What's on in pictures

Birthday Day, Wassail at The Speedwell, Crewkerne and touring

WASSAIL, known as Somerset’s resident theatre company, is back with a bang (or at least a strawberry pavlova) in a new show called Birthday Day, currently touring until the beginning of September. Based on a short story by company founder Nick White, it does what Wassail does best – get into the heart of the…

Read more...

Life of Pi, Bath Theatre Royal and touring

YANN Martel’s magic-realist philosophical story Life of Pi, winner of the Man Booker prize in 2002, is all about a boy from Pondicherry, named Piscine (which he has abbreviated to Pi), brought up in a zoo, with his family and other animals escaping violent uprisings on a Japanese ship that goes down in a storm…

Read more...

Stile Antico, Bath Abbey, Bath Festival

BATH Festival has always had music at its heart, with performances by many of the world’s leading soloists, ensembles and orchestras, including some of the finest interpreters of early music. This year’s festival, running to 26th May, saw the Bath debut of Stile Antico, a 12-strong a cappella ensemble dedicated to performing the vocal music…

Read more...

La Casa Nova, AUB at the Palace Court Theatre, Bournemouth

ITALIAN playwright Carlo Goldoni is best known now for his The Servant of Two Masters, written in 1745 and adapted for a 21st century audience as One Man, Two Guvnors by Richard Bean in 2011 and catapulting James Corden into international success. The Venetian lawyer was a prolific writer, and in 1761 he wrote what…

Read more...

The Deep Blue Sea, Ustinov Studio, Bath

TERENCE Rattigan was the star playwright of the 40s and 50s, until the new wave kitchen sink writers shot him from the firmament, after which he was considered dated, mannered, posh and irrelevant. Recently, a few directors have rediscovered his works and revelatory productions have been mounted. Lindsay Posner’s current production at Bath’s Ustinov Studio,…

Read more...

Bath Festival – still time to book for some events

THE Bath Festivals start on Friday 17th May, with the Party in the City – Bath’s biggest free event, so no need to book – followed by nine days of music and literary events, from peerless Renaissance choral music to Irish folk, from best-selling novelists to top broadcasters, historic walks and many other fascinating events….

Read more...

Thirty plays from 21 companies in the open-air this summer

IT’S hard to imagine sitting in the open air on a balmy summer’s evening after the winter and spring we have had, but that clearly hasn’t deterred any of the touring theatre companies from planning a 2024 season full of delights to suit all ages and most tastes. The post-COVID doldrums have receded, and new…

Read more...

Hamilton, Bristol Hippodrome

IF you describe opera as being a story set to music which has virtually no spoken word, then this rap-style, sung through musical is an opera. Such a description would not be welcomed with open arms by the producers, because, whereas modern and classical ballet have, to the benefit of each, embraced each other, classical…

Read more...

Climate change and the earth – Cathedral’s summer exhibition

THE summer 2024 exhibition at Salisbury Cathedral explores our relationship with the earth at a time of environmental crisis and change. Opening to coincide with World Earth Day (22nd April), the exhibition runs to 6th October and includes works inside the cathedral, in the cloisters and on the lawns. The background to Our Earth, curated…

Read more...

Orlando: The Adventurer, Bath Festival, St Swithin’s Church

ORLANDO is a figure from distant myths and epics, a source of creative inspiration and fascination – never more so than in Virginia Woolf’s extraordinary novel, Orlando: A Biography, which was the key focus for a Bath Festival concert featuring guitarist Sean Shibe and mezzo-soprano Ema Nikolovaska. One of Virginia Woolf’s most popular novels, Orlando…

Read more...

Is anybody there?

HELL, as writer Charles Condomine knows to his cost, hath no fury like a spirit woman scorned. You can find out more about how he copes when Yeovil’s Civic Players stage Noel Coward’s clairvoyant comedy Blithe Spirit at the Swan Theatre from 29th May to 1st June. One of the most famous comedies in British…

Read more...

Witches and hags

THE energetic and inventive all-female theatre company Scratchworks continues it tour of Hags: A Magical Extravaganza, at Poole’s Lighthouse arts centre on Thursday 23rd May. The action begins in Bideford in 1682, where the last witch trial in England took place. Three women were accused of witchcraft, tried and hanged. Witches … magic … fast…

Read more...

Plymouth preview for fashion show musical

ONE of the most popular and critically successful films ever made about the world of high fashion, The Devil Wears Prada has been adapted into a musical, with a score by Sir Elton John. It makes its debut with a six-week, pre-West End season, this summer from 6th July to 17th August, at Plymouth Theatre…

Read more...

Moviola in May

THE May screenings by Moviola around our region include Oscar-nominee The Holdovers and the period English comedy Wicked Little Letters, but two other films this month deserve a special mention – the acclaimed French drama Anatomy of a Fall, and the 2023 musical version of Alice Walker’s 1982 novel, The Colour Purple. Anatomy of a…

Read more...

It’s nothing … at Messums West

THE programming at Messums West, the gallery and art centre in the ancient tithe barn at Tisbury, gets ever more adventurous, with a collaboration this year with Salisbury International Arts Festival and a two-month sound installation, created by Orlando Gough and Alastair Goolden, which draws its inspiration, in part from the river Nadder. Running from…

Read more...