New year, new resolve…

by Karen Malim

Who hasn’t made promises for the New Year, ones that we are convinced we’ll keep, NO MATTER WHAT, and usually give up on just a week or two in?  I know I have. For instance, I have lost count of the number of years I have resolved to do something about my ‘baby weight’ and have failed miserably at the first hurdle – which usually takes the form of leftover Christmas cake or my daughter’s famous Yorkshire puddings.  I wonder…will this be the year I finally succeed?  After all, it’s over 22 years since the last of those babies appeared on the scene and, to be perfectly honest, the excuse is sounding a bit lame – even to me!

Or that novel…the one that’s been running around in my head for a decade or two and I keep telling everyone is just about to be written…could this be the year that a first draft at least sees the light of day? Hmmm…sadly I have my doubts!

This year my resolutions include a new addition, one I really do intend to keep – and which is a darned sight easier than losing weight or writing novels!

A bit of background…

Following my appointment as the Fundraising and Development go-to person for Dorchester Arts, I have had the opportunity to see an eclectic mix of top-notch performers…and shamefully I have not taken full advantage of this.  I missed Marcus Brigstocke, Forest Forge’s Woman of Flowers and Craig Ogden.  I did, however, get to see the wonderful Swan Lake, the thought-provoking Fracked or Fiction, and, earlier in the year, Angel Exit Theatre’s brilliant Ballad of Martha Brown (twice, it was so good).  I also had a huge amount of fun at the ‘Would I Lie to You’ wine tasting I organised early in December, and was thrilled to see nearly 100 other people having a great time too.  We raised over £1,200; a really encouraging result for what was our first major fundraiser.

Back to those resolutions…

In 2015 I am going to take full advantage of our artistic director Mark’s imaginative and enticing programming, starting with the jam-packed-with-goodies spring season.  I’ll be getting tickets for the Piaf – The Songs on Valentines’ Day, the sophisticated and sultry singer-songwriter Eleanor McEvoy and the quirky and intelligent The Little Unsaid.  I also do not want to miss the adaptations of 3 Bronte classics, Forest Forge’s illuminating and playful Leaves on the Line and Gerard Logan’s Oscar Wilde double bill.

As much as anything in the programme next season, I am looking forward to welcoming you to our special fundraising and 30th birthday celebration event, The Pearl Gala.

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Like so many arts organisations, we face challenges with our funding and in our current facilities only a limited percentage of our income can come from box office and earned income.

In order for us keep the magic alive and to deliver more great art to more people, we need your support.  The Pearl Gala promises to be a brilliant evening and one to remember – as well as being an opportunity for you to help us continue to give the gift of the arts to Dorchester.

I truly believe that where the arts thrive, people and places do too.  And I know that without the arts in my life – and on my doorstep – I would be very much the poorer.       I am looking forward to sticking to my new New Year’s resolution this year and seeing as many Dorchester Arts’ performances as possible.  Not a difficult one to keep when there’s so much excellence on offer.

 

DA Staff Guest Blog: From Indian Dancing to Marketing & Fundraising Assistant

This month we are delighted to welcome our new Marketing and Fundraising Assistant Tasha Lummes to Dorchester Arts. Here are a few words from her…

 

tashaDorchester Arts feels a bit like a second home to me! I have had a go at just about everything from traditional Indian dance classes to African drum workshops. I even had a disco in the Arts Centre for my 14th birthday party. More recently I have enjoyed various folk gigs and volunteering for the Dorchester Festival.

I was a member of Dorchester Youth Theatre from juniors through to seniors when there were only two groups, now it has become so popular they are four sessions spanning an entire Tuesday evening, which is absolutely fantastic. The annual summer project Combined Arts week, was always the highlight of my summer. I always enjoy helping out with set and costumes along with other DYT alumni, keen
to give something back to an organisation that we all had so much fun being a part of. In 2013 I was proud to be part of the National Theatre Connections project, which culminated in a sell-out performance at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth and a standing ovation at the National Theatre in London.

A date that is always in my Dorchester Arts diary is Miracle Theatre’s annual performance in Maumbry Rings, such a great evening with a picnic huddled under lots of sleeping bags and copious layers of jumpers, you just have to keep your fingers crossed that it doesn’t rain! (Having said that, I have experienced heroic stoicism from both performers and local audience members in carrying on and staying during massive down pours which is a testament to Dorchester folk’s avid appreciation of great theatre!)

This season I have already seen Shanty Theatre’s ‘Story Giant’ with it’s creative set, myriad of accents and compilation of exotic stories with multiple academic references meant that this play really did have universal appeal for the whole family. If you missed it there is still an opportunity to see it at Bridport Arts Centre on 25th October! I would definitely recommend it. I have also worked behind the bar for Tir na nOg, very beautiful haunting voices mixed in with some silly songs. It was really lovely chatting to people who had seen them perform in the late ‘70s and were delighted to have the opportunity to hear them play again.

Having grown up touring around various arts centres and village halls in Dorset to see Forest Forge, I am very excited to see their latest production ‘Woman of Flowers’, coming to Dorchester Arts on Saturday 25 October. I am really intrigued to see how they interweave sign language and subtitles into the fabric of their performance, along with live music, dance and video. It is so important to me that the arts are inclusive, and it really does promise to be a multi-disciplinary and multi-sensory experience!


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I am also excited to see Winter Mountain perform on 29th November because I love listening to live folk music. The last thing that I really looking forward to see this season is Swan Lake by Ballet Theatre UK at the Corn Exchange Wednesday 17th to Thursday 18th December. Having seen them perform an interpretation of Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ last year, I am excited to expect innovative choreography and exquisite costumes. We really are lucky that the company brings such amazing ballet productions to Dorchester!

Whilst I am working at Dorchester Arts it is my personal aim to get more young people through our doors, whether it is volunteering on the bar or the box office for events or reaching them via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram so that they know about our great programme of events, from gigs to comedians to theatre performances. It is also important to me to assist Karen Malim our Fundraising and Development Officer in securing funding to allow Dorchester Arts to continue to offer the fantastic variety of arts I have been lucky enough to experience and join in with over so many years!

 

I look forward to seeing you at some of the next events over the coming season,

Tasha

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arts Council Announcement

Dorchester Arts

Arts Council England has announced its decision in regard to the National Portfolio funding for arts organisations across the UK. While Dorchester Arts was unsuccessful in its application to remain within the NPO framework, Artistic Director Mark Tattersall says,

“Although we are of course disappointed not to remain part of the Arts Council National Portfolio it’s business as usual for Dorchester Arts as we have made sure that we are not reliant on one stream of funding alone. We have the support of so many other people and organisations – our Board of Trustees, our members, West Dorset District Council, Dorchester Town Council, our sponsors, volunteers and perhaps above all the ever growing audiences and participants who show us week in and week out how much we are valued by our local community. Our Arts Council funding continues for the next nine months and we are already discussing other funding routes with them outside the NPO framework. In the meantime we will be talking to all those who support us to make sure that Dorchester continues to have the arts at its heart all the year round”.

We remain optimistic for the future of Dorchester Arts and we look forward to welcoming you to our next exciting events of theatre, music and comedy. Click here to see What’s On.

3 May • Burton

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“Fantastic, the whole audience was in the palm of his hand from beginning to end.”★★★★★ Edinburgh Guide

“Charming, elegant one-man show which struggles to remove itself from the memory”★★★★ Scotsman

The life of the late, great Richard Burton is brought to life by leading Welsh actor Rhodri Miles in his one-man show, Burton.

Beautiful women (not least Liz Taylor), alcohol, wealth, stage and screen are the threads woven into this sad, happy, exuberant, often hilarious one-man show. Drink was the only real anodyne to his deteriorating health and mental state, his doomed tempestuous relationship with Taylor and his constant guilt over the abandonment of his family.

3 May
Corn Exchange
8pm (doors & bar 7.30pm)
£12 / £10 Members & Concessions

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4 May • Shappi Khorsandi • ‘Oh My Country!’ From Morris Dancing to Morrissey

shappi_webShappi is celebrating the fortieth anniversary of her arrival in Britain. She’s reclaiming patriotism, sending a love letter to her adopted land. Please don’t come if you’re a skinhead (though naturally bald folk are welcome).

‘She has plenty to say, and says it with pointedness and potency.’ The Guardian

Star of Live At The ApolloMichael McIntyre’s Comedy RoadshowFriday Night with Jonathan RossHave I Got News for You and Q.I, she is back with a brand new show for 2017.

She has whip-crack jokes and is effortlessly funny as she handles every subject with a razor sharp wit, softened only by her deliciously mischievous delivery and endless charm.

Shappi Khorsandi is also the best selling author of ‘A Beginners Guide to Acting English’ and her debut novel ‘Nina is not OK’ is published by Ebury in July 2016. Shappi was also recently elected president of the British Humanist society.

‘seriously funny and suprisingly filthy’ The New Statesman

‘makes live comedy thrilling’ London Evening Standard

Over 16s only

Corn Exchange

Thursday 4 May, 8pm

Tickets: £15/£13 (members & concessions)

 

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www.shappi.co.uk / @ShappiKhorsandi

 

 

7 May • Kokoro

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Kokoro is the new music ensemble of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, committed to bringing contemporary music to the South and South West. They return to the Corn Exchange following their hugely memorable performance in January 2016, which featured Messiaen’s Quartet for the End Of Time.

We are delighted to announce that this very special performance will feature the premiere of a new work by Hywel Davies, inspired by the county of Dorset, along with the following:
Darius Milhaud – Trio
Arvo Part – Mozart’s Adagio
Arvo Part – Fratres
Shostakovich – Piano Trio No 2

Pre-concert ‘in conversation’ event with Hywel Davies at 1.45pm – free entry.
Dorchester Corn Exchange
2.30pm (doors and bar 2pm)
£14/ £12 members and concessions / £5 Live for 5
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13 & 14 May • Far from the Madding Crowd

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“I shall do one thing in this life – one thing certain – that is, love you, and long for you, and keep wanting you till I die.”

As three very different suitors compete for her heart, spirited, independent Bathsheba Everdene must choose between them. Will she choose to marry for passion, for obligation or for true love and companionship? Or will she value her independence and not marry at all?

Celebrating their tenth anniversary, Hotbuckle Productions Theatre Co. brings Hardy’s romance to life with live music and their trademark ensemble style. This latest production follows on from acclaimed tours of Emma, Persuasion and David Copperfield.

Emma – “Perfect theatre with seemingly no effort at all” BBC Radio,

Persuasion – “Pure theatre magic” ★★★★
The Stage

David Copperfield – “Brimming with wit and charm” Remotegoat

Sat 13 & Sun 14 May
Corn Exchange
8pm Saturday, 2.30pm Sunday (doors open half an hour before)
£12 / £10 Members & Concessions / £5 Live for 5  LiveFor5

 

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17 & 18 May • Frozen Light: Home

A tale of unexpected friendship.

Exploring a new and unknown world, Home immerses audiences with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities (PMLD) in a multi-sensory story of discovery. Home is the latest bold and exciting production from Frozen Light.

The world is not how they remember it. Where are they now and where is their home? Scarlet and Olive must learn how to survive and create a future together in an environment that is full of surprises. Will the stars shine on this unexpected friendship? And how will the face the challenges that lie ahead?

Home is a profound and powerful multi-sensory experience for teenagers and adults with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities (PMLD) and their companions. 

‘Frozen Light… demonstrate that the power of theatre to reach, move and entertain is a transformative force’ – The Public Reviews

 

Supported by Arts Council England, The Point, Eastleigh and The Garage, Norwich.

 

Wed 17 and Thurs 18 May
Wed 11am and 1.30pm, Thurs 10.30am
For booking and more information call Dorchester Arts on 01305 266926 or email enquiries@dorchesterarts.org.uk

 

24 May • I Am Beast

 

An outstanding piece of theatre from start to finish. Raw and dark… this is a show that everyone should see.” The Buxton Review 

What happens when the wildest parts of our imagination take control? After the death of her mother, Ellie escapes into her own fantasy world of comic book superheroes and bewitching strangers, recreating herself as the ultimate vigilante.

Running amidst dark alleyways and sinister villains, she soon meets the wild and mysterious Beast and together they seek revenge. But as the walls of her new world begin to crumble, Ellie must finally face the truth behind her fantasies.

A visually stunning exploration of the power of grief and childish imagination, IAM BEAST was developed with teenagers, therapists, psychiatrists and neurologists with support from an Arts Award from the Wellcome Trust and funding from Arts Council England.

Also at Bridport Arts Centre.

Wed 24 May
Theatre – Corn Exchange
8pm (Doors and bar 7.30pm)
£12 / £10 Members & Concessions) / £5 Live for 5

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