Arts reaches across Dorset for the Spring

ARTSREACH has an exciting programme of music, theatre and dance ahead for Dorset’s rural residents in the next three months.

The music programme starts with folk couple Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman, visiting Drimpton, Marnhull, Briantspuddle and Studland between 11th and 14th January.

UK-based Balkan band Paprika comes to Powerstock, Langton Matravers and Tarrant Gunville from 19th to 21st January.

Classical music is in focus when the local symphony orchestra sends its Bournemouth Symphony Brass ensemble into the sticks for a Spring Fanfare at Milson Abbas on 20th January. Later in the season the BSO Flute, Viola and Harp trio visits Sturminster Newton and Swanage.

It’s hard to categorise Bowjangles, whose shows taken in stories and music. Their latest, The Quest of Excalibow, comes to Chetnole, Wootton Fitzpaine and Morden from 1st to 3rd February.

Singer, songwriter and musician Louise Jordan also blends music and stories. Her new show, No Petticoats Here, covers the inspirational stories of the women of the Great War. See it at Fontmell Magna, Nether Compton, Shipton Gorge or Cerne Abbas from 8th to 11th February.

Dorset-based cellist Emily Bur­ridge teams up with Latin percussionist and guitarist Felix Gibbons for two performances of Incand­escendo, at Ibberton and Fontmell Magna on 17th and 18th February.

The Grahams (pictured) are an Americana duo from Nashville, and their spring UK tour brings them to the Artsreach circuit from 22nd to 25th February, when you can hear their lonesome sound at Drimpton, Ashmore, Hinton Martel or Mil­borne St Andrew.

The ancient Welsh legend of the Mabinogion is told by Adverse Camber in words and music, on 2nd and 3rd March at Winterborne Stickland and Woot­ton Fitzpaine.

And on 10th and 24th March, the 20-stong Harbour Voices return to Artsreach by popular demand, for performances at Charlton Down and Marnhull.

The first strictly theatre event of 2018 brings Tangram to Nether Compton, Portland and Winfrith with Team Viking, from 11th to 13th January.

Bumblefly and Forest Forge’s delightful The Frog Prince has just one Artsreach outing, at Portes­ham on 19th January.

The setting is 1943 for Anonymous is a Woman’s Think of England, coming to Sixpenny Handley, Sand­ford Orcas, West Lulworth and Halstock from 25th to  28th January.  Bette and Vera are employed by the War Office to host tea dances, but they think there is more than tea and cakes to make the RAF happy.

Gonzo Moose’s The Thing that Came from Over There (pictured) is on stage at Cranborne, Burton Bradstock and Stalbridge, from 2nd to 4th February. It’s a humorous look at Antarctica in 1912, when the navigation goes a bit wonky.

 Le Navet Bete takes a new look at Bram Stoker in Dracula: the Bloody Truth,(pictured)  on at Gillingham, Toller Porcorum and Corfe Castle from 8th to 10th February.

Townsend Productions latest, We are the Lions, Mr Manager, has been delighting audiences on tour. Now the story of the Grunwick strike in 1976 comes to Halstock with Artsreach on 23rd February.

The Exchange at Sturminster Newton welcomes Tangle with a new look at the story of Doctor Faustus on 27th February.

There’s a very different mood when Fluff Productions comes to Melbury Osmond, Briants­puddle and Burton Bradstock from 8th to 10th March. Agent of Influence: the Secret Live of Pamela More is a spy story with a difference.

Rhodri Miles brings his solo show Dylan Thomas:Clown in the Moon to Shillingstone on 11th March.

Theatre and food go well together, as audiences at Cranborne, Langton Matravers and Bourton will discover from 13th to 15th March.  Ragged Edge’s The Chef Show (pictured) is set in Abdul and Kamal’s restaurant, and as they meet and serve their customers and discuss their future, they are joined by a local chef at each venue.

Spitz and Co’s Gloriator returns to the Arsreach circuit for performance at Drimpton, Powerstock , Tarrant Gunville and West Stafford from 22nd to 25th March, and Farnham Maltings Brave Folk brings Nordic legends to Buckland Newton on 23rd March.

Dance fans will look forward to the visit to Toller Porcorum from Just Us Dance Theatre on 9th March with It’s Between Us, and the final show of the spring season berings Lost Dog Dance to Martinstown on 24th March with Paradise Lost.

The half term is covered with children’s shows including Tessa Bide’s A Strange New Space at Drimpton on 12th February (at 6pm instead of the publicised time) and at Milborne St Andrew the next day.

On 13th and 14th February, Bone Ensemble performs Where’s My Igloo Gone? at Beaminster and Durweston,  and from 14th to 16th Angel Heart is back in Dorset with  Snow White: The Return of Little Things, at Winfrith, Stalbridge and Piddletrenthide.

And if cabaret is your preference, Charlie Bicknell returns with Fallen Angel, at Winterbourne Stickland, Broadwindsor and West Stafford from 25th to 27th January.

For full details, pick up a programme – with Bowjangles on the front – from your local library, arts centre or tourism office, or visit the website,