What's on in pictures

Fat Sam’s sets up in Bath

THE first ever UK touring production of Alan Parker’s modern musical classic Bugsy Malone opens at Bath’s Theatre Royal on Saturday 2nd July for a three week run to Saturday 23rd. Produced by Theatre Royal Bath Productions, Birmingham Rep Theatre and Kenny Wax, this new staging of Lyric Hammersmith Theatre’s universally acclaimed production will transfer…

Read more...

Artist workshops in the woods

PAINTER Rachel Sargent, who has her studio at Gold Hill Organic Farm, Child Okeford, has arranged a couple of artists’ workshops in July in Bonsley Woods near Durweston. The Living Classroom, off Norton Lane, is set in a beautiful glade in the woods. Rachel says: “It is a great opportunity to spend the day walking,…

Read more...

Richard III – new musical at Frome Festival

RICHARD III, the notorious “hunchback” king, the infamous murderer of the Princes in the Tower of London, who died on Bosworth Field and was disinterred in a Leicester city centre car park, lives to sing another day, thanks to Martin Dimery, the inventive and multi-talented creative director of Frome Festival. The Haunting of Richard the…

Read more...

Salt in the air, songs on the path

AN exciting collaboration between best-selling writer and long-distance walker Raynor Winn and The Gigspanner Big Band, Saltlines will be performed at the Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis, on Wednesday 13th July at 8pm, after its debut at Taunton Brewhouse on Friday 8th July. Audiences at Poole’s Lighthouse arts centre can see it on Sunday 17th July….

Read more...

Living Tree at The Egg

DISCOVER a Forest of Imagination as the Living Tree comes to The Egg at Bath Theatre Royal, transforming the space into a fun-filled woodland and maze for children and families This fantastical outdoor-indoor installation returns to The Egg from Saturday 18th June to Sunday 3rd July giving children, families and visitors of all ages the…

Read more...

Discover Hardy’s Wessex

AS part of the Hardy’s Wessex at Dorset Museum in Dorchester this summer, there are a number of special events, beginning on Saturday 18th June with a Dorset Button-Making Day, with button-maker and artist Anna Macdowel (pictured). The event will explore the fascinating history of Dorset button-making. Spend the morning learning about Dorset’s cottage industry…

Read more...

Mamma Mia! at Bristol Hippodrome

AS soon as the title of his musical is mentioned thoughts immediately turn to the music of ABBA, and with 22 Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus numbers (a couple with the help of Stig Anderson) included in the show, that is a reasonable route to go down. The fact that this show is NOT just…

Read more...

Grayson Perry tapestries at Salisbury

A SERIES of monumental tapestries by one of Britain’s best loved and most important artists, Grayson Perry, will be exhibited at Salisbury Cathedral for three months from 29th June until 25th September. The Vanity of Small Differences, six “cartoons” exploring class mobility, each measure two by four metres, and were inspired by William Hogarth’s famous…

Read more...

Drama, comedy and romance under the stars

THE value of open air theatre was never felt more keenly than in the early days of the pandemic.  A recent survey has even found that venue-based theatre companies have a lot to learn from the versatilty and determination of those who found a way to entertain when indoor gatherings were banned (unless you lived…

Read more...

As You Like It, The Lord Chamberlain’s Men, Salisbury and touring

RETURNING for their annual visit to Salisbury Festival, the all-male touring theatre company The Lord Chamberlain’s Men set up their stage in Rack Close in the Cathedral Close, to perform the favourite Shakespearean comedy As You Like It to three packed audiences determinedly vying for the best place to set up their chairs and ever-more…

Read more...

Welcome back, ballet at Hatch

BALLET Under the Stars returns to the beautiful walled garden at Hatch near Tisbury on 22nd, 23rd and 24th July, after a Covid-enforced two-year hiatus. The special guests will be two soloists from the National Ballet of Ukraine, Julia Moskalenko and Stanislav Olshanskyi. Hatch House performances, in an elegant stretch marquee in the beautiful walled…

Read more...

Moviola in June

BELFAST and Northern Ireland are rarely far from the headlines, and those of us who have no direct connections with the country probably largely blot them out or rapidly forget them. But Kenneth Branagh’s brilliant semi-biographical film, Belfast, is an enjoyable but also deeply moving reminder of the personal cost of the Troubles. The Oscar…

Read more...

A snapshot of rural life

A PAINTING of a traditional village choir – such as Thomas Hardy would have known – has been loaned to Dorset Museum at Dorchester from the Victoria and Albert Museum as part of a major new exhibition. Hardy’s Wessex – The Landscapes which Inspired a Writer, running from 28th May to 30th October, is a…

Read more...

Caro at the New Art Centre

The New Art Centre at Winterslow near Salisbury, is holding an exhibition of sculpture by Sir Anthony Caro, set within the landscape at Roche Court. Sited throughout the park, the exhibition features seven large-scale works – dating from the 1970s to the 2000s – which together represent Caro’s marriage of sculpture and architecture. These large…

Read more...

New photographic festival at Frome

WORLD-class photography takes centre stage at Frome this summer at a new festival, PhotoFrome,  running daily for from 21st June to 15th July. The festival will showcase all types of photography from local, national, and international photographers at five exhibition venues, all with free entry. There will be talks, workshops, a book fair, portfolio reviews…

Read more...

Climate and change at East Quay

THREE women artists, working in different media but all concerned with the climate crisis, are taking part in Better Than This, the first exhibition in the Climate and Change series at East Quay, Watchet, from 21st May to 31st August. Audio-visual artist Kathy Hinde, writer and artist Amy Howden-Chapman and spoken work artist Liv Torc…

Read more...

New outdoor shows for Artsreach

THE summer 2022 programme for Artsreach, Dorset’s rural touring charity, brings some new names to the local outdoor theatre scene, including the hilarious Three Inch Fools, who delighted audiences at Stourhead last year, and open air circus company Brainfools. The summer programme, running from May to August features 11 productions visiting 14 communities, offering from…

Read more...

BSO open air spectaculars

SUMMER seems a long way off while winter storms are still drenching the land, but there will surely be a lot of interest – and early bookings – with the news that the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra will be back in the open air for two spectacular concerts in August. Proms in the Park, in Bournemouth’s Meyrick…

Read more...

Ravilious – a life cut short by conflict

A NEW documentary film from artist and film-maker Margy Kinmonth explores the life and work of the watercolorist and wood-engraver Eric Ravilious, who disappeared over Iceland during the Second World War. Eric Ravilious – Drawn to War, which has local premieres from 12th July at Bath and Bristol and screenings at Poole’s Lighthouse Arts Centre…

Read more...

Bath Opera tour with Tosca

BATH Opera brings a star of the Moldovan State Opera company, to play the title role of the opera singer Floria Tosca, for the summer tour to venues in Somerset and Wiltshire. After opening at Strode Theatre, Street, and a performance at Frome’s Rook Lane Chapel, Bath Opera continues its tour at Malmesbury Abbey on…

Read more...

Gods and Dogs, The Rude Mechanicals at Baltonsborough and touring

FED up with hitherto dependable newspapers filled up with celebrity gossip … previously intelligent and sensible friends and colleagues taken in by manifest lies and bullshit? There could hardly have been a better day to watch Gods and Dogs, Pete Talbot’s brilliantly witty new satire for his company the Rude Mechanicals, than on Thursday 23rd…

Read more...

From Devon With Love returns

VILLAGES in Action, Devon’s rural touring arts charity, has announced the return in September of the From Devon With Love festival. Devon-based artists and performers are invited to contact the organisation with their projects. From Devon With Love is a month of scratch performances and applicants should be making original work, including theatre, music, dance,…

Read more...

The Southbury Child, Chichester Festival Theatre

WE have been using the phrases” the old world” and  “the new world” since time immemorial, perhaps indicating that every generation views its successors’ ideas as a foreign country. And we all probably think that THIS time, the changes are more radical and unacceptable than ever before. From that confirmed position, I think it is…

Read more...

Former PM is guest speaker at Wells

FORMER Prime Minister Sir John Major will be the special guest speaker at an event marking the 30th anniversary of Wells Festival of Literature, on Monday 4th July. It marks an important event in the lives of both the festival and Sir John, who succeeded Margaret Thatcher as leader of the Conservative Party. In 1992,…

Read more...

Virgin on the ridiculous

WE can’t get enough of the Tudors, can we? If you have been seduced by improbably glamorous casting for the appalling Henry VIII and endless costume dramas wafting through Montacute House and gardens, you are probably ready for the next reincarnation – Living Spit do Elizabeth I, ending its tour at The Theatre Shop at…

Read more...

Gary Cook at The Art Stable

LANDSCAPE artist Gary Cook, whose work is infused with a deep sense of the fragility of the environment, has a solo show, Wend: the Stour from Source to Sea, at The Art Stable at Gold Hill Farm, Child Okeford, from 11th June to 9th July. Based in Dorset, Gary’s career began in newspapers. After training…

Read more...

Moish brings Kenya to Somerset

MOISH Sokal, the Australian-born painter who has lived in Somerset for many years, celebrates his travels in Kenya with the work on show in his annual summer exhibition, at East Lambrook Manor, near South Petherton until 223rd July. The exhibition was nearly washed away by the major floods in Australia, shortly after he returned to…

Read more...

Henry Moore at Hauser & Wirth

A MAJOR exhibition of work by the great sculp[tor Henry Moore opens at Hauser & Wirth Somerset, at Durslade Farm, Bruton, on 28th May and continues to 4th September. Henry Moore: Sharing Form has been curated by Hannah Higham of the Henry Moore Foundation in collaboration with the artist’s daughter Mary Moore. A comprehensive survey…

Read more...