The Arts Section

Life of Pi, Bath Theatre Royal and touring

YANN Martel’s magic-realist philosophical story Life of Pi, winner of the Man Booker prize in 2002, is all about a boy from Pondicherry, named Piscine (which he has abbreviated to Pi), brought up in a zoo, with his family and other animals escaping violent uprisings on a Japanese ship that goes down in a storm…

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Is anybody there?

HELL, as writer Charles Condomine knows to his cost, hath no fury like a spirit woman scorned. You can find out more about how he copes when Yeovil’s Civic Players stage Noel Coward’s clairvoyant comedy Blithe Spirit at the Swan Theatre from 29th May to 1st June. One of the most famous comedies in British…

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Stile Antico, Bath Abbey, Bath Festival

BATH Festival has always had music at its heart, with performances by many of the world’s leading soloists, ensembles and orchestras, including some of the finest interpreters of early music. This year’s festival, running to 26th May, saw the Bath debut of Stile Antico, a 12-strong a cappella ensemble dedicated to performing the vocal music…

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Birthday Day, Wassail at The Speedwell, Crewkerne and touring

WASSAIL, known as Somerset’s resident theatre company, is back with a bang (or at least a strawberry pavlova) in a new show called Birthday Day, currently touring until the beginning of September. Based on a short story by company founder Nick White, it does what Wassail does best – get into the heart of the…

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La Casa Nova, AUB at the Palace Court Theatre, Bournemouth

ITALIAN playwright Carlo Goldoni is best known now for his The Servant of Two Masters, written in 1745 and adapted for a 21st century audience as One Man, Two Guvnors by Richard Bean in 2011 and catapulting James Corden into international success. The Venetian lawyer was a prolific writer, and in 1761 he wrote what…

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The Deep Blue Sea, Ustinov Studio, Bath

TERENCE Rattigan was the star playwright of the 40s and 50s, until the new wave kitchen sink writers shot him from the firmament, after which he was considered dated, mannered, posh and irrelevant. Recently, a few directors have rediscovered his works and revelatory productions have been mounted. Lindsay Posner’s current production at Bath’s Ustinov Studio,…

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The Medieval Garden at Shaftesbury

SHAFTESBURY once had one of England’s greatest abbeys and convents, destroyed in Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries – all that remains is an atmospheric and peaceful walled garden off Park Walk. So the subject for this year’s Shaftesbury Abbey Museum & Gardens Spring Lecture on Wednesday 22nd May is highly appropriate. Caroline Holmes, a…

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Lighthouse gig for rising folk stars

NEW folk duo Good Habits come to Poole’s Lighthouse arts centre on Wednesday 22nd May, as part of a tour that is supported by Help Musicians, PRS, The Alan Surtees Trust and The Bert Jansch Foundation. One of the UK’s most exciting new names on the folk scene, Good Habits have been winning awards and…

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Pocket Sinfonia in the West

THE May series of Concerts in the West brings Pocket Sinfonia, a multi-quartet playing period and modern instruments, to Bridport Arts Centre on Friday 17th May at 11.30am, Ilminster Arts Centre that evening at 7.30pm and the Dance House at Crewkerne on Saturday 18th at 7.30pm. Emil Duncumb, piano, Eleanor Corr, violin, Rosie Bowker, flute,…

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Airswimming, Swan Theatre, Yeovil

CHARLOTTE Jones’s astonishing first play Airswimming was inspired by a newspaper cutting announcing the “release” of perfectly sane women from decades of incarceration in hospitals for the mentally ill, better known at the time as lunatic asylums. The 1913 Mental Deficiency Act enabled angry, disappointed and embarrassed families to categorise their errant daughters as “moral…

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