Hot off the press, the brand new Artsreach Spring Programme features events from over 28 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 over 65 high quality performances of live music, theatre, dance and family shows from Artsreach, Dorset’s touring arts charity.
For music lovers, a real medley of styles and genres is on offer this spring. BBC Radio 2 Folk award winners Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman make a welcome return following the release of their new album. Considered the UK’s leading Balkan band, the electrifying Paprika fuse together Eastern European, Balkan, Gypsy and Classical music in a whirlwind performance of frenzied virtuosity.
The partnership between Artsreach and The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra continues, with a Spring Fanfare by the BSO Brass and two performances by a Trio of Flute, Viola and Harp. Celebrating the First World War Centenary, award-winning singer-songwriter Louise Jordan tells the stories of inspirational women of the Great War who challenged expectations in ‘No P
etticoats Here’. Emily Burridge on cello and Felix Gibbons on Latin percussion and Bossa guitar present Incandescendo, arrangements of Brazilian classical and popular music, samba and choros in a memorable musical evening. Harbour Voices offer a heart-warming celebration of the sea with traditional shanties and original songs recounting tales of the Dorset coast. Finally The Grahams, a dynamic Americana Folk duo from Tennessee, arrive in the UK for four nights of powerful roots music and beautiful harmonies.
There will be several onstage highlights this season too, with much-loved Artsreach performers returning to the circuit amongst several new companies. Tangram Theatre present their comic ode to death and friendship in ‘Team Viking’, a hilarious, heart-lifting and outlandish story which was a runaway hit at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Join Anonymous is a Woman for an unfor
gettable tea dance, a rousing song, and a real-life wartime scandal in ‘Think of England’. . With comedy and thrills galore Gonzo Moose present ‘The Thing that Came from Over There’ fast-paced rollicking ride, mixing paranoia, suspense and hilariously gruesome deaths.
Exeter’s Le Navet Bete are back with a theatrical and comical retelling of Bram Stoker’s classic novel in ‘Dracula: Dead and Loving It’. Townsend Productions return with an entertaining, engaging portrayal of social history in ‘We are the Lions Mr Manager’, the story of Jayaben Desai, the inspirational leader of the 1976 Grunwick Film Processing Factory Strike. Tangle, the South West’s African Caribbean theatre company, transpose Marlow’s renaissance classic ‘Doctor Faustus’ to our times.
Fluff Productions present ‘Agent of Influence’, the story of fashion columnist Lady Pamela More who was recruited by MI5 to keep notes on Wallis Simpson and Edward VIII, suspected to be colluding with the German Embassy. Rhodri Miles presents a dramatic portrait of the chaotic, frequently hilarious, and all too brief life of poet Dylan Thomas in ‘Clown in the Moon’. Expect a deliciously alternative evening in ‘The Chef Show’ by Ragged Edge, as Father and son Abdul and Kamal are having a busy night in their restaurant. Each show will also feature a guest local chef! French-English duo Spitz & Co are back with ‘Gloriator’, a riotously funny show revealing just what happens when a glamorous French actress and her hapless assistant stage their version of Hollywood blockbuster ‘Gladiator’.
Forest Forge serve up a large portion of family fun and brilliant storytelling in ‘The Frog Prince’. Then in half term, Artsreach have three delightful shows for children aged 4+. Join Tess Bide on a space adventure in her brand new unforgettable physical theatre show ‘A Strange New Space’, packed with puppetry and original music. With enchanting live music, Bone Ensemble present a magical experience about a girl called Oolik and her igloo in ‘Where’s My Igloo Gone?’ Finally Artsreach favourites Angel Heart celebrate their 10th anniversary by breathing new life into a timeless fairy tale in ‘Snow White: The Return of Little Things’, with their visually striking Steam Punk style.
The wonderfully agile and acrobatic string quartet Bowjangles bring ‘The Quest for Excalibow to four venues early in the season; expect the usual mix of exhilarating dance routines, rousing songs and exceptional musicianship! The darkly brilliant Charlie Bicknell is back with another witty, wanton, shamelessly sexy and murderously funny cabaret show with claws in ‘Fallen Angel’. Adverse Camber’s ‘Dreaming the Night Field’ features one of Wales’ most engaging storytellers alongside exquisitely haunting live music. Finally, Farnham Maltings offer an evening of story and song from the lands of the far north in ‘Brave Folk’, a mystical Nordic tale fizzing with humour.
Just Us Dance theatre makes their Artsreach debut with ‘It’s Between Us’, a thrilling and moving cabaret evening of music and dance. Join in the dancing spirit and experience the most potent mix of UK music and dance to date. Then, following much demand after a sell-out appearance last year, Lost Dog Dance are back combining theatre, comedy and movement in ‘Paradise Lost’, a one man staging of Milton’s epic like you’ve never seen before!
This is just a taster of everything happening around Dorset with Artsreach this spring. Full details and tickets are available from www.artsreach.co.uk 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.