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.

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

SOLD OUT!

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

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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

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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.

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22 March • The Eulogy of Toby Peach

RWD15_Toby-PeachWEBToby has come to deliver his Eulogy. Join him as he enters the (not so) exclusive Cancer Club; sample chemotherapy cocktails, select the perfect funeral playlist and marvel at Willy Wonka’s life-saving stem cell machine. From diagnosis to remission, relapse and treatment; experience a young man’s journey with cancer in this honest, fascinating and inspiring exploration of modern science and the human body; discovery of self-mortality and celebration of life.

WINNER of the IdeasTap Underbelly Award 2015

WINNER of the VAULT Festival Pick of the Week Award 2016

‘Heartfelt & buoyant’★★★★ The Stage

‘Inspiring & uplifting’★★★★★ Edinburgh Evening News

Wednesday 22 March
Corn Exchange
8pm (doors & bar 7:30pm)
£12 / £10 members & concessions / £5 Livefor5

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Sponsored by Battens

24 March • The Ronnie Scott’s All Stars present The Ronnie Scott’s Story

RONNIE SCOTTS for web

Dorchester Corn Exchange

8pm (doors and bar 7.30pm)

£22/£20 members and concessions

Direct from London’s world-famous jazz club, The Ronnie Scott’s All Stars, led by the club’s musical director, take to the stage to celebrate ‘The Ronnie Scott’s Story’.

Combining world class live jazz from the Ronnie Scott’s All Stars, narration and rare archive photos and video footage, The Ronnie Scott’s Story is a visual and musical celebration of the club. Charting the club’s rise from a basement bar where local musicians would jam, through its trials and tribulations and landmark performances from now-legendary jazz icons, to become the internationally acclaimed jazz venue it is today.

Mixing classic music from the jazz greats who have performed at Ronnie Scott’s, alongside tales of old Soho, miscreant musicians and police raids, this is unique evening celebrating one of the world’s most famous jazz venues, it’s music, and history.

‘Outstanding players. For poise, balance and swing they’re a joy to listen to’ The Observer

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