What's On in Cornwall, July 2022

A large stage is lit with colourful strobe lights as a band perform

The popular Leopallooza Festival returns to North Cornwall - Credit: Adam Short

We reveal all the amazing things happening across the county this month.

Festivals and Shows

1. Penzance Literary Festival

The Penzance Literary Festival is back before live audiences with an impressive programme of fascinating events in some of the town’s most iconic buildings. It offers a vibrant mix of author talks, performance poetry, interviews, signings, workshops, tours, and outreach events.

Author and Festival Patron, Patrick Gale, will be taking to the Acorn stage for two special events about Charles Causley – alongside folk singer Jim Causley, combining chat with song - and in conversation with acclaimed travel writer Tim Hannigan. Patrick, who wrote Mother’s Boy about Causley’s early years, will share fascinating insights into the Launceston poet’s life.

Penzance-born author and travel writer Tim Hannigan will question the direction of travel writing in the 21st century. Tim will share stories and conversations with some of the greatest living travel writers and will explore the genre’s often murky past.

For information on the festival (July 6-9) go to pzlitfest.co.uk.

2. The Falmouth Cringe

Most Read

Cornwall is to get a new comedy festival with more than 20 performances at six independent venues in Falmouth to showcase talent from across the country and nurture and champion homegrown comedians.

The Falmouth Cringe will give audiences in Cornwall the opportunity to enjoy high quality comedy at a new fringe style comedy festival, with four headline gigs taking place during the weekend alongside a variety of new and exciting acts. There’s also plenty for families to enjoy.

Falmouth Cringe is June 30 to July 3. Book tickets online at falmouthcringe.com.

Three acrobats stand on each other's shoulders in front of a crowd

The popular Leopallooza Festival returns to North Cornwall - Credit: Adam Short

3. Leopallooza 

This popular festival promises a stellar line-up for 2022 to make up for the missing shows during the pandemic. Synthy indie dance act Metronomy, who were originally due to headline in ill-fated 2020, will bring the party on Friday night, with polemic lyricists Sleaford Mods topping the Saturday night bill.
And Sunday will be a soulful, dreamy affair with folky R&B vibes from Lianne La Havas, wrapping up the weekend of music, comedy, theatre and  family fun.

Leopallooza has evolved over the past 16 years into a sprawling vision of arts, comedy, theatre and music, all taking place on its own hand built  permanent site. It’s the first UK festival to ban single use plastics, including straws, cups and bottles on their bars, there’s a zero landfill policy and bespoke stages built from reclaimed, locally-sourced materials.

Leopallooza is at The Wyldes near Bude July 22-24. For information go to leopallooza.com.

4. Camborne Show

One of Cornwall’s best loved one-day agricultural shows returns after a two-year Coronavirus enforced hiatus and 80 years after the first show was held. It will be staged on 50 acres of land perched atop Cornwall’s north coast cliffs, close to Hell’s Mouth that offers panoramic views across St Ives Bay and out over the Atlantic.

The show is a celebration of Camborne’s rural heritage and the committee has worked hard over the past few years to improve the show which has resulted in a rise in competitive entries and trade stands, now nearly 100. They have also added a well-supported and popular vintage vehicle section.

Camborne Show’s busy schedule of competitions include a horse section, which boasts national qualifier classes, a dog show, showing jumping, cattle, goat, sheep, poultry, horticulture, and domestic and craft sections.

For more information, visit camborne-show.org.uk.

Music

1. Saltines

A best-selling book has inspired a magical collaboration between the author and folk giants The Gigspanner Big Band. Raynor Winn’s The Salt Path is her memoir of walking the South West Coast Path in its entirety. Her walk was an impulsive response to unexpected circumstances which left her and her husband, Moth, homeless in their 50s. The Salt Path and its sequel The Wild Silence have sold over a million copies worldwide.

Together, Raynor and the Gigspanner Big Band will celebrate what she described as ‘630 uninterrupted miles of coastline, crossing wild headlands with the calls of oystercatchers, and the smell of salt laden air ever present’.

Characterised by riotous inventiveness, technically gifted individual playing and subtle collaborative interaction, this coming together of several of the biggest names on the folk-roots scene combines a deep knowledge of roots traditions with a ceaselessly boundary pushing approach.

Saltlines is at St Endellion Church on July 10, The Princess Pavilions, Falmouth, on July 12 and The Minack, Porthcurno, on July 16.

The band stand in a row on reddish stone

Folk group the Gigspanner Big Band with (right) Raynor Winn - Credit: Elly Lucas

Theatre and Talks

1. Wild Swimming

Organisers of The North Cornwall Book Festival in September are getting audiences in the mood with a series of Author Tours, which include Sophie Pierce and Matt Newbury who have written a series of books about wild swimming and walking.

They will reminisce about their adventures writing Wild Swimming Walks Cornwall in the most unexpected of years at three venues in July. From lockdowns, to not being allowed over the border, and even a few research trips that went dramatically wrong, Sophie and Matt will share some amusing anecdotes behind their best-selling book.

Sophie Pierce and Matt Newbury will talk about their Wild Swimming Walks books on July 21 at St Endellion Hall, on July 22 at Edge Of The World Bookshop, Penzance, and on July 23 at The Poly, Falmouth.

For information about these dates and the North Cornwall Book Festival (September 22-25) go to ncornbookfest.org.

2. Julius Caesar

Penlee Park is preparing for a summer season of entertainment which opens in July with a production of Julius Caesar from Shakespeare’s Globe as part of their Globe on Tour series. It’s their only venue in Cornwall. 

Conspiracy to kill, cunning rhetoric, a divisive fight for Greatness: Ancient Rome has never felt closer to home. When Cassius and Brutus decide Rome’s leader Caesar poses a political threat to their beloved country, there’s only one solution... Shakespeare’s Globe and award-winning director Diane Page bring this brutal tale of ambition, incursion, and revolution to life.

There are more than 80 events in the season including many shows suitable for families and young children such as The Three Musketeers (July 26) and Peter Rabbit (August 3). There’s more Shakespeare in the form of Cornwall-based Miracle Theatre’s King Lear (July 15 and 16) and Illyria Theatre’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (July 22).

Julius Caesar is at Penlee Park Theatre on July 7 and 8 (when there is also a matinee). For information about this and other shows, go to penleeparktheatre.com.

A crowd watch as a group of singers perform on an outdoor stage surrounded by trees

The Fisherman’s Friends perform at Penlee Park - Credit: Penlee Park Theatre

3. Much Ado About Nothing

Sun & Moon Theatre are touring Cornwall this summer with a joyous, emotional and vibrant production of Much Ado About Nothing, one of Shakespeare’s best loved comedies.

It's 1945, the war has ended, and Messina’s young men have returned ready for peace, celebration and... romance? Hero and Claudio are in love and engaged to be married, while Beatrice and Benedick are in a perpetual ‘merry war’, engaged in battles of wits and wills. But not everyone has come back unscathed, not all scars are visible, and the spread of misinformation has its consequences...

Suitable for all ages, enjoy a stirring performance of Shakespeare’s boldest and most enduring romantic comedy with live music.

Sun & Moon Theatre are at Mevagissey Jubilee Hall on July 9, Cardinham Woods Café Garden in Bodmin on July 23 and St Austell Arts Centre on August 19. For information go to sunandmoontheatreuk.com.

4. Bedruthan Hotel Season

A spectacular meadow overlooking the glittering bay of Mawgan Porth will form a stunning backdrop for outdoor theatre performances at the 
Bedruthan Hotel this summer. The Bedruthan’s unique clifftop location (usually known for its scenic sensory spa garden) will be transformed into a beach side outdoor theatre, welcoming families, couples and theatre fans alike for a bite of culture as the sun sets.

There are performances of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (July 19), family friendly shows The Reluctant Dragon (July 23) and Rapunzel (August 12), crime mystery Much Ado About Murder (August 16) when the audience can play detective and Cinderella (August 23).

Bespoke picnic hampers can be bought with show tickets.

For details go to bedruthan.com/events.