Thurs 30 May | Universarama! (Squashbox Theatre)

  • Dorchester Corn Exchange
  • Thursday 30 May
  • 2.00pm
  • £8 / £6 / £25 family (max. 2 adults)
  • 1 Hour
  • Seated

Since the dawn of time, human beings have gazed up at the night sky and wondered…
What’s up there?
How far does it go?
Does it ever end?
Well, wonder no longer!
All these questions and more will be answered in Universarama! (Possibly).

Let Professor Johnson of the Squashbox Theatre Astounding And Amazing Astronomical Research Society (S.T.A.A.A.A.R.S) take you on a journey to the edges of space and time! Along the way we will explore the solar system, study the stars and constellations, visit distant galaxies, and hear the fascinating story of John Couch Adams, the Cornishman who discovered Neptune.

Using only silly puppets, ridiculous and unnecessary props, simple household objects and assorted fruits and vegetables, Professor Johnson will reveal the secrets of the universe!

Universarama! is a marvellous blend of spectacle, storytelling and cabaret, all contained within an accessible, funny and unique family show. It is the creation of Craig Johnson – actor, musician, puppeteer, astronomy fan, and long-standing member of Cornwall’s renowned Kneehigh Theatre.

Wed 5 June | Oysters (Oysters Creatives)

  • Dorchester Corn Exchange
  • Wednesday 5 June
  • 8.00pm
  • £14 / £12 members and concessions
  • 2 Hours (approx)
  • Seated

A new dark comedy with live music shining a powerful spotlight on composer Johannes Brahms.  At a party to celebrate the first performance of his Violin Concerto the composer’s genius is overshadowed by his self-destructive ego. On his quest for perfection we meet a mesmerizing gallery of characters – the arthritic, embittered and ageing Clara Schumann; the mad, jealous unstable virtuoso Joachim; the pompous and waspish critic Hanslick; and the gentle friend and disciple Von Herzogenberg. As the evening progresses and emotions turn on a sixpence, the play moves to its extraordinary conclusion fuelled by turbulent feelings and farcical misunderstandings. And at the centre of it all is the question ‘Why art…and what price do we pay for it?’

Performed by an award-winning cast including Nicholas Collett (RSC, West End), Neil Salvage (RNT, Old Vic) and Eleanor Ryan as Violinist – directed by Amy Bonsall, designed by Maddy Sinclair

Sat 8 Jun | Frank Griffith & Tina May: Jazz Meets Broadway

  • Dorchester Corn Exchange
  • Saturday 8 June
  • 8.00pm
  • £15 / £13 members and concessions
  • 2 Hours (approx)
  • Seated

The songs of the Broadway and West End stage have historically provided a rich trove of repertoire for jazz artists. The Frank Griffith Quartet (Frank Griffith – sax and clarinet, Robin Aspland – piano, Jeremy Brown- bass, Rod Youngs- drums) along with singers Tina May and Michael Roberts will present an evening of gems from Guys and Dolls and West Side Story as well as Sondheim’s song Here’s to the Ladies Who Lunch. There will also be a premiere of Frank and Tina’s new song, Lucky Lady.

Vocalist, Tina May, was the first winner of the Worshipful Company of Musicians Young Jazz Artist Award and has fifteen CDs to her name. Tina recorded “Sings the Ray Bryant Songbook” in 2002 featuring her lyrics to the legendary pianist’s tunes. She has appeared with Stan Tracey at St Paul’s Cathedral performing Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concerts.

Vocalist, Michael Roberts has appeared with the likes of Frank Sinatra Jr, Sir John Dankworth, Imelda May and Supergrass.

American saxist and clarinetist, Frank Griffith, has been resident in the UK since 1996 and his Nonet appeared regularly at the Ealing Jazz Festival, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Pizza Express and Ronnie Scotts. He curated and led the Festival Tentet for the Billy Strayhorn Centenary Concert at Cadogan Hall as the part of the 2015 London Jazz Festival. Frank has also played with and/or arranged for Sir John Dankworth, Dame Cleo Lane, Kenny Wheeler, Mel Torme, Ron Carterand Lionel Hampton.

Sun 9 June | Albert Lee and his band: In Concert

  • Dorchester Corn Exchange
  • Sunday 9 June
  • 8.00pm
  • £25 / £23 members and concessions
  • 2 Hours (approx)
  • Seated

Double Grammy Award Winner Albert Lee is a legend of rock and roll, country and blues. Co-writer of Country Boy and a member of The Everly Brothers, Emmylou Harris’s Hotband and Bill Wymans’ Rhythm Kings, he has had a lifetime of playing with some of music’s greatest legends including Glen Campbell, Dave Edmunds, Dolly Parton, Bobby Bare, Joan Armatrading, Ricky Scaggs, Joe Cocker, Willie Nelson, Linda Ronstadt, Rodney Crowell, Vince Gill, Travis Tritt, The Blue Caps, Robert Wells and Earl Scruggs.  He also toured with his own band, Hogan’s Heroes for many years.

Fri 21 June | Carismático Tango Band

  • Dorchester Corn Exchange
  • Friday 21 June
  • 8.00pm
  • £14 / £12 members and concessions
  • 2 Hours (approx)
  • Seated

Enjoy a night of Latin American musical virtuosity, passion and dance. A new ensemble of professional musicians led by virtuoso accordionist Karen Street featuring the brilliant, emotionally charged compositions of Argentinian composer Saúl Cosentino alongside music by his mentor Astor Piazzolla and Karen’s own creative and nuanced compositions. Featuring Karen Street on Accordion, Jonathon Taylor on piano, Andy Tweed on saxophones, Dave Manington on bass and Rob Millett on percussion.

Tango is a dance and music style born in the slums of Buenos Argentina in the 1880’s. From its beginnings as a highly improvised dance form it became an international dance craze at the start of the 20th Century. The music also evolved along many different paths. Carismático’s focus is is Tango Nuevo, a style created by Astor Piazzolla who wished to compose for the concert platform rather than the dance hall.

Sun 23 June | Cake Off!

  • Dorchester Corn Exchange
  • Sunday 23 June
  • 3pm - 5.30pm

 A fundraising event for Dorchester Arts’ community performance of ‘Apollo – One Giant Leap!’

Tickets £1 (on the door), free to competitors)

Roll up your sleeves, don your best aprons and – bake!  Help Dorchester Arts celebrate its summer of starry space events and enter our Cake Off! competition. Open to everyone (unless you are a professional of course….).

Judges to be announced.

Prizes include signed celebrity aprons!

Pictures of winning cakes in each category will be displayed on giant screens at the Apollo – One Giant Leap! event on 19 July as part of Moonbury Rings.

Entry Fee: Adult classes – 60p, Junior classes – 50p. Payable on the day.

ADULT CLASSES (over 12 years)

A SIGNATURE BAKE of any of the following:

A small cake measuring approximately 7 inches diameter

OR

Six sweet biscuits

OR

Six sweet buns or muffins

Own recipes to be used.  Unusual flavour combinations welcome!  No theme required.

Six Moon Rock cakes made to the following recipe:

Ingredients

225g/8oz self-raising flour

75g/2½oz caster sugar

1 tsp baking powder

125g/4½oz unsalted butter, cut into cubes

150g/5½oz dried fruit

1 free-range egg

1 tbsp milk

2 tsp vanilla extract

Method

Preheat oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4 and line a baking tray with baking parchment.

Mix the flour, sugar and baking powder in a bowl and rub in the cubed butter until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs, then mix in the dried fruit.

In a clean bowl, beat the egg and milk together with the vanilla extract.

Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and stir with a spoon until the mixture just comes together as a thick, lumpy dough. Add a teaspoon more milk if you need it to make the mixture stick together.

Place golf ball-sized spoons of the mixture onto the prepared baking tray. Leave space between them as they will flatten and spread out to double their size during baking.

Bake for 15–20 minutes, until golden-brown. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool.

A spectacular cake of any size (guideline may be displayed to fit on a board 25cm x 25 cm square) decorated however you wish, with the theme of space travel, moon landings, interplanetary travel – anything at all!  No wire, skewers or sticks to be used.

JUNIOR CLASSES – 12 YEARS AND UNDER

Six CHEESE scones made to your own recipe, any size or shape.

A cake decorated to show either an alien world, or a single alien, but all to be completely edible .  No wire, skewers or sticks to be used, may be displayed on a board. 

The Cake Off! Rules

  1. Only one entry per person in each class please
  2. All entries MUST be cooked by the entrant and exhibited on a white paper plate, unless otherwise stated.
  3. All entries in all classes to be made available for sale after judging, proceeds to Dorchester Arts Apollo: One Giant Leap! community performance on 19 July in ‘Moonbury Rings’. A suggestion as to price is welcome. 

So join us for tea and the best cakes that Dorset has to offer – the countdown has started!

To register an interest in a class and for further details please email development@dorchesterarts.org.uk stating which classes you are be interested in, more details will be sent through.

Sun 23 Jun | The Tempest (Handlebards)

  • Maumbury Rings
  • Sunday 23 June
  • 7.00pm
  • £13 / £11 / £40 (Family. Max 2 Adults)
  • 2 hours approx
  • Bring a chair

This unique all-female cycling troupe make a welcome return by pedal power, this time with a bicycle-powered production of Shakespeare’s ’The Tempest’ like none other.

In usual HandleBards style, expect riotous amounts of energy, a fair old whack of chaos, and a great deal of laughter.

And what’s the play about? Well – a shipwreck washes the court of Milan up onto a mysterious desert island, inhabited by magicians, sprites and monsters, where nothing is as it seems. There’s magic, mu-sicality and mystery a plenty!This is an outdoor production, so please bring your own chair or blanket to sit on, a picnic to dig into, and dress for the weather!

Our guide to getting the best out of your evening

Bring whatever you need for a cosy afternoon or evening. Sun shades, sun cream, warm woollies, blankets, waterproofs and insect spray!

Low backed chairs, rugs and a cushion are always nice. Combine comfort and style!.

Bring friends and family (family tickets are available. The more the merrier for a fun day or night out!

Pick a great spot and enjoy the atmospheric surroundings

It’s very helpful to safely find your way back to the car for evening performances.

Although refreshments are also available from an hour before each performance.

Thur 27 June – Sat 6 July | Far From The Madding Crowd (The New Hardy Players)

  • Various (see below)
  • Thur 27 June - Sat 6 July
  • Various (see below)
  • £15.00 / £7.50 under 18s
  • 2 Hours (approx)
  • Bring a chair

Thursday 27 June, Max Gate, Dorchester, 7.15pm

Friday 28 June, Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens, 7.30pm

Saturday 29 June, Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens, 7.30pm

Thursday 4 July, The Vicarage, Cerne Abbas, 7.30pm

Friday 5 July, Came House, near Dorchester, 7.30pm

Saturday 6 July, Came House, near Dorchester, 2.30pm

The New Hardy Players never fail to impress and this year is no exception with a dramatic outdoor production based on the well-loved novel that prompted Thomas Hardy to become a full time writer. With over 50 actors and musicians, the ever popular New Hardy Players bring to life the colourful local characters of Weatherbury. The story unfolds around the Maltster’s Arms, the Corn Exchange and Weatherbury Farm itself reflecting the full panoply of Wessex folk.

This new script tells the story of Bathsheba Everdene, a head strong young woman and her entwining relationships with the loyal shepherd Gabriel Oak, the charismatic but irresponsible Sergeant Troy and with the prosperous but disturbed Farmer Boldwood.

The New Hardy Players’ performances raise funds for local charities each year.

Our guide to getting the best out of your evening

Bring whatever you need for a cosy afternoon or evening. Sun shades, sun cream, warm woollies, blankets, waterproofs and insect spray!

Low backed chairs, rugs and a cushion are always nice. Combine comfort and style!.

Bring friends and family (family tickets are available. The more the merrier for a fun day or night out!

Pick a great spot and enjoy the atmospheric surroundings

It’s very helpful to safely find your way back to the car for evening performances.

Although refreshments are also available from an hour before each performance.

Sun 30 June | Picasso’s Women by Brian McAvera (Flying Elephant Productions)

  • Dorchester Corn Exchange
  • Sunday 30 June
  • 7.00pm
  • £14 / £12 members and concessions
  • 2 Hours (Approx)
  • Seated

A unique look at the great painter’s early life through the voices of his wives, mistresses and muses.
These three honest and humorous monologues were originally produced at the National Theatre and on BBC Radio 3. The unique stories of French model Fernande, Russian ballerina Olga and 17-year-old mistress Marie-Thérèse give an insight into life with Picasso and the influence the women had on his art

Following recognition at last summer’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, these three monologues take a look at the great painter Picasso’s early life through the voices of his wives, mistresses and muses. The stories of French model Fernande, Russian ballerina Olga and 17-year-old mistress Marie-Thérèse gives an insight into the influence the women had on his art. Originally produced at the National Theatre and on BBC Radio 3, the production earnt pick of the Fringe and a Favourite Theatre Show Nomination as well as a London transfer. The show also features artwork that reflects its content.

"Admirably performed and inventively staged"
The Times

Thurs 11 July | Mallets

  • Dorchester Corn Exchange
  • Thursday 11 July
  • 8.00pm
  • £10 / £8 members and concessions
  • 50 Mins (approx)
  • Seated
‘Mallets’ takes place on a prissy perfect croquet lawn in middle England, as the most tranquil of summer’s afternoons is forced to pay witness to a bloodthirsty grudge match between two rival couples. It’s a ruthless, marital comedy that is both darkly funny and little bit sad – all washed down with a good glug of Pimm’s.
 
Directed by Merle Wheldon-Posner and Felix Firth, Mallets is being previewed by Dorchester Arts before facing the music at 2019’s Edinburgh Fringe.
 
Please note that this production contains strong language, sexual references and mild violence