What If...?

Thanks to National Lottery Players

What was it about?

A huge thank you to The National Lottery Heritage Fund for supporting the exciting project ‘What if…?’

‘What if…?’ was an in-depth exploration of the historical impact humans have had on the planet since the hunter-gatherer era. We asked the questions: What if the introduction of farming and deforestation in Devon had never happened? What if the road building of the Improvers on Dartmoor and the digging of peat for fuel hadn’t happened? How would our landscape look now, and what would our current-day life be like?

This ‘research into performance’ project used a combination of educational, artistic, and research activities to investigate the local history of the climate crisis with Devon communities. It led to exciting creative and educative interpretations including a young people’s festival of plays and a rural touring intergenerational community play.

Check out our digital resource pack, designed by archeaologist Emma Stockley, to find out more about the period of time we were exploring: Mesolithic Digital Resources Pack

'What if...?' project ACTIVITIES


~ Saturday 21st October 2023 at ‘On the Hill’: 10am – 8pm


~ Saturday 11th November 2023 in Moretonhampstead Parish Hall: 2pm and 4:30pm


~ Sunday 10th December in the MED Theatre studio: 6pm – 8pm

COMMUNITY PLAY – The Experiment 

~ 5th and 16th of March in Manaton Parish Hall, 19th in Winkleigh Village Hall, 20th in Buckfast Southpark Hall, and 22nd and 23rd in Moretonhampstead Parish Hall


~ Saturday 20th April: 10am

~ Coffee and cake with historical presentations about prehistoric Dartmoor at East Dart Hotel. Followed by an optional walk to explore the research in-situ within the local landscape.


~ 4th to 6th May 2024 at ‘On the Hill’


DartFest 2023

In a festival of new work, young people from Dartmoor and surrounding areas explored the themes of historic changes to our environment and the role played by our predecessors in our current climate crisis. 

In two performances, three pieces of work were presented by participants of MED Theatre’s after-school groups, taking audiences on a journey, delving into the history of climate change and offering a taste of the hunter-gatherer lifestyle.

It was a great success, with the second performance being sold out! Well done to all our young performers, directors, and tech crew!


A group of children are dropped off at a location on Dartmoor excited to enjoy a fun week of camping, when their leaders have an accident and have to be rushed to hospital leaving the children alone and unprovided for.

Unbeknown to them, they are part of an experiment that their parents secretly signed them up for: is the hunter-gatherer instinct still intact? Can humans survive with only the land to live off despite the present-day short cuts to food and a reliance on technology?

The scientists and parents watch on hidden cameras as the dangers get more and more extreme until eventually they need to step in, but for one child does their intervention come too late?

Click here for more information about MED Theatre’s 2024 community play – The Experiment.