Elfrida – an audio play by Bright Nights Drama Group (2018)
The Hunted Hare – an audio play by Bright Lights Drama Group (2018)
Jan Coo – An Audio Play by Rising Lights Drama Group for 5-7 year old (2018)
Wolf’s End – A Play by MED Young Company (2017)
In the 1780s, at a time of great change on Dartmoor, roads and houses are built, moorland is enclosed and conifer forests replace the native scrub. But how did the improvers’ dreams of turning the Moor into an agricultural prairie impact its wild inhabitants? And would the new roads really prepare the way for prosperity on Dartmoor?
“Wolf’s End”, a new drama by MED Theatre’s Wild Nights Young Company, explored this period of development and integrates the legend of the last wolves to be killed in Britain, rumoured to have been shot on Dartmoor at this time.
The performance included a showing of the youth company’s short film ‘The Last Wolf’. The evening was truly a celebration of young local talent; the 13-19 year old participants of MED Theatre’s youth company have researched and scripted both the film and play, and composed their own music.
Both of these creative outputs are part of The Hound of the Baskervilles and the Last Wolf on Dartmoor project which has been running since spring 2016, supported by a grant from Heritage Lottery Fund. During this 18-month project MED Theatre has also produced a radio play Wolf Whispers with its youth company (www.medtheatre.co.uk/wolf-whispers).
On September 23 rd and 24th MED Theatre performed a revival of its ‘Whitehorse Hill’ promenade play in Bellever Forest, charting the history of Dartmoor from the Bronze Age to the present. This outdoor community play, first produced in 2015, is part of ‘The Moor Than Meets the Eye’ scheme and will be performed in collaboration with Princetown Primary School. Please follow this link to the the ‘Whitehorse Hill’-page to read more.
In March 2016 MED Theatre received a grant for an exciting 18 month project, ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles and the Last Wolf on Dartmoor’. The project would enable young people to learn more about Dartmoor’s local history and ecology through the eyes of a long lost animal, the wolf, last sighted on Dartmoor in 1780, and the legends it provoked.
So far our young people have taken part in research trips, a residential, and written and published a radio play, ‘Wolf Whispers’ – follow this link to listen to it and to find out more. MED Theatre’s 2017 community play, The Howling, which toured Dartmoor villages in March was also one outcome of this project and the research carried out by its young participants.
Most recently, our large group of committed young participants have been kept busy with preparations for their upcoming short film. During summer half-term we had three full filming days on location at Burrator Reservoir, and Wolf Conservation Trust near Reading!
Keep visiting The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Last Wolf on Dartmoor page to stay up to date with upcoming activities and performances!
Princetown Film Club
MED has been running a fortnightly film club at Princetown Primary School since school year 2015-2016, working with children from the Forest of Dartmoor/Central Dartmoor area. The first season of this two year project came to an end in July 2016 when Moor Film Club hosted the launch of their short film.
The project will be running for two years, supported by a Grant from the People’s Health Trust, and Moor Film Club will be starting again in September 2016. Newcomers are always welcome! Participants aged 7-13 years will have the opportunity to script, film and edit a film from their own ideas. Contact us to find out more details.
2016 Community Play
MED Theatre’s 2016 community play ‘Refuge’ told the story of John Elford, a renegade parliamentarian who spoke out against Cromwell’s dictatorship during the English Civil War. Forced into hiding, he is believed to have concealed himself in a cave on Sheepstor, now better known as the ‘Piskie’s Cave’. Faced with hours of solitude, Elford took to painting on the walls of his hideout to pass the time. He has since been recorded in history as Dartmoor’s first visual artist… Visit the Refuge page for more information…
Our Wild Nights Young Company performed a small showcase of their plays on Friday 27th November 2015 in Moretonhampstead Village Hall at 7:30pm. Featuring stories of love, stories of loss, stories of refuge, separation and reconnection…
MED Theatre and South West Lakes Trust worked with young people aged 11-25 in an exciting media project; the creation of a film exploring Burrator in the First World War. This project was commissioned by DAISI and funded by HLF. Young people were involved in all aspects of film making, including uncovering local stories about people and the surrounding area, creating a storyboard, writing the script, acting, directing, operating the camera, adjusting the sound, and editing the final footage to create a short film called ‘Burrator’s War’. The public launch for the film took place on Friday 20th November 2015. To see photos from the shoot and for more information visit the Burrator project page.
In partnership with Moor than meets the eye: Telling the Dartmoor story…
In summer and autumn 2015 MED Theatre worked under the Moor than meets the eye scheme, coordinated by Dartmoor National Park, to produce a community play to be performed in Bellever Forest. The play was inspired by the archeological findings at the Whitehorse Hill cist near Postbridge. The audience were invited to take a walk through time, journeying through seven different periods in history from the Bronze Age through to the present day in the mesmerising Bellever Forest woods. For more information about the project visit the Whitehorse Hill page.
You can find out more about the Walk project on the The Walk page.
The Walk was a performance project based around a narrative poem by Mark Beeson, MED Theatre’s Artistic Director. Described by Ted Hughes as ‘powerful’ and ‘full of unique and marvelous things’ the poem describes a dream journey across Dartmoor, culminating in a vision of a more sustainable future. As well as hosting a number of participatory workshops, MED Theatre have been producing two new performance pieces as part of The Walk. The first piece was a shadow puppet play, devised and performed by MED Theatre’s core artistic team, which concluded a tour of Dartmoor at the end of May 2015. The second piece was a dance drama, created and performed by Dartmoor’s young emerging artists. Intensive rehearsals for the dance drama took place in July 2015 and the piece was performed at the beginning of August in two outdoor locations followed by a tour of village halls. (Supported by a grant from Arts Council England).