Fri 6 April • Geoff Achison & The UK Souldiggers

Hailing from the deep south of Australia, Geoff Achison has scores of devoted fans around the world with his exciting blend of raw blues and funky grooves. He was chosen as one of the “Top Ten Hottest New Guitarists” by Guitar Player Magazine and was included in the “Top 100+ Guitarists You Should Know” roster. Geoff is able to deliver the full blues-rock experience with his outstanding combo The UK Souldiggers (drummer and perennial Dorchester Art favourite Sam Kelly, keys-man Paul Jobson and Andy Hodge on bass).

Friday 6 April
Dorchester Corn Exchange
8pm (doors & bar 7.30pm)
£15 / £13 members & concessions

Fri 13 April • Show of Hands Duo • with special guest Geoff Lakeman

Show of Hands – Where We’re Bound

Steve Knightley and Phil Beer: two extraordinary craftsmen with one unique sound. Dovetailing old songs with new, this is an unmissable celebration of the duo’s enduring impact on roots, acoustic and folk music. Show of Hands weave story and melody to create a spellbinding display of consummate musicianship. Multi-award-winning, and with five sell-out Royal Albert Hall shows under their belts, the original duo format makes a rare return to more intimate settings. Steve and Phil’s special guest is compelling musician and fellow Devonian Geoff Lakeman, chieftain of the brilliant Lakeman tribe.

Fri 20 April • Skimmity Hitchers • plus support

In what has become something of a yearly tradition, cider-swillin’ reprobates Skimmity Hitchers return to headline a triple bill night of live music.  Hugely popular in the West Country for their humorous and high-energy take on the Scrumpy & Western genre, the 4 boys will be taking over town with their blend of razor sharp parodies and home-pressed original material, no doubt with a few surprises and a dancing badger thrown in for good measure. This year’s quality support line-up sees folk-rock festival favourites Imprints and local punk youngsters Sinful Maggie.


Friday 20 April
Dorchester Corn Exchange
8pm (doors & bar 7.30pm)
£12 / £10 members & concessions
Please note this event is standing only

Sun 22 April • Jay Foreman’s Disgusting Songs for Revolting Children

Jay Foreman is a musical comedian whose songs have been heard on BBC Radio 4, Radio 4 Extra, The One Show, London Live TV and Dave Gorman’s UK/Ireland tour. Jay provides a devilishly cheeky hour of songs, poems and comedy for children of all ages in this family friendly show which regularly sells out its entire runs at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

“With dark humour and wordplay reminiscent of Roald Dahl, he should more often than not grab the attention of even the most reluctant child..” ★★★★

“My fellow child-wranglers laughed happily, probably even louder than their enthralled kids.” ThreeWeeks ★★★★

“Disturbingly catchy… my daughter was still singing about caterpillar sick right up until bedtime!” One4Review ★★★★

‘Classy and funny… Victoria Wood for the Spotify generation’ Chortle

‘Heartily recommended’ Fest

Sunday 22 April
Dorchester Corn Exchange
2.30pm (doors 2pm)
£9 / £7 members & concessions / £28 family ticket (max. 2 adults)
Age guidance: 6+

Thur 26 April • Budapest Café Orchestra

Back by popular demand! Expect more of the traditional folk and gypsy-flavoured music from across the world that we all loved last time.

Established in 2009 by British composer, violinist and band leader, Christian Garrick.  2017 sees the band enter its eighth busy and exciting year and also, coincidentally, the release of their eighth album, Fifty Shades Of Goulash.

Raucous, toe-tapping Balkan and Russian numbers are combined with jazz and swing inflections, Klezmer, Romanian Doinas and Hungarian Czardas are awarded fresh treatments before they give way to a disarmingly beautiful arsenal of ballads such as the Schindler’s List theme or Andy Statman’s bitter sweet The Flatbush Waltz.  The involvingly diverse repertoire often even strays over into the technicolour territory of many a well-loved film or television score.

“…the fiery vivacity and awe-inspiring musicianship of the finest purveyors of Eastern European gypsy music this side of a Lada scrap heap will leave you with a grin on your face and rhythm in your feet…”  Times

“The music is magic in their hands” Sean Rafferty BBC Radio 3

“Evoking vivid images of Tzigane fiddle maestros, Budapest café life and gypsy campfires –  plus a few surprises along the way –  hugely entertaining, immense skill and profound musicianship, a show by the BCO is good enough to make you want to book that holiday down the Danube!” Songlines


“The Budapest Cafe Orchestra play a blistering barrage of Czardas, East European and Russian folk tunes that might have come from the Hot Club of Paris via the Orient Express!” Brighton Argus

“The boys from the BCO eek out an interesting advantage over others in that they are musically connected to the culture rather than culturally connected to the music and this manifests itself in their performances which are among the most fulfilling live entertainment spectacles you are ever likely to find of any genre” BBC Celtic Connections  

Thursday 26 April
Dorchester Corn Exchange
8pm (doors & bar 7.30pm)
£16 / £14 members & concessions / £5 Live for 5

Sun 29 April • Bach Before Leipzig • Elicia Silverstein & Christopher Bucknall

Bach Before Leipzig
Elicia Silverstein and Christopher Bucknall

Two rising stars on the European early music scene, Italian-based American violinist Elicia Silverstein and British harpsichordist and conductor Christopher Bucknall, team up to present a recital of some of Bach’s most varied, nuanced and fascinating instrumental music. The works on the programme, which range from intimate and conversational to dramatic and toccata-like, from dance music to intense counterpoint, were all composed during Bach’s time in Weimar and Cöthen, prior to his famed stay in Leipzig.

Sunday 29 April
Dorchester Corn Exchange
3pm (doors & bar 2.30pm)
£15 / £13 members & concessions / £5 live for 5

Wed 2 May • Maddy Prior In Concert • with Hannah James & Giles Lewin

Over the course of her remarkable career, Maddy Prior has made it her mission to work with some of the most exceptional musicians in the world – both within Steeleye Span and beyond. To that noted list she has added accordion player, singer and clog dancer Hannah James and multi-instrumentalist Giles Lewin (Bellowhead / Carnival Band), forming a trio that explores the music of England, the British Isles and Eastern Europe.

The trio’s debut album 3 For Joy took fourteenth century poems, tales of the industrial revolution from Ulster and music from the Southern Baptist Church tradition, while their latest, Shortwinger, is themed on the wild field, mainly concerned with birds, hares and their place in folk mythology. The trio will be performing songs from both albums as well as highlights from Maddy’s solo and band career – all presented in a daring acoustic style that enhances one of the finest voices this country has ever produced.


Wednesday 2 May
Dorchester Corn Exchange
8pm (doors & bar 7.30pm)
£17 / £15 members & concessions
Approx. running time: 2 x 45 sets plus 15 min break

Wed 23 May • Stacey Kent • I Know I Dream

The internationally acclaimed, Grammy-nominated vocalist, Stacey Kent, returns to Dorchester for a very special show, featuring music from her latest album ‘I Know I Dream’ (Sony Music/Okeh).

This beautiful collection of songs, includes American Standards, Bossa Nova classics, Chansons, as well as original songs and reprises of some of Stacey’s most loved repertoire – including numbers co-written by Nobel prizewinner Kazuo Ishiguro, whose songwriting partnership with Stacey has formed an essential plank of her repertoire.


Stacey’s international touring schedule keeps her on the road for most of the year, so her return to Dorchester provides a rare opportunity for UK fans see her ‘live’ in concert.

Wednesday 23 May
Dorchester Corn Exchange
8pm (doors & bar 7.30pm)
£23 / £21 members & concessions

Thurs 24 May • Call Mr Robeson: A Life, with songs

Paul Robeson: world-famous American actor, singer and civil rights campaigner. When he gets too radical and outspoken for the establishment’s liking, he is branded a traitor to his country, is harassed, and denied opportunities to perform or travel.

This roller-coaster journey in words and music through Robeson’s remarkable life highlights how his pioneering and heroic political activism led many to describe him as the forerunner of the civil rights movement. It features some famous songs (including a dramatic rendition of Ol’ Man River), speeches, and a spectacularly defiant testimony to the Senate House Un-American Activities Committee.

Show length: 80 minutes (no interval)

Corn Exchange
Thursday 24 May
£13 / £11 Members and concessions
Live for £5

Thurs 31 May • Calan

Fiddles, guitar, accordion, bagpipes and step dancing explode into life

Introducing a new generation to Welsh music, Calan are bringing their infectious rhythms and high energy routines to celebrate the release of their latest album, Solomon.

They come with accordion, harp, guitar, fiddles and Welsh bagpipes along with a virtuoso performance from a champion step dancer.

A fresh and vibrant sound with a pounding beat set against the backdrop of old traditions. Songs include the legend of Wales’ very own fairy realm with a tale of magic, myth and mischief along with some of the most beautiful and haunting melodies.

‘…..a diverse ride between giddy Welsh reeling, healthy acoustic folk-pop with upfront attitude and brashness of youth.”  (FROOTS)

“…there’s nowt as dear as folk – especially when played with the grace, daring and sheer joy this multi- instrumental five-piece bring to a winning selection of reels, jigs and hornpipes” (THE MIRROR)

“Folk just got a kick up of the Noughties… ..stunning use of instrumentation, gorgeously crafted songs, sprightly foot-tappers, verve and raw excitement” (BELFAST TELEGRAPH)

Thursday 31 May
Dorchester Corn Exchange
8pm (doors & bar 7.30pm)
£16 / £14 members & concessions