Fri 12 July | A Perfect World | Miracle Theatre

  • Maumbury Rings, DT1 1QN
  • Friday 12 July
  • 7.30pm
  • £13 / £11 / £40 family (max. 2 adults)
  • 2 hours approx.
  • bring a chair and a picnic!

Dorchester Arts’ favourites Miracle Theatre present the story of a feisty young woman who ventures into a ‘Boys-Own’ world of undiscovered jungles, treasure maps, campfires and penknives on an action-packed adventure.

Leading her team of quarrelsome explorers she stumbles into a bountiful paradise, whose inhabitants seem entirely peaceful, productive and fulfilled.

Is this tranquil place the best of all possible worlds? Or is it all too good to be true? A rollicking music-filled adventure touring the great outdoors this summer!

A rollicking music-filled adventure making the most of the great outdoors this summer!

Written & Directed by Bill Scott with original music by Tom Adams

Miracle is a touring theatre company based in Cornwall with a reputation for producing, comical, highly entertaining and thought provoking shows suitable for anyone & everyone.

Since 1979 they have been touring to the far flung corners of the South West. Miracles outdoor productions have become a ‘must do’ activity and pop up in unexpected and extraordinary, including gardens beaches, castles and clifftops.

Our guide to getting the best out of your evening

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

  • Bring your own seat – Low backed chairs, rugs and a cushion are always nice. Combine comfort and style!

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

  • Arrive Early – Pick a great spot and enjoy the atmospheric surroundings

  • Bring a Torch – It’s very helpful to safely find your way back to the car for evening performances.

  • Bring a Picnic – Although refreshments are also available from an hour before each performance.


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.

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

A wonderfully eclectic afternoon programme that will include music by Malcolm Arnold, Thomas Tallis and Holst and Lennon/McCartney. Local actress and poetry recitalist Jan Wyld will read from writers and poets as diverse as Hardye, Carol Ann Duffy, Shakespeare, Roger McGough and Roald Dahl.

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.

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

Wed 17 April | The Nash Ensemble

  • Corn Exchange
  • Wed 17 Apr
  • 20.00
  • Accessible **
  • Suitability: All
  • £22 / £20

Richard Hosford (clarinet)
Adrian Brendel (cello)
Ian Brown (piano)

Trio No 4 in B flat for clarinet, cello and piano, ‘Gassenhauer’ Op 11 – Ludwig van Beethoven
Sonata for cello and piano in D minor – Claude Debussy
5 Bagatelles for clarinet and piano Op 23 – Gerald Finzi

Trio for clarinet, cello and piano in A minor Op 114 – Johannes Brahms

The Nash Ensemble has won numerous accolades including The Edinburgh Festival Critics award and two Royal Philharmonic Society awards in the chamber music category. This concert brings together Richard Hosford, Principal Clarinet with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Adrian Brendel, one of the most versatile and original cellists of his generation, and Ian Brown, a musician of great versatility whose career embraces chamber music, solo and duo playing and conducting.

“Is there a better-equipped, more polished, stylish, or characterful chamber music group than the Nash Ensemble anywhere on the planet?” Herald Scotland

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

Sun 12 May | Kokoro: A Night In Vienna

  • Dorchester Corn Exchange
  • Sunday 12 May
  • 7.00pm
  • £15 / £13 members and concessions
  • 2 Hours approx. inc interval
  • Seated

Kokoro, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s contemporary music ensemble, make a welcome return with an evening of music from the 2nd Viennese School.

Composers of the Second Viennese School shifted from the big and emotional work of the romantic period at the turn of the 20th Century to a stripped back style of music and composition.  This evening will explore the three leaders of this new music movement as they changed the face of music including a chamber version of Schönberg’s exquisite tone poem, Verklärte Nacht.

The programme for the night will include:

Berg – Four pieces for Clarinet & Piano
Webern – Variations for Piano & Two pieces for Cello and Piano
Berg – Adagio for Piano, Clarinet & Violin
Schönberg – Verklärte Nacht arr for Piano Trio by Steuermann

The Steinway Grand Piano has been made available by The Dorset Musical Instruments Trust.

Sat 22 June | Cara Dillon | Wanderer Tour

  • Dorchester Corn Exchange
  • Saturday 22 June
  • 8.00pm
  • £22 / £20 members and concessions
  • 1 Hour 30 Mins
  • Seated

This extraordinary Irish singer has been captivating audiences for over 20 years. According to Mojo magazine she has “Quite possibly the world’s most beautiful female voice”. Alongside a selection of favourites from her previous releases, Cara will be performing material from her new album “Wanderer” which is a collection of beautiful and moving songs recorded in an intimate setting with her husband and musical partner Sam Lakeman. Every note and word sung with a passion and confidence earned through a life of experience singing traditional songs. Legions of fans will attest to their impassioned performances with Cara’s warm and natural stage presence something to savour.