The Arts Section

Welsh National Opera, spring tour at Bristol Hippodrome

ALL three of the Operas WNO has chosen for its Spring tour have strong-willed women at the heart of their stories. Amelia whose love for her country’s political  leader Riccardo leads to his downfall, was brought vividly to life by Mary Elizabeth Williams in David Pountney’s production of Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera. After a fairly…

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Bristol Hippodrome Rock of Ages

ROCK of Ages has acquired a lighter look since it last came to this part of the world with quite a few of the characters happily sending up themselves and the part of the story about a Nazi-style business man’s attempt to buy up The Strip, close the clubs and turn it into a commercial…

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Williams and Parkinson at Messums

AN intimate exhibition at Messums Wiltshire, at the 700 year old tithe barn at Tisbury, until 28th April, features work by the great 20th century photographer Norman Parkinson, and Angela Williams who was influenced by him, and went on to have a long collaboration with him. Entitled “Beginnings of a journey,” the exhibition includes the…

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Chocolat novelist at Marlborough LitFest

BEST-SELLING novelist Joanne Harris, the author of Chocolat, is one of the headline names at this year’s tenth anniversary Marlborough Literature Festival, which runs from 26th to 29th September. She will be talking about The Strawberry Thief, the fourth in the series that began 20 years ago, introducing a spellbound readership to the seductive charms…

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Celebrating Lorna Doon

APRIL sees the 150th anniversary of the publication of one of the best-loved West Country novels (yes, even more than Poldark!) – RD Blackmore’s Lorna Doone. The anniversary is being celebrated across Exmoor, where the novel is set, with a series of events throughout the year, looking at the links between the book and the culture,…

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Novelist Libby comes home to Gillingham

LIBBY Page, the best-selling author of The Lido, who used to live in North Dorset and was head girl of Gillingham School, returns to Gillingham on Thursday 25th April, to talk about her first novel, a joyful and moving portrait of friendship, community and the importance of memory and the small things that hold us…

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Get writing for Wells

THE competitions for this year’s Wells Literature Festival have been launched, with classes for poetry, short stories, books for children and young poets, with a closing date of 30th June. The judges are award-winning poet Simon Armitage (open poetry, pictured)), Mark McCrum (short stories), Gill Lewis (books for children) and Miriam Nash (young poets). The…

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Kate Lynch at the Jerram Gallery

KATE Lynch, the Somerset artist who has become known as a brilliant and acute observer and recorder of rural life, traditions and crafts, has a show, with artist James Meiklejohn, at the Jerram Gallery at Sherborne, until 1st May. Kate’s paintings celebrate the seasonal life of people working the land, in orchards, on farms and…

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Goodnight Mister Tom, ALPs, Warminster Athenaeum

THE children’s writer Michael Morpurgo, author of Private Peaceful and Warhorse, said: “When children are very young, you read them books that are positive to help them go to sleep. But there comes a moment when they begin to understand the difficulties of the world. They know there are problems and the books they read…

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Michael Williams at The Art Stable

THE theme of Michael Williams’ new solo show at The Art Stable, at Gold Hill Organic Farm, Child Okeford, is Folds of Landscape, new works in watercolour and acrylic, on show from 27th April to 18th May. It is almost exactly three years since Williams’ last exhibition at Kelly Ross’s outstanding little gallery. He says:…

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