What's on in pictures

Wuthering Heights, Bristol Old Vic and touring

THERE’S nothing predictable about Emma Rice’s productions other than their unpredictability, but for those of us in the South West who saw her development first hand with Kneehigh, before she went national and divided audiences and administrators at Shakespeare’s Globe, her take on Wuthering Heights was bound to be an exciting prospect. The co-production between…

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Cinderella – the perfect panto for Bath

PANTOMIME comes back to Bath Theatre Royal this Christmas, and what better way to celebrate than with Cinderella – with the villainous Ugly Sisters, Fairy Godmother, a touching romance and magical transformations, it is “the perfect panto,” says comedian and Bath favourite Jon Monie, who has written the script for the show. After the lockdowns…

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Cutting it Fine at Salisbury

WORK by some of the finest British engravers is on show in Cutting It Fine: The Art of the British Wood Engraver, at Salisbury Museum, until 16th January 2022. There is a second exhibition featuring work by Howard Phipps, one of the greatest living wood engravers, who lives just outside Salisbury. Though printing onto paper…

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Madam Butterfly, Welsh National Opera at Bristol Hippodrome

WHEN the curtain rose showing a white gauze curtain which in turn rose to reveal a completely bare white set dominated by a two-storey, futuristic house mounted on a revolve, my companion – and many others in the audience – exclaimed “Wow!” When the chorus entered, again clad in white, in contrast to the two…

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Spinning the Moon postponed again

SPINNING The Moon, Dorchester’s seventh community play, has been postponed again, this time from spring 2022 until spring 2023. The decision by the Dorchester Community Plays Association was taken in view of the  ongoing effects of Covid, as well as other logistical concerns. Spinning the Moon was originally due to be performed over Easter 2020,…

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Marzia Colonna at Sladers Yard

AN exhibition by Marzia Colonna is always a special event, and the Dorset-based, Italian-born sculptor and collage artist’s shows at her “local” gallery are a must in the calendar. Her current show, Autumn Abundance, at Sladers Yard, West Bay, continues to 14th November and also marks the launch of new giclee prints of her collages….

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Hamilton star in Blue/Orange at Bath

GILES Terera, winner of the Olivier Best Actor in a Musical for Hamilton, is one of the cast of three in a new production of the award-winning drama Blue/Orange, at Bath’s Ustinov Studio from 29th October to 13th November. Giles Terera plays Robert with Michael Balogun as Christopher and Ralph Davis as Bruce. Directed by…

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Jazz duo back with Artsreach

GUITARIST John Etheridge and violinist Chris Garrick are coming to Dorset for a short tour with Artsreach, on Friday 12th November at Broadmayne village hall, Saturday 13th at Winterborne Stickland’s Pamela Hambro Hall and Sunday 14th at Drimpton village hall, all starting at 7.30pm. Etheridge and Garrick have performed together for many years. Back with…

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Finger-printing apple varieties

SOMERSET cider-maker Thatchers, which has more than 500 acres of orchards and the largest and most diverse collection of apples used in cider making, is working with the University of Bristol on a project using DNA fingerprinting techniques to identify apple tree varieties. With many old and heritage varieties of apple trees beginning to disappear,…

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Cape Farewell’s wAteR climaTe festival

THE Dorset-based environmental arts foundation Cape Farewell and Poole’s Lighthouse arts centre have come together to highlight the critical issue of climate change. From Wednesday 3rd November to Saturday 4th December, the arts centre is hosting Cape Farewell’s wAteR climaTe festival. The COP26 summit in Glasgow is a critical moment – can countries and governments…

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She’s still younger than Madonna

COMEDIAN Jenny Eclair can’t believe it. She has hit 60. But she can comfort herself with the knowledge that she is still a year younger than Madonna, as she tells audience on her new national tour, Jenny Eclair: Sixty! (FFS!), which has its first West Country dates at the Northcott Theatre, Exeter on 28th October…

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Amazing women at MAST

IF you loved SIX the Musical, you will be excited to hear about a new pop musical from the same producer – Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World has its world premiere at Southampton’s MAST Mayflower Studios on 6th November. The show is co-produced with Kenny Wax Family Entertainment, the producer behind Six (the musical…

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Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Bristol Hippodrome and touring

WHEN a documentary entitled Drag Queen at 16 was shown on BBC Three as part of their season about young people with amazing stories to tell, few thought that a 16-year-old who wanted to attend his school Prom dressed in drag, would provide the seeds for a successful stage musical and film. That is not…

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Celebrate Voice back in Salisbury

SALISBURY’S Celebrate Voice Festival makes a spectacular comeback, based at the Guildhall from Thursday 21st to Saturday 30th October. Now in its 8th year, the festival used the lockdown in 2020 to produce online shows, workshops and live events when possible. This year’s event brings acts usually seen on the London jazz circuit, at the…

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Star Syrian pianist on tour

THE acclaimed Syrian pianist Riyad Nicolas comes to Dorset and Somerset for a short three-date tour with Concerts in the West on 5th and 6th November. Born in Aleppo in 1989, Riyad Nicolas made his first appearance with an orchestra there at the age of ten. He came to Britain in 2005 on a scholarship…

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Looking Good Dead, Theatre Royal, Bath

IN the classic David Lean film adaptations of Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist and Great Expectations, several storylines, important in the books, have virtually been edited out in order to make the narrative flow more smoothly and quickly. Watching this,  Shaun McKenna’s fifth stage adaptation of a Peter James novel, that there were just too many…

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Strode welcome for new season and former manager

STRODE Theatre at Street has announced its autumn  programme of films and events and a return for Fares K Moussa, the former manager, stepping in as Robin Peters, who has been the manager since 2019, is leaving.. Robin Peters was faced with the crisis of the pandemic and the lockdown, and has overseen the partial…

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Moviola in October

MOVIOLA, the rural cineplex, the organisaiton which brings films to rural communities across the region (and the country), has a wide-ranging and exciting selection for the autumn, including the multi-award-winning Nomadland and The Father, and Timothy Spall’s moving new film, The Last Bus. Timothy Spall, who is well on the way to becoming a national…

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New staging as Les Mis returns

THREE of the region’s big theatres will be welcoming the new staging of Les Miserables next year. The spectacular show will be at the Mayflower in Southampton from 8th to 26th March, Plymouth Theatre Royal from 24th May to 11th June, and Bristol Hippodrome from .12th July to 6th August. Returning by popular demand following…

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A month of music at the Beehive

THE India Electric Co, Honiton’s own Joe and Cole, are back in their home town, at the Beehive Centre on Friday 15th October, when they will launch their new album. Sometimes folk, sometimes not, India Electric Co use traditional instruments in contemporary styles to explore diverse themes including Eastern Europe, Irish traditions and modern urban alienation…

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Salisbury festival back in 2022

SALISBURY International Arts Festival will return in 2022 with a full programme for the first time in two years. From 27th May to 19th June, the festival will feature a diverse programme of music, theatre, film, dance, spoken word, visual arts, family and free events. The festival, running over an extended period of three weeks,…

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Unsettling Landscapes at St Barbe gallery

LYMINGTON’s St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery hosts an inspiring and intriguing autumn exhibition, Unsettling Landscapes: The Art of the Eerie, co-curated by natural history writer and environmental thinker Robert Macfarlane, continuing until 4th January. With work by some of the most important artists of the past 100 years, the exhibition explores eerie representations of…

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Thomas J Price at Hauser & Wirth

LONDON-based sculptor Thomas J Price is having his inaugural exhibition at Hauser & Wirth Somerset in the autumn, but before that he will be artist-in-residence at the gallery this summer. Price has rapidly become one of the most important British contemporary sculptors of his generation, subverting stereotypical representations of figures we value in society and…

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Wiltshire Music Centre’s season continues

THE Wiltshire Music Centre at Bradford-on-Avon continues with its  autumn and winter season of concerts. With one of the finest acoustics outside of London, the WMC is renowned for its diverse programme of classical, folk, jazz and world music, family shows and community concerts, and more recently to its successful foray into livestreaming.e. Classical music…

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Rebanks at Bridport

JAMES Rebanks won this year’s Wainwright Prize with his latest book, the compelling and important English Pastoral. He is a late addition to the impressive line-up for this year’s Bridport Literary  Festival, running from Sunday 7th to Saturday 13th November Rebanks (pictured) will be in conversation with Elizabeth Wainwright, bringing the festival to a close…

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Living history at Athelhampton

STEP back in time to the Elizabethan era, and meet the Martyn family at a living history event in beautiful Athelhampton House near Dorchester. All levels of society from gentlefolk to servants will be around the house and gardens from Thursday to Saturday, 28th to 30th October, to meet and talk with visitors. The year…

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Dawn Sturgess Bursary launched

PRODUCTION company Dancing Ledge and Wiltshire Creative have announced the launch of a new bursary, set up in memory of Dawn Sturgess, who died after coming into contact with the nerve agent Novichok at Salisbury. The bursary, created in partnership with Dawn’s parents, has been set up to help young creative people from the area…

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Award-winning folk duo on tour

FOR nearly a quarter of a century, Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman have delighted folk fans with their charismatic stage presence and beautiful blend of contemporary, original and traditional folk music. They are currently on tour, with West Country dates including Ubley parish hall, near Blagdon, on Friday 29th October, the County Museum at Dorchester…

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Record-breaking World Cheese Awards

THE 2021 World Cheese Awards, taking place in Oviedo, Spain, on Wednesday 3rd November, have received more than 4,000 entries from a record-breaking 45 countries. They include not only the great cheese-making nations, France, Spain, Italy, England and Switzerland, but also  India, Guatemala, Japan, Colombia, Israel and Ukraine. The 33rd annual awards are taking place…

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Tez talks at the Marine

STAND-UP comedian Tez Ilyas, star of the multi-award-winning Man Like Mobeen, is coming to the Marine Theatre in Lyme Regis on 13th November. In 2015 Tez Ilyas achieved fame with his debut stand up hour TEZ Talks. A sell-out run at the Soho Theatre and his own Radio 4 series based on the show followed….

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The Opposite Sex at Sturminster Newton

MARK, Vicky, Judith and Eric have one thing in common. They don’t know what it is, but when they find out, all hell is going to break loose. So prepare for a lot of laughs as Sturminster Newton Amateur Dramatic Society stages The Opposite Sex at the Exchange from Thursday 28th to Saturday 30th October….

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The Titfield Thunderbolt, Warehouse Theatre, Ilminster

AGAINST a background of doom and gloom, it’s hardly surprising that theatregoers are champing at the bit for a chance to return to venues as audiences watching their favourites, friends and families on stage again. It would be difficult to imagine a more perfect play than Philp Goulding’s version of the famous film The Titfield…

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Bristol stand-up on home ground

BRISTOLIAN comedian Jayde Adams will be on home ground when she plays two gigs at the city’s historic Old Vic theatre, on 24th October. Jayde also brings her debut national tour of The Ballad of Kylie Jenner’s Old Face, to Poole’s Lighthouse arts centre on 28th October, and Swindon Arts Centre on 22nd. The tour,…

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Win a Gormley lithograph

ANTONY Gormley’s new sculpture Doubt has been installed in niche 338 on the west front of Wells Cathedral, bringing a striking nd powerful contemporary work to sit alongside the Gothic religious statuary of the 13th century for which Wells Cathedral is famous.. The sculptor is keen to encourage local community creative and educational projects and…

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First in-house panto for Lighthouse

POOLE’s Lighthouse arts centre will have its first ever in-house pantomime, Beauty and the Beast, from Thursday 9th to Friday 31st December. Beauty and the Beast features a cast headed by long-time Lighthouse friend Chris Jarvis and Michelle Collins, star of EastEnders and Coronation Street, who will be playing the glamorous wicked fairy Nightshade (pictured)….

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Henrietta Young at The Art Stable

THE Art Stable, Kelly Young’s excellent gallery at Gold Hill Organic Farm, Child Okeford, has two exhibitions opening in October – Repetitive Landscapes 2020, landscapes by Henrietta Young, and The Invisible Land, etchings by Alexander Massouras. Young’s paintings are characterised by acute observation of the environment where she lives, in particular the view from her…

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Dance tales of darkest Soho

THE new dance theatre creation by choreographer and storyteller Matthew Bourne will be coming to Poole’s Lighthouse arts centre and Bath Theatre Royal in November as part of its world premiere tour. Bourne’s New Adventures company is bringing The Midnight Bell, described as “intoxicating tales from darkest Soho,” to Poole from Thursday 4th – Saturday…

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