Artsreach events springing up all across Dorset!

HOT off the press, the brand new Artsreach Spring Programme features events from more than 30 exciting companies and performers.

With the support of the Arts Council, Dorset County Council, and North, West, East and Purbeck District Councils, plus local solicitors Blanchards Bailey, rural communities across the county will host a variety of high quality performances of live music, theatre, dance, circus and family shows through Artsreach, Dorset’s touring arts charity.

For music lovers, a real medley of styles and genres is on offer this spring. Welsh supergroup ALAW make a welcome return to Dorset following their recent TV appearance at the BBC Folk Proms, while Bristol-based a capella folk and shanty group The Longest Johns make their Artsreach debut.

Breathing new life in to 18th century tunes from the Flanders region of Belgium, energetic young band WÖR head to the UK with an array of instruments. The inimitable ‘Spats’ Langham and Hot Fingers present an eclectic mix of tunes from the 1920-40s, which were deemed unsuitable for public ears by various authorities of the time.

The partnership between Artsreach and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO) continues with a spring concert by a trio of flute, viola and harp, a new recital from Kokoro, the BSO’s contemporary ensemble, and two concerts by Resound, the BSO’s professional ensemble of disabled musicians.

The 2019 programme brings gypsy folk-rock band Holy Moly & The Crackers back out on the world stage with the release of a brand new album. And recently nominated as ‘Best Emerging Artist’ at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Dorset duo Ninebarrow are back with exquisite, original music inspired by the landscape.

Renowned bass player Alec Dankworth teams up with daughter Emily and two leading musicians to offer an evening of global song and improvisation with World Spirit. Finally, Northern Harmony, Vermont’s world music choir, present music from across the globe in stunning harmony, and offer a workshop opportunity too.

Onstage highlights

There will be several onstage highlights this season too. Featuring a selection of records previously owned by the late John Peel, John Osborne presents an ode to radio in his acclaimed solo show ‘John Peel’s Shed’.

Scratchworks Theatre use a raucous combination of physical theatre, live music and clowning to unravel the tale of the four forgotten females of ‘The Great Train Robbery’, while Farnham Maltings proudly present the English premiere of celebrated American playwright Will Eno’s hauntingly moving new play ‘Title & Deed’, exploring what it is to search for ‘home’.

With a nod to the golden age of British humour, mixed with farcical physical comedy, Last Chance Saloon twist two classic stories in a side-splitting double-bill – ‘Curse of the Mummy’ and ‘Sherlock Holmes’. French-English duo Spitz & Co are also back with ‘Les Gloriables, a riotously funny show inspired by Victor Hugo’s novel, which sees Gloria Delaneuf determined to reunite Europe with a piece of theatre.

Featuring live music, heartache and belly-laughs, expect a heart-lifting story of romance, despair and friendship from James Rowland, one of the UK’s most acclaimed storytellers, in ‘A Hundred Different Words for Love’.

Join storyteller Emily Hennessey and sitar player extraordinaire, Sheema Mukherjee, for a white-knuckled tuc-tuc ride through sun-kissed palaces and fiend-infested forests in ‘Kali: the World’s Wildest Goddess’, or enjoy a poetry and pint night down your local as Jonny Fluffypunk fuses elements of theatre, storytelling, comedy and stand-up poetry in a brand new spoken-word show for rural pubs.

The Ridgeway Singers & Band invite you to join them and celebrate the birthday of William Barnes with a feast of Dorset fayre at the annual ‘Barnes Supper’.

Based on movement, acrobatics, the Chinese pole and other circus skills, Spanish company D’Click Circo explores the subtle barrier that exists between physical theatre and dance and between magic and dreams in their award-winning circus show ‘Isla’.

During half term, Anglo-Swiss company Theatre Fideri Fidera tell the tale of Oskar the puppy and his search for friendship in the wilderness of the Alps in ‘Oskar’s Amazing Adventure’. Children aged 2+ and their parents can also enjoy a post-show arts and crafts workshop.

Uchenna Dance celebrate children’s resilience in a contemporary retelling of ‘Hansel & Gretel’, a fearless dance adventure guaranteed to have the whole family grooving in their seats! Finally, Artsreach favourites Angel Heart present a delightful reimagining of one of Aesop’s’ most loved fables, ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’, featuring exquisite puppetry and dynamic storytelling – a pre-show storytelling workshop is also on offer.

This is just a taster of everything happening around Dorset with Artsreach this spring. Full details and tickets are available from and outlets where you can pick up a copy of the programme include libraries, arts centres and tourist information centres.

You can also find Artsreach on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with the latest news.

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