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Posted 05.11.18

Whats on in Plymouth November 2018

By Kat Peberdy

From fireworks on Bonfire Night to one-on-one blacksmithing demonstrations - to make sure you don't miss a thing, we've put together a guide of some of the best arts, crafts and cultural events to see, do, and attend in our city this month.

With just a matter of weeks until Christmas, we’re getting in the mood to handcraft some gifts and spend some quality time doing the things we love in our city by the sea this November! We've put together a list of some of the top workshops, exhibitions and events happening across the city in Plymouth's cultural calendar.

Want to give us a heads up for a forthcoming event? Email or let us know on Twitter.


1. Bonfire Night at Plymouth Hoe

On Monday 5 November, Plymouth Hoe will be lit up with a Bonfire and Fireworks display. Key landmarks across the Hoe, including Smeaton's Tower, the Royal Citadel, and the Plymouth Naval Memorial will also be spectacularly illuminated throughout the evening.

Starting at 4pm, with fairground rides and delicious food and drink on offer, next to Smeaton’s Tower lighthouse you'll find the huge bonfire – don't miss it being lit at 7.30pm!

A fantastic firework display will also take place, with an assortment of rockets, fountains and firecrackers firing from the Royal Citadel at 8pm. So wrap up warm, bask in the heat of the giant bonfire and enjoy the show.

Bonfire Night – 5 November

2. Been So Long at Plymouth Arts Centre cinema

This is the fifth in a series of ongoing events that forms Plymouth’s Reclaim The Frame project; a mission to bring ever-greater audiences to films by women to build a more balanced film future.

Directed by Tinge Krishnan, Been So Long is a contemporary musical set on the streets of London’s Camden Town. Krishnan shoots the streets bathed in neon and enriched with romantic possibilities. BAFTA® winner Michaela Coel lights up the big screen as single mum Simone whose encounter with the confident yet secretive lothario Raymond has her head spinning.

The film is followed by a Q&A with director Tinge Krishnan, producers Nadine Marsh-Edwards and Amanda Jenks, and hosted by Mia Bays (producer of Oscar-winning and multi-BAFTA nominated films) and Jo Duncombe.

The iconic Plymouth Arts Centre cinema is moving in January 2019, and will be located within the Plymouth College of Art Tavistock Place campus. Find out more about the move.

Been So Long screening plus Q&A – 7 November


Furoshiki wrapping with Jess & Becky

3. Fabric workshop with Jess & Becky at Ocean Studios

Furoshiki is a traditional Japanese wrapping cloth that is used to transport bundled goods, wrap presents and carry bundled clothing. Creating your own printed fabric to gift to someone makes it all that more special. During this session you’ll have the space to screen print your own fabrics, while receiving demonstrations on Furoshiki wrapping techniques.

The workshop will be delivered in the Ocean Studio Print Studio based at Royal William Yard. Ocean Studios has now welcomed Column Bakehouse Stores and additional cafe within the gallery space, helping to fuel your day and creativity so there will be access to delicious food and drink to purchase before, during and after your worksop. Chill, relax and feel part of this fantastic community of makers, artists and creatives.

Fabric Screen Printing Furoshiki – 7 and 21 November


4. Open Day at Plymouth College of Art

Visit our Open Day for a unique guided tour of our students' incredible work, meet our knowledgeable and experienced staff, and get a feel for the vibrant and energetic atmosphere here at the college.

Our Open Days are a chance for you to get a feel for Plymouth College of Art and the range of Undergraduate and Postgraduate courses we offer, and to see for yourself just what sets us apart from other universities, both academically and creatively.

This Open Day takes place on Saturday 10 November. Experience first-hand how our students are pushing the boundaries in art, design and digital media – and see all the resources that are helping them along the way. 

You'll be welcome if you turn up to the Open Day on the day but if possible, please secure your place by clicking here.

Open Day – Saturday 10 November


5. Christmas lights switch on ceremony

The Christmas holiday calendar officially kicks off with the switching-on of this year’s Christmas light display in the city centre, which also marks the start of late-night shopping season.

The fun starts in the city centre Piazza from 4pm with a host of entertainment for the whole family, before the streets are lit up at 6.30pm.

Plymouth city centre Christmas lights ceremony – 15 November

6. Das Hund - For Freedom performance at KARST

Das Hund For Freedom is a new multidisciplinary artwork by artists Samuel Levack and Jennifer Lewandowski, presenting a visionary exploration of our contemporary world.

Das Hund For Freedom explores the artists concerns about their place in a late capitalist society which increasingly seeks to commodify creativity. Spanning a four-year period (2015–18) in which the artists travelled across the UK and USA, filming the urban landscapes of London and Los Angeles and the deserts of Colorado and California. The work is a poetic reflection on the current global political turmoil and reimagines radical counterculture ideas that are returning to the popular imagination.

Book your free ticket.

Das Hund performance – 15 November

7. Further Meditations social music event at The Underground

For the closing event of his exhibition Meditations in an Emergency, Simon Bayliss is running a music event featuring Hedluv + Passman; a Casio keyboard wielding, codpiece wearing rap duo from Redruth, Cornwall; Splash Addict, a vocal dance music collaboration between artists Susie Green & Simon Bayliss; Zetan Spore, a live didgeridoo-fuelled psychedelic trance project from Cornwall with twin brothers Ian and Mark Hasdell; and Lobsta B (aka Leon Bayliss), a DJ and producer of high energy pop-rave mega mixes.

The event will be hosted by MC Teabag (a.k.a T.S. Idiot) a tea-drinking poet, performance artist and rave MC.

Further Meditations – 16 November

8. Saltram Christmas Fair

Feel Christmassy as the garden at Saltram transforms into a festive craft and food fair. Reward yourself with a cheeky mulled wine while you shop for the perfect handmade Christmas gifts from over 50 local stalls.

Free entry for National Trust members and under 5s. For the first time this year the festival will be held over three days Friday 16th, Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th November.

In Partnership with Tamar Grow Local, a not for profit CIC set up for the benefit of the community by promoting sustainable local produce in the Tamar Valley.

Saltram Christmas Fair  – 16 to 18 November

9. Short Course: An introduction to Scientific Illustration

Be introduced to the world of scientific and natural history illustration, with a variety of drawing techniques, materials as well as how and why to use illustration to help document scientific observations and show concepts and processes.

The unique course venue allows access to a variety of different fascinating subjects, expertise and equipment, as well as a field trip to the National Marine Aquarium will allow participants to study and capture moving subjects.

Suitable for anyone with an interest in drawing wildlife for personal interest or scientific record taking or interpretation. By participating in this course, you will be supporting the wider educational work of the Marine Biological Association.

Short Course: An introduction to Scientific Illustration – 17 and 18 November

10. Women in Photography conference at Plymouth College of Art

The Women in Photography Conference will provide a unique opportunity for like minded photographers and filmmakers, who are passionate about photography, to get together and listen to some truly inspirational Women in Photography.

The speakers for this month's conference include Carri Angel, Sarah Clarke and Plymouth College of Art graduate Hannah Cochrane.

The conference is also supporting women across Plymouth, by asking each attendee to bring a sanitary product to donate to the local charity The Homeless Period Plymouth.

Women in Photography conference – 20 November

Illuminate 2017

11. Illuminate Festival 2018 at Royal William Yard

The incredible light-based festival, Illuminate, returns to Plymouth’s historic Royal William Yard from 22 to 25 November 2018.

The festival offers an immersive experience, with projections and light installations set out across the Yard, live performances and interactive opportunities. BA (Hons) Animation and BA (Hons) Game Arts students from Plymouth College of Art will again be putting their video-mapping skills into action on a large scale, on the side of Royal William Yard’s Melville Building, working alongside our BA (Hons) Animation graduate Jamie Knight.

New for this year is the use of water screen technology, as artists experiment with projecting onto the sea as well as land.

Join South West SUP as they take to the water for their monthly full-moon paddle, and explore the festival from the sea!

Illuminate Festival – 22 to 25 November

12. Flameworks artist studios open day

A Christmas themed open day with demonstrations and a variety of activities awaits at Flameworks! Entry is free throughout the day, and you’ll have the chance to purchase some handmade items from resident artists in their pop-up shop.

Book your place on a blacksmithing demo to make your own oath rings, forge your own christmas decorations or craft small wall hangings with their in-house ceramicists.

Flameworks open day – 24 November

Design to Sell 2017, image: Dom Moore

13. Design to Sell 2018 at Palace studios

Design to Sell is back again this year, with students from across our Extended Diploma courses coming together to create and sell handmade work.

A unique opportunity for students to design, promote and sell their own work in a pop-up shop and exhibition, Design to Sell allows them to gain real-world experience as the manager and director of their own small business. Each year offers a range of items for sale, from printed tote bags and t-shirts to handmade jewellery and decorations.

Get a first peek at the launch on Wednesday 28 November, 6pm onwards, where students will be exhibiting artworks for sale at the annual fair – a chance to pick up one-of-a-kind creations from local emerging creatives.

Design to Sell 2018 – 28 to 30 November


... And, if you're interested in creative study, you can also visit us at our Open Day for Undergraduate and Pre-Degree programmes on Saturday November 10. Register online to secure your place!