AND Festival 2015

Top 10 cultural things to see in the Lake District this Autumn

Fascinated by forests, comedic mayhem, fermenting food, a pyrotechnic town and serious mountain fun? Then head to the Lakes and discover its cultural side. Check out our selection of top autumn cultural treats, all just waiting to be savoured…

Abandon Normal Devices (AND), Grizedale Forest, 18 – 20 Sept
This Autumn, Abandon Normal Devices (AND) makes a call to your wild side, inviting you to Grizedale Forest to explore and uncover the secret architecture of the forest through a programme of artworks, experiences, trails and film happenings. All designed to give visitors of every age the chance to experience the forest from a new perspective.

Dickens Abridged, The Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal, 26 Sept
From Adam Long, founding member of The Reduced Shakespeare Company and co-creator of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) comes Dickens Abridged – a fast-paced musical comedy. An absurdly talented cast of four bring hundreds of the great author’s best-loved characters to life in 70 minutes of madcap Dickensian mayhem.
This wonderful show is a high-speed comic journey through Dickens’ Greatest Hits, including Oliver Twist, Great Expectations (complete with flaming bride), David Copperfield, Bleak House in less than sixty seconds, A Tale of Two Cities featuring a fully functioning guillotine, Nicholas Nickleby, The Old Curiosity Shop, and, of course… A Christmas Carol.

Lakes International Comic Art Festival, various venues Kendal, 16 – 18 Oct
The Festival, now in its third year, has many elements to experience and enjoy and an events programme bursting with opportunities to get up close and personal with some of the leading comic artists and writers from across the world – see them draw, talk about their work and bring comics to life in front of your eyes (includes films too). Heaps of free exhibitions and a comic art trail around the town. Workshops and masterclasses. A free family zone with lots of drop-in activity for all ages, and a series of fantastic workshops for kids and teenagers and pop-up comic art venues including a special bar with a twist.

The House of Ferment, Coniston Institute, from 12 October for six weeks
This is a new project combining food and art, which is set to open on 12th October at the Coniston Institute and will run for 6 weeks. As part of the project billions of bacteria have been carefully nurtured and developed into six different cultures over the past decade at Grizedale Art’s farm HQ, with the help of artist Karen Guthrie. Each resulting culture has produced a distinct flavour, which has subsequently been used to create over 30 unusual fermented products for visitors to sample.  This multi-functional art installation will also explore the relevance of this ancient food preservation and the significance of fermentation and use of the technique in many of the foods and drinks we consume on daily basis. House of Ferment will also act as a hub for a variety of talks, prompting discussions on how we consume our food and our relationships with it, as well as workshops on the history and future of fermentation and food preservation.

Canaletto: Celebrating Britain, The Abbot Hall Gallery, Kendal, 22 Oct – 14 Feb 2016
Giovanni Antonio Canal (1697-1768), known popularly as Canaletto, is today remembered as one of Italy’s greatest view painters. When war caused the flow of British visitors to Venice to dry up Canaletto followed his patrons home to Britain, where he stayed for almost nine years from 1746 to 1755. Through a series of astonishing canvases and drawings, Canaletto celebrated the accomplishment, success and wealth of the rising British nation and its achievements in architecture and engineering. Never before have these outstanding paintings and drawings been brought together to provide an overview of the artist’s time in Britain. This is the perfect opportunity to see this unique exhibition collection at one of Britain’s Ten Greatest Art Galleries [The Times] and the only opportunity to see it in the North of England.

Eye For Colour, Tullie House, Carlisle, until 1 Nov
Explore all aspects of colour with this hands-on, inspiring exhibition. Eye for Colour is a visual feast for the whole family, which will alert the senses and stimulate the mind. Packed with exhibits and interactive displays, it explores the endless ways in which colour shapes our world. If you’ve ever wondered why you sometimes feel blue or in the pink then you’ll find the answer in Eye for Colour.

The 39 Steps, Theatre By The Lake, Keswick, until 4 Nov
Follow the incredible adventures of handsome hero Richard Hannay – complete with pencil moustache on his stiff upper lip – as he attempts to solve the mystery of the 39 Steps, acquit himself of murder and save his country from an international network of spies. Based on the classic Hitchcock thriller, this hilarious version has enjoyed a long and successful run in the West End; see the four fearless actors play 139 roles in 100 minutes of thrilling action and fast-paced fun at one of the most uniquely beautiful locations for a theatre anywhere!

Winter Droving, Penrith, 14 Nov
Join the Herd! Fire, animation, music and merriment…including a traditional Cumbrian market featuring local food and drink, and high quality arts and crafts. And as night falls the crowds will welcome a mystical masked procession…featuring fire, music, mayhem aplenty. Now in its fourth year the Winter Droving has quickly established itself as a key event in the Cumbrian calendar so ‘Join the Herd’ for a spectacular celebration of winter and Penrith’s rich agricultural heritage.

Confusions & Hero’s Welcome, by Alan Ayckbourn, The Old Laundry Theatre, Bowness, from 3 Nov – 14 Nov, (various performances)
Confusions: was first seen at the Library Theatre, Scarborough in 1974 since then it has become one of the most popular and most studied plays of the last 40 years. This is Alan Ayckbourn’s first revival of the play. Bursting with high farce and poignant observation; the laughs, however dark, keep coming.

Hero’s Welcome: Ayckbourn’s 79th play follows a war hero who returns to the town he fled 17 years ago, which threatens to stir up old rivalries and resentments.
Both plays can be seen at this intimate theatre close to the shores of Windermere.

Kendal Mountain Film Festival, 19 – 22 Nov
Kendal Mountain Festival is the world’s biggest mountain festival. It’s a celebration of mountain film, literature, art, athletes and legends that aims to inspire more people to explore, enjoy and represent mountains, wilderness and the cultures linked to them.


Note to Editors:

For more information contact Greg Stephenson – / 01539 825060 or visit
• Lakes Culture aims to bring together the area’s tourism and cultural sectors to better promote the wealth of cultural activities on offer reaffirming the area as the UK’s leading rural cultural destination.
• The Lake District is one of only ten locations in the country to benefit from Cultural Destinations initiative a focused programme set up by Arts Council England and VisitEngland. The aim of Cultural destinations is to enable arts and culture organisations working in partnership with destination organisations to increase their reach, engagement and resilience through working with the tourism sector. Closer working between the two sectors will contribute to the economic growth of the cultural and tourism visitor economies.
• Organisations involved in the project include Kendal Brewery Arts Centre (Lead Organisation), Lakeland Arts, The Wordsworth Trust, Theatre by the Lake, The Forestry Commission – Grizedale, Cumbria Tourism, The National Trust, Lake District National Park and South Lakeland District Council.
• The Lakes Culture project will also form a supporting strand of the World Heritage Status bid to be submitted by the Lake District National Park and partners.

For further information

Contact Reception on
01539 822222 or