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What’s On in the Deodora? The Culture Diary

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What’s On in the Deodora? The Culture Diary

Don't miss the best cultural events in the UK during the month...


What’s on this week in the countryside and the UK beyond London? Wonder no more! Find out all the hottest show openings, new art exhibitions, restaurants to book into and more. (Or if reading this is all too much, .) Here’s your culture guide to the month ahead…

Looking for events in London? Check out our Town Culture Diary

What’s On in the Deodora this Month? August 2018

1 August

Biennial Benchmarch

Biennial Benchmarch

Agnes Varda Ulysse (film still, 1982)

Beautiful world, where are you?, the 10th edition of the Liverpool Biennial, features artists and their reflections on a world in social political and economic turmoil. The largest festival of contemporary art in the UK boasts 40 artists, including Ryan Gander and Angès Varda, across Liverpool’s public spaces and galleries. 14 July – 28 October, .

1 August

Helaine Blumenfeld at Ely Cathedral

If the 900-year-old Ely Cathedral in Cambridge wasn’t already an attraction, Helaine Blumenfeld’s large-scale sculpture installation has certainly made it one. Entitled Tree of Life to reflect humanity’s complexities 17 bronze and marble sculptures comprise the exhibition throughout the cathedral and grounds. 13 July – 28 October, .

A Universe Full of Stars, Northumberland

Kielder Observatory

Questions of the universe have occupied philosophers and astrologers throughout the ages. Gary Fildes, founder of the Kielder Observatory in Northumberland (which turns ten this year), will show you our unique position in the cosmos through his telescopes – as the third largest protected Dark Sky reserve in the world, it’s the best place for stargazing in the UK. Until 16 November, 

2 August

The Three Wheel Drive Festival

As far as DIY festivals go, you will be hard pushed to find one that embodies the ‘let’s pitch in together’ spirit more than the this summer. The Hampshire based festival returns for a second instalment, promising to recreate the warm organic atmosphere of the first. Expect a carefully curated three day line-up of bands, DJs, food, and art. The  certainly merits a spot in your summer calendar.
2 – 5 August, 

3 August

The Duchess of Malfi, Stratford-Upon-Avon

The Duchess of Malf

Whoever said blood was thicker than water can’t have seen The Duchess of Malfi. Sibling rivalry takes on an even darker subtext in John Webster’s macabrely comic tragedy. The Royal Shakespeare Company’s modern dress version, directed by Maria Aberg at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon, is unafraid to depict the graphic and inventive violence of the original script. 1 March – 3 August,

4 August

Yves Klein Exhibition at Blenheim Palace

Head down to the historic Blenheim Palace this summer to see over fifty works by the visionary French artist, Yves Klein. Delving into the unique setting of the country house, the exhibition coincides with what would have been the year of the artists 90th birthday. Expect to see themes of beauty, sensibility and the sublime in one of the most comprehensive exhibitions of his work ever seen. 18 July – 7 October,.

5 August

Edinburgh Art Festival

Edinburgh Art Festival, Shilpa Gupta artwork

At this year’s Edinburgh Art Festival, Ruth Ewan collaborates with Marxist magician Ian Saville. The pair will infiltrate the streets of Edinburgh with ‘societally engaged magic tricks’ while artists like Adam Lewis Jacob will present a moving image installation inspired by JG Ballard’s Kingdom Come. 26 July to 26 August,

10 August

West Dean’s Chilli Fiesta

West Dean's Chilli Fiesta

Try as you may, it will be difficult to keep your cool amid all the spicy food demonstrations, live Latin music, 140 stalls offering everything chilli, chilli gardening workshops at Chilli Fiesta in West Sussex. Those looking for serious chill time have camping options in the grounds of West Dean. 10-12 August, 

11 August

Beyond Time at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Beyond Time at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

The 18th-century chapel at Yorkshire Sculpture Park will be transformed with 2,000 balls of white wool into an immersive installation, Beyond Time, which draw on the history of the building and honours its architectural elements. Chiharu Shiota’s works reference life, death ad belonging, themes fittingly displayed in an old chapel. 30 March to 2 September,

12 August

Faces of Change: Votes for Women, Nationwide

The National Trust and the Portrait Gallery collaborate to bring paintings, photos and archival documents to Devon, Nottinghamshire and County Down. Until 3 Feb 2019, .

13 August

Nina Beier, Retrospective (2007), Bristol

This exhibition questions the relationship between physical and digital reality with sculptures that combine objects with particular functions, such as rugs, wigs and mechanical bulls. The works call into question how value is defined, mutated and reinforced. 21 July to 23 September,

14 August

Barbara Rae, Any Ordinary Journey, Edinburgh

Following in the footsteps of her namesake Dr John Rae, Rae travelled to the Arctic in 2013 and brought back with her a fascination with the landscape and history of the place. The result is a collection of works depicting the tundra that she was so taken with. 4 August to 9 September,

15 August

Pia Camil: Split Wall, Nottingham Contemporary

Pia Camil: Split Wall, Nottingham Contemporary

In her first solo exhibition in the UK, Mexican artist Pia Camil uses textile installations, ceramics and video to highlight her dissatisfaction with consumerism and globalisation. Camil’s ceramic masks explore the notion of public image. 14 July to 7 October,

16 August

Stanley Spencer in Focus, Cookham

Stanley Spencer in Focus

Head to the Stanley Spencer Gallery in Cookham to view the Patron Saints exhibition that boasts an incredible collection of loans, including a work that has not been viewed by the public for over 50 years. The exhibition will examine the complex relationship Spencer had with his patrons and how it shaped his work. 29 March to 4 November,

17 August

Rhondda Rips It Up!

Welsh National Opera will tell a tongue-in-cheek story about the remarkable suffragette, Margaret Haig Thomas in an all-female, music hall production in Newport, South Wales before going on tour. 7 June to 21 November, .

18 August

The Grand Tour, Chatsworth

The Grand Tour Linder Sterling

Fasten your seat belts for a whistlestop tour of the UK’s top art institutions. Start at Chatsworth, where Linder Sterling will take up the post of the country house’s very first artist-in-residence, the fruits of which will inform a major new artist-curated exhibition at Nottingham Contemporary. The Harley Gallery and Derby Museums are getting in on the act too. Until 21 October, 

25 August

bOing! International Family Festival

bOing! International Family Festival

Photography by [email protected]

For families who cannot travel far, The bOing! International Family Festival brings around-the-world adventures to Canterbury. Companies from Australia, France, Denmark and Spain give performances ranging from puppetry enjoyed in hammocks by Danish Teatret Gruppe 38 to dances in cages by French group Dyptik. 25-26 August,

31 August

Tasting Notes

Tasting Notes

Jools Holland joins Krug Encounters – Tracks on Tracks, a series with music, food and Krug Champagne at its heart. Hop aboard a luxury train at Victoria en route to the English countryside. Three stops along the way will feature hop-on-hop-off performances curated by Jools as well as food by Luke Robinson. 31 August,

1 September

Braemar Gathering, Aberdeenshire

Dating back 900 years, it is no surprise that The Braemar Gathering is a slick operation of heavy events, piping, dancing and tug of war. If all that spectating has made you peckish there are Scottish delicacies to sate your hunger. 1 September, .

7 September

Ascot Festival of Food and Wine
Royal Ascot

The show has not yet closed – for one last reminder of all things good about summer, Ascot will hold its Festival of Food and Wine. Those struggling to quit summer will enjoy a number of competitive Flat races and more than 40 culinary stalls for perusal and purchases. 7-8 September.

14 September

Cerys Matthews’ The Good Life Experience

Andrew Lai © BT Castle

Andrew Lai © BT Castle

Returning for its fifth year, The Good Life Experience is a celebration of artists and artisans, debates and discovery, action and adventure, rock and roll revelry and relaxation, family fun and feasts and carnival and culture. The festival takes place in the glorious, unusual, historic setting of the Hawarden Estate against the backdrop of two castles. Expect raucous music from all over the world, axe throwing, foraging, campfire cooking sessions with world class chefs, daily feasts, wild children, mass sing-a-longs, over 40 expert craftspeople, beer served by experts, talks by explorers, abseiling, a free 1930s fairground, tree climbing, poetry, literature and endless How To… talks. 14 – 16 September. 

15 September

Shobana Jeyasingh Dance – Contagion, Berwick-upon-Tweed

Shobana Jeyasingh’s new work Contagion is inspired by the nature and rapid spread of viruses, both in the context of the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic and through the broader idea of war as a global contagion. The work of Austrian artist Egon Schiele, who was a victim of the pandemic, is a powerful footnote to the choreography. The work, co-commissioned by , is set to an atmospheric soundscape and presented in a promenade style with digital visuals in unusual venues, many with connections to the First World War. 15 September – 20 October. 

20 September

Ian Hislop and Nick Newman’s Trial by LaughterTrial by Laughter

Following the sell-out success of The Wipers Times in the West End and across the country, Ian Hislop and Nick Newman have once again taken inspiration from real life events for their new play Trial by Laughter. In 1817, bookseller, publisher and satirist William Hone stood trial for parodying religion, the despotic government and the libidinous monarchy. The only crime he had committed was that of being funny. In 2018, the satirists Ian Hislop and Nick Newman rediscover this forgotten hero of free speech and ask if just over two hundred years later our press has any greater freedom.The production will open at The Watermill Theatre, Newbury from 20 September-27 October before embarking on a UK tour.

21 September

Art Out Loud, Chatsworth

Art Out Loud at Chatsworth promises a weekend steeped in both the iconic beauty of Chatsworth and iconic artists’ insight. Speakers include artists Linder Sterling, Idris Khan, and 2017 Turner Prize winner Lubaina Himid. Art historian Dan Cruickshank and RIBA 2017 Stirling Prize winner Alex de Rijke also join. 21-23 September.

23 September


Austentatious, the much applauded improv play that performs a different ‘lost’ Jane Austen novel based on audience suggestion, will tour the UK this Autumn. The popular group, with multiple awards and sell-out Edinburgh Fringe runs, will begin at the Brighton Dome and conclude at The Rep in Birmingham. 23 September – 2 November.

25 September

Now the Hero, Wales
Now the hero

As part of the 14-18 NOW season celebrating the centenary of WW1, Welsh interdisciplinary artist Marc Rees will bring to life an epic poem about a Swansea soldier. This immersive, musical production will take audiences from scenic, Swansea Bay beach to a discovery of artistic treasures in the iconic Brangwyn Hall. 25-29 September.

29 September

The Cliveden Literary Festival
Cliveden House

The Cliveden Literary Festival 2018 evokes the spirit of great writers who have frequented the country house over the last three centuries. This year’s themes, such as Russia and espionage, female monarchs and literary adaptations will be illuminated by speakers ranging from the likes of Armando Iannucci to Priti Patel. 29 – 30 September.

20 October

Lost Treasures of Strawberry Hill: Masterpieces from Horace Walpole’s Collection, Twickenham

Masterpieces from the magnificent collection of paintings, sculptures, furniture and curiosities created by Horace Walpole will be reassembled for this once-in-a-lifetime show. The pieces are from his celebrated gothic villa at Strawberry Hill and were later dispersed all over the world in the famous sale in 1842. The exhibition will provide a unique opportunity to experience one of the most famous 18th-century collections including great works by Joshua Reynolds, Anthony Van Dyck and Hans Holbein, reunited in the original setting of Strawberry Hill’s fine rooms. 20 October 2018 – 24 February 2019. 

February 2019

MK Gallery, Milton Keynes

The new MK Gallery, designed by Award-winning architects , will open in February 2019, doubling the size of the current building and creating a world-class centre for contemporary arts in the heart of Milton Keynes. The new building will include a flexible suite of galleries to accommodate a rich variety of works, historical and contemporary. It will also include a cinema/performance space, a new foyer and bookshop, an informal bar/café, a learning space, areas for reading and study. 

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