AUDIENCES are in for a treat this September as spellbinding outdoor arts festival Inside Out Dorset returns to the county.

A showstopping tour-de-force of performance, parades, workshops and installations, the event by Activate Performing Arts will transform five locations between 15 - 24 September, with performances at Weymouth, Poole, Wimborne, Bere Regis, and Moors Valley Country Park and Forest.

The closing weekend will see Weymouth audiences dazzled by a spectacular parade of light and music, led by Transe Express’ Poupées Géantes. 

Three giant dolls will glide magically through the crowd, transforming the street into an opera house as they perform classical pieces by composers such as Bizet, Mozart and Verdi. Rhythmic backing from Les Tambours creates a powerful sound combining percussive traditions from around the world.

Another festival highlight will see The Working Boys Club - aka identical twins Jason and Adam Dupree - bring their unique Serving Sounds show to the Poole and Wimborne sites. The interactive, multi-sensory sound installation creates connection through music for people of all ages.

The climate emergency sits at the heart of spectacular events and installations at Moors Valley Country Park and Forest. Two such immersive pieces - Lachrymae and Saeflod by Helen Ottaway - will adorn the 800-acre woodland canopy, inspired by landscape, water and nature.

The festival’s Wild Woodbury site at Bere Regis will feature workshops, talks and local food vendors for a festival feel. A clay oven will be built during public workshops and used during the performances as part of the ritual of foraging and sharing food.

Established in 2007, the biennial event attracted more than 28,000 attendees in 2021. This year Inside Out Dorset will include two world premieres and five UK premieres.

Activate Performing Arts co-artistic directors Kate Wood and Bill Gee said: “Bringing great art and audiences to some of Dorset’s most remarkable rural and urban locations is at the heart of the Inside Out Dorset festival.

“This year’s programme showcases a diverse mix of exceptional UK and international artists and the unique work they have created – from Dorset-based twins, The Working Boys Club, to the Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band all the way from India, we hope to create a sense of coming together, reflecting on the importance of protecting our environment and appreciating the beautiful Dorset landscape.”

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