Events and things to do in Dorset - March 2017

Rich Hall's Hoedown - 9 March: Join Rich and his virtuoso musical mates for a mash-up of music and c

Rich Hall's Hoedown - 9 March: Join Rich and his virtuoso musical mates for a mash-up of music and comedy. Lighthouse Poole - Credit: Archant

From Kathak dancing and opera to a sleepover with dinosaurs, Helen Stiles rounds up her pick of events happening around the county this month


Merrily Harpur - Until 1 April

The work of this cartoonist and illustrator from Cattistock has appeared in books by Kingsley Amis, Miles Kington and Gerald Durrell, but she is also a secret painter of West Dorset landscapes as this exhibition at Dorset County Museum reveals.

Lucy Tidbury & Others - 3 – 15 March

Engaging portraits of wildlife, farm animals and pets inspired by Lucy’s life on a sheep farm on the Isle of Purbeck feature at The Town Mill, Lyme Regis.

David Gommon: Paintings of Dorset 1948-84 - 4 March – 8 April

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Gommon fell in love with Dorset in the 1930’s on a cycling trip. He returned to the county again and again in his landscape paintings, developing an eye for what lay beneath the surface. See for yourself at The Art Stable, Child Okeford,

Exhibitions on Screen: The Artist’s Garden - 21 March

Based on the hugely popular exhibition ‘The Artist’s Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement’ this mesmerising film takes you to studios, gardens and locations throughout the Eastern United States, UK and France. Lighthouse Poole 01202 499199


Nine Below Zero - 3 March

The cult R’n’B band perform tracks from their new album 13 Shades of Blue. Tivoli Wimborne 01202 885566.

Petites Annonces - 3 – 5 March

Dorset-based Petites Annonces blend gypsy jazz (Django Reinhardt et al)with French chansons all wrapped in a big slice of Punk Manouche. Starts 7.30pm. 3 Mar Horton Village Hall (VH) 01258 840294; 4 Mar Broadoak VH 01308 424922; 5 Mar Cerne Abbas VH 01300 341332.

Spring Fanfare - 5 March

Bournemouth Symphony Brass presents an evening of musical delights from Bach and Byrd, to jazz classics at Studland Village Hall. Box office 01929 450204.

BSO Concert: Heroes & Legends - 11 March

Experience the thrill of a live orchestra performing memorable film and TV themes including Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Doctor Zhivago and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Lighthouse Poole 01202 499199.

Flute & Harp Concert at Max Gate - 16 & 17 March

Music, stories and poetry with a Max Gate theme bring Thomas Hardy’s house to life in this musical performance by Virginia and Florence Astley at midday, 2pm & 3.30pm.

Salaam - 16-18 March

Sonia Sabri Company is one of Britain’s leading South Asian dance and music companies who present Kathak dance in new spaces and contexts. Starts 7.30pm. 16 Mar Sturminster Newton Exchange 01258 475137; 17 Mar Halstock VH 01935 891744; 18 Mar Sturminster Marshall Memorial Hall 01258 857447.

Clare McCaldin - 17 March

The outstanding mezzo-soprano, accompanied by pianist Libby Burgess, performs songs from Finzi and Faure to Cole Porter at this Coffee Concert at Bridport Arts Centre, Starts 11am. Box Office 01308 424204

Cleveland Watkiss: Vocal Suite - 17 & 18 March

Watkiss blends improvisation and counterpoint harmony, electronics, breakbeat loops and bass lines to create a unique, orchestral vocal soundscape. Starts 7.30pm. 17 Mar Tarrant Gunville VH 01258 830361; 18 Mar Wootton Fitzpaine VH 01297 560948. (Vocal Workshop also at Wootton Fitzpaine).

A Night of Romantic Opera - 18 March

The acclaimed Swansea City Opera perform arias and ensembles from some of the best-loved romantic composers including Puccini, Verdi, Bizet and Mozart. Corn Exchange, Dorchester 01305 266926.

Cantamus: Lift up your Voice - 18 & 25 March

The mission of this Dorset-based ensemble is to offer sublime music to those who are perhaps unaware of its sheer beauty and range of emotions. Starts 7.30pm. 18 Mar Hinton Martel Church 01258 840066; 25 Mar Charlton Down Herrison Hall 01305 264060.

Extreme Baroque - 21 March

The baroque string trio play Bach and other masters of the Baroque at Sladers Yard, West Bay. Supper available. More details 01308 459511.

Worbey and Farrell - 23 March

These masters of musical mayhem blend comedy and sensational piano playing in an exuberant show suitable for all. Lighthouse Poole 01202 499199.


Hancock’s Half Hour - 4 March

Talented impressionist James Hurn performs three classic episodes of Hancock’s Half Hour. Lighthouse, Poole 01202 499199.

Fish Eye - 4 & 7 March

In this Theatre Alibi production, Pam is convinced that a neighbour has stolen her Elizabethan sideboard. Only surveillance will reveal the truth. 4 March: 8pm Bridport Arts Centre; 7 March: 7.30pm Gillingham School.

Witness - 9 March

A rich mix of dance styles combine to create a powerful double bill by Company Chameleon. Pavilion Dance South West, Bournemouth 01202 203630.

We are Brontë - 10 & 11 March

A madcap physical interpretation of the Brontë myth by Publick Transport. Starts 7.30pm. 10 Mar Langton Matravers VH 01929 423834; 11 Mar Shillingstone Portman Hall 01258 860319.

The Vera Lynn Story - 15 March

Written by Andy Tebbutt-Russell, and starring singer and actress Samantha, this tribute to ‘the Forces’ Sweetheart’ premieres at the Shaftesbury Arts Centre before touring the UK. Box office 01747 854321.

Sara Pascoe: Animal - 17 March

The stand up comedian expounds on sexuality, art, selfies, glow worms and Ru Paul’s Drag Race. Bournemouth Pavilion 0844 576 3000.

Frankenstein - 21 & 22 March

A fresh take on Mary Shelley’s Gothic horror masterpiece fusing storytelling, live music and stunning theatricality including Bunraku-style puppetry to portray the six foot plus Creature. Lighthouse Poole 01202 499199.

The Eulogy Of Toby Peach - 22 & 24 March

Experience a young man’s journey with cancer in this honest and inspiring exploration of modern science, the human body and celebration of life. 22 Mar: Corn Exchange, Dorchester; 24 Mar Lighthouse Poole.

The Enormous Room - 23 March

Stopgap Dance brilliantly unites performers with and without disabilities as this filmic and evocative piece of dance-theatre reveals. Pavilion Dance South West, Bournemouth 01202 203630.

Spillikin - 24 – 26 March

This sell-out Edinburgh show from Pipeline Theatre features a state-of-the-art robot which is uploaded with the fading memories of a woman suffering from Alzheimer’s. Starts 7.30pm. Suitable 12+. 24 Mar Sandford Orcas VH 01963 220208; 25 Mar Cranborne Cecil Memorial Hall 01725 517500; 26 Mar Winfrith VH 01305 852117.

The Best Thing - 25 March

Step into the wordless world of Vamos Theatre for this bittersweet story of 45s, beehives and the sixties sexual revolution. Lighthouse Poole 01202 499199.

Oh My Country - 25 March

Stand up Shappi Khorsandi celebrates the 40th anniversary of her arrival in Britain by sending a love letter to her adopted land. Sherling Studio, Lighthouse Poole 01202 499199.


Hardy and the Victorian Schoolmistress - 2 March

Talk by Dr Jonathan Memel at Dorset County Museum exploring the representation of female teachers in Thomas Hardy’s fiction, and how his female relations inspired acts of solidarity and resistance in his writing. 7pm for 7.30pm.

Church History Talk - 5 March

Illustrated talk at St Mary’s Church, Lytchett Matravers on the history of the church and the Lords of the Manor Maltravers. Starts 3pm. More details 01202 625635.

Black Venn Poetry Workshop - 20 March

Local poet Sarah Acton starts the first of her monthly poetry workshops at the Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis. The theme is nature and connection to the land and coastline and practical sessions will encourage poets and writers to read or perform their work. Noon – 2pm. More details email

An Evening with Peter Alliss - 29 March

Alliss has been ‘The Voice of Golf’ for the BBC since 1961. Pose your questions about his life touring the fairways of the world. Regent, Christchurch 01202 499199

Spring Fashion Show - 31 March

Admire Spring & Summer collections of designer labels from Colmers Hill in the beautiful Tithe Barn at Symondsbury Manor Yard at this fundraising fashion show in aid of Weldmar Hospicecare Trust. Doors open 5.30pm. Tickets or 01308 436517.


So You Think You Know About Dinosaurs? - 3 March

Test your knowledge against Ben Garrod from Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur, see film footage from Planet Dinosaur and marvel at photos from Ben’s own dinosaur digs in this interactive show for all the family. Lighthouse Poole 01202 499199.

Oskar’s Amazing Adventure - 4 March

A heart-warming play for young children about a fun-loving puppy who goes out into the snow to find a friendly animal to play with. Shows 11am & 2pm. Sherling Studio, Lighthouse Poole 01202 499199

Origins - 4 & 5 March

Take part in this Pavilion Dance South West youth dance platform which showcases groups from across Dorset, Wiltshire and Hampshire featuring a diverse range of dance styles, from hip hop to contemporary. More details at

Dinosaur Sleepover - 4 & 11 March

The Jurassic Coast Trust host this fun-filled sleepover at Dorset County Museum aimed at fossil and dinosaur-mad youngsters. Suitable for 7+, bring your sleeping bag and sleep wherever you like in the museum. Book online (£15) at

Utterly Spiffing Spectacular Magic Show for Kids - 10 March

Time travelling Victorian magic duo Morgan & West unload another boxful of bafflement and impossibility in this family show. Starts 6pm, Drimpton Village Hall. Box office 01308 867442.

Shh…Bang! - 12 March

Dance theatre performance by Peut-Être, for children and their adults to take part in playfully, exploring sound and silence. Starts 3pm (under 2s free). Pavilion Dance South West, Bournemouth 01202 203630.