A renowned feminist theatre company is celebrating the power of women in midlife at its flagship festival being held in towns throughout Cornwall. 

Scary Little Girls will be taking over venues to stage a full programme of circus and cabaret excitement as part of its Mayven Festival between November 20 and 26. 

The team will tell important stories in their own inimitable way from living literature walks to cabaret performances, from acrobatic displays to a celebration of Allantide. 

There will be a lively eulogy to female writers Virginia Woolf, Frida Kahlo, Nina Simone or Tove Janssen at The Great Late Wake to spooky tales of witches and ghosts at Witches in the Wilderness in Tintagel. 

It will be a chance to see some of this year’s top performers from Glastonbury Festival’s circus tent as they entertain Cornish audiences at Best of the Fest at Mount Pleasant Eco Park in Porthtowan. 

The Art of the MC will describe how to keep audiences, both large and small, in the palm of your hand at The Circus Works Devoran  or there’s a chance to try knife-throwing with Annabelle Holland, the UK’s only female knife thrower. 

The Great Greenham Cabaret provides a night at The Poly in Falmouth filled with song, stories, solidarity and sisterhood.  

Combining comedy, verbatim theatre, circus and music, Scary Little Girls and Greenham Women Everywhere celebrate the audacity, the irreverence, the daring of the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp. 

Other events include a storytelling walk around Bodmin and the Game On pub quiz at St Agnes Library and cabaret comedy from Becca’s pub landlady character, Pat Pinch at Newquay Orchard.  

The closing event for this year’s Mayven festival, Scary Little Cabaret brings elements from across the festival together for a riotous night of special guests, wicked wits, sultry songstresses and cabaret mayhem.  

Rebecca Mordan, artistic director of Scary Little Girls, said: “The Mayven is a sometimes-overlooked stage in a woman’s life. She comes after maiden and mother and is described by some as containing ‘the inherent value and power of midlife’. 

“The Mayven is something a woman can ascend into after turning 40 and reside in for as long as she wants until she decides to Crone. 

“The Mayven combines a worldly knowledge, wisdom and expertise with an energy and vibrancy that make her magnetic, sexy and powerful.  

“Both powerful and authentic, a Mayven knows her worth and who she is and isn’t afraid to show it and receive respect.” 

Rebecca continues: “Cornwall is our home and the birthplace of the Mayven Festival. It’s a celebration of the power of women, and part of our ethos has always been to provide a platform for female creators and performers and their art.” 

The Mayven Festival Cornwall is part of a body of artistic work including festivals, tours and new commissions Scary Little Girls are set to deliver until April 2025 with the £296,200 grant from the UK Government, received through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund which is part of a £4.4m investment in a cultural events and talent programme across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 

Louis Gardner, Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for the economy, said: “Community and place are a key investment priority under the Shared Prosperity Fund, and supporting cultural events and talent is a vital aspect. 

“Bringing together diverse voices and stories to communities across Cornwall, the Mayven Festival Cornwall is a celebration with a packed programme to entertain all.” 

Cornwall Council has been chosen by government as a lead authority for the fund and is responsible for monitoring the progress of projects funded through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 

• Tickets are now on sale. Find full details of the Mayven Festival Cornwall on the Scary Little Girls website at scarylittlegirls.co.uk/mayven/