Events and things to do in Dorset - April 2016

PUBLISHED: 17:08 23 March 2016 | UPDATED: 09:55 24 March 2016

Graeme of Thrones at Lighthouse Poole © Paul Wilkinson 2015

Graeme of Thrones at Lighthouse Poole © Paul Wilkinson 2015

Copyright (c) Paul Wilkinson 2015

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


From Page to Screen - 30 March - 3 April

The UK’S only film festival celebrating the art of the adaptation is one of the highlights of Bridport’s cultural calendar. This year’s festival is hosted by award-winning director Charles Sturridge who gained international recognition for the television adaptation of Brideshead Revisited. He also wrote and directed the film Longitude, about the life of the clockmaker John Harrison and Shackleton starring Kenneth Branagh as Sir Ernest Shackleton which was filmed in the Arctic. With such an illustrious curator for this year’s festival we can expect a fascinating programme of screenings (including some of Sturridge’s own award-winning films), inspirational talkers, workshops and events.

Find out more at


Dorset Yeomanry at Agagia - Until 3 June

Small exhibition at the Keep Military Museum and Dorset County Museum, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the famous charge of the Queen’s Own Dorset Yeomanry in the Egyptian Western Desert, captured in a magnificent painting by the military artist Lady Elizabeth Butler. Discounted joint ticket to see exhibitions in both museums.

More details or

Retro & All Wrapped Up - Until 30 September

Blandford Fashion Museum hosts this dazzling collection of everyday outfits from the 1920s through to the 1970s, including a gorgeous Biba mini dress. Alongside is a second exhibition featuring fabulous outerwear including coats, capes, jackets and muffs.

More at


A History of Opera (Abridged!) - 1 April

Swansea City Opera’s light-hearted musical romp through 400 years of opera includes works by Handel, Mozart, Puccini and Verdi.

Corn Exchange, Dorchester 01305 266926

BSO Concert: English Serenade - 6 April

Kirill Karabits leads the orchestra through a quintessential selection of English-inspired pieces from Bach, Mozart and Britten at Lighthouse, Poole 01202 280000.

Gabrielle Ducomble - 8 April

Gabrielle performs iconic songs by the likes of Edith Piaf, Serge Gainsbourg and Jacques Brel at the Corn Exchange, Dorchester.

Box office 01305 266926

Stacey Kent - 15 April

The Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist, returns to the Regent, Christchurch to perform tracks from her latest album Tenderly.

Box office 01202 499199

Harmony Singing from around the World - 16, 22 & 23 April

Northern Harmony performs harmony singing from South Africa, Corsica, Georgia, the Balkans and many American traditions. You can also join them in a singing workshop at Milton Abbey (23 April 10.30am – 12.30pm, places limited 01305 269512).

All concerts start 7.30pm. 16 April: Wootton Fitzpaine VH 01297 560948; 22 April: St James Church, Kingston 07720 784269; 23 April: Milton Abbey 07785 117773

Mantovani King of Strings - 17 April

The cascading strings of Mantovani’s music are lovingly recreated by The Magic of Mantovani Orchestra with original scores and arrangements at Bournemouth Pavilion 0844 576 3000.

Concerts in the West - 22 & 23 April

Amy Jolly (cello) and Gemma Beeson (piano) perform works by Schubert, Janacek and Rachmaninov at these two concerts.

22 April, 11am Bridport Arts Centre, 01308 424204; 23 April 7.30pm The Hub, Lyme Regis 01297 442594

Jah Wobble - 22 April

Jah Wobble & The Invaders Of The Heart bring their unique take on world music to the Tivoli Theatre, Wimborne 01202 885566.

Petite Messe Solenelle - 23 April

The Dorset Guild of Singers perform Rossini’s Mass at Lighthouse, Poole 01202 280000.

Ben Waters - 23 April

The Dorset-based boogie-woogie maestro combines the music of his heroes with cutting edge original material at Lighthouse, Poole.

Box office 01202 280000

Brass and Bells - 23 April

Poole Grammar School Choir and Bournemouth Youth Handbell Team join Vintage Brass for an evening of popular classics and jazz in aid of Cancer Research UK.

7pm, Salvation Army HQ, Palmerston Road, Boscombe. Tickets 01202 422074

The Folkish Festival - 24 April

New folk festival at Upton Country Park featuring local, up and coming and well known music acts such as Rusty Shackle, Tankus the Henge and Richard Digance as well as food, real ale, crafts and more. Midday – 9pm.

Tickets in advance recommended


The Wizard of Oz - 2-3 April

Easter pantomime about a Kansas farm girl and her adventures over the rainbow, starring comedian Bobby Davro as Scarecrow and Dani Harmer (CBBC’s Tracy Beaker amd BBC Strictly Come Dancing) as Dorothy.

Bournemouth Pavilion 0844 576 3000

Blofeld & Baxter: Rogues on the Road - 7 April

Wonderful (and occasionally outrageous) reminiscences from two broadcasting legends.

Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis 01297 442138

Cinderella - 8-9 April

Isle of Portland Amateur Dramatics Society (IPADS) present a pantomime guaranteed to end the Easter Holidays with a bang at Portland Borstal Officers Club, Grove Road, DT5 1DL. Ticket from

The Night of One Hundred Voices - 9 April

Debra Stephenson, the star of BBC’s Dead Ringers and The Impressions Show takes to the stage for an evening of comedy, music and impressions at the Regent, Christchurch 01202 499199

The Three Keepers - 9 April

Welcome to Flounder Rock Lighthouse, where three men live and work, with only the seagulls for company. This silent comedy blends physical theatre with slapstick family comedy.

Lighthouse, Poole 01202 280000

Akram Khan - 13 April

Khan builds bridges between the worlds of contemporary dance and the Indian classical dance from Kathak at Lighthouse, Poole.

Box office 01202 280000

Shot at Dawn - 13 & 14 / 21 & 22 April

World War One courtroom drama, by Doppelganger Productions, about two men from the Dorsetshire Regiment on trial for cowardice, performed in the atmospheric setting of Dorset’s historic law courts, and Bridport Town Hall.

13 & 14 April: Shire Hall, Dorchester 01305 266926; 21 & 22 April: Bridport Town Hall. Tickets 01308 424204

Alexi Sayle - 14 April

Class and comedy, politics and love come together in sharp witty banter at the Tivoli Theatre, Wimborne. Box office 01202 885566

The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe - 16-17 April

Enter the land of Narnia in this spectacular adaption of the magical C.S. Lewis story by the Centre Stage School of Dance and Performing Arts.

Lighthouse, Poole 01202 280000

The Company of Wolves - 21–23 April

Burn the Curtain’s take Angela Carter’s mysterious tale outside and invite walkers and runners on this promenade adventure along a 2 – 3 mile route (4 miles for runners) as a red cloaked girl sets off into the deep dark forest. Bring a torch! Meet at Learning Centre, Durlston Country Park 7.15pm.

Box office 01929 424443

Great Expectations - 21–23 April

The Amateur Players of Sherborne bring Charles Dickens’ classic coming-of-age novel to the stage.

7.30pm, Digby Hall, Sherborne

Graeme of Thrones - 26 April

Direct from London’s West End, Graeme takes you through the Seven Kingdoms in this un-authorised take on the Game of Thrones.

Lighthouse, Poole 01202 280000

Speakeasy - 28 April

A 1920’s-themed swinging performance of Faust, with Lindy Hop and Charleston dancing gangsters, bootleggers, gamblers, flappers, and hepcats from the Southpaw Dance Company.

Pavilion Dance South West, Bournemouth Box office 01202 203 630 


Hidden Heritage Conference - 9 April

This inaugural conference at the Corn Exchange, Dorchester is dedicated to hidden heritage and features a panel of 17 international speakers.

More details 01305 264459

Anna Pavord & Claire Harman on Bronte - 11 & 26 April

Gardening writer Anna Pavord gives an illustrated talk (11 April) on her new book Landskipping - a celebration of landscape through art and literature. On 26 April, Claire Harman talks about her biography Charlotte Brontë: A Life. Both events at 2.30pm, Symondsbury Tithe Barn. Tickets Bridport TIC 01308 424901.

Bushmaster: Hunting the Snake Hunter - 28 April

Talk at Dorset County Musuem by Dan Eatherley on American herpetologist Raymond Ditmars, and his quest for the legendary Bushmaster – the world’s largest viper. Starts 7pm.

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