Hardy and Barnes celebration at the Exchange

On Saturday 15th June in the Stour Hall in the Exchange the literature festival gala event takes place. It is a celebration of the town’s literary heroes and heritage. Tickets at £10.00 per person can be bought at the Exchange or via their booking system.

For more information bout the literary festival go to https://sturlitfest.com/


The Hardy and Barnes celebration will be 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