What's on in pictures

Lighting up Poole

POOLE’s exciting digital light art festival, Light Up Poole, returns from 20th to 22nd February with three nights of extraordinary spectacles and community events that will transform the town and harbour after dark. This year’s theme is Spectrum, with work focusing on diversity in terms of age, faith, social exclusion and migration. More than 40,000…

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WÖR brings 18th century Flemish music to life

AN energetic group of young musicians from Belgium proved such a hit on their first visit to Dorset in 2019, that they are back for a second tour, with Dorset’s Artsreach and Somerset’s Take Art rural touring arts charities, continuing in Somerset on 28th February. Almost 300 years ago, some musicians from around Antwerp, Brussels, Gent and…

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Regent Crest of a 60-year wave

DORSET’S last remaining Gang Show celebrates its 60th anniversary at Christ­church Regent Centre, on Friday and Saturday 21st and 22nd Feb­ruary. “On The Crest of a Wave” will be on stage both nights from 7.15, with a 2.15 Satur­day matinee. The Regent show by Christ­church Scouts and Guides is the only major gang show between…

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Chloe and the Colour Catcher, Exeter Phoenix and touring

IMAGINE a world where corrupt and fearful politicians forced a unifying greyness on the entire population – a state where everyone wore the same, talked the same, looked the same and lived in fear of breaking the rules. That’s what’s happened in Greytopia, where her Grey­nesty  has collected all the colour and joy and locked…

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SIX, Bath Theatre Royal and touring

SIX is a phenomenon. It started life as a student show, and now it’s packing theatres round the globe. It brings new audiences in. It’s super clever. It’s full of unrelenting energy, colour, music and light. It takes a new look at the familiar story of the six wives of Henry VIII and it has…

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The Boy Who Could Fly over Bourton

THE annual half-term pantomime from Bourton Players – Peter  Pan: The Boy Who Could Fly ­– is on stage at the village hall from Thursday 20th to Saturday 22nd February, with four performances including a Saturday matinee. It is directed by Heather Ransley and Kaz Tribe. The cast includes many experienced regulars as well as…

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Pip Utton is at home with the Bard

ACTOR-writer Pip Utton delves back into Elizabethan times for the greatest actor-writer of them all, William Shakespeare, in his one-man show, At Home With Will Shakespeare, which comes to Take Art venues from Saturday 22nd February. The Frome-based performer invites the audience to spend time with the great man, who loves, laughs, drinks, sings, dances and…

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All at sea with The Ark and Dove

DORSET-based storyteller Michele O’Brien is on tour in Dorset and the Isle of Wight, from 17th to 22nd February with her new project, The Ark and Dove, the story of a 17th century servant woman. There are two Artsreach dates, on Monday 17th at Morden village hall, and Saturday 22nd at Sandford Orcas, on Tuesday…

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New Khan ballet in Bristol

CHOREOGRAPHER Akram Khan brings his second full-length ballet Creature to Bristol Hippodrome from 18th to 21st November, with English National Ballet. The company is delighted to welcome Akram back for this third collaboration, after the impact of his Dust and Giselle. Creature is an unearthly tale of exploitation and human frontiers inspired by Georg Büchner’s…

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Fund-raising gala is hot stuff

ONE of the greatest black and white film comedies is part of the entertainment at a glittering fund-raising gala for Dorchester Arts at the town’s Corn Exchange on Friday 28th February. It may be cold outside, but inside it’s prohibition era and the mob is closing in … Billy Wilder’s 1959 film Some Like It…

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Albee classic opens in Bristol

EDWARD Albee’s excoriating black comedy Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf opens at Bristol’s Tobacco Factory  on Wednesday 19th February. This co-production with Wiltshire Creative as Pooky Quesnel and Mark Meadows as Martha and George, and Joseph Tweedale and Fran­ces­ca Henry as their unfortunate guests Nick and Honey. The American play was first staged in 1962,…

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Emma Johnson comes to Shaftesbury

BRITAIN’S favourite clarin­ettist, Emma Johnson, makes her Shaftesbury debut on Saturday 28th  March. Born in Hertfordshire, she joined the National Youth Orchestra at the age of 15, and three years later won the BBC Young Musician of the Year contest, playing Crusell’s Second Concerto. She made her Barbican debut the following year, and since then…

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Track Dogs on the Rails

THE exciting and genre-mixing quartet Track Dogs, based in Madrid and made up of American, Irish and English musicians, is out on a UK tour starting on 14th February in Bath. Supporting their acclaimed new album Fire on the Rails, the band serves up a cocktail of folk, jazz and Americana with a distinctly central…

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The Gentleman Jack tour

BELINDA O’Hooley and her wife Heidi Tidow are back on tour, much to the delight of their many fans. The Yorkshire-based folk duo was catapulted into the national limelight when they provided the title track for BBC 1’s series Gentleman Jack, the story of lesbian adventurer Ann Lister. They collaborated with series creator and fellow…

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Liz Somerville at The Art Stable

AN exhibition by the Dorset artist Liz Somerville is always something to look forward to with excited anticipation, and her latest show, Land of the Twisted and Fallen, opening on 15th February at The Art Stable at Gold Hill Organic Farm, Child Okeford, has plenty to delight her many fans. The new work, linocuts, woodcuts…

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Concerts in the West mixes the media

CONCERTS in the West continues the 2020 season with a second mini tour in February, featuring a unique trio of tenor, pianist and mixed media artist. The three-date series starts with a coffee concert at Bridport Arts Centre on Friday 21st February. The three artists, John Reid, piano, Nicholas Mulroy, tenor, and mixed media artist…

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Between the acts at Drury Lane

THE Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, has been dazzling and delighting audiences for nearly 320 years. Get a taste of the interval music that entertained those early audiences at a fascinating period instrument recital at Dorchester Corn Exchange on Sunday 23rd February, at 2.30pm. Indoor Fireworks: Entertainments from Drury Lane gives a taste of what was…

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The Realistic Joneses, Bath Ustinov Studio

ANYONE who has met a 30-something American clean- freak, displaying all the ges­ti­culating neuroses that come with the territory, will immediately recognize Pony Jones, one of four extraordinary characters in Will Eno’s award-winning play The Realistic Joneses, which is making its UK premiere on Bath Ustinov Studio’s stage. Set in two neighboring houses, both surrounded…

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Blood Wedding, Salisbury Playhouse

IMAGINE the torrid, passionate and intense traditions of rural Spain in the 1930s transported to Salisbury Plain. That’s what Barney Norris has done to Lorca’s play Blood Wedding. The original has a cast of 12 and embodies death as a character. The Wiltshire playwright has cle­v­erly pruned the company to six, cutting out the feuds…

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RSC back in Plymouth

THE Royal Shakespeare Com­pany returns to Plym­outh from 12th to 22nd Feb­ruary, with three plays for the eager audience. The Devon city, with Newcastle on Tyne,  was included in the company’s major regional tours in 1997 and 1998, before government cuts and financial difficulties forced their cancellation. Now the Stratford-based company brings three favourite plays…

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Show-stopping snowdrops at Shaftesbury and Kingston Lacy

THE weather in February can be grim – there’s a reason it’s called “February fill-dike” in old weather lore – but the spectacular snowdrop displays around Shaftesbury, during the town’s Snowdrop Festival, and at the National Trust’s Kingston Lacy estate bring a smile to every face. Visitors to Kingston Lacy can enjoy the one and a…

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Stomping rhythms and Balkan blues

THE February music programme at South Petherton’s David Hall has a strong theme of folk-jazz fusions, from the gypsy jazz energy of festival favourites Mad Dog Mcrea on Saturday 1st February to the tenth birthday gig of the Budapest Cafe Orchestra with violin virtuoso Christian Garrick on Saturday 29th.   On Saturday 15th, Saskia Griffiths-Moore,…

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Adventures on the edge

MOUNTAIN lovers, thrill-seekers and armchair adventurers can all sit back in the comfort of a local cinema or arts centre and enjoy this year’s programmes from the Banff Mountain Film Festival. The next date in the FTR  area is at Swindon Wyvern Theatre on 19th February. The 2020 tour includes a new selection of gripping…

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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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Miranda on the road again

DEVON-based singer, guit­arist and double-bassist Miranda Skyes is out on a spring tour, and continues her solo tour on Friday 28th February at the Matthews Hall in Topsham. Perhaps best known for her worth with Show of Hands, Miranda returns again to perform songs from her latest album, Behind the Wall, and others from her…

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My Fair Lady, Studio Theatre Salisbury

IT takes talent and chutzpah to mount a production of My Fair Lady, and the young members of Salisbury’s Studio Youth Theatre have both in spades. Lerner and Loewe’s musical version of George Ber­n­ard Shaw’s Pygmalion, famously filmed with designs by Cecil Beaton, really leaves no scope for faltering.  The cast are either what is…

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Fun with feathered friends

LIFE’s for the birds – well at least it is when The Lat Baguette Theatre Company come to your local village hall with The Bird Show, visiting Winfrith Newburgh on Monday 17th February, Sixpenny Handley on Tuesday 18th and Wootton Fitzpaine on Wednesday 19th, all with Artsreach and starting at 11am. The half-term dates also include…

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Bublé in Bath

MICHAEL Buble comes to Bath on Saturday 25th July for an open air concert at the Royal Crescent. For more details visit www.bathforum.co.uk

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Progressive touring with Ian Anderson

IF you, like me, ever walked on Hampstead Heath on a Sunday afternoon to listen to a man standing on one leg playing a flute, you might be interested to hear that Ian Anderson – he of Jethro Tull – is back on the road. Ian will open his  Ian Anderson on Jethro Tull tour…

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Making a splash at Salisbury

A NEW youth arts festival is coming to Salisbury. Wiltshire Creative’s Young Ambassadors have received a grant of £5,000 from Salisbury Area Board for the Takeover Festival, over the Easter holidays. The festival focuses on bringing young people aged five to 21 into the arts industry, not only as participants but also as decision makers….

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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, stopping at Bridport’s Electric Palace on Saturday 22nd and Dorchester Arts at the Corn Exchange on Wednesday 26th February. In March Mark stops at…

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Keeping the secret in Yeovil

THE longest-running play of all time, Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, comes to Yeo­vil Octagon from Mon­day 17th to Saturday 22nd February. Decade after decade, new audiences are kept on the edges of their seats by this brilliantly intricate plot, where murder lurks around every corner. A snowstorm closes in on a guest house, trapping a…

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Dom Joly shares his holiday snaps

WRITER. broadcaster and comedian Dom Joly, best known as the creator of Trigger Happy TV, is on his first UK tour since 2011, with West Country dates beginning at Ilfracombe’s Landmark Theatre on 16th February. The new show focuses on his exploits as a globe-trotting seeker of dangerous travel spots. From North Korea to Chernobyl, he’s visited…

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Geoff Norcott is taking liberties

GEOFF Norcott – like most of us – hates being told what to do. Unlike most of us, he has developed this perfectly reasonable mindset into a comedy routine which he is taking on a tour which has just been extended to include dates at Bridport’s Electric Palace (Friday 21st February) and the Marine at…

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Save the pub and find the horse with Wassail

WASSAIL Theatre’s pub play Horses! Horses! is on a second tour of the west country, starting on Thursday 6th February and running until the end of March. The Somerset-based company first performed Rina Vergano’s play in 2018, Following a successful tour of Horses! Horses! in 2018, and now joins forces again with Theatre Orchard. It’s…

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Creative Coverage at the Octagon

THE new year exhibition in the gallery of Yeovil’s Octagon Theatre features work by members of the Creative Coverage group of professional artists, on show until 23rd February. The show, called The Inspirational South West, is the second recent Somerset exhibition for the group , following a successful show at The Bishop’s Palace in Wells…

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Dorset Wildlife Trust in February

THERE are two ways to look at February from a wildlife point of view – stay under cover, with a drink and the BBC’s Winterwatch or a good wildlife book – or get out in the cold air, down by the coast or up on the hills. Dorset Wildlife Trust has some exciting events –…

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Moviola in February

IF it’s February it must be Downton Abbey time! Moviola in February. The movie version of Julian Fellowes’ international television hit is on screen with the rural cinema project at more than 40 village halls and other venues in the Fine Times Recorder area. It is hugely enjoyable – and if you were a fan of…

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