Alchemy in Art at Messums Wiltshire

HOT glass, glass-blowing, talks and demonstrations – it’s all about glass at the Alchemy in Art weekend, Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th January at Messums Wiltshire, at the Tisbury tithe barn. Part of the Materials: Light series, this is a weekend of talks and demos by leading lights of the British glassblowing scene. At the core…

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Just Moments – photography at Beaumont Gallery

THE Beaumont Gallery in Mere opens its eclectic 2018 programme with Just Moments, an exhibition of photography by Steve Hawkins and Rodney Wayman showcasing the beauty of Wiltshire and Dorset, alongside a collection of Sarah Coward’s stunning animal sculptures. The exhibition runs from Saturday 27th January to Sunday 18th February. Andrew Walworth of Beaumont Gallery says:…

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Swashbuckling adventures at Shaftesbury

SHAFTESBURY Arts Centre promises a rip-roaring adventure for all the family with this year’s pantomime, Treasure Island, an action-packed, fast-moving tale of piratical villains and daredevil courage on the high seas. The show runs at the Old Market Theatre in Bell Street from Wednesday 24th January to Saturday 27th, and from Wednesday 31st January to…

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New artists at Devon Guild

THE Devon Guild’s first exhibitions of 2018 at the gallery at Bovey Tracey feature work by five exciting new artists and a historic craft industry still surviving in East Devon. Jerwood Makers Open, from Saturday 20th January to Sunday 11th March, is a touring exhibition from Jerwood Visual Arts focusing on radical new making. Every…

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Making music at the Salisbury Museum

THE Salisbury Museum opens the new year programme with an exhibition by one of the country’s leading abstract artists, Brian Graham, and Cave of Sounds, an immersive interactive sound installation. Both run from 27th January to 12th May. Brian Graham: Towards Music is a major exhibition of this important artist, who lives on the Purbecks….

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The Tale of the Cockatrice

ON Saturday 27th January at 11.30am and 5pm, Mumble­crust Theatre comes to the Lyric in Bridport with the latest show, The Tale of the Cockatrice. Successful performances at Brigh­ton and Edinburgh Fringe festivals launched Mumblecrust’s magical family show, set deep in the vaults of an ancient priory, where a hideous creature awakens. A deadly cockatrice is…

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Celebrating Bessie Smith

A VERY special gig at the Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis, on Friday 26th January, and Dorchester Arts at the Corn Exchange on Saturday 27th, celebrates Bessie Smith (1894 –  1937), the American singer known as the Empress of the Blues, who was the most popular female blues singer of the 1920s and 30s. In this…

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The end of an era at The Eastbury

ONE of Dorset’s best-known hotels, The Eastbury at Sherborne, is changing hands. After 18 years, Nicky and Paul King have sold the beautiful building in Long Street to Lana and Peter de Savary, who have decades of experience in the international luxury hospitality industry. With a long list of awards, accolades, personal achievements and successes,…

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Arts Council England Awards for Artsreach and Dorchester Arts

THERE was good news for Dorset’s rural touring charity Artsreach and for Dorchester Arts with an announcement in January that both had been awarded grants through Arts Council England’s Catalyst programme. Artsreach has been awarded more than £20,000 to support rural touring resilience in Dorset. News that the touring arts charity has been successful in…

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Busy Saturday at Salisbury Cathedral

ON Saturday 20th January, Salis­bury Cathedral will be buzzing with activity. Channel 5 will be filming part of the ceremony to admit probationers into the choir, on the same day that hopeful new choristers will be doing their voice trials. The Liturgy and Music has organised the Boys Voice Trials (as they call auditions) starting…

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Archers stars read Celia Johnson’s wartime letters

THE wartime correspondence between the star of Brief Encounter and her explorer husband are being performed at Bath Theatre Royal’s Ustinov Studio by the couple’s daughter and her real-life husband, who have both recently been starring in Radio 4’s The Archers. Posting Letters To The Moon is at the Ustinov from Thursday 18th to Saturday…

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Reclaimed, Wassail Theatre at South Petherton and touring

IN the first few days of 2014 , the eyes of the world focussed on North Somer­set, where a number of remote villages were being engulfed by the rising water from the River Parrett and its tributaries and the courses that feed and underlie the Levels. Photographs and news footage of the floods brought aid…

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Paprika spices up Artsreach winter programme

RECOGNISED as the UK’s leading Balkan band, Paprika fuses Eastern European, Balkan, Gypsy and classical music in whirlwind performances of frenzied virtuosity, and you can see and hear them doing it on an Artsreach tour from 19th to 21st January. Paprika features She’Koyok’s Zivorad Nikolic on accordion, Vladimir Strkalj on guitar, Marko Tesic on violin…

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The loops of a Songbird

KATE Dimbleby’s short Songbird tour, promoted by Take Art, comes to North Cadbury Village Hall pm Saturday 20th January starting at 7.30pm. The singing daughter of Britain’s great broadcasting family has her own reputation as a powerful singer of  true stories collected from all corners of the world. The show is directed and devised with…

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The Land We Live In – The Land We Left Behind

THE story of humanity’s connection to the land, throughout the centuries, is investigated in a thoughtful and important exhibition, The Land We Live In – The Land We Left Behind, at Hauser & Wirth Somerset, from 20th January to 7th May. The exhibition has been curated by Adam Sutherland, director of Grizedale Arts in the…

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Haydn and more at the Priory

GRANGE Choral Society returns to Christchurch Priory on Saturday 20th January for the first concert of 2018. Under the baton of musical director Marcio Da Silva, the choir will be  joined by guest soloists Sarah Gilford, soprano, Rachel Falaise, mezzo, Wagner Moreira, tenor and John Holland Avery, bass. The main work will be Haydn’s mighty…

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Brilliant young photographer at the Regent

THE Regent Centre at Christchurch has a first with the new exhibition, a grandfather and granddaughter showing work together, from Saturday 20th January to Friday 9th February. Robert Wickson is from Ferndown, and Morwenna Wickson lives in Highcliffe. Robert is showing his paintings, mainly rivers and beaches, and Morwenna is showing her remarkable photography. Robert…

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Bett and Vera will boost your morale

THE War Office has employed Bett and Vera to travel the country organising tea dances (with a dash of something extra!) to boost morale – catch them on an Artsreach tour from 25th to 28th January. Think of England is the story behind the worthy intent! The girls are supposed to be hosting tea dances…

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Deep South murder and post-Brexit hate crimes

THE latest play by Bournemouth-based Doppel­ganger’s John Foster is Ride!, based on a true story of the murder in 1998 of African-American James Byrd Jnr by members of the Ku Klux Klan. It will be performed at Poole Lighthouse’s Sherling Studio on Saturday 27th January at 8pm. This harrowing play is based on true events…

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Gandini Juggling returns to Poole

THERE is a preview performance of Gandini Juggling and Alexan­der Whitley’s new work, Spring, at Poole’s Lighthouse on Saturday 20th January, starting at 7.45pm. Spring is described as a kaleidoscopic, colourful and virtuosic production, devised by a talented creative team and the contemporary choreographer Alexander Whitley, an associate of Rambert New Wave and Sadler’s Wells….

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Women’s lives in the Great War

WOMEN of World War One, at Ilminster Arts Centre at the Meeting House on Friday 2nd February, is a portrait in words, music and images of the lives of women during this turbulent period of history. Marking the final year of the centenary of the First World War, the show draws on letters, diaries, autobiographies…

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Wildean feast at the Regent

THERE are two encore screeings of Oscar Wilde’s A Woman of No Importance, on Wednesday 24th January at 2.15 and 7.15 at Christchurch Regent Centre. “One can survive everything nowadays, except death, and live down anything except a good reputation” Oscar wrote in this play, which was filmed live at the Vaudeville Theatre in London…

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Triumph and Passion from the BSO

BOURNEMOUTH Symphony Orch­estra brings its Triumph and Passion concert to Poole’s Light­house on Wednesday 24th January. Under the baton of guest conductor Mikhail Tatarnikov, the orchestera will perform works by Khachaturian, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky. Pianist Boris Gilt­burg joins the BSO for Shosta­ko­vich’s piano concerto No 2. In 2013, Boris won first prize at the Queen…

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Jenni Murray’s History of Britain in 21 Women

DAME Jenni Murray, one of the UK’s leading (women) broadcasters, probably understands the lives, achievements and challenges of contemporary women better than anyone – so when she started looking into the history of women in Britain it’s no surprise that she found some amazing and important stories. The result was a best-selling book, A History…

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