Rave Reviews

Here are some of the highlights.

With sell out shows and unbelievable outdoor acrobatics, The Roof performance by Fuel was a brilliant kick off to the Festival fortnight.

 “Parkour meets Sonic the Hedgehog and Pulp Fiction, spinning you around till you are dizzy whilst whispering in your ear… characters disappeared as they fell through chutes, and others were savagely beaten but in perfect time with the pre-recorded soundtrack. Well worth seeing.”

Lisa Moro, The Mouth. See full review here.


Composer Robert Mitchell premiered his multi-genre piece Invocation at St Peter’s Church alongside his band Panacea, Bournemouth Symphony Chorus and Avonbourne and Harewood schools.

 “There was a conceptual richness to Invocation that would be beyond even the most creative of beings and if the immense intricacy of the composing was commendable then so too was the real soulfulness, the humanity, at its core. The ambition of the concept was matched by the beauty of the result.”

Kevin Le Gendre, Jazzwise Magazine. See full review here.


Skiffle troubadours The Dodge Brothers delighted in the most appropriate of atmospheric locations, The Shelley Theatre.

 “The Dodge Brothers are a fantastic band, full of energy, life and enthusiasm, and put together with the magical Neil Brand on keys and a thought-provoking film from 85 years ago, this was an evening of scintillating entertainment on every level, and one of which the Arts By The Sea Festival should be very proud.”

Mark Blackham, The Fine Times Recorder. See full review here.


The premiere of John Foster’s WW1 courtroom drama, Shot at Dawn, which told the story of two young men from the Dorsetshire Regiment, on trial for cowardice, atmospherically performed in Bournemouth Council Chambers to sell out performances.

 “Kirstie Davis’ outstanding direction used the chamber to its full potential, allowing us to view the trials from every angle. The lighting emphasised the mood of each scene, and regimented military music throughout contrasted with a neurotic throbbing that filled the room with dread. As the final shots sounded, Shot at Dawn left me feeling utterly stunned.”

Nick Taylor, Bournemouth Echo. Read full review here.


Canadian feminist firebrands Vag Halen rocked until they dropped.

 “Like a shot of adrenaline straight to the heart, feminist art rock band Vag Halen brought Bournemouth’s Old Firestation to life last night. They are a one-off, and I left feeling as if I had seen something different and very special.”

Alex Winter, Bournemouth Echo. See full review here.


Now over to you…

What were your highlights? What did you love? What do you think we could do better? Let us know what you thought of the Festival – good or bad – for the chance to win a meal for two at The Cumberland Hotel.


It should only take five minutes to complete. Make sure you get it in by the deadline: Friday 31st October 2014.


Author: bournemouth