THEATRE: The Girl on the Train, Theatre Royal Plymouth, Mon 30 Sept – Sat 5 Oct
Paula Hawkins’ bestselling novel is adapted for the stage to bring to life the thrill and mystery of the book. Samantha Womack of EastEnders stars as Rachel Watson, a woman who longs for a different life as she watches those of the inhabitants of the houses she passes every day. A fabulously enthralling new play that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
THEATRE: The Lovely Bones, Northcott Theatre, Exeter, Mon 30 Sept – Sat 5 Oct
A coming of age tale about love, death and everything in between. Birmingham Rep Theatre’s production captures the heartache and poignancy of the best-selling novel by Alice Sebold, promising a visually stunning performance with a spellbinding soundtrack and an incredibly talented company of performers driving it.
FILM: English Riviera Film Festival, Torquay (various) Mon 1 – Sat 12 Oct
A 12-day celebration of awards’ evenings and networking events, rewarding film buffs with a mix of vintage classics and youth productions, and showcasing some major talent sure to be the future of film making. Coming to a venue near you.
SHOPPING: Designer & Good as New Clothes Fair, Oakford Village Hall, Tiverton, Weds 3 – 5 Oct
I should Coco! Here’s your excuse to splurge guilt-free, all in aid of Marie Curie. Ensure you get the hot picks by going on first night (5-9pm) with a higher priced ticket of £15 to include a glass of something chilled and canapés, or head daytime for the other two days. Happy rummaging!
COMEDY: Hot Shame, John Robins, Exeter Corn Exchange, Thurs 3 October
The new tour from the Edinburgh Comedy Award winner John Robins, with a reputation for finding humour in bleak moments. Brace yourself for soul-bearing, self-lacerating, piping-hot shame and quite a lotta laughs.
SPOKEN WORD: Luke Wright-Poet Laureate, Barbican Theatre, Plymouth, Fri 4 Oct
If you read one of Luke Wright’s poems right now (g’wan – have a watch ) you can already tell the man’s got talent. Serious talent. Frequently standing as a support act for Mr John Cooper Clarke and now with the title of Poet Laureate under his belt, he doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon. You’ll be laughing, crying and thinking…really thinking about what it is to be a person. Lovely.
DRINK: Oktoberfest, Double Locks, Exeter, Fri 4 – Sat 5 Oct
Don that Lederhosen (what do you mean you don’t have any??) and prepare for a weekend of Bratwurst, beer and Bavarian festivities at Exeter’s beautiful Double Locks pub, situated right on the River Exe. Prost!
FESTIVAL: Sidmouth Science Festival, Sidmouth, Fri 4 – Sun 13 Oct
It’s hard to express just how important STEM (Science, tech, engineering, maths) is in our everyday lives, but Sidmouth 10-day Science Fest wants to show you just how with this year’s theme, ‘Science in our lives’. Get ready to have your knowledge tested and mind blown by experiments running daily, with a little bit of everything; nature, art and history too.
SHOPPING: Totnes Fiver Fest, Totnes, Sat 5 – Sat 12 Oct
Did you know that if every adult in Totnes and Bridgetown spent just £5 a week in Totnes’ gorgeous indies, a whopping £1.6 million per year would be made for the local economy? In association with the nationwide Fiver Fest, selected Totnes retailers are offering treats and gifts for £5 to encourage people to shop locally. And with shops like Fifty5a, Love Frankie and Me and East (pictured) you shouldn’t find spending in Totnes too much of a hardship.
FESTIVAL: Powderham Food Festival, Powderham Castle, Kenton near Exeter, Sat 5 Oct
It’s the law to eat LOTS as the biting winds of Autumn set in and Powderham Castle has the perfect remedy for your chilly blues. With a maze of food and drink huts, boasting everything from burgers to cider, a live music stage and a kiddies’ zone, it’s the perfect beginning to the end of the year (and the diet, hurray).
CIRCUS: Circus Extreme, Sat 5 – Sun 13 Oct, Central Park, Plymouth
Rings of fire, juggling from the highest heights and bike stunts of the most dangerous calibre to name a few. Watch the promo, then book…if you dare.
RUN: Plymouth 5k and 10k, Sun 6 Oct, New George Street, Plymouth
We know you’ve been training hard for this, so grab those trainers and and go for it.
SCULPTURE: National Sculpture Prize, Broomhill Art & Sculpture Hotel, Muddiford, Barnstaple, until end October
Last chance to vote in Broomhill’s National Sculpure Prize Competition. Check out the 9 short-listed entries in their River Meadow gardens then vote for your fave. A great day out (with or without kids) and they do a cracking cream tea.
EXHIBITION: Birds without Borders, Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter, until 3 Nov
An exploration of the miracle of migration, mixing science, art and social history exploring why some birds are so important to our country, and the lengths some travel before making their way into our back gardens. Perfect for anyone curious about our feathered friends.
THEATRE: The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Theatre Royal Plymouth, Mon 7 – Sat 12 Oct
As part of a sell-out worldwide tour, Richard O’Brien’s rip-roaring, toe-tapping and raunchy-as-hell musical-comedy hybrid comes to Plymouth to dazzle audiences once again. Sweet Transvestite and Time Warp lyrics memorised? Here we come, Dr Frank’n’Furter. Check out Muddy Somerset’s review here.
THEATRE: Womans (like Romans but with a W), Exeter Phoenix, Gandy St, Tues 8 Oct
We ❤️ strong female protagonists, especially when they take on an ancient patriarchal society. Leta has been sentenced by the Republic to be erased from history – a fate worse than death – but with the help of two naughty muses, havoc ensues as they fight to write their names back into the history books.
SHORT COURSE: Instagram: creative half-day course: Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter, Tues 8 Oct
Don’t know your link in bio from your insta story? In this techy era, it’s essential to get your brand out there and Instagram is the way to go. Join Exeter Phoenix for a half-day masterclass in all things Insta; covering hashtags, photography and how to make the most of your bio.
FAIR: Goose Fair, Tavistock, Weds 9 Oct
Tavistock’s Goosey Fair is a very trad affair, dating back to the 12th century when geese were fattened up ready for Chrimbo. Now it’s over 200 stalls and family fun with food, craft, music and a proper funfair for the littlies. It’s a quality, tat-free zone if you’re already on the lookout for those Xmas pressies.
FOOD: Autumn Supper Club, Jacka’s Bakery, Plymouth, Weds 9 Oct
Former Michelin star development chef and Muddy fave, Luke Fearon got a massive thumbs-up when we reviewed him last year and he’s back for a second season showcasing seasonal Devon food. There’s still time to nab a seat at his supper club at Jacka Bakery at Plymouth’s Barbican on Weds 9 Oct for £35pp.
COMEDY: Comedy Night with Jarred Christmas, Honky Tonk Wine Library, Sutton Harbour, Plymouth, Thurs 10 Oct
Sutton Habour’s chic deli-bar are hosting Kiwi comic Jarred Christmas for one night only – as seen on Never Mind the Buzzcocks and Mock the Week, Russell Howard’s Good News, 8 Out of 10 Cats and Dave’s One Night Stand. Fast, furry and in demand – and that’s just the chipmunk.
WINE: Matthew Jukes’ 100 Best Australian Wines, Exeter Castle, Thurs 10 Oct
One hundred wines, you say? Influential Daily Mail wine writer Matthew Jukes brings you 100 of the very best Australian wines for you to taste in the oh-so beautiful Exeter Castle. The perfect place to learn about our favourite beverage if we ever saw one.
COMEDY: The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Hit Farce, The Landmark, Ilfracombe, Thurs 10 Oct
Benedict eat your heart out. There’s a new Sherlock Holmes in town and he’s here to make you laugh with his sidekick Dr. Jane Watson as they travel from the mean streets of London to the Devon in an attempt to solve the mystery of the hound. Lots of naughty innuendo so *sadly* not for under-16’s.
FESTIVAL: Salcombe Live, various around the town, Fri 11 – Sun 13 Oct
You don’t need an excuse to go to Devon’s most salubrious seaside town but here’s one for ya: a weekend of live music and stand-up comedy in some great venues including Muddy’s latest crush, Salcombe Harbour Hotel. Acts include Mock the Week comic Jarred Christmas, indie Devon singer-songwriters Harbottle & Jonas and Velvet & Stone, culminating in the event finale with Irish folk singer, Cara Dillon (pictured). Hot tickets in a hot location.
FOOD: All Things Yummy Festival, Royal Parade, Plymouth, Sat 12 Oct
Sweet treats, marvellous milkshakes and delicious doughnuts, anyone? Or if you fancy getting your hands dirty, get stuck onto one of the chocolate making workshops. Of course, a festival dedicated to sugar wouldn’t be complete without an appearance from Mr Willy Wonka for the kids, now would it?
FOOD: Food Fair, The Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth, 10am-4pm, Sat 12 Oct
A fun foodie day for donkey lovers that’s free for under 12’s (adults £2.50) with a KidsZone where littlies can create a pizza lunch and a donkey-themed biscuit as well as face-painting, along with demo’s from among others Exeter Cookery School. And lots of donkeys – cute.
MUSIC: Two Door Cinema Club, Plymouth Pavilions, Sun 13 Oct
Like a man in a roll-neck? Love alternative rock? Check out Two Door Cinema Club (as in the 2011 chart hit, What you know) playing this Sunday at Plymouth Pavilions.
COMEDY: Harriet Kemsley – Slutty Joan, Northcott Theatre, Exeter, Mon 14 Oct
Multi award-winning Edinburgh fringe alumnus Harriet Kemsley brings a new meaning to the word shame. Slut shaming, that is. A highly intimate and bloody hilarious portrait of her sexual history and what it’s like to have your parents read your teenage diary, her engrossing storytelling is like cringing with your best mate.
WELLBEING: Women’s Health and Wellbeing Lunch, Hotel Endsleigh, Tavistock, 10-2pm, Weds 16 Oct
Fancy a delicious lunch at Olga Polizzi’s Grade 1 listed luxury hotel, in a Humphry Repton landscape? Here’s pharmacist Yung Strawbridge to share her tips to ageing well: good skincare, healthy disease-beating diet to beat disease and wellbeing techniques to calm your busy life. £48 including a two-course lunch, presumably healthy.
THEATRE: One Under, Theatre Royal Plymouth, Thurs 17 – Sat 26 Oct
A young man jumps in front of a train Cyrus is driving, leading him to search for answers in a drama about atonement, the power of guilt and the fragility of the human relationship. Winsome Pinnock, a company renowned for placing deaf and disabled artists centre stage, brings you the audio-described and fully captioned, One Under.
MUSIC: Odette Adams, Palace Theatre, Paignton, Fri 18 Oct
Funky, smooth and jazzy, this lady can sing – and song-write. She’s worked with Tony Hadley, Rick Astley and Heather Small, and now she’s on tour with songs from her latest album, Shake of the Hand. The Sunday Times gave it the thumbs-up and the word is if you like Sade and Joni Mitchell, you’ll love Odette Adams.
FOOD: Dartmouth Food Festival, Fri 18 – Sun 20 Oct
Dartmouth Food Fest serves up your yearly helping of live discussions from our favourite food connoisseurs, food demos, celebrity guests (ooh) and enough food to last a lifetime (obviously). If that’s not enough to get you there, it also happens to be free entry.
KIDS: Crealy Halloween Spookfest, Clyst St Mary, near Exeter, Sat 19 – Sun 27 Oct
Boo! A spooky selection of activities, including the Creaky Haunted Hotel, and a whole range of other terrifying attractions. PLUS, a free pumpkin for every littl’un who dares to enter!
KIDS: Halloween Hocus Pocus, Milky Way Adventure Park, Bideford, Sat 19 – Thurs 31 Oct
Witches and wizards are welcomed to Milky Way’s school of magic and sorcery this spooky season. Expect wand-making lessons, potion cooking and spell casting, as well as the other slightly less creepy attractions the park has to offer.
KIDS: Marine Monster Mysteries, Living Coasts, Torquay, Mon 21 – Thurs 31 Oct
Join the marine monster trail, discovering the creatures of the deep, uncovering freaky facts and menacing myths this Halloween before collecting a ghoulish prize once completed. Who knew sea creatures could be so terrifying?
FAIR: Coldharbour Mill Craft Fair, Uffculme, Cullompton, Mon 21 Oct
Put in in your diary, folks. Coldharbour Mill is set to play host to over 40 of the region’s finest artisan makers of food and fine crafts at their annual craft market. An untouched woollen mill from the Industrial Revolution is the perfect backdrop for the day because you’ll not only be surrounded by loads of lovely stuff, you’ll be soaking up loads of history too. We love it.
DAY OUT: Apple Day, Clovelly, Bideford, Weds 23 Oct
Tis apple season! A time for cider, pie and apple bobbing (kids and adults alike) and Clovelly is giving us exactly what we want, once again, with their annual apple festival perfect for families with littlies who enjoy getting busy with crafts and games.
ART: Your Face/My Face, Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter, Weds 23 Oct
We see our own reflections in the mirror every day but ever wanted to know how other people see you (er, no)? Your Face/My Face pairs family and friends in a messy painting workshop to capture each other’s faces in all their glowing glory.
FESTIVAL: Pumpkin Festival with Spookley the Square Pumpkin, Darts Farm, Topsham, 2-4pm Wed 23 Oct
You can outsource it all at award-winning Dart’s Farm: pick the pumpkin, decorate it, hear a spooky tale from Spookley the Square Pumpkin and enjoy a wander round the farm. Worth every penny at £9.95, including a personal pumpkin for your littl’un to take home.
SHOW: Disney on Ice, Westpoint Arena, Exeter, Weds 23 – Sun 27 Oct
Hallelujah – some non-pumpkin themed half term fun! Let the Disney nostalgia begin as 50 Disney characters, from Anna to Olaf, Snow White to Cinderella, grace the ice. The perfect retelling of our favourite films and the most magical songs in celebration of its 100th anniversary.
FESTIVAL: Festival of the Dead, Great Hall, University of Exeter, Fri 25 Oct
Want to get in on the scary Halloween action? This deathly fiesta for over 18’s combines creepy acrobats and circus performers, as well as a giant Skelton called El Diablo, plus live DJs and music. Sounds like a great excuse to slap on the face paint.
KIDS: Birmingham Royal Ballet First Steps, Theatre Royal Plymouth, Fri 25 Oct
Any budding Darcy Bussells in the family? Birmingham Royal Ballet’s fully interactive kiddies’ show brings the story of Peter and the Wolf to life with exquisite costumes, music and storytelling to immerse ages 3 and up in the wonders of dance.
HALLOWEEN: Fright Fest, Poltimore House, Exeter, Fri 25 – Sat 26 Oct
Are you brave enough to enter? This one’s definitely not for the littlies (12-plus and must be accompanied by and adult). A brand-new, knee-knocker of a maze as you’re guided through dilapidated, reputedly haunted Poltimore House exploring its spooky history dating all the way back to the 16th century. PS: there’s a bar should your nerves need a bit of calm afterwards.
DANCE: Barbican Theatre’s FUSE Diverse Dance: Fierce, Plymouth Athenaeum, Derry’s Cross, Sat 26 Oct
Shake your shimmy! An evening celebrating female artists – and the wild in all of us – in the dance of many cultures curated by FUSE Diverse Dance and Chhaya Collective. Expect an invigorating mix of styles, including contemporary, Indian, Flamenco, and West African.
KIDS: Toddler Takeover: Monster’s Ball, The Big Sheep, Bideford, Mon 28 Oct – Fri 1 Nov
Dig out your black hats and spidery brooms, and bring your little witches and skeletons down to The Big Sheep for some spooktastic fun: carving pumpkins, making scary masks and spider hats – along with all the fun of usual rides.
THEATRE: Doctor Dracula, NT Knightshayes Gardens, Tiverton, Thurs 31 Oct
Four of Swords company transports you back and forth in time, exploring Dracula and other classic vampire stories, as well as the history of grave robbing and parabiosis (nope, no idea). Strong stomachs at the ready.
KIDS: Disney’s The Lion King, Bristol Hippodrome, until Sat 23 Nov
The first Disney animation with an original story (and more than a few passing resemblances to Hamlet) on stage with a cast from around the world.
EXHIBITION: International Garden Photographer of the Year 2019, Hestercombe Gardens, until Weds 20 Nov
THEATRE: The Barber of Seville, Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol, Weds 18 Sept – Sat 5 Oct
Rossini’s famous comic opera, a prequel to The Marriage of Figaro, with recognisable tunes sung in English by Opera Project –and a stonking set of wigs.
EXHIBITIONS: From Where I Stand/Children of the Unquiet, Tate St Ives, Cornwall, until Jan 2020
Or there’s Seaside:Photographed at cool contemporary gallery Newlyn Gallery & Exchange, Newlyn, an exploration of the British seaside from the 1850s with works from Martin Parr, Raymond C Lawson, Susan Hiller and more (until 3 Oct); over in St Just-in-Penwith at the Jackson Foundation there’s a collection of contemporary artist Kurt Jackson’s work titled Frenchman’s Creek, a collection of paintings of the Helford River that famously inspired Daphne du Maurier’s 1941 novel of the same name (until 22 Feb). And finally, for a bit of Cornish history, there’s Creative Tensions: The Penwith Society of Arts 1949-1960, at Penlee House, Penzance, an examination of the tension between the St Ives Society of Artists and the Penwith Society of Arts (14 Sept – 16 Nov).
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.
Words by Molly Grogan.