Women and Whisky in 1955

AS the country reels from the shock threat of beer running out before the end of the World Cup, Compton Mackenzie’s legendary comedy Whisky Galore takes to the stage of Salisbury Playhouse. The new adaptation, made by Philip Goulding for Oldham Coliseum, Hull Truck and New Vic Theatre, runs in Salisbury from Monday 25th to…

Read more...

Silent screen stars head for Shaftesbury

THE summer production at Shaf­tesbury Arts Centre will be Mack and Mabel, on stage at the Bell Street theatre from 11th to 21st July. The musical is based on the true story of the love affair between comedy silent film maker Mack Sennett and Mabel Normand, who he discovered and transformed into a famous star….

Read more...

Ballet Black’s seventh year at Exeter

AUDIENCES at Exeter’s North­cott Theatre can’t resist the “joyously unpredictable” dance prog­rammes brought to Devon by Ballet Black, returning on 25th and 26th June for the seventh annual summer visit. Artistic director Cassa Pancho leads the company in a celebration of dancers of black and Asian descent, dancing specially commissioned pieces that showcase the technique,…

Read more...

Old comedy head on young shoulders

JACOB Hulland, head boy of Shaftesbury School, is one of Britain’s youngest stand-up comedians – but he says he acts like a 55 year old and cites the late great Ken Dodd and Eric Morecambe among his influences. Jacob, whose parents are both actors, made his debut at the inaugural Shaftesbury Fringe in 2016 and he…

Read more...

Welcome to Thebes, BOVTS at Tobacco Factory Theatres

THEBES is emerging from a long civil war, ten years of unspeakable brutalities, particularly against children and women. Think Bosnia, Congo, Sudan. Years of massacres, starvation, the total breakdown of civil society. Now there is a fledgling government, led by a small group of brave women – widows, women who have survived rape, watched their…

Read more...

Kuniko plays Hywel Davies in Street

MARIMBA virtuoso Kuniko comes to Street on Friday 29th June to play Bach solo works arranged for the instrument. The Japanese musician turned to Johann Sebastian Bach’s cello suites and violin sonatas for her fourth studio recording, which became Linn Records best selling album of the year. She is in demand at concert halls all…

Read more...

Farley Music Festival

THE annual music festival at All Saint’s Church in Farley east of Salisbury, continues until Sunday 24th June. On Wednesday 20th, pianist Ariel Lanyi comes to Farley to play Mozart’s tragic Adagio in B minor and the contrasted Sonata in D major by Schubert. Another pianist, the Hungarian-American Julia Hamos, takes centre stage on Thursday…

Read more...

Summer cheese tasting at Quicke’s

THERE is an invitation for cheese lovers to a summer cheese tasting at Quicke’s Farm Shop in Newton St Cyres, near Exeter on Saturday 23rd June, from 10.30am. The award-winning Devon-based cheesemaker is paving the way for garden feasts this summer with a series of tasting sessions at the farm shop. The cheese tasting, hosted…

Read more...

Poet in residence for Tyntesfield

THE National Trust’s Tyntesfield has its first poet in residence, Holly Corfield Carr, who will join the Victorian estate near Bristol as part of a project inspired by eighteenth-century Bristol poet, Hannah More. Holly, who has previously held residencies at the Wordsworth Trust and the University of Bristol among others, will host a series of…

Read more...

Making art from scrap

MAKING meaningful artworks from scrap materials is something Somerset artist Fiona Campbell is passionate about. This is not a new approach, but her subject matter has become increasingly weighted with environmental issues, given her concerns with the critical state our world is in. Fiona’s latest piece, Glut, a set of wrapped, woven and sutured red…

Read more...

Home Front, Home at Bridport

BRIDPORT’s major exhibition for the 2018 season is Home Front, Home, which commemorates the centenary of the end of the First World War and explores how the world’s first ‘total war’ affected women in Bridport, through the stories of seven individuals. The exhibition has been researched by a group of Bridport Museum volunteers, led by…

Read more...

Festiv’Owl joins Bath’s Minerva Owl trail

HORRIBLE Histories illustrator Martin Brown has created a “Festiv’Owl” for Bath Children’s Literature Festival as part of Minerva’s Owls of Bath trail around the city from 25th June to 10th September. There will be more than 80 owls on the trail, and the Horrible Histories owl, created by the illustrator of Terry Deary’s best-selling history…

Read more...

Romeo and Juliet in a derelict Victorian lido

INSANE Root, the company that brought Orpheus and Eurydice to the Suspension Bridge Vaults, Macbeth to the Redcliffe Caves, and The Tempest to St John on the Wall’s Crypt, this summer performs Romeo and Juliet in the Eastville Park swimming pool, from 20th June to 29th July. Directed by Hannah Drake, the cast includes Peter…

Read more...

Magic of Wiltshire in words and music

THE newly-formed Wiltshire Creative has its first production, A Wiltshire Tale, continuing  at Bridport Arts Centre on 23rd June and the Larmer Tree Festival before it comes to Salisbury Arts Centre. Written and performed by Nick Harper, who has been hailed as The Bard of Wiltshire, the show uses words and music to take a…

Read more...

Dusty world premiere in Bath

BATH audiences will see the world premiere of a new musical about Dusty Springfield when it opens on 23rd June until 7th July, prior to UK tour. Based on the authorised biography, Dusty will chart  the life of one of Britain’s most successful and enduringly popular singers. Olivier nominated writer Jonathan Harvey, who wrote the…

Read more...

Hatful of Rain in a sunny summer

SHOREHAM-based contemporary folk quartet Hatful of Rain comes to the Sherling Studio at Poole Light­house on Friday 22nd June at 8pm, and returns to Dorset on 15th July at the Square and Compass in Worth Matravers. The group specialises in British folk music without the stiff upper lip, mixing British and American styles, powerful songwriting…

Read more...

Music, mantras and movement

TIBETAN Monks from the Tashi Lhunpo monastery come to Spring­head in Fontmell Magna on Sunday 24th June to perform an evening of magical music, mantras and movement, at the invitation of Artsreach. The lakeside setting of Springhead Gardens near Shaftes­bury will provide the perfect backdrop for the performance, part of a European summer tour for…

Read more...

Beaminster Festival – celebrating the arts in West Dorset

BEAMINSTER Festival, running this year from 23rd June to 1st July, is one of the West Country’s finest multi-arts festivals, a celebration of music, literature, theatre and comedy which brings top class national and international performers to one of West Dorset’s prettiest towns. New artistic director Lois Pearson has broadened the range of events, particularly…

Read more...

A leaping hare at First View Gallery

TANYA Hinton’s charismatic leaping hare, Malkin, is one of the paintings on show at the First View Gallery in the Spreadeagle Inn courtyard at Stourhead from Saturday 9th June to Sunday 1st July. Tanya Hinton, who is based at Crockerton, specialises in painting on wood – achieving extraordinary trompe l’oeil effects as in this study…

Read more...

Sound and lights as doves fly in Salisbury Cathedral

SALISBURY Cathedral will stay open on three summer evenings while the installation Les Colombes is on show in the nave. The late night sessions continue on Thursday 28th June and Thursday 12th July, when the Cathedral will be open after Evensong from 6.15 to 9.30pm. Michael Pendry’s installation features a “flock” of 3,000 origami doves,…

Read more...

Award for Dorset food writer

DORSET-based food writer Sue Quinn has won the British Food Award in this year’s Guild of Food Writers annual awards, announced at the Holland Park Theatre in London. The award related specifically to Sue’s column for the Dorset magazine. Born in Australia, Sue Quinn began her career as a news reporter in Sydney and Canberra…

Read more...

There But Not There in Broad Chalke church

VISITORS to Broad Chalke’s beautiful and ancient All Saints Church during the Chalke Valley History Festival can learn more about the impact of the First World War on this little Wiltshire village. There But Not There is a nationwide community project which marks the centenary of the war, with sombre installations of six-foot metal silhouettes…

Read more...

New Hardy Players revive The Trumpet Major

THE 2018 New Hardy Players tour, starting at Max Gate, Dorchester, on Friday 29th June, will be Thomas Hardy’s romantic drama The Trumpet Major, in the 1908 script written by Alfred Evans, in collaboration with Hardy, who also wrote lines specially for the script. Tim says: “It’s a pretty free adaptation, and certainly comes out…

Read more...

Huge line-up for Dorset’s own Fringe

IT is hard to believe this is only the third year of the Shaftesbury Fringe – in that short time the festival of comedy, theatre, music, film, poetry and more, on the first weekend of July, has moved into the big league of fringe events. This year’s Fringe, from Friday 29th June to Sunday 1st…

Read more...

Sherborne’s new Studio Theatre opens

WHAT more perfect week to open Amateur Players of Sherborne’s new Studio Theatre home with a production of Shakespeare’s sylvan comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream? The invited audience on the opening night was able to delight in the transformation of the landmark corrugated iron former chapel into an intimate and welcoming performing space. It is…

Read more...

At the Pictures with Three Cane Whale

MULTI-instrumentalists Three Cane Whale bring their new project At The Pictures to West Country venues, starting at North Cadbury on Friday 29th June, with dates at Bristol, South Petherton, West Bay and Corsham. The trio’s music is often described by critics as cinematic, and At The Pictures features music played live to accompany 12 short…

Read more...

World premiere at Devizes

ANNIE L Cooper’s new play, Broken Wing, opened at the Wharf Theatre in Devizes on Tuesday and runs to Saturday 23rd June. Layee and Thea are 16. One of them is a refugee, coming to terms with the brutal horrors of war. The other, an adopted child, is dealing with her own conflict, wondering who…

Read more...

Auditions from screen to stage

ILMINSTER Entertainments Soc­i­ety has chosen the stage version of A Bunch of Amateurs for the autumn show, and auditions continue on Tuesday 26th June at the Warehouse Theatre. The film, with its script by Ian Hislop and Nick Newton, is all about what happens when a fading Hollywood star decides to re-enliven his career with…

Read more...

Fun at the egg, come rain or shine

BATH Theatre Royal’s dedicated youth theatre space, the egg, welcomes back the M6 and Polka Theatre companies for two days of Whatever the Weather, on Friday and Saturday 22nd and 23rd June. The show, aimed at audiences aged three and older with their families, is all about a weather house sitting on a wall. When…

Read more...

Testing the limits in circus

THE Australian Casus Circus comes to Strode Theatre in Street at 6.30pm on Friday 22nd June to perform Drift­wood after its debut performances in London. Regarded as the hottest contemporary circus company in Australia and based in Brisbane, Casus Circus takes circus arts to a new level. Performances incorporate choreography, acrobatics, trapeze and aerial stunts,…

Read more...

Hanford School’s first arts festival

ARTISTS and art experts, including the award-winning portrait painter Michael Taylor, will be going back to school in Dorset, as Hanford School near Child Okeford hosts its first art festival, from 18th to 22nd June. The dramatic coast and beautiful countryside of Dorset and the West Country have attracted generations of artists but you don’t…

Read more...