What's on in pictures

The Mother of All Pageants inspires documentary

FANS of the Mapp and Lucia books and television adaptations may remember the pageant (in which Lucia, predictably, played Elizabeth I), EF Benson was inspired by the popularity of pageants in the years of the 20th century – and one of the finest was staged in Sherborne. A documentary film inspired by the Sherborne Pageant…

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In Search of Cinderella, a peripatetic online pantomime

I WAS driving through nearby villages last week, and miserably missing all those posters advertising Aladdin, Sleeping Beauty, Jack and the Beanstalk, Dick Whittington (and of course Cinderella) that you’d expect to see taped to lamp-posts at this time of year. Covid-19 has scuppered all performances in early 2021, and those pantomimes have been a…

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Dreaming of a place in the sun?

WE can’t travel to our favourite places, thanks to Covid-19, but we can still dream. Take a virtual tour of some of Europe’s most beautiful areas and finest vineyards, courtesy of Property Guides online, which has drawn up a  list of ten top locations for wine. Stunning landscapes and fascinating history often go hand-in-hand with…

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Knighthood for Le Brun

SCULPTOR Christopher Le Brun, one of whose most famous works is on show at the New Art Centre at Roche Court near Salisbury, was awarded a knighthood for services to the arts in the New Year honours. Known as a painter, sculptor and print-maker, Le Brun, who was born in Portsmouth in 1951, and trained…

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Lighthouse after Covid

POOLE’s Lighthouse centre for the arts is closed, as part of the Covid-19 lockdown, but the team is looking ahead, announcing events for the summer,. These include a performance of Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius by Bournemouth Symphony Chorus, in memory of the choir’s trustee and music advisor, Sandrey Date, on Sunday 13th June at…

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Zoom mystery on the Frome train

WHEN John Palmer and Al Brunker from Frome Drama had the idea of Terminus, back in 2013, it was as a “talking heads” stage play that went on to be performed in nearby Holt at the start of its progress to the NODA Best Original Production and Best Drama awards. The restrictions of Coronavirus lockdown…

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It fits! I won! … Somerset’s own Cinderella

IT’s January! It’s dark! It’s cold! Christmas is over and we’re all in tiers and even tears! We’re fed up! We’re bored! We want some fun! We want some laughs! WE WANT A PANTOMIME! Of course you do. It’s that time of year. It’s only natural! But the theatres are all closed. The seats are…

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New year transformation at Pavilion Dance

A NEW dance work inspired by the lifecycle of the butterfly, Papyllon, by Ella Mesma, is being streamed by Pavilion Dance South West from Monday 18th to Sunday 24th January. This transformative new piece provides an opportunity to see a work in development from one of the UK’s rising dance talents. Responding to the need…

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10 Parishes Festival turns over a New Leaf

REGISTRATION is open for the 2021 biennial 10 Parishes Festival, which is planned to run from 11th to 19th September. The festival promotes and celebrates visual and performing arts in the parishes of Wiveliscombe, and the surrounding villages, Fitzhead, Milverton, Clatworthy, Brompton Ralph, Huish Champflower, Chipstable, Waterrow, Stawley and Ashbrittle. The usual January festival launch…

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Folk tale inspires film

A NEW short film by Millstream Theatre, the Museum of East Dorset’s resident company of learning disabled actors, is based on a magical folk tale collected by traditional storyteller Duncan Williamson. The Woodcutter and the Swan was originally a devised theatre piece. Due to Covid-19, Millstream Theatre, with co-directors, Tony Horitz and Tam Gilbert, have…

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Highlighting the peasant farmers’ plight

A NEW film from La Via Campesina, the international organisation which campaigns for the rights of small farmers, peasants and indigenous peoples, focuses on the problems facing young people in rural areas. The Feast:Tong-Tong, produced in conjunction with ZIN TV, was created during a youth meeting of La Via Campesina in Senegal. What is it…

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Jon Monie celebrates pantomime

IF you weren’t lucky enough to get to one of the few Christmas shows and Covid-year pantos, you can still enjoy a celebration of this great British tradition courtesy of the wit and invention of Bath Theatre Royal’s favourite panto star, Jon Monie. Jon, long-time partner of the late great Chris Harris, playing the sidekick…

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Winter sunset

New Year light: a wintry late afternoon sun shines through frosty woods on the edge of Cranborne Chase. How lucky we are to live in such a beautiful area.

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Exciting future for Yeovil Octagon

YEOVIL’S Octagon Theatre, which has provided the launchpad for many professional careers in theatre, music and dance, as well as bringing a huge variety of performances to audiences across the region, will be enlarged and improved in a £23m expansion, approved in principle by South Somerset District Councillors. The scheme includes a new circle of…

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Tamarind and The Star of Ishta

SOMERSET-based author Jasbinder Bilan has followed up her Costa Children’s Book Award-winning debut novel with a delightful new story, which similarly draws on her family background in India close to the Himalayas. Jasbinder came with her family to the UK when she was still barely a toddler, but although they lived in a big city…

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Sharing music and film with dementia sufferers

WINDROSE, the rural media charity, has set up an innovative project that combines live singing and old films, provided by internet technology for people in Wiltshire who are living with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Folk singer and song collector Amanda Boyd worked with Alzheimer’s Support Wiltshire to deliver interactive Zoom sessions, which included fascinating old footage…

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Magical ancient woods

ONE of my favourite things to do is walk in woods, and one of the most magical woods in the country is Wistman’s Wood on Dartmoor. The latest exhibition by The Arborealists, the group of professional artists whose work focuses on trees and forests, is Trees and Woodland on Exmoor and Dartmoor, currently on view…

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Viewing the landscape

HOW do we see the world? The new exhibition online at Sladers Yard gallery and arts venue in West Bay explores the idea of seeing the landscape through the paintings of three very different artists. In the Mind’s Eye, running from 30th January to 13th March, looks at the power of memory and imagination in…

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Wiltshire residency for graduate glassmaker

ONE of the country’s leading glassmaking workshops, Devereux & Huskie Glassworks, based near the canal on the outskirts of Trowbridge, are providing a four-day residency for Calum Dawes, winner of the Contemporary Glass Society’s 2021 Amanda Moriarty Prize. The prize is in memory of Amanda Moriarty, a long serving CGS board member and honorary treasurer…

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Gillingham and Shaftesbury Show – back over two days

THE Gillingham & Shaftesbury Show will be back this year, helping to reunite the rural community safely, over two days in 2021, on Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th August. It will be the first time that the long-established one-day show has been held over two days, and will help to ensure its safe return during…

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On tour with Inch by IN:CH

AN artist-led project, curated by the Bath-based artist group IN:CH, is bringing contemporary art out of the gallery and into the communal areas of our everyday lives with Inch by IN:CH, a “portable ravelling exhibition”. The 11 artists, all working in the South West, practise a variety of art forms, and in this new project…

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Terminus, Frome Drama on Zoom

ALAN Bennett is the undoubted leader in the “talking heads” genre, and his famous monologues found a massive new audience in lockdown, performed by a new generation of actors. Of course it’s the perfect way for locked-down self-isolators to continue their thespian activities, and thanks to the fast-evolving technical developments, more or less anything is…

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Lighthouse “Survive to thrive” appeal

LOCAL support for Poole’s Lighthouse centre for the arts resulted in more than £2100 being raised over the weekend following the relaunch of its Bridge The Gap fundraising campaign. “Once again we have been humbled by the incredible generosity of our amazing supporters and audiences,” says Lighthouse fundraising manager Tom Shallaker. “With their help, throughout…

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Yeovil Literary Prize

THE Yeovil Community Arts Association (YCAA) has launched its 2021 international Literary Prize, an annual writing competition with cash prizes in four categories. All money raised supports talented, local youngsters training for careers in the performing and creative arts. Now in its 18th year, the Yeovil Literary Prize has become a highly regarded writing competition,…

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Lighthouse support for young performers

POOLE’s Lighthouse centre for the arts has paused its programme of live performances and closed the building in line with the new national lockdown rules but behind the scenes the team is now working on a number of projects, including online workshops for young people. Having successfully applied to become a National Youth Theatre Auditions…

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Laters, Nurse Nellie

YEOVIL”s Octagon Theatre had one of the country’s best original, Covid-secure, no-interval pantomimes, Nurse Nellie Saves Panto. But even the intrepid Nurse Nellie could not withstand the imposition of Tier 3 restrictions, so the remaining performances have had to be postponed. But all is not lost. There are plans to bring the hilarious show, about…

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Bath Fest’s new home

THE Bath festivals’ team of 11, which runs the Bath Festival, Bath Children’s Literature Festival and year-round Creative Learning projects, has moved out of its headquarters in Bath Street into the Art Deco former cinema The Forum. The Grade II listed building makes a fantastic arts hub for the wider community to enjoy. Bath Festival audiences…

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