This year's Annual WordPlay Festival is from Monday 23rd March to Friday 17th April 2020...

For this year’s WordPlay Festival, we will be exploring the arts, culture and heritage through words, activities and other imaginative ways!

We will be running a series of d.@rt talks, where you can sit back and be taken on a journey or be mesmerised by clever and comical poetry, whilst enjoying an alcoholic or soft beverage from our licensed bar.

We would love to see lots of you during our Festival, see how you can get involved below…


Monday 23rd March from 7pm, My Life in Popular Music – Mike Hurst, £5 per person BOOK NOW

Capture minMike Hurst has been a major player in the music industry for over 40 years.

An original member of the top British vocal group The Springfields, Mike then went on to become one of the most successful producers of the 60s, 70s and 80s.

Mike achieved 51 top 40 singles and 25 gold and platinum albums with such major stars as Cat Stevens, Manfred Mann, The Move, Spencer Davies Group, Showaddywaddy, The Four Tops, Cilla Black, Shakin’ Stevens, and Belle & Sebastian.

Accompanied by his guitar, Mike will give an in-depth view of the various stages of the evolution of ‘popular music’ in his d.@rt talks session on Monday 23rd March from 7pm.

Tuesday 24th March, Junior and Senior Poetry Jam


The d.@rt Centre will set up the stage in the d.@rt foyer! This is the perfect platform for performers of all abilities to step on stage in front of a welcoming audience and perform their and crafts

During the day, we welcome our local Primary Schools and Wildern students to take to stage and showcase their amazing poetry in front of one another.

Come the evening, we welcome our local community to come together as an audience or performer of poetry from 7pm. The evening will run in the same format as our Open Mic Nights.

We would love to see you there!

Wednesday 25th March, Art Exhibition and Launch

jen best min 2Our art exhibition in the d.@rt foyer for WordPlay will be inspired by arts, culture and heritage. This eclectic selection of genres will provide an exciting visual experience for all. Are you a passionate poet, an impeccable illustrator or an amazing artist? We would love to exhibit your work, please contact for an intention to enter form. The exhibition launch will be on Wednesday 25th March. Everybody is welcome.




Thursday 26th March, Arts Appreciation from 10am - 12pm

dyt v2Enjoy travelling back in time and explore your personal, social history guided by the d.@rt team and pupils of Wildern School.

This is a social session for local over 60’s with an artistic and creative focus. No artistic skills or creative flair is required; the emphasis is very much on having fun with a lovely group of friends. Contact to sign up.

Saturday 28th March, Wordplay Family fun day BOOK NOW

jen best min 2 v2I believe that reading and writing are the most nourishing forms of meditation anyone has so far found. By reading the writings of the most interesting minds in history, we meditate with our own minds and theirs as well. This to me is a miracle. - Kurt Vonnegut

A fun, word filled day. Enjoy taking part in a variety of wordy workshops for all the family, accompanied by live music. Check the website for full details, tickets available online or by calling 01489 779 471. 



Monday 30th March from 7pm, Dorset Buttons - Jen Best, £5 per person BOOK NOW

jen best min 1Beaker Button is the brain child of Jen Best, who dreamt of a fibre craft studio where she could stock fabulous yarns and fibres for discerning yarn enthusiasts. Jen wanted a place to design and make Dorset buttons so the world would know how beautiful they were. A place where she could explore her passion for colour and texture in textiles. This is what Beaker Button is all about.

We design and make our own range of Dorset button kits, from simple buttons to beautiful pieces of jewellery. Come along to Jan’s d.@rt talk session to learn about where her inspiration comes from.


Tuesday 31st March from 7pm, The Life and Loves of The Taxi Driver Poet, £5 per person BOOK NOW

art and crafts v3James Haddow is the Taxi Driver Poet and for more than 16 years he was writing and reciting poetry to his passengers, entertaining them with his rhymes on life and love as he drove them around rural Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

A seizure forced him to retire from driving in 2013 and he then resettled on the South Coast when love came knocking at his door.

James now spends his time writing and performing his poetry whenever and wherever he can, reliving his journeys and encounters along the way.

You can expect a light-hearted, casual and comical delivery from James’ talk.


Wednesday 1st April, Charity Choir Concert, £5, from 7:30pm BOOK NOW
jen best min 2 v3Enjoy performances from The Wave Children’s Choir, Raise your Voice Choir, Wildern Community Choir, d.@rt Youth Theatre and Instep Performing Arts. 





Thursday 2nd April from 7pm, Wave Film Society WORDY SPECIAL

art and crafts v4The Wave Film Society is our monthly film club where members can watch new and classic releases on the big screen at a budget price.

Each screening includes time before and after the film to relax with a complimentary tea or coffee and chat with like minded film fans. But this is a Wordy special therefore from 7pm - 7:30pm you will be immersed within a story from the moment you arrive.


Monday 6th April from 7pm, Who the hell is Arthur - Neal Littleales, £5 per person BOOK NOW

CaptureNeil is a 50-something retired Police Sergeant who has a passion for history and art.

After many years of dabbling in family history, he studied for three years with the Institute of Genealogical and Heraldic Studies, Canterbury to gain research qualifications. Upon retirement he set up a small genealogical research service and a thriving art / craft business selling his recycled vintage postage stamp artwork; both ventures bring much joy.

Neil will be delivering a traditional family history talk with a modern twist. A truly investigative approach to genealogy told through a personal and fascinating account of the search for his father’s parentage and medical ancestry. The journey will take you on a countrywide tour, exposing lies, deceit, discovery and deception.

Tuesday 7th April from 7pm, Mayflower and It's Heritage BOOK NOW

Capture min 2Mayflower Theatre , (formerly the Gaumont Theatre and originally The Empire Theatre) has been a huge part of Southampton’s community since 1928.

Learn about Mayflower Theatre’s heritage, what they are doing now and the incredible productions that have taken to their stage.

Get involved in this interactive talk! Learn about their performances and even take a look at some of their archive material.


Thursday 9th April from 7pm, Book Club

Capture min 2 v2Join us to find out more about the author Kate Mosse and review her book Labrynth:
Alice Tanner discovers two skeletons in a forgotten cave in the French Pyrenees. Puzzled by the labyrinth symbol carved into the rock, she realises she’s disturbed something that was meant to remain hidden. Somehow, a link to a horrific past - her past - has been revealed.




Tuesday 14th April from 7pm, The Sewing Room - Heather Wilde, £5 per person BOOK NOW

jen best min 1 v2Heather is a professional speaker and at the moment she has two public talks which are very successful, one being The Sewing Room. 

A tale of mystery and intrigue, taken by Heather's grandmothers recently discovered 1902 journal, when she worked in Service as a Dressmaker in a large manor house in Kent.