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What’s on this month

July, let's be having you! Check out your Muddy curated guide to the coolest things to do in your hood: local eats, beats, outdoor theatre and more!

ART: Bellhouse by Roop Johnstone, Burton Art Gallery, Bideford, until Mon 12 Jul

Pic credit: Burton at Bideford

Want to know what the next 100 years of climate change sounds like? Check out BellHouse – a playful, interactive sound sculpture by Roop Johnstone, comprised of 34 ceramic bells in an open sided ‘house’. Using motion capture and robotic beaters it turns visual data – climate change data provided by climate scientists for the Climateurope Festival in 2020 – into chiming bells. For whom the bell tolls?

OUTDOORS: Devon County Show, Westpoint, Exeter Fri 2 – Sun 4

Hurrah! The pinnacle of Devon’s year for so many local country folk is actually HAPPENING – a great opportunity to really engage with our county’s livestock and food producers and its ability to have fun.

CINEMA: Dream Horse, Barn Cinema, Dartington, 1 Thurs Jul

I suspect this maybe the sort of film that my children find embarrassing (the youth don’t seem to get feel-good films) but this dramatic take on the true story of one woman’s extraordinary ambition to breed a champion racehorse looks like a corker. A great cast in Tony Collette and Damian Lewis, plus a delightful little cinema in which to watch ’em.

KIDS THEATRE: 400:a Comedy, The Drum, Plymouth, until Sun 4 Jul

One of many interpretations on the theme of 400 years since the sailing of the Mayflower, theatre troupe La Navet Bete can be relied upon to provide a wonderfully comic rendition of the tale suitable for children of all ages.

MUSIC: Let’s Rock Exeter, Powderham Castle, Kenton, POSTPONED TO SAT 11 SEPTEMBER

Finally, after over a year of ‘will we, won’t we’ the answer is YES!  Hoik out the dayglo legwarmers and slap on the eyeliner – here’s another chance to catch up with Eighties icons, including Kim Wilde, T’pau, Adam Ant and Wet, Wet, Wet. Make a day of it or book in for a spot of overnight camping.

EAT: Luciano’s, Princesshay, Exeter, opening this month…

We don’t have the exact date yet, but the absolutely gorgeous Luciano, (son of Marco Pierre White, above) is opening his restaurant in the former Carluccio’s in Princesshay. Bellissimo!

KIDS: Falconry Weekend, NT Buckland Abbey, Yelverton, Sat 3 – Sun 4 Jul

Pic credit National Trust

If you – or your young GCSE’er – wish to learn about all things Elizabethan, here’s a good place to start. Includes falconry displays, Tudor cooking on the Abbey lawn and a good excuse to nosh on a traditional hog roast.

MUSIC: Colourscape, Budleigh Music Festival, Budleigh Salterton, Fri 9 – Sat 17 Jul

Pic credit: Budleigh Music Festival

Oh hello, virtuoso! When you’re not delighting the ear with violin, cello, saxophone and piano, Budleigh Music Fest have Colourscape on 10-11, an interactive walk-in light and colour labyrinth experience for adults and kids alike.

EAT: Charred:Veg over Fire, Riverford Field Kitchen, Buckfastleigh, Thurs 8 Jul

Pic credit: Riverford Field Kitchen

When writing this I accidentally typed in ‘charred vegan over fire’ but let me assure you that no vegan will be harmed in this demo by Genevieve Taylor. As her book Charred attests, the author and BBQ expert will show barbecues do not have to feature meat to be delicious. After the demo you’ll get the chance to buy some of her books and enjoy a Riverford Field Kitchen lunch.

MUSIC: South West Soul Boat, Exmouth Marina, River Exe, Sat 10 Jul

Three hours of fresh air and groovy tunes with jazz, funk and soul and a-floating down the river Exe on the good ship, Pride of Exmouth. Min age !8, £15pp.

OUTDOOR THEATRE: Robin Hood, Powderham Castle, Kenton, Weds 13 – Fri 15 Jul

Some of the majestic trees at Powderham will be old enough to remember the stories of Robin Hood from the first time around, although this will be a more riotous retelling of the old tale courtesy of The Three Inch Fools, and what a glorious place to see it. Bring the family, a picnic, blankets etc – bow and arrow optional.

DRINK: Australian Wine Tasting, Glazebrook House, South Brent, Thurs 15 Jul

G’day from down South, South Brent be precise. And totally in the zeitgeist – get tasting those Australian wines and you will be fully prepared for the better prices when the new trade deal kicks in. £60pp including 4 course dinner and six wines.

OUTDOOR THEATRE: The Great Gatsby, NT Killerton House, Budlake nr Exeter, Thurs 15 Jul

Join Heartbreak Productions and the Nick Carraway quartet for an evening of jazz, prohibition style. Worth seeing for the costumes alone, this tale of love, obsession and wealth can be seen from the comfort of your own blanket. Charleston frocks and a daiquiri for the lady, please. Advance tickets, adult £14, child £9.

COURSE: Foraging for Beginners, Broomhill Estate, Muddiford, nr Barnstaple Sun 18 Jul

Fancy learning how to find and identify wild edibles, including herbs, medicinal plants, and mushrooms, with the Carl the host of the Self Sufficient Hub podcast?

Pic credit: Broomhill Estate

And while you’re there, do check out the sculpture – the annual National Sculpture Prize kicks off on Jul 1 – 1 Nov, featuring 10 sculptures selected by a an expert panel of artists.

DRINK: The Gin To My Tonic Festival, Exeter Corn Exchange, Fri 16 – Sat 17 Jul

Need an excuse to test out huge array of gins? No? Me neither. You even leave with a gin Explorer guide to their over 100 gins, rendering the event purely educational. £16pp.

FESTIVAL: Chagstock, Chagford, Fri 23 – 24 Jul

A family-friendly fest, and with this year’s headliners including Seasick Steve and Scouting for Girls, no wonder Ade Edmondson calls it the “best little festival in the South West”. They’ve rolled over last year’s line up with the same theme – Mardi Gras since you ask – so get stitching those feathery ‘kinis, pronto.

COMEDY: Russell Howard, Plymouth Pavilions, Fri 23 July – Sat 24 Jul

A man never too far from a TV camera is back on tour – and this time he’s going for world domination (lockdown fever bites back)! Russell’s aptly named ‘Respite’ tour should give you just that. Plenty of material to mull over during the pandemic so expect him to deal with everything from foreign policy to his fear of death.

BRIDAL: The Wedding Fair, The Grand Hotel, Torquay, Sun 25 Jul

Say I do to a day of sampling and perusing among Devon’s best wedding suppliers curated by the South West Wedding Agency.

MUSICAL COMEDY: Flo & Joan, Exeter Phoenix, Gandy St, Tues 27 Jul

Following last year’s sell-out shows at the Edinburgh Festival, London’s Soho Theatre, national UK tour and at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, musical comedy sisters Flo & Joan have a new hour of their dark and waggish songs to parade about the place.

MUSIC: Sidmouth Folk Festival, Sidmouth, Fri 30 Jul – Sat 7 Aug

A national treasure – championing folk traditions since August 1955. Kicking off with a celebratory Open Air event, primarily based at Blackmore Gardens, expect concerts, big and small, including Devon singer songwriter Seth Lakeman, plus story telling sessions, dancing and fab local food.

EAT: Summer Beach Bar, Princesshay, Exeter, until 30 Aug

Office-bound Exeterites, rejoice! Feel-good beach vibes are coming to Princesshay complete with real sand, beach-hut style thatched umbrellas, cocktails and mocktails, plus palm trees, live music and table tennis. Not sure we’re that bothered about the sand, but the cocktails? Yes please!

FESTIVAL: The Something Wild Festival, Huccaby Farm, Hexworthy nr Yelverton, Fri 30 Jul – Sun 1 Aug

Pack your trainers and yoga gear for a weekend of wild running and swimming on Dartmoor’s hidden secret spots, plus guided walks with Dartmoor’s Daughter, yoga and family forest school fun.

Words by Ashley Tremlett.

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