New company brings the Scottish Play to Bedminster

BRISTOL’S Tobacco Factory breaks new ground with the launch of its Factory Company, performing Macbeth on the former cigar packing floor at the Bedminster factory from 22nd February to 2nd April. The inaugural season continues with A View from the Bridge from  Wednesday 18th April to Saturday 12th May. A resident professional ensemble has been…

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Sunday for Wedmore gospel singing

HAVE you ever wanted to do some gospel singing? Wedmore Opera has organised a one-day workshop, followed by a short, early evening performance  this Sunday 25th February at the Village Hall. The workshop starts at 11am  and the day contiues until 6.30pm. There is no need to be an experienced singer or to read music….

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Trust closes Avebury stone circles

THE National Trust has taken a “difficult decision”  to temporarily close most of Avebury henge and stone circles. to protect the water-logged World Heritage Site from damage. It is the first time in 17 years that the Trust has closed much of Avebury henge, stone circles and West Kennet Avenue, but the concern is that…

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TEN at Pavilion Dance

ACE Dance and Music, the internationally recognised Afro-fusion company, comes to Bourne­mouth Pavilion Dance South West on Thursday 10th March, at 7.30pm. The company brings its production of TEN, choreographed by José Agudo, described as a powerful and thought-provoking dance piece,inspired by global immigration. It fuses contemporary Afri­can, Flamenco and Kathak dance styles. The performance…

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Opening Doors at Wells

TEN years ago, composer Helen Ottaway from Frome and dance artist Melanie Thompson collaborated on a public art project at Wells – on Saturday 24th March, they are back in the city to explore their recent travels and residencies in Denmark and Sri Lanka and to start to develop a new project. Opening Doors at the…

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Sound the Trumpets in Somerset schools

THE Onyx Brass Quintet will be spending time in Somerset in the coming weeks, working with a number of schools around the Frome area. They are the guests of Jackdaws Music Education Trust, based at Great Elm, and will be leading the Sound the Trumpets project, which has its finale at the Cheese and Grain…

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Liz Somerville at The Art Stable

IT is hard to imagine a more appropriate venue for an exhibition of Liz Somerville’s beautiful, distinctive prints – stand outside the door of The Art Stable, the little gallery at Gold Hill Organic Farm, Child Okeford, and you look across the farmyard to Hambledon Hill, a frequent subject for the well-known Dorset artist. The new…

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An electronic take on Medea

MEDEA, the shocking story of a jilted queen who kills her children to take revenge on her unfaithful husband, the hero Jason, gets a radical reworking by new theatre company Pecho Mama, in Medea Electronica, at Bridport Arts Centre on 23rd February, the only date in the West Country. Pecho Mama sets the tale in…

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Polar Bears Go UP at the egg

YOUNG theatregoers are invited to Bath’s egg from 21st to 25th February, to join two intrepid polar bears on an exciting adventure. Aimed at audiences aged from two to five and their families, there are eight daytime shows during the visit. The bears have lost their balloon and need to get it back, so there’s…

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Tim Vine – an idiot on tour

MASTER of the one-liner, multi-talented singer and comedian Tim Vine is back on tour with a show called Sunset Milk Idiot, coming to the Redgrave Theatre at Bristol from 19th to 21st February, the Babbacombe Theatre at Torquay on 22nd and 23rd and Bournemouth Pavilion on 24th. Fans can expect the usual mixture of silly…

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Grams on tour

NASHVILLE-based Americana duo The Grahams (pronounced Grams in the southern way) make six stops in the south west region on their current UK tour. They will be introducing a growing body of fans to their two newest projects, a studio album and  their musical exploration of the USA on two wheels, which will become the…

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Remembering Jayaben Desai and Grunwick

IF you are old enough to remember the Grunwick strike of 1976 to 78, you will recognise the name Jayaben Desai, whose inspiring story is told in  We Are The Lions, Mr Manager, coming to Dorchester Arts at the Corn Exchange on 16th February, Bridport Arts Centre on 17th and Halstock village hall with Artsreach on…

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Beth Nielsen Chapman in Dorset

TEXAS-born singer-songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman, who has a new album out, is coming to Gillingham on 10th March, and the Electric Palace at Bridport at the end of the month, on Thursday 29th. The Gillingham concert has been arranged by the Gillingham Festival committee and will be performed at Gillingham School. The newly released Hearts…

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Edgelarks in the footsteps of Phillip and Hannah

EDGELARKS, making four stops in the south west on their UK tour,  is the newest musical manifestation of award-winning duo Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin. They will be playing at Downend Folk Club, Bristol on Friday 16th February,  and in March at Ebbes­bourne Wake in Wiltshire on Sat­ur­day 24th, the Victoria Hall in Radstock on…

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The Taming of the Shrew, BOVTS at Circomedia, Bristol

SHAKESPEARE’S early play The Taming of the Shrew is one of the most difficult for modern audiences, and never more so than in these post-Weinstein, equal pay, equal opportunity days. Bill Alexander’s sparkling production for Bristol Old Vic Theatre School at Circomedia (the 18th century former St Paul’s Church)  doesn’t duck away from the story….

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Rise up women! Celebrating votes for women at Lyme Regis

THE Marine Theatre at Lyme Regis is celebrating the centenary of votes for women with a series of events beginning on Friday 2nd March with a play, The Boadicea of Britannia Street. This  funny and touching play about female friendship is by the acclaimed playwright Ade Morris. Journalist Fran, PE teacher Penny, shy librarian Janet,…

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Chekhov in the round at BOV

WHEN the new production opens at Bristol Old Vic on Thursday 1st March, the historic theatre will be re-configured for in-the-round performances of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard. Newly translated by Rory Mull­ar­key and directed by former RSC artistic director Michael Boyd, this mournful comedy reels from farce to heartbreak as it maps an insecure world…

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A drive through friendship

DORSET-based Angel Exit Theatre comes to Bridport Arts Centre on Saturday 3rd March, with The Drive, a dark comedy about two estranged friends on a long drive to Norway . Set in a car full of boxes, it is a story of a fractured friendship– and a message from a dead friend. The Drive recounts…

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Harley and Kimbro on tour

ACOUSTIC slide guitar maestro,  singer and songwriter Martin Harley joins bass player extraordinaire Daniel Kimbro are on a spring UK tour from until 10th March, promoting their album Static in the Wires. Their first tour introducing the album was sold out, and now the  Feet Don’t Fail Me tour, starting with Celtic Connections in Glas­gow,…

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More egg producers needed, say Dan and Briony Woods

DEMAND for its multi-award-winning free range eggs is at an all-time high, so The Traditional Free Range Egg Company is looking to expand its network of small independent family-run farms across the south west to produce hen, duck, goose and quail eggs for the Somerset-based free range egg producer and supplier. Owners Dan and Briony…

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You shall go to the awards, Cinderella

POOLE’s Lighthouse pantomime star Lucy-Jane Quinlan, who captured hearts at Christmas in the title role of Cinderella has been nominated for Best Leading Female in the Great British Pantomime Awards. There are also nominations for other individual performers, sets and special effects and for the overall pantomime productions at Salisbury, Yeovil, Bath and Weymouth. The…

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New head chef at Howard’s House​ ​

HOWARD’s House, one of the West Country’s hidden gems, a hotel and restaurant in the beautiful Teffont valley west of Salisbury, has a new chef, the first change since 2002. Andy Britton is an award-winning chef who has worked with Albert Roux and Michael Caines, and locally has been making a name for himself at…

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