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Events and things to do in Dorset - May 2015

PUBLISHED: 16:21 28 April 2015 | UPDATED: 16:21 28 April 2015

Alan Carr at Lighthouse Poole

Alan Carr at Lighthouse Poole


Helen Stiles rounds up her pick of events happening around the county this month


1-13 May - A Trick of the Light

Painter Julie Oldfield and photographer Irene Benson capture the fleeting effects of light on landscape and water at Courtyard Gallery, Lyme Regis.


2-23 May - Journey

Dorset-based ARTStorm artists explore what “journey” means to them at Lighthouse, Poole.


7-20 May - Both Sides of the Hill

Elizabeth Fortescue and John Calder explore the local landscape in vivid paintings and impressive 3D structures of nature’s raw materials at the Malthouse Gallery, Lyme Regis.


9-21 May - Dorchester Arts Open Exhibition

2D works from artists across Wessex feature at the Studio Gallery at Dorchester Arts Centre.


21 May - 1 June - Contrasts

Poole Leisure Painters exhibit their latest work at The Gallery Upstairs, Upton Country Park.


Until 30 May - Marking Injustice: A Painter’s Way of Coping

An unusual multi-media event about justice, democratic rights and the dynamism of art is currently being staged at Bridport Arts Centre alongside the General Election and the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. The collaboration is between the internationally-renowned human rights artist Ricky Romain, who is based on the Dorset-Devon border, his partner Heather Fallows and the award-winning filmmaker Robert Golden, who lives near Bridport. Robert’s new film about Ricky’s life and work, and how his paintings evolve, premieres 5 May. Then add your thoughts to their beautiful handmade visitor’s book.



8 May - Billy Ocean and Band

An evening of hits with one of the UK’s most successful R & B stars including Caribbean Queen and When The Going Gets Tough (The Tough Get Going) at the Regent, Christchurch; 01202 499199


8 & 9 May - Concerts in the West

Royal Academy of Music graduate Rupert Charlesworth reveals why he is tipped for great things at these two Dorset performances for Concerts in the West

8 May: 11am Coffee Concert Bridport Art Centre; 9 May: The Hub, Lyme Regis 7.30pm


9 & 10 May - Vimala Rowe & the Ian Smith Trio

Enjoy a jazz dinner or brunch as Vimala Rowe sings hot jazz classics and trumpeter Ian Smith and his band transport you from Slader’s Yard in West Bay to the fabulous Harlem jazz clubs of the late Fifties.

Booking 01308 459511;


9 May - Spring Concert

Vintage Brass celebrate Spring at Boscombe Salvation Army HQ on Palmerston Road, along with the Tamesis choir.


12 May - Chris de Burgh

The man behind Lady in Red performs tracks from his new album The Hands of the Man at BIC Windsor Hall

Box office; 0844 576 3000


14 May - Jaleo: A Compás

Enjoy the thrilling vocals, explosive footwork and virtuoso guitar playing of some of Spain´s finest flamenco artists.

Dorchester Corn Exchange; Box office 01305 266926


16 May - Ninebarrow

The award-winning Dorset folk duo impress with their captivating harmonies.

Lighthouse, Poole; 0844 406 8666


16 May - Natalie Clein

The renowned Dorset cellist joins the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO) for their annual fundraising concert for the BSO Benevolent Fund at Lighthouse, Poole; 0844 406 8666


27 May - Sing-a-Long-a Frozen

Dress up as your favourite character from the Disney blockbuster and sing along with Elsa and Anna at this interactive screening at Lighthouse, Poole

Box office; 0844 406 8666


28 May - Fisherman’s Friends

The renowned shanty singers from Port Isaac bring their unique sea salt infused harmonies to Lighthouse, Poole

Box office; 0844 406 8666



7 May - Jeremy Hardy

Spend the eve of the general election in the company of this razor sharp political satirist.

Dorchester Corn Exchange; 01305 266926


9 May - Alan Carr: Yap! Yap! Yap!

The British Comedy Award-winning comedian returns to the county of his birth and to his stand-up comedy roots.

Lighthouse, Poole; 0844 406 8666


11-16 May - The Woman In Black

Currently celebrating its 25th year in the West End, this gripping theatrical exploration of terror comes to Lighthouse Poole Box office 0844 406 8666


12 May - House GranNabo

The dynamic Norwegian dance company Panta Rei explore what ‘neighbour’ means in this energetic and playful dance theatre performance.

Gillingham School Arts Theatre; 01747 833844


13-16 May - Sunset Boulevard

The Highcliffe Charity Players perform Lloyd Webber’s smash hit musical about an aging silent-screen goddess and her passion for a younger man. Regent Centre, Christchurch; Box office 01202 499199


19 May - Bromance

The Barely Methodical Troupe celebrates all things blokey through a series of risk-taking feats of balance, corkscrewing acrobatics and funny sketches.

Lighthouse, Poole; 0844 406 8666


20 May - Debra Stephenson’s Impression Show

The actress (Coronation Street) and impressionist (The Impressions Show) delves into her personal record collection to showcase some well known female singersshe admires.

Lighthouse, Poole; 0844 406 8666


22-23 May - Birmingham Royal Ballet

Triple bill of tango rhythms from Buenos Aires, colourful characters of Ashton’s Façade, and best-loved moments from famous ballets.

Lighthouse Poole; 0844 406 8666


22-23 May - Dara O Briain

The charismatic and fast-talking host of Mock The Week steps back into his live stand up role at Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre.

0844 576 3000


28-29 May - Aladdin

Ballet Theatre UK’s dazzling re-telling of an exotic and thrilling tale is boldly brought to life through the magic of ballet.

Dorchester Corn Exchange; 01305 266926


29 May - Electric Palace Comedy Network

Katie Mulgrew, Mark Smith, Tiff Stevenson feature in this monthly Comedy Network bringing up-and-comers fresh from the Edinburgh Fringe to Bridport.

01308 424901



4 May - Broadchurch Series Guided Walk

Visit the West Bay locations of the multi award-winning TV series and hear behind-the-scenes stories of filming and visit the cafe where it was written.


9-10 May - Poole Harbour Boat Show

Free event with tall ships and lots of family activities.


10 May - Rainbow Run

Family fun run around Baiter Park where participants are covered in powdered paint as they run along the 3km route


16 May - Mini Steam on the Quay

Celebrate the sights, sounds and smells of the age of steam in minature when mini traction engines come to Poole Quay.



1-3 May - Lyme Regis Fossil Festival

Enjoy guided walks, fascinating talks, theatre, street performance, music, comedy, exhibits and lots of hands-on science for all ages with a Fossil Fair at its heart. This year’s theme is ‘Mapping the Earth’ and marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of William Smith’s geological map – the first in the world.

For a full list of events visit


1-4 May - Festival of Cricket

Bournemouth’s Dean Park Cricket Ground hosts the town’s inaugural Festival of Cricket as part of a summer of celebration for the park’s 135th anniversary.


2 May - Weymouth Kite Festival

The biggest and best kites in the country fly over Weymouth beach.


2- 4 May - Craft and Garden Fair

Sherborne Castle hosts this craft carnival featuring a wide range of traditional and contemporary crafts, craft demonstrations and a fabulous plant sale. More details


8 – 10 May - Swanage Railway Diesel Gala & Beer Festival

Trains, beer and Corfe Castle the perfect combination! More details at


9-10 May - Ropewalk Fair

Bridport celebrates its rope and netting heritage at this fundraising event for Bridport Museum featuring stalls, local food and a town tug of war.

More at


9-10 May - Mill Fest in Lyme Regis

Lyme Regis’s vibrant Town Mill quarter hosts a festival of creative family fun, flour milling, music, art, food and drink to coincide with the UK’s National Mills Weekend.


17 May - Poole Youth Carnival

Harbourside Park hosts Poole’s first Youth Carnival with floats and marching bands.


22-24 May - Bournemouth 7s Festival

The World’s Largest Sport and Music Festival, returns to East Parley, featuring Rugby 7s, Netball 7s, Dodgeball and Hockey 7s. Away from sport, the popular live music arenas provide plenty of entertainment. Festival-goers have access to 10 separate live arenas while those fortunate enough to secure a VIP or V.VIP wristband will not only gain access to exclusive areas but the opportunity to mingle with the stars of sport and music!

For full information about the event visit or call 01202 545630


25 May - Sherborne Castle Country Fair

Popular fair featuring rare breeds show, local food hall, dragon boat racing, circus big top and fair.


13-16 May - Museums at Night Festival

Hundreds of museums, galleries and historic spaces all over the UK open their doors after hours to put on an array of special events. Find out which Dorset museums are taking part at


22-25 May - Wimborne Minster Flower Festival

The first major Flower Festival held at this magnificent venue for five years features a Floral Carpet, 44 feet in length up the centre of the Nave. Flower Clubs from all over Dorset will take up the Festival theme “Wheels of Time’ to commemorate some of the many people who have contributed to Wimborne and the Minster over the centuries, with several large tableaux and other floral arrangements throughout the Minster.

An event not to be missed!


25 May - Bridport May Fair

Maypole dancers, crowning of the May Queen, stalls, music and displays by Bridport Dog Club and South Dorset Vintage Motorcycle Club. Starts at noon on Millennium Green.


29-31 May - Bournemouth Wheels Festival 2015

The country’s biggest free, family wheels-themed festival features three action-packed days of classic motors, military vehicles and high-end supercars. For thrill seekers there’s motocross, BMX and skateboard teams, as well as F1 racing cars and precision drivers and the ever popular monster truck arena


30 May - B Sharp Beside the Seaside Busking Festival

Show off your musical talent at busking pitches all over Lyme Regis and raise funds for B Sharp.



22 May – 27 September - Turner’s Wessex: Architecture & Ambition

This month I want to take you just over the border to Salisbury Museum to see some exquisite Dorset and Wiltshire landscapes painted by a young JMW Turner. ‘Turner’s Wessex: Architecture & Ambition’ provides a fascinating insight into this ambitious and innovative young man whose career began in Salisbury in 1795 as a 20-year-old. His first patron was Sir Richard Colt Hoare, a gentleman-antiquarian who inherited the Stourhead estate in 1784. He commissioned Turner to paint a series of watercolours of Salisbury and its newly restored cathedral. Another wealthy local patron, William Beckford, then engaged the young artist to paint the gothic folly he was building at Fonthill Abbey.

The exhibition also charts Turner’s work in the wider Wessex region – including the Dorset coast, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. This is a ‘must see’ exhibition as Turner’s time in Wessex, and those early commissions, were the crucial springboard to the career of one of England’s best-loved artists.

Runs 22 May to 27 September at Salisbury Museum. More details


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