Half-term fun with Artsreach

WHATEVER the weather (currently unseasonably mild), Artsreach, Dorset’s rural touring arts charity, has a February half-term line-up of fantastic and fun theatre events for children of all ages, from deep-sea adventures and quests to deep, dark dungeons, puppetry, live music and more.

Scarlet Oak Theatre comes to Sixpenny Handley village hall on Monday 12th and Blandford Royal British Legion on Tuesday 13th, both at 10.30am, with The Zoo That Comes to You, a delightful play that follows the efforts of two wildlife enthusiasts who provide respite care or a temporary home to those in need. They now have a sanctuary full of animals – but no-one has come to visit their zoo! Snow all of them – animals and humans alike – have decided it is time to get out, see the world and bring the zoo to you.

Using puppetry and music, the human beings bright the playful, charming animals to life, as they discuss their life experiences and the challenges they face. They have a lot of stories to tell. They want to inspire people of all ages to take action, because they know small actions can make a big difference in the world. After both performances, Scarlet Oak are offering families the chance to take part in an introduction to puppetry workshop – places are limited, and so booking is essential.

On Wednesday 14th February at Milborne St Andrew village hall and Thursday 15th at Alderholt (both at 10.30am), Coppice Theatre dives into Science Adventures: Deep Sea. Join Professor Flotsam and Dr Wright in their new submarine as they look for the strangest creatures in the deep, hear some of their favourite sea stories and learn about looking after the oceans! Using puppetry, animation, original stories and some audience participation, Science Adventures: Deep Sea explores the importance of protecting our coast and oceans while also encouraging a love of science and literature. Afterwards, children can take part in a puppet-making workshop and create their own deep-sea creature, inspired by the show and made from recycled materials!

Making a welcome return to Dorset, the award-winning Theatre Fideri Fidera invites children aged three years and older and their families to join plucky Will Tell as she sets off on a chivalric quest to rescue her legendary dad Wilhelm from the Big Bad Baron’s deepest darkest dungeon. Inspired by the adventures of Robin Hood, Will knows all about standing up to tyrants, but is clueless when the Baron’s daughter Edel falls madly in love with her and wants to be rescued too!

Will Tell and The Big Bad Baron is an action-packed comic adventure which promises capers around castles, medieval Strictly Come Dancing and a jaw-dropping joust on life-size horse puppets! Join in the fun at Sturminster Marshall Community Hall at 4pm on Thursday 15th February, and at Litton Cheney Community Hall at 10.30am on Friday 16th.