Things to do in Cornwall in July and August 2021

Stunning Mount’s Bay is at the heart of an art and tourism project

Stunning Mount’s Bay is at the heart of an art and tourism project - Credit: BENJAMIN ELLIOTT

Arts Trail

There’s a magical quality about an ancient submerged forest in Mount’s Bay which is occasionally uncovered at very low tides. Recalled in the name of St Michael’s Mount - Karrek Loos yn Koos - which translates as ‘Grey Rock in the Wood’, it is thought the Mount’s Bay forest reached inland before its submergence, linking what is now land and sea.

This mystical forest will now emerge once more with work by award-winning artist Emma Smith along the upgraded Penzance to Marazion Coast Path. Due to be installed this autumn, it will provide the opportunity to reflect on the bay, and its geological and ecological importance. 

A panel of experts and representatives from the local community chose Emma because they were impressed by her community engagement approach, which is at the core of her concept development. She will work in collaboration with the team at Newlyn Art Gallery and the Exchange to engage local residents in this arts trail.  

The artwork will celebrate the power of collective and shared imagination. Made up of “seeing sticks” along the path, the artwork will create the impression of clusters of trees, inviting the public to imagine the forest that was lost to the sea. Visitors to the path will be able to sit, lean and engage with the sculptures. 

‘I am excited to explore how this extraordinary geology can be collectively imagined,’ says Emma whose previous commissions have included Tate Modern, Barbican, Arnolfini and Whitechapel Gallery. ‘This will encourage conversations on local ecology and climate emergency. This location means a lot to me and I can’t wait to work with residents to realise this work.’

The arts trail is part of the EXPERIENCE project, which promotes experiential tourism and sustainable economic growth during October to March. Cornwall’s funding will support activities that encourage a sustainable cultural tourism approach, connecting visitors with the distinct historical, geographical and cultural assets of the local area. It aims to leave a positive impact for the community and visitors alike.

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The project will continue until June 2023 and has funding from the European Regional Development Fund and Cornwall Council. Cornwall is one of six areas involved in the €23.3 million project alongside Brittany, Pas-de-Calais, Compiègne, Norfolk and Kent. It is expect to increase visitor value by 5% in the off-season. 

Emily Kent, Cornwall Council’s Head of Economy, Skills and Culture, described it as ‘a visionary project that will deliver an iconic art trail for the Mount’s Bay area’. The project meets the council’s ambitions for cultural tourism and will create a legacy for generations whilst attracting visitors in a sustainable way. newlynartgallery.co.uk

September 17-19 

St Ives Food and Drink Festival

Porthmeor Beach, which is the setting for the St Ives Food and Drink Festival

Porthmeor Beach is the setting for the St Ives Food and Drink Festival - Credit: ST IVES FOOD AND DRINK FESTIVAL

Foodies will be delighted with the return of this popular festival, centred on the golden sands of Porthminster Beach, and extended to three days of music, entertainment food and drink. Normally held in May, the decision was taken to move it to mid-September. 

Last held in 2019, when it was free for the first time, it attracted over 25,000 visitors to the town. 
This year the outdoor Asado Fire Pit takes centre stage in the main demo area to deliver the thrill of authentic fire cooking whether it’s meat, fish or veg. 

There’s a great line-up of chefs taking part including Emily Scott, who recently opened her new
restaurant overlooking Watergate Bay and who cooked for the G7 delegates at the Eden Project. Others showing off their skills will be the Rick Stein Group’s Head Chef Stephane Delourme, Great British Menu finalist Jude Kereama of Kota in Porthleven, Steven Lamb of River Cottage who specialises in curing and smoking meat. 

Ross Geach of Padstow Kitchen Garden will be using ingredients grown or reared at the farm and Jeffrey Robinson of The New Yard will talk about his philosophy of a no dig garden, regenerative agriculture,
no options or a la carte menu and way of reducing waste and fuel. There’ll be a slot too for Dorian
Janmaat, Executive Chef of The Idle Rocks, with his emphasis on using produce from local businesses and fishermen.

Admission is free during the day and tickets are on sale for evening music events. stivesfoodanddrinkfestival.co.uk 

On now

Starcrazy

A still image from Miracle Theatre's new show Starcrazy.

Miracle Theatre are back on the road with Starcrazy. - Credit: KIRSTIN PRISK

Summer isn’t summer without a Cornwall tour of open air shows by local heroes Miracle Theatre. The company launched in 1979 with The Beginning of the World, an adaptation of the Cornish Ordinalia and have spent the last 40 years delighting South West audiences with shows as diverse as Shakespearean classics to The Cherry Orchard, Waiting for Godot, Treasure Island and Aladdin, their first indoor show in 1993.  

Their epic 2012 production Tin with Jenny Agutter, Dudley Sutton and singer Ben Luxon told the story of a bank swindle in the late 19th century and was filmed, enabling Miracle to reach a wider audience. It’s available online as a DVD.

After being forced to cancel all shows last year, Miracle are now back doing what they do best with a summer tour which will visit parks, gardens, grand houses, outdoor theatres, The Isles of Scilly and even an Army Barracks - a brand-new cosmic comedy, Starcrazy. 

‘It’s wonderful to be back interacting with actual people and discovering that we haven’t forgotten how to make a show,’ says director Bill Scott.
 
‘Starcrazy is about Stan, a quiet, reclusive individual, who spends a lot of time in his potting shed, tinkering with a very powerful radio transmitter. His attempts at communicating with folk in distant galaxies are interrupted by a new neighbour, Gwen, who has interests much closer to home. And sinister forces are at work – or are they just inspectors from the planning department?’

Set in October 1957, just as the Russians launch Sputnik 1, this gentle comedy about obsession, hope and the rekindling of love has been written by Bill Scott with music by Tom Adams. 

In true Miracle tradition, the shows are family friendly and you can make a real night (or day) of it with picnics before the curtain up… if there actually was a curtain!  The perfect tonic for a summer of Covid recovery. miracletheatre.co.uk

22 August 

Romeo and Juliet

William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet will be performed in the open air - Credit: IMMERSION THEATRE

Multi-award nominated Immersion Theatre have revived their critically acclaimed 2015 production of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet for a summer tour which includes a date in Cornwall. Stage Review praised the original production saying ‘Immersion provides a masterclass for theatre companies looking to update these classic stories for new audiences’.

This powerful story of forbidden love and bitter rivalry is brought to life in a visual spectacle infused with comedy, heartbreak, and danger. Moving, funny, and tragic in equal measure, this beautiful production offers Shakespeare as it’s meant to be: interactive, fun, and highly accessible. 

The production is directed by Immersion Theatre’s Artistic Director, James Tobias, who says it’s accessible for audiences, even if they are new to this classic. ‘So often, people are intimidated by Shakespeare; they think they won’t understand it or they had a bad experience of it at school and think it’s boring, however, this could not be further from the truth. Shakespeare is hugely exciting and above all, easy to understand when done well.
‘We pride ourselves on creating adaptations which are exciting, easy to understand, and pack a real punch which is why we’re so proud of our reputation as a company which creates truly accessible Shakespeare.’

Romeo and Juliet is at Penlee Park on 22 August. Book online at penleeparktheatre.com

July 16-August 27

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

An enchanting tale of magical mix-ups and forest fairies, retold for ages 5 to 95 by John Brolly. He plays mischievous Robin Goodfellow who relives the chaos and confusion of the Duke of Athens’ wedding party when four crazy, mixed-up lovers become entangled with the King of the fairies and his queen.  Meanwhile the most famous amateur theatre company in the world are doing their best to put on a show. 

Following hot on the heels of The Tempest in a Teacup, Umbrella Arts are back with this latest mixture of Shakespearean madness.  John Brolly is the ‘master of the one man show’ and has taken storytelling to a new level with this version of one of the Bard’s most popular plays. 

This is the perfect introduction to Shakespeare for young people and a wonderful alternative way to experience this story for everyone.  There are performances at the Minack Theatre throughout the summer.  minack.com

July 

Scary Cinema

A still advertising Scary films to be shown in Bodmin Jail

Scary films have the perfect setting in Bodmin Jail - Credit: BODMIN JAIL

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, Bodmin Jail has launched a summer schedule of paranormal horror classic films such as The Nun, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, IT and See No Evil on Thursday nights. And if that wasn’t scary enough, the screenings are followed by one of the jail’s unique and intriguing Paranormal Tours.

The tour reveals the dark, sinister and violent history of the jail where, over the centuries, 35,000 prisoners experienced confinement with torturous punishment, monotonous labour and hanging for those committing the most heinous crimes.  The walls are home to a dark and disturbing legacy, and as a result it is undeniably the most haunted place in the whole of the UK.

It is not for the faint-hearted, yet visitors will be in safe hands with Kirsten Honey, a specialist in paranormal investigation with extensive knowledge of medical, forensic, biological and psychological science. Scary cinema nights are just one in a number of activities at Bodmin Jail. Others include the After Dark paranormal experience, the Dark Walk and historical tours in and around Bodmin, as well as a variety of special events throughout the year.

Bodmin Jail has had an £8.5 million-pound investment to create a quirky boutique hotel and a visitor attraction which offers a fully immersive experience designed to educate, entertain and open the minds of every visitor who intrepidly sets foot through its gates bodminjail.org 

September 5 
Tour of Britain

Cornish cyclists Steve Lampier and Chris Opie from Saint Piran Pro Cycling practice

Cornish cyclists Steve Lampier and Chris Opie from Saint Piran Pro Cycling get some practice in - Credit: PICTURE: TOUR OF BRITAIN

The newly-refurbished Victorian promenade in Penzance will be centre stage for the start of this year’s Tour of Britain cycling race. Stage One of the race will leave Penzance and travel through St Just, St Ives, Hayle, Camborne, Pool, Redruth, Falmouth, Penryn, Truro, Newquay and St Austell before the finish in Bodmin 112 miles later.
 
It’s the first visit for the modern Tour of Britain to Cornwall, but the Milk Race – a semi-professional forerunner of the Tour of Britain – was held in Penzance in 1992.
  
Among the teams already confirmed for the Tour of Britain are the Cornwall-based Saint Piran squad who will be making their debut in the race.  The free-to-watch sporting spectacular features Olympic, world and Tour de France champions, and attracts a roadside audience of over 1.5m spectators as the action moves through the country to the finish in Aberdeen on September 12. cornwalltourofbritain.co.uk


 
September 19

Coldplace 

Anyone missing music festivals this summer will love tribute band Coldplace, who recreate the atmospheric performances of festival favourites Coldplay. Expect an explosive performance, complete with confetti canons and a laser light show.

Coldplace began 16 years ago when a group of Coldplay fans got together to play their music. Since then they have performed over 800 gigs in more than 30 countries. They are keen to create an authentic atmosphere when performing songs from their heroes, who have been together for 25 years and whose hits include Yellow, Clocks, Fix You and The Scientist.

Other tribute shows at The Regal Redruth include The Little Mix Experience (September 12), a Beach Boys tribute (September 16), Bye Bye Baby with the songs of Frankie Valli (October 7) and the Bob Marley Experience (October 15).

merlincinemas.co.uk

August 27-29

The Great Estate

This thrilling festival, now in its fifth year, has moved to the August Bank Holiday weekend when it promises to pack a punch with headliners Razorlight, Sugarhill Gang and Dutty Moonshine Big Band over the three nights alongside acts such as St Ives singer songwriter Bailey Tomkinson, Welsh rockers Goldie Lookin Chain, Mother Vulture  and EZPZ.

At this family friendly festival you’ll also find also comedy, theatre, classical music and the arts plus an eclectic mix of attractions including a secret gin garden, a vintage fairground, circus entertainment, silent discos, a Victorian sports day and glamping hot tubs. There are street food stalls and bars throughout the site. Weekend camping is available in the grounds of Scorrier House, near Redruth, where the festival is held. greatestatefestival.co.uk

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