Around the world with Dorchester Arts

THE Dorchester Arts programme for the autumn is as varied as ever – from jazz to cricket to comedy to drama to a circumnavigation of the world!

Big Heads and Others on Wednesday 18th September, is a comedy sketch show taking the audience on a journey from the topical and tropical, to the meticulous and ridiculous. It is written by 3-She, a trio of Dorset women writers whose aim is to make you laugh at the absurdity of the everyday.

The great jazz trumpeter Quentin Collins brings his sextet to the Corn Exchange on Wednesday 25th September. The gig follows the release of Quentin’s album Road Warrior, featuring pianist Dan Nimmer, the star of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.

As memories of a busy cricket season fade, Test Match Special’s Jonathan Agnew comes to the Corn Exchange on Friday 27th September. It’s sure to be an enjoyable evening for everyone – even if you don’t know your square leg from your silly mid-on. The show is a trip down memory lane, as Jonathan recounts tales from a long career on the field and in the commentary box, with film footage, audio clips and photographs.

There are more memories and anecdotes from a man who can probably claim to be one of this country’s most popular former politicians – Alan Johnson, in an event called In My Life at the Corn Exchange on Wednesday 2nd October. The former Home Secretary is now a best-selling author, his memoirs selling half a million copies to date. In this show, Alan tells his personal story with the help of some of the music that has formed the soundtrack of his life.

One of the most exciting events of the autumn will be the new folk musical, Magellan – Circumnavigation: We Sail to Prove the Earth is Round on Thursday 3rd October.  It is described as a musical that tells a “story of love divided by the greatest voyage of exploration the world has seen.” Bob Whitley (guitar and mandola) and Lee Cuff (cello) perform in 16th century costumes taking the audience back 500 years to a time when the sailors’ greatest fear was falling over the edge of the earth.

Looking further ahead, there is a welcome return for Simon & Garfunkel Through The Years on Friday 1st November. This is a new production with a full live band, video footage and vocal harmonies.

In the run-up to Christmas, the entertainments include Dyad Productions in Christmas Gothic on 1st December, three seasonal tales of terror; Squashbox Theatre with The Christmassy Christmas Show of Christmassy Christmasness! on 15th December; and GreenMatthews with A Christmas Carol: In Concert, on Wednesday 18th, a retelling of Dickens’ classic tale with an array of traditional and modern instruments and authentic musical arrangements.

Pictured: Jazz musician Quentin Collins, and a scene from Dyad’s Christmas Gothic.