A futuristic comedy about the guardians of Dartmoor

MED Theatre’s 2019 community play ‘Rocks’ put Dartmoor’s unique tors centre stage. MED Theatre toured ‘Rocks’ in March 2019, taking in Manaton, Cornwood, Meldon and Moretonhampstead village halls.

‘Rocks’ is a futuristic comedy written by playwright and MED Theatre’s Artistic Director Mark Beeson specifically for the local community cast and explored current issues such as artificial intelligence, surveillance and nuclear waste. As well as taking in crystal healing and current theories from the philosophy of consciousness, the play also looked backward in charting Dartmoor’s geological history down the ages. Rocks is part of MED Theatre’s work with rural communities called ‘Moor Connections’, funded by National Lottery from the Big Lottery Fund.

The year is 2050, and the Mayor of Dartmoor, now ostensibly an independent state but controlled by The Authorities, attempts to lead his citizens despite the presence of an ever-watchful surveillance system. Ian, the CEO of National Energy, has found himself having to embrace the idea of nuclear waste storage in Dartmoor’s granite, after the wind turbines he had espoused were objected to – specifically by his wife who has grown to love the clear skylines of her holiday home. But suppose Dartmoor’s granite has rights, and does not like the thought of having highly radioactive nuclear waste thrust into it? This at least is what young Dartmoor resident Calliope believes as she watches the sunset from a tor, supported for different reasons by geology graduate Astel and his young protégé Jason, crystal therapist Mandarn, and Lana a girl who claims to be from another planet…


Audience feedback

Very interesting and stimulating. Exceptional music.

I love that it brought so many people together both as participants and audience.  I thought it covered interesting topics and provided food for thought for the audience and performers.

The quality of the writing and the humour wonderfully brought to life by the excellent cast.

The story and the subjects covered were fascinating

I love the close proximity of the players and the circular set that allows you to feel immersed in the play.

Really loved it. Brilliant story, very funny.

[I liked the….] Choreography of the Rock.  Clever use of the space. 

Excellent in all aspects. A fun and imaginative story, engaging script and endearing characters, portrayed by an excellent cast, with great technical support!

The Rocks [characters] carried off a difficult concept brilliantly. 

Production gallery





No Access (2011)

When Dartmoor farmer Edgar Bampton decides to fence off a part of his land that has previously been indistinguishable from the open moor, he divides his family and the community. Walkers want a right of way, and for local people the place is full of memories. On the other hand there are calls to protect endangered wildlife and to hold the line for farmers everywhere.

A contemporary comedy about conflict over land-use on Dartmoor, ‘No Access’ was a story about a rural community who have differing reactions when local land rights come under scrutiny. The play invited the communities on and around Dartmoor to explore their emotional connections to locations and how important ‘place’ can be in our lives. The myth of the Dartmoor beast also haunted the action as it built to a humorous climax of protest and confusion at a summer evening party.



No Access e-poster