What's on in pictures

ON LINE – the Inside Out Piano

SARAH Nicholls introduced her Inside-Out Piano to a virtual audience at Southampton’s Turner Sims on International Piano Day, Sunday 29th March at 3pm. You can watch and listen to the concert on line until next Sunday, 6th April. Log on to www.turnersims. co.uk/events/the-inside-out-piano/ This is a piano like never before: strummed like a guitar, singing like a…

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Performance venue closures – see Arts Diary for details

Theatres, concert halls, arts centres and other public performance venues around the country closed on Monday 16th March in an effort to control the spread of Coronavirus.  We will update the website with details of cancellations and  postponements as they are announced. Look at the Arts Diary for information.   Here is the statement from the Society…

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Virtual theatre from Strode

WE can’t go TO the theatre, but we can still enjoy great theatre and opera and dance, thanks to the marvels of digital technology, and Robin Peters, director of Strode Theatre at Street, hopes that people will join in regular streamed productions and get at least a little of that performance magic. He says: “With…

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Dispatches from Hauser & Wirth

HAUSER & Wirth, the international fine art gallery, which has Hauser & Wirth Somerset at Durslade Farm, Bruton, has responded to the coronavirus crisis by launching Dispatches, a series of online exhibitions, original videos, and experiences. The aim is to connect the view “with our artists  – and all of us with each other –…

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Herbal heritage at Lytes Cary

MUGWORT doesn’t have the most appealing name in English, but its scientific name “artemisia” will be familiar to anyone interested in the history of herbs. Its medical uses included preventing weariness on a journey, according to a 16th-century medical text that is the inspiration behind a herbal border at the National Trust’s Lytes Cary Manor…

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Peter Ursem exhibition on-line

JUST a month ago, print-maker and artist Peter Ursem was looking forward to an exhibition with The Arborealists, at the Museum of Somerset in Taunton. Now, with the exhibition cancelled, because of Covid-19, in common with all visual and performing arts events, the Dutch-born artist, who lived in Dorset for many years and is now…

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Gillingham and Shaftesbury Show update

JAMES Cox, show secretary of the Gillingham and Shaftesbury Show, currently scheduled for 19th August, has sent out a reminder that the closing date to book trading stands is 1st April. He says: “At this time plans continue as normal for what is expected to be a fantastic and successful Gillingham and Shaftesbury Show, with…

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Two eggs at cathedral’s peregrine nest

WHO needs Easter eggs when you can have the real life drama and delight of peregrine falcons laying eggs and nurturing their clutch on one of Britain’s greatest gothic cathedrals. The Salisbury Cathedral peregrines have two eggs, which can be seen via the peregrine webcam (see below). The cathedral team, led by Gary Price, the…

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Iford Festival 2020 cancelled

THE main Iford Festival programme of operas and concerts for 2020 has been cancelled, but the team hopes that the Picnic Proms may be able to go ahead at the end of August and beginning of September. A statement from David Moss, Chairman of Iford Arts. “As a consequence of the government’s advice relating to…

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CCANW to close

THE trustees of the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World have announced that, in response to the severe funding challenges that CCANW shares with many other arts organisations, they have decided to close on 31st March. The charitable incorporated organisation’s work will be re-focussed through an independent curatorial practice led by CCANW’s founder,…

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Ticket holders donate to Lighthouse

GENEROUS audience members have donated hundreds of pounds to Poole’s Lighthouse arts centre, which has closed in line with the latest advice on COVID-19. Ticket holders to shows including BalletBoyz and English Touring Opera’s productions of Cosi Fan Tutte and Giulio Cesare have elected to donate the price of their tickets to the venue rather…

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Salisbury Festival cancelled

WILTSHIRE Creative has announced the cancellation of the 2020 Salisbury Arts Festival. “It is with great disappointment that, following continued government and industry advice, we are writing to let you know that we have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Salisbury International Arts Festival, due to run from 22ns May to 6th June….

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Ilminster Arts Centre temporary closure

ILMINSTER Arts Centre at the Meeting House, which is marking its silver jubilee in 2020, has announced a temporary closure in response to the ongoing Coronavirus public health situation. A spokesperson said the café was now closed and that concerts and workshops for the foreseeable future would be cancelled: “Ticket holders should contact the arts…

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A vision for the future at South Petherton

WE all need some good news at present – or at least positive signs of an arts organisation that is looking beyond the current crisis. Petherton Arts Trust, which runs the David Hall at South Petherton, launched its ambitious Vision 2025 project just before the coronavirus pandemic really bit, and will be working towards its long-term…

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Quicke’s lead food delivery system

DEVON-based Quicke’s, the traditional clothbound Cheddar maker near Crediton, is at the forefront of a scheme to provide high quality local food to people who are affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The company is also offering free delivery to NHS staff and all vulnerable groups affected by the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the UK,…

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Delivery offer from the Gardens Group

THE Gardens Group, which has three garden centres in Sherborne, Poundbury and Yeovil, is taking extra steps to help customers during the coronavirus crisis. The garden centres, and the Brimsmore farm-shop at Yeovil, are following the Covid19 guidelines to assist customers who have been advised to self-isolate or are following social distancing measures so that…

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Open air theatre

WITH theatres, concert halls and arts centres – as well as many village halls – closed for the immediately foreseeable future, many are wondering what will happen to the vibrant, traditional, open air theatre season, so important to many in rural areas. Here is a run-down of what the FTR can discover today, 30th March 2020….

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Ticket holders

THEATRES, arts centres, concert halls and other venues across the country are asking audience members with tickets for events in the coming weeks and months to be patient with refund arrangements – and to consider donating the money they have already spent on tickets to the venues and artists whose livelihoods have been instantly put…

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Crime at Lyme – new festival cancelled

THE new literary festival on the Dorset calendar, Lyme Crime,  has been cancelled and will hopefully be launched in 2021. Due from 26th to 28th June, the line-up includee Luke Jennings, author of the Killing Eve novels. The festival aims to bring the best talents in crime and thriller fiction to the town for a…

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Photographer returns to first love

WILTSHIRE photographer Nigel Hudson has recently retired after 35 years of professional film and photography for clients, and has returned to his first love, the printed image. He first picked up a camera when he was a student at St Martin’s School of Art in London in the mid 70s.  It is a tool that…

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Shop of the year win for Bristol deli

BRISTOL delicatessen Papadeli, in Alma Road, Clifton, has won the Delicatessen and Grocer category of the Guild of Fine Food’s Shop of the Year 2020 competition. The judges were charmed with its “general ambience” and range of homemade cakes. The winners were announced at the Fodder Farm Shop and Café in Harrogate. The awards are…

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Artsreach postpones

IN the light of the Corona­virus situation, Artsreach, Dorset’s rural touring charity, has decided to postpone the final performances of its season. These are the Artsreach 30th anniversary ceilidh at Mar­tins­town planned for Friday 20th March and tours of Rhodri Miles (pictured) in Shylock at Tarrant Gunville, Sydling St Nicholas and Lytchett Mat­ravers, Minima at…

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Wiltshire Creative venues close

SALISBURY Playhouse, along with the Arts Centre, is closed until at least 16th May. The touring production of The Kite Runner, due at the Playhouse from Tues­day 17th  to Saturday 21st March, has been cancelled. The tour is also due to stop from 4th to 9th May at Plymouth Theatre Royal and from 16th to…

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Dorchester community play postponed

DORCHESTER Community Play Association  has announced that its seventh community play, Spinning the Moon, has been postponed until Easter 2021 in the light of the Coronavirus situation. The company was gearing up for the performances of Spinning the Moon at Thomas Hardye School in April. Rehearsals were under way with a cast of 150 enthusiastic…

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No parting glass but many postponements

THE popularity of the Dubliners’ music is such that tribute band Seven Drunken Nights is out on a year-long tour with its story of Ireland’s folk legends. Several of the nine scheduled performances in the south and west have now been postponed. Contact your local venue for details. Seven Drunken Nights – The Story of…

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Legally Blonde, BODS at Bath Theatre Royal

PINK is the colour that dominates this show, and “In the Pink” are the  words that describe Steve Blackmore’s silky smooth production for Bath Oper­atic and Dramatic Society. Not only do costume coordinators John Cousins and Anna Fraenkel pick up the colour in the costumes, the sets and accessories on view are equally colour coordinated…

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We Swim To The Shark – Dorset writer conquers her phobia

IF you were born with the name Codd, raised by a loving, close-knit circle of family and friends, grew up by the sea on the Dorset coast and swam like a mermaid, the last thing you would expect is to develop an all-consuming fear of the creatures that live in the ocean. What are the…

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Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Bristol Tobacco Factory

EDWARD Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf crashed onto the theatre scene almost 60 years ago, div­iding critics and audiences. Since then it has bec­ome a classic of Amer­ican theatre, perhaps best known as the five-Oscar 1966 film starring Eliz­abeth Taylor and Richard Burton, as well as a regular academic text. It is set in…

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Emma Johnson Shaftesbury date postponed

CLARINET star Emma Johnson, who was due to make her Shaftesbury debut on Saturday 28th  March, will be coming to the North Dorset town later in the year, says organiser Tony Hawkins. Watch out for a new date after the summer.

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House-bound but words can fly

YOU may be house-bound with the Covid-19 restrictions, but let your imagination fly with a new virtual literary festival founded by Somerset born and Dorset raised writer Georgie Codd, the author of the critically acclaimed, newly published, We Swim To The Shark. Georgie, with writer friends and book-lovers, and the support of  Wasafari magazine, has launched…

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Virtual tours with Messums Wiltshire

MESSUMS Wiltshire, based in the 700 year old tithe barn at Tisbury, is launching a series of online exhibitions, events, interviews, essays and virtual tours. The impact of the coronavirus means people are “being asked to make previously unimaginable changes to our lives to keep us all safe,” says Johnny Messum, explaining that during the…

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UK’s first “super” National Nature Reserve on Purbeck Heaths

SEVEN landowners – the National Trust, Natural England, RSPB, Forestry England, Rempstone Estate, Dorset Wildlife Trust and Amphibian and Reptile Conservation – have joined forces to create the UK’s largest lowland heath National Nature Reserve on the Purbeck Heaths in Dorset. The new “super “NNR will give greater protection for wildlife in the internationally important…

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Support independent retailers and producers

THE Guild of Fine Food, organisers of Great Taste, Shop of the Year and the World Cheese Awards, is calling for consumers across the UK and Ireland to get behind their local independents. The Dorset-based Guild has added an online resource to its website, to assist retailers and producers following the government’s latest Covid-19 guidelines….

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Chalke Valley History Festival cancelled

THE 2020 Daily Mail Chalke Valley History Festival has announced that, in light of the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s 10th anniversary festival will not be taking place as planned from 22nd to 28th June. James Holland, the festival chairman, said that events had taken such a dramatic turn over the past week that it was…

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EMERGING … later

BEAF – the Bournemouth Emerging Arts Festival – has rescheduled its original May dates, moving to Saturday 24th October to Sunday 1st November. In the light of Coronavirus, festival organisers announ­ced on Tuesday that Bourne­mouth’s largest independent arts festival will return in the autumn. “As we all know, these are unprecedented times for us all…

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Kinetics at New York festival

KINETICS, the film adapted from the stage play of the same name, by the Dorchester-based actor and writer Sue Wyle, is to be shown at the ReelAbilities film festival at New York. The festival, from 26th March to 6th April, has moved entirely online, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and the shut-down of…

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Bath Festival events move to autumn

THE rapid spread of the Covid-19 virus and the essential restrictions that have been put in place have led to an announcement from Bath Festival, postponing and cancelling the spring programme: “We write in the face of the fast changing and challenging situation. Our thoughts are with you all and we are hugely grateful for…

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Food award schemes on hold

THE country’s leading food awards scheme, Great Taste, run by the Guild of Fine Food based in Gillingham, Dorset, has been suspended due to the Covid19 crisis, and the regional scheme, Taste of the West, is delaying judging. Judging of this year’s 12,000-plus Great Taste entries began as planned on Monday, 16th March, and was…

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New altar at St Thomas’s

WE think our readers need a bit of good news – or at least something to admire and enjoy, so here is a picture of the elegant altar which Hindon furniture designer Matthew Burt and his team have made for Salisbury’s historic St Thomas’s Church. The altar is made from tiger oak, an oak whose…

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MPO double win at Somerset Drama Awards

MILBORNE Port Opera took two awards at Somerset Fellowship of Drama’s David Beach Awards for musical theatre at Taunton. The group was nominated for a total of five awards for the 2019 production of Anything Goes. The two categories MPO won were best made set and best male support actor. The set award was for…

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Apple trees provide habitats for wildlife

MORE than 50 apple trees have been planted at Montacute House, expanding orchards that provide vital habitat for wildlife in the south west. The trees are part of the Tidnor National Collection of more than 150 varieties, which was saved by the National Trust in 2016. Orchards have been planted at Barrington Court and Tintinhull…

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Roy Hudd

ROY Hudd, the irrepressible comedian, actor and writer, world authority on Music Hall and pantomime and beloved radio and television star, has died at the age of 83 after a short illness. He was on stage with Jack Tripp, generally regarded as the greatest of all panto dames, in Mother Goose at Plymouth Theatre Royal…

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The Sound of Music, YAOS at Yeovil Octagon

FRIDAY 13th and the world in chaos – what better antid­ote than an Austrian even­ing of classic Rodgers and Ham­m­erstein with Yeovil Amat­eur Operatic Society? This is the third time that the hugely versatile and talented company has produced the musical, which celebrated its 60th anniversary last year, and the first time that renowned choreographer…

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Bath Theatre Royal closes

BATH Theatre Royal, as well as its Ustinov Studio and egg dedicated youth theatre space, will be closed until further notice, in an effort to stem the spread of the Coronavirus. Pictured are Tanya Moodie in Intimate Apparel at the Ustinov, and Jennifer Saunders as Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit on the main stage, two of…

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Clive Anderson tour on hold

BROADCASTER, quizmaster and wit Clive Anderson, in the middle of his first solo tour, is hoping to reschedule with local dates  remaining at Bridport Electric Palace, the McMillan Theatre in Bridgwater and Wiltshire Music Centre at Bradford-on-Avon. The show, Clive Anderson: Me, Macbeth and I, is described as “a one-man show guaranteed to be funnier…

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Faustus, That Damned Woman

CHRIS Bush’s new gender-swapping take on Marlowe’s Faustus, on at Bristol Old Vic until 21st March, is a play for anyone who has inexplicably real, vivid and terrifying dreams, is worried about a global pandemic or has seen their computer freeze, and in its icy state eat up all their work and throw it who…

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