Theatre, music, dance and more across rural Dorset!

ARTSREACH continues to bring professional performances to village halls, pubs and other community spaces right across Dorset in 2022 with the launch of its brand new and exciting spring programme, featuring 24 artists and companies set to perform 49 live dates in 40 rural communities.

With the support of the Arts Council England and Dorset Council, plus local solicitors Blanchards Bailey, rural venues across the county will host a variety of live music, theatre, dance, storytelling, poetry, family shows and more right in the heart of their communities.

Music lovers can enjoy a real medley of styles and genres from both national and international musicians, including The Tim Kliphuis Trio, award-winning Welsh folk group Alaw, the Loshn Klezmer Band, acclaimed world folk and klezmer band Moishe’s Bagel, and FiFi La Mer with a journey into French music.

Artsreach will also continue their partnership with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, bringing the professional disabled-led ensemble BSO Resound to rural venues across the county, plus a chamber ensemble performing music from Handel and Mendelsohn to the Beatles and Adele in a nautical musical journey for audiences of all ages.

For theatregoers, Devon-based Multi Story Theatre present ‘Hefted’, a play told through nine stories embedded in the landscape, history, and psyche of rural life.

Utilising spoken word, puppetry and a fully working time machine, H.G Wells’ classic Victorian sci-fi ‘The Time Machine’ is transformed into a neon-electro adventure for the entire family by The Keeper’s Daughter.

Holmes and Watson meet Poirot and Miss Marple in ‘Done to Death, By Jove!’, a spoof homage to the British detective genre by Company Gavin Robertson.

‘Pepper and Honey’ by Not Now Collective is a heart-warming and poignant play that intertwines live baking with a story about two women questioning the meaning of home.

Utopia Theatre’s acclaimed play ‘Here’s What She Said to Me’ combines drama with music, poetry and movement to tell an emotive story of daughters and mothers in the world of migrations and shifting identities.

Finally, Townsend Productions use their trademark blend of live music and powerful storytelling in ‘Yes! Yes! U.C.S!’, a celebration of the community solidarity and collective resistance inspired and led by Upper Clyde Shipbuilders in the 1970s.

Loaded with current affairs, childhood nostalgias and one hit wonders, ‘A Real Fiction’ by aKa Dance is an energetic new show created with and for rural communities.

Acclaimed storytellers The Devil’s Violin presents ‘The Beast In Me’, a charming, chilling and thrilling evening’s entertainment featuring a masterfully woven tapestry of stories from long ago.

Following a sell-out tour with the ‘Alzheimer’s Who Dunnit’, Rob Gee is back with ‘Kevin, King of Egypt’, an award-winning show depicting the story of an unlikely friendship between an escaped mental health patient and a lost child.

The Ridgeway Singers & Band invites you to join them for ‘Tea with William Barnes’, a musical celebration of the Dorset poet’s birthday served alongside a Dorset Cream tea.

Acclaimed comedian George Egg presents his unique and utterly absurd comedy show, packed with ingenious live cooking; expect power tools, gardening equipment and office supplies to be re-purposed and abused in ‘George Egg: DIY Chef’.

Acclaimed soundscapers Minima provide a live musical sound score to one of the silent-film era’s masterpieces, the 1922 horror ‘Nosferatu’.

Finally, Artsreach continue its series of Inn Crowd performances specifically designed for rural pubs; ‘The Regulars’ by Teatro Vivo is a celebration of the outlandish, sometimes incredible stories you hear over a pint.

Part stand up, part storytelling, ‘366 Days of Kindness’ charts an amazing year in which Bernadette Russell embarked on a reckless mission to be kind to a stranger every single day for a year. Grab a bar stool, pull up a pint and enjoy these fantastic bespoke performances.

There’s plenty for families to see too, with two brilliant productions touring Dorset during February half term.

Theatre Fideri Fidera present ‘Oskar’s Amazing Adventure’, an original play for young children using a rich mix of storytelling, physical theatre, clowning, puppetry and music and song to tell the tale of a puppy’s search for friendship in the wilderness of the Alps.

Then the acclaimed Norwich Puppet Theatre invite you to join ‘Pinocchio’ on a journey packed with hints of danger and slapstick humour in their highly visual new show, featuring puppetry and illusion, plus a lively soundtrack… and a very big fish!

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 and tourist information centres.

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

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