What's on in pictures

Summer sensations with Artsreach!

SUMMER 2019 brings a host of exciting, colourful and musical delights to Artsreach audiences across Dorset.The newly launched summer programme has nine different companies and performers visiting 18 rural venues, with everything from world music to wildlife puppets, outdoor drama to opera. The season starts with virtuoso kora player Modou Ndiaye, songwriter, drummer and percussionist,…

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Wertenbaker classic at the Tobacco Factory

TIMBERLAKE Wertenbaker’s classic transportation play, Our Country’s Good, runs at Bristol Tobacco Factory until 11th May, as the second in-house production of the season. Performed in the round and directed by Anna Girvan, the play is based on the lives of real people who sailed with the Frist Fleet, a group of convicts and soldiers…

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Ishiguro classic adapted by Barney Norris

BARNEY Norris’s adaptation The Remains of the Day comes to his home city of Salisbury  on Tuesday 30th April, where it is on stage at the Playhouse until 11th May. Directed by Christopher Haydon, Kazuo Ishi­g­uro’s literary masterpiece stars Niamh Cusack and Stephen Boxer is this Out of Joint and Royal & Derngate, Northampton co-production with Oxford…

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Celebrating the tenth Wylye Valley Art Trail

THE first of this year’s visual arts festivals is a very special celebration – the tenth biennial Wylye Valley Art Trail, Wiltshire’s largest visual arts event, running this year from 18th to 27th May. Founded by Nick Andrew in 2001, it covers some of Wiltshire’s most beautiful scenery, and includes Hindon, Mere, Maiden Bradley, Warminster,…

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Hardy’s notebooks inspire new folk drama

WORDS Take Wings, at Dorchester Corn Exchange on Wednesday 24th April, is an original folk-drama which draws on Thomas Hardy’s notebooks. Hardy kept a private journal in which he recorded reports and anecdotes from local papers and magazines such as the Dorset County Chronicle that amused or interested him. They tell of 19th century lives and…

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Celebrating Steinbeck in Somerset

SIXTY years ago, the American novelist, John Steinbeck, who would be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962, came to Bruton to research and write a modern translation of the Morte d’Arthur, written by Thomas Malory in the 15th century. Steinbeck, who was already famous for his novels Of Mice and Men and The…

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Archers actors at the Marine

SIMON Williams, the actor, witty Telegraph columnist and regular Archers cast member, and his real  life wife and Archers ex-wife, Lucy Fleming, are coming to the Marine Theatre at Lyme Regis on Friday 26th April. The couple, who play Justin Elliott and his frightful ex-wife Miranda, will be reading the wartime letters between Celia Johnson…

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From Japan to Dorset

PIANIST Ronan Magill returns to the Tincleton Gallery for two concerts on Friday and Saturday 26th and 27th April. Ronan is a winner of British Int­er­national Piano Competition for Contemporary Music and was the last pupil of Benjamin Britten. He is travelling from  Japan to Dorset for two candlelight concerts. On Friday, he will offer…

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The White Bike, ImpAct at Layard and Shelley Theatres

TAMARA von Werthern’s inventive and rivetting play The White Bike was created in London and was site-specific  for that audience. When ImpAct Theatre’s director Patricia Richardson acquired permission to stage the first amateur production in Dorset, she worked closely with the writer,  and relocated the action to the Boscombe, Bournemouth, and Branksome area, familiar to…

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Turning back the American clock

HAIR – the Musical, touring the UK on the 50th anniversary of its sensational London opening, comes to Plymouth from  Monday 22nd to Saturday 27th April. Thet Hope Mill Theatre production is all ready to welcome the Age of Aquarius again. It’s 1967 and the hippie tribe  youngsters in the East Village of New York…

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‘Allo ‘Allo ‘Allo on three-venue adventure

MATTHEW Rock’s Project Play, launched in 2018 with The Vicar of Dibley, returns this year with ‘Allo ‘Allo, on stage next at Frome’s Merlin Theatre from 23rd to 27th April. The unique touring model means that a number of amateur actors can put on the same play, with their own members using the same props,…

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Welsh National Opera comes to the Octagon

OPERA lovers in South Somerset are in for a treat on Thursday 11th July when Welsh National Opera brings Donizetti’s Don Pasquale to Yeovil’s Octagon Theatre. A comic opera with wonderful music, Don Pasquale is staged with a new and updated libretto by Daisy Evans, who has also directed this small-scale touring production, with an…

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Drystones back home

SOMERSET-based duo The Dry­stones, on a Spring tour, visit, Ashcroft Arts Centre in Fareham on Thursday 25th April and The Lights at Andover on 26th,  Bristol Folk Festival on 5th May and at Callington Village Hall on 17th May. Fiddler and vocalist Alex Garden  and Ford Collier, who sings, plays guitar and tin whistle, have…

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Anything’s Going in Milborne Port

MILBORNE Port Opera turns its attention to Cole Porter for the 20-19 production, bringing Anything Goes to the Village Hall from 24th to 27th April. Lloyd Davies plays Billy Crocker with Sukie Read as Reno, Ben Grundy as Moonface and Karen Pankhurst as Bonnie in this spectacular production that once again takes the company to…

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Brian Graham on the Great Heath

ONE of the region’s finest painters, Brian Graham, returns to Sladers Yard at West Bay until Monday 6th May with a new collection of paintings, The Great Heath. This magnificent exhibition explores Dorset’s Great Heath, a place that exists in reality, memory, imagination, music and literature, most famously Thomas Hardy. Inspired by Hardy’s Egdon Heath…

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From Page to Screen – from Capra to Colman

BRIDPORT’s unique celebration of cinema and the written word returns to the arts centre and the Electric Palace, from 24th to 29th April. From Page to Screen, now in its 11th year, explores the relationship between words and film, with a programme that ranges from black and white classics to the newest releases. The aim…

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Williams and Parkinson at Messums

AN intimate exhibition at Messums Wiltshire, at the 700 year old tithe barn at Tisbury, until 28th April, features work by the great 20th century photographer Norman Parkinson, and Angela Williams who was influenced by him, and went on to have a long collaboration with him. Entitled “Beginnings of a journey,” the exhibition includes the…

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Novelist Libby comes home to Gillingham

LIBBY Page, the best-selling author of The Lido, who used to live in North Dorset and was head girl of Gillingham School, returns to Gillingham on Thursday 25th April, to talk about her first novel, a joyful and moving portrait of friendship, community and the importance of memory and the small things that hold us…

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Kate Lynch at the Jerram Gallery

KATE Lynch, the Somerset artist who has become known as a brilliant and acute observer and recorder of rural life, traditions and crafts, has a show, with artist James Meiklejohn, at the Jerram Gallery at Sherborne, until 1st May. Kate’s paintings celebrate the seasonal life of people working the land, in orchards, on farms and…

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Dirty Rotten Milton Musical Society

THE spring show for Milton Musical Society is Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, at the Regent Centre in Christchurch from Wednesday 24th to Saturday 27th April. Based on the popular 1988 MGM film comedy starring Michael Caine and Steve Martin, it is set on the French Riviera, where high jinks, cons and witty hilarity are the order…

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BODS in Fiddler on the Roof

BATH Operatic and Dramatic Society brings its spring show, Fiddler on the Roof, to the Theatre Royal Bath from Tuesday 23rd April to Saturday 27th April. The show, with music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and book by Joseph Stein, is set in the Pale of Settlement of Imperial Russia in 1905. It…

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Armageddon at Frome

FROME-based artist Barry Cooper, whose work has always had a strong political element, shows a new exhibition, Armageddon, at the Silk Mill at Frome from Good Friday, 19th April to Thursday 2nd May, daily from 10am to 6.30pm. Barry has always explored the effects of local and international politics, and his reaction to them, through…

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Marta from Covent Garden to Castle Cary

SINGER Marta Fontanals-Simmons takes a break from prep­arations for her Glyndebourne debut to return home to Castle Cary on Friday 24th May. It’s a busy year for the Somerset born mezzo, who is singing in Faust at the Royal Opera House until 5th May, and will be taking part in Bath Festival’s Song Play concerts…

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