What's on in pictures

A View from the Bridge, Ustinov Studio, Bath

JUST very occasionally in a long life of reviewing plays, you find yourself watching something that you know is special. So special that it will stay in your memory forever, but more importantly will make an indelible mark on all who see it. Arthur Miller’s 1955 play A View from the Bridge must have made…

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MPO to stage rarely performed Broadway hit

MILBORNE Port Opera has chosen a show that won five Tonys and seven Drama Desk Awards on Broadway, but is rarely performed in this country. So audiences are in for a treat when the company stages the Canadian musical, The Drowsy Chaperone, at Milborne Port village hall from 3rd to 6th April. Lisa Lambert and…

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A not-so-everyday story of WI members

ONE of the best-loved films of the past 30 years, Calendar Girls was turned into a successful musical by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth, and comes to the Theatre Royal Bath from Tuesday 5th to Saturday 9th March, with an all-star cast including Laurie Brett (EastEnders), Maureen Nolan (one of the Nolan Sisters and the…

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Moviola in March

IT will come as no surprise to anyone who understands Moviola’s rural audiences that Michael Caine and Glenda Jackson’s acclaimed film, The Great Escaper, is the most popular choice for March. Not to be confused with the exciting Steve McQueen wartime POW drama (who could forget the daring motorbike leap over the fence), this is…

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Sea Change at Durlston Country Park

RUST can be strangely beautiful with its accretions of colour and texture. The use of rust in art – printing and dyeing – will be featured in at exhibition and workshop at The Fine Foundation Gallery at Durlston Country Park, Swanage, from 6th to 19th March. Sea Change is a showcase of Dorset Carrie Mason,…

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A timely look at Oswald Mosley

THE alarming rise of the far right across Europe and the USA is sounding alarm bells for anyone whose memory – or knowledge of history – covers the run-up to the Second World War. A provocative new play, coming to Dorchester Corn Exchange on Thursday 7th March at 7.30pm explores the legacy of the notorious…

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Hallucinogenic fun with Miracle

CORNWALL’s much-loved Miracle Theatre is back on the road this spring, with a new show, Hell’s Bells, A Hallucinogenic Whodunnit, touring to six venues in Dorset and Devon, starting at Poole Lighthouse on Saturday 2nd March and ending at Dorchester Corn Exchange on Wednesday 27th, and in between visiting Swanage, Marnhull, Great Torrington and Exeter…

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Reading the Land at Shaftesbury

BOOKS on nature, the environment and landscape are now among the most popular with readers, so it’s no surprise that tickets are selling fast for Shaftesbury’s nature-inspired book festival, Reading the Land, over the weekend of 15th to 17th March, which has an impressive line-up including some of the country’s top writers in this field….

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Street dance showcase at the EP

BRIDPORT’s Electric Palace is the venue for Paradigm, with the Bridport Youth Dance and street dance crew on Saturday 2nd March. This is the group’s 20th annual showcase of high energy street dance, dynamic tap choreography and soulful contemporary dance, with performances at 2.30pm and 7.30. With choreography by BYD artistic director Nikki Northover, Bec…

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Concerts in the West tour for violin-piano duo

CHAMBER works by Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Ravel and Poulenc make up the programme for a three-date Concerts in the West tour in March by violinist Sara Trickey and pianist Ivana Gavric, at Bridport Arts Centre on Friday 15th at 11.30am, Ilminster Arts Centre that evening at 7.30pm and Saturday 16th to Crewkerne’s Dance Centre at…

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9 to 5 – the Musical, BODS at Bath Theatre Royal

WE are lucky in this area that from Cheltenham down to Plymouth and points East, there are local musical societies who, without the cushion of public funding, take on the challenge of presenting full-scale musicals in large professional theatres. Many of these productions are a match for, and sometimes superior to, the touring professional productions…

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Celebrating two titans of film music

THE Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra begins March with a series of unashamedly popular concerts, conducted by Pete Harrison, featuring the music of John Williams and Hans Zimmer, two titans of film composition. The concerts are at Bristol Beacon on Friday 1st March, Poole’s Lighthouse arts centre on Saturday 2nd and the Mayflower Theatre at Southampton on…

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Land Work by Paul Jones launches The Sherborne

IF you have been watching over the past few years the slow process of restoring and converting Sherborne House, the listed Georgian building in Newland, Sherborne, you can see the results from 1st March with the first exhibition, Land Work, new and recent paintings by the Dorset artist Paul Jones, open for booked visits until…

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A folk ode to Dorset’s quarrymen

THE Mowlem Theatre at Swanage, close to some of Purbeck’s ancient quarries, was the setting for a film and recording of a new song, Drop The Hammer, described as a “captivating ode to quarrying in Dorset,” written and performed by the West Country folk and shanty band, The Longest Johns. The song was commissioned by…

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Cathedral’s Burne-Jones window removed for restoration

SALISURY Cathedral’s skilled team of glaziers and glass conservators have removed a 145-year-old Pre-Raphaelite stained glass window by Sir Edward Burne-Jones and designer and craftsman William Morris for a restoration programme expected to take about two years. The window features two huge figurative designs – Angeli Ministrantes (Angels Ministering) and Angeli Laudantes (Angels Praising) by…

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One Last Push, Salisbury Playhouse

ARE you a devoted Call the Midwife fan? If so, you’ll know all there is to know about bringing babies into the world in the 1960s, and you’ll know how Dr Turner’s wife Shelagh started her life in Poplar as Sister Bernadette, and is now an experienced midwife in the team. So if you were…

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Sherlock Holmes and the Whitechapel Fiend, Barn Theatre, Cirencester

SHERLOCK Holmes was a fictitious creation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The Whitechapel Murders were the unsolved murders of 11 women in the three years from 1888, and Jack the Ripper is the name given by the press to the presumed perpetrator. Charles Dickens is the best-known and probably most prolific chronicler of Victorian life….

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Adventure films from around the world

ONE of the most consistently exciting film events around, the Banff Mountain Film Festival tour, returns with a series of new action-packed films to three local venues, continuing at Poole’s Lighthouse arts centre on 5th and 6th March. There are return visits to Christchurch on 10th April and to Wimborne Tivoli on 20th September. From…

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Dreamscapes at Sladers Yard

SLADERS Yard, the gallery and cafe at West Bay, takes us away from the dank and dreary days of February with an entrancing exhibition, Dreamscapes, running to 16th March. The former rope factory, which is the base for the hugely acclaimed furniture designer-maker Petter Southall, is showing work which is imaginative, surreal, strange and beautiful….

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First new altar in 500 years

FOR the first time in 500 years, a new altar has been consecrated in Salisbury Cathedral nave – around 20 years since the decision was a taken to re-order the Cathedral. It is located at the spire crossing, and a second new altar, also by sculptor William Pye, has been consecrated in the Trinity chapel. Both were…

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Alexander Hollweg in Taunton

WHEN artist Alexander Hollweg and his family moved from London to Exmoor 40 years ago, he said they “sold a house and bought a way of life”. A new exhibition at the Museum of Somerset in Taunton celebrates his Journey in Art, with paintings and sculptures from throughout the six decades of his career. The…

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The scaffolding is down

FOR the first time in nearly 40 years, Salisbury Cathedral is without scaffolding, and to mark the occasion the New Art Centre at Roche Court, Winterslow, near Salisbury, has shared an image of an installation in the Cathedral Close. The scaffolding has been part of the cathedral’s exterior structure for 38 years, and in celebration…

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Romeo and Juliet at Bath Abbey

THE ancient beautiful Bath Abbey will be a stunning venue for Bristol-based theatre company Antic Disposition’s summer 2024 production of Romeo and Juliet, from 12th to 31st August. Anyone who has been to an Antic Disposition performance, often in historic settings such as Henry V in Bath Abbey or Temple Church in London, will know…

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Savour the flavours of Ukraine

THE recent second anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine was a sombre reminder of the trauma and horror that Urkainians have endured – and the continuing need to support the refugees who are living in this area. If most of us didn’t know much about Ukraine’s distinctive culture and history before the Russian onslaught,…

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The hard life of the herring fishers

THE hard life of the North Sea herring fishermen was memorably captured in a 1929 documentary film which has been reissued with a new live score by the sound artist, nature beatboxer and composer Jason Singh. The film, Drifters, with Singh’s soundtrack and a new film is being shown at two Dorset venues on 15th…

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Giant fun for the community at Salisbury Festival

ANYONE interested in taking part in Salisbury Festival’s big community event,  Patch’s Parade, should go along to Salisbury Playhouse on Saturday 2nd March for a discovery day, free workshops for musicians, singers and movers. The community play will be performed at Churchill Gardens, following in the sucessful footsteps of 2023’s The Tempest. The discovery day,…

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A taste of contemporary dance

LUCA Silvestrini’s Protein dance company comes to Somerset and Dorset in March with the acclaimed contemporary dance theatre piece, May Contain Food, May Contain You. The local dates start at Caryford Hall, Castle Cary, with Take Art, on Saturday 2nd March, followed by two Artsreach venues, West Lulworth village hall on Wednesday 13th and the…

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Festival will inspire Curious Minds

A NEW arts festival for Bath from 7th to 28th  March kicks off the region’s arts festival calendar. Curious Minds will champion the importance of curiosity for all, with more than 30 book talks, live performances, film screenings, writing workshops and walking tours. Described as “a festival to ignite ideas,” Curious Minds, curated by Bath…

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Brian Rice at The Art Stable

THE spring programme at The Art Stable, Kelly Ross’s always exciting gallery in a former farm building at Gold Hill Organic Farm, Child Okeford, opens with In The Beginning, early works from the 1950s by Brian Rice, on until 9th March. At 87, Brian Rice is recognised as one of the most important British abstract…

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Story of a former slave

AN important new display at Dorset Museum & Art Gallery reveals the little-known story of John Brown, who escaped slavery in the USA and lived in Dorchester during the 1860s. On show until 30th May, the exhibition has been curated by Jordan Cole, a student at Bath Spa University, and uses research from a number…

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Fashioning Our World at Salisbury

A MINIATURE model of a cape once worn by the Queen singer Freddie Mercury is one of the star attractions at an important exhibition of fashion and costume at the Salisbury Museum, on until 12th May. Fashioning Our World exhibition will feature fashion items from the past which tell powerful stories of sustainability and includes…

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Elisabeth Frink – life and work

THE Dorset Museum at Dorchester is presenting a major exhibition of sculptor Dame Elisabeth Frink’s life and work, from 2nd December to 21st April 2024. The works are drawn from the collection that Dorset Museum acquired from the Elisabeth Frink Estate in 2020, featuring sculptures, prints, drawings, and personal possessions. Many of these items, including…

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