Events and things to do in Dorset - April 2017

Ninebarrow (Photo by Greg Funnell 2015)

Ninebarrow (Photo by Greg Funnell 2015) - Credit: Archant

From an April Fool’s Festival to Sooty and friends, Helen Stiles rounds up her pick of local events


Materials: Contemporary Craft at The Town Mill - Until 12 April

Inspired by the land and sea, this exhibition in Lyme Regis showcases the very best in contemporary craftmakers with a passion for paper, porcelain, wood and fabrics. Includes ceramic tiles from Caroline Barnes, furniture and lamps by Alice Blogg and textiles by Hugh Dunford Wood.

Spring Exhibition - Until 14 April

Artwave West in Morcombelake showcases a new collection of contemporary artwork including paintings by Rebecca Fontaine-Wolf, who explores the interconnected nature of death and creation.

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Finding Pathways - Until 17 April

Paintings by Anne Davies and Andrew Bird inspired by the landscape of coastal Cornwall feature in this exhibition at Sladers Yard, West Bay, which also includes the otherworldly ceramic sculpture of John Maltby and furniture by Petter Southall.

Flavour - 7–24 April

Poole & East Dorset Art Society’s sumptuous celebration of food and drink is conveyed in drawing, painting, and sculpture at The Gallery Upstairs at Upton Country Park.

Triple Vision & Walk of Art - 14 – 26 April

Photographers John Marriage, Moya Paul and Dave Wicken experiment with the photographic image in Triple Vision at the Malthouse Gallery, while Walk of Art showcases paintings by Sue Lewin and Kathy Scott and bronze resin sculptures by Toni West at the Courtyard Gallery. Both at Town Mill, Lyme Regis.

Exhibitions at Lighthouse Poole

Rooted in sensory responses to the natural environment Breath of Light (Main Gallery, 25 March - 29 April) features an aesthetically rich selection of work by NOA Prize Winner, Lisa Lewis. Using traditional materials, her works explore how the brain interprets multi-sensory information; how it distils, amplifies or simplifies data, capturing the essence of a place, producing semi-abstractions rather than literal interpretations. The Top Floor Gallery hosts an exhibition by Poole Printmakers (25 March – 22 April), a cooperative of fine art printmakers from across the Wessex area. Also in the Top Gallery (Theatre End) is an exhibition by Mary Biddlecombe whose works were inspired by her visit to draw at AFC Bournemouth. More details at


Lovesong - 30 March – 1 April

The Amateur Players of Sherborne perform this gentle tale about a couple’s journey into marriage by acclaimed British playwright Abi Morgan. 7.30pm, Digby Hall, Hound Street, Sherborne.

The Sooty Show - 1 April

Izzy wizzy let’s get busy! Sooty is back in a brand-new show with guaranteed giggles for the whole family. Expect magic, music and mayhem. Regent, Christchurch 01202 499199.

Night at the Theatre - 2 April

When three friends become trapped in an abandoned theatre, little do they know that they will soon become stars of their own dance show along with their audience Performance 3pm. Pavilion Dance South West, Bournemouth 01202 203630.

Kin - 6-7 April

Barely Methodical Troupe, the UK’s hottest circus company, performs their brand new show which premiered at the Roundhouse’s Circusfest in 2016 to 5-star reviews. Lighthouse, Poole 01202 280000.

Much Ado about Puffin - 9-12 April

With skilful puppetry and good old fashioned storytelling, Open Attic brings you this funny tale about a lonely man and a friendly puffin.Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis 01297 442138.

Cirque du Hilarious - 11 April

Clive and Danny’s madcap humour combines with incredible international circus acts from across the world in this seriously funny family show. Weymouth Pavilion, 01305 783225.

Pinocchio - 18 April

The multi-talented dancers of Jasmin Vardimon Company tell the tale of a naughty wooden marionette with much to learn before he becomes a real boy. Lighthouse, Poole 01202 280000.

Freya: A Viking Saga - 18-19 April

Freya is in a bit of a pickle, she is about to become a giant’s dinner! Angel Heart Theatre go ‘a-roving’ through the Viking world, with this family puppet show full of boisterous gods, dunderheaded giants and the music of the fjords. Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis 01297 442138.

We Are Brontë - 20, 21 & 22 April

A madcap physical interpretation by Publick Transport of the Brontë myth filled with with gothic themes of love, madness and revenge. 20 April: Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis 01297 442138; 21 April: Corn Exchange, Dorchester 01305 266926; 22 April: Sherling Studio, Lighthouse Poole 01202 280000.

Reginald D Hunter - 25 April

Enjoy the ‘Deep South’ infused sense of humour of stand-up comedy’s coolest customer. Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis 01297 442138.

Super Sunday - 25–26 April

Acclaimed Finnish circus troupe Racehorse Company propel themselves higher and higher on trampolines, teeterboards and catapults at Lighthouse, Poole. Box office 01202 280000.

Remembering Fred - 27 April

Aljaz and Janette from Strictly Come Dancing take you on a magical journey of dance, live music and entertainment inspired by the legendary Freed Astaire. Lighthouse, Poole 01202 280000.

Anyday - 29 April

Comic, absurd and surreal, Anyday is a circus show like no other. At its heart is Max who lives on a trampoline, with only his little pet bird for company. Outstanding Spanish comedy theatre on a trampoline! 7.30pm, Portesham Village Hall. Box office 01305 871925.

Our June’s Wedding - 30 April

Gather the children, throw the confetti, and save room for cake; this is going to be one family wedding where all the drama happens to someone else’s family. Performance starts at the village church and finishes at the village hall! 3.30pm, Winterborne Stickland Church then onto the Village Hall, 01258 880920.


Dorset Sinfonia - 1 April

Sibelius Finlandia, Tchaikovsky 5th Symphony and Dvorák Cello Concert in B minor with Sally Flann feature at this concert. 7.30pm, St Mary’s Church, Dorchester.

Geoff Achison & the UK Souldiggers - 1 April

Multi award-winning Australian singer/songwriter Geoff Achison recently scooped five goings for his latest blues album Another Mile, Another Minute. He’s joined by the UK Souldiggers at this gig at Evershot Village Hall. Starts 8pm.

Bartholomew LaFollette - 7 April

The internationally acclaimed cellist is accompanied by pianist Caroline Palmer at this Coffee Concert at Bridport Arts Centre (11am) featuring works by Bach and Brahms. Box Office 01308 424204.

Ninebarrow - 8 April

Recently nominated in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards this Dorset duo’s latest album Releasing the Leaves was listed in The Telegraph’s Top Folk Albums of 2016. Corn Exchange, Dorchester 01305 266926.

Yamato Drummers - 13 April

Acclaimed performance by one of the world’s top Japanese taiko drumming groups, a visually spectacular, high-energy, explosive performance. Lighthouse, Poole 01202 280000.

Lunchtime Concert - 13 April

Guitarist and lute player Kevin Avebury performs at Dorset County Museum from 1pm.

Opera Cocktail - 13 April

Classics shaken with wit, stirred with drama and served with a contemporary twist feature as Olivier award-winning OperaUpClose present some of opera’s best loved arias, duets and ensembles. Tivoli Theatre, Wimborne 01202 885566.

St Matthew Passion - 14 April

Bournemouth Symphony Chorus and Youth Chorus present J.S. Bach’s iconic masterpiece on Good Friday, conducted by Gavin Carr. Lighthouse, Poole 01202 280000.

Ferocious Dog - 15 April

This full-on six-piece encompass folk infused with rock, reggae and Celtic vibrations and features guitarist Les Carter from Carter USM who headlined at Glastonbury. Electric Palace, Bridport 01308 428354.

Stacey Kent - 22 April

The Grammy-nominated vocalist performs tracks from her latest album Tenderly which features new material written especially for her by Booker Prize winning novelist Kazuo Ishiguro. Corn Exchange, Dorchester 01305 266926.

Skimmity Hitchers: Fuelled by Cider - 28 April

Part hoedown, cabaret and folk-punk these cider-drinkin’ reprobates are supported by ska-reggae heroes Bluetown Rumble and apocalyptic surf outfit Palooka 5. Corn Exchange, Dorchester 01305 266926.

Mini BSO - Animal Zoo - 29 April

Come for a walk with an elephant, dance with a big brown bear, or frolic on the water with a swan in this Mini BSO family concert. Lighthouse, Poole 01202 280000.

Count Basie Project - 30 April

The Swing Unlimited All Stars Big Band performs their tribute to the jazz legend Count Basie at the Regent in Christchurch. Box office 01202 499199.


April Fool’s Festival - 1 April

Produced by young people for young people, this augural event at Lighthouse Poole starts at 2pm and include performances aswell as opportunities to take part in a range of art forms including: live music, poetry slam, theatre and circus skills.

Archaeology Unearthed: Roman Glass - 7 April

Illustrated talk by Dr Denise Allen at Dorset County Museum. Doors open 7pm for 7.30pm.

The World of Peter Pan - 9 April

Nothe Fort in Weymouth hosts this special family day of pirates, red indians, mermaids and fairies. Prizes for the best dressed Peter Pan character. Runs 11am – 4.30pm.

An Audience with Chris Packham - 9 April

Join TV presenter, photographer and conservationist, Chris Packham for an enthralling evening as he discusses what it was like growing up with such an extraordinary dedication to wildlife, and enjoy some of the stories from his lyrical, evocative and painfully honest memoir Fingers in the Sparkle Jar. Tivoli Theatre, Wimborne 01202 885566.

Parkinson’s Awareness Day - 18 April

Take part in a Parkinson’s Dance class and other classes for free at Pavilion Dance South West in Bournemouth and gather information about support for the condition. Runs 11am – 5pm.

From Page to Screen - 19–23 April

One of the highlights of Bridport’s cultural calendar this is the only film festival in the UK that celebrates the adaptation of books into films. Enjoy screenings of new and classic adaptations set in context with discussions, Q&As and masterclasses with authors, screenwriters, directors and film academics. More at

Lyme Regis Fossil Festival - 28–30 April

This annual event aims to enthuse young people about science and earth sciences as well revealing secrets of the Jurassic Coast and all its fossil treasures great and small. Visit for a full schedule of events.