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Culture planner: what’s on in 2022

Your cheat sheet to the year's best theatre, comedy, live music, dance and art in Somerset, Dorset & Bristol

Grab your diaries and read on to find out what you need to have on your radar this year…

THEATRE

Anything Goes

Hairspray, Lighthouse Poole, 28 Feb – 5 March

Welcome to the 60s as Tracy Turnblad dances her way onto national TV and into the heart of teen idol Link Larkin, fighting for liberation, tolerance, and interracial unity in Baltimore along the way.

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Series 3 Tour, Bournemouth Pavilion, 10 Feb, Bristol Hippodrome 27 March

Sashay over to see Lawrence Chaney, Bimini Bon Boulash, Ellie Diamond, Tayce and the rest of the gals.

Anything Goes, The Bristol Hippodrome, 11 – 16 April

It’s De-Lovely, It’s De-lectable and it’s heading down here direct from its sell-out stint at London’s Barbican, on the first stop of its UK tour.

Twelfth Night, Brownsea Open Air Theatre, near Poole, 27 July – 12 August

Catch a ferry from Poole harbour, explore the island, take a picnic and watch Shakespeare under the stars.

Into the Woods, Theatre Royal Bath, 19 Aug –10 Sept

A brand new production of the famous Sondheim musical, interweaving stories from the Brothers Grimm to find out what really happens post ‘happily ever after’, from a creative team that includes iconic stage and film  director Terry Gilliam.

COMEDY

Alan Carr

Shaparak Khorsandi: It was the 90s! Taunton Brewhouse, 28 Jan; The Regent Centre, Christchurch, 3 March; Electric Palace, Bridport 17 March; Komedia Bath, 20 March

The self-proclaimed ‘spit and sawdust’ comic takes a trip down memory lane.

Nish Kumar: Your Power, Your Control, Bath Forum, 23 March, Weymouth Pavilion 24 March, Bristol Old Vic 8 May

The new show from the host of the Mash Report and the man booed off the stage at the Lord’s Taverners annual charity cricket lunch for making a Brexit joke.

The Scummy Mummies, Taunton Brewhouse, 31 March

Comedy, songs, filth and laughs for adult only.

Russell Brand: 33, Lighthouse Poole, 14 April; Ashton Gate Bristol, 16 May; The Bath Forum, 17 May

The comedian and actor ponders what we’ve learned over the last 18 months, and wonders how to get back to normal (if you’ve never been normal).

Dom Joly: Holiday Snaps, Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis 29 April & Redgrave Theatre Bristol, 12 May

The Trigger Happy TV star on his first tour for years and a new book, The Hezbollah Hiking Club, to promote.

Alan Carr: Regional Trinkets, Bournemouth Pavilion 19–22 May; Bristol Hippodrome, 12 & 13 Sept

The chatty man finds happiness and joy in the small things and asks why be a national treasure when you can be a Regional Trinket?

Evening with David Sedaris, Lighthouse Poole, Fri 22 July & Bath Forum 23 July

The sardonic wit and famous litter picker shares his caustic, hilarious observations on life.

ART & EXHIBITIONS

Grayson’s Art Club, Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, until 22 Sept

Blockbusting exhibition of artworks made by the public, established artists and celebrities during lockdown in the hit TV Channel 4 series, Grayson’s Art Club.

The Tudors: Passion, Power and Politics, The Holburne Gallery, Bath, 28 Jan – 8 May

Come face to face with the five Tudor monarchs: Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth at Bath’s first public art gallery (great cafe too).

Paula Rego: Subversive Stories, Arnolfini, Bristol, 5 Feb– 29 May

Missed last year’s London retrospective of one of the leading figurative artists of our generation? Try this exhibition of Dame Paula Rego RA’s print works.

From Hogarth to Hodgkin, Victoria Art Gallery, Bath, 5 March – 4 May

Prints spanning 700 years from old masters like Cranach and Durer up to Grayson Perry (yep, him again).

In Xanadu: Coleridge and the West Country, The Museum of Somerset, Taunton, 12 March – 25 June

Have a gander at the earliest manuscript of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Kubla Khan, written near the Quantocks, with info on his time in Somerset, relationship with William and Dorothy Wordsworth and the legacy he left behind.

SEE MONSTER, Weston-super-Mare, summer 2022

A decommissioned offshore platform from the North Sea turned vast, free art installation encompassing science, technology, engineering and the arts on the site of iconic Tropicana in Weston-super-Mare, north Somerset. Part of a UK-wide project Unboxed: Creativity in the UK.

MUSIC

Paloma Faith

Simply Red: Blue-Eyed Soul Tour, Bournemouth International Centre, 15 & 16 Feb

Holding Back the Years, If You Don’t Know Me By Now, Stars… yep, you still know all the words and here’s you chance to show it.

Claire Martin, Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis, 12 March

Acclaimed jazz artists vocalist Claire Martin OBE, and pianist David Newton celebrate the recordings by jazz legends Carmen McRae and George Shearing.

Stormzy: Heavy is the Head: Bournemouth International Centre, 24 March

Don’t say we don’t cover all bases on Muddy: the rapper who funds scholarships to Cambridge University.

10cc, Bath Forum 31 March; Bournemouth Pavilion 4 April; Weymouth Pavilion 25 Oct

Cripes! They’re still going. Don’t faint but it’s the 45th anniversary of slow dance special I’m Not In Love.

Gregory Porter, Bournemouth International Centre, 10 May

The international, Grammy award winning jazz/soul singing sensation brings his mellifluous pipes to Nashville, Chicago, New Orleans – and Bournemouth.

Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Bath Forum, 17 June

Declan Patrick McManus aka Napoleon Dynamite aka Elvis Costello on tour with his latest album The Boy Named If, released 14 Jan.

Paloma Faith, Bournemouth International Centre, 10 June; Glastonbury Abbey Extravaganza, 6 Aug

The BRIT Award-winning songstress brings her Summer 2022 UK Tour, The Age of Optimism to the West Country.

Elton John: The Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour, Ashton Gate, Bristol, 22 & 26 June

The Rocket Man (not Kim Jong Un) says goodbye on his final tour.

Glastonbury Festival, 22 – 24 June, Pilton

After a two-year haitus, the world’s most famous music festival is back, with Billie Eilish and Diana Ross definitely ON and other names in the rumour mill including Coldplay, Lady Gaga, Elton John (he’s in the area!), Little Mix….

Nile Rodgers & CHIC, The Amphitheatre, Bristol Harbourside, 13 & 14 July

Everybody Dance ! It’s the ultimate party band, with one of music’s greatest living legends. Good Times assured.

An Evening With Michael Bublé, The Royal Crescent, Bath, 15 & 16 July

Proving the son-we-never-had isn’t just for Christmas, the Canadian singer-songwriter comes to the private lawns of the Royal Crescent to perform against the iconic backdrop of 30 Grade I Listed terrace houses.

DANCE

Mark Bruce Company: Phantoms, a triple bill, Merlin Theatre, Frome, 3 – 6 Feb

Cinematic dance theatre works from a company headed up by Rambert-trained Bruce. Green Apples inspired by the music of American rock duo The White Stripes, Folk Tales with English folk songs and the title work, a dark tale of love, tragedy and revenge. Eek.

James Wilton Dance: The Four Seasons, Lighthouse Poole, Tues 8 Feb

Break dance, acrobatics, martial arts and classical dance to a re-imagining of that musak you hear every time you’re put on hold, from the Cornwall-based, internationally renowned dance company.

The BalletBoyz: Deluxe, Lighthouse Poole, Sat 14 May, Octagon Yeovil, Thurs 19 May

Innovative contemporary dance from eight bold, boisterous, beautiful men. If you insist.

Diversity- Connected, Bournemouth International Centre, 28 May; Bristol Hippodrome 5 & 6 June

Thrilling dance from Britain’s Got Talent winners created by the super talented Ashley Banjo.

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