First reading of MED Theatre’s 2019 community play

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.

Watercolour painting of MED Theatre ‘Playreading’ by Olivia Young, 1998

Dartmoor Rivers: Dartfest 2018

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.

Music from The Coast composed under the Dartmoor Rivers project


Booking for Complicite Workshop in November 2018

Book and pay for your place as an adult (over 25) on the workshop with Clive Mendus of Complicité

Date 4th November 2018, 10.00am-4.30pm.

Venue: Manaton Parish Hall, TQ13 9UJ

For children 8 years plus and young people up to 25, there in NO CHARGE. But children under eleven years must be accompanied by an adult.

On Saturday November 3rd, the Complicité workshop is for young people 13-25, and is FREE OF CHARGE. But places are limited so you need to email to reserve a place. This workshop is not open to adults or children under 13.

Workshop fee

Stapledon – A new community play for Ashburton and the Dartmoor area

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  

Photos by Jenny Steer

MED Theatre is awarded National Lottery Grant

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

MED Young Company return to TYPify Youth Arts Festival

MED Theatre’s Wild Nights Young Company perform their original work

MED Theatre’s Wild Nights Young Company will return to perform at TYPify Festival, a youth arts festival taking place in the grand historic Poltimore House near Exeter in July 2018.

The three-day festival is dedicated to showcasing young talent from across Devon and will feature theatre, music, poetry and fine art – all by local young people.

MED Young Company will perform their piece on Sunday 8th July at 7pm and 8pm. The performance has been written and rehearsed by the 13-19 year old young participants of MED Theatre, and includes their original music.

For more information and tickets please visit the The Young Pretenders (TYP) website

MED Theatre suffragettes in Newton Abbot

In April 2018 MED Theatre worked together with Historic England and the year 6 class at Wolborough C of E Primary in Newton Abbot to bring part of history to life.

Emmeline and Sylvia Pankhurst are addressing the “rioting” crowds in the town centre of Newton Abbot

Easter Play in a Day with MED Theatre

This Easter, come and join us in MED Theatre’s studio for a day of fun, frolics and folklore! We will play our way through local stories, MED songs and costume making ready for a sharing in the afternoon of all the fun we have had!

If you are aged 8-12 and are interested in joining us on Tuesday 10th April, 10am-3pm, please ask an adult to contact us on or tel: 01647 441356 to book you a place. £5 per participant, please bring along some snacks and a packed lunch.

We hope to see you there!

The Coast 2018

Seal Song

Video clip – Rusalka and the seal

The Coast – A Play about our Relationship with the Sea

‘Atlantis’ is a South West coastal village; a holiday destination with beaches covered in litter, cliff edges tall enough to hide many a secret, and locals affected by the low-wage economy of the holiday trade. When Dartmoor sisters Romney and Petra go on holiday to Atlantis, they are led into a world where nothing is quite as it seems, and end up staring at disaster from the edge of the cliffs. Can they and others, overcome the feud that is undermining village life?

MED Theatre’s latest community play The Coast explored the relationship of Dartmoor to the coast of the South West, and delved into the issue of plastic pollution of the oceans. Set in the fictional coastal village of Atlantis, the play made use of historicalaccounts of wreckers, as well as the folklore of Jack o’ Lantern and selchies, to explore modern conundrums in landscape conservation, development and planning.

To read the original script by Mark Beeson, follow this link: the Coast script

Thank you to all of our audiences, volunteer helpers and cast members for The Coast

Audience Feedback: 

‘A very absorbing story with multiple themes all revelant to local and current affairs as well as links to local legend & history. Fantastic showcase of young talent in drama and music. Great to see all age groups in the cast.’
‘Very topical and relevant at this time. Great integration of ages participating and local history and present day concerns.’
‘Brilliant seal & chuff puppets. Was of local interest using local people. Good mix of ages.’
‘Really lovely puppets! The music composition was an interesting new change – very beautiful singing and good ambient sounds. It was brilliant, thanks!’
‘I think all aspects were well thought through, especially the music. The puppets were beautiful and mesmerising!’
“It was good to see the age range and that it was tackling a subject (plastic pollution) so much in the limelight and so important. Lovely performance.’
‘MED Theatre effortlessly tells a thoughtprovoking story, with such simple means. Talented acting and a great way of getting the community together.’

Production gallery: 


For more information or to request a DVD of the play, please contact us via one of the below options.
MED Theatre: , Tel: 01647 441356