On 8th July, five members of Wild Nights Young Company had the opportunity to perform in Exeter’s first dedicated youth arts festival, which was held over three nights in the historic, but burnt out walls, of Poltimore House.
The festival was set up by Lucy Hirst’s youth theatre company ‘The Young Pretenders’ and was called TYPify Festival. The 20 minute piece performed by Wild Nights, held in the old surgery at the back of Poltimore house, was devised over the previous week. It explored the themes of rewilding and the last wolves to exist on Dartmoor; key features of Wild Nights’ current project.
‘The Hound Of The Baskervilles and The Last Wolf On Dartmoor’ – a project led by our Wild Nights Young Company of 13-20 year old young people – is now just over two thirds of the way through. The Company is starting the next part of this 18-month project: a short film that discusses re-wilding Dartmoor. Members of the Young Company recently visited Burrator Reservoir, which has been chosen as the scenic setting of the film, in partnership with South West Lakes at Burrator Discovery Centre. During a taster filmmaking day the group scouted out filming locations and came up with a storyboard that delves into the arguments surrounding the possibility of re-wilding Dartmoor. The group will continue to work on the film script during their weekly Wild Nights drama club sessions.
The short film will act as an opening for the final strand of the project, a Young People’s Play that the group will begin to rehearse in October, in preparation for performances in December 2017. A workshop held by Sarah Vigars in April 2017 at the MED Theatre studio allowed members of Wild Nights to have a go at creating wolf masks, which will no doubt find their way into this production!
This year’s community play “The Howling” has just come to an end and I know I am writing on behalf of all the young company involved when I say that both the performing and making of the play was a blast! The feedback from audiences were hugely positive and we are all thrilled with all the performances that toured Dartmoor in last month.
I enjoyed putting forth ideas that I was passionate about – and then seeing them come to life in the script, and finally on stage. I know that I have gained a lot of valuable experience by performing with MED, and to be able to share and go through that experience with group members who are now my life-long friends is something special. The next output from our 18-month project will be a short film by our Young Company. All of us in MED Wild Nights Young Company now eagerly await this exciting and new part of the project and can’t wait to start the script writing process.
For more information about this project, please visit ‘The Howling’ page.
MED Theatre’s community cast is busy rehearsing ‘The Howling‘, community play touring Dartmoor villages from 10th to 18th of March. Follow our ‘Current Projects’ -page for latest information!
‘Wolf Whispers’ – the Young Company’s radio play – had a successful launch on Tuesday November 15th in the MED Theatre Studio, and the feedback from an invited audience was great. ‘Wolf Whispers’ can be listened to at the link below.
MED Theatre’s Young Company have a busy weekend behind them. The 12-19 year old participants of ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Last Wolf on Dartmoor’ project have spent the weekend in the grand surroundings of Castle Drogo acting and recording their very own radio play. The radio play, which explores controversies surrounding the writing of The Hound of the Baskervilles, times when wolves still roamed Dartmoor, and a seventeenth century vampire Richard Cabell, is the outcome of the young people’s thorough research which they have carried out with the help of MED Theatre’s facilitators throughout 2016.
You will find the podcast link for the finished radio play here on MED Theatre’s website once the team has finished the editing process. Stay tuned!
‘The Hound of the Baskervilles and the Last Wolf on Dartmoor’ project is well on its way!
So far, our young people involved have received an inspirational visit from an animal behaviourist and wolf expert Kirsty Peake, and began to research the topic of re-wilding as well as the history of extinction of wolves on Dartmoor. In May we visited Pengelly Trust Centre and the tomb of the alleged 17th century vampire Richard Cabell and learnt about the mysteries related to his life and death. More recently some of us took part in a weekend residential at Pixies Holt – near one of the possible sites where the last wolf on Dartmoor is said to have been killed. As well as grilling marshmallows by a camp fire, we began planning a radio play which explored the controversy around the writing of ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’.
Over the next year ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles and the Last Wolf on Dartmoor’ project will see young people producing their own stage play, a short film, a community play as well as the radio play.
The project is for young people aged 12-19 – please get in contact with MED Theatre if you are interested in taking part, and follow the project updates here!
MED Theatre has received a new grant from Heritage Lottery Fund Young Roots for an exciting 18 month project, ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles and the Last Wolf on Dartmoor’. Facilitated by MED Theatre’s creative practitioners, the project will 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.
Dartmoor’s young people will have the opportunity to take part in a series of creative projects, including the creation of a radio play, a stage play, part of a community play and a short film, all inspired by wolves, their role in Dartmoor’s past and the myths behind the Victorian dectective story The Hound of the Baskervilles. Research will begin this summer with field trips to Dartmeet and Castle Drogo, the locations of the last two wolf sightings, plus a visit further afield to the UK Wolf Conservation Trust in Berkshire. Trips to Buckfastleigh and Hound Tor will give the participants the chance to experience locations important for the creation of The Hound of the Baskervilles. A variety of arts workshops will also accompany the project, with opportunities for young people to learn new skills in physical theatre, radio, film, music, dance, sculpture and puppetry.
Though they are now extinct, wolves and wild dogs still live on in Dartmoor’s mythology, forming the inspiration Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’. Working alongside heritage professionals (including cultural environmentalist and historian Dr Tom Greeves), participants of ‘The Last Wolf’ project will gain a deeper insight into Dartmoor’s forgotten wildlife and its impact on our wider cultural heritage.