Unmissable performances and exhibitions at the Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature

Wildwood Kin. Picture courtesy of Fowey Festival

Wildwood Kin. Picture courtesy of Fowey Festival - Credit: Archant

This month marks the Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature – and with more than 60 exhibitions, events, talks and performances, we ask organiser Melissa Hartwell for her pick of the festival

11 May and 19 May

For the first time, the festival will open and close with live music

Wildwood Kin will open the festival. They borrow heavily from early folk influences, but their extraordinary debut album delves deeply into other genres, featuring both electric and acoustic instruments. Closing the festival, The Rails, is an acclaimed folk/rock band from London. Their debut album Fair Warning (2014) won several awards including Mojo’s folk album of the year and BBC Folk Awards Best Newcomer. This is a new innovation for us to try and introduce millennials to the festival.


12-19 May

Arts Trail

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This major event is now in its fourth year and will see more than 30 artists and makers in and around Fowey open their studios for visitors as well as show their wares in local galleries. revealing just what a huge artist community has made Fowey its home. Browse a variety of art, paintings, sculpture, ceramics, photography and paper cut art.


12 May

John Nettles, OBE

Rarely off our TV screens since his debut in the Liver Birds in 1969, the former star of Bergerac and Midsomer Murders talks candidly about his outstanding career now in its fourth decade. He should be very entertaining and this is his first time at the festival.


15 May

Ian McCarthy Wild Cornwall: Out on the Edge

Recently nominated as a finalist in the ‘Nature and Wildlife’ category of The New York Festivals World’s Best TV & Film Awards 2018, Wild Cornwall will be followed by Ian in conversation. The award-winning wildlife cameraman has worked in more than 60 countries and away from home for seven months of each year and works as a cameraman for various David Attenborough documentaries. He describes himself as a rolling stone until he came to live in Cornwall nine years ago.


16 May

Rebecca at 80

The festival celebrates the 80th anniversary of Daphne du Maurier’s most popular novel, Rebecca, named the ‘Nation’s Favourite Book’ in 2017. Dr Laura Varnum is a celebrated expert on du Maurier. She explores the continued relevance and appeal of du Maurier’s classic tale.

This is one of our many events centred around Daphne du Maurier.


16 May

Charles Spencer: To Catch a King: Charles II’s Great Escape

To Catch A King is the true story of one of the greatest escapes in British history. Join Charles Spencer today as he superbly brings to life this thrilling chapter in British history, using Samuel Pepys’s account and the wealth of new letters and diaries that have come to light in the past 50 years. He is an excellent speaker who will be stopping off at the festival on his way to his nephew’s wedding on the Saturday!


17 May

Gardener’s Question Time

Experts from the Duchy of Cornwall Nursery will be answering gardening queries as well as bringing their favourite plant. There will be experts in coastal and sub-tropical plants, houseplants, trees and shrubs, vegetables and fruit.


18 May

Sarah Wimperis – Loving Vincent

Loving Vincent is the world’s first fully painted feature film, which brings the paintings and subjects of Vincent van Gogh to life to tell his remarkable story. It follows the last few days of the Dutch master’s passionate and ill-fated life to his mysterious death in July 1890. Sarah worked with 125 artists from all over the world to produce the film.


18 and 19 May

Secret Gardens

Paired up with the Arts Trail, this is an opportunity to tour gardens only open to the public during the festival.


19 May

Children’s Comic Book Drawing Workshop

A fantastic opportunity to create your own comic strip to take home. Work with your design team to brainstorm an initial concept and create your characters. Suited to aged 8-11. All materials supplied.


19 May

Are you a Hungry Caterpillar?

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle is one of the most popular stories ever written for young children. In these interactive short sessions, children will, jump through hoops, dressed to represent each item of food eaten by the caterpillar. When they have completed the journey, they will rest in a cocoon before emerging as the butterfly! We have a children’s programme as well that goes round the schools interacting with children and this year the author will be Tracey Corderoy.

For the full brochure of events for this year’s festival and to book tickets head to: foweyfestival.com