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As the arts industry responds enthusiastically to the restoration of potential full houses Lighthouse, Poole’s centre for the arts, has lined up a bumper autumn season – possibly the busiest in its history – with more than 130 performances and screenings booked before the end of the year. 

The season gets underway in style with two sell out Concert Hall performances by two very different artists that in many ways encapsulate the breadth of talent that has cemented the reputation of Lighthouse as one of the UK’s leading arts centres.  

On 2 September, Lighthouse welcomes Australian polymath Nick Cave with long-time collaborator Warren Ellis for the opening night of their first ever tour as a duo. They’re followed a day later by Pam Ayres – whose association with Lighthouse stretches back to its opening season in 1978 – with her latest show, Up in the Attic. 

And there’s plenty more stardust in store with autumn tour dates for the likes of Jimmy Carr (7 October), Grayson Perry (10 October), Frank Skinner (16 October), John Bishop (2 December), Rob Newman (3 December) and astronaut Tim Peake (4 December). 

During lockdown, Lighthouse was instrumental in the pioneering hybrid performances of its resident Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra with an award-winning series of live-streamed concerts that saw its audience increase by almost 30% with 65,000 views. The season continues this autumn for online and in person audiences.  

Using circus, music and film Extraordinary Bodies premiere their latest work Human (17, 18 September) with young people’s integrated theatre company Extraordinary Bodies Young Artists also showing a new piece, Till We Win (18 September). Both shows are BSL interpreted and audio described. 

Further highlights of a revitalised dance and theatre programme include the welcome return of revered companies such as Gecko (20, 21 October), Shechter II (5 October), Strictly Theatre (9 November) and Motionhouse (30 November, 1 December), as well as the award-winning pop-up venue Roundabout (14-17 October) at Hamworthy Park with its bespoke theatrical programme featuring four world premieres and a piece commissioned by Lighthouse.  

And to celebrate the resilience of Lighthouse and its re-emergence from the dark days of the pandemic, from 18 to 20 November it hosts The Global Rainbow, American artist Yvette Mattern’s stunning large-scale public art light installation that will beam seven rays of laser rainbow-coloured lights across Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch. 

Lighthouse also hosts strong line ups of new and established talent this autumn in the regular Coastal Comedy, Studio Jazz and Live and Unheard strands before the season reaches its climax with Beauty and the Beast (9-31 December), the first ever Lighthouse family pantomime produced entirely in-house. 

Published 19 August 2021