events cumbria

Below is a round-up of the latest arts events happening in and around Cumbria!


It can be hard to get excited about January. The glitter and excitement of the Christmas are a distant memory, and it’s no longer socially acceptable to eat half a tub of Celebrations washed down with a flute of Prosecco before lunchtime.

GOOD NEWS: we’ve rounded up a quick selection of upcoming events in top Cumbrian venues to get you through the dark nights! Prepare to be entertained, enlightened and to dance yourself silly – let’s say ‘no’ to those dull diet documentaries and head out…


Theatre by the Lake, Keswick

From Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads

Tues 6th February, 19.30

A ‘powerful and touching’ production featuring the music of David Bowie? We’re in!

Telling the tale of a young David Bowie obsessive, Martin – a boy with problems, an illness no-one understands and a head full of sound and vision. When an unexpected gift arrives on his birthday, Martin embarks on a thrilling journey in the footsteps of his obsession, leading him to discover some long-hidden truths about himself. What follows will change his life forever…

Adrian Berry’s acclaimed sell-out production comes to the Theatre by the Lake next month for one night only, so be quick!


Also at Theatre by the Lake:

Sing-a-Long Beauty and the Beast, Sunday 4th February

Kendal Brewery Arts Centre

Verbalise January 

27th January, 19.30

events in cumbria

Written a poem, prose or even some comedy that you’d love to share? Don’t be shy! Kendal Brewery Arts Centre host an open mic evening every month for creatives to enjoy each other’s work.

This month’s guests are playwright and poet Sarah Miller and your event host Ann Grant. Sarah Miller writes plays and poetry and works with communities developing writing projects. She currently lives in Salford. Ann Grant writes poems and enjoys writing with Sarah Miller when there is an opportunity.


Also at Kendal Brewery Arts Centre:

The Fretless, Sat 26th January 


The Brickyard, Carlisle

Fools Gold Indie Clubnight, Friday 27th January 10pm

Nothing lifts your spirits like a bit of nostalgia. And by the look of it, Carlisle just can’t get enough of this throwback to Britpop, as it comes back again and again!

Dance the night away to cool classics from Oasis, Blur, Nirvana, The Smiths, as well as some more recent hits from the Artic Monkeys and The Courteeners.

Image result for 90's indie

Apparently, Bez of the Happy Mondays is a regular of this jam packed set – he looks like he knows a good night out…


Also at the Brickyard:

Laugh Your Tache Off Comedy Night, 26th January


Cakes and Ale Cafe, Carlisle

Kathleen Jones Poetry Reading

Thursday 18th January, 7.30pm

This fabulously quirky cafe set in a bookshop (of four floors, no less) plays host to various events every month. Also, they love to champion local talent (yay!), and this month it’s Cumbrian author Kathleen Jones.

Kathleen will read from her latest poetry collection ‘The Rainmaker’s Wife’, which deals with the constant pull between our instinctive, spiritual selves and the practical, scientific and economic realities of the everyday.

events in cumbria
Image credit: Discover Carlisle

Entry is FREE. For more information visit the Books Cumbria website HERE

Also at Cakes and Ale:

Quiz night, Friday 26th January

Kirkgate Arts Centre, Cockermouth

The Dime Notes – 3rd February, 2018 at 7:30pm

The infectious Dime Notes will definitely jazz up your January!

The Dime Notes dig back into the blues-drenched sounds of clarinet-driven 1920’s New Orleans jazz, unearthing a repertoire of stomps, blueses, and forgotten gems of the era from musicians like Jelly Roll Morton, Johnny Dodds, and Red Nichols.

The Dime Notes present a fresh take on a timeless style, emphasising the propulsive grooves and sultry melodies which made early jazz revolutionary, controversial, and wildly popular.


Also at Kirkgate Arts Centre:

Wildwood Theatre Company Presents: Throne

Carnegie Theatre, Workington

Griff Rhys Jones – Where Was I? Thursday 25th January

Olivier award-winning actor Griff Rhys Jones has a few tales to tell after a varied TV career spanning forty years.

Join the star of Not the Nine o’clock News, Smith & Jones and Three Men In A Boat as he airs stories, anecdotes, reminiscences and outright lies – from forty years of travelling – down rivers and up mountains, into Africa, out of India, and across the arid wastes of the BBC canteen. It’s a career, if you mean bouncing chaotically downhill without a map.

griff rhys jones events in cumbria
Image credit: ents 24


Also at the Carnegie Theatre:

Limehouse Lizzy, Friday 2nd February


Are there any special events in Cumbria that you’re looking forward to in 2018? Or a great local venue you’d like us to feature? Let us know in the comments!




C-Art: 8th-17th September 2017

Cumbria seriously is the place to be this month for arts lovers! The latest offering comes from C-Art, who have a jam-packed programme of events around the county between 8-17th September.

C-Art is co-ordinated by the Eden Arts Project, the event getting bigger every year since its inception 6 years ago. In their own words, it ‘promotes and celebrates Cumbria’s rich creative talent, inviting visitors to step into the gallery and the landscape to buy art, explore the landscape and to meet the artists themselves.’


Image courtesy


Well, there’s plenty of art to see, obviously, with exhibitions being held in various locations including Carlisle cathedral, Honister Slate Mine and the artist’s hub that is Rheghed.

Even La’al Ratty (or the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway, to be official) is to become part of an art installation by artist Sarah Taylor, intriguingly called The Curious Incident of the Stag and the Train-line,  in search of ‘vibrant and eccentric animals’.

For fans of the cult classic Withnail and I, (or those who’ve ‘gone on holiday by accident’) Rheged will be premiering Richard Dedomenici’s redux version of the film, featuring an all female cast.

Image courtesy of

The festival also sees the launch of the Cumbrian Artist of the Year Exhibition and includes the awards ceremony.

For the full programme, check out the official website:

Lakes Alive: 8-10th September

Lakes Alive

Cotton by AbouTime Dance performing at Lakes Alive. Photo courtesy of

Taking place in Kendal between 8th -10th September 2017, visitors are promised vibrant illuminations, digital delights, intimate performances, amazing installations and spectacular happenings.

The programme  This year’s event will be a celebration of World Heritage Site Status for the Lake District, so expect to see a tribute or two to our mountainous region.

For more info including the full events programme visit the Lakes Alive website at


Bairden at the Theatre by the Lake

bairden = bairn = a child (Cumbrian dialect), bairn den = a place for children to gather, bear den = a place for teddy bears to meet


The Theatre by the Lake – in conjunction with Bookends Keswick – has an exciting new event for families.

Every Friday the theatre will host a special story time session in their bookshop area – and it’s completely FREE!

The first session will be on Friday 18 August and will run weekly from then on.

  • Listen to a new story each week
  • Bring a teddy bear to join in the fun
  • Teddy bears may be invited to join in with some acting – a theatre is where stories come to life!
  • Free to attend and no need to book in – just turn up on the day

For more information on this and other family friendly events at the Theatre by the Lake visit