An evening of readings, drama and music, featuring Tim Laycock, John
Blackmore and members of the New Hardy Players and William Barnes Society.

Tim Laycock, acclaimed professional folk musician, actor, storyteller and
author, has a special interest in the works of Thomas Hardy and William
Barnes, as well as the folk history and traditions of Dorset. Tim has been
playing and singing at folk clubs and festivals for over 25 years using mainly the
concertina, melodeon or guitar to accompany himself. He began acting in the
1980’s with the Young National Trust Theatre and has worked regularly in live
theatre ever since, particularly in roles requiring an actor/musician or narrator.
Tim is also renowned as a lively and entertaining storyteller.

John Blackmore is a singer, songwriter, poet and teacher from Somerset. He
discovered the poetry of William Barnes while studying English Literature at
University and has set a number of his poems to music, arranging them for
voice and guitar. John was a semi-finalist in the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award
Competition in 2011, and John's music and commentary formed part of a BBC
Radio 4 documentary on William Barnes in 2014 called ‘Dorset Rewritten’

With the support of the William Barnes Society, John is recording a CD that
features his musical arrangements of Barnes’ poetry and his own compositions.

The New Hardy Players formed in 2005 to celebrate the work of Thomas
Hardy. Their evocative dramatisations of Hardy’s novels bring his stories to
life. The Players are a friendly group of all ages and abilities who meet
throughout the year to perform works written by Thomas Hardy (and
sometimes other writers).
The William Barnes Society was founded in 1983 to enable its members to
share fellowship and pleasure in the life and work of William Barnes. Its
membership includes scholars and laymen, those chiefly interested in poetry
and others who drawn by his connection with Dorset history and dialect. The
Society organises readings, lectures and walks in William Barnes’ country.

The interval will include the announcement of the winners of the Sturminster Newton Poetry Prize


Tickets Available now from the Sturminster Exchange – From £10