What’s on – September
THEATRE: Frankenstein, Cockington Court, Cockington near Torquay, 1 Sept
Following their performance of Ali Baba, Illyria Theatre Co returns with Mary Shelley’s cautionary tale; an original full-scale musical promising a story of human nature and love – and suitable for more mature little’uns.
FILM: Outdoor Garden Cinema: Back to the Future, Double Locks, Exeter, Sun 1 Sept
Great Scott! Everyone has a favourite 80s film – the Picturehouse cinema’s is Back to the Future and they’re showing it right next to the River Exe at the Double Locks pub with food and drink to enjoy during the movie.
FOOD: Lobster and Crab Feast, Clovelly, Sun 1 Sept
Clovelly’s thriving and sustainable lobster and crab industry comes alive this September with live music, cookery demonstrations and street theatre. Of course, the day wouldn’t be complete without enough crustacean to sink a ship; with some ready to eat and some being released into the sea as part of the National Lobster Hatchery’s scheme to protect the sustainability of lobster farming. We’re definitely gonna need a bigger boat.
FAMILY: Animals in Distress 25th Anniversary Family Fun Day, Ipplepen, Devon, Sun 1 Sept
Time to celebrate our favourite four-legged friends with Animals in Distress who are celebrating their 25th birthday! BBQ, dog show, kiddies activities and refreshments included.
TALK: Why Mummy Doesn’t Give a **** – An evening with Gill Sims, Exeter Corn Exchange, Weds 4 Sept
Gill Sims, author of the best-selling, worryingly relatable Why Mummy Drinks and Why Mummy Swears gives an inside look into her blogs, books and oh-so familiar characters with an opportunity for questions and a book signing to top it all off. We most definitely do give a **** about this.
FAMILY: Adoption Donkey Guess Who Trail, Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth, all Sept
Get to know The Donkey Sanctuary’s nine adopted donkeys with this year’s Guess Who challenge, combining exercise, brain power and of course, donkeys. Prizes to be won, sleuthing to be done and equine friends to be petted; sounds like a great way to tire them out to me.
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 birds travel before making their way into our back gardens. Perfect for all ages who have a curiosity for our feathered friends.
OUTDOORS: Elmer’s Parade and Trail, Plymouth, until Mon 16 September
It’s your last few days to see Plymouth’s 40 unique Elmer the Elephant sculptures on parade around the city. Head to to Royal William Yard or pick up a map from the tourist info office take your Elmer-loving littlie to get their selfie.
FOOD: Seaton Eats Boutique over the Sea, Jubilee Gardens, Sidmouth Fri 6 Sept
An evening of diverse street food by the sea, you say? And on a Friday night when it’s the law to get a takeaway? Take your pick from Caribbean curry, pizza, Japanese noodles, as well as local meats and vegan alternatives, then sit and scoff, while watching the waves from Sidmouth’s beach.
FOOD: Seafood and Champagne Dinner with Laurent Perrier, Boringdon Hall, Plympton, Fri 6 Sept
Everyone needs a classy night out once in a while and you can’t get much classier than a seafood and champers evening hosted by Laurent Perrier at the majestic Boringdon Hall. There will be those lovely little canapes, there will be Halibut and crab, there will be pudding and of course, there will be champagne! What more do you want? Get booking.
THEATRE: Bon Ami, Exeter Phoenix, Fri 6 Sept
An oh-so-relevant physical comedy about how we can lead perfect lives; have the perfect job, the perfect house and still feel an irrevocable loneliness. A sharp, witty and totally female-led production exploring the importance of friendships during times of isolation.
WALK: Basic Navigation Course, Yelverton, Sat 7 Sept
Ever wanted to know how to walk…like really walk? Well, now you can with this basic navigation course which will stop you relying on friends or known routes and gives you the skills to plan your own walks with the use of a good old map and compass. Independent women unite!
ART: Devon Open Studios, around the county, Sat 7 – Sun 22 Sept
Get a sneak peek into the lives and work of more than 200 of Devon’s finest artists with their paint-splattered studio doors open to the general public throughout September. With free entry for all and art available to buy from the creators, a kaleidoscopic array of sculpture, painting and pottery is sure to keep those post-summer blues at bay. See what’s on where here
MURDER MYSTERY: The Live Murder Trial, Duke of Cornwall Hotel, Plymouth, Sun 8 Sept
The UK’s first touring murder trial comes to Plymouth in a nail-biting, very realistic case for which you are a member of the jury. The evidence will be laid out by a team of experienced criminal barristers and you will experience the presence of an accused murder and all will be left to you. Sounds rather intense doesn’t it? We love it…
EXHIBITION: Nomads: Homes on the Move, Royal Albert Memorial Museum, until 6 October
Around 30-40 million nomadic people are living in our world today, some in harsh environments, and Gordon Clarke’s collection of photography allows an insight into the incredibly fascinating lives of these nomads. Tea, cake and a chat with Gordon included.
THEATRE: Stick Man, Exeter Northcott, Tues 10 – Thurs 12 Sept
After a nice jog, all you want to do is go home and relax, right? It’s no different for poor old Stick Man but with his misadventures as a dog toy or potential kindling, getting back to the family tree is harder than ever. Freckle Productions award-winning performance promises puppetry and live music to help him along the way.
CINEMA: Margaret Atwood Live in Cinemas, Barn Cinema, Dartington Hall, Tues 10 Sept
She needs no introduction, best-selling author Atwood will be screened live in conversation with Samira Ahmed, talking about her incredible career and acclaimed works, and why she has chosen to return to the revolutionary Handmaid’s Tale 34 years later. Also at The Plough in Great Torrington, Exeter Picturehouse and Exeter Odeon.
FOOD: Charcuterie and Pickles with ‘A Pinch of Salt’, The Pig at Combe, Thurs 12 Sept
One of two pop-up sharing feasts held in the The Pig’s rustic Folly this autumn, this one focuses on cured meats and is hosted by Chef Director James Golding and Alan Bartlett of British curing company, ‘A Pinch of Salt’, to create a menu that celebrates all things cured, smoked, dried and pickled. Includes a glass of fizz and Piggy Bits to start, with wines handpicked by the sommelier team at THE PIG-at Combe and paired to each dish.
CINEMA: NT Live – Fleabag, Barn Cinema, Dartington Hall, Thurs 12 Sept
Fleabag’s chaotic and undeniably relatable anecdotes on love, life and guinea pigs returns to our screens live from the National Theatre for all of us who missed the chance to buy tickets before they sold out (very upsetting). Filthy, honest and bloody hilarious, it’s a must-see for everybody; female or male.
FESTIVAL: International Agatha Christie Festival, Torre Abbey, Thurs 12 – Sun 15 Sept
The mystery starts here: Torquay celebrates the life and works of born and bred Agatha Christie on what would be her 128th birthday year. An array of performance, exhibition and tours spans Torre Abbey, Torquay Museum and her home at Greenway, collaborating with local youth groups and other charities to celebrate the talents of Miss Christie.
MUSIC: Cawsand Bay Guitar Festival, Torpoint, Fri 13 – Sun 15 Sept
Whether you’re a guitar enthusiast or not, this is a real treat. Set up by the sea, you’ll be given a little break from the hustle and bustle, with the sound of talented guitarists accompanying some delicious food and drink. You wouldn’t get that at Glastonbury!
CHARITY: The Greatest Showman, Outdoor cinema event in aid of Guide Dogs South West, Mercedes-Benz Exeter, Sat 14 Aug
The summer of outdoor films is heading to its finale, so put your paws together for a very good cause – Mercedes-Benz of Exeter are hosting their first-ever open-air cinema event at their Matford Park Road dealership, The Greatest Showman, with all profits being donated to Guide Dogs South West. Don’t forget your camping chairs and blankets.
WORKSHOP: Design your own tote bag with Alice Wood, Dartington Hall, Sat 14 Sept
Tote bags are an essential; that’s all there is to it. But don’t you sometimes wish your boring beige one was a little more exciting? Alice Wood’s workshop will help you create the chic tote bag of your dreams, suitable for every occasion.
MARKET: Exeter Vegan Market, Exeter Corn Exchange, Sat 14 Sept
Cakes, pickled goods, hot food, sustainable beauty products, cruelty-free clothing. All under one roof. Exeter Vegan Market never ceases to impress us with their wide range of delicious vegan yummies and crafty stall owners.
FAMILY: Westpoint Film and Comic Con, Westpoint Arena, Sat 14 – Sun 15 September
Calling all comic con bingers and fanatics: Exeter Comic Con has landed and it promises panels, autographs, photoshoots and more stalls filled with memorabilia than you can count; a winding maze of collectables and plushies, artwork and figurines that you will never want to find your way out of. Costumes should be worn to ensure maximum immersion into the comic con life style!
FOOD: Plymouth Seafood Festival, The Barbican and Sutton Harbour, Sat 14 – Sun 15 Sept
We love seafood in Devon, don’t we? That’s why Plymouth, home to the second largest fish market in the UK and first city to be awarded the Fish2Fork sustainability award, is hosting its annual festival to celebrate the lovely stuff! There’s a plethora of fishy activities to get stuck into as well: a cardboard boat race take your fancy?
WORKSHOP: Life Drawing Workshop, Exeter Phoenix, Sat 14 Sept
A one-day course for artistes of all levels to learn about the technical and expressive approaches to life drawing and its relevance contemporarily and in art history. Materials and life model provided, so hopefully no need for volunteers on the day.
MARKET: Totnes Good Food Market, Town Square, Totnes Sun 15 Sept
Every third Sunday of every month Totnes holds a rather lovely ‘good food’ market in the town square. We can confirm that the food is indeed ‘good’. Very ‘good’ in fact. With hot food to go to craft stalls selling one of a kind knick-knacks, there really is no shortage of good stuff here.
COMEDY: Sindhu Vee, Exeter Phoenix, Exeter Sun 15 Sept
We present to you…Sindhu Vee’s critically acclaimed stand-up comedy, Sandhog, all about how loving your children, spouse and ageing parents (in that order) can be really exhausting! But we wouldn’t have it any other way, would we?
TALK: Universal Adventures in Space and Time, Professor Brian Cox, Plymouth Pavilions, Tues 17 Sept
We’re all star-dust, we know that much, but if you’re eager to explore the infinite (or is it?) possibilities of the universe without getting off your seat, then join the leather-clad Prof and co-host of The Infinite Monkey Cage, Robin Ince, for “a fascinating insight into the workings of nature at the most fundamental level”. And there’s a Q and A session in case you didn’t quite catch everything.
FAMILY THEATRE: Malory Towers, Exeter Northcott Theatre, Tues 17 – Sat 21 Sept
The original ‘Girl Power’ story by Enid Blyton comes to the stage this September, set to live music and animation, with Darrell Rivers’ stories of friendships, fights and the Cornish clifftops. If she can figure these things out at Malory Towers, she can figure them out anywhere.
LITERATURE: Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival, Weds 18 – Sun 22 Sept
Dame Hilary Mantel, Robert Harris and Cressida Cowell headline Budleigh’s lit-fest this year with talks from experienced and emerging voices in the literary community with new stories and findings to share with a curious audience ready to soak up their intellect. Crafty workshops for the littl ‘uns run throughout the day to keep their creative minds occupied so you can do the same.
FESTIVAL: Appledore Book Festival, Appledore, Fri 20 – Sat 28 Sept
Book festivals are just the best – you can go along and soak up all that cleverness and they always seem to be somewhere quite beautiful. Appledore’s is no different AND they have an absolutely fabulous line up; Greg and Anna Wallace, Jeremy Vine, Jeremy Wade, Robert Harris, Michael Rosen, the Unmumsy Mum (pictured) – the list goes on.
TRAVEL: Vintage Bus Running Day, Kingsbridge, Sat 21 Sept
Race you to the top deck for Kingsbridge’s vintage bus day, when you can hop on a classic coach for free and trundle down the old country and coastal routes of yesteryear, like you’re in a Miss Marple film. Hail your ride from Kingsbridge Bus Station on the Quay.
FESTIVAL: Devon Arts Festival, Powderham Castle, Sat 21 – Sun 22 Sept
The nearly unrivalled beauty of Devon provides endless inspiration to artists, based near and far, so it’s only fair that Powderham Castle hosts the very best creative minds for a showcase of music, food and, of course…art. The castle will also be open to the public to marvel at even more artwork.
ART: Blue Lights Art Group, Blue Lights Hall, Vernon Lane, Appledore, Sat 21 – Sun 22 Sept
Oh, we do like to support local and we do like any excuse to shop, so how about an original artwork from a choice of 20 North Devon artists? It’s also a good excuse for a totter around beautiful Appledore and to grab a flat white in the Muddy award-winning Coffee Cabin. And it’s free entry.
COMEDY: Jack Dee: Off the Telly, Palace Theatre, Paignton, Sun 22 Sept
“In these difficult and uncertain times people need hope – a ray of sunshine to brighten their day. And that’s very much where I come in” says Jack. The famously grouchy comic is as amusingly meh as ever, on tour and in Devon. Don’t miss.
KIDS: World Rhino Day, Paignton Zoo, Paignton, Sun 22 Sept
Sound the horn for African and Asian rhinos, learn fun facts and the threats facing this beautiful mammal, while paying a visit to Paignton’s endangered black rhinos.
CAR BOOT: Newton Abbot Racecourse, Car Boot Sale, Sun 22 Sept
Hear us out? Yes, there can be some questionable items on sale (creepy dolls anyone?) but running with our love of sustainability to protect this beautiful earth of ours; buying pre-owned things is the way to go. Find a vintage pair of jeans or an old mirror that with a lick of paint would look gorgeous in the front room. Go and have a dig around.
THEATRE: Beyond Therapy, Queen’s Theatre, Barnstaple, Mon 23 Sept
A contemporary look at relationships, starring Matt Lapinskas of Eastenders and Dancing on Ice and Mandy Holliday of Les Mis and Little Britain, as two eccentric therapists and their clients, Prudence and Bruce who with the help of their psychiatrists, meet through an online ad. Bruce is highly emotional and likes to cry a lot. Prudence doesn’t think men should cry “unless something falls on them.” Their date doesn’t quite go as planned.
COURSE: Wine Education Course, Dartington Hall, Mon 23 Sept
Ever wanted to know the difference between a Pinot and a Sauvignon or how to bring your food and wine together in perfect harmony? Now’s your chance!
COMEDY: Exeter Northcott Comedy Club starring Paul Sinha, Mon 23 Sept
Award-winning stand-up comedian, Paul Sinha, or the ‘Sinnerman’ from BBC’s The Chase comes to the Exeter Northcott with his confessional and fast paced comedy. Following him, ex-Etonian Ivo Graham and international comedy star Barry Castagnola, both some of the world’s best stand up comics right, all here in Exeter.
TALK: An evening with Alice Roberts: Digging into Britain’s Past, Exeter Northcott Theatre, Tuess 24 Sept
History buffs won’t want to miss this one: Prof Alice Roberts of Time Team will be taking her audience back in time, delving deep into her research of Britain’s past and the stories she collected in turn. Each talk will finish with a 20-minute Q and A for all your burning questions to be answered.
CINEMA: NT Live: One Man, Two Guvnors, The Beehive, Honiton, Thurs 26 Sept
James Corden on top comedy form as an ex-skiffle band player hired as minder to two small time crooks, giving him the sole aim of keeping his two guvnors from meeting each other. Corden won a Tony Award for his performance, so worth a watch.
THEATRE: Glittery Clittery, Exeter Northcott, Exeter, Thurs 26 Sept
Prosecco at the ready! Dance shoes on! Ready to take down the patriarchy with Fringe Wives Club? It’s going to get glittery as well as political with an all-singing, all-dancing party-rave extravaganza ready to combat bigotry, sexism and the miseducation about the wonders of the female body in all its chaos and beauty.
SPOKEN WORD: John Hegley, The Watermark, Ivybridge, Fri 27 Sept
We love John Hegley. Who else could find so much humorous poetry in potatoes and spectacles? Expect drawing, singing and mandolin-strumming, and of course, funny rhymes – sometimes very short ones. And he has been known to get audience member up on stage to write one. Better get thinking.
ART: Plymouth Art Weekender, Plymouth, Fri 27 – Sun 29 Sept
Okay, this looks like it’s going to be fun: three days of art events, exhibitions and performance pop-ups around Plymouth, including Tabatha Andrews (pictured) whose quirky installations explore how things can trigger memory and unsettle your senses, and sculptor Tim Bolton. The pair are collaborating on Make it Up, a project with seamstresses who worked at the original Jaeger factory on Union Street to create objects and interactive activities you can engage with.
FESTIVAL: Real Ale and Gin festival, RHS Garden Rosemoor, Torrington, Fri 27 – Sat 28 Sept
Gin, ale, live music, mouth-watering street food from an award-winning source… in fact the gin is award-winning too! All in the grounds of the rather exquisite Rosemoor Garden, Torrington for TWO WHOLE DAYS. Something for everyone.
KIDS: Living History Weekend, Wildwood Escot, Sat 28 – Sun 29 Sept
Pack the kids in the car and take them off to Escot where they can make like an Anglo-Saxon for the weekend. Gasp at battle re-enactments, learn about Saxon and Viking costume, watch falconry displays and discover how they made fleece and yarn. Plus your mini-marauders (under 10’s) can let of steam and train with the ‘warriors’ in the Kiddie vike.
WORKSHOP: Wild Foraging and Cookery Course, Crockernwell, Sat 28 Sept
Dartmoor’s Ground Up cookery school teaches you the ins and outs of totally wild cooking to bring to your own kitchen; using traditional cooking methods and nearby seasonal ingredients to create some natural masterpieces with all sorts of fungi and plants you can find from out and about.
CHARITY: Race for Life – Pretty Muddy, Plymouth, Sun 29 Sept
Ready to get muddy with Race for Life? So are we! Grab your family, friends and neighbours and face those obstacles head on, defeating the mud pit and the A-frame. All while raising vital funds for vital research.
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, Exeter Northcott theatre, 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.
SPORT: Moor 2 Sea Sportive, Haldon Forest Park, Sat 7 Sept
Clean the cobwebs off your bike and challenge yourself to the Moor 2 Sea ride this September, starting at Haldon Forest Park and with a chance to complete the challenge at any time that suits you! Not only will you be cycling through Devon’s most beautiful landscapes, but you’ll also get a lovely certificate to stick on the fridge.
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.
Words by Molly Grogan.