Wootton Fitzpaine Celebrate 20 Years With Artsreach

Mon 7 Jan 2019

This year we're celebrating Wootton Fitzpaine's 20th Artsreach anniversary!

 The village first hosted an Artsreach event on Monday 25 October 1999, enjoying Theatre Alibi's wonderful performance of 'Me and My Shadow'. Here's a photograph from that very first event:

Since then, Wootton Fitzpaine has continued to host dozens of successful events, including music from the Budapest Cafe Orchestra and the Tashi Lhunpo Monks, comedy from Living Spit and theatre from David Mynne - to name just a few!

Most recently, Wootton enjoyed a sell-out performance of Adverse Camber's 'Dreaming The Night Field'. It was wonderful to see the village hall so packed full of people on a stormy, dark and wet November night, and is testament to the value rural communities place on Artsreach events. 

Most importantly, it's thanks to the fantastic team of volunteers led by village promoter Sue Beckers, who organise everything from promoting the show and selling tickets to feeding and accommodating the performers. Their hard work and dedication ensure Wootton Fitzpaine's Artsreach events continue to thrive 20 years later!

Here, Sue tells us how she discovered Artsreach and what she enjoys about being a volunteer promoter. We want to say a big thank you to Sue and her team!

"20 years ago, I took my children to a puppet show at Thorncombe and marvelled that the villagers had managed to arrange such a quality, professional event at their village hall. The promoter there directed me to Artsreach. We joined and in Oct 1999 we had the excellent Theatre Alibi with their performance of 'Me and my Shadow' complete with scaffolding and live music. Artsreach has since bought us foot-stomping music, mesmerising story telling, heart-stopping theatre and inspirational childrens workshops, so treasured that we now have a wide and enthusiastic audience who know that everything we offer them will be of the highest quality and a real treat to the senses. Highlights must include the Tashi Lhunpo Monks (who slept overnight in the hall, played basketball in their saffron robes, dined on pot noodles and treated us to horn blowing and masked dances from the Yellow Hat order!) and 'Fire in the North Sky', with music from leading Finnish musicians; 'The Iranian Feast' where Farnham Maltings cooked us a meal and included us in the whole play, and PuppetCraft who performed 'Arabian Nights', sitting the audience on cushions and rugs inside a tent they had erected in the village hall.
Thank you Artsreach - and long may you continue to bring wonder and joy to the far reaches of Dorset. Happy 2019!" - Sue Beckers

Join Wootton Fitzpaine in celebrating 20 years of Artsreach on Thursday 10 January, when talented Welsh folk trio ALAW perform in the village hall to kick off the Artsreach Spring 2019 season. Find out more and book your tickets by clicking on the image below:

World Class Music from Wales ALAW