Purbeck gets more music, drama and comedy this spring

A new programme of music and theatre performances has been launched by Dorset touring arts charity Artsreach for spring 2024, and The Mowlem in Swanage has announced another new comedy act.

With the support of the Arts Council England and Dorset Council, communities including Swanage, Studland, Langton Matravers, Corfe Castle and West Lulworth will be hosting a variety of professional performances that are usually only available to see in large towns.

Callum Patrick Hughes performs in The Showbar at The Mowlem

Callum Patrick Hughes performed in The Showbar at The Mowlem as part of Artsreach’s 2023 programme

Eclectic mix of something different

Artsreach volunteers are opening up village halls, so performers from across the UK can travel to the heart of rural communities, bringing local people an eclectic mix of something different.

In total, there are 28 artists and companies set to perform 63 live dates in 44 rural communities across Dorset including Purbeck.

Artsreach director Kerry Bartlett said:

“We’re excited to work in partnership once more with our incredible community volunteers from right across Purbeck, presenting a vibrant programme of performances including music, dance and theatre from venues ranging from Swanage Mowlem’s main theatre, to village halls in Corfe Castle and Studland.

“It’s set to be another exciting season and we can’t wait to see the audience’s response to the variety of artists we are able to present in Dorset.”

Exterior of the Mowlem lit up in orange and purple

The Mowlem has boosted its repertoire with Artsreach performances and comedians from Off The Kerb Productions

More comedy at The Mowlem

Also, separately, The Mowlem in Swanage has just announced another big comedy name will be appearing on its stage.

Comedian Simon Evans, a regular on BBC Radio 4’s The News Quiz and who’s appeared on BBC One’s Live at The Apollo and Michael McIntyre’s Roadshow will be performing his new show Have We Met? at 8 pm on Saturday 20th April 2024, as part of a UK tour.

Described as demonically dry, Simon Evans, 58, chronicles his failing memory, pondering the daily challenges of remembering what he came upstairs for, who those grown-ups are that live with him (and what have they done with his children?) and how can that footage be from 2009, when he only bought those shoes a few months ago?

Previously announced, comedian Rich Hall is also appearing at The Mowlem. His show Shot From Cannons is at 8 pm on Saturday 4th May 2024 and tickets are selling fast, with the circle now open.

Comedian Simon Evans
Simon Evans

Comedian Simon Evans known for his dry sense of humour

Artsreach programme spring 2024 in Purbeck


Thursday 25th, Langton Matravers village hall 7.30 pm – Twenty Years with Hot Fingers. The vintage acoustic band, led by Tom ‘Spats’ Langham, are back on the road to celebrate twenty years of touring together

Sunday 28th, Studland village hall 2.30 pm – An Evening of (very) Old Radio… the first firsts of Broadcasting with Paul Kerensa. The comedian and broadcast historian invites audiences to journey back to the 1920s for his ‘stand-up history’ show on how the BBC began

Paul Kerensa
Paul Kerensa

Comedian and broadcast historian Paul Kerensa performs at Studland village hall


Friday 9th, The Mowlem in Swanage 7.30 pm – The Longest Johns. The Bristol-based acapella folk band kick start their 2024 tour with a special performance following the release of their 5th studio album ‘Voyage’. This concert will also feature a premiere of their latest track, Drop the Hammer; an ode to mining around the Jurassic Coast which features local singers from across Dorset.

Saturday 17th, Corfe Castle village hall 7.30 pm – The Battling Butlers by Bash Street Theatre. A unique blend of physical theatre, circus skills, original songs and live music

Bash Street Theatre
Bash Street Theatre

The Battling Butlers by Bash Street Theatre perform at Corfe Castle village hall


Wednesday 6th, The Mowlem 7.30 pm – Hell’s Bells by Miracle Theatre. Cornwall’s beloved theatre company embark on an epic tour with a brand-new indoor show, promising an enthralling blend of detective thriller drama and Miracle’s trademark colourful characters, physical antics and clever humour

Sun 10th, Studland village hall 7.30 pm – Latchepen. Born out of a collective admiration of Django Reinhardt and anything that swings, the band performs jazz on strings, with influences ranging from Romani music to bebop

Wed 13th, West Lulworth village hall 7.30 pm – May Contain Food, May Contain You by Luca Silvestrini’s Protein. The award-winning company Protein transforms the village hall into a restaurant for the evening, inviting the audience to bring a dish to share while sat at decorated tables to watch, savour and digest a playful mix of dance, theatre and song that unfolds, as the curious relationship with food is explored and enjoyed

Sun 17th, Langton Matravers village hall 7.30 pm – The Fleet: Drifters and Seiners with Jason Singh. The sound artist, nature beatboxer and composer performs a live soundtrack to John Grierson’s 1929 monumental silent documentary film Drifters. Also Dorset based landscape writer, Sarah Acton presents a newly commissioned piece featuring poetry, field recordings, musicians and stories of the fishing communities of the South West.

Watch Latchpen perform

Further information

  • Full details of all Artsreach events taking place across Dorset are available online where tickets (usually in the price range £12 to £5) are also available to book
  • Simon Evans’ new show Have We Met? is at The Mowlem in Swanage at 8 pm on Saturday 20th April 2024. Tickets go on sale from Friday 26th January 2024 at 11 am via the box office and online

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