What's on in pictures

Hansel and Gretel dance into Corfe

THE vibrant Uchenna Dance company returns to Dorset for an Artsreach event at Corfe Castle village hall on 18th February, with a colourful new show, Hansel and Gretel. Uchenna Dance played to sell-out audiences with The Head Wrap Diaries and are back in Dorset with their contemporary take on a classic fairy tale. Moving the…

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Lighting festival will make Poole harbour glow

THIS year’s Light Up Poole festival, from Thursday 21st to Saturday 23rd February will give a colourful and exciting new look to the Quay and the Old Town as international light artists premiere their installations. This year’s festival includes four world premieres, a European premiere and several newly commissioned works that place Poole firmly in…

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Blue Door, Ustinov Studio, Bath Theatre Royal

IT’S sometimes difficult, living in an ethnically uniform area like rural south west England, to understand the continuing fuss about (for example) changing the name of the Colston Hall, pulling down statues of confederate soldiers and otherwise seeking to re-write history. If you have fallen into that mindset, go and see Tanya Barfield’s play Blue…

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Folk opera tells womens strike story

A NEW folk opera, drawing on traditional songs and ballads, tells the story of the women chainmakers of Cradley Heath who struck for better wages and conditions. Rouse, Ye Women comes to Dorchester on 20th February and Poole on 23rd. Written by Townsend Productions actor and singer Neil Gore and veteran folk musician John Kirkpatrick,…

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Naked wit at the Marine

QUENTIN Crisp, the flamboyant gay man credited with one of the funniest quotes ever about housework, is the subject of a one-man show, Naked Hope, coming to the Marine Theatre at Lyme Regis on Thursday 21st February. “Don’t lose your nerve,” he said (about not dusting), “after the first four years the dirt won’t get…

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Salty tales from Tall Tree

TALL Tree, a Wiltshire-based theatre company that stages shows for young children, comes to Dorchester Arts at the Corn Exchange on Monday 18th February at 2.30pm, Salisbury on Tuesday 19th and Poole on 20th. It is Tall Tree’s Dorchester debut but the company is already popular with Artsreach audiences, and Lily and the Albatross should…

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Riisager at The Art Stable

ONE of the most respected artists in the region, Christopher Riisager has a one-man show at The Art Stable at Gold Hill Organic Farm, Child Okeford, on until 2nd March. Riisager has spent almost all his life on the Dorset/Wiltshire border aside from the years spent studying Fine Art at Goldsmiths during the 1980’s.  He…

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Move over on the Broom!

JULIA Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s Room on a Broom, ideal for children aged three and older and their families, comes to Southampton’s Nuffield Campus theatre from 19th to 24th February. This  Tall Stories show is a magical, musical stage adaptation of the popular picture book, promising a quintessential family treat with songs, laughs and scary…

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Whispering in the egg

STAR Flower, the new show by Whis­pering Woods comes to the egg at Bath Theatre Royal on  Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th February, starting half-term with a bang. The company that created a magical production among the trees of Prior Park last year, now brings elements of the natural world indoors as two skillful performers…

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City-specific play returns to Southampton

THE prolific Howard Brenton turned his attention to South­ampton in Autumn 1940 for his play The Shadow Factory, and it was so popular in its home city that it’s back at the Nuffield City by popular demand. Set in the days of The Battle of Britain, Southampton was home to the Spitfire, regarded by many…

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Material Earth at Messums Wiltshire

THE exhibition programme at Messums Wiltshire at the 700-year old Tisbury tithe barn includes an annual month-long celebration of clay and ceramics, Material Earth, this year running to 3rd March. For the first time, the Material Earth exhibition celebrates the vessel, in all its abstracted forms, showcasing new work by artists and makers from the…

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World premiere at Plymouth

THE world is chaotic and it’s hard to be optimistic – this is the essential theme of You Stupid Darkness!, a new play by Sam Steiner which has its world premiere in a joint production by Paines Plough and Plymouth’s Theatre Royal at Plymouth, from Thursday 7th to Saturday 23rd February. The production is directed…

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February music at the David Hall

THE  musical line-up at South Petherton’s David Hall continues with Jamie Smith’s Mabon, on  Friday 22nd February. The Mabon Twenty tour celebrates two decades of live performance across four continents. Their seventh album, Twenty, was released last October 2018.  Recorded live on the road, it features the band’s newest music alongside a career-spanning, greatest hits roll-call…

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For the love of Bach

FANS of Bach in particular and baroque music in general have an annual winter treat at Bath – this year’s Bath Bach Fest runs from 21st to 23rd February and includes leading international musicians including Xuefei Yang and The Sixteen. Directed as always by Amelia Freedman, the eighth Bach Fest, produced by the team which…

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New poems from Gill Horitz

WRITER, poet and community theatre maker Gill Horitz has published a new collection of poems, All The Different Darknesses. She describes the work as exploring “our sense of what lies within or beyond the everyday, taking inspiration from the lives of objects, as well as familial memories and disturbances emerging from ‘the different darknesses …”…

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Festival of theatre and more

FEST West 2019 (formerly known as Theatre Fest West) is back from Thursday 14th February to Saturday 2nd March,  bringing some of the south west’s most exciting new theatre to Salis­bury, Corsham and Trow­bridge. This year film and dance  have been added to the mix with theatre performances. Companies and artists from Bristol, Devon, Som­er­set…

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Christie classic at the Playhouse

AGATHA Christie’s The Mirror Crack’d has been adapted for the stage by Rachel Wagstaff, and comes to Salisbury Play­house from Friday 15th Feb­ru­ary to  Saturday 9th March. The tour is produced by Wales Millennium Centre and Wiltshire Creative and the director is Melly Still. The cast is led by Susie Blake, who plays Miss Marple…

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Cowardly secrets and lies at Bath

SIMON Callow and Jane Asher start a UK tour in Noel Coward’s A Song at Twilight at Bath Theatre Royal, from Wednesday 13th to Saturday 23rd February. One of The Master’s final plays, and originally part of a trilogy, A Song at Twilight is described as an intriguing drama of secrets and lies. The new…

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The Inn Crowd with Jonny Fluffypunk

ANARCHIC performance poet Jonny Fluffypunk invites you to join the Inn Crowd at Salisbury and Corsham. The poet, who describes himself as a refugee from suburbia, will be at Salisbury Arts Centre on Thursday 28th February as part of  Fest West’s Hip Yak Poetry Shack  and at Corsham’s Pound Arts Centre on 1st March, also…

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Cathedral’s artistic response to Brexit

SALISBURY Cathedral’s stimulating and varied arts programme continues in February with two artistic responses to the Brexit debut involving poet Lemn Sissay and light artist Mary Branson. Ladders of Light is a new “constitution” for the UK, with words by Lemn Sissay and illuminated ladders by Mary Branson. It will be followed in March by…

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