What's on in pictures

Windrose launches new website

RURAL media charity Windrose Trust has a new website – windroseruralmedia.org – where you can view old film, listen to audio and order DVDs. All Windrose’s projects were cancelled or postponed because of the pandemic, but a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund has enabled the charity, which was set up in 1984 under…

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Symphony of the Countryside – a Covid journey

RURAL touring arts charities, including Dorset’s Artsreach and Cornwall’s Carn to Cove, have got together to create a film that captures the images, words, music and sounds that make up our rural landscape from the south west to Northumberland At a time of isolation, with no possibility of live events in venues, rural touring schemes…

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Betrayal, Bath Theatre Royal

SEVEN months ago, en route to Bath Theatre Royal to review Band of Gold and New Old Friends, we were telephoned with the news that the theatre had closed until further notice following government instructions. What an exciting relief to be back, albeit masked and distanced, in the beautiful theatre for the first of three…

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New song for Apple Day

APPLE Day this year falls on Wednesday 21st October, but there will inevitably be very few events or celebrations – although it looks like a great year for the apple harvest. This year should have been a special celebration because it marks the 30th anniversary of the event which began as part of a campaign…

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Vital grant for Marine Theatre

THE historic Marine Theatre at Lyme Regis has received a vital boost with a £50,000 grant from the government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure it has a sustainable future. Director Gabby Rabbitts said: “We are so pleased and relieved. Alongside savings, fundraising, and…

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Flea the Pandemic, Dorset 1348

THE Covid-19 pandemic has inevitably revived interest in earlier mass infections – the Spanish flu of 100 years ago and the infamous Black Death of the mid 14th- century. Sturminster Newton’s Taboo Theatre Company, working with playwright Sue Ashby, brings the story of this plague that killed untold millions across Europe to the stage of …

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Working memories of Frome

MEMORIES of working in Frome, recorded by the Home in Frome group, can now be viewed online. The latest project of the community group, which records the changing life of the town, has been the mammoth task of turning the Working Memories book into a website, https://workingmemoriesfrome.co.uk/ The new website goes live on Tuesday, 27th…

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Culture fund lifeline for history festival

THE Chalke Valley History Festival has been awarded £260,000 as part of the government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure a sustainable future for the history festival and its Festival for Schools. The history festival, based in the Chalke valley in south Wiltshire,…

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Culture recovery grant for Wiltshire Creative

WILTSHIRE Creative, which runs Salisbury Playhouse, Salisbury Arts Centre and Salisbury International Arts Festival, has been awarded £446,000 as part of the government’s Culture Recovery Fund to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. The grant will contribute towards the organisation’s running costs until the end of March 2021. In a joint statement, Wiltshire…

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Gold award at Dorset Moon

DORSET Moon, a beautiful and moving celebration of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, has won a gold award in the new Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch Destination Awards. The award is for any event, festival, exhibition or performance that has drawn visitors to the area and enriched the cultural diversity of the area. Over…

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Lifeline grant for Theatre Royal Bath

BATH Theatre Royal has been awarded £955,192 as part of the government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure arts venues have a sustainable future. Since closing its doors to the public in March, Bath’s historic theatre is estimated to have lost more than £1.5million,…

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Recovery grants for Bristol Old Vic, Bath Theatre Royal and Poole Lighthouse

THREE of the leading arts venues in our region have been awarded six-figure grants from the Covid-19 Culture Recovery Fund, announced by Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden. They are Bristol Old Vic, the country’s oldest theatre in continuous use, Bath Theatre Royal, arguably the country’s prettiest historic theatre, and Poole’s Lighthouse arts centre, the biggest multi-arts…

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Artists share their 2020 vision

FOUR Bruton Arts Society members, Jane Eaton, Tessa McIntyre, Jane Onslow and Jenny de Sausmarez, share the gallery at Shaftesbury Arts Centre for an exhibition called Vision 2020, from 7th to 13th October. Jane Eaton, who is a member of The Arborealists group – artists across various media who have a particular interest in trees…

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Following the seasons at St Barbe Gallery

LYMINGTON’s St Barbe Gallery has an important autumn exhibition, The Seasons: Art of the Unfolding Year, celebrating seasonal change as portrayed by British artists over the last 100 years. The cycle of the seasons has for centuries been a source of inspiration for artists, writers and musicians but in recent times our urban and digitally-focused…

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Caz Scott at Gallery on the Square

THE new exhibition at Gallery on the Square in Poundbury features recent work by Dorchester artist Caz Scott, on show from 10th October to 10th November. The striking paintings celebrate the beauty of the Dorset landscape, and are particularly inspired by the dramatic Jurassic coastline. Caz, who is artist in residence at the Etches Collection,…

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Living Within at Messums Wiltshire

SET against the backdrop of Elisabeth Frink’s recreated Woolland studio in the 700 year old Tisbury tithe barn, this year’s Messums Wiltshire architecture festival considers the future of the spaces we inhabit at a time of radical change. Not for 300 years have so many people worked from home and the revolution in how we…

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Robin Redbreast flies in for Playhouse Christmas

THERE may not be a pantomime at Salisbury Playhouse this year, thanks to the coronavirus, but there will be a show for young children and their families. Wiltshire Creative has announced the return of Little Robin Redbreast, from 1st to 27th December. This delightful festive treat, which played to sell-out audiences at the Salberg studio…

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Drams from Dartmoor

TEN years of planning and maturing in the barrels have come to fruition with the release of Dartmoor Whisky, the ideal Christmas gift for any fan of single malt. Distilled and aged in the West Country’s first whisky distillery, at the gateway to Dartmoor the former in Bovey Tracey Town Hall, this whisky is firmly…

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A festive British Farmstead Cheese Board

DEVON-based farmhouse cheesemaker Quicke’s has unveiled the line-up for its first ever British Farmstead Cheese Board, hand-picked to be at their best during the Christmas festivities. Partnering with other artisan cheesemakers across the region, who craft their cheeses from milk produced within metres of the dairy, Mary Quicke has curated a winter cheese selection that…

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Dairy stars in Great Taste Awards

THE West Country’s dairy heritage was to the fore in the list of three star winners in the 2020 Great Taste Awards, run by the Guild of Fine Food, based in Gillingham, north Dorset. The top products in the world’s most trusted food and drink awards included cheese, yogurt, cream and curd. Single stars were…

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It’s all going wrong – oh yes it is!

THE bad news is that there won’t, after all, be a pantomime at Bath Theatre Royal this year. The good news is that the theatre will have a welcome return for the West End comedy hit, The Play That Goes Wrong. So while Cinderella will have to wait for her prince until 2021, audiences will…

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Bristol’s Cirque Bijou supports live arts

A GROUP of socially distanced Bristol volunteers danced to an audience of one – a drone – to celebrate the twin jewels in this country’s crown, the arts and the NHS. The spectacular 60-second video by Cirque Bijou, based in Easton, was intended to demonstrate the industry’s commitment to safely starting up live performance. Filmed…

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Landmark music documentary

THE untold story of one of the most influential movements in British music, director Rubika Shah’s award-winning documentary, White Riot is at the cinema at Poole’s Lighthouse arts centre on Tuesday 13th October., the only screening in the area. The film offers a whistle stop tour of the grass-roots musical uprising in the late 1970s,…

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Osprey’s new Lighthouse roost

POOLE’s Lighthouse centre for the arts is now home to a beautiful osprey sculpture commissioned as a beacon of hope, an emblem of the impact of lockdown on the community. The sculpture, made by WildWire artist Paul Green, is of the osprey CJ7 that was seen during lockdown by more than a million viewers around…

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Rebanks and Osman at BridLit Festival

LAKE District sheep farmer and author James Rebanks makes a welcome return to Bridport Literary Festival this year, and first-time novelist Richard Osman makes his debut at the Dorset event, which is due to run from Wednesday 4th to Saturday 7th November. BridLit director Tanya Bruce-Lockhart has been working hard to bring some much-needed light…

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An authentic taste of Dorset Cider

A GROUP of young Dorset craft cider makers gathered, socially distanced of course, for a unique cider tasting in the new Hinknowle Barn venue at Rupert Best’s estate at Melplash. The Dorset Cider Apple event was a chance to taste and judge a set of single variety ciders, the culmination of a fascinating project led by…

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Rosbif of “la France profonde” in Dorset

THE French used to refer to the English as “les rosbif” – a reference to our national predilection for roast beef. It remains true that Britain – including Scotland and Northern Ireland – produces some of the world’s finest beef. But the French have some excellent beef cattle, and one of the finest breeds is…

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Wiltshire Music Centre reopens

WILTSHIRE Music Centre at Bradford-on-Avon has reopened after nearly six months, with a programme of concerts from classical to jazz to folk. In July the centre launched a £60,000 Community Fundraising Appeal to help to reopen the venue for an autumn and winter programme that puts the community centre stage. With the closure affecting more…

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BSO autumn concerts at Poole

THE Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra has returned to the concert stage at Poole’s Lighthouse arts with 12 socially distanced concerts, continuing to 16th December. Audiences will be able to experience the concerts live online and, it is hoped, to attend events in the hall, as the government guidance on Covid-19 restrictions continues to evolve. Meanwhile, a…

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Land of Light for Longleat Christmas 2020

THE Wiltshire landscape around Longleat will be magically transformed into the Land of Light this winter as part of a new event, running from 7th November to 10th January 2021.  Through technology, art and interactive installations,   Land of Light features thousands of spectacular light sources, illuminating seven themed areas across the estate. The show…

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Dame Judi to judge school poetry competition

DORSET schoolchildren, who are taking part in a poetry competition to support the appeal for the barn owl barn at Bere Marsh Farm, will have their entries judged by one of Britain’s best loved and critically acclaimed actresses, Dame Judi Dench. The Oscar and BAFTA award-winning star has thrilled youngsters and teachers at schools in…

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Diaspora – Afro-Caribbean art at Salisbury

THE new exhibition at Salisbury Arts Centre is Diaspora, bringing together artists and makers of African/Caribbean heritage to showcase their work,  which has not previously been seen in Salisbury. Wiltshire Creative artist in residence Mirka Golden-Hann says: “This exhibition was originally cancelled due to the Covid lockdown and we are very happy to be able…

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Amazing job at Longleat

A TEAM of gardeners is close to completing one of the biggest jobs in horticulture – cutting the giant hedge maze at Longleat. Made up of more than 16,000 English yew trees, with 2.8kms of pathways and covering an area of 0.6 hectares, the Wiltshire maze is one of the largest in the world. It…

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Award joy at Strode Theatre

THERE was understandable joy at Strode Theatre, Street, when the Culture Secretary announced the list of venues and organisations which would be receiving grants from the government’s Covid-19 Culture Recovery Fund. Strode Theatre, which has been closed since the lockdown started in March, has been awarded a grant of £246,911. General manager Robin Peters, who…

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Wells LitFest celebrates anniversaries

THIS year’s Wells Festival of Literature will go ahead from 16th to 24th October, with a hybrid programme of live and streamed events – dependent, of course, on any changes in the Covid-19 rules. The theme is unashamedly celebratory including the 50th anniversary of the Glastonbury Festival, the 300th anniversary of the birth of Gilbert…

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Inland landscapes

PAINTER and printmaker Carry Akroyd has a solo exhibition of new work at the Jerram Gallery in Half Moon Street, Sherborne from 10th to 24th October. Inland is a show of 40 paintings in different media – oils, watercolour, acrylic and mixed media as well as a small amount of her original prints. Carry’s landscapes…

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A sculptor “comes of age”

THE new exhibition at Sculpture by the Lakes near Dorchester is a showcase and celebration of 21 years of the work of renowned British sculptor Simon Gudgeon. Coming of Age, in the gallery until 24th October, is the first major retrospective devoted to Simon’s sculpture, and offers a unique opportunity to revisit and enjoy a…

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Gabriele Koch at Sladers Yard

PAINTER Simon Quadrat and potter Gabriele Koch share the gallery space at Sladers Yard, West Bay, in a powerful exhibition, which continues to 8th November. A former president of the Royal West of England Academy, and a practising barrister for many years, Simon Quadrat was born in London in 1946, the son of Jewish émigrés…

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Natural Elements at Fisherton Mill

NORTH Dorset artist Rachel Sargent is one of a select group of artists with work in Natural Elements, the new exhibition at Fisherton Mill, Salisbury, from Saturday 3rd to Saturday 31st October. The exhibition is showcasing the work of nine artists and artisans who live and work in Dorset and Wiltshire, with artwork in different…

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A private tour of Somerset’s secret gardens

THINK of gardens and Somerset and you probably picture the multi-period gardens of Hestercombe near Taunton or the Elizabethan glories of Montacute or Lytes Cary. But this beautiful and varied county also has a host of hidden private gardens, and these are the subject  of Abigail Willis’s new book Secret Gardens of Somerset: A Private…

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Ham Hill scheme to save Shrill Carder Bee

SOUTH Somerset District Council is working with organisations including the Bumble Bee Conservation Trust to save the rare Shrill Carder bee. The council’s team at Ham Hill Country Park has started habitat management to encourage the bees to recolonise from an existing population nearby. The work is centred around the hay meadows in the flat…

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Cast announced at Bath Theatre Royal

THREE of the greatest plays of the late 20th century have been chosen for the reopening season at Bath’s historic Theatre Royal. The Welcome Back Season will run from 14th October to 12th December. The first of the three modern classics chosen to reopen the main house is Harold Pinter’s masterpiece of adultery and guilt,…

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Help to put a roof over the barn owls’ heads

THE Countryside Restoration Trust, the charity which works to support and encourage wildlife-friendly, sustainable farming, is appealing for help to raise £30,000 to repair the dilapidated home of barn owls on Bere Marsh Farm near Shillingstone. Just weeks after moving on to the farm by the river Stour, which is intended to be its showcase…

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Martin and Eliza cancelled at the Marine

THE Marine Theatre at Lyme Regis reopens in October. A concert by Martin Carthy and his daughter Eliza, due on 31st October, has been postponed. The old theatre on the sea-front also has home-grown guitarist and singer-songwriter Adam Sweet and his new band playing their new album, Sink or Swim, on Friday 23rd October, alongside…

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Playhouse reopens with six week season 

SALISBURY Playhouse will re-open in October with a socially-distanced six-week season of theatre, dance, music and live screenings, running between 14th October and 21st November. To follow government guidelines for indoor performances and social distancing, the capacity of the main house will be reduced from 512 to 148, with audiences sitting in their household bubbles…

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Rankin exhibition at Poole

AN exhibition of poignant and startling monochrome portraits of “life masks” by the celebrated photographer Rankin will be on show at Poole’s Lighthouse arts centre from Tuesday 15th September to Saturday 21st November in the main gallery. The  exhibition, Alive: In The Face of Death, had been due to open in March just as the…

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The early years of a National Treasure

BATH’s Holburne Museum, now open for visits after the lockdown, has a major exhibition of work by one of the country’s best-loved artists. Grayson Perry: The Pre-Therapy Years runs to 3rd January 2021. This is the first exhibition to survey Perry’s earliest forays into the art world, featuring the exciting, radical works he made between…

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