Whitehorse Hill, an acclaimed outdoor promenade play, is returning to Bellever forest in September 2019.
We are hosting a recruitment and information evening at Postbridge Village Hall on Thursday 28th March 2019. Come along to hear about the opportunities available! We are looking for actors and those interested in theatre tech, design, costumes, props, stewards, stage managers…and anything else!
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…
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.
We are hosting the first reading of our new community play (working title ‘Rocks’) on Sunday December 16th, 6.00-8.00pm, in the MED Theatre Studio.
If you are interested in being in this community play, which is rehearsed between January and March and tours Dartmoor village halls in the second and third weeks of March, please come to this reading!
If you are unable to attend, let us know that you are interested to be part of this project by this date.
Dart-Fest 2018 is MED Theatre’s celebration of new writing and composition by young people, inspired by the rivers of Dartmoor. The production consists of a series of plays and music pieces all written and performed by members of our young company, Wild Nights. They have undergone a process of idea generating, draft writing and script editing under the supervision of our expert playwright Mark Beeson before moving on to a developmental rehearsal process undertaking roles such as directing and stage design in addition to performing. The performances explore life on Dartmoor combining the imaginary with themes of loneliness, friendship, betrayal and suspicion.
The music part of this project has taken inspiration from Dartmoor Rivers and has included a session recording underwater sounds of streams and waterfalls, alongside a number of workshops when the young people learned about various composing techniques, notably one from Gerard McBurney (former Artistic Programming Advisor for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra), Trefor Farrow, conductor of the Collati Singers and the Damerel Belles, and Gillian Webster, MED Theatre’s music mentor. The music strand is supported by a grant from the Michael Tippett Foundation.
This historical drama charts the life of Walter Stapledon Bishop of Exeter – from his humble origins coming from a farming family in North Devon, through his meteoric rise in the church and politics to become King Edward the Second’s most trusted diplomat and also his treasurer, to his murder by a London mob in 1326. His life is counterpointed by the story of a farming family on Dartmoor during the Great Famine.
‘Stapledon’ is a new play written by MED Theatre’s Artistic Director Mark Beeson and performed by a community cast from the Dartmoor area with music by Gillian Webster and Trefor Farrow. A longer blurb about the history that has inspired the script can be found here.
Performances on Thursday 27th, Friday 28th, and Saturday 29th of September 2018, 7.30pm in St Andrews Church, Ashburton
For more information contact MED Theatre on 01647 441356 or email@example.com
Photos by Jenny Steer
MED Theatre has received a new grant from The Big Lottery Fund for their work with young people for a project called ‘Moor Connections’.
This three year project is a continuation and development of MED Theatre’s previous succesful project ‘Moor Young Voices’, which provided creative opportunities for young people aged 5 to 20 years living in a ruraly isolated area of Devon. The new project will also focus on making connections between communities through work with young people and their families and friends.
As a community based theatre, MED Theatre’s aim is to provide space and support for local people, with particular emphasis on young people, to come together to produce theatre which is both relevant and accessible, whilst increasing individuals’ self-esteem and aspirations, and developing links within isolated communities.
Throughout the Moor Connections project young people from across Dartmoor and the surrounding areas will continue to have the opportunity to take part in MED Theatre’s regular drama and playwriting clubs, as well as workshops in filmmaking, music, dance and design.
James Harcourt, England Grant Making Director at the Big Lottery Fund, said: “This project has identified that helping local people to build friendships and connections will help the community to tackle issues that are important to them. We’re proud that our funding supports people who have identified what matters to them and their community and who want to make a positive change.”
MED Theatre’s work is inspired by the history, ecology and folklore of Dartmoor and surrounding Devon, as well as the pertinent social and environmental issues which face the residents of a National Park.
Participants from recent projects have said that our work has helped them to “grow social skills and confidence”, “meet new people across generations”, and “develop skills to interact with people of all ages”. Some of our recent projects include The Coast , a community play about plastic pollution and the tourism industry of the South West of England, and The Hound of the Baskervilles and the Last Wolf on Dartmoor – an 18 month project about Dartmoor’s local history and ecology inspired by memories of the wolf, last sighted locally in 1780, the many legends it has inspired, as well as the current re-wilding debate.
If you would like to get involved with our activities please contact MED Theatre for more information on 01647 441356 or firstname.lastname@example.org