A futuristic comedy set among Dartmoor’s tors
MED Theatre’s new community play ‘Rocks’ puts Dartmoor’s unique tors centre stage. MED Theatre is touring ‘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 explores 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 looks backward in charting Dartmoor’s geological history down the ages. Rocks is part of MED Theatre’s three year programme of 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…
The dates of the performances are:
March 8th and 9th in Manaton Parish Hall,
March 12th in Cornwood Village Hall,
March 14th in Meldon Village Hall and
March 15th and 16th in Moretonhampstead Parish Hall.
All performances start at 7.30pm. Tickets are £8 / £5 children under 16.
Performances of young people’s plays and music
December 8th 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Moretonhampstead Village Hall
Ticket £7 / £5
Dartfest 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.
Still images from our Saturday 8th December performance:
Stapledon – A community play for Ashburton, based on the life of Walter Stapledon, Bishop of Exeter and High Treasurer of England under Edward II.
The play charts Stapledon’s life – 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.
Performances take place in the grand St Lawrence Chapel in Ashburton in September 2018.
Dartmoor Rivers – New Music Composition Project for Young People
Dartmoor Rivers is MED Theatre’s new year-long music project, supported by a grant from The Michael Tippet Musical Foundation. Kicked off in October 2017 with a workshop by composer and writer Gerard McBurney, this project will enable its young participants to receive training in music composition, and guidance in finding inspiration for their pieces in the subject of Dartmoor rivers. Whilst supporting MED Theatre’s drama projects along the year, Dartmoor Rivers project will culminate in a concert of the young people’s compositions in Autumn 2018.