17 February • The Poetry of Plays

poetryofplaysIn this joint fundraiser for Dorchester Arts and Dorchester Community Plays Association playwrights Stephanie Dale and David Edgar will demonstrate how drama shares many of the elements and structures of poetry.

Illustrating the evening, local actors will read from classical, contemporary and community plays and David and Stephanie will show how plays communicate meaning by drawing unexpected connections between different elements.

Stephanie Dale writes for stage, radio and large-scale theatre and is currently writing Spinning the Moon, the 2018 Dorchester Community Play. David Edgar is one of Britain’s leading playwrights who has written extensively for The National Theatre, The Royal Shakespeare Theatre and many others.

Followed by a Q&A with the authors and actors.


Friday 17 February

8pm (doors and bar 7.30pm)




22 February • Mike Denham SpeakEasy with Enrico Tomasso

mike-webWe are delighted to welcome pianist Mike Denham to the Corn Exchange as he kicks off his regular SpeakEasy nights for 2017 with Enrico Tomasso, three times winner of the British Jazz Award for Best Trumpeter. As a boy in the 1960s he met and played with trumpet legend Louis Armstrong, and has gone on to play with the Pasadena Roof Orchestra, Ray Gelato’s Giants and Acker Bilk. Now established as one of Britain’s truly world-class players, Enrico’s previous appearances as Mike’s guest have been very special occasions, and this one promises to be no exception.

Wednesday 22 February
Corn Exchange
8pm (doors & bar 7:30pm)
£13 / £11 members & concessions



24 Febraury • Chekhov’s Shorts

chekov_webEuropean Arts Company return with a hugely entertaining collection of classic one-act farces by Anton Chekhov, including The Evils of TobaccoThe DimwitThe BearSwan Song and The Proposal.

Originally performed in Russian vaudeville theatres, these bittersweet plays are Chekhov at his comic best – before The Seagull got stuffed, Uncle Vanya fired blanks, The Three Sisters started moaning and The Cherry Orchard was ‘car-parked’.



Friday 24 February
Corn Exchange
8pm (doors & bar 7:30pm)
£12 / £10 / £5 Livefor5

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Also at Poole Lighthouse, Bridport Arts Centre & Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis

Sponsored by Battens

26 February • How To Be A Middle Aged Woman (Without Going Insane) • Jenny Eclair


Jenny Eclair2

Dorchester Corn Exchange

8pm (doors and bar 7:30pm)

Great news – Jenny is coming back to Dorchester in February! Her October show sold out in no time and we wanted to give all the people who have been asking for tickets a chance to see this wonderful show…

Professional grumpy old woman, Splash survivor, amateur soup maker, and novice knitter Jenny Eclair extends her hit tour into 2017. Jenny is younger than Madonna but eats crisps and likes wine. Semi –bearded and suffering from outbreaks of gout and hysteria, Eclair puts middle age under the microscope and decides whether to laugh, cry or buy a dachshund! You are most welcome to join her, just button your cardi up properly and wipe that lipstick off your teeth.

4* – The Times

£17.50/ £15.50 members & concessions


8 March • Steve Knightley

Steve-KnightleywebShow of Hands frontman Steve Knightley returns with his latest live show ‘Landlocked’. Inspired by the 2015 ‘Grow Your Own Gig’ tour of rural venues, which came to Dorchester Arts, the first half of the evening will feature original and traditional songs of the land. The second half will draw on nautical themes from his 2015 ‘All At Sea’ tour of maritime venues.

Knightley has been rated as “one of England’s greatest singer songwriters” and has a prolific back catalogue of inspired songs including the rousing Country Life (about the demise of rural living) and Tall Ships (set in a West Country fishing village).

Book early to avoid disappointment.




Wednesday 8 March
Corn Exchange
8pm (doors & bar 7:30pm)
£18 / £16 members & concessions


Sponsored by Hall & Woodhouse

10 March • Thrive

ThriveWEbThis exciting, immersive production for young people uses humour, movement and spoken word to portray the most challenging of emotions with courage and optimism.

When Ollie, Ashleigh and Raph are thrown together by a sudden death, they find themselves wrestling with the emotional consequences of this painful event. These three young people didn’t go looking for suffering, but suffering found them anyway. Join them on their journey and stand side by side with them as they recover, survive and maybe even thrive.

Developed in collaboration with psychologists and inspired by true stories of young people, Thrive shows us what happens when three people dig deep and learn to live on.

Ages 14+, occasional strong language and emotional themes.

Friday 10 March
Corn Exchange
8pm (doors & bar 7.30pm)
£10/£8/£5 Livefor5

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11 March • Beverley Craven

Dorchester Corn Exchange

8pm (doors and bar 7.30pm)

£22.50/£20.50 members and concessions

beverlywebBRIT-Award winner Beverley Craven is back on the road performing a handful of select venues in 2017 as she continues to promote her acclaimed latest album ‘Change of Heart’.

Beverley is looking forward to performing her new songs live alongside timeless classics Promise Me, Holding On, Woman To Woman, Love Scenes and many more.

With a witty narrative and unforgettable melodies, her poignant sentiments will leave you with a warm glow of nostalgia, or maybe even the odd tear.






18 March • A Night of Romantic Opera

Rom op imageA third visit to Dorchester for the acclaimed Swansea City Opera with a captivating show transporting audiences into the world of Romantic Opera. This enchanting evening of arias and ensembles accompanied by piano is performed by a carefully selected cast of singers from the major national and international opera houses, with music from some of the best-loved romantic composers including Puccini, Verdi, Bizet and Mozart.

As ever, Artistic Director of SCO Brendan Wheatley will introduce the music and
compère the evening in his own inimitable style.

Saturday 18 March
Corn Exchange
8pm (doors & bar 7:30pm)
£16 / £14