A MAGICAL mix of music, theatre and comedy is set to descend on the town with the return of the Dorchester Festival.

The event, held every two years, promises to offer ‘something for everyone’ and sees the town come alive.

It is organised by Dorchester Arts and runs from May 22 to 26, with a whole range of entertainment on offer.

A theatrical retelling of the hanging of Martha Brown, comedy, juggling, ska music and children’s theatre represent just some of the diverse range of offerings over the festival.

Marketing officer for Dorchester Arts Laura Mulhern said the Ballad Of Martha Brown production from Angel Exit Theatre would provide a fascinating opening to the festival on May 22.

She added that other exciting events include comedy from Laurence Clarke and Mat Ricardo, who will throw a bit of juggling into the mix, before Swedish classical guitarist Johannes Moller gives a special performance on Sunday, May 25.

Laura said: “Johannes is well renowned in the classical guitar world and does a lot of the classics as well as his own compositions based on his time in India.”

One of Johannes’ compositions is based on his time working with the children’s organisation Fut-ure Hope India.

The centrepiece of the event is the Festival Parade on Saturday, May 24, which will feature bhangra beats from RSVP, a digital funfair, outdoor theatre and dance, an acoustic cafe, a 45-foot seahorse, a life-size War Horse puppet and plenty of musical accompaniment.

It will also feature puppets made by local schoolchildren and community groups as well as by people taking part in a puppet workshop on Thursday, May 22 – one of a number of activities running throughout the week.

Over the bank holiday weekend the Borough Gardens will be filled with a host of music and other entertainment with a real mixture of acts.

Laura said: “There’s local as well as international, a real mix.”

She added that there was plenty of entertainment throughout the week to keep everyone of all ages entertained.

Laura said: “It’s something for everyone, which is fantastic.”

For more information about the festival visit dorchesterarts.org. uk or to book tickets for any of the events, call the box office on 01305 266926.

FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS Thursday, May 22 and Friday, May 23 Angel Exit Theatre will be performing the Ballad of Martha Brown at the Corn Exchange.

Friday, May 23 Comedian Laurence Clarke will be performing his Inspired show at the Dorchester Arts Centre.

Saturday, May 24 Festival parade heads out from the Corn Exchange at 11.15am, working its way down South Street, round Brewery Square and up to the Borough Gardens via Bowling Alley Walk.

Juggler, comedian and showman Mat Ricardo will be at the Corn Exchange with special guest Sarah Bennetto.

Sunday, May 25 Swedish classical guitarist Johannes Moller will bring his specially created programme Tales of Europe: Tales of India at the Corn Exchange.

Monday, May 26 1980s ska band The Beat will be at the Corn Exchange.

Monday, May 26 Children’s theatre company Birdsnest will be presenting their production WASH at Munchkins Play Cafe in Princes Street.