What's on in pictures

Mother Goose, Yeovil Octagon

A FULL-fledged pantomime is back on stage at the Octagon in Yeovil this season, once again starring those local favourites Gordon Cooper, Jack Glanville and Lizzie Frances, and giving the audience a chance to join in – even behind the advisory masks. It’s Paul Hendy’s new version of Mother Goose, the timeliest of pantomime stories…

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The Railway Children, Studio Theatre Salisbury

MIKE Kenny’s adaptation of E Nesbit’s classic story The Railway Children has been packing audiences in to railway stations, first at York and then at Waterloo and King’s Cross, since 2007 – and now it’s come to Salisbury’s intimate Studio Theatre. And it is an absolute delight. It’s a huge risk to take a cherished…

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Martin Dimery to retire as Frome Festival director

MARTIN Dimery, who became creative director of the Frome Festival in 2007,  taking over from founder-director Martin Bax, has announced that he will retire from his post after the 2022 festival. He said: “Directing the Frome Festival has been immensely rewarding and I’ve been greatly honoured to have maintained the position for 15 years. Following…

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Seth Lakeman and an angel at Honiton

THE Devon-based folk singer-songwriter Seth Lakeman, a member of one of the country’s most acclaimed musical dynasties, has just one West Country date for his winter tour, marking the release of his new studio album, at the Beehive Centre in Honiton on Wednesday 8th December. Make Your Mark features 14 new songs including Lakeman’s first…

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Christmas at the American Museum

THE American Museum and Gardens at Claverton Down near Bath, which this year has been celebrating its 60th anniversary, will have a spectacular Christmas illumination trail from 9th to 31st December. The Enchanted Garden of Light, Bath’s only Christmas lights trail, will illuminate the dramatic hillside setting as never before, with a sparkling route winding…

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One-man Christmas Carol

DAVID Mynne, a versatile Cornish actor who was one of the founder members of Kneehigh Theatre, is touring in December with his chilling and engrossing solo version of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. There are three dates with Dorset’s rural touring arts charity, Artsreach, Friday 10th December at Sydling St Nicholas, Saturday 11th at Briantspuddle and…

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Songs from the West Gallery

CHRISTMAS in Dorset is now synonymous with the Ridgeway Singers and Band singing folk songs and West Gallery carols, as well as new songs, at churches and halls across Dorset. This year’s tour starts at Stalbridge village hall on Saturday 11th December at 4pm. With their roots in the South Dorset Ridgeway and inspired by…

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A musical Christmas cocktail

DORCHESTER Arts is serving up a varied Christmas cocktail of concerts with music to suit all tastes, from Left Bank jazz to medieval carols, beginning on Saturday 4th with Moscow Drug Club, and their new show, Transcendent Troubadours of Gypsy Latin & Swing. The performance, at 8pm at the Corn Exchange, ranges from 1930s Berlin…

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Music under the moon at Bath

THE Polish composer Henryk Gorecki’s haunting Symphony of Sorrowful Songs is the centrepiece of a remarkable Christmas concert at Bath Abbey on Wednesday 8th December. Charles Hazlewood will conduct his Paraorchestra, with soprano Victoria Oruwari, under the magical giant Museum of the Moon installation  by Bristol artist Luke Jerram. The interior of the historic church…

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Third round of recovery funding for Bath and Poole

THERE was good news for  two of the region’s major arts venues, with grants together totalling more than £800,000 to Poole’s Lighthouse Arts Centre and Bath Theatre Royal. It was a double boost for Bath, with £423,499  from the latest round of the government’s Culture Recovery Fund and £389,868 from the CRF’s Sustainability Funding Scheme….

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Midwinter Revels at Glastonbury

HISTORICAL and folk musicians GreenMatthews will make a welcome return to the Rural Life Museum at Glastonbury on Sunday 12th December with a programme called Midwinter Revels. The concert, which begins at 7.30pm, follows their previous shows, A Christmas Carol: In Concert and A Brief History of Christmas. Spanning several centuries, Midwinter Revels is a…

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More plays at AUB

THE drama students at Arts University Bournemouth are back on stage at the university studio performing for live audiences, with four productions in the lead-up to Christmas. The first was Chris Bush’s The Changing Room. It co-incides with the opening of the exciting young playwright’s new musical, Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World, at…

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Cinderella – the perfect panto for Bath

PANTOMIME comes back to Bath Theatre Royal this Christmas, and what better way to celebrate than with Cinderella – with the villainous Ugly Sisters, Fairy Godmother, a touching romance and magical transformations, it is “the perfect panto,” says comedian and Bath favourite Jon Monie, who has written the script for the show. After the lockdowns…

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Silent masterpiece at Studland

ONE of the silent era’s masterpieces, Nosferatu, is being shown at Studland village hall on Sunday 12th December, with live music by Minima. The eerie, Gothic feel of FW Murnau’s astonishing film, and the chilling performance by Max Shrek as the vampire, set the template for many horror films that followed. Darkly humorous but also…

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Moviola in December

COVID restrictions (and new variants) permitting, Moviola has quite a few films on offer during December, including The Last Bus, the touching true story Dream Horse, and the Oscar-winning The Father. The Last Bus stars national treasure Timothy Spall as a widower revisiting his long marriage, carrying his wife’s ashes, on a nostalgic bus journey…

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Kora-guitar journey in Dorset

A CHANCE encounter in Bath in 2007 between the Senegalese kora player Amadou Diagne and French-American guitarist Cory Seznec led to a new musical adventure, and this year to a three date Artsreach tour to Langton Matravers village hall on Thursday 9th December, Winterborne Stickland’s Pamela Hambro on Friday 10th and Portesham hall on Saturday…

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Stories from Architecture

WHEN Tom Stoppard wrote his masterpiece Arcadia, he took a familiar English trope – the English country house and the eccentric, difficult, warring and occasionally delightful people who live and die there. He turned the familiar setting on its head, by creating a two-period story, with a great house, a fascinating library, a grotto that…

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The glory of cathedrals

YOU don’t have to be a church-goer or religious in any way to admire and love the great cathedrals. Historian and atheist Simon Jenkins is fascinated and awed by them. We are lucky to live in an area with two of the world’s greatest – Wells and Salisbury … Wells with its magnificent West Front, currently…

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Cutting it Fine at Salisbury

WORK by some of the finest British engravers is on show in Cutting It Fine: The Art of the British Wood Engraver, at Salisbury Museum, until 16th January 2022. There is a second exhibition featuring work by Howard Phipps, one of the greatest living wood engravers, who lives just outside Salisbury. Though printing onto paper…

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First in-house panto for Lighthouse

POOLE’s Lighthouse arts centre will have its first ever in-house pantomime, Beauty and the Beast, from Thursday 9th to Friday 31st December. Beauty and the Beast features a cast headed by long-time Lighthouse friend Chris Jarvis and Michelle Collins, star of EastEnders and Coronation Street, who will be playing the glamorous wicked fairy Nightshade (pictured)….

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