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.


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.

Wed 23 January 2019 | Steve Knightley | Roadworks

  • Corn Exchange
  • Wed 23 Jan
  • 20.00
  • Accessible **
  • Suitability: All
  • £19
  • 1 Hour 45 Mins

Best known for his work with the hugely popular acoustic roots group Show of Hands, master songwriter and storyteller Steve Knightley invites you on a musical journey. Roadworks charts the winding roads of his unrivalled career. It builds on the success of his sell-out 2018 solo tour ‘Songs and Stories’. A stripped-back, one-man show that’s infused with wit and warmth, beautifully illustrated by songs of history, love and conscience.

The setlist is peppered with classic gems and in a rare glimpse into the personal playlist of a songwriting legend, Knightley also pays tribute to some of his influences along the way, from Dylan to Radiohead.

Steve’s last tour was a sell-out, so early booking is advisable.

** For full accessibility details, please contact Dorchester Arts’ box office 01305 266926

Wed 6 February 2019 | Phil Beer | String Theory

  • Corn Exchange
  • Wed 6 Feb
  • 20.00
  • Accessible **
  • Suitability: All
  • £16
  • 1 Hour 45 Mins

As one-half of one of the finest folk bands in the country, Phil Beer is something of a national treasure on the folk, roots and acoustic scene and is equally as in demand for his solo shows. ‘String Theory’ sets out to share some of Phil’s most-loved songs. With the odd laugh thrown in for good measure, Beer’s flawless musicianship and rich vocals will leave you wide-eyed and wanting more.

An audience with Phil Beer has been described as a glimpse into his world where folk, blues, hymns, the sea, the West Country and a life spent in music combine to make a true show.

A Phil Beer gig is one spent in the company of a true craftsman, a master musician and consummate performer.

** For full accessibility details, please contact Dorchester Arts’ box office 01305 266926

Wed 13 February | Mike Denham SpeakEasy Special | with the Sunset Café Stompers

  • Corn Exchange
  • Wed 13 Feb
  • 20.00
  • Accessible **
  • Suitability: All
  • £15 / £13

Mike Denham’s first SpeakEasy Night of 2019 will be a special night, celebrating the 30th anniversary of Mike’s band, Sunset Café Stompers, a seven-piece band containing some of the UK’s top vintage jazz musicians!  

Expect to hear numbers by Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellington, Fats Waller and Louis Armstrong.  Recently described in Just Jazz magazine as one of the best territory bands in the country, this is not a show to be missed!


** For full accessibility details, please contact Dorchester Arts’ box office 01305 266926

Sat 16 February 2019 | Tankus the Henge with support the Imprints

  • Corn Exchange
  • Sat 16 Feb
  • 20.00
  • £12 / £10 / £5 Livefor£5
  • Standing Event

Tankus the Henge is the five-wheeled, funk fuelled, open top, custom paint job, rock‘n’roll jalopy that comes careering round the corner on a tranquil summer’s day. Ruining the silence and disturbing the bats.

With their charismatic frontman, Jaz Delorean looking like a lost character from a Terry Gilliam film, their live experience is something to behold.  Combining wild showmanship and musical dexterity, their sound incorporates rock, funk, blues, ska, roots and gypsy rhythms and their songs tell stories of wonder and woe. They have left audiences breathless at headline shows including Scala, The Garage, The Borderline and The Jazz Café.

Thunder and lightning ain’t got nothing on this!

Please Note: This event is standing only

** For full accessibility details, please contact Dorchester Arts’ box office 01305 266926

Fri 1 March 2019 • Hal Cruttenden • Chubster

Friday 1st March 2019
Dorchester Corn Exchange
8pm (doors & bar 7.30pm)
£19 / £17 members & concessions


On sale from 10am on Monday 30 April 2018


***** ‘On top form’ – Edinburgh Evening News

***** ‘He had the audience in stitches’ – Daily Record

**** ‘Hilarious’ – Evening Standard

**** ‘ Hugely talented’ – The Times

**** ‘Go and see Hal Cruttenden’ – Daily Mirror

Three-time Chortle Award nominee, Hal Cruttenden is a familiar face on the comedy circuit having literally filled our screens recently on Have I Got News For You, The Apprentice: You’re Fired, Bake Off: Extra Slice, and Live at the Apollo. After a 2 year hiatus from touring, he is back with a new show entitled ‘Chubster’.

Rather touchingly, he asked his teenage daughters what title would best sum him up. They said ‘Chubster’. Hal’s now on a diet.

This hilarious show not only touches on his usual moans about being a middle-aged, middle class father of fat-shaming teenagers but also introduces us to new problems like his struggles with IQ tests, political zealots and the trauma of supporting the England rugby team.

Sat 23 March 2019 |Clare Teal and her Trio |Swing’s The Thing

  • Corn Exchange
  • Sat 23 Mar
  • 20.00
  • Accessible **
  • Suitability: All
  • £23 / £21
  • 1 Hour 45 Mins

Jazz vocalist and BBC Radio 2 presenter Clare Teal and her Trio feature the very best of popular music from the golden age of song in this upbeat and uplifting new show.

The evening will feature standards from the grand masters of the Great American Song Book and witty urbane song stylists of the 50’s & 60’s Cy Coleman & Carolyn Leigh & Dave Brubeck. There’s always a nod to more contemporary writers and originals too.

Clare and her Trio’s fabulous arrangements interspersed with warm and witty storytelling guarantee a night to be remembered.

** For full accessibility details, please contact Dorchester Arts’ box office 01305 266926

Tues 26 March • Northern Harmony (concert and workshop)

  • St Peter's Church
  • Tues 26 March
  • 6.30pm (workshop) 8pm (concert)
  • Accessible **
  • Suitability: All
  • Workshop: £9/£7 Concert: £13/£11 Combined Ticket: £19/£17

Led by Larry Gordon, Northern Harmony’s 14 brilliant young singers return with another thrilling mix of world harmony traditions including South African songs and dances, traditional polyphony from Georgia, Corsica and the Balkans, American shape-note singing and quartet gospel, as well as renaissance motets. Based in Vermont, they are renowned for their remarkable command of the different singing styles and vocal timbres of these varied traditions.

To book both events and benefit from the combined ticket discount, please add both events to your online booking: the discount will be applied automatically. Any problems, just give us a call…

** For full accessibility details, please contact Dorchester Arts’ box office 01305 266926

Sun 7 April | Tumlyn Brass Quintet

  • Corn Exchange
  • Sun 7 Apr
  • 15.00
  • Accessible **
  • Suitability: All
  • £14 / £12

The Tumlyn Brass Quintet was formed in 2017 by Dorset- based professional musicians who are passionate about making good music. They perform a wide variety of styles, such as only perhaps a brass quintet allows, drawing on a vast experience of playing with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, D’Oyly Carte Opera Orchestra and Bournemouth Brass.


Their programme will focus on British music and composers, with poems and readings from local actress and poetry recitalist Jan Wyld. Themes will include folk music and readings from Thomas Hardy, as well as music by Malcolm Arnold.

** For full accessibility details, please contact Dorchester Arts’ box office 01305 266926