Folk stars at South Petherton

THE David Hall at South Petherton, which has been at the heart of the West Country folk scene for many years, continues a line-up of exciting traditional and contemporary performers on Sunday 27th May. Welsh folk stars Calan come to the David Hall, following the release of their new album, Solomon. Their repertoire includes traditional…

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Justin Hayward in Bristol and Christchurch

KNOWN as “the voice of the Moody Blues”, Swindon-born singer and songwriter Justin Hay­ward stops at the Colston Hall in Bristol and Christchurch Regent Centre on his spring 2018 tour. In Bristol on Sunday 27th May and Christchurch on Saturday 2nd June,  Justin will be performing tracks from his recent albums as well as Moody…

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Lyme Bay Winery introduces Lugger Rum

LYME Bay Winery, based near Axminster, has created a new drink with links to the region’s colourful maritime history and traditions – Lugger Rum, Devon’s first spiced rum. Lugger Rum joins Lyme Bay’s Jack Ratt brand, inspired by notorious 18th century South Devon smuggler Jack Rattenbury. An adventurer and a rogue (albeit a loveable one)…

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Monstrous world premiere in Bristol

BRISTOL audiences will steal a march on their London counterparts when the world premiere of A Monster Calls opens at the Old Vic in King Street from  31st May to 16th June, before its transfer to the Old Vic on the South Bank. Sally Cookson’s production is adapted from the novel by Patrick Ness, which…

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Millie brings jazz age to Bath

THE latest touring production of the musical Thoroughly Modern Millie comes to Bath Theatre Royal from 29th May to 2nd June. Hayley Tamaddon, best known as Del Dingle in Emmerdale and Andrea Beckett in Coronation Street, plays the title role of Millie Dilmount, a Kansas girl determined to make it big in New York City….

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Remembering Douglass

THE centre of Bristol will be rem­embering its uncomfortable history on Bank Holiday Monday 28th May with an all day event,  Freder­ick Douglass: An Aboli­tionist Returns. Several performers will be taking part, including Jazz FM UK Vocal­ist of the Year Carleen Anderson, recognised as one of the modern era’s  most pow­er­ful vocalists. The event marks…

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Winning food photographs at Gloucester Services

THE motorway services station that motorists actually love – Gloucester Services – has added to its attractions by becoming the first services to showcase the winning images from the Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year Awards. These awards, the most respected in the industry, feature leading food photographers from the UK and beyond. Visitors…

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The Art Stable, Rachel Sargent and Emsie Sharp

HEAD to Gold Hill Organic Farm at Child Okeford during Dorset Art Weeks for a selection of outstanding exhibitions – mixed work at The Art Stable, new paintings by Rachel Sargent at her studio and blown glass by Emsie Sharp in her workshop, all in the converted barns around the farmyard, with stunning views of…

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Under Her Eye – women and climate change

AS Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale searing look at the cruelty inflicted on women by a male-dominated theocracy returns to our screens for a second series, expanding on the original, the great Canadian novelist comes to London as the headline speaker at a climate change summit and arts festival at the British Library on 1st…

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Spanish musical spendour in Dorchester

THE glorious music of 16th Cen­tury Spain comes to St Mary’s Church in Dorchester on Saturday 2nd June, when vocal ensemble Tenebrae returns to Dorset. The world-famous vocal ensemble Tenebrae, directed by Nigel Short, will give a performance entitled Spanish Glories of the 16th century, which includes Victoria’s Requiem Mass, published in 1605 and regarded…

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Emma Johnson opens season

THE Brewhouse Summer Concert Series starts in Taunton on Friday 25th May with a recital by clarinettist Emma Johnson accompanied by pianist John Lenehan, at 7.30pm. The three intimate concerts are designed to stimulate the musical palate during the summer. Emma Johnson is one of the UK’s biggest-selling classical artists. She has appeared as a…

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Half term adventures at Westlands

YEOVIL’s Westlands Entertainments Centre is screening three popular family films at the bank holiday weekend and half term with Ready Player One, on Friday 25th and Monday 26th May, Mary And The Witch’s Flower on Monday, and Isle of Dogs on Friday 1st June. Ready Player One is a science fiction action adventure, directed by…

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Anniversary expansion for Ilminster theatre

THIS year marks the 70th anniversary of Ilminster Entertainments Society and the 30th anniversary of the group’s home at the Warehouse Theatre, and the start of an ambitious expansion, which has just received a major financial boost from South Somerset District Council. Ilminster Warehouse Theatre, which is also home to Ilminster Youth Theatre, has had…

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McKellen – merely player!

SIR Ian McKellen will be talking to Graham Norton on Sunday 27th May at 3pm, and you are invited to listen in. A question and answer session will be broadcast live by satellite  from the British Film Institute on the South Bank after the film McKellen: Playing the Part is screened. The event will be transmitted…

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Gigspanner in Poole and Shaftesbury

PETER Knight, former fiddler with Steeleye Span, brings his band Gigspanner to the Sherling Studio at Poole’s Lighthouse on  Thursday 24th May and to Shaftesbury Arts Centre on Friday 25th. He quit folk-rock pioneers Steel­eye at the end of 2013, and has since turned his full attention to the Gigspanner trio, establishing their reputation as…

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Dark Materials to big bad wolf with the BSO Benevolent Fund

THE Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra will be joined by writer Philip Pullman for the 60th anni­versary concert of the BSO Bene­volent Fund, at Poole’s Lighthouse on Sunday 27th May. The afternoon concert, conducted by Stephen Barlow, will feature  trium­phant works by Tchaikovsky, Beethoven and Prokofiev, including his Peter and the Wolf. The BSO Benevolent Fund provides…

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Baby wallaby is reared in a rucksack

SPRING is in the air for baby Newt, a wallaby who was found abandoned and has been hand-reared in a rucksack at the Longleat Safari Park. Little Newt, who is around 30 weeks old, is cared for by keepers Gemma Short and Jodie Cobb, who take it in turns to carry him around in a…

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Wild printmaking on Dartmoor

THE new exhibition at the Devon Guild of Craftsmen’s gallery at its home at Bovey Tracey is A Year on Dartmoor –   365 Square Miles in Print, work by Totnes artist Anita Reynolds, on from 19th May to 1st July. This one-woman show reflects the changing seasons and their impact on the landscape and its…

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Salisbury –­ City of Doves

AN installation of around 2,500 origami white doves will “fly” along the nave of Salisbury Cathedral in a community project called #SalisburyCityofDoves which opens to the public on 12th May. Before that the Cathedral is inviting local people around the city to take part, and help to spread the message of resilience, peace and hope….

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May at the egg

THE  May programme at the egg, Bath Theatre Royal’s dedicated youth theatre space, continues Little Angel Theatre in its stage adaptation of Eileen Browne’s book Handa’s Surprise. The show follows Handa’s journey to visit her best friend Akeyo, brought to life with puppetry, live music and songs. And there is audience participation, too! The show…

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Journey to justice at Shire Hall

A NEW exhibition at Shire Hall, Dorchester, focusing on the US Civil Rights Movement, shows how ordinary people changed the world by lifting their voices against oppression. Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks are the famous names that epitomise the fight for equal rights in America – but what about Ruby Bridges, the…

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Rare Priestley

THE Spring production for the Alderbury Players is JB Priestley’s rarely-performed The Long Mirror, on stage at the village hall until Saturday 26th May. One of the writer’s intriguing “time plays”, it was written in 1940 and based on an real incident. It is the story of the strange experience of Branwen Elder, a young…

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Making Connections at the Slade Centre

GILLINGHAM’s Slade Centre gallery has a show by Group 7 – Brian Bishop, Martyn Brewster, Bonnie Brown, Fran Donovan, Michael Griffiths, Ursula Leach and Peter Symon – for Dorset Art Weeks 2018, on view until 10th June. The seven artists in this well-established group share a commitment to the media of drawing, painting and printmaking,…

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Henry Lamb at the Salisbury Museum

THE 2018 programme of outstanding exhibitions at the Salisbury Museum continues with a major new exhibition, Henry Lamb: Out of the Shadows, from 26th May to 30th September,  the first major reappraisal of Lamb’s work since an exhibition at the Manchester City Art Galleries in1984. One of the leading British figurative painters of the first…

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Two weeks of art and discovery on the Purbecks

THE  multi-arts festival on the Purbecks,  running from Saturday 26th May to Sunday 10th June, began as an open studios event, but now has expanded into a celebration of the visual arts and crafts in one of the country’s most beautiful areas, but also an exciting programme of concerts, talks, poetry, film and workshops. The…

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BOVTS tours Eliot classic

THE 2018 Bristol Old Vic Theatre School tour, starting on 31st May at Backwell, is an adaptation of George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss first made for Shared Experience in 1994. Created by Helen Edmundson (Coram Boy and The Heresy of Love) it is directed by Paul Clarkson and, as always with the summer…

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What is Wiltshire Creative?

WILTSHIRE Creative? What is it? A merging of Salisbury Playhouse, Salisbury Arts Centre and Salisbury International Arts Festival. So, why WILTSHIRE? What’s it for and how will it work? These have been the sort of questions which executive director Sebastian Warrack and artistic director Gareth Machin have been ducking for several months – not because…

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Ivo Graham at Lyme Regis

RISING comedy star Ivo Graham headlines a special late May bank holiday edition of Lyme Regis Comedy Club at the Marine Theatre, run by Bridport funny man Tom Glover, on Monday 28th May. With regular appearances on Mock the Week and Live at the Apollo, this is a great chance to see Ivo Graham in…

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Poignant political theatre

AWARD-winning playwright Hassan Abdulrazzak comes to the Sherling Studio in Poole on Friday 25th May with his solo show Love, Bombs and Apples. Described as a funny, poignant and powerful political theatre, the play expertly highlights the problems in today’s global and multicultural landscape, using comedy to bravely tackle problems facing the Arab, Muslim and…

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Bath doctor writes new musical

MUSIC is Life ret­urns to the Rondo Theatre in Bath from 23rd to 26th May with Busk, a new musical written and composed by local GP Dan Lash­brook. Directed by Petra Schofield, Busk is at the Rondo prior to touring, and has a cast of some of the city’s finest talent. It’s the story of…

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Purbeck turns the clock back for anniversary year

PURBECK Ice Cream is 30 this year – and three of the latest flavours from the multi-award-winning family business turn the clock back a few million years to the area’s distant past with a Jurassic range. Purbeck Ice Cream is produced with a real passion by the Hartle family and their team at the farm…

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