Events Live Performance Music Truro

Our returning friends, the hugely popular ELO Experience…

So synonymous with their late 1970s hit singles have the mighty Electric Light Orchestra become that its surprising to recall that they’d emerged out of Birmingham right at the start of that decade, born from the ashes of psychedelic popsters The Move. Principal songwriter and frontman Jeff Lynne’s catchy tunes, coupled with his ‘big hair and sunglasses’ look, came to be the instantly recognisable sound and face of the band, but the early line-up saw Lynne and legendary ‘ELO’ drummer Bev Bevan joined by their fellow Move-departee Roy Wood, a larger-than-life character who’d soon, well, move on again and become forever famous as the glitter-and-sparkles leader of  ‘See My Baby Jive’ glam rockers Wizzard. 


Our returning friends, the hugely popular ELO Experience, delve into a particularly rich back catalogue. ELO themselves might be particularly remembered for the breathless effervescence of the classic Mr Blue Sky, with original fans having a wry grin at its 7” blue vinyl single, with its charming run-out exhortation to ‘please turn me over’, a message lost on the musical streaming generation but a helpful reminder to flip the disc and hear the likely more experimental B-side back in the day. But there’s a whole host of genius songs to celebrate. Livin’ Thing, Telephone Line, Turn To Stone, Rockaria, Don’t Bring Me Down… they still sound fabulous to this day! 

We always feel that’s what these evenings in the Cornwall Playhouse do as part of keeping popular music alive in a live environment, as it were, a continuous rejoicing in the cross-generational appeal of the great singles and hit-packed LPs of yore. And in this instance, we’re celebrating the music of a band that itself cherished the sound of those who came before them. It’s said that the initial idea of ELO, that fusion of cello, violin and woodwind with contemporary rock, came from Roy Wood, but it was Lynne who ran with it for much of the band’s history, melding strings and horns on the stage with a love for The Beatles and The Beach Boys worn on his sleeve. Indeed, it became almost a cliché to ponder whether ELO were the band that The Beatles might have become had they continued into the 70s, while the surf rock influence of Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks’ seminal ‘Heroes and Villains’ is evident on ELO’s classic Out of The Blue album track Across The Border.  

 In these blogs, we love to remind long-time music fans of gigs they might have seen way back when, here in the days of Truro City Hall or elsewhere across Cornwall’s venues, and indeed some digging around finds ELO in our own much-loved building on 19 July 1973 as part of a mini-tour jaunt around the west country – let us know if you remember that one! And if your concert-going memory stretches further back, tell us about The Move (with Roy Wood and Bev Bevan, but pre-Jeff Lynne) playing Redruth’s Flamingo Club in August ’67… we’d be thrilled to hear about those shows! 

Eventually Lynne and ELO eschewed that famous symphonic sound for the straighter soft rock of the sci-fi concept album Time, a different beast from their A New World Record, Out of the Blue, and Discovery peak, but a new direction, at the time, that has also worn-well over the years. Let’s join the ELO Experience in keeping these wonderful tunes reverberating around our auditorium, for the music ages like a fine wine and never grows old. 

Written by Ian Abrahams

Events Theatre

Treasure Island Casting Announcement

Presenting the cast for Cornwall Playhouse’s Christmas Show: Treasure Island!

We are thrilled to welcome Edward Rowe (Bait, Alex Rider, House of the Dragon) starring as Long John Silver, alongside other artists such as Chloe Endean (Long Way Back, Sensibility, Bait), Ellie Leah (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie UK Tour, MAMMA MIA! International Tour, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast UK Tour), Ned Cooper (Doctors, Emmerdale), Pete Ashmore (RSC The Provoked Wife, National Theatre’s Macbeth, Silent Witness), Ricky Oakley (Hamlet at Shakespeare’s Globe, BBC Doctors), Joni Ayton-Kent (BBC Don’t Forget the Driver, Donmar Warehouse’s Sweet Charity) and Zahra Ahmadi (Doctor Who, Black Mirror, Death in Paradise).

We also welcome fresh faces Tamisa Chivandire (Guildford School of Acting) and Aidan Nightingale (Bodywork Cambridge International, National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, The Motown Pirates).


Treasure Island is written and directed by Steve Marmion (Soho Theatre, PantoCo) whose work has featured in the West End and on Broadway. The Musical Director is Richard Healey. Lighting Design is by David Howe (Magic Goes Wrong, Starlight Express), Choreography by Melody Sinclair (SIX, ZooNation), Sound Design by James Clarke and Ciaran Clarke with Costume by Aly Fielden.

Treasure Island is presented by Cornwall Playhouse Productions.

Ready for the adventure of a lifetime this Christmas? Book tickets now!

Events Schools & Colleges Theatre


Ahoy me hearties! Calling all mini-Pirates!

Are you looking for something different to do this October Half Term?

Come and join us for some pirate fun in your local library!

To celebrate our upcoming Christmas show, Treasure Island, young people across the county are invited to take part in a series of interactive workshops, led by our in-house community team Get Creative, in partnership with Cornwall Council Library Service. We’re combining plenty of pirate fun with the magic of storytelling, as we get ready to set sail through the deep and colourful seas of our imagination…

Take part in stories, dancing, craft activities, and games as we bring our band of pirates on tour for a week full of festive fun.

Fancy dress is encouraged, and just in time for Halloween week too! So come join our crew and say arrr! – this free activity is not one to be missed this half term!

Take a look below at your handy treasure map to find the library closest to you… X marks the spot on this quest for adventure!

Timetable of Events:

How to Book:

  • This stay and play session is free to attend.
  • Please contact your local library for more details.
  • Recommended ages: 4-10 years.

Looking to learn more about our Christmas Extravaganza Treasure Island? Bring along your first mate to one of our fun-filled workshops, or head to our show page, where you can also book tickets for the show…


Cornish Roots Events Live Performance Theatre What's Hot

Hall For Cornwall announces world premiere of Fisherman’s Friends The Musical

The first major show to take to the stage of our newly transformed theatre will be the world premiere of Fisherman’s Friends: The Musical.

The brand new production has been revealed as the debut show to tread the boards of our landmark theatre when it reopens later this year following a three-year, multi-million pound redevelopment.

Julien Boast, CEO and Creative Director at Hall for Cornwall said: “We think there’s no better way to raise the curtain on Hall for Cornwall following our major transformation.

Fisherman’s Friends: The Musical is a feel-good story celebrating friendship, community and music, a perfect tonic to lift us from recent events which have impacted all our lives and a great celebration of people, passion and possibilities which are at the heart of our new theatre. The show will form the foundation of our inaugural launch season.”

The musical, which will premiere here in Cornwall later this year, charts the rise of Port Isaac’s famous sea shanty group and their major record deal signed in 2010.

Since then Fisherman’s Friends have performed for Her Majesty the Queen, played Glastonbury’s iconic Pyramid Stage and entertained hundreds of thousands of fans at home and abroad, winning numerous awards along the way.

The musical has been adapted from the 2019 hit film Fisherman’s Friends, which grossed $11.5m worldwide. It will feature many of the much-loved sea shanties made famous by the group, including including Keep Haulin’, Nelson’s Blood, No Hopers Jokers & Rogues, Sweet Maid Of Madeira and many more.

And the show has the blessing of the Fisherman’s Friends themselves with the group saying: “Blimey me, how did that happen! We are so proud that the musical based on our unexpected voyage will be launched down here in the heart of Cornwall.”

Fisherman’s Friends: The Musical will be the first co-production our new in-house producing company, Cornwall Playhouse Productions, produced in association with producers Royo.

The production will be directed by James Grieve (former Joint Artistic Director of Paines Plough and former Associate Director of the Bush Theatre) and written by Brad Birch (Tremor, Black Mountain, The Brink, Gardening for the Unfulfilled and Alienated, The Endless Ocean, Tender Bolus). It is designed by Lucy Osborne with musical supervision from David White.

To be the first to hear when tickets go on sale and announcement of the performance dates, join the mailing list.


Calling musical theatre enthusiasts…… HFC stages Summer Masterclasses!

Are you aged between 7 and 21 with a passion for acting, singing and dancing? Have you always wanted to perform in a West End Show or just want to take your singing to the next level? If so come and join one of Hall For Cornwall’s musical theatre summer masterclasses.

HFC will be introducing new weekly Musical Monday musical theatre classes from September. Ahead of this the Get Creative team are offering young people the chance to take part in two special summer master classes between the end of July and the beginning of August.

Musical Theatre requires performers to sing, dance and act all at the same time. Part of HFC’s successful youth programme, the master classes will be led by the creative team behind the Hall For Cornwall’s hugely successful homegrown trilogy of Christmas Shows: Simon Harvey, Richard Healey and Kim Moses.

You will get to explore the world of musical theatre, from Contemporary to Classics and you will learn great dialogue, fantastic moves and sing some brilliant songs.

The two day junior masterclass for 7 – 13 year olds will take place on Monday, 29 July and Tuesday, 30 July, ending with a performance at the end of the final day.  The classes will take place at AMATA in Falmouth between 10 am and 4pm at a total cost of £40 for the two days.

The three day senior master class for 14 – 21 year olds will take place between Wednesday, 31 July and Friday, 2 August, with a final performance at the end of the third day. Also being held at AMATA, between 10 am and 4m, the total cost is £60 for the three days.

Musical theatre performer and choreographer Kim Moses, who has worked with professional companies both in the UK an around the world, is looking forward to sharing her passion with a new generation of young people. Currently working as Hall For Cornwall’s Heritage Outreach Officer, Kim choreographed HFC’s popular Christmas show for the past three years.

“I have always loved musical theatre and in fact met my husband Richard while working on a show” said Kim.  “I grew up watching MGM musicals and am really lucky to have had the chance to work with a number of top companies.

“It will be fantastic to help young people in Cornwall explore the magic of musicals and develop the skills they need to perform on a West End stage.

We are delighted to be developing our partnership with AMATA Falmouth University and thank them very much for the gorgeous spaces to run our youth programmes.

To book a place on one of the master classes please visit the websiteand secure your place now!

Events Music Projects Workshops & Masterclasses

219 youngsters explore amazing Tin Forest at Illogan School

Illogan School was transformed into an amazing Tin Forest with exotic trees and flowers, tree frogs, toucans and tigers– thanks to a partnership between the school and Hall For Cornwall.A chance meeting between Headteacher Jo Knuckey and HFC’s Arts Development Director Helen Tiplady led to all 219 pupils being involved in a very special play with a strong
environmental message based on author Helen Ward’s bestselling children’s book The Tin
Forest.The book tells the story of an old man living in a small house in the middle of nowhere
surrounded by mountains of rubbish thrown away by people who can’t be bothered to recycle. At night, he dreams of a place with brightly coloured flowers, birds and animals. Waking one morning he decides to create a forest of metal trees and plants from the rubbish lying all around him. This is then transformed into a beautiful place with real trees, flowers and
animals following an initial visit from a toucan that drops seeds from its beak onto the ground.“Earlier this year the children took part in a single-use plastic free day which really captured their imaginations and got them thinking about waste and the importance of recycling “ said Jo Knuckey. I wanted to build on this enthusiasm and so decided to use an environmental theme for our end of term performance. The clear message contained in this book made it a perfect choice”.

This is Jo’s first year as Headteacher and she wanted to ensure that all the pupils had the
opportunity to be involved in the end of year performance. “With more than 200 children in the school this was an ambitious aim and I was delighted when I met Helen and she agreed to come on board with some of the HFC staff to help us pull it all

“The result has been an incredible experience which has supported staff to create our first ever whole school performance piece and has brought out the confidence of the children, some of whom were nervous at the beginning but were loving every minute by the time of the first performance. “

“This project has given the children of Illogan school memories that will last a life-time”.

As well as running a number of youth companies for young actors and dancers, Hall For
Cornwall’s Arts Development team also work with schools and community groups on a range of amazing dance and drama projects.

Arts Development Director Helen Tiplady leapt at the opportunity to work with an entire school and, with financial support from the Chartered Accountants’ Livery Charity, worked with colleagues Kim Healy, Sean Sweeney, Richard Healey and Simon Harvey, artists
Alessandra Ausenda, Amanda Lorens and Keith Sparrow and enthusiastic staff and pupils from Illogan School to bring the book to life. Also helping out was Myah Smith, a Year 10 student from Launceston College who was on a work experience placement with Hall For Cornwall.

Waste company Biffa and parents provided the school with a selection of waste materials to create their imaginary Tin Forest, with making company In the Bellows, which provided
puppets for the recent successful London production of Benjamin Button, creating a puppet of the Old Man character .

Following five days of writing scripts, learning lines, composing special music and intensive rehearsals, and many hours spent creating props and covering walls with tin foil and old
newspapers from the Scrapstore, the cast proudly performed their special play in front of an enthralled audience of over 300 people from the local community.

Described as a promenade piece, the play saw the cast walk the audience through the whole school building – from the mock rubbish dump at the entrance where children carelessly threw rubbish on the ground; through the main hall transformed into a forest with tin foil, to the four classroom installations depicting the rubbish room, the recycling machine, the sifting and
sorting room and the dream room, back to the main hall – the “heart” where the tin forest is transformed into a real forest with colourful trees, flowers and animals and then outside to the old Man’s house which was set in the beautiful meadow at Illogan School.

“This has been a fantastic project to work on “said Helen Tiplady. “From the Year 5
pupils who wrote the script and the Year 6 pupils who acted as narrators, to the
children who brought the story to life with their energy and enthusiasm and the teaching staff who helped make the props – everyone has worked so hard at the same time as having fun“.

One of the youngsters involved in the production was Year 5 pupil Cadan who had speaking parts as well as writing one of the music tracks played in one of the classroom installations. Speaking before the first performance he admitted he was feeling a little nervous but was very excited about his Mum and Dad watching him perform. “I have felt a bit of pressure” he said “but am really looking forward to taking part”.

Audience members were full of praise for the performance of all the children taking part and welcomed the play’s strong environmental message.

Gabriel Chavigny de Lachevrotiere, the proud Dad of Year 6 pupil Sophia, said “I am very proud of Sophia and all the children who have taken part. It is great to see the whole school get involved. It is also good that the younger generation are being
taught about pollution, global warming and climate in this way. If our generation had been taught these messages then we would not be in the position we are in

Laura Buffery -Martin, mum of Year 1 pupil Rufus also thoroughly enjoyed the performance. “I was blown away “she said. “The whole thing was amazing and I felt very
emotional “.

Helen Tiplady is delighted with the success of the Illogan School project and is looking
forward to working with other schools across Cornwall to help them deliver immersive work which supports their curriculum development.

“Research shows that creative arts play an important role in helping children
express themselves and develop their confidence, “she said. “They can also help schools deliver key areas of the curriculum by bringing complex subjects to life in a way which interests and engages pupils.”

For further information about the work of Hall For Cornwall’s Arts Development team please contact [email protected]