME: The Big Fix, various venues around Devon, Sat 15 Feb
Tired of waiting for him indoors to fix the toaster? Here’s your chance to make do and mend, with a host of Repair Cafes popping up around the region.
THEATRE: Boar, Exeter Phoenix, Gandy St, Exeter, Sat 15 Feb
A one-man fantasy adventure tale with over 40 characters. Prepare for arrows to roll and heads to fly in this action-packed comedy of swords, sorcery and swill.
COMEDY: Dom Joly’s Holiday Snaps, The Landmark Theatre, Ilfracombe, Sun 16 Feb
The Trigger Happy TV funny guy on his serial globe-trotting. Not your standard destinations either, with North Korea to Chernobyl among his unusual holiday snaps.
DANCE: Dance to the Music, Palace Theatre, Paignton, Sun 16 Feb
Directed and choreographed by Strictly’s Kristina Rihanoff, and hosted by X-Factor heartthrob Jake Quickenden, prepare yourself for a foot-stomping romp through the evolution of dance, taking in the Roaring Twenties Charleston, to modern day ballroom and tap.
COMEDY: Jayde Adams: The Ballad of Kylie Jenner’s Old Face, Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Sun 16 Feb
Well-reviewed by the Guardian and Evening Standard, the Bristol comedienne and star of the BBC’s upcoming TV show Good Omens ponders what it is to be a successful woman in 2020 and casts some amusing shade on fashionable feminism, pop-star style.
MUSIC: Devon Baroque 20th Birthday Concert, Dartington Hall, Sun 16 Feb
An afternoon of baroque in Dartington’s stunning Great Hall, featuring music from Vivaldi, Handel and Bach. Concessions for under 18’s and students.
CHILDREN’S THEATRE: Chloe and the Colour Catcher, Exeter Phoenix, Gandy St, Mon 17 Feb
Chloe lives in a world that’s completely grey but at night her dreams are colourful and bright. Warned to keep such thoughts to herself for fear the Grey Queen will wash all trace of colour away, Chloe embarks on a courageous journey to unleash all seven shades of the rainbow. One parents and children will enjoy.
KIDS THEATRE: The Deep Sea Seekers, Theatre Royal, Plymouth, Tues 18 – Sat 22 Feb
An interactive audience-driven children’s show that takes you on a tour of of the ocean, meeting incredible creatures, unmapped shores and sadly, far too much plastic on the way.
TALK: Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Living Dangerously, Princess Theatre, Torquay, Weds 19 Feb
Less likely to say, “”I’m 75, you know!” and more likely to say, “I may be some time,” the hardy British explorer tells his tales of icy derring-do, including being first to reach both Poles, the first to cross the Antarctic and Arctic Ocean, and the first to circumnavigate the world along its polar axis. Impressive.
THEATRE: Trojan Horse, Northcott Theatre, Exeter, Weds 19 Feb
Adapted from the real-life stories from those at the heart of the UK government enquiry into the ‘plot’ where hardline Muslim teachers and governors were accused of introducing extremism into Birmingham Schools.
CINEMA: NT LIVE, Cyrano de Bergerac, The Watermark, Ivybridge, Thurs 20 Feb
Billed as an inventive new adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac aka Roxanne, broadcast live to cinemas from the West End in London. A smouldering performance from James McAvoy – a sexy must-see.
COMEDY: Josie Long – Tender, Plough Arts Centre, Great Torrington, Fri 21 Feb
The most positive comedian in the biz (we reckon) on the vulnerability and chaos of new motherhood. Read our Muddy interview with Josie here.
MUSIC: Lost in Music – One Night at the Disco, Northcott Theatre, Exeter, Fri 21 Feb
Le Freak, c’est chic! Love 70s disco? Get dolled up in yer platforms and get on down to the sounds of Sister Sledge, Donna Summer, Earth Wind & Fire and more, sister!
CINEMA: Bait, The Lamb Inn, Sandford, Fri 21 Feb
Another chance to see the newly BAFTA-award winning – indie drama Bait, from Cornish director Mark Jenkin at the very Muddy-approved Lamb Inn, near Crediton.
KIDS WORKSHOP: Wicked West End Workshop, Centre Stage, Barnstaple, Sat 22 Feb
This wickedly themed workshop presented by Barnstaple’s Young Generation are welcoming Amy Ross, a West End performer who has donned the green paint to play Elphaba in the UK tour of the show, to share her skills and insight for the day. Ages 9 -18 welcome.
MUSIC: The Jive Aces Big Beat Revue, Northcott Theatre, Exeter, Sat 22 Feb
The yellow-suited Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalists do their thing with a host of special guest songsters and classic tunes from Bobby Darin, Big Joe Turner and Keely Smith.
WALK: Muddy Mutts Sponsored Walk, River Dart Country Park, Dartmouth, Sun 23 Feb
Walkies! Unleash the mutt and raise funds for the rescue centre by on this 3km course, involving mud, water, and dog-friendly obstacles such as jumps, tunnels, weaves and temptation alley games, commando crawling and a water-dip. Maybe bring a towel too.
THEATRE: The Mousetrap, Theatre Royal, Plymouth, Mon 24 – Sat 29 Feb
Eight suspects, one killer. Agatha Christie’s murder mystery and longest-running show hits the Ocean city, starring Susan Penhaligon of Bouquet of Barbed Wire and A Fine Romance.
BRIDAL: Pier House Wedding Fayre, Westward Ho!, Mon 24 Feb
Need some wedding inspo? Spend the evening checking out the local bridal action with a complimentary canapé in hand.
THEATRE: The Three Musketeers – Le Navet Bete, Princess Theatre, Torquay, Weds 26 Feb
A comedy condensed version of the 700-page Dumas classic, with BMX bikes in place of trusty steeds and baguettes for swords. Good reviews from The Stage and The Guardian.
TALK: From Art to Zoology: A Story of Evolution, Quince Honey Farm, South Molton, Weds 26 Feb
Inspirational talk by Katrina Van Grouw, author of The Unfeathered Bird and Unnatural Selection, on the evolution of birds. She comes recommended as being both funny and inhabiting that unusual no-man’s land between science and art, so likely to be good at explaining tricky evolutionary subjects.
THEATRE: Night of the Living Dead – Remix, Northcott Theatre, Exeter, Tues 25 – Weds 26 Feb
Interesting fact – this iconic 1960s film is widely regarded as a metaphor for the social problems that gripped Vietnam-era America (no, me neither). This remake sees seven performers do a mini-me stage version, armed with cameras, props and costumes to recreate the film shot-for-shot before your eyes.
ART COURSE: Frost and Fire: Experimental Landscape Painting, Dartington, Totnes, Weds 26 to Sat 29 Feb
Get arty and learn how to apply contemporary painting techniques using acrylic and water based oil paints on this four-day course hosted by award-winning artist Anthony Garratt, in the lovely surrounding of Dartington. Suitable for beginners and those with more experience.
THEATRE: Amsterdam, Theatre Royal, Plymouth, Thurs 27 – Sat 14 Mar
The UK premiere from the Actors Touring Company, by prize-winning playwright Maya Arad Yasur – one which acts questions of our collective history and how our past influences our present, and how we treat each other.
EAT OUT: Supper Club, Cafe 3 Sixty, Bovey Tracy, 7pm, Sat 28 Feb
Not been to Bovey’s super-cool new velo cafe yet? Now’s your chance to join them – on yer bike or not – for a friendly shared dining experience with generous platters of home-made good. Three courses for £27.
MUSIC: Beyond the Barricade, Princess Theatre, Torquay, Fri 28 Feb
‘I dreamed a dream’ of the best-loved songs of Les Misérables coming to Devon and it came true – courtesy of the Musical Theatre Concert Tour who have spent 21 Years touring the UK and featuring past-principal performers from the hit West End and Broadway show.
THEATRE: Nathan and Ida’s Hot Dog Stand, Cygnet Theatre, Exeter, Fri 28 Feb
A feast of physical comedy served with generous helpings of clowning, mime, dance and a pinch of puppetry (with hints of the classic cartoons), this fast-paced, two-hander evokes tantalising tastes of a glorious bygone era: silent movies, carnival rides and sepia-toned postcards. A multitude of characters tell a story of love, resilience and hot dogs.
MUSICAL: Showstopper! The Improvised Musical, Northcott Theatre, Exeter, Sat 29 Feb
You name it, they’ll sing it – this spontaneous musical comedy is Edinburgh Fringe acclaimed direct from the West End, whether you fancy Hamilton in a hospital or Sondheim in the Sahara.
COMEDY: Milton Jones: Milton Impossible, Plymouth Pavilions, Sat 29 Feb
Milton’s silly, super-speedy one-liners are a joy. Here he is on a mission to reveal the truth about being an international spy, before being given a disappointing new identity which forced him to appear on Mock the Week, Live at the Apollo. But this is also a love story with the twist, or at least a really bad sprain.
Five Course Feast with Melissa Hemsley: the queen of eating clean and green in a cosy yurt. River Cottage, Axminster, Fri 13 March
Billionaire Boy: David Walliam’s best-selling story from the West End producers, Theatre Royal, Plymouth 7 – 11 April
Derren Brown: Showman: the devilish master of illusion comes to Theatre R0yal, Plymouth, 21 – 25 April