FAMILY: Exmoor Dark Skies Festival, until Sun 3 Nov
Look to the stars at the Exmoor Dark Skies Festival in Devon and over the border in Somerset, plus a mobile planetarium at Barnstaple and for the nesh: how about a cushy stargazing break at lovely Hunters Inn in the Heddon Valley?
COMEDY: Blizzard Extension, Babbacombe Theatre, Babbacombe, Sat 2 Nov
As an extension to his fifth solo stand up tour, Blizzard, Ed Gamble of Russell Howard, Mock the Week and Drunk History fame brings us more live comedy, covering his struggle with identity and the time he got conned by a guide dog. Woof.
ART: Amanda Popham Solo Show, Steam Gallery, Beer, Sat 2- Fri 15 Nov
Local sculptor and artist Amanda Popham brings her unique style to Steam Gallery for the 16th time with an exclusive showing of her newest work available to buy. A little something for the shelf maybe?
THEATRE: The Man who Planted Trees, Atherington Pavilion, Atherington, Sat 2 Nov
Puppetry to save a dying planet – a multi-sensory stimulating adaption of Jean Giono’s environmental classic of the shepherd and his trusty four-legged friend as they turn their barren town into a forest, acorn by acorn. A treat for grown-ups and littl’uns alike.
LIGHTS: Illuminate the Gardens, Dartington Hall Trust, Sat 2 Nov – Sun 24 Nov
Experience the magic of Dartington’s grounds in the dark as a glorious lightshow unfolds before your eyes. Watch as the Henry Moore sculpture and the Great Hall are illuminated by environmentally sensitive lighting. We’re all about looking after nature, after all. Booking essential.
MUSIC: Devon Philharmonic Orchestra, Exeter Cathedral, Sat 2 Nov
Where better to watch the Devon Philharmonic orchestra than in the sublime beauty of Exeter Cathedral? With concessions for under 16’s for any aspiring virtuoso’s, settle in and listen to ‘Violin Concerto’ and Beethoven’s ‘5th symphony’ as you soak up the historical surroundings.
MARKET: Exmouth Vegan Market, Ocean, Exmouth, Sat 2 Nov
Exmouth’s first ever vegan market! It’s a meat, honey, eggs, leather and products tested on animals free zone, obviously! Also priding themselves on being zero waste, a range of recycled, organic and handmade products are available for you to buy- just in time for Xmas!
FESTIVAL: Exeter Chocolate Festival, Exeter Castle, Sat 2 – Sun 3 Nov
Life can’t get much better. A whole festival dedicated to choccy. Get us there now. All the variations you can imagine; eye-wateringly spicy chilli chocolate, rich, gooey brownies and posher than posh truffles as well as a range of talks and demos on making your own and the science behind our favourite treat. Mouth-watering enough for you?
ARTS: Ocean Artists Designers Makers Market, Ocean Studios, Royal William Yard, Plymouth, Sat 2 – Sun 3 Nov
Offering a fresh take on the craft market experience, Ocean Studios showcases handmade, hand crafted, and affordable art, photography, sculpture and prints sourced from around the South West. Enjoy the historic grounds of Royal William Yard as you shop till you drop!
FIREWORKS: Appledore Fireworks Display, Appledore, Sun 3 Nov
Yo-ho, yo-ho a fireworks night for me! Appledore pirates and their famous display returns to Appledore, a few days before Bonfire Night, with all the Roman candles and Rockets you could ever need. Between the Beaver Inn and the Muddy-award winning Royal George (you lucky people).
FOOD: Artisan Market, Barnstaple Pannier Market, Sun 3 Nov
What’s better than a regular market? An artisan market, of course! Celebrating everything handmade and unique, expect a wide range of ceramics, jewellery and paintings to feast your eyes on (and treat yourself to).
FAMILY: Bonfire Night at the Big Sheep, Bideford, Tues 5 Nov
For littl’uns who hate the noise, The Big Sheep’s Burger and Bonfire evening begins with junior fireworks at 6pm, until the lighting of the bonfire at 7 and main fireworks at 7:45. Sparklers and candy apples at the ready!
FESTIVAL: Tar Barrels, Ottery St Mary, Tues 5 Nov
Historic tar barrel racing is how we want to spend our Bonfire night, how about you? 87 rollers racing past, 400 years in the making and £250,000 raised for local charities. It’s a no-brainer.
FAIR: Exeter Cathedral Winter Fair, Exeter Cathedral Nave, Tues 5 – Weds 6 Nov
Is it beginning to look a lot like Christmas? By the looks of it, er yes! Get gifting with over 60 stalls filled with hand-crafted, locally sourced goodies that would look brilliant under the Christmas tree, all wrapped up.
SIX WEEK COURSE: Carpentry for Women, The Chicken Shed, Dartington, Tues 5 Nov – Tues 10 Dec
If this doesn’t empower you, what will? Astrid, the super teacher, will be sharing her woodwork wisdom one evening a week for 6 weeks, giving you hands-on skills of joining and carpentry. Sounds like the perfect way to take DIY to the next level, don’t you think?
FIREWORKS: Stuart Line Cruises the Exe on Bonfire Night, Exmouth, Tues 5 Nov
Surely not more fireworks? Grab yer thick blankets, woolly hats and flasks of hot choc as Stuart Line cruises you down the calm waters of the estuary as you look to Exmouth fireworks’ burst and fizzle, uninterrupted by big crowds or the stress of where the car’s parked.
FESTIVAL: Exeter Literary Festival, around Exeter, Thurs 7 – Sun 10 Nov
Expand the mind, explore the themes and hear the writers in their own words at Exeter’s Lit Fest, featuring a range of fiction and non-fiction titles to be discussed and inspired by. There’s nothing better than being immersed in a good book.
CHARITY: Fire Walk for Children’s Hospice, Kitley House Hotel, Plymouth, Thurs 7 Nov
We promise that it’s not as dangerous, or scary, as it sounds. Well, maybe it is scary BUT it’s in aid of Children’s Hospice South West, with all money raised going to help children and their families make the most of precious and short lives. Bring family and friends along to watch as you walk a path of coals at 1200˚F in front of the rather beautiful Kitley House Hotel.
SHORT COURSE: Beginners Script Writing, Exeter Phoenix, Fri 8 Nov
Fancy yourself as the next Phoebe Waller-Bridge but lack basic skills and knowledge of screen and script writing? Local script editor Lucy Hay will teach you how to get those lightbulbs (you clever thing, you) onto paper, and all the basic elements and formula for film scripts to take it to the next level.
THEATRE: The Tell Tales, Barnfield Theatre, Exeter, Fri 8 Nov
A storytelling show with a twist. It’s for…adults! Story-tellers Minnie Wilkinson and Paul Andrew decided kids shouldn’t have all the fun *so true*, and are exploring folk tales from across the globe from the worlds of fantasy and myth.
FILM: Bait, Flavel Art Centre, Dartmouth, Sat 9 – Thurs 14 Nov
Another chance to see Cornish director Mark Jenkin’s darkly witty take on the effect of tourism on one south-west fishing village, as raved about by Guardian film critic, Mark Kermode. Check out the Muddy preview here.
MURDER MYSTERY: Murder Mystery Weekend, Two Bridges Hotel, Dartmoor, Fri 8 – Sun 10 Nov
Ooh, we love a good murder mystery, especially one with two nights’ accommodation at the Two Bridges, right in the heart of Dartmoor; perfect for total immersion in the mystery! Includes a four-course meal each night, a hearty brekky, drinks upon arrival and a guaranteed enthralling story. But whodunnit?
COMEDY: Jack Whitehall: Work in Progress, Plymouth Pavilions, Sat 9 Nov
Fan of embarrassing public encounters and cringe-worthy anecdotes? Award-winning comic and actor Jack Whitehall comes to Plymouth Pavilions this October, trying out new material before his upcoming arena tour. Book now.
RUN: Glow in the Park 5k, Westpoint, Exeter, Sat 9 Nov
It’s time to glow with WestPoint’s annual Glow in the Park fun run. Walk, run, jog and dance your way through the 9 ‘Glow Zones’ donning your best tutus, face paint and violently-hued 80’s leg warmers.
THEATRE: Austentatious: the improvised Jane Austen novel, Exeter Northcott, Sat 9 Nov
Is it Pride and Prejudice? Sense and Sensibility? No! It’s Austentatious, the improvised comedy play on tour! Performed by a group of quick comic performers as they conjure up a ‘new’ story based on the audience’s chosen title, fresh from six sell-out runs at Edinburgh Fringe Festival. No two shows are the same!
COMEDY: Live at Comedy, Exeter Corn Exchange, Mon 11 Nov
On its first ever national tour straight from Islington’s Union Chapel, Live at Comedy features a star-studded line up sure to tickle your funny bone. Mock the Week’s Reginald D Hunter and apologetic ex-Etonian Ivo Graham to name a few.
MUSICAL: Fame, Queen’s Theatre, Barnstaple, Tues 12 – Sat 16 Nov
Fame! I’m gonna live forever: Selladoor Productions present the definitive 30th anniversary tour, starring Keith Jack (Any Dream Will Do, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) and Jorgie Porter (Hollyoaks, Dancing On Ice). Seven West End runs can’t be wrong.
SPOKEN WORD: Joe Dunthorne and Matt Harvey, Exeter Custom House, Weds 13 Nov
An evening of uplifting poetry to brighten the dark winter nights with Joe Dunthorne, author of best-selling Submarine, and Matt Harvey, host of Radio 4’s Wondermentalist Cabaret. Two witty acclaimed writers with poetry of a positive persuasion are the perfect way to boost your *possibly* drooping mid-week spirits.
CHRISTMAS: Exeter Christmas Lights Switch On, Exeter City Centre, Weds 13 – Sun 17 Nov
A light show to make even the most bah humbug types excited for Xmas! This year there’s a staggered switch-on across different parts of the city, starting with South Street, North Street and Cathedral Green lights on Wednesday and finishing with a flourish on Fore Street on Sunday.
SHORT COURSE: Blogging Workshop, Exeter Phoenix, Thurs 14 Nov
Why not follow your blogging dreams? The Phoenix is offering a fab workshop teaching you the do’s and don’ts of running your very own with tips about subject matter, pesky writers block and utilising visuals. So, whether it be about fashion, food or fitness; the blogging world is your oyster.
WINE: Cheese and Wine Night, Royal William Yard, Plymouth, Thurs 14 Nov
French cheese and French wine go together. They just do. But have you ever wondered how to pair them perfectly? So have we! Learn the secrets of the match to impress your guests with your post-Xmas feast cheese boards.
FAIR: Christmas Craft and Gift Fair, NT Knightshayes, Tiverton, Fri 15 – Sun 17 Nov
All you need for Christmas, right here. A gardening set for Mum, a jam hamper for Dad and all sorts of goodies for the littluns. Over 50 stalls and the launch of their brand-new Christmas range, inspired by Knightshayes, everyone loves a bit of shopping.
COOKING: Edible Gift Making with Valentina Harris, Exeter Cookery School, Fri 15 – Sat 16
If you’re a fan of Italian food and festive gifts, Valentina Harris’ workshops promises both. Prepare to learn the art of grissini breadsticks, various deliciously seasoned biscuits and of course, olives. All wrapped up nicely for you to take home for a friend or loved one as a lovely little gift.
CHILDREN’S THEATRE: I Believe in Unicorns, Exeter Phoenix, Fri 15- Sun 17 Nov
According to school-loathing Tomas, ‘stories are for snotties’. But what happens when the unicorn lady arrives in town with her magical tales? Michael Morpurgo’s I Believe in Unicorns has been adapted for the stage by Exeter-based Theatre Alibi for an evening of mystery, danger and…yep, unicorns.
THEATRE: Becoming Electra: A Queer Mitzvah, Barbican Theatre, Plymouth, Sat 16 Nov
A heart-warming and original one-woman drag show about a queer Jewish girl trying to find her voice. Moving, beautifully written and acted, and a fab rendition of Teenage Dirtbag. What more could you possibly want?
MARKET: Exeter Christmas Market, Cathedral Green, Sat 16 Nov – Thurs 19 Dec
Done your Xmas shopping yet? Exeter’s annual Christmas market arrives just in time to save the day. Treat yourself to a handmade necklace or grab a bag of fudge for the perfect stocking filler. A quality, totally tat-free zone.
KIDS: Robin Hood, Soapbox Theatre, Plymouth, Sat 16 Nov
Join the charitable outlaw and his band of merry men as they swashbuckle and steal their way to victory. Using puppetry, physical theatre and everyone’s *favourite* – audience participation – expect a fun-filled winter’s evening with the kiddies.
FAMILY: World Scrabble Championship, Riviera Centre, Torquay, Sat 16 – Sun 24 Nov
A whole week of scrabble, anyone? Mattel, Inc. are bringing everyone’s fave word-game to Torquay, starting with the Junior World Scrabble Championships on the 16th – 18th followed by the main event 19th – 24th. Better swallow that dictionary now.
FESTIVAL: Clovelly Herring Festival, Clovelly, Bideford, Sun 17 Nov
North Devon’s village of Clovelly celebrates the arrival of the ‘Silver Darlings’ or herring as they’re more commonly known. Promoting sustainable fishing and healthy eating, there’ll be food stalls, exhibitions and demos on how to keep debris clear of fishing nets.
DANCE: Matthew Bourne’s Red Shoes, Theatre Royal Plymouth, Mon 18 – Sat 23 Nov
Matthew Bourne’s Olivier-award adaptation of Hollywood’s romantic tale of obsession, possession and a girl’s dream of becoming the greatest dancer the world has ever seen. Golden Age nostalgia, fab costumes and romp.
ORCHESTRA: Love Actually in Concert, Exeter University Great Hall, Sat 23 Nov
The nation’s favourite festive motion picture comes to Exeter Uni Great Hall, accompanied by a full orchestra, violins all the way to Grand Piano, playing Craig Armstrong’s famous score – live! We’re definitely going to cry at *that* scene even more now.
DANCE: The Nutcracker, Vienna Festival Ballet, Queen’s Theatre, Barnstaple, Tues 26 Nov
Tchaikovky’s magical tale, first performed in St Petersburg over 100 years ago and still going strong. Guaranteed to get you feeling festive and Sugar Plum prepped for the Xmas shopping rigmarole.
CRAFT: Decoration Making with Emma Capper, Knightshayes, Tiverton, Tues 26 Nov
It may only be November, but it might just be worth getting into the Christmas spirit for this. Join Emma Capper as she teaches you the secrets of the willow decoration and how to make it your own, creating all sorts of lovely, jolly shapes to adorn your table for the great feast next month.
COMEDY: Frank Skinner, Princess Theatre, Torquay, Weds 26 Nov
He’s coming home, he’s coming home – okay Devon’s not exactly home for this droll Brummie comic, but Frank Skinner is coming to the Princess Theatre as part of a 47-date jaunt around the UK. Well reviewed in The Guardian, don’t miss.
THEATRE: Nativity! The Musical, Theatre Royal Plymouth, Tues 26 – Sat 30 Nov
The touring tinsel-tasmagoria, starring Love Island’s Dani Dyer, lands in Plymouth this month, featuring sing-along hits Nazareth and She’s the Brightest Star as well as a cracking dance numbers and enough glitter to last a lifetime.
SPOKEN WORD: Pam Ayres – Up in the Attic, Flavel Arts Centre, Dartmouth, Fri 29 Nov
Still wishing you’d looked after yer teeth? Navigating moments that are both hilarious and profoundly heart-breaking Pam shows she’s still got it – followed by a Q and A and book signing.
CHRISTMAS: Candlelit Dartmouth, Sat 29 – Sun 30 Nov
If this doesn’t get you in the festive mood, nothing will: two days of live music, children’s entertainment, a Christmas fair and all of Dartmouth’s lovely art galleries and shops to explore, with a lantern procession on the Saturday night. Now, where did I put that paper mâché?
WORKSHOP: Introduction to Curing, Ground up Cookery School, Crockernwell, Sat 30 Nov
Make and taste bacon, chorizo and cured salmon, a hands-on workshop led by award winning Duchy charcutier Marc Dennis. For the carnivore in your life, vegans look away now.
TALK: Griff Rhys Jones, All over the Place, Palace Theatre, Paignton, Sat 30 Nov
The Not the Nine O’clock News funny man is on tour with a new stand-up show, and riffing on everything from parenting, celebrity, his recent medical procedures and meetings with great and the good, including some royals.
PANTO: Beauty and the Beast, Exeter Northcott, Sat 30 Nov – Sun 5 Jan
A tale as old as time, now a panto! Things get romantic, things get magical and things get hairy as Belle, her sister Souffle and Dame Betty Bonbon fight to free Prince Valentin from the curse of the Evil Enchantress. Will they succeed in time to save Belle’s love and the family business? You’ll just to have go along and find out,
COMEDY: Ben Elton, Princess Theatre, Torquay, Sat 30 Nov
Ho ho ho! (sorry, too early?) There’s plenty to laugh about this month, but most notably, we recommend getting tickets for Ben Elton’s return to the stand up scene. The iconic comedian hasn’t toured in 15 years, with his new material promising to attempt to make sense of a world that he thinks has gone mad (fair point).
Words by Molly Grogan.