The Dragon and the Mermaid was written and directed by Mark Beeson, but also incorporated a short section put together by five young people from the area. The play was set at the peak of the Dartmoor tin-mining boom in the early sixteenth century. In the aftermath of the play, a short video film was made on location using a few scenes from the original script, MED Theatre’s first venture into film-making.
The Dragon and the Mermaid was based on the true story of Richard Strode who was a Member of Parliament as well as a tinner, and found himself imprisoned for trying to pass a bill in parliament restraining pollution by the tinners of the South Devon harbours and estuaries. The mermaid in the story represented the harbours of Dartmouth and Plymouth, that Richard Strode sought to protect, and the Dragon represented the furnaces of the tinners’ mines.