O dainty duck, O Dear

DEVERILLS Performing Arts starts its new-style season for 2017 with a visit from Door Ajar Theatre, performing Thisbe at Longbridge Deverill Village Hall on Saturday 25th March at 7.30. The multi-talented, character-changing, instrument-swapping cast fuses magic, music and levity in this sequel to A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The lovelorn Thisbe has perished by her own…

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The Red Shoes, New Adventures at Southampton Mayflower and touring

MATTHEW Bourne’s newest creation, a dance adaptation of the Powell and Pressburger film The Red Shoes, itself inspired by Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale of the same name, is a triumph. The message of the story is that Art is the greatest force, more important than love and human relationships and, literally, to die for….

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Monmouth at Lyme Regis

PREPARATIONS for the 2017 community play at Lyme Regis continue with a screening of Comrades on Thursday 23rd March. The 1986 film, directed by Bill Douglas (his last film), depicts the story of the Tolpuddle Martyrs who created an early form of trade union and were arrested as a result in 1834. The film features…

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Portman paddles Coracle on Parrett

EMILY Portman and her Coracle Band stop at Bridgwater Arts Centre on Satur­day 25th March as part of a five-venue spring UK tour. The band includes violin virtuoso Sam Sweeney and the percussion leader of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, in a five peice line up that creates a magical sound sometimes reminiscent of early Incredible String…

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Material: Earth at Messums

THE  new exhibition at Messums Wiltshire in the 700 year old tithe barn at Tisbury celebrates the use of clay in contemporary art, by leading contemporary potters and ceramic artists, including Grayson Perry, Edmund de Waal, Hans Coper and Sandy Brown. On show until 1st May, Material: Earth is the first in a series of…

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Dazzling design – the joy of the Jazz Age

IF you have often thought about visiting the American Museum at Claverton just south of Bath but have never got round to it – make this the year you remedy that, because this year’s special exhibition, The Jazz Age, has to be one of the region’s unmissable 2017 events. Through the beautiful fashions of the 1920s,…

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Somerset County Drama Festival

ILMINSTER’S Warehouse Theatre hosts the 2017 Somerset Fellowship of Drama county drama festival on Saturday 25th May, with two sessions starting at 1pm and 6pm. The afternoon is given over to three new plays, performed by Teignmouth Players, Weston super Mare Echoes, and Taunton Thespians. The later session has plays from Taunton Thespians and two…

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Friel classic at Strode Theatre

STREET Theatre, the award-winning amateur company based at Strode Theatre in Street, has chosen Brian Friel’s poignant autobiographical play Dancing at Lughnasa for its spring production, on stage from 23rd to 25th March. The company has been bringing high-quality drama to the Strode stage for more than 20 years, the wide variety of its productions…

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A bear in the army

THE remarkable story of a bear who served in the army will be brought to the stage of Bath’s egg theatre on Saturday and Sunday 25th and 26th March. The Quarter Too Ensemble is touring the UK with Wojtek: The Happy Warrior, and it is performed in Bath at 11.30am and 3pm on both days….

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Tavaziva back in Poole

BAWREN Tavaziva returns to Poole’s Lighthouse with a new show, Africarmen, based loosely on Bizet’s opera Carmen, on Friday 24th March at 7.45pm. Africarmen is an evocative synthesis of ballet, contemporary and African dance, performed by a cast of outstanding dancers who play out the entanglement of desire, deceit and corruption in a township in…

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A wicked sense of Steinway

CONCERT pianists Steven Worbey and Kevin Farrell, who come to Poole’s Lighthouse on Thursday 23rd March, at 7.45pm, have an added string to their Steinways. The internationally acclaimed musicians entertain not only with their playing, but with a wicked sense of humour. Their unique blend of sparky comedy and sensational piano playing creates an exuberant…

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Ferociously collecting

FEROCIOUS Dog is always about more than the music, although their signature sound of folk with rock, reggae and Celtic vibrations is what brings the fans back again and again. They have three more south west dates, starting on 25th March, on the current tour. Led by Ken Bonsall, the Dogs are proudly political, singing…

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New Bennett play at the Tiv

THE talented and enterprising Churchill Productions have chosen Alan Bennett’s play People for the spring production, on stage at the Tivoli in Wimborne from 23rd to 25th March, nightly at 7.30 with a 2.30 Saturday matinee. The action is set in the decaying stately home of impoverished aristocrat Dorothy Stacpoole, one of the many caught…

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Sounds of Simon in Shaftesbury

THE duo Bookends, Dan Haynes and Pete Richards, make no effort to look like Simon and Garfunkel or recreate a show spectacle, but accurately capture the sounds of the American singers who laid down a soundtrack for the sixties that has lasted fifty years. They make a welcome return to Shaftesbury Arts Centre on Friday…

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Escaped Alone in Bristol

CARYL Churchill’s latest play, Escaped Alone, comes to Bristol Old Vic from 22nd to 26th March on a short UK tour following a New York run. The four-woman show opened to great critical acclaim at the Royal Court in 2016, and the revival reunites the wonderful Linda Bassett (most recently Nurse Phyllis Crane in Call…

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From the waterfront to the Regent

CHRISTCHURCH Sailing Club returns to the town’s Regent Centre for the eighth annual exhibition, From The Waterfront, on until 24th March. The show reflects the coastal, river and boating subjects that are associated with the town and the club, which is Christchurch’s oldest sporting society. Other subjects by members of the sailing club’s art and…

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Blackeyed Frankenstein

BLACKEYED Theatre brings its new production of Frankenstein to Poole’s Light­house on 21st and 22nd March, the penultimate date of its UK spring tour. Created by the same team as the   acclaimed 2013 production of Dracula, this brand new adaptation marks the bicentenary last summer of Mary Shelley’s Gothic horror masterpiece. Frankenstein fuses ensemble storytelling,…

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Personal exploration of the C word

ACTOR and theatre maker Toby Peach is currently touring his solo show, The Eulogy of Toby Peach, and stops at Dorchester Arts Centre on Wednesday 22nd and the Sherling Studio at Poole Lighthouse on Friday 24th March. “I was born on the 18th December 1988. I dressed up as a bandicoot once. I was diagnosed…

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Remi at Corsham

REMI Harris, whose skills as a gypsy jazz and blues guitarist have won him fans around the world, comes to the Pound Arts Centre in Corsham at 7pm on Thurday 23rd March. “Incredible guitarist … I’m absolutely blown away by his talent,” says Jamie Cullum. In 2016 Remi performed at the legendary Montreal Jazz Festival,…

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