Events and things to do in Dorset - August 2015

Prospero confronts Caliban in The Tempest on Brownsea Island

Prospero confronts Caliban in The Tempest on Brownsea Island - Credit: Archant

From outdoor theatre and film screenings to making your own kite and stargazing, Helen Stiles picks her favourite events from around the county


13- 16 August - The Wessex Festival

This summer event promotes beautiful music in the heart of Dorset with concerts and recitals in the Georgian parish church in Blandford, the magnificent Wimborne Minster, St Martin’s Church (hidden in the grounds of Bryanston School) and St Stephen’s Church at Kingston Lacy. This year’s line up includes three Festival vocal ensembles, the Wessex Chamber Orchestra, The Brunel String Quartet and young Dorset musicians. On the programme are Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, Handel’s Dettingen Te Deum, Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending, Finzi’s By Footpath and Stile, Warlock’s Capriol Suite and Requiem: Light Everlasting by Wessex Festival Director, David Everett. More details***


Until 5 August – Making an Impression

Collagraph prints and ceramics from four artists including Linda Bristow result in a collection of work that is both fresh and contemporary at the Courtyard Gallery in Lyme Regis.

28 July – 8 August – Bridport Art Society

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The Society’s venue in South Street hosts this exhibition which features works in oil, acrylic, watercolour, mixed media and craftwork.

15 August – 1 September - Exchange

Artist Chris Drury and writer, Kay Syrad spent a year on three Dorset farms. This exhibition at Durlston Castle features their maps, portraits, drawings, prints and a large book made from paper buried in the earth for 10 months.



27, 29, 31 July & 3, 5 &7 August – The Tempest

Brownsea Open Air Theatre perform Shakespeare’s magical tale about an island on one of Dorset’s prettiest islands. Ticket includes island access from Poole, bring a picnic!

Booking essential; 01202 251987

30 - 31 July & 1 August - The Magnificent Three

Saddle up with Cornwall’s Miracle Theatre for this lively Spaghetti Western spoof. All performances start at 7.30pm.

30 July: Springhead Fontmell Magna 01747 811853; 31 July: Sandford Orcas. 01963 220208; 1 August: Kimmeridge Bay; August - Twelfth Night

Join The Lord Chamberlain’s Men for Shakespeare’s enigmatic comedy performed in the beautiful grounds of Kingston Lacy house.

Booking; 0844 249 1895

7 August - The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

The story of the original boy-wizard set against the dramatic backdrop of Corfe Castle with magical illusions designed by Paul Daniels.

Booking; 0844 249 1895

15 & 28 – 30 August - Stars Under the Stars

The Purbeck Film Festival with the National Trust hosts four outdoor screenings. 15 August: Mermaids at Knoll Beach, Studland; 28 August: What We Did On Our Holidays; 29 August: Paddington & 30 August: Jack Ryan, Shadow Recruit all at Corfe Castle.

16 August - Around the World in 80 Days

Phileas Fogg and his world-weary valet Passepartout come to Kingston Lacy gardens.

Booking; 0844 249 1895

18 August - Treasure Island

The Pantaloons bring Robert Louis Stevenson’s piratical tale to life in the grounds of Highcliffe Castle in Christchurch. Start 3pm

Box Office; 01425 278807

22 August - The Three Musketeers

Join D’Artagnan, Athos, Porthos and Aramis in the grounds of Corfe Castle for this dazzling production by the renowned company Illyria.

Booking; 0844 249 1895

28 August - A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Chapterhouse Theatre Company presents Shakespeare’s romantic comedy in the magical gardens of Athelhampton House.

Booking; 01305 848363

29 August - Pride and Prejudice

Chapterhouse Theatre Company brings Lizzie and Darcy together in the delightful Georgian setting of Mountfield in Bridport.

Bookings; 01308 424 204

29 August - Haka Day Out

Free performances by Corey Baker Dance (2pm, 4.30pm & 7pm) on the Pavilion Dance Terrace in the heart of Bournemouth featuring New Zealand’s magical culture. August - As You Like It

The Festival Players all male cast perform at Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens. Starts at 7pm.

Box office; 01305 871130



1 August - One World Festival

Free multi-cultural celebration of food, art and music in Dorchester’s Borough Gardens.

1 August - Three Parishes Fete

Traditional Purbeck fete at Church Knowle with stalls, funfair and cream teas. Starts 2pm.

1- 2 August - Mudeford Arts Festival

Local artists and makers show their work at Christchurch’s famous Mudeford area, with over 60 art and craft stalls, as well as artists at work and hands on workshops. This year’s theme is ‘Flights of Fancy’.

mudefordartsfestival.net1 - 9 August - Lyme Regis Regatta & Carnival Week

From taiko drumming to fireworks and a grand carnival procession there are over 60 fundraising events are held throughout the week for local

good causes. August - West Bay Day

Live music, classic cars, a skate park and Jurassic candle lights on the pier (from 9.15pm) all in aid of RNLI and Weldmar Hospicecare Trust.

7-9 August - Purbeck Rally

A fabulous 3 day celebration of steam and vintage vehicles at the showground on Worgret Road, Wareham. August - Cattistock Show

Horse, dog and chicken classes, as well as a new flower and produce show feature at this popular country event which has a plethora of trade stands, local food and drink and children’s activities.

15-22 August - Burton Bradstock Festival of Music & Art

Highlights this year are the folk group Ranagri, jazz singer Tina May and for classical music lovers Schubert’s Cello Quintet and Claire Bradshaw singing the sublime Songs of the Auvergne.

burtonbradstockfestival.com15 -16 August - Bridport Carnival

Carnival fete and a fun fair at Asker Meadows, grand procession Saturday 7.30pm from West Road and Sunday evening 1,500 torchlight parade from Bridport to West Bay (9pm) followed by firework display in West Bay at 10pm.

20 - 23 August - Bournemouth Air Festival

This award-winning extravaganza of land, sea and air displays on Bournemouth seafront has to be one of the best free festivals in the UK. As well as the fabulous Red Arrows expect wing walkers, historic aircraft, parachute displays and sensational Night Air Display entertainment. August - Lyme Folk Festival

A weekend featuring the cream of the crop from the UK folk scene including Turin Brakes, Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman, BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards nominees Wildwod Kin and Lyme’s own folk troubadour Jonny Morgan.

lymefolk.com22 August - Woofstock UK

Join Harry Spaniel and chums in Marnhull for this festival by dogs for dogs. August - Melplash Show

Held by the sea at the Showground, West Bay this friendly one day agricultural show showcases local farmers, producers, growers and craftsmen.

27 - 30 August - Purbeck Valley Folk Festival

Barns provide the professional stages at this friendly folk festival at Purbeck Valley Farm. August - Stock Gaylard Oak Fair

Over 180 wood and timber related stalls feature at this event in Sturminster Newton. Displays include Adams Axmen, Heavy Horses and Mere Down Falconry.***


6 August - Let’s Go Fly a Kite

Kite building workshop at Durlston Country Park, Swanage starts 2.30pm followed by kite flying session.

Booking essential; 01929 424443

9 August - Sculpture on the Beach

What will you create with the materials available on the Burton Bradstock beach? Hosted by National Trust and Bridport Arts Centre. From 10am–3pm.

12 August - Summer Stargazing

Join the Wessex Astronomical Society to view the night sky at Durlston Country Park. Weather dependent call 01929 424443 on day to confirm.

20 August - Wild Pirates Day

Come dressed as a pirate for a fun day of swashbuckling adventure with the National Trust rangers on Stonebarrow Hill near Golden Cap in West Dorset. From 11am-4pm.

27 August - Timeliners

From peasants and pirates to battles and buboes - can Charlie get his timeline in order and return to 2015? Find out how in this thrilling family adventure with Treehouse Theatre.

10.30am: The Exchange, Sturminster Newton, 01258 475137