Our guide to what’s on across the UK in August 2017
The sun has got his hat on (ish) and there’s a Bank Holiday on the horizon – what’s not to love about August?
Whether you’re at home or away, there’s plenty going on this month across the country. From festivals, to outdoor events, to museums and creative pursuits, check out the action in our Futon Company What’s On Guide and see what’s happening across the UK in August 2017….
Edinburgh International Festival
Every August, the festival transforms one of the world’s most beautiful cities, presenting three exhilarating weeks of the finest creators and performers from the world of arts. The city’s six major theaters and concert halls, a few smaller venues, and some unconventional ones too, come alive with the best music, theatre, opera and dance from around the globe. 4th-28th August.
Edinburgh Art Festival
The UK’s largest annual celebration of visual arts, attracting over 250,000 visitors each year, the Art Festival brings together the capital’s leading galleries and museums and artist-run spaces, alongside new public art commissions by established and emerging artists and an innovative program of special events. Running now until 27th August.
The Tomb@ Ancient Egyptian Burial
The Tomb is at the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh Old Town, from now until 3rd September 2017. It was constructed in the great city of Thebes shortly after the reign of Tutankhamen for the Chief of Police and his wife. It was looted and reused several times, leaving behind a collection of beautiful objects from various eras. These are on display at the exhibition alongside objects found in nearby tombs, giving a sense of how burial in ancient Egypt changed over time. The tomb’s final use occurred shortly after the Roman conquest of Egypt, when it was sealed intact with the remarkable burials of an entire family.
The Luna Cinema
The Luna Cinema returns to Chiswick House and Gardens in August for three special evenings of cinema, transforming the 18th century gardens into the ultimate setting for three nights of spectacular cinema under the stars. The Luna Bar with Estrella will be onsite serving a full selection of drinks including beer and prosecco. Doors open at 7pm and films start at 8.45pm. 8th August – Breakfast at Tiffany’s, 9th August – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, 10th August – Notting Hill.
Chiswick Food Market
Open every Sunday, come rain or shine, from 10am to midday at Dukes Meadows Trust Pavilion Car Park W4 2RX, the market is a social enterprise and proceeds made from running it are used to improve and maintain both the local meadows and the surrounding riverside area. Features around 25 top producers from around the country.
Manchester didn’t know what hit it when Sexhibition announced it was bringing Fifty Shades of Grey to the city, with their three-day celebration of all things erotica. Visitors are invited to indulge in shows, performances, music, workshops, shopping and meet-and-greets at Victoria Warehouse from 19th-21st August.
Hot on the heels of a record-breaking, critically acclaimed West End run, this ‘utterly irresistible’ new production of Funny Girl stars award-winning Sheridan Smith as Fanny Brice. 7th-19th August at the Palace Theatre.
Manchester Pride’s Big Weekend
The Big Weekend boasts an entertainment line-up including Melanie C, Louisa Johnson, Saara Sofia Aalto and many others in Manchester’s Gay Village. 25th-28th August. manchestertheatres.com
If you can steal yourself away from the lakeside spa, fancy banquets and champagne bar, catch Grace Jones, Bonobo and Two doors Cinema Club. Cornbury Park 3rd-6th August.
The Big Feastival
Rick Stein, Nathan Outlaw and Antonia Carluccio do cheffy stuff on the Blur bassist Alex James’s farm. You, meanwhile, can soak up the sounds of De La Soul, Madness and Hacienda. Classical with some fine wine. Kingham.
The Literary Tent at Wilderness Festival
From high-end supper clubs to trapeze shows and unforgettable parties in the woods, Wilderness is a way of escaping everyday life, if just for a weekend. Their bookish offering, housed in its own Literary Tent, will feature takeovers from major publishers, talks and master classes. Cornbury Park 3rd-6th August.
Raphael: The Drawings
A vast exhibition of Raphael’s drawings at the Ashmolean Museum offers the chance to access his work anew. And what an exhibition. Featuring 120 works, it charts his progress over two decades, from late teens till his premature death aged 37. From now until September 3rd.
Contained in a gorgeous building across from the Randolph Hotel, theAshmolean has paintings, coins, musical instruments and antiques, statues of deities and a must see Egyptian exhibition. Open every day. Free admission.
Dinomania at Bristol Zoo
Experience close-up encounters with a lifelike Tyrannosaurus Rex, Stegosaurus and Giganotosaurus in Bristol Zoo’s thrilling walk-through exhibit. Become a dino detective while exploring and completing the trail, visit the ‘Dino Hub’ and take part in a fossil dig, meet dinosaur experts from The Bristol Dinosaur Project and get involved in a number of interactive dino-themed activities.
Skeletons: Our Buried Bones at M Shed
Twelve human skeletons from Bristol and London, each with a unique story to tell. A young man buried without ceremony in South Gloucestershire 3,500 years ago. A Roman couple found in a single stone coffin and a child from a Victorian burial ground. They reflect society’s rich and varied past and the changing face of the places we live and work in today. The exhibition is a collaboration between Wellcome Collection and The Museum of London, showing at Bristol’s M Shed from now until 3rd September.
Lace in Fashion
Designer pieces and those worn by royalty rub shoulders at Bath Fashion Museum – just a 15 minute train journey from Bristol. On show from now until January 2018.
Nottingham Riverside Festival 2017
Nottingham’s biggest and most popular free festival weekend is back from 4th-6th August. Offering three days of fabulous family entertainment, this is a one-off fun festival covering one mile along the banks of the River Trent, at Victoria Embankment.
Robin Hood Festival
Now in its 33rd year, the festival is held within the magical setting of Sherwood Forest and this year takes place from 31st July until 6th August. The free fun-filled festival has something for all ages, with a host of costumed characters and entertainers.
Take a tour to experience the caves at Nottingham Castle for yourself, learning on the way the gruesome tales of Roger Mortimer, King David II of Scotland, or you may be able to take a tour with Robin Hood himself…With some of the caves dating back to medieval times, the tour is strenuous with LOTS of steep steps. However, for those who wish to descend through hundreds of years the tour is a must. Tours last approximately 30-40 minutes. Costs £5 per person plus normal castle entry. Tours run all year round.
Outdoor film season Moonlight Flicks is back at Roman Gardens. Join a host of Hollywood greats and have yourself a magical night of movies under the stars. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the prequel that sets up the whole story, with the rebel alliance plotting to steal the plans for the Death Star. Showing 1st, 9th, 17th and 25th August.
Chester Pride 2017
Pride comes to Castle Square on August 19th to celebrate diversity and the lesbian, gay and transgender community.
Julius Ceaser at Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre
In an age of political uncertainty and controversial leaders, Shakespeare’s immortal thriller is given new reverence and a contemporary twist. Loyalty collides with ambition in the ultimate tale of popular leadership, rise to power and winning over the people. Tickets from £19.50. Until 27th August.
TOTTENHAM COURT ROAD
Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
Nestled amid the splendour of London’s prettiest park, this unique theater hosts a full program of plays every summer. Watch Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, a novel about the French Revolution, adapted in magical surroundings from now until 5th August.
Hokusai Beyond the Great Wave
Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) is widely regarded as one of Japan’s most famous and influential artists. He produced works of astonishing quality right up until his death at the age of 90. This new exhibition will lead you on an artistic journey through the last 30 years of his life – at a time when he produced some of his most memorable masterpieces. Showing at The British Museum from now until 13th August.
Ancient Egyptian Day
Spend the day at Chiddlestone Castle learning more about the mysteries of Ancient Egypt in this wonderful Kent castle. There will be something for all ages on Egyptian Day, including handling objects 3000 years old and listening to talks by a Professor of Egyptology. Meet Iretheru – that’s the newly-discovered name of the 2600 year old mummy that would have been inside the Castle’s Ancient Egyptian coffin lid exhibited on the Great Hall Gallery. 13th August.
Jazz on the Pantiles
Live jazz at the Bandstand every Thursday from 7pm throughout summer in 2017.
Guided Walking Tour
Meet every Saturday and Thursday from now until September 2017 at the Tourist Information Centre in the Corn Exchange and learn all about the historic spa town of Royal Tunbridge Wells in a one hour guided stroll through the Pantiles and the historic heart of the town. Visit King Charles and the Martyr Church, paid for by public subscription, and see the original lodging houses in the village area of the town. Discover the town’s 400 year history and hear about the famous visitors – from Queen Anne to Samuel Pepys – who made Tunbridge Wells the place in which to see and be seen.
British Firework Championships
The world famous British Firework Championships is set to return to Plymouth’s Waterfront 9th-10th August.
Plymouth Pride Festival 2017
This year’s Festival will take place on Plymouth Hoe on Saturday 5th August in partnership with events production company PL1 Events who will help to build on the success of previous Prides. Once again the amazing vista of Plymouth Sound and the iconic Smeaton’s Tower will form the perfect backdrop for the event. Expect to see musicians, singers, bands, bar, fun fair, inflatables, face painting and much more.
Ocean City Blues N Jazz Festival
The Ocean City Jazz Festival returns for a second year to The Barbican, Plymouth, from 11th-13th August. Acts include Pete Canter Quartet, The Rumble Strutters, The Ronnie Jones Quartet, Sons of the Delta, History of Lies, Great Western Jazz, Far from the Delta and Finish.
No festival packs more pop than V. Ellie Goulding, Craig David and Stormzy play, but Pink is set to steal the show. August 19th and 20th at Weston Park/ Hylands Park.
Take part in Farleigh Hospice’s brand new fun run! The family friendly 5k has four bubble stations situated around the route. Cannons will be blowing out heaps of bubbles to cover you in colourful foam! 6th August at Central Park.
Farmers & Crafts Market
Set in the beautiful surroundings of the Stables Visitor Centre at Hylands House, the wonderful Farmers & Crafts Market features a growing number of craft stalls and local farmers who are passionate about food. They sell a range of specialist foods including organic, locally grown seasonal vegetables, fine sausages and bacon, homemade cakes, fudge and pastries, pies and fantastic cheeses, homemade Indian foods and spices, locally grown plants and sweets and candyfloss for children. Held the first Sunday of every month from now until December, from 10am-4pm.
Cambridge Thai Festival
Now in its second year, Cambridge Thai Festival returns to Parker’s Piece on 5th and 6th August. This two day event is the perfect place to enjoy yourself, taste Thai food and take part in traditional dance. Featuring several performances including Ladyboy Show, Thai traditional costume parade, live cooking demonstrations and more.
Cambridge Shakespeare Festival
The Festival has become a significant cultural event in the region and can expect to attract upwards of 25,000 visitors for the productions which runs throughout August. Attracting a diverse audience, the Festival has acquired a national and international dimension. This year’s shows include Antony and Cleopatra, Much Ado About Nothing, All’s Well That Ends Well, Hamlet, The Merry Wives of Windsor, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, King Lear and Romeo and Juliet.
From Kabal to Kolkaya: Highlights of Indian painting in the Fitzwilliam Museum
The Fitzwilliam’s second exhibition to mark the 70th anniversary of Indian independence showcases a selection of Indian miniature paintings and drawings, ranging in date from the 16th to 19th century. The exhibition will include works produced under the patronage of the Mughai dynasty and other princely rulers, as well as several acquired by early British patrons and collectors in India. The exhibition forms part of the University of Cambridge Museums’ India Unboxed program. Open now until 3rd September.
Paul Nash (1889-1946) is among the most important British artists of the first half of the 20th century and a key figure of Modern Art in Britain. Renowned as an official war artists in both the First and Second World Wars, Nash was fascinated by British landscapes and ancient history. Inspired by these influences, he interpreted his environment in a very unique and personal way that evolved throughout his career. Organised by Tate Britain this exhibition will be on display at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, University of East Anglia, NR4 7TJ from 8th-20th August.
Picturehouse Outdoor Screenings
The San Miguel Picturehouse Pop-Up is heading to Plantation Gardens, Norwich, this summer for a weekend of outdoor cinema. The screenings take place in the open, but seating is not provided. There will be cardboard ‘bumbox’ seating for sale but feel free to bring along small picnic chairs. There is a licensed area. Films include: La La Land (17th August), Clueless (18th August), Hunt for the Wilderpeople (19th August) and North by Northwest (20th August).
Musical Theatre Week
Learn about the West End and Broadway theatre and discover your hidden talents. Led by Cat Chapman you’ll rehearse specially selected material from the world of theatre, including scenes, speeches and songs from famous musicals. This intensive, one week course offers training in acting, singing and dance, working towards a one-off performance at Stage Two. Theatre Royal Norwich 14th-18th August.
Shaping the Body
This major exhibition looks at how body shape has changed over the past 500 years through diet, culture, fashion and lifestyle. From 18th century bum rolls, through to the Victorian hour glass figure, the punks of the 70s and the perms of the 80s, see how our bodies have been shaped and designed through choices we make and the consequences of our lifestyle. York Castle Museum’s extensive collection of costume, social history, archaeology and art will highlight how the perfect height and weight have fluctuated in different periods, and how economic circumstances and cultural ideas impact on fashion. Meet the people who have pushed their bodies to the limits to gain the look they crave and find out about the dangerous fashions such as extra tight corsets, high heels and even poisonous dresses! This thought-provoking and fascinating exhibition will challenge the notion of the perfect body. From now until 25th January 2018.
National Railway Museum
A new exhibition trail by Geraldine Pilgrim Performance. From Agatha Christie’s The Girl on the Train, the railways have provided us with the perfect setting for a thrilling crime story. Come along for a brand new Mystery on the Rails Season between now and 3rd September to uncover the special place railways have in mystery and detective fiction, solve the mystery of The Missing Passenger and discover a wealth of real-life tales of audacious robberies, petty thefts and notorious criminals.
York Famers Market
York’s monthly Famers Market celebrates the best of local produce, including meat, eggs, bread and oils as well as selling non-food gifts including pottery and woollen goodies. The Farmers Market joins the city’s regular market at the Shambles on the last Friday of every month. Fresh goods sold here are grown, reared, caught, brewed, pickled, baked, smoked or processed by the stallholders within a 40-mile radius of York.
Just a bus ride from Battersea, the Globe Theatre is the must-see Emma Rice production of Twelfth Night, part of the Globe’s Theatre’s Summer of Love season, which will also see flowers planted in the theater’s thatched roof.
The Science Museum’s new Robots exhibition tells the evolution of our little metal friends, from 16th century mechanical monks to R2-D2 and beyond. 1010020101212 (says ES Magazine 3rd March) – apparently that’s robot for “come down”…Tickets £15. From now until 3rd September.
Diana: Her Fashion Story
The cultural tributes to Princess Diana have often felt overshadowed by the sound of the queen of our hearts turning in her grave (let us run swiftly past the paddling pool in Hyde Park and fast forward through the ghastly Naomi Watts biopic, says grazia.co.uk). So respect, as they say, is due, with this exhibition at Kensington Palace. Twenty years on from her death, Diana: Her Fashion Story, walks through her wardrobe as a starting point for analysing the arresting grip the princess held on popular culture. Few knew so instinctively how to harness the power of visual image. Diana made stars of her wedding dress designers David and Elizabeth Emanuel, then her favourite portraitist, Mario Testino, and hairdresser Sam Knight. No one has used power dressing as quite the armour Diana did. So an exhibition of her clothes is not really about fashion at all. It’s about a very specific female energy and power to connect on every level, channelled through one woman. The Exhibition is open now at Kensington Palace until 24th February 2019.
Brighton & Hove Pride are proud to announce that the legendary Pet Shop Boys are to headline the Pride Summer of Love Festival in Preston Park on Saturday 5th August in their first Pride performance in 20 years. Special guests will be Years & Years. Also playing are Becky Hill, M.O, Fickle Friends and KStewart.
Brighton Marina Big Screen & Pop Up Park
Brighton Marina Square plays host to the excitement of Wimbledon and films galore throughout August. Enjoy strawberries and ice cream and relax in the pop up park. Some mornings there are also kiddies clubs where Cbeebies will be screened.
G Live Creative Arts Week
This summer’s Creative Arts Week is inspired by all the fun of the circus. Over the course of the week, from 7th-11th August, work with circus ensemble Silver Linings to learn skills in acrobatics, trapeze, hoop diving, street dancing and much, much more. At G Live.
On August 11th, RHS Wisley Garden will open until 9pm (last entry 8pm), with entertainment and food. The perfect way to while away a summer evening. RHS Garden Wisley GU23 6QB.
Guildford Farmers Market
Held on the first Tuesday of every month. While the High Street Setts are being repaired, the Farmers Market will relocate to the Leapale Road Surface Car Park. Buy high quality, fresh, local produce directly from over 50 local farmers and producers. Try the best seasonal produce and ask questions about growing, rearing, manufacture and cooking methods. Enjoy the freshest meat, fish, cheese, eggs, fruit and vegetables and breads.
Sidmouth Folk Week
Sidmouth Folk Week is a unique week-long seaside celebration of music, dance and song taking place in the charming East Devon regency coastal resort – a must in every festival goers annual diary. There has been a folk festival in Sidmouth in the first week of August every year since 1995, attracting tens of thousands of visitors to over 700 diverse events with a promise of ‘something for everyone’ – from major league concerts to small intimate sessions, from ceilidh dancing to lively roots parties, from family entertainment to youth-centred master classes. 4th-11th August.
Westpoint – Paignton Championship Dog Show The Paignton Championship
Dog Show returns to Westpoint from 1st-4th August. The event is a qualifying show for Crufts and an ideal opportunity to meet Champion dogs and dog lovers alike. The show will exhibit 163 breeds of dog. Agility will be taking place on all four days and obedience classes will be held on the last day of the show.
A car ride from Exeter is Beautiful Days. Expect a village-fair feel at this sponsorship-free six-stager, where youngsters can do drama and craft workshops or try their little hands at circus skills. Levellers and Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott top the bill. 18th-20th August.
Foodies Festival returns to Alexandra Palace for the Bank Holiday weekend celebrating all things food, drink and wellbeing with Michelin Star Chefs and MasterChef winners cooking their favourite recipes and giving top tips, pop up restaurants, a Healthy Living Zone and a live music stage hosting exciting new bands. 26th-28th August.
The fabulous street food and craft beer festival is back on 19th and 20th August at Alexandra palace. The perfect meeting place for foodies and craft beer lovers alike.
A terrifying encounter with an escaped convict forever changes the life of the orphaned Pip. Turning his back on his humble beginnings, he strives to better himself and become a gentleman, unaware of the hidden dangers that await him. This ingenious adaptation of Dicken’s celebrated novel is brought to The Rose Theatre by Ciaran McConville on 25th and 26th August.
Pride and Prejudice
A wealthy bachelor arrives in town with his dashing friend and Mrs Bennett becomes set on marrying off her eldest daughter. But when her second daughter meets Mr Darcy, their equally headstrong natures get in the way of true love. Presented by Rose Youth Theatre in the stunning gardens of Manor House School. 2nd and 3rd August.
Encounters with the Tudors: Heads, Hearts and Heresy
Step into the dangerous declining years of Henry VIII’s reign. Hampton Court Palace is alive with plots and intrigue. Once favoured courtiers have fallen, even queens have faced divorce or death. Choose your enemies, choose your friends but choose wisely. Lose your heart and you might just lose your head. Immerse yourself in the stories of Henry VIII’s magnificent Hampton Court Palace through a series of up-close encounters with the people who created history. You may even see the King himself! Thursdays-Mondays from now until 28th August.