Celebrate the summer with Artsreach!

THIS summer, Artsreach continues to bring professional performances to rural venues right across Dorset, with the launch of a new and exciting summer programme.

Supported by Arts Council England, Dorset Council and the award-winning local legal firm Blanchards Bailey, there’s a whole variety of events on offer, with nine brilliant productions visiting 18 venues across the county; everything from world music and outdoor theatre to wildlife puppet adventures and opera!

The season kicks off with a vibrant tour by virtuoso kora player Modou Ndiaye, songwriter, drummer and percussionist, brother of Seckou Keita and a member of the famous Cissokho family from Southern Senegal.

With a superb repertoire of rhythms, Modou fuses together modern and traditional beats, playing a variety of West African instruments ranging from djembe, sabar, calabash and talking drum to his leading instrument, the mesmerising 22 stringed Kora (West African harp).

Joined by Suntou Susso (Gambia) on drums and percussion, Amadou Diagne (Senegal) on percussion and Edd Bateman (UK) on bass guitar, Modou unites traditional and modern sounds in a night of world-class entertainment that will leave you invigorated and inspired!

From America to Cornwall

For one night only, travel on a musically diverse, story-rich journey from America to Cornwall with Jim Carey and the Saboteurs. Through folk song, ska, swing, lyrical laments and brass arrangements, tales of riots and lobsters, fishermen and miners, corrupt officials and power-driven politicians are all brought to life.

‘Riots and Lobsters’ is an enthralling evening of music first created for plays toured nationally by Kneehigh Theatre in the 1990s. Re-imagined and arranged by the original composer Jim Carey, the music is played live by his eight-piece multi-instrumentalist band, The Saboteurs.

Living Spit are back this summer, with a refreshing live twist on a traditional quiz night! Every quiz question is acted, sung, mimed or danced by Living Spit’s very own Howard Coggins and Stu Mcloughlin.

Armed with just a guitar, a double bass and a ukulele, they mix improvisation techniques with their own unique performance style, which happily subverts the familiar pub quiz format, resulting in an explosively exciting live quiz. With teams competing to win a very unique star prize, no two nights are ever the same! Gather your friends and enjoy a brain-busting evening of food, fun and laughter with this much-loved duo.

An annual highlight of the Artsreach summer programme, students from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School present an adaptation of Chaucer’s ‘Canterbury Tales’ on their West Country tour. A colourful cast of characters sets off for Canterbury, competing to tell their tales of love, lust, adventure and chivalry.

All of medieval life is here, as the wide range of social strata rubbing shoulders as the Miller, the Steward and the Wife of Bath (among others) all have their tales to tell. Don’t miss this chance to see the stars of tomorrow on stage today!

Festival favourites come to Dorset

Influenced by an eclectic range of music, the ever-evolving gypsy folk-rock band Holy Moly & The Crackers return to Dorset for two gigs, which have been rearranged from the spring.

Last summer the band enjoyed appearances at festivals including Glastonbury, Boomtown Fair, Bestival, Camp Bestival and Beautiful Days. Released in April 2019, their third album ‘Take A Bite’ is a concise, passionate take on folk, blues and indie rock. Fresh from a European tour with Skinny Lister, HMATC are back on the road – come along for the ride and join the craziest party in town!

Miracle Theatre’s open-air summer show ‘A Perfect World’ is a brand new, action-packed adventure. The story follows a feisty young woman as she ventures into a Boy’s Own world of undiscovered jungles, treasure maps, campfires and penknives.

Leading her team of quarrelsome explorers she stumbles into a bountiful paradise, whose inhabitants seem entirely peaceful, productive and fulfilled. Is this tranquil place the best of all possible worlds? Or is it all too good to be true? Expect a rollicking music filled adventure in the great outdoors. Grab a blanket and pack a picnic for a night of theatre under the stars!

Kabantu is an eclectic five-piece hailing from Manchester who unravel new marriages of music from around the globe. Vocal harmonies from South Africa blend with everything from Celtic reels and Balkan folk music to Brazilian samba and beyond.

Kabantu have performed all over the UK including at the Royal Albert Hall, Sage Gateshead and Cadogan Hall, and have appeared at the BBC Proms, Celtic Connections and the Cambridge Folk Festival. Using music to bridge countries and cultures, audiences can expect upliftingly exuberant and joyful performances.

Summer finale

In a special season finale, Artsreach are delighted to welcome Opera Holloway with their contemporary production of Puccini’s thrilling, passionate love story ‘La Boheme’.

In a seaside town on the south coast in England, four young men are living the youthful dream, yearning for love and not working too hard. Their flat is run down, they’re content to live on take-aways, they complain when they run out of money and have perfected the art of dodging the landlord. Their lives are filled with trips to the pub, late night dancing and girls; until Mimi knocks on the door. Rodolfo opens it, eyes and hands meet and a passionate affair begins.

Featuring a seven-string cast of talented young opera singers, supported by a quartet of musicians, early booking is strongly advised for this exciting performance.

Families in Dorset don’t have long to wait until the release of the Artsreach Children’s Summer Workshop programme. Until then, Squashbox Theatre Company invites you on another animal adventure. Using puppets, comedy and live music, plus lots of amazing natural history facts ‘Curious Creatures’ is packed with animals of all shapes and sizes: from performing fleas, skateboarding snails and gymnastic gerbils to irritable alligators, over-excited elephants, and a very intelligent orangutan!

There’s also the opportunity to take part in a post-show puppetry workshop too.

Artsreach Co-Director Yvonne Gallimore said: “Following a fantastic spring season full of sell out performances in village halls across Dorset, we are excited to unveil this exciting new summer programme. Outlets where you can pick up a copy of the new programme include libraries, arts centres and tourist information centres across Dorset. Tickets and further information can also be found via our website.”

For details of all events, visit www.artsreach.co.uk

Woodmead Halls

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