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MED Theatre

   
med theatre
MED Theatre

www.medtheatre.co.uk
info@medtheatre.co.uk
t : 01647 - 441 356
Moretonhampstead, Devon
England

  Inspired by studying blue monkey groups under threat in Malawi because the monkeys were damaging plantation trees, and by the use of animal characters in African and Greek drama, Mark Beeson instigated MED Theatre. MED Theatre is a community theatre organisation in the Dartmoor National Park, where adults, teenagers and children work and play together in drama that deals with issues around the human-made/natural interface.

MED Theatre is a unique grass-roots community theatre dedicated to producing ambitious new work about the national park, involving original ecological, historical, and anthropological research, and working in depth with young people and adults over many years to develop a company which has a profound understanding of its surroundings and their evolution.

 
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Productions and Projects

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Adder
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2012
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Adder is a site-specific dance drama about the ecology and mythology of the adder on Dartmoor, and in a global context, performed in Lustleigh Orchard.

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Catchment
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2012
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Catchment is a community play linking water catchments with school catchments, and examining inter-connectness within a bio-region.
    Close friends Kim and Vicki are separated when Vicki moves house, goes to a new school and becomes wrapped up in helping a pen-friend in Africa whose village is experiencing a drought – but Kim cannot forget. An old Dartmoor river myth, the siting of a new housing development and conversations on the school bus bring the influence of human and river catchments into sharp focus as the drama moves towards the threat of a fatal flood
A significant number of properties are at risk from flooding along catchments that include Dartmoor. It is thought possible that with the effects of climate change the number of properties affected could rise dramatically.

In many parts of Africa, the montane forest forms the last reserve for rare birds and mammals. Montane forest around the headwaters of rivers in the drier areas is important in mediating the release of rainfall and ground water into the water courses, particularly where patterns of rainfall appear to be growing less consistent. With land and firewood in short supply, the pressure on montane forest from local farmers is increasing.

The fates of fresh water and forest are likely to become increasingly linked if extreme weather events grow more frequent.

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Catchment

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No Access
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2011
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When Dartmoor farmer Edgar Bampton decides to fence off a part of his land that has previously been indistinguishable from the open moor, he divides his family and the community. Walkers want a right of way, and for local people the place is full of memories. On the other hand there are calls to protect endangered wildlife and to hold the line for farmers everywhere.

A contemporary comedy about conflict over land-use on Dartmoor, No Access invited the communities on and around Dartmoor to explore their emotional connections to locations and how important ‘place’ can be in their lives. The myth of the Dartmoor beast also haunted the action as it built to a humorous climax of protest and confusion at a summer evening party.

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No Access

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Brown Hare
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2010
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Brown Hare is a site-specific dance drama charting the ecology and mythology of the brown hare on Dartmoor and in a global context, performed in a rowan copse and on an open hillside.

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Snow
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2009
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Snow is a community play based on oral history research into the winter of 1962-1963 on Dartmoor, and the way humans beings deal with extreme weather events.

It also looks at arguments for and against the re-introduction of wolves.

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Hot Air
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2008
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Hot Air is an environmental comedy set during an outdoor party on Dartmoor. The polite conversation quickly fades, as a heated debate breaks out about the origins of global warming, its likely impact on the local community and the rights and wrongs of various courses of action designed to mitigate it, including a proposed wind farm on the moor.

hot air
Instead of simply witnessing this debate, Hot Air invited audience members to join in. The play was followed by an interactive period of discussion led by the fictional character, Dominic, a journalist consulting the local community. A vote was taken at the end of the discussions to gauge how the community felt about the proposed wind farm.

The comments and results show a slight preference for the wind farm, but the purpose of the discussion was to explore climate change issues and provide a framework for raising awareness of the challenges climate change will present.

Hot Air was written by Mark Beeson.

MED Theatre, is a community theatre organisation based on Dartmoor.

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High Plateau
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2006
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High Plateau is a dance-drama looking at MED Theatre Artistic Director Mark Beeson's work conserving blue monkeys under threat of being shot because of the damage they were inflicting on exotic softwood plantations of the Zomba Plateau, Malawi.

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Roots
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2005
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Roots is a young people's play in which a mysterious group of refugees work to preserve beech trees, regarded as aliens by the authorities.

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The Wilderness
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1992
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The Wilderness is a community play about Dartmoor in the future, now a desert as a result of global warming.

A band of rebels attempt to plant up the sands but find that it brings them into conflict with Dartmoor's hard line president, who is worried that his tourist industry will be affected if the desert landscape disappears.

The play was featured on BBC Radio 4's arts magazine programme 'Kaleidoscope'.

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The Bees
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1991
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The Bees is a community play about the role of environmental art in the rural environment.

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The Salmon
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1990
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The Salmon is a community play which looks at the futility of conservation in a National Park without looking at the broader context of what is going on outside its borders.

The eponymous salmon argue with tour guide Richard Heritage that pollution of Dartmoor's rivers comes from rain acidified by emissions from power stations and factories hundred's of miles away.

The play was reviewed by Alan Saddler in The Guardian.

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The Green Woman
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1988
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The Green Woman is a community play which pits nature conservation against archaeology and the provision of facilities for young people in rural areas. The play satirises the dogma that accompanies extreme standpoints, and suggests that a more feminine and holistic approach might be beneficial.

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The Swallows
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1987
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The Swallows, a community play that transferred to BBC Radio 4, is a satire of rural housing policy, in which a group of swallows find themselves shut out of their ancestral barn by its conversion to a holiday cottage.

The play advocates looking after swallows, bats and barn owls, the use of intermediate technology and a radical new approach to accommodation in rural areas.

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The Hedge
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1984
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The Hedge is a community play about the importance of living boundaries and the traditional art of hedging.

It won a prize in Ann Jellicoe's Village Community play competition and was performed in Manaton Parish Hall by members of the parish.

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The Badgers
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1980
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The Badgers is a play about the fate of badgers during the gassing campaign carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It was performed in two barns on Dartmoor to local audiences.

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  MED Theatre
www.medtheatre.co.uk
info@medtheatre.co.uk
t: 01647 - 441 356

11a New Street
Moretonhampstead, Devon
TQ13 8PE
England

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