In the words of Prefab Sprout, “What do you think? Summer is here…” And here in Dorset, visitors from all over the country and around the world enjoy the beautiful coast, countryside and cultural life. I am inviting you.
The world-famous BEAF Art Festival kicks off this weekend in Boscombe. We had an exclusive interview with founder and creative her director Carol Her Mound.
We bring you reviews of two new shows, including Hugh the Musical, written and starring the Dorset-based duo of Susan Grant and Joni de Winter. Keep an eye out for the return of Southbourne’s Shake and Star festival, fair madrigal with her Oriana in Bridport, and open-air troupe Sisata on tour with Tempest.
Enjoy the summer without forgetting the sunscreen!
June 16-25: BEAF 2023 Arts Festival, Boscombe.
BEAF 2023 will bring Harare’s music, brand new art, and a dance-circus piece specially commissioned by local artist Joli Vian across 10 days of exhibitions, performances, workshops and events that have been heard so far. Bring a new voice to Boscombe. I strongly recommend it!
Click here for details gotbeaf.co.uk/beaf/festival-2023
July 7: Fair Oriana, Bridport Art Center/Ilminster Art Center.
Concert in the West showcases the beauty of Fair Oriana’s pure voice. Soprano duo Penelope Appleyard and Angela Hicks present an intimate concert of vocal and instrumental music representing the trials and triumphs of Elizabeth I.
book a ticket ticket.concertsinthewest.org
June 24th and 25th: Southbourne’s Shake and Stair Vintage Festival.
This popular vintage festival features live music, food, unique traders and two days of great family-friendly activities. All the fun events take place at Southbourne’s Fisherman’s Walk.
See here for the full program Eventsbystir.co.uk
June 20: swimming, lighthouse, pool.
Liz Richardson’s critically acclaimed play about wild swimming has toured the UK and earned five-star reviews for its insight and comedy. On June 21st, Liz is organizing a summer solstice swim at Hamworthy Park Beach to welcome the summer.
Find out more about the show and swimming here lighthousepoole.co.uk/event/swim
July 15: Tempest, East Dorset Museum.
Dorset’s own outdoor theater company tours the region. This is a new production based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest, based on experiences with climate change and the forces of nature through collaboration with the coastal community of Portland Island.
About dates and tickets: Sisata.co.jp
Review: Benjamin Button The Curious Case – Southwark Playhouse, Elephant, London.
This incredible new musical is set in Cornwall and retells the story of F. Scott Fitzgerald. With evocative folk songs and beautiful ballads by the wonderful Darren Clarke, and a wonderful book and direction by Jethro Compton, this show will transport you to another time and place.
It features an incredible cast of actors, with Olivier Award winner Jamie Parker giving a strong lead as Benjamin, a man born old but rejuvenated. We see great performances from Molly Osbourne as his wife Elowen and Philippa Hogg who is wonderful in a variety of roles. The show runs briefly at the Southwark Playhouse, just a 15-minute walk from Waterloo Station, and is well worth the trip to town.
For a more in-depth review, please visit: bit.ly/BenjaminButtonREVIEW
To book your ticket, please visit Satherwork Playhouse.co.uk
Hugh the Musical – Boscombe’s Black Cherry Theater.
Love a good ’90s rom-com? Then you’ll love this hilarious new musical written by Dorset-based duo Susan Grant and Joni de Winter. They tell the story of a wildly underbudget stage romantic comedy produced by Our Soul Theater Company (yes!). Hugh the Musical features a sharp script, hilarious audience participation, and great original songs. Despite not yet featuring Hugh Grant, the show is a very fun night out and is still touring in our area. See it before it gets big!
For tour dates, belle-street.com/hugh-the-musical
For the full review, visit my substack below. bit.ly/Hute Musical
Carol Mound, Founder and Creative Director of BEAF Art Festival
Carol is an inspirational and inspirational voice for the arts and culture of our region. She founded the Arts by the Sea Festival and now in Boscombe she leads the team at TOSH. The team provides coworking spaces for creative startups to support important creative work in the community. Carol is the Creative Director of the She-BEAF Festival, which runs from June 16th to the 25th at Boscombe.
What inspires your creative ideas?
As a curator and art producer, my creative job is to bring other creators together to make exciting things happen. I am constantly amazed by the originality and ingenuity of creators and this inspires me to come up with ideas for all kinds of creative projects.
Why are art and culture important to everyone?
Every day I see how art can change people’s lives. It is very encouraging to see how the projects I have developed have had a positive impact on the participants. For example, the incredible output of creative writing produced by The Outsiders Project contributors comes from people in recovery and battling complex health issues. Or the Seeking Refuge project, which provides a lifeline to asylum seekers and refugees through weekly creative workshops. And most recently, we’re working with SWRAC students, who provide professional education programs for young people. I have received the most wonderful feedback that art has really helped many people cope with difficult aspects of their daily lives and has given them joy and enjoyment.
That is why I truly believe that art is essential for everyone. A small intervention can have a very large impact that may not have been planned, but will have a very lasting impact on those involved.
What advice would you give to companies to be more creative?
I encourage you to find your own creative network and get inspired by others. Great ideas often pop up when you least expect them. If you’re running out of ideas, visit an exhibition, check out podcasts or the websites of artists you’re interested in, then stroll the beach. It’s a great way to clear your head and generate new ideas.
Who are your creative heroes?
There are so many it’s hard to pick just one. My inspiration comes from musicians, artists, filmmakers, architects and designers, so the list is extensive. I’m working with some great artists right now, so those are the ones that are on my mind at the moment. Shirin Neshat, who inspires me with his exile from Iran and his wonderful work, and Harold Ofe, who gives me joy while tackling a very complex subject, are absolute heroes and heroines to me.But he’s two of my all-time favorite musicians, Patti Smith and he’d like to add PJ Harvey, but I can’t pick one.!
What creative work are you most proud of?
We are very proud to host the BEAF Art Festival and to work with such amazing creative people.
What are you working on now?
Arts festivals are taking over my life now, but it’s worth seeing such great work in Boscombe, my favorite place full of creativity and energy.
BEAF will be held at Boscombe from June 16th to 25th.
Visit the website for more information about the event and how you can support the festival financially. gotbeaf.co.uk/beaf/festival-2023
What can you do when you’re stuck with an idea? Many creators suggest doing something else. This week’s interview guest Carol Mound suggests going to see an exhibition, filmmaker Baz Luhrmann suggests going for a walk, and author J.K. I was. Importantly, the best ideas often come when we least expect them, as our creative brains can continue to work uninterrupted. This is all part of the creative process, and understanding how it works will help you create more clearly and manage your team’s creativity more effectively.
If you want to learn more about the creative process, check out this podcast. Jason’s Creative Process Tips
jason ward creative.substack.com