A hand-picked guide to what's on in Herefordshire in September and October 2023 - a mix of headline events, community happenings and hidden gems.
This new play by Tim Foley, from Pentabus and ThickSkin, is billed as intoxicating and mystical. Its the story of two brothers, family rifts and political divides.
"These are the shores of Vikings, Victorians, van drivers and visions. The tide is out but the chips are hot."
On tour from October 12th to November 19th. Catch it at Hereford College of Arts (Folly Lane) at 7.30pm on Tuesday October 24th.
Pot & Page, a plant based cafe and bookshop in Ledbury, is hosting these regular book club supper clubs in store. Next one takes place at 7pm on Octber 6th.
This month's read is Persepolis, an autobiographical graphic novel illustrating childhood in Iran during and after the Islamic revolution. Accompanying the bookchat will be a communal Iranian meal.
Entry is free, and food is pay what you can. All meals are plant based.
Hay Shantymen are a crew of landlubbers singing shanties on the East Coast of Wales for over seven years. They will be in concert at St Faith's Church in Dorstone (HR36AW) on Saturday October 7th, 7.3pm-9.30pm.
The singers have previously performed at Latitude Festival and Falmouth International Shanty Festival, raising £££s for RNLI over the past decade.
Witches and vampires on the big screen? Yes please, it's Halloween.
You can catch two cult classics at Hereford Racecourse on October 31st. At 5pm it's 90s favourite Hocus Pocus starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy, followed by Joel Schumacher's 1987 The Lost Boys at 7pm.
Tickets are £9 for children, £14 adults on sale via Eventbrite.
Lady Nade - named one of Bristol's most influential women in 2022 - brings eclectic folk and Americana to The Jam Factory in Hereford on October 16th. Tickets are £5. show starts at 8pm.
Her third album ‘Willing’ entered both the official Folk and Americana charts on its release. With the title track Single winning ‘UK song of the Year’ in the 2022 UK Americana Awards.
Head to Queenswood Country Park, near Leominster, for an autumn workshop exploring ceramics on October 21st.
"Join us for a peaceful afternoon creating woodland fired ceramics. You will learn about how clay is processed from the ground, then make and fire your own clay charms inspired by nature. We will also be creating art around the fire using natural materials."
All materials will be provided. BYO refreshments.
Guided tours, led by National Trust gardeners, are on offer at The Weir Garden on September 29th and October 27th. The gardens sits along the River Wye just ouside Hereford city. For centuries it has been used as a pleasure ground for fishing, boating and swimming and is now home to a varied habitat for wildlife. Tours are free, but normal admission price (around £7 per adult) applies.
Side note, a 2005 Time Team dig confirmed the site was settled in Roman times. Today's garden dates back to the 1920s.
Connaught Brass are a young quintet making a name for themselves as a fresh talent – "from the delicate intimacy of chamber music to a rich toned power reminiscent of a full brass band, this virtuosic and versatile British brass quintet realise the full potential of a richly diverse spectrum of music".
Their free concert at St Michael’s Church, Michaelchurch Escley, on Saturday October 14th is part of the ongoing Craswell Concerts series. Concert starts at 5pm.
"A spine-tingling evening of three tales of the supernatural from E.F. Benson’s brilliant collection of ghost stories,
Night Terrors. With masterful storytelling from the award-winning actor Gerard Logan, Night Terrors will transport you to a darker, more sinister world of the unexpected and the unexplainable."
Here's a one-night only performance at The Courtyard in Hereford that promises to be dramatic and haunting. The show also features an original score by the award-winning RSC composer Simon Slater.
Book tickets below.
As Autumn arrives, Flicks in the Sticks from Arts Alive is screening this Olivia Colman gem at village venues in the area. It's a sweet but never saccarine ode to cinema from director Sam Mendes, which one reviewer called "a lovely, personal film illuminating tiny splices of life".
September is your last chance to see the Forestry England, the Royal Geographical Society + Parker Harris's Earth Photo 2023 exhibition at Sidney Nolan Trust in Presteigne.
Photographers from around the world were invited to submit images and moving image. The final 36, selected from 1,400+, are on display in the gardens of The Rodd until September 30th.
The Equinox Festival is a free world music and wellbeing festival taking place in Ross-on-Wye's Caroline Symonds Gardens from 6pm on September 22nd to after dark on September 23rd. It coincides, of course, with Autumn equinox.
"Enjoy world class performances from 7pm with talented multi-instrumentalist N’famady Kouyaté‘s quintet followed by headliner, former BBC presenter and DJ, Andy Kershaw, with his own inimitable style of dance music from across the globe. Sit back under the festoon-lit stretch tent and enjoy a range of street food, drink and sweet treats from our onsite traders."
"Angela Barnes (Mock The Week, Live at the Apollo, 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown and former chair of BBC Radio 4’s The News Quiz) has good intentions but trying to live your best life, as it turns out, is really bloody hard."
Comedy at The Courtyard in Hereford presents the latest show from Barnes, Hot Mess, which critics praised for being down to earth and peppered with punchy one-liners. In the mood for more stand-up? Tickets are on sale now for next year's shows from comics Chris McCausland and Reginald D Hunter.
Yorkshire singer songwriter George Boomsma, who has been quietly gaining well-earnt attention and acclaim over the past decade of touring, comes to The Jam Factory in Hereford on September 22nd.
This fairly new venue - www.thejam-factory.com - and these promoters, Shire Folk, are bringing some stellar original performers to the city, so keep an eye on their website below if you like this sort of thing.
As for George... "His pure voice and tumbling guitar make for a bewitching combination, with a maturity and poetic lyricism that have left audiences around the country entranced."
The Hereford show is free, subsidised by the venue, so no ticket required. Show starts at 8pm.
Drag nights have finally reached Herefordshire. On September 15th, the Royal Oak Inn in Ledbury hosts Bright Nights cabaret (minimum age 18), and on September 22nd Britain's Got Talent finalist La Voix stages her latest show Red Ambition at The Courtyard in Hereford.
Bright Nights cabaret tickets on sale here (£6).
La Voix's Red Ambition Tour tickets on sale here (£26).
In this afternoon talk, hosted by Herefordshire Museum Service Support Group at the Herefordshire Archive in Rotherwas, Anna Muggeridge of the University of Worcester will consider the life and work of Louise Luard, Hereford’s first female mayor less than 10 years after the end of the First World War.
It's a chance to hear about the experiences of a pioneering generation of women politicians, whose commitment to local issues helped to shape the communities we still live in today.
Tickets £5, runs 2pm to 3pm.
Hereford Herd is a networking group for those working in the creative and culture sector. The next meet up takes places at Shack Revolution in Bastion Mews from 5.30pm to 7pm on September 28th.
Tickets are free and available here.
An evening with Rosie Garland and Chloe Jacquet (and open mic slots) at Ledbury Poetry House. Tickets are £8 and available on the door. Not to be missed by poetry fans.
Writer and singer with post-punk band The March Violets, Garland has a passion for language nurtured by public libraries. Her poetry collection ‘What Girls do in the Dark’ (Nine Arches Press) was shortlisted for the Polari Prize, & her novel The Night Brother was described by The Times as “a delight…with shades of Angela Carter.”
A 1.5 miles stroll through the old part of the town then down to the river, with stops to learn about local sculptures along the way. The heritage walk, starting 10.30am, will be led by Philip Gray from the Market Hall in Ross.
Free to attend. Dogs on leads allowed.