Dorchester Arts

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Following Paul Robeson's Footsteps

Following Paul Robeson's Footsteps

Nigerian-born Tayo Aluko passed through a Dorset boarding school in the late 1970s on the way to working as an architect for several years. A chance conversation led to him discovering the story of Paul Robeson, and that would send him on a very different life path: one that has taken him around the world, literally, with his Robeson-inspired play.

In this presentation, Aluko seeks to explain how better-known civil-rights figures are following in Robeson’s own footsteps. With recent developments in America and elsewhere, the journey’s end still remains elusive, and he asks, “which way now?”  

Includes songs and pictures.

Wednesday 23 May 20187:30pm Book Now
Stacey Kent ‘I Know I Dream’

Stacey Kent ‘I Know I Dream’

The internationally acclaimed, Grammy-nominated vocalist, Stacey Kent, returns to Dorchester for a very special show, featuring music from her latest album ‘I Know I Dream’ (Sony Music/Okeh).

This beautiful collection of songs, includes American Standards, Bossa Nova classics, Chansons, as well as original songs and reprises of some of Stacey's most loved repertoire - including numbers co-written by Nobel prizewinner Kazuo Ishiguro, whose songwriting partnership with Stacey has formed an essential plank of her repertoire.

Stacey's international touring schedule keeps her on the road for most of the year, so her return to Dorchester provides a rare opportunity for UK fans see her ‘live’ in concert.

Wednesday 23 May 20188:00pm Book Now
Call Mr Robeson

Call Mr Robeson

Paul Robeson: world-famous actor, singer and civil rights campaigner. When he gets too radical and outspoken for the establishment's liking, he is branded a traitor to his country, is harassed, and denied opportunities to perform or travel.

This roller-coaster journey through Robeson’s remarkable life highlights how his pioneering and heroic political activism led many to describe him as the forerunner of the civil rights movement. It features some famous songs (including a dramatic rendition of Ol’ Man River), speeches, and a spectacularly defiant testimony to the Senate House Un-American Activities Committee.

Show length: 80 minutes (no interval)

Thursday 24 May 20188:00pm Book Now
Persuasion (Theatre 6)
Wednesday 30 May 20188:00pm Book Now
Stones and Bones

Stones and Bones

Squashbox Theatre’s new show is a marvellous mix of history and mystery!

Find out all about archaeology and fossils, say hello to one of your stone-age ancestors, hear stories of giants and wizards, see a volcano erupting before your very eyes, and maybe even glimpse a dinosaur or two…

There will be thrills and spills galore, but also lots of laughs, plenty of puppets, songs, slapstick, tall tales and crazy characters – all presented in that unique Squashbox style!

Stones And Bones is 50 mins long and suitable for children aged 5+.

Thursday 31 May 201811:00am Book Now
Thursday 31 May 20181:30pm Book Now
Crafty Dinosaurs! WS

Crafty Dinosaurs! WS

Feeling inspired by the theatre show, Stones & Bones or perhaps the recent visit of Dippy to our County Town? Join Megan our participation officer, as you get involved in some crafty prehistoric fun! Dress for mess and everything you make you can take home with you!

Ages 5-12

Thursday 31 May 20182:45pm Book Now


Fiddles, guitar, accordion, bagpipes and step dancing explode into life!

Introducing the world to a new generation of Welsh music, Calan are full of infectious rhythms and high energy routines. They come with accordion, harp, guitar, fiddles and Welsh bagpipes along with a virtuoso performance from a champion step dancer.

Thursday 31 May 20188:00pm Book Now
Carnival Costumes Workshop
Friday 1 Jun 20182:00pm Book Now
An Evening with Sunny Ormonde
Friday 1 Jun 20188:00pm Book Now
Tenebrae Workshop

Tenebrae Workshop

Saturday 2 June


Workshop: 12noon-2pm (Town Hall)



In connection with the Spanish Glories…concert the same evening, this is a tremendous opportunity (at a very accessible price) to work with Tenebrae’s Artistic Director, Nigel Short. Following the workshop in the Town Hall participants are also able to move to St Mary’s Church where they will have a chance to observe the full ensemble in rehearsal for the evening concert

Saturday 2 Jun 201812:00pm Book Now
Tenebrae: Spanish Glories of the 16th Century

Tenebrae: Spanish Glories of the 16th Century

Saturday 2 June


Concert: 7pm (St Mary's Church)

£25 / £23 members & concessions

Following their sell-out debut appearance in Dorchester in summer 2016 we promised to bring Tenebrae back, and are delighted to welcome them to St Mary’s Church with their sublime Spanish Glories… programme.

Described as “phenomenal” (The Times) and “devastatingly beautiful” (Gramophone Magazine) and recently nominated for the USA’s top musical honour,  a Grammy Award, Tenebrae, under the direction of Nigel Short, is one of the world’s leading vocal ensembles renowned for its passion and precision.

In this concert they present their BBC Music Magazine award-winning interpretation of Tomás Luis de Victoria’s Requiem Mass for six voices, written in 1603 and published in 1605. This masterpiece is one of a handful of large-scale works which enjoys mainstream appeal in the 21st century. For many, it represents what Renaissance polyphony is, what it sounds and feels like, and how expressive it can be. The programme also features a selection from Victoria’s Tenebrae Responsories and Lamentations for Holy Saturday alongside the captivating Versa est in Luctum by his contemporary Alonso Lobo.

As with their last visit, there we will be a workshop in the afternoon (Town Hall, 12 noon – 2pm) – an absolutely unmissable opportunity to work with Nigel Short himself and only costing £5. After this, participants will be able to go to St Mary’s Church where they will have a chance to observe and join the full ensemble in rehearsal for the evening concert.

Saturday 2 Jun 20187:00pm Book Now
Romeo & Juliet OT

Romeo & Juliet OT

The HandleBards entertained us last year with a hilarious version of Shakespeare's As You Like It. This year, they return by popular demand with their "seriously silly" production of Romeo & Juliet. This all-female, cycling theatre troupe will be pedalling to us with all the necessary set, props and costume in tow. In usual HandleBards style, you can expect riotous amounts of energy, a fair old whack of chaos, and a great deal of laughter.

Sunday 3 Jun 20187:30pm Book Now
Black Water County

Black Water County

The six-piece folk/punk band from Bournemouth have built a reputation as an exciting live act at festivals in recent years, and now the time has come for their own tour. Their energetic live shows, which feature the dual lead vocals of Tim and Shan, are a thing of local legend and awe in here in their native Dorset.

Smashing their way into the UK folk punk scene since 2013, Black Water County bring an energetic live show of stout quaffing, banjo breaking and tin whistle mangling original music, along with trads and shanties that have been given a good kick up the arse and a slap around the face.

Friday 8 Jun 20188:00pm Book Now
Wuthering Heights First Showing
Saturday 9 Jun 20188:00pm Book Now
Wuthering Heights Second Showing
Sunday 10 Jun 20183:00pm Book Now
DYT Juniors / Intermediate: Ella / Wind in the Willows
Thursday 14 Jun 20186:30pm Book Now
Friday 15 Jun 20186:30pm Book Now
Chant Workshop: Put Out Into The Deep
Saturday 16 Jun 201810:00am Book Now
The Producers (Blues Music)
Friday 22 Jun 20188:00pm Book Now
Pied Piper (Norwich Puppet Theatre)
Saturday 23 Jun 201811:30am Book Now
Saturday 23 Jun 20182:30pm Book Now
He Ain't Heavy
Sunday 24 Jun 20187:30pm Book Now
Adam Kay

Adam Kay

Award-winning comedian Adam Kay reads from his diaries as a junior doctor in this “electrifying” (Guardian) evening of stand-up and music.”

Scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, comedian and former junior doctor Adam Kay’s This Is Going to Hurt provides a no-holds-barred account of his time on the NHS front line.  Hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking by turns, this is everything you wanted to know – and more than a few things you didn't – about life on and off the hospital ward. And yes, it may leave a scar.

Thursday 28 Jun 20188:00pm Book Now
The Trumpet Major

The Trumpet Major

The New Hardy Players return with a spectacular Georgian entertainment in evocative outdoor locations in Dorset. Bring along a picnic and enjoy Thomas Hardy’s historical romance ‘The Trumpet Major’ in a colourful new production directed by Tim Laycock with Penny Levick. Featuring Harlequinade dancers from Dorchester Ballet directed by Lucy Bishop, newly composed music by Alastair Simpson, and country entertainments for all to enjoy.

With a host of colourful characters, and set against the background of the threat of invasion, the Battle of Trafalgar and the glowering presence of Old Boney (Napoleon Bonaparte), this is rollicking and richly comic adaptation was first performed by the Hardy Players in 1908, resurrected by Dorchester Drama in 1978, and is now brought up to date by the New Hardy Players - don’t miss it!

Friday 29 Jun 20187:30pm Book Now
Saturday 30 Jun 20182:30pm Book Now
Friday 6 Jul 20187:30pm Book Now
Sunday 8 Jul 20182:30pm Book Now
Friday 13 Jul 20187:30pm Book Now
Sunday 15 Jul 20187:30pm Book Now
DYT: 45 Minutes
Thursday 5 Jul 20187:30pm Book Now
Martin J Bartlett NS

Martin J Bartlett NS


Martin James Bartlett wowed us with this superb talent in 2016 at the Corn Exchange.  He returns by popular demand this summer with a new programme.  Having won BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2014, Bartlett has gone on to perform with orchestras including BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2017 Bartlett was one of the thirty competitors at the finals of the Van Cliburn Competition, held in Fort Worth, Texas. There will be a pre-show performance by solo Cellist Hanna McFarlane.

Thursday 5 Jul 20188:00pm Book Now
Moscow Drug Club
Friday 6 Jul 20188:00pm Book Now
Mark Thomas: Check Up - Our NHS @ 70
Thursday 12 Jul 20187:30pm Book Now
The Cherry Orchard (MT)

The Cherry Orchard (MT)

Miracle Theatre makes a welcome return to Maumbury Rings, this time unpacking Chekhov’s bittersweet comedy about a once-wealthy family, whose idleness and extravagance have brought them to the brink of bankruptcy. Will it take a revolution to destroy their cosy world of privilege and entitlement – or will their own stupidity be enough? Cornwall’s award winning Miracle Theatre has developed a strong reputation for producing entertaining and dynamic adaptations of classic plays such as last year's The Third Policeman. Go and see for yourself this summer!

Friday 13 Jul 20187:30pm Book Now
Geno Washington and the Ram Jam band
Saturday 14 Jul 20188:00pm Book Now
Portrait of Tess / Mr Hardy's War
Monday 16 Jul 20187:30pm Book Now
Mat Ricardo
Thursday 19 Jul 20188:00pm Book Now
Courtney Pine & Omar

Courtney Pine & Omar

An amazing opportunity to catch British jazz legend Courtney Pine up close and personal as he returns to Dorchester, this time in the company of UK soul star Omar.

The Black Notes From The Deep project, where Courtney returns to the tenor saxophone for the first time in a decade, was launched with a sold out concert at London’s Barbican in March 2017 and was followed by a major UK tour dates and an album of the same name.

Multi-instrumentalist Courtney Pine CBE is a BBC Jazz Awards and MOBO winner and Mercury Music Prize nominee. Omar, best known for the 1992 hit single There’s Nothing Like This, has a truly unique and instantly recognisable “signature” vocal sound and has collaborated with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Erykah Badu, Carleen Anderson and Angie Stone.

Don’t miss this very special concert bringing together two of the UK’s finest jazz and soul talents.

“In a Class of His Own” The Times

“Courtney Pine was one hailed as the saviour of British Jazz…he still is” The Independent

“Nothing short of breath-taking” The Telegraph

Friday 20 Jul 20188:00pm Book Now
John Mills & Archaeus Quartet
Sunday 22 Jul 20183:00pm Book Now
The Time Machine
Friday 27 Jul 20188:00pm Book Now
Summer Sunday with Bowjangles 2018
Sunday 29 Jul 201812:00pm Book Now
Much Ado About Nothing
Thursday 9 Aug 20187:00pm Book Now
Comic Chaos (6-12 years)
Tuesday 14 Aug 201810:00am Book Now
Thursday 23 Aug 20182:00pm Book Now
Elles Bailey

Elles Bailey

Elles Bailey first stepped onto the stage at Dorchester Arts.  She impressed audiences so much, she now makes a welcome return with her own show. Elles has a talent for crafting and seamlessly weaving rootsy blues, country, and soulful rock, with a contemporary edge. What’s more fate has blessed her with a ‘smoky vocal’ style that perfectly fits her music.  

Friday 31 Aug 20188:00pm Book Now



Henry ‘My Dear Old Thing’ Blofeld has hung up his microphone after 50 years commentating on international cricket.

The cherished golden voice of cricket has decided to celebrate by touring the country with his brand-new show, jam-packed full of unheard anecdotes from on and off the pitch, as well as stories from the TMS box not allowed on the radio!

Don’t miss the chance to wave a bat in honour to the last bastion of the original Test Match Special team; the team who made it the much-loved programme it is today. The summers of cricket will never be the same without our ‘Dear Old Thing’.

Please note: a £1 Future Fund levy will be added to your purchase, towards the future work of Dorchester Arts and the Dorchester Maltings Project.

Sunday 14 Oct 20183:00pm Book Now
Simon Evans: Genius

Simon Evans: Genius

Ever since he was a small boy, all Evans really wanted was to be recognised by the world as a man of genius. He has, until now, remained thwarted. The world seems increasingly indifferent to true genius of any kind, let alone Evans’. Endlessly distracted by the trivial, we allow the classical tools of grammar, logic and rhetoric to lie unregarded in the shed of consciousness, rusting to a picturesque hue that would actually look really great on Instagram. But which filter? Hmmm…

Simon is well known to the British comedy-going public from TV shows such as Live at the Apollo and Stand Up for the Week, and as a regular on BBC Radio 4.

“Super-sharp wit” (Time Out).

“Please clap” (Jeb Bush).

‘A masterclass in socio-political comedy…The Show is called Genius. It comes very close’ ***** (The Scotsman)

“reliably funny and refreshingly intelligent” **** (The Times)

Saturday 10 Nov 20188:00pm Book Now
Hal Cruttenden: Chubster

Hal Cruttenden: Chubster

Hal's literally filled our screens recently on Have I Got News For You, The Apprentice: You're Fired, Bake Off: Extra Slice, and Live at the Apollo.

His daughters chose the title of his new stand-up show. He's now on a diet.

Friday 1 Mar 20198:00pm Book Now