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Wyvern: Words Take Wing

Wyvern: Words Take Wing

This original folk-drama draws on the notebooks of writer Thomas Hardy.  They tell of 19th century lives and dreams, hopes and despair, love and laughter. Musicians and actors of the group Wyvern have traced snippets and jottings that Hardy wove into his poems and novels, where the words have 'taken wing' from dry prose to rich imaginative literature. These extraordinary stories, always observant and often quirky are brought to life through carefully chosen extracts, lively music and dramatic readings.

Wednesday 24 Apr 20198:00pm Book Now
Gigspanner

Gigspanner

Known for his work with Steeleye Span, Peter Knight and Gigspanner bring new life to older tunes, and his own compositions, which range across the genres of folk, celtic, traditional, rock, and more modern, ambient sounds.


Their 2015 album Layers of Ages featured on Album of the Year listings for The Telegraph, R2 magazine and BBC Radio. They have established themselves as one of the most genuinely ground-breaking forces on the British folk scene, inspiring Maverick magazine to write "Gigspanner are making some of the most beautiful music the genre has to offer" 5*****

Saturday 4 May 20198:00pm Book Now
The Dramatic Exploits of Edmund Keane

The Dramatic Exploits of Edmund Keane

By turns humorous and heartbreaking, this remarkable one-man show celebrates the spirit of one of the most unique talents that British theatre has ever produced. Following years of hardship as a strolling player, Edmund Kean was catapulted to stardom following his performance as Shylock at Drury Lane in 1814. Quickly becoming the most popular actor of his day, Kean electrified his audiences with his performances in Shakespeare. Yet within a few short years Kean’s increasingly erratic behavior, fuelled by drink, ensured audiences remembered Kean for all the wrong reasons.

Wednesday 8 May 20198:00pm Book Now
Megson: Contradicshun

Megson: Contradicshun

Four times BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominees make a welcome return to Dorchester Arts following a storming debut show here a couple of years ago. Comprised of husband and wife Stu and Debbie Hanna, their live performances draw heavily on their Teesside heritage to create a truly unique brand of folk music.  They have gained fame on the British folk scene, not only for their arresting & intelligent songwriting, but for their exquisite musicianship and northern humour.

Friday 10 May 20198:00pm Book Now
Kokoro: A Night in Vienna

Kokoro: A Night in Vienna

Kokoro, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s contemporary music ensemble, make a welcome return with an evening of music from the 2nd Viennese School.


Composers of the Second Viennese School shifted from the big and emotional work of the romantic period at the turn of the 20th Century to a stripped back style of music and composition.  This evening will explore the three leaders of this new music movement as they changed the face of music including a chamber version of Schönberg’s exquisite tone poem, Verklärte Nacht.

Sunday 12 May 20197:00pm Book Now
Colin Sell: Clueless at the Keys

Colin Sell: Clueless at the Keys

I’m Sorry I haven’t a Clue’s much maligned pianist Colin Sell talks and sings at the keyboard in an evening of anecdotes about his life in comedy and music – on radio, in cabaret and on stage, working with the likes of Barry Cryer, Willie Rushton, Dora Bryan and Nicholas Parsons among many.


He also performs his own and others’ comedy songs – Flanders and Swann, Paddy Roberts and George Formby -  all in an attempt to redeem his reputation! Stand aside, Jack Dee!

Saturday 18 May 20198:00pm Book Now
Northanger Abbey (Cyphers Theatre Company)

Northanger Abbey (Cyphers Theatre Company)

A timeless adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel about growing up and getting it all wrong, told in an accessible, energetic style.


Catherine Morland has grown up in the country, with only sensational novels and pop culture to inform her of life beyond the village. Leaving home for the first time, she expects brooding heroes, ruthless bandits and glorious adventures to await her.


They don’t. After all, reality is more complicated.

Thursday 23 May 20198:00pm Book Now
Universarama! (Squashbox Theatre)

Universarama! (Squashbox Theatre)

Let Professor Johnson of the Squashbox Theatre Astounding And Amazing Astronomical Research Society (S.T.A.A.A.A.R.S) take you on a journey to the edges of space and time! Along the way you will explore the solar system, study the stars and constellations, visit distant galaxies, and hear the fascinating story of John Couch Adams, the Cornishman who discovered Neptune.


A family show blending spectacle, storytelling and cabaret. It is the creation of Craig Johnson - actor, musician, puppeteer, astronomy fan, and long-standing member of Cornwall's renowned Kneehigh Theatre.

Thursday 30 May 20192:00pm Book Now
Oysters (Oysters Creatives)

Oysters (Oysters Creatives)

A new dark comedy with live music shining a powerful spotlight on composer Johannes Brahms. At a party to celebrate the first performance of his Violin Concerto the composer’s genius is overshadowed by his self-destructive ego. On his quest for perfection we meet a mesmerizing gallery of characters - the arthritic, embittered and ageing Clara Schumann; the mad, jealous unstable virtuoso Joachim; the pompous and waspish critic Hanslick; and the gentle friend and disciple Von Herzogenberg. And at the centre of it all is the question ‘Why art…and what price do we pay for it?’


Performed by an award-winning cast including Nicholas Collett (RSC, West End), Neil Salvage (RNT, Old Vic) and Eleanor Ryan as Violinist – directed by Amy Bonsall, designed by Maddy Sinclair


Wednesday 5 Jun 20198:00pm Book Now
Frank Griffith & Tina May: Jazz Meets Broadway

Frank Griffith & Tina May: Jazz Meets Broadway

The songs of the Broadway and West End stage have historically provided a rich trove of repertoire for jazz artists. The Frank Griffith along with singers Tina May and Michael Roberts will present an evening of gems from Guys and Dolls and West Side Story as well as Sondheim's song Here’s to the Ladies Who Lunch. There will also be a premiere of Frank and Tina's new song, Lucky Lady.

Saturday 8 Jun 20198:00pm Book Now
Albert Lee and His Band: In Concert

Albert Lee and His Band: In Concert

Double Grammy Award Winner Albert Lee is a legend of rock and roll, country and blues. Co-writer of Country Boy and a member of The Everly Brothers, Emmylou Harris’s Hotband and Bill Wymans’ Rhythm Kings, he has had a lifetime of playing with some of music’s greatest legends including Glen Campbell, Dave Edmunds, Dolly Parton, Bobby Bare, Joan Armatrading, Ricky Scaggs, Joe Cocker, Willie Nelson, Linda Ronstadt, Rodney Crowell, Vince Gill, Travis Tritt, The Blue Caps, Robert Wells and Earl Scruggs.  He also toured with his own band, Hogan’s Heroes for many years.

Sunday 9 Jun 20198:00pm Book Now
Carismático Tango Band

Carismático Tango Band

Enjoy a night of Latin American musical virtuosity, passion and dance.  A new ensemble of professional musicians led by virtuoso accordionist Karen Street featuring the brilliant, emotionally charged compositions of Argentinian composer Saúl Cosentino alongside music by his mentor Astor Piazzolla and Karen’s own creative and nuanced compositions. Featuring Karen Street on Accordion, Jonathon Taylor on piano , Andy Tweed on saxophones, Dave Manington on bass and Rob Millett on percussion.

Friday 21 Jun 20198:00pm Book Now
Cara Dillon: Wanderer Tour

Cara Dillon: Wanderer Tour

This extraordinary Irish singer has been captivating audiences for over 20 years. According to Mojo magazine she has "Quite possibly the world's most beautiful female voice". Alongside a selection of favourites from her previous releases, Cara will be performing material from her new album "Wanderer" which is a collection of beautiful and moving songs recorded in an intimate setting with her husband and musical partner Sam Lakeman. Every note and word sung with a passion and confidence earned through a life of experience singing traditional songs. Legions of fans will attest to their impassioned performances with Cara's warm and natural stage presence something to savour.

Saturday 22 Jun 20198:00pm Book Now
The Tempest (The Handlebards)

The Tempest (The Handlebards)

This unique all-female cycling troupe make a welcome return by pedal power, this time with a bicycle-powered production of Shakespeare’s ’The Tempest’ like none other. In usual HandleBards style, expect riotous amounts of energy, a fair old whack of chaos, and a great deal of laughter.

Sunday 23 Jun 20197:00pm Book Now
Far From The Madding Crowd (New Hardy Players)

Far From The Madding Crowd (New Hardy Players)

The New Hardy Players never fail to impress and this year is no exception with a dramatic outdoor production based on the well-loved novel that prompted Thomas Hardy to become a full time writer. With over 50 actors and musicians, the ever popular New Hardy Players bring to life the colourful local characters of Weatherbury. The story unfolds around the Warren’s Malthouse, the Corn Exchange and Weatherbury Farm itself reflecting the full panoply of Wessex folk.

Thursday 27 Jun 20197:15pm Book Now
Friday 28 Jun 20197:30pm Book Now
Saturday 29 Jun 20197:30pm Book Now
Thursday 4 Jul 20197:30pm Book Now
Friday 5 Jul 20197:30pm Book Now
Saturday 6 Jul 20192:30pm Book Now
Picasso's Women by Brian McAvera (Flying Elephant Productions)

Picasso's Women by Brian McAvera (Flying Elephant Productions)

Following recognition at last summer's Edinburgh Fringe Festival, these three monologues take a look at the great painter Picasso's early life through the voices of his wives, mistresses and muses. The stories of French model Fernande, Russian ballerina Olga and 17-year-old mistress Marie-Thérèse gives an insight into the influence the women had on his art. Originally  produced at the National Theatre and on BBC Radio 3, the production earnt pick of the Fringe and a Favourite Theatre Show Nomination as well as a London transfer.  The show also features artwork that reflects its content.

Sunday 30 Jun 20197:00pm Book Now
Alistair McGowan: Introductions to Classical Piano

Alistair McGowan: Introductions to Classical Piano

Alistair McGowan is a hugely popular impressionist, stand-up comedian, actor, writer…and latterly, pianist.  After the success of ‘The Piano Album’ (Sony Classical) Alistair is on tour with this tremendous show bringing together all his  talents. Expect a lot of beautiful  music  (with  the  odd  mistake!) and  more than a  sprinkling  of  his  trademark  impressions.  

Friday 5 Jul 20198:00pm Book Now
Mallets by Rex Fisher

Mallets by Rex Fisher

‘Mallets’ takes place on a prissy perfect croquet lawn in middle England, as the most tranquil of summer’s afternoons is forced to pay witness to a bloodthirsty grudge match between two rival couples. It’s a ruthless, marital comedy that is both darkly funny and little bit sad - all washed down with a good glug of Pimm’s.


Directed by Merle Wheldon-Posner and Felix Firth, Mallets is being previewed by Dorchester Arts before facing the music at 2019’s Edinburgh Fringe.

Thursday 11 Jul 20198:00pm Book Now
A Perfect World (Miracle Theatre)

A Perfect World (Miracle Theatre)

Dorchester Arts' favourites Miracle Theatre present the story of a feisty young woman who ventures into a 'Boys-Own' world of undiscovered jungles, treasure maps, campfires and penknives on an action-packed adventure.


Is this tranquil place the best of all possible worlds? Or is it all too good to be true? A rollicking music-filled adventure making the most of the great outdoors this summer!


Friday 12 Jul 20197:30pm Book Now
Spooky Men's Chorale '19

Spooky Men's Chorale '19

The Spooky Men wooed us with an outstanding concert at the end of summer 2018 and now they’re back! They are the gift that keeps on giving... as thunderous as a herd of wildebeest, as sly as a wagonload of Spike Milligans and as sonorous as a cloister of monks. They emerged blinking-eyed from the Blue Mountains of NSW fifteen years ago and armed with no more than their impressively cavernous vocal chords, a nice line in deadpan, improbable facial hair and an ill-matched set of hats, have been gleefully impressing audiences throughout Australia, NZ and the UK ever since.

Their 2019 tour includes material from a brand new album, and a winning spectrum of Georgian songs, pindrop-beautiful ballads, highly inappropriate covers, and immaculate man anthems.

You must see them. Really, you must.

Friday 26 Jul 20198:00pm Book Now
A Summer Sunday with Dillie Keane

A Summer Sunday with Dillie Keane

This year we have a real treat for our summer fundraiser at beautiful Whitcombe Manor!  The outrageously funny, Olivier Award-nominated actress, singer and comedian Dillie Keane is making a special trip to Dorset for one afternoon only to play and sing her repertoire of original songs – from gorgeous songs of love to songs of downright filth.  Not for the fainthearted!  But very very funny.


Join us for a unique experience in lovely surroundings – as ever, your ticket includes a complimentary glass of bubbly and delicious canapes, creating a perfect summer afternoon of pleasure.


By the kind invitation of Minette and Alec Walters


Sponsored by The Gallery on the Square (logo)


Sunday 28 Jul 201912:00pm Book Now
The Pirates of Penzance (Opera Anywhere)

The Pirates of Penzance (Opera Anywhere)

Join us at seaside for the jolliest maritime musical comedy of all time in the wonderful setting of Weymouth’s Nothe Fort.

A swashbuckling farce of brilliant humour and razor-sharp wit, the Pirates of Penzance is complete with brave(ish) pirates, a completely dotty Major-General, his beautiful unwed daughters and a bumbling bunch of hopeless but hilarious policemen.

With such famous songs as I Am The Very Model Of A Modern Major-General, A Policemen’s Lot Is Not A Happy One, and Poor Wand’ring One to name but a few, this is a fantastic family friendly mix of comic characters, witty dialogue, and great tunes. Perfect entertainment for a summer’s evening…

Thursday 8 Aug 20197:00pm Book Now
The Legend of King Arthur (Boxtree Productions)

The Legend of King Arthur (Boxtree Productions)

Pack up a picnic and join us in the open air to enjoy this classic tale of Arthur, a sword and the Knights of the round table.  With inventive staging, original songs and magical storytelling, you and your family will be talking about this experience for years to come!


Arthur is fed up! He is tired of his knuckles being rapped by his teacher, being ignored by his parents and bullied by his brother Kay.  However, little does he know that there is prophecy of a hero, destined to pull the sword from the stone and unite Britain, it couldn't possibly be little Arthur could it?  With Merlin and his knights by his side, will Arthur be able to reunite Britain and thwart the evil plans of Morgan Le Fay?


Sunday 18 Aug 20195:00pm Book Now
Alan Johnson: In My Life

Alan Johnson: In My Life

Alan Johnson is one of the most popular politicians of recent times and now a best-selling author, his memoirs selling half a million copies to date. Inspired by his latest book, In My Life, in this highly entertaining show Alan tells his personal story with the help of some of the music that has formed the soundtrack of his life, from growing up as an orphan in a West London slum in the 50s to becoming a postman before rising through the Labour Party ranks to hold several cabinet posts, including Home Secretary.

Wednesday 2 Oct 20198:00pm Book Now
Sheku & Isata Kanneh-Mason

Sheku & Isata Kanneh-Mason

Sheku Kanneh-Mason and his sister Isata are among the brightest young stars on the classical scene. This special performance is a rare opportunity to see them together on stage for a programme of carefully selected pieces for piano and cello by Beethoven, Lutoslawski, Barber and Rachmaninov.

Sunday 17 Nov 20197:00pm Book Now (Sold Out)