What's on in pictures

Winter favourite dances into Bath

MOSCOW City Ballet comes to Bath Theatre Royal from Sunday 20th to Wednesday 23rd January with The Nutcracker, a story of Christmas magic, with one of Tchaikovsky’s most loved and beautiful music. With its exquisite 18th century interior, the Theatre Royal is ideally suited to this story of Clara, the Nutcracker Prince, the Sugar Plum…

Read more...

Long John Silver in Salisbury

ACTORS from Salisbury Studio Theatre’s youth theatre will take to the high seas in search of Treasure Island from Monday 21st to Satur­day 26th January. Director Peter McAuley has chosen Ken Ludwig’s adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tale of buccaneers and derring do.   The cast, aged from 11 to 18, is led by Luke…

Read more...

Steps into the Dark

FUEL Theatre brings its new touring show, The Dark, to the Ustinov studio at Bath Theatre Royal on 18th and 19th Jan­uary, and also to Poole’s Light­house on 31st. Nick Makoha’s powerful true story of refugees fleeing from their devastated country follows the   journey taken by a four-year-old boy and his mother as they seek…

Read more...

Crimes on the Nile, New Old Friends at Bath Ustinov studio

WAS Agatha Christie’s alter ego a creator of steamy novels? Did the legendary Hercule Poirot have a secret life as an elegant woman? Who killed Aurora Lightly? And how can four people play 12 characters? The answers may, or may not, be revealed in Crimes on the Nile, the latest spoof whodunnit from the ever-inventive…

Read more...

Sir Cliff is No 1 at the Regent

SIR Cliff Richard, Andre Rieu and Sheridan Smith are all great entertainers with a huge following – but they have another thing in common, satellite screenings of their shows at the Regent Centre at Christchurch have all topped the ratings with Event Cinema. The Regent has just heard from the Event Cinema distributors that it…

Read more...

Heartbreak and friendship with Tangram

LOVE, loss and friendship are the themes of the new show from Tangram Theatre, A Hundred Different Words for Love, making a short tour with Artsreach, starting on Friday 18th January at Broadwindsor. Three years ago, James met the love of his life. A year ago, they broke up. This is James’s story of falling…

Read more...

Shanties and more with The Longest Johns

A FIVE-strong Bristol-based a capella group The Longest Johns make their Artsreach debut in January, starting at Burton Bradstock village hall, on Friday 18th at 7.30pm. Brought together by a mutual love of traditional folk songs and shanties, the Johns rock maritime songs alongside the more unusual and less traditional folk tunes. After forming as…

Read more...

Musical journeys at Dorchester

NEW Year music with Dorchester Arts at the Corn Exchange takes the audience on journeys, through different genres and a life in roots, starting with the Eduardo Niebla Experience on Friday 18th January. The ensemble features the great flamenco jazz guitar virtuoso with guitarist Matthew Robinson and tabla player Dharmesh Parmar. Niebla constantly seeks new…

Read more...

Gaza Surf Club at Trowbridge

A POWERFUL and award-winning documentary, Gaza Surf Club, rounds off the third season of Getting Together Through Films, on Saturday 19th January at 2pm at Town Hall Arts, Trowbridge. The event also includes the premiere of  a short documentary, Six Days. Gaza is a strip of land with a population of 1.7 million, wedged between…

Read more...

A millennium milestone for Monie

JON Monie, much-loved star of Bath’s pantomime, has reached an amazing milestone of 1,000 panto performances, marking the achievement on Tuesday 8th January, in his current role as the hapless Smee in Peter Pan. This is Jon’s 17th pantomime season in Bath (his 13th consecutive year) and he has become a favourite with audiences, with…

Read more...

Elliot Walker at Messums Wiltshire

ELLIOTT Walker, one of this country’s most remarkable glassblowers, has a solo exhibition at Messums Wiltshire, at Tisbury, until 27th January. Walker is one of only a handful of glassblowers in the world who use glass to create solely figurative pieces, giving him something of a rebel status. After experimenting with the lost-wax process for…

Read more...

Winter delights at the Shelley

ONE of the most atmospheric venues in the region is the Shelley Theatre near the clifftop at Southbourne. Originally the private theatre for the Shelley family (Percy, son of Mary, the author of Frankenstein and widow of poet Percy Bysshe). It is a charming Victorian gem, an ongoing restoration project which is hidden within a…

Read more...

Multi-instrumentalist at Ilminster

ILMINSTER Arts Centre at the Meeting House continues its New Year series with a Flying Folk evening on Friday 25th January, with a programme of eclectic folk music, compered by local folk singer Jemima Farey. The headliner is multi-instrumentalist Luke Daniels (pictured), who plays finger style guitar, wooden flute, concertina and sings beautifully as well –…

Read more...

Old songs sung the Watson way

AMERICANA star Willie Watson, formerly of the Old Crow Medicine Show and produced by Dave Rawlings, is on a short UK tour, stopping at the Louisiana in Bristol on Saturday 26th January. His eagerly anticipated return to the UK  includes an appearance at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections Festival. Willie has released two acclaimed solo albums Folksinger…

Read more...

Artsreach winter programme

WINTER and spring with Artsreach, Dorset’s rural touring arts charity, brings a host of live performances, from traditional folk to contemporary dance, Indian storytelling to physical theatre. The music programme includes Welsh folk supergroup ALAW, Bristol-based a capella folk and shanty group The Longest Johns, exciting young Belgian period musicians WÖR recreating the music of…

Read more...

Appetising menu at the Octagon

THE best antidote to winter blues is looking ahead to spring, and there are plenty of exciting and entertaining events at Yeovil’s Octagon Theatre and Westlands entertainments centre, including an evening with Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the Armonico Consort with a Valentines-themed programme, BalletBoyz, Seth Lakeman, and comedians Nish Kumar and Mark Steel. January highlights include…

Read more...

Shaftesbury has a cracking panto

ONE of the favourite winter stories for all ages is The Nutcracker, best-known as a ballet with music by Tchaikovsky. This year it’s the choice for Shaftesbury Arts Centre’s pantomime, running over two weeks from Wednesday 23rd January. Based on a Russian fairytale that is full of winter magic, with toys and sweets that turn…

Read more...

Ricky Gervais warms up at Bath

HOT off the press: Ricky Gervais is playing a warm-up gig for his new show, Supernature, at the Theatre Royal Bath on Sunday 24th February at 7.30pm. Comedian, actor, singer, director, producer and writer, Ricky Gervais first hit the nation’s collective attention with his appallingly funny creative David Brent in The Office. This became a…

Read more...

Rain Man, Theatre Royal Bath

FORTUNATE audiences at Bath this week have the chance to see a remarkable performance in the stage adaptation of the film Rain Man – and it’s all the more remarkable as it’s given by an actor who knew the role of Raymond Babbitt backwards, but must have thought he’d never get the chance to play…

Read more...

Buttoning up his Cystic Fibrosis

CHARLES Michael Duke – Buttons in this year’s Cinderella –  has dramatic memories of the stage of the Regent Centre in Christchurch. While the Highcliffe resident was performing in the 2015 Christmas Spectacular, both his lungs collapsed on stage. The lifelong Cystic Fibrosis sufferer had to wait three and a half years for a double…

Read more...

Winning ways at Ilminster

SEVEN artists, all prize-winners in Ilminster Arts Centre’s 2018 open exhibition, have got the new year off to a great start at the Meeting House, with a show that runs to 19th January. Somerset-based Nancy Farmer, who took the top prize with her painting Sinking to New Depths, says of her return to the Arts…

Read more...

Paul McCaffrey tops Coastal Comedy bill

POOLE’s Lighthouse arts centre comedy club, Coastal Comedy, welcomes Paul McCaffrey as the headliner on Saturday 19th January, with support from Morgan Rees and Andy Field, and host Adrienne Coles. The monthly Coastal Comedy, at 8pm in the arts centre’s Sherling Studio, features three professional comedians with local comic Adrienne Coles. Widely tipped for the…

Read more...

Marie Stopes on Portland

MARIE Stopes was one of the most influential and controversial women of the 20th century, so it is amazing that Escaping The Storm, produced by the Dorset-based AsOne Theatre is the first play about her life. The winter tour continues at Warminster Athenaeum on Saturday 2nd February One hundred years since Dr Stopes published her…

Read more...

The stories behind Tess

TESS of the d’Urbervilles is Thomas Hardy’s most famous novel, and considered by some also to be his best. But when it was published it provoked outrage among prudish and conventional readers, critics and even other writers. A new exhibition in the study at Max Gate, Hardy’s house at Dorchester, reveals some of the stories…

Read more...

Comedy, tragedy, dance, circus and more

POOLE’s Lighthouse is the largest multi-arts complex outside London – and it has a programme to match, embracing all the arts from straight theatre to stand-up comedy, contemporary dance to classical orchestral music, modern jazz to traditional puppets. The winter-spring 2019 season starts in the theatre with St Petersburg Ballet with two Tchaikovsky favourites, Swan…

Read more...