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What’s On in January

Banish the New Year blues with this culture-buster cluster of things to do across Somerset & Dorset this month.

Joyous Jan! From beautiful ballets to a traditional apple celebration – and a mystery exhibition – here’s Muddy’s hitlist.

Dreamgirls, Bristol Hippodrome, Weds 5 – Sat 22 Jan

Photo Matt Crockett

And I’m telling you I’m not going – no actually, I am! The hit show on its first UK tour sees singing trio The Dreams – Effie, Lorrell and Deena – on a musical roller coaster ride through fame, fortune and friendship in 1960s America.

Saint Petersburg Classic Ballet, Lighthouse Poole, Giselle (Thurs 6, Fri 7 Jan) & The Nutcracker Sat 8 & Sun 9 Jan

The Russian company is en pointe with two classical ballets accompanied by a live orchestra.

The Play What I Wrote, Theatre Royal Bath, Weds 12 – Sat 22 Jan

Photo Manuel Harlan

Hamish has written an epic play but Sean wants to continue with their double act and perform a tribute to Morecambe and Wise. Sean needs to persuade a guest star to appear in the play what Hamish wrote, to try and keep the act together. Geddit? And a real mystery star turns up at every performance. Tom Hiddleston and Charles Dance are on the list but who else?

Illuminate at The Blue Pool, near Wareham, throughout Jan and Feb from Thurs, 13 Jan

Lights and music in woodland trails around famous blue waters (created by light diffracting from minuscule clay particles suspended within), with toasted marshmallows around fire pits outside the Art Deco tearooms.

Omid Djalili, Lighthouse Poole, Fri 14 Jan

The legendary stand up is back on stage, bringing us back the Good Times (fingers crossed).

A Somerset Wassail Evening, Somerset Rural Life Museum, Glastonbury, Sat 15 Jan

Help ensure a good apple crop this year: join in the ancient Somerset tradition of wassailling in the museum’s 14th-century Abbey Barn and around the oldest apple tree in the orchard. Food, drink and merriment all round.

Dr Semmelweis, Bristol Old Vic, previews from Thurs 20 Jan, opens Weds 26 – Sat 12 Feb

World premiere of a play based on an original idea from, and starring, the totally brilliant Mark Rylance (Wolf Hall, Bridge of Spies). When 19th century physician Dr Semmelweis discovers something that could save the lives of thousands of women dying after childbirth he’s pilloried by the medical establishment who think he’s insane. Based on real events, it’s sure to be gripping, if you’re feeling up to it.

The HandleBards: Macbeth, Lighthouse Poole, Fri 21 Jan

The cycling thesps bring their bicycle-powered, hilarious version of the Scottish play to Poole.

New exhibition at East Quay Watchet, Sat 22 Jan – Sat 8 May

The new exhibition at Somerset’s controversial new arts centre is under wraps at the mo (so watch this space) but with the gallery just named as one of the best architectural projects of the year in The Guardian, it sounds like it’ll be worth a visit for the venue alone.

The Dirty Devil Stampede – The Double, Bovington, Sun 23 Jan

Very fit people: a two loop course around the Bovington Tank training ground, land usually reserved for army training – trails, hills, mud, a lot of water, the sheep dip and something called the knife edge – Eek. Entries close 15 Jan.

China Crisis, Tivoli Theatre, Wimborne, Sat 29 Jan

The 80s post-punk band in Wimborne – not just Wishful Thinking, it turns out.

Ida Applebroog, Right Up to Now 1969-2021, Hauser & Wirth, Bruton, Sat 29 Jan – Sat 2 May

Feminist pioneer Ida Applebroog makes works dealing with power, gender, politics, and sexuality. This new exhibition consists of highlights from her show at the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid and brand new stuff too.

The Da Vinci Code, Theatre Royal Bath, Sat 31 Jan – Sat 5 Feb

Boffins try to decode a religious mystery in Dan Brown’s blockbusting (100 million copies sold) page turner, on stage for the very first time.


Real ice rinks in Somerset, Dorset and beyond

Pantos and Christmas shows

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