Events and things to do in Dorset - September 2014

The Big Sing at Lighthouse Poole

The Big Sing at Lighthouse Poole - Credit: Archant

A huge selection of events for you to enjoy across Dorset throughout September


20 – 28 September - Lyme Regis ArtsFest

During the wild winter storms Lyme Regis photographer Richard Austin’s images of raging seas pounding the Cobb like stampeding horses went viral around the world. So its not surprising that ‘Weather Beaten’ was chosen as this year’s festival theme, and local artists have responded to it with gusto. During the Artsfest Town Mill Galleries will have paintings, photographs, sculptures, textiles, glassware and installations all inspired by the weather at its most powerful. Richard will share his iconic photographs of storm-battered Lyme at a special evening event at the Marine Theatre (24 Sept) and an Art & Word Trail around town features stories and poems about the weather by local school children and adults alongside art works.

Other events include LitNight @By the Bay (23 Sept), with Louisa Young, acclaimed author of two novels about the First World War. The Marine Theatre hosts an Evening with Beverley Craven (21 Sept), Jazz in the Bar with Julie Dunn and Philip Clouts (26 Sept) and the theatre company Dumbshow performs John Steinbeck’s evocative piece The Pearl (27 Sept).

For walkers and history buffs, Natalie Manifold leads a series of walks themed around Jane Austen, smuggling, the Cobb, Mary Anning and The French Lieutenant’s Woman. Artists Ronnie Creswell and John Hoar will be demonstrating monoprinting (20 Sept) and watercolour (23 Sept) respectively and Maisie Hill, Brian Matravers, Gail Sagman and Peter Wiles will be running Open Studios. The final weekend features an Arts and Crafts Market at the Marine Parade Shelters. For a full list of all events visit


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Until 5 September - Changing Light

Ben Spurling’s oil paintings are inspired by Purbeck’s varied landscape and coastline in different weathers and light, seen and sketched by Ben on his daily walks..

Mulberry Tree Art Gallery, Swanage

8-13 September - Dorset Meets Africa

Sally Derrick’s sculptures and Jennifer Evans’ paintings feature at The Guggleton Gallery in Stalbridge.

25 August – 12 September - Textile Exhibition

Renowned for her ecclesiastical embroidery Kirsten Webb’s exhibition at St Andrew’s Church, in the grounds of Lulworth Castle, draws inspiration from the natural world and Viking designs. (

Until 14 September - Dan Llywelyn Hall

Sladers Yard, West Bay hosts an exhibition by this talented young British painter, whose exploratory use of colour is coupled with a deep affinity to the history of art.



Sundays in September - Folk at The Stable

Folk-inspired music sessions in the afternoon by local musicians at The Stable, Poole. Acts playing this month include The Victorian Barbers, Clive, Krista Green and Drew Allen. Starts 2pm.

4 & 5 September - Concerts in the West

Violinist and concertmaster Jane Gordon teams up with chamber musician and conductor Julian Perkins for a fabulous Baroque musical feast for the senses.

4 Sept: 7.30pm Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis; 5 Sept: 11am Bridport Arts Centre

18 September - Seth Lakeman

Folk superstar Seth Lakeman plays a one-off date at Bridport’s Electric Palace 01308 424901.

18 September - Virtuoso Baroque!

Continuum perform at St Andrew’s Church, Fontmell Magna featuring flautist Elizabeth Walker, cellist Christopher Poffley, harpsichordist Michael Overbury and guest virtuoso violinist Florian Deuter. More details 01747 811734.

21 September - The Big Sing

Hundreds of singers of all abilities come together to learn Verdi’s Requiem before performing it in public at Lighthouse, Poole. To take part visit

27 September - Najma Akhtar

Mysterious, sensual and bewitching, Najma’s songs and poetry draws on Indian Ghazal and Western Folk traditions.

Dorchester Arts Centre; 01305 266929



13 September - An evening with Sunny Ormonde

Better known as the raunchy Lilian Bellamy in BBC Radio 4’s The Archers, Sunny reveals behind-the-scenes stories from this much loved soap opera.

Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis; 01297 442138

15 September - Graft – Tales of an Actor

Steven Berkoff’s unique play, performed by George Dillon, is a savage cautionary tale about the perils of the theatrical profession.

Layard Theatre, Canford Magna; 01202 847525

18 September - An Audience with Sir Jonathan Miller

Meet one of Britain’s most intriguing polymaths and the co-creator of the seminal comedy revue, Beyond the Fringe.

Regent Theatre, Christchurch; 01202 499199

16-18 September - Not About Heroes

Stephen MacDonald’s acclaimed play paints a moving picture of the friendship between the ‘Great War’ poets, Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon

Lighthouse Poole; 0844 406 8666

24 September - Wessex Scenes

Thomas Hardy’s play is bought to life by the New Wessex Players.

Tivoli Theatre Wimborne; 01202 885566

25 September - Mark Steel’s Back in Town

The award-winning comedian brings his new show based on his BBC Radio 4 series Mark Steel’s in Town to Wimborne’s Tivoli Theatre. 01202 885566

27 September - The Story Giant

From the windswept landscape of Dartmoor the Story Giant is seeking a tale to save his life.

Lighthouse Poole; 0844 406 8666



5 – 7 September - Swanage Folk Festival

The seaside town comes alive with hundreds of Morris dancers, jingling bells, and folk music. (

6 September - Bridport Hat Festival

A hat-inspired event for lovers of stylish and eccentric head wear as the town centre is taken over by thousands of hat wearers. (

6-7 September - Waterfest Weymouth

New habourside festival celebrating Weymouth’s rich maritime history includes the tall ship Le Marite, the Historic Diving Association and a giant seahorse called Percy. More details

13-14 September - Wessex Food Festival

Weymouth College hosts over 50 artisan food and drink producers selling everything from pies to preserves and sushi to sweets.

13-14 September - Sturminster Newton Cheese Festival

Over 60 traditional food stalls, craft stalls plus real ale and cider tents and plenty of cheesemaking, cheese tasting and cheese related events. (

19-27 September - Swanage & Purbeck Walking Festival

Themed walks include Dorset at war, shipwrecks, smuggling, fossils, literature, art, photography, bug life and spooky ghost stories. (

26 – 28 September - Love Charmouth Festival

Family festival with live music, local food and drink, guided walks, fireworks, brunch on the beach and talks from TV geologist Iain Stewart and fossil expert David Martill. (



1 September - The Natural History of Dorset

Bridport Camera Club hosts a presentation of wildlife and landscape images by Colin Varndell based on his new book of the same name.

7.30pm Bridport Town Hall

13-14 September - Clavell Tower Open Weekend

The local landmark that inspired writers such as Thomas Hardy and PD James is opened to the public by the Landmark Trust for Heritage Open Days 10am and 4pm.

20 -21 September - Roman Weekend

Step back in time as the Vicus’ Roman re-enactors demonstrate daily life in a Roman town in Britain at the Ancient Technology Centre in Cranborne. For more details

21 September - Autumn Garden Fair

Mapperton Gardens, Beaminster hosts this charity event with over 28 stalls of specialist nurseries, gardens and other gifts. Runs 10am – 4pm.

Weekends in September - Civil War Academy

Corfe Castle hosts a range of Civil War inspired events from crime and punishment to gunpowder and explosives.

27 September - The Dorset Do

Ringwood School hosts the ‘see it made’ craft show with woodcarving and turning, exhibitions and craft talks. (

27 September - Nature in the Garden

Talk on wildlife friendly gardens. Starts at noon at the The Potting Shed, Swans Yard, Shaftesbury.