What’s On in April
Valerie June, Exeter Phoenix, Mon 24 April
Ooh, this is a new one on me. Billed as ‘a stunningly emotive amalgamation of blues, folk, gospel, soul Appalachian and bluegrass’, I feel as though it could be a bit of a treat. Especially for a Monday night.
8pm, £14 + booking fee, exeterphoenix.org.uk
Roddy Doyle’s The Commitments 2017, Theatre Royal, Plymouth Mon 24 – Sat 29 April
Love soul? Then you’re in for a critically-acclaimed treat. Direct from a record-breaking run in London’s West End, The Commitments is based on the BAFTA award-winning film classic. River Deep Mountain High, Papa Was a Rolling Stone, Mustang Sally? Yep, all in the programme, so clear those lungs, tune that voice and grab the girlfriends for a feel-good few hours.
Ricky Gervais, Humanity, Plymouth Pavilions, Tues 25th and Wed 26th April
He’s a bit marmite, old Ricky isn’t he? Mr Muddy is dragging me along to this one and there are still a few tickets left on both days, if you’re a fan. Maybe see you there?
Count Arthur Strong, The Sound of Mucus, Exeter Northcott Theatre, Tues 25 April
He’s a TV and radio showbiz legend and now he’s on tour, paying tribute to one of the best musicals he can remember. ‘Just gets funnier and funnier’, says the Guardian; ‘a relentless blast of comic surprises’, says the Times. Lord knows we need a laugh, sign me up to this, says Muddy Devon. Not sure about that title, mind you.
8pm, tickets £21. exeternorthcott.co.uk
Mr Bloom’s Nursery – Live! Princess Theatre, Torquay, Thurs 27 April
If you STILL have kids in tow (I honestly give up trying to figure out the Easter holiday dates this year), then this might just be your saviour. Have you ever played the game of ‘Who would you rather…’ with CBeebies presenters? I’ll just leave that thought there.
1pm & 4pm, atgtickets.com
Meet the Winemaker – Zisola, Sicily, Le Vignoble, Plymouth, Thurs 27 April
The team at Le Vignoble love wine and they love their winemakers. Get to know the wines of Sicily at their latest tasting event, then put some credit on the wine card and sink some of the good stuff.
7pm, £20 with £10 returned to you on a wine card (to spend at the lounge) levignoble.co.uk
Idris Elba at the Lemon Grove, Exeter Guild, Fri 28 April
So, let me get this straight: the star of Luther is coming to Exeter to play a set? On further investigation, I’ve just realised that Idris Elba is quite the superstar DJ, having played the Ibiza circuit, Glastonbury and as warm-up for Madonna. Who knew?! Sounds like a great way to kick off the weekend, to me.
Tickets £15, exeterguild.org
Toby Buckland’s Garden Festival, Powderham Castle, Fri 28 – Sat 29 April
If you’re at all green-fingered, then you’ll want to get yourself to Powderham Castle this weekend, since Toby Buckland is back for one of his hugely popular garden festivals. Celebrity speakers, great grub and music, everything you’d expect from a spring garden extravaganza.
10am – 5pm on both days, tobygardenfest.co.uk
Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink 2017, Sat 29 April – Mon 1 May
This annual festival held across Exeter Castle grounds and surrounding Northernhay Gardens in the city centre, is about as big as it gets for foodies. Big names (Michael Caines, Tom Kerridge, Paul Ainsworth), demos, a whole lotta food and drink, plus this year, three After Dark Music Festivals for those who want to continue to eat, drink and be merry. Couldn’t ask for more on a bank holiday, really.
A day out with Thomas, South Devon Railway, Buckfastleigh, Sat 29 April – Mon 1 May
Meet the Fat Controller, clamber on board and toot toot your way along the beautiful South Devon Railway between Buckfastleigh and Totnes. Plenty of Thomas-related entertainment on the way, too. *runs and hides in a dark room, then runs back to laptop and deletes history before the Mudlet can find it*
Booking essential, tickets £17 – £22, southdevonrailway.co.uk
Salcombe Crab Fest, Sun 30 April
It’s an event that draws in the crowds every year and has previously hosted the likes of Mary Berry and Jenny Bond. A celebration of crab, seafood, tourism, arts & crafts and an excuse to chill out and make the most of life by the sea.
From 10am, salcombecrabfest.co.uk
Ship to Shore Market, Cap’n Jaspers, Plymouth Barbican, Sun 30 April
‘Kaskelot’ is the beaut of a sailing boat that appeared in Poldark (did you notice anything else in the series aside from that torso?). Anyway, overnight it has appeared in the harbour at Plymouth’s historic Barbican and, this Sunday there is a unique event taking place around it. Over 25 food, artisan and nautical traders will be onboard and along the harbour, with live music, celebrating some great indie talent.
Moor Things Vintage & Lovely Spring Garden Fete, Moorland Garden Hotel, Mon 1 May
If it’s vintage, then the fab Miss Ivy Events are normally behind it. The Spring Garden Fete on the edge of Dartmoor is a feast of stalls, food, music and family friendly events. Classic Bank Holiday fun, then.