At Salisbury Playhouse:
HIGHLIGHTS of Theatre Fest West at Salisbury Playhouse include Visitors, a new play by Barney Norris, which opens Theatre Fest West on April 7 and 8.
In a farmhouse on the edge of Salisbury Plain a family is falling apart. Stephen cannot afford to put his mother into care and Arthur cannot afford to stop working to care for his wife.
When a young stranger moves in to care for Edie the family is forced to ask if they are living the way they wanted. Presented by Up in Arms, Visitors stars Linda Bassett, whose many screen credits include East is East, Calendar Girls and Larkrise to Candleford.
Following their popular 2012 production of The Crowstarver, Exeter-based Theatre Alibi returns on April 9 and 10 with Hammer and Tongs, which digs deep into the human compulsion to argue.
From farcical fisticuffs at a wedding disco to squabbling for control of the TV remote, this is a very human comedy – physical, funny, absurd, musical, moving and absolutely bloody minded.
On April 15, Forest Forge Theatre Company will present Battles Lines– a trilogy of short plays that explores the region’s experiences of war.
And young people can watch and giggle as two full-grown adults play with their food as they search for the recipe for the perfect story.
Jack at the Beanstalk Café serves up a nourishing bean-feast of stories on April 16.
Bok Theatre needs audiences to take on the role of apprentice pirates in Pirate Paye of Poole on April 19. Eve has to disguise herself as a boy to join Arripay’s crew and infamous Harry Paye takes audiences on a journey of great adventures. Suitable for children aged five and over.
And on April 7, The Story Exchange will be roaming the streets of Salisbury, engaging passers-by with the act of story making.
Armed with games, exercises, challenges, competitions and spontaneous performances, the madcap Exchange staff wheel their barrow through the streets so the whole family can enjoy sharing stories at this free event.
There are plenty of other shows for all ages taking place as part of Theatre Fest West, which is run in collaboration with Trowbridge Arts, and further details are available from salisburyplayhouse.com or on 01722 320333.
At Salisbury Arts Centre:
THE line-up for Theatre West at Salisbury Arts Centre includes Once Upon a Time in a Western, brought to the venue by Le Navet Bête on Wednesday, April 9. A fast-paced journey across the Wild West with live music, physical comedy and pistols at dawn. A tumbleweed silently rolls across the dusty stage. The clink, clink, clink of spurs echoes through the theatre.
The saloon door creaks open - welcome to Kidneystone: a town in need of a hero.
Expect a hilarious show complete with a gang of inflatable Mexican baddies.
Le Navet Bête are an award-winning internationally touring troupe of clowns based in Devon.
On Friday, April 18, folk meets minimalist classical and dance music as Spiro present their own uniquely English sound. This contemporary acoustic ensemble first came together through Bristol’s folk sessions scene in the early 1990s. The genre-defying fourpiece unites musicians from backgrounds as diverse as classical and punk in a thrilling musical adventure.
The following week, on Wednesday April 23, theatregoers will be able to enjoy the work of Impermanence Dance Theatre as they tell a story of love, hate, jealousy, fear and anything else the human condition reveals.
And on the following Saturday Kid Carpet will introduce a super duper adventure in a rock 'n' roll musical universe based around Kid Carpet and his superstar band of toys. Suitable for children aged four and up.
There will also be a south west twist on regular Arts Centre events such as Altar Club (Saturday, April 12) and Barnstormers Comedy (Friday, April 25).
* For more information or to book tickets call 01722 321744 or go to salisburyartscentre.co.uk.