Archives: What's On


Listening Club: Liam Byrne & Sara Mohr-Pietsch

Dartington Music Summer School & Festival presents a new series of Listening Clubs: intimate evenings exploring the art of listening through conversation and live music. Aimed at demystifying classical music and the concert experience, each event will introduce a musician appearing at our 2020 Festival. Join Artistic Director Sara Mohr-Pietsch as she launches the series with Liam Byrne, who will perform old and new work on the Renaissance viola da gamba, and discuss his practice of listening deeply to the music and secrets of the past. Liam Byrne spends most of his time playing either very old or very new music on the viola da gamba. An obsession with the instrument’s most obscure 16th and 17th century repertoire is a recurring theme in his work, whether in devising baroque performance installations for the Victoria & Albert museum, or in collaboration with the Appalachian fiddler Cleek Schrey, or creating new electronic works with Icelandic composer Valgeir Sigurðsson. Over the years, Liam has worked closely with a wide variety of musicians, from Damon Albarn to Emma Kirkby, and is a frequent guest of new music ensembles Stargaze, the London Contemporary Orchestra, and Crash Ensemble. With a background in Historical Performance and degrees from Indiana and Oxford Universities, Liam has played and recorded with many of Europe’s leading Early Music ensembles, including the Huelgas Ensemble, Dunedin Consort, The Sixteen, i Fagiolini, and the viol consorts Phantasm, Concordia, and most notably Fretwork, with whom he toured and recorded extensively for several years.

Lucky 7 Cabaret

Roll up! Roll up! The Lucky 7 Club is coming to Dartington this November for a night of burlesque and cabaret. It’s a heck of a show with classic vintage styling, old school dance moves, serious costuming, glitter and glam and thrills and spills. Carefully curated artists and performers are performing exclusively for this show in Devon, and you can expect a devil-may-care attitude and a rip-roaring, high-jinxing feast for all the senses! With a soundtrack mixing up a vintage bag of music including rockin’ garage, surf, soul, blues, mambo, rock ‘n’ roll, funk, retro sleaze, electro swing, disco and cool cheese, the joint will be jumping so book early to get a table and tickets.

Table Seats £18 | Central Rake £16 | Balcony £14 (Please contact the box office to reserve table seats, max 5 per table) We recommend an age guidance of 16+

8:00 pm We recommend an age guidance of 16+ years

Civic Hall Market

Every fourth Friday of the month there will be a new indoor market at the Civic Hall, Totnes with a collection of interesting and exciting stalls selling a variety of handmade products. Shelter from the elements and find delicious food to take away, arts & crafts, special gifts and much more. Open to visitors from 9 am - 4 pm. (Exhibitors set up from 8 am). For more information about exhibiting or visiting please contact Mairead on 01803 862147 or email

Christmas at Pennywell Farm

The whole family is caught up in the Christmas magic at Pennywell. Adults are welcome to take part in the Nativity or simply watch the delight and wonder on the children’s faces from the cosy straw bale seating, as the greatest story ever told comes to life. Picture the scene . . a magical manger setting with all the Pennywell animals, the barn twinkling with hundreds of tint lights in the many Christmas trees and carols ringing out across the farm. Every child can become a star performer of they would like to. We have the costumes to provide a host of heavenly angels, shepherds watching their sheep, wise men travelling to worship, innkeepers and of course, Mary and Joseph. The Christmas Journey continues as every child will be greeted personally by Father Christmas in his woodland grotto to receive their very special Christmas gift. A warm festive welcome then awaits in Henny Penny's Cafe where the smell of mulled wine and delicious mince pies fill the air. Sit back and enjoy a tea or coffee while the children are treated to a homemade Christmas biscuit and a soft drink. You need to allow two hours for your Pennywell Christmas experience, beginning with your Nativity performance to get you into the Christmas spirit, followed by a visit to Father Christmas and rounded off with festive refreshments. Please arrive 15 minutes before your performance, remember to wrap up warm and don't forget to bring your camera. Father Christmas arrives on Saturday 23 Nov at 9.45am. If you book this performance, arrive around 9.30am so that you are ready and wating to see him at arrive at the farm with his elves, Pennywell style. Book your tickets! Tickets for 9.45am on Sat 23, Sun 24, Sat 30 Nov and Sun 1 Dec include Breakfast with Santa. Tickets for 2.30pm on Sat 30 Nov and Sun 1 Dec include a Cream Tea with Santa.

Christmas Tree Lights Switch On – Totnes

Totnes Town Council's Christmas Tree Lights Switch On Meet Santa at our Christmas Grotto Christmas Carols from our Local Schools Free Art and Craft Tables Free Refreshments From 3.30pm Totnes Civic Hall

Illuminate Plymouth 2019

Illuminate Plymouth is a spectacular light-based festival that will help launch the Mayflower 400 anniversary year from the maritime city's historic waterfront in November 2019.
A series of dazzling installations and projections will make Plymouth shine ahead of the official commemorations, together with other Illuminate events across the Mayflower destinations.
Illuminate light festival will run from 28th November - 1st December from the festival centre at Royal William Yard, as well as light installations at the Barbican, the Waterfront and Mount Edgcumbe House and Country Park.
Royal William Yard will be transformed, showcasing projections and light art installations from local, national and international artists to provide a vibrant, fun and inspiring experience for Plymouth’s citizens and visitors alike.
The festival offers a host of workshops, installations, performances and projections with various opportunities for you to take part in activities or simply wonder at the spectacular illuminations.
This 4-day event will open the Mayflower 400 commemorations, and is inspired by the values of freedom, humanity, imagination, and future.

Illuminate Dartmouth 2019 – Dartmouth’s Opening Mayflower Event

A spectacular light festival will illuminate the south Devon coast to mark the start of the Mayflower 400 anniversary year in Dartmouth.
It is part of the Illuminate spectacular that will dazzle crowds around the globe across the Mayflower destinations.
The grand launch ceremony in Dartmouth will include  a glittering light festival with a special peal of bells ringing at St Saviour’s Church.
On Friday, November 29 in partnership with Candlelit Dartmouth there will be a Christmas Market in Avenue Garden, plus a Christmas Lights switch-on ceremony.
On Saturday, November 30, a Mayflower Ship Lantern led procession with the Torrington Cavaliers through the town will be followed by the Night of 400 Candles from 6.30-8.30pm.
It will be followed by a Mayflower family event held in St Saviour’s Church serving soup and bread, including the presentation of the Dartmouth Mayflower Anthem, Dartmouth Mayflower Peal and Songs from Safe Haven.The Mayflower Anthem. The Mayflower Anthem will establish a powerful and lasting commemoration of this momentous event. The composers have engaged the services of leading Portuguese tenor, Leonel Pinheiro, and the first DVD recording has been made. The anthem’s composer, Ed Welch, has a classical music background. After graduating, he began working for United Artists Music, and he has subsequently written over 300 pieces for film, theatre and television. Brian Patten has written the words for the anthem. He made his name in the 1960s as one of the Liverpool Poets, alongside Adrian Henri and Roger McGough. He has written over fifty poetry books for both adults and children. When the music is published, the DVDs will be sent out to choral groups  with information on how to obtain the sheet music, and the team will work towards the creation of a Mayflower chorus. We have made the Mayflower 400 Anthem available to cathedrals, schools, colleges, villages and town choirs so that communities can come together and perform their special rendition of the musical piece.
The Peal of Bells
A set of ‘Devon-style’ call changes will be composed to commemorate the Mayflower 400 events. The instructions for six or eight bells will be published and made available to towers around the UK and US, especially the trail towns and other towns and villages along the route. “Full-circle” church bellringing is a quintessentially English skill which is almost exclusively found in churches with Anglican connections.  Although church bells have been used to call people to prayer for many centuries, it has only been practised in its current form since the early 1700s.  The Pilgrims would not have heard bell-ringing as we know it today.

The REconomy Festive Gathering

Tuesday 3rd December 4-8pm at the REconomy Centre A chance to:
  1. meet the people who are working to support a strong and resilient local economy
  2. find out more about the projects that the REconomy Centre nurture and support
  3. share a mince pie with some very interesting people from your community
  4. have some fun!
Bring yourself and a bottle to: 13 Leechwell St, Totnes TQ9 5SX

Totnes Christmas Festival

Indulge this Christmas and experience Totnes at its finest on Tuesday evenings in December. South Devon’s most famed late night shopping event, now called Totnes Christmas Festival, will run from 3-9pm on 3, 10 and 17 December. Up through the Medieval High Street’s magnificent variety of shops intermingled with delightful craft vendors and delicious food and mulled wine stalls.  Buskers and carol singers will relax you into the Christmas shopping mood while the cafés and bars are open tempting you in with seasonal sparkle! There will be approximately 50-60 stalls in the main street and the Civic Square. There will also be two stages hosting live entertainment on all three nights; one will be in the Market Square and one in the Rotherfold. A free park and ride bus will be operating into town from Follaton House and coach parking is available at the Steamer Quay Car Park.  Located at the very top of the High Street through the unique Narrows, the Rotherfold will be featuring the second stage, an open mic stage available for anyone who wishes to show off their talents. Nestled amongst softly lit trees, artisanal traders and the highest quality hot food traders, The Rotherfold is the hidden gem of the Totnes Christmas Festival absolutely not to be missed.  The unique and diverse Totnes Christmas Festival, packed with an atmospheric and seasonal variety of traders, will feature bands, dancers and young local talents from the community. Add these dates to your festive diary now and you can tick off your Xmas lists in this most magical location. What’s not to love?”

Full Day Freestyle Workshop with Steve Robinson

During our ‘Freestyle’ full day workshop Steve will help you to make a large wall hanging (or curved panel to be freestanding) of 60cm x 30cm in your own design, which we’ll fire for you overnight, ready for collection the next day. Whether you already work in glass, or are a complete novice, Steve will tailor your tuition accordingly. £295 per person, booking essential.