Departure point with Panta Rei

THE innovative and energetic Panta Rei Danseteater from Norway returns to Dorset with a new performance, Promise of Departure, coming to Pavilion Dance at Bournemouth on Thursday 26th April, Gillingham School on Friday 27th and Buckland Newton village hall on Saturday 28th. The company, which has proved popular with Dorset dance lovers on previous tours,…

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Four women serve up feast of folk and Americana

THREE leading singer-songwriters and the Queen of Folk are heading for Bristol  and Bath in the coming weeks, as part of their UK tours. The first is Louisiana-born and Nashville based Mary Gauthier, whose latest album, Rifles and Rosary Beads, is hailed as one of the most important of the decade. The songs were written…

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A new life for Dorchester’s Shire Hall

SHIRE Hall Historic Courthouse Museum at Dorchester will be officially opened on Tuesday 1st May – an important date for a museum turning a spotlight on social justice, as it’s also International Workers Day. The new museum will use interactive technology to take visitors of all ages on a journey from cells to dock –…

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Telling the stories of Shire Hall

DORCHESTER’s historic Shire Hall reopens on 1st May as a museum, but before that, from 25th to 28th April,  theatre company The Gramophones will be bringing some of its stories to life at the former courthouse which was famously the setting for the trial of the Tolpuddle Martyrs. How do we decide which memories to…

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Graham Stansfield 1940-2018

DORSET composer Graham Stansfield passed away peacefully in Poole Hospital on Friday 13th April following a long and valiant struggle with cancer, an illness he steadfastly refused to make concessions to. He worked consistently throughout lengthy and often debilitating periods of treatment. Indeed, just six days before he had introduced his latest work – new…

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Notes of Nostalgia and Hall of Fame from the BSO

BOURNEMOUTH Symphony Orchestra will be performing Notes of Nostalgia at Poole’s lighthouse on Wednesday 25th April, under the baton of guest conductor James Feddeck. The programme includes Britten’s Four Seas Interludes, Strauss’ Tod und Verklärung and Dvořák’s Cello Concerto, which will be performed by Daniel Müller-Schott (pictured), described by the Sunday Times as “one of…

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Russian Othodoxy in Somerset

ON Thursday 26th April the LYRA Singers from St Petersburg will be visiting Martock Church as part of their UK Spring tour. Their programme, which begins at 7.30pm, will include Russian Orthodox chants and folk songs. The quartet, a soprano, contralto, tenor and bass,  have visited the UK for several years, but this is their…

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Paloma Faith steps in for Bath Festival finale

BRIT Award winner Paloma Faith will headline the Saturday night of this year’s 70th anniversary Bath Festival finale weekend, 26th and 27th May as an extension to her sell-out summer tour, replacing Tears For Fears, whose spring 2018 tour has been cancelled for health reasons. For fans, Paloma Faith will be an exciting replacement for…

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Maddy’s trio on tour

MADDY Prior’s latest trio manifestation, with Giles Lewin and Hannah James, is touring again by popular demand, and their spring tour comes to its end in the south west. The queen of folk performers has been performing with the Carnival Band’s Lewin for many years, bringing their ever energetic Christmas show to audiences around the…

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Sherlock – a world premiere at Bath

A NEW show about Sherlock Holmes opens at Bath Theatre Royal from 25th April to 5th May. Sherlock Holmes: The Final Curtain stars Robert Powell and Liza Goddard in the world premiere of the story of the famous detective living in retirement on the south coast. He keeps bees, occasionally casts his fly fishing rod…

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Join Bridport Wildcats – remembering the striking netmakers

THIS year’s Bridport Ropewalk Fair on Sunday 13th May will remember a rare example of women’s industrial action – the 1912 strike by networkers at Gundry’s factory.  And more people are needed to take part. Bridport Museum will declare “Women of Bridport Unite!” at the Ropewalk Fair, when Cartoon Action Theatre stages a play, written…

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The art of ambiguity at the Brewhouse

YORKSHIRE-born artist Philip Davies has a solo show in the gallery at Taunton’s Brewhouse Theatre and Arts Centre. Where To From Here?, which continues to 5th May, explores place and identity, with images that are ambiguous but not entirely unsettling. This is his first solo show for ten years, and draws on his rich and…

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Nell Leyshon makes directing debut at BEAF

AWARD-winning writer Nell Leyshon makes her directing debut with her play The Vodka Hunters as part of the Bournemouth Emerging Arts Festival. Somerset-born Nell was the first woman to have  play performed at Shakespeare’s Globe. As a novelist, her works have recieved high praise. For the past 12 years, Nell has been working with “outsiders”…

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Covent Garden comes to Dorset

DORSET Opera Festival is hosting a special concert by members of the Royal Opera’s Jette Parker Young Artists’ Programme, at Milton Abbey on Saturday 28th April at 7.30. The programme is designed to support the artistic development of talented singers at the beginning of their careers. The singers are employed as salaried members of the…

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From Lady Maisery to Rheingans Sisters

THE Rheingans Sisters, one of whom is part of the Lady Maisery trio, launch their third duo album, Bright Field, at Chapel Arts in Bath on Thursday 19th April. Known on the folk scene as musicians, composers and folk music scholars, the sisters released their award-winning album Already Home in 2015. As full-hearted and graceful…

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Miller classic at Tobacco Factory

THE second play in the new Tobacco Factory Theatres spring season is Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge, at the Bedminster theatre from Wednesday 18th April to Saturday 12th May. Directed by TFT artistic director Mike Tweddle (making his directing debut), the production stars Mark Letheren as Eddie, Katy Stephens as Beatrice and Laura…

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Dorset adventure at Salisbury Playhouse

THE new production at Salisbury Plahyouse from Thursday 19th April to Saturday 5th May is a new musical adaptation of Moonfleet, J Meade Falkner’s novel set on the Dorset cliffs. The starry cast includes Earl Carpenter as Maskew with Ryan Heenan as John, Rebecca Lock as Isabelle and Ashley Mercer as Blackbeard.  They will be…

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A quarter of a century of Dorset Art Weeks

HOW time flies! It is a quarter of a century since the first Dorset Art Weeks – in fact, the actual anniversary was last year. The original DAW, one of the oldest open studios in the country, was in 1992. The biennial festival of visual arts in Dorset returns this year, from 26th May to…

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Boscombe emerges as an artistic hub

WHEN you picture Bournemouth you may have an image of a seaside resort that has moved on from the days of the bath chair but cutting-edge art is probably not the first thing you think of – the return of Bournemouth Emerging Arts Festival, from 28th April to 7th May, could just change your mind….

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WW1 Bourton on show

BOURTON’s First World War project continues with the opening on Friday 27th April of an exhibition which explores the stories of villagers during the four years of the “war to end all wars.”. The exhibition at the parish church of St George, until 19th May, explores the stories of those who played their part at…

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Suffrage remembered at Street

STREET Theatre is marking the anniversary of Suffrage with four short plays and music – Knickerbocker Glories – to be staged in the studio at Strode Theatre from 27th to 29th April. Directed by Lois Harbinson, the four suffragist/suffragette comedies were originally created and performed by the Actresses Franchise League between 1908 and 1913. The…

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Jesse Terry on the road

NEW York born singer songwriter Jesse Terry is on a UK tour, stopping in the south west at Chettle, Triscombe and Watchet  from 27th to 29th April. Jesse is a prolific indie artists, whose soothing voice has been compared to Ryan Adams, Jackson Browne, Ray La­Montagne and James Taylor. His three LPs are The Runner,…

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Dreams of Lily Kwok at Poole

YELLOW Earth Theatre brings its touring play Mountains – The Dreams of Lily Kwok, to Poole’s Lighthouse Sherling Studio on Friday and  Saturday 27th and 28th April. The new play tell the story of the three generations of women be­hind famous Sweet Mandarin restaurant in Manchester. Based on Helen Tse’s family memoir of passion, sacrifice…

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International star reprises role in Bath

SHULER Hensley, the American Olivier and Tony award winner, and a regular on Broadway and West End stages, will be playing the role of a 600-pound man in The Whale, which comes to the Ustinov Studio at Bath Theatre Royal on 26th April. Shuler originated the role in the multi-award winning off-Broad­way production. Charlie is…

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Bennett classic at the Merlin

PHILIP de Glanville directs Alan Bennett’s classic semi-autobiographical comedy The Lady in the Van as the spring production for the Frome Drama Club, from 26th to 28th April. “When I tell people we’re doing Lady in the Van, their faces light up in recognition. Most of them because they remember the film, and in particular…

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Bilal takes the Biscuit at Poole

EDINBURGH Fringe rising star Bilal Zafar comes to Poole’s Lighthouse arts centre on Saturday 28th April with his new show, Biscuit, in the Sherling Studio at 8pm. Biscuit finds Bilal taking the natural next step for an up and coming young comedian, as he embarks on the quest to find a wife. Diving into the…

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Early music stars at Dorchester

TWO of the rising stars of the early music scene, violinist Elicia Silverstein and harpsichordist Christopher Bucknall, are coming to Dorchester Arts at the Corn Exchange, on Sunday 29th April with a programme called Bach Before Leipzig. Elicia Silverstein is American born but now based in Italy, and Christopher Bucknall is a conductor as well…

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Poignant film launches Sarah’s tour

SINGER and songwriter Sarah McQuaid is setting out on a UK and Irish tour, and has teamed up with a filmmaker to record a true organ donor story ahead of the tour. Her tour brings Sarah to  Honiton Beehive on Saturday 21st April, Bridgwater Arts Centre on Thurs­day 26th April  and to Cotleigh Brewery near…

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