Bank holiday weekend
COMEDY-THEATRE: The Three Musketeers, Northcott Theatre, Exeter, Weds 1 – Sun 5 May
A comedy take on the Alexander Dumas classic, Devon theatre company Le Navet Bete’s hot-headed D’Artagnan is armed with only a baguette as he travels to Paris full of misplaced bravado and desire to become a Musketeer. Will things go to plan? With only four actors (of Radio 4 and Bristol Old Vic calibre) 30 characters to play and more silly beards than you can shake a pointy balloon sword at, I’d say that’s looking unlikely.
CINEMA: The Sisters Brothers, Barn Cinema, Dartington Hall, Fri 26 April – Thurs 2 May
Yeehah! Settle back for some darkly comic cinema, a Western set in 1850’s Oregon starring Joaquin Phoenix and John C. Reilly as the quarrelling Sisters brothers. Expect salty dialogue, gun-slinging and quirky humour that explores the nature of gender, with the male of the species firmly the butt of the joke.
THEATRE: Witch, Guild of Craftsmen, Bovey Tracey, ends 6 May
Last chance to see artist Anne Jackson’s knotted tapestries, exploring witchcraft and historic witch-persecution across Europe, both as commemoration and as metaphor for our contemporary fears about the idea of outsider.
WEDDINGS: Spring wedding showcase, Dartington Hall, Sat 4 May
A Grade 1 listed medieval Manor House fancy enough for your Big Day, madam? You bet it is! Join Dartington Hall and their wedding planner for a day of inspiration and ideas, with *ooh nice* a complimentary goody-bag, cocktails and canapés. There’s your ‘old’ taken care of, now it’s just the borrowed and blue.
GARDENING: Toby’s Garden Festival, Powderham Castle, Fri 3 – Sat 4 May
It’s on with my flowery hat as Toby’s Garden Festival (and mine too as I’m co-director and married to the eponymous Toby) is back for a sixth year at Powderham Castle. We’ve lured lots of clever gardeners from BBC’s Gardeners’ World including designer Joe Swift and Frances Tophill, to come and share their secret tricks for turning your fingers from brown to green. Plus, it’s now dog-friendly and gardening app Candide are giving away 400 of these flowery crowns with help from The British Academy of Floral Art. So you will be queen of the castle, at least for the day.
FOOD: Exeter Food Festival, Northernhay Gardens, Exeter, Sat 4 – Bank Holiday Mon 6 May
Foodie fun ahoy! Exeter favourite’s food fest is back with top-notch tasters and workshops right in the heart of city. Sharpen those elbows as it’s sure to be jam-packed with eager foodies keen to savour the 100 stalls and kids’ cookery classes running over all 3 days. Last year, they added live music to the mix, and Exeter Beats kicks off proceedings the night before (see below).
MUSIC: Exeter Beats Music festival, Northernhay Gardens, Fri eve 3 – Sun 5 May
Dust off the winter blues, grab your dancing shoes and kick off May by partying til’ late! Exeter Beats Music festival promises to be an awesome night out with friends, thanks to appearances from DJ’s Nick ‘Grimmy’ Grimshaw, Scott Mills and Kristian Nairn from Game Of Thrones. You don’t want to miss out on this one!
COMEDY Paul Merton’s Impro Chums, Queens Theatre, Barnstaple, Sat 4 May
Too clever by ‘arf, Paul Merton and his witty chums – Lee Simpson, Richard Vranch, Suki Webster, Mike McShane and accompanist Kirsty Newton to be precise – hit the road once again for another evening of impro and dry witticisms.
COASTAL: Brixham Pirate Festival, Brixham, Sat 4 – Mon 6 May
Ooh-ah me hearties! Every shipmate’s favourite festival is back on the salty streets of Brixham, bringing a swashbuckling mix of period re-enactors, noisy shanties and even noisier cannons, plus a lot of men in black eye-liner who think they look like Johnny Depp. Pop a parrot on yer shoulder and join in the rum-swigging fun.
MUSIC & CIDER FESTIVAL: Lamb Inn, Sandford, Sun 5 – Mon 6 May
Join the loyal flock at Sandford’s award-winning gastro pub The Lamb Inn for a spot of cider-scrumping and tasting with live music both days and some silly family-fun and ferret racing. Place your bets…
KIDS: Squiggly wiggly giant squid, Royal William Yard, Plymouth, from Sun 5 May
It’s back! Plymouth’s favourite art installation wowed the Mudlets last year and now, after a winter of TLC, the Squiggly Wiggly Giant Squid is back at Royal Yard for a second season of interactive acoustic fun. Speak into its eyes and tentacles to hear the sound travel around the sea creature; watch him light up at night. Plus there’s a sea creature trail and prizes to be won.
FOOD: Salcombe Crab Festival, Salcombe, Sun 5 May
Here’s Now you can be crabby but in a good way at Salcombe’s Crab Festival. Pick up tips from celeb chefs Matt Tebbutt from BBC’s Saturday Kitchen, TV chef Jack Stein and Rockfish restaurateur Mitch Tonks while enjoying the live music and crab-themed workshops. Bring your bucket and line for some quayside catches, and plenty of pocket money for the stalls selling local foodie fare and artisan crafts.