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.


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!

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,








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.

Tues 6 February • Kinetics Film


DT2 Productions, in association with Band Films and Dorchester Arts



What can a teenage boy who is into free running and a middle-aged woman with Parkinson’s possibly have in common?

The desire to move….

Kinetics is based on the remarkable true story of two people seemingly at polar opposites. As Rose tries to come to terms with her diagnosis, an unlikely friendship springs up when Lukas comes tumbling into her life. But will the bond between them be strong enough when things go wrong?

Kinetics was written by Dorchester-based actor and writer Sue Wylie in reaction to her diagnosis with early-onset Parkinson’s. As a stage play it has toured the South West and London, selling more than 1500 tickets and receiving phenomenal feedback from audiences and medical professionals alike, for its bravery, honesty, humour and passion.

This film version will not only take the play to a wider audience but is also being used as a training and information resource for Parkinson’s nurses, carers, doctors and medical students.

About the stage version:

This is an amazing story that needs to be told. (Dorset Echo)

Watching your play was a very emotional experience for me, as much of what you are saying is how my journey has been…a wonderful vehicle to give the public a real insight to living with Parkinson’s. (Audience feedback)

Extremely brave and well constructed. Should be compulsory viewing for anyone caring for those with Parkinson’s. (Audience feedback)

Tuesday 6 February
FILM – Plaza Cinema



Wed 7 February • Jive Workshop

Jive Workshop
for beginners and advanced beginners


Why not take advantage of our fun jive workshop, to get you into the mood and dance with confidence? A fun and informal evening of dance tuition to make you ready for the gala night!

Wednesday 7 February
Dorchester Corn Exchange
Gala ticket holders £5 each (£7 for two), non-Gala goers £7 each (£10 for two)

Friday 9 February • Emily Maguire

A classically-trained multi-instrumentalist with five albums and two books to her name, Emily Maguire is truly “a talent to be reckoned with” (R2 Magazine), her strong, thought-provoking lyrics, supremely expressive vocals and stunning live performances winning her fans across the globe.  After living in a shack in the Australian bush where she made her first two albums, Emily returned to the UK to tour with American legend Don McLean and make her third album ‘Believer’, a ‘masterpiece’ according to Maverick Magazine, with two singles playlisted on Radio 2. Her latest album ‘A Bit Of Blue’ was released in February 2017.



Friday 9 February
Dorchester Corn Exchange
8pm (doors & bar 7.30pm)
Duration: 2x 45 min sets with interval
£13 / £11 members & concessions / £5 Live for 5


Sat 10 February • The Pasadena Roof Orchestra


The Pasadena Roof Orchestra

A vintage dance band in every sense of the word! For 45 years the Pasadena Roof Orchestra have been re-creating the sounds of a golden era of music from the 1920’s and 1930’s. Enjoy beautifully arranged songs from Irving Berlin, Ray Noble, Cole Porter and their contemporaries and re-live the electrifying hot jazz from Fletcher Henderson and Duke Ellington.
Presenting the show, and putting on the top hat and tails, is the suave singer and band leader Duncan Galloway. So pack up your troubles, come on get happy, and experience an evening of superlative live music, with more than a dash of wit and humour.

“It is said that if some Pasadena Roof Orchestra tunes are floating past her window, the Queen is not displeased” (The Daily Telegraph)

“An evening of rare musical entertainment” (The Financial Times)

“For the PRO I have nothing but praise, they brilliantly evoked an array of 20’s and 30’s musical styles” (The Sunday Telegraph)

Saturday 10 February
Dorchester Corn Exchange
8pm (doors & bar 7.30pm)
Duration: 2x 50 min sets with interval
£22 / £20 members & concessions


Sun 11 February • The Sagas of Noggin The Nog

The Sagas of Noggin the Nog

In the Lands of the North where the black rocks stand guard against the cold sea, in the dark night that is very long, the Men of the Northlands sit around their great log fires and they tell a tale.

The Viking storytellers bring the wonderful tales of Noggin created by Oliver Postgate & Peter Firmin to the stage in this new piece of theatre for Children, Families and Fans.

Accompanied by the brave and mighty Thor Nogson and the great green bird Graculus, we go North on a journey of adventure & discovery to battle the fearsome Ice Dragon and the dastardly deeds of Noggin’s wicked uncle; Nogbad the Bad!

Silly Vikings, puppets, projection, live music.

Of Noggin the King at Ramsgate:
“Clever, witty and entrancing . . . unquestionably a hit” THANET GAZETTE

of Third Party’s recent Peter Brook awarded work:
“Devilishly good fun” THE GUARDIAN
Directed by John Wright, Puppetry consultant Roman Stefanski, Puppets by Caroline Bowman and Ruth Herbert. Live music by the Company

Sunday 11 February
Dorchester Corn Exchange
2.30pm (doors at 2pm)
Duration: 85 mins inc. interval
£9 / £7 members & concessions / £28 family ticket (max. 2 adults)
Age guidance: 4+


Mon 12 February • Children’s Viking Workshop with Arts2Educate

Children’s Viking Workshop with Arts2Educate


Join Dorchester Arts favourite Abi Thommes in this fantastic workshop where the participants will be able to take on the role of Viking warriors, inspired by Noggin the Nog. Using role-play to build a ship and sail the seas, you will get the opportunity to make props for your play including shields, helmets and masks. The workshop finale will be a performance for parents and carers of all that has been created!

Tickets just £4 if you also buy a ticket for The Sagas of Noggin the Nog!

Monday 12 February
Dorchester Corn Exchange
10am – 12noon
£7 / £5 siblings
Ages 6-10

Wed 14 February • John Hudson, Mario Lanza and Me

Valentine’s Special! John Hudson, Mario Lanza, and Me

It’s 1973. I’m a boy living in Barnsley, South Yorkshire and we’re going through another bloomin’ power cut.

My life is about to change completely and forever. Sitting in the candle lit gloom with nothing but a wind up gramophone, I decide to play a record. Not wanting to ruin one of my own LPs, I try one of my parent’s – some geezer called Mario Lanza. Two things happened. Firstly, I discovered that you can’t play modern vinyl on a wind up gramophone – trust me, my backside still hurts, and secondly, I don’t know how to describe it, a miracle? Corny old songs from the 40s and 50s, but that voice…that absolutely electrifying voice…

Twenty years later and I’m singing Rodolpho in la Boheme at the Coliseum for ENO and it’s Mario Lanza’s fault. Well now I’m returning the favour.

In this loving tribute to one of the world’s greatest voices, by, if I may say so, a half decent tenor, let me introduce you to Mario Lanza. To that voice.

Stolen from the opera world by Hollywood, he became the world’s first “crossover” artist. In this modern age of Katherine Jenkins, Russell Watson, the X Factor and the Voice, we have become accustomed to classical voices in the charts. Well, come and meet the Daddy of ’em all.

Whether an old friend, or someone you’ve never heard of, allow me to show you how he changed not only MY life, but the lives of many more.

With songs such as Be My Love, Serenade, Because and I’ll Walk With God, he captured the hearts of a generation.
Come and meet him. I’ll give you an evening you’ll never forget.”

Wednesday 14 February
Dorchester Corn Exchange
8pm (doors & bar 7.30pm)
£15 / £13 members & concessions