What's on in pictures

Deep sleep at Bell Street

THE pantomime at Shaftes­bury Arts Centre this year, on various dates from Sun­day 19th January to Saturday 1st February, is Sleeping Beauty, in the version written by Stephen Duckham. With all the traditional pantomime ingredients – magic, music, laughter and of course the dreaded spinning wheel – it tells the story of the beautiful Princess…

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Romantics Anonymous, Wise Children at Bristol Old Vic

THE big selling point of Romantics Anonymous (both the French film and this wonderful musical show) is “love and chocolate, what’s not to like?” But that would be to overlook the many extra delights that Emma Rice has included in her inspired production, which sold out the Sam Wanamaker Theatre at Shakespeare’s Globe as she…

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Shout out for diversity

THE latest tour of the stage musical Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is at Plymouth Theatre Royal until Saturday 25th January, starring actor and Strictly Come Dan­cing winner Joe McFadden. Based on the Oscar-winning film, it’s the hilarious adventure of drag queens who hop aboard a battered old bus (Priscilla)  bound for Alice Springs to…

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Trusty super-fan on the road

HELEN Wood loves the National Trust – you might even say she is obsessed. Follow the writer-performer on her one-woman, whirlwind tour of the Trust’s properties and outdoor spaces to Dorchester Arts at the Corn Exchange on Wednesday 29th January. The National Trust Fan Club, by Seabright Productions, is on tour after a successful run…

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Book of Mormon Bristol

THE multi-award winning Book of Mormon is on stage at Bristol Hippodrome until Saturday 22nd February, and after the initial booking rush there are good and plentiful tickets available on most dates in February. Created by the team that brought you South Park, it’s an irreverent satire on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day…

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Journeyman – craft from a bicycle

JOURNEYMAN, the hew exhibition at the Devon Guild of Craftsmen gallery at Riverside Mill, Bovey Tracey, from 18th January to 8th March, is a collection of photographs, film and works by makers who dedicate their lives to a particular craft or passion. It has been put together by Bristol-based cyclist and graphic designer Nick Hand…

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Counterpoint at Sladers Yard

THE new exhibition at Sladers Yard, West Bay, is Counterpoint, recent paintings by Martyn Brewster, Daisy Cook and Brian Graham, with ceramics by Paul Wearing and furniture by Petter Southall. The exhibition runs from Saturday 18th January to Sunday 1st March. Counterpoint is a term most widely used in music, meaning to emphasise by contrast….

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Fairy tale mayhem from Gonzo Moose

GONZO Moose put the fun into the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm with their new show, Once Upon a Time, which comes to Broadmayne and Stalbridge on 31st January and 1st February. Following the success of their previous tour, The Thing that Came from Over There, the comedy physical theatre company are back with…

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Back to the barricades

SPITZ & Co are back with their brilliant show Les Gloriables,  booked for a third Artsreach date at Winfrith Newburgh on 26th January. Following on from the success of Gloriator and Gloria in the Mist, the comedy duo presents the third part of the trilogy. Inspired by Victor Hugo’s classic novel Les Misérables, legendary French…

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Look out for raptors at Arne

ON Wednesdays in January, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is hosting raptor roost watches, a chance for the public to take part in dusk walks on the lookout for kestrels, merlins, short-eared owls, marsh harriers and even the elusive hen harrier, one of the most endangered birds of prey in the…

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Moviola in January

THE Moviola year begins with Judy, the new biopic of Judy Garland, starring a never-better Renee Zellweger, in what ought to be an Oscar/BAFTA winning performance as the star at the end of her career, in London for a sell-out but roller-coaster season at the Talk of the Town night club. Although the film, directed…

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Dorset Wildlife Trust in January

JANUARY events with Dorset Wildlife Trust include three of the popular Brownsea Bird Boat trips to the island and around Poole Harbour. For details of volunteering opportunities with the conservation charity, visit www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/things-do/volunteering Sunday 26th – Brownsea Bird Boats, 9am to 1pm, joint event run by DWT, National Trust and the RSPB; landing on Brownsea Island…

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Living Spit tiptoes into ballet

THE multiple talents of Howard Coggins and Stu McLoughlin are well-known from their inventive Living Spit performances, and now the fearless pair are tackling classical dance, to bring their own version of the world’s favourite ballet, Swan Lake. The tour continues at Bristol’s Tobacco Factory  from Thursday 30th January to Saturday 9th February. Working with…

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Mark Thomas has 50 things to say

MARK Thomas is funny, but he is so much more than that. Social commentator, mischief-maker, polemicist and general disrupter, he is on tour with a new show, 50 Things About Us, on Saturday 1st February at the Red House Theatre in Plymouth. The tour continues at Bridport’s Electric Palace on Saturday 22nd and Dorchester Arts…

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Macbeth – the pantomime, Castle Players at Lytchett Matravers

LINSEY O’Neill’s hysterical Castle Players pantomime is based on the story of Macbeth, with a few other Shakespearean plays thrown in for good measure, and liberally sprinkled with a satirical look at game shows and “reality” television and the traditions of the panto genre. What could possibly go wrong ­– other than the electrocution of…

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In praise of Phil Ochs

MARTYN Joseph, currently on a UK tour, comes to The Brook in Southampton on 2nd February. The tour introduces his fans to the music of American protest singer (or political singer as he preferred) Phil Ochs, who took his own life in 1976, leaving behind hundreds of songs, the best known of which is probably…

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The Cheese Box opens at Quicke’s Home Farm

DEVON-based cheesemaker Quicke’s is opening a new cheese counter and tasting room on Saturday 25th January, at the family’s Home Farm near Crediton. The new store, which will be launched with a tutored tasting event led by Stuart Dowle, replaces Quicke’s Farm Shop. It will focus on cheese from the South West, along with a…

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Slapstick – and suffragettes?

IF you thought the fearless and deeply committed campaigners for women’s suffrage were very serious, you would probably be right. But … Bristol’s annual Slapstick Festival, in its 16th year, running from 18th to 26th January, has an event to challenge this preconception. Suffragettes in Silent Comedy, at the Watershed on Thursday 23rd January at…

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Fe Fi Fo Fum at the Regent

HIGHCLIFFE Charity Play­­ers have returned to the story of Jack and the Beanstalk after 15 years for the 2020 panto, on stage at the Reg­ent in Christchurch from Sat­ur­day 18th to Satur­day 25th Janu­ary. When Jack is duped into selling his beloved family cow for a bag of “magic” beans, his mother, the outrageous Dame…

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Lucian Freud on screen

LUCIAN Freud, one of the world’s greatest portrait painters, painted himself with the same unflinching eye he brought to his other subjects. For the first time, there is an exhibition of his self-portraits and art-lovers have a chance to see this important show via Exhibition on Screen at local venues including the Marine Theatre at…

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