Biz Extra

Published: March 10, 2022 | Updated: March 10, 2022

Hairspray and An Evening with Dame Darcey Bussell plus so much more from Jason Ward

By Andrew Diprose, editor

There has been so much happening this month that we have had to expand, writes Jason Ward.

We review the uplifting Hairspray at Lighthouse, Poole and spend an evening with Dame Darcey Bussell at Pavilion Dance South West (PDSW) learning what it takes to achieve the highest levels of success.

Creating Atmosphere is all about making sure our new ideas will work, and we hear about creative inspiration from award-winning UK classical musicians Solem Quartet.

There is another month of great arts and culture in our area and news of a brand new venue opening in Boscombe.

Coming your way in the next month:

15th – 19th March  – Private Lives, Nigel Havers produces and stars in Noel Coward’s hilarious classic with Patricia Hodge at Lighthouse, Poole. Tickets:

Until 3rd April – Estate. By Jimmy Cauty this is a new series of outdoor installations representing a dystopian model village. Presented by GIANT gallery in the Triangle, Bournemouth. More information:

Every Friday & Saturday – Comedy, Improv and More,  Black Cherry is a brand new Boscombe venue with an Improv company, comedians and a range of great classes. See

Review: Hairspray – Lighthouse, Poole

Alex Bourne as Edna Turnblad and Katie Brace as Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray.

On a dark, wet, and dreary Monday evening in the middle of winter the warm embrace of this massively uplifting show was just what the doctor ordered!

Hairspray is so much more than an escapist rock and roll fantasy.

Our heroine Tracy Turnblad (amazing performance from newcomer Katie Brace) is seeking to overcome the prejudice she faces because of her size, and that faced by African Americans in the racially segregated Baltimore of the 1960s.

The show does not make light of these issues but discusses them through some of the catchiest songs ever written and a book that keeps the show moving.

This production features an insanely talented cast that lights up the evening with infectious, high octane energy and some truly stand out performances.

The Lighthouse clearly knows what people want because the full house audience gave this Big, Bold and Beautiful show a standing ovation. You would too!

Review: An Evening With Dame Darcey Bussell – Pavilion Dance South West (PDSW)

Darcey Bussell is the greatest British dancer of her generation.

If you want to know what it takes to achieve success then listen to her explain what it takes.

She shared insights about the intense physical and psychological strength employed to achieve her success, how her technique, and the rigid structure of ballet class, helped to keep her grounded during stressful periods.

We learnt about the massive risks involved with being a dancer and Darcey described the need to push herself to physical, creative and psychological limits in order to grow.

This would be a very powerful masterclass for achieving business success and, as a warm and engaging speaker, Darcey draws the audience in rather than seeking to impress – but there is so much to be impressed about and so much to learn.

Darcey now passionately supports young dancers and with DDMix is helping more people discover the joy of moving to music.

Of course she also dropped some choice Strictly anecdotes but I am sworn to secrecy!

Discover more about PDSW at:

DD Mix Dance Fitness:

Darcey Bussell stars in the upcoming movie Coppelia:

Solem Quartet

The award-winning quartet recently played a series of sold out concerts across our area. I asked them about their own creative inspiration.

Picture: Bertie Watson.

What inspires your creative ideas?

A lot of our inspiration comes from the music we listen to and the events we experience. Recently, the inspiration for how we present our concerts has come from outside of the classical sphere. Watching bands and singer-songwriters perform their own music encouraged us to create our own arrangements and to put our personal stamp on them. It also opened our minds to how diverse the string quartet repertoire can be, and driven us to continue creating and commissioning composers.

Why are arts and culture important to everyone?

Just imagine how boring life would be without them! Sometimes you really have to do just that to appreciate all that is there for us to enjoy. Arts and culture don’t necessarily mean opera houses and museums – the TV we watch, the music we consume and the podcasts we listen to all fall under this umbrella and enrich our lives on a daily basis.

What advice would you give to a business to help them become more creative?

Look to other businesses outside of your own area for inspiration. Every industry has its own way of doing and presenting things – find out what works elsewhere and mould it to benefit your own practice.

Who is your creative hero?

Our creative hero has got to be Björk. It’s not just the music she makes, it’s her whole being, her sense of self, that exudes creativity and individuality more than anyone else I can think of. I’d love to meet her!

What piece of creative work are you most proud of?

It has to be our recent album, The Four Quarters. It tells the story of a 24-hour cycle through day and night, and features music from the baroque era to the present day. It’s quite bold – we’ve separated movements of Thomas Ades’ eponymous work and interspersed them with pieces by Cassandra Miller, Béla Bartók and even Kate Bush. We received really positive reviews which also helps.

What are you working on now?

Our series Beethoven Bartok Now launched last year and runs till 2024. In six parts, it brings together works by two giants of the string quartet repertoire with a living British composer responding to their music. We are really proud to have commissioned six of the most exciting composers in the UK today. We’re presenting concerts, school workshops and have launched a series for composers called “Writing for Quartet” with participants from across the world.

We’re announcing new concert dates all the time so look out for a performance near you.

Check out Solem Quartet concert dates here:

The Four Quarters, is available

How many times have you seen a new concept, product or process and thought: ‘They haven’t thought that through?’.

This happens too often and many times it is because a vital stage of the creative process has been skipped: VERIFICATION which is the process of understanding if your new idea will work.

There is a very simple way to stress test creative ideas: try to communicate them.


Only when your idea can be clearly and concisely explained to somebody else should you start thinking about implementation.

If it is not clear then you simply return to the preparation stage and find out what you missed. But when it makes sense to other people – without a 45 page presentation, video, and appendix – then you are ready to get working.

Many times we see companies skip the verification stage and implement an idea too quickly. It could be because they are being reactive or because somebody high up is pushing the concept.

However, taking the time for VERIFICATION will ensure you deliver a much better final outcome for your audience, teams and bottom line.

Check out next month’s column for more creative insights or contact me directly for personalised support.


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Instagram:  @jasonwardcreative