Murder and magic at Shaftesbury Arts Centre

IT’s murder at Shaftesbury in December! From Agatha Christie short plays to a fairy in a microwave and teenagers lost in a magical wood, the arts centre’s talented actors are putting on some surprising festive entertainment. It all starts with Murder in the Studio, from 30th November to 2nd December.

This is a collection of three murder mysteries in the form of a live staged radio play written by the Queen of Crime. Sophia Ruel directs a small cast who will take the audience back to the glamorous 1930s and into the British Broadcasting Company’s Studio Number 5.

The individual plays follow a vengeful ghost in her quest for justice in A Personal Call, a murder in a packed restaurant that proves a challenge for Hercule Poirot in Yellow Iris, and what happens when true justice catches up with a legal prosecutor who hung the wrong man in Butter in a Lordly Dish.

The evening is designed to be immersive, bringing the audience right into the stories with the talented cast creating different characters, with voices, singing and dramatic sound effects.

The following weekend, on Saturday 9th December at 2.30pm and 6.30, Shaftesbury Arts Centre Youth Theatre perform Delightful Dramatic Diversions, two one-act plays. Magic Fairy in a Microwave by Dara Murphy and The Clearing by Jennifer Reif.

Magic Fairy in a Microwave won the Overall Best In Fringe award this year’s Shaftesbury Fringe 2023, and the same cast will be playing again. It’s the story of Sarah Williams and her overactive imagination – after a series of events, she eventually becomes trapped deep in her own mind … or has she been trapped by the narrators? It is a fast-paced physical extravaganza with guns, knives and blood … kittens will be harmed, and we even get the answer to the question of what happens if a fairy becomes locked in a microwave.

The second play, The Clearing, is a collection of ten vignettes. In early autumn a group of teenagers find themselves in a clearing in the woods. Some are searching, some are hiding, some are lost and others found. Each vignette is witty, sweet and poignant – woven together they make for a magical and refreshingly good-natured play.

For tickets and more information telephone 01747 854321 or visit

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