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Festival celebrates work of young playwrights

By Herald Express  |  Posted: November 29, 2012

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MED Theatre is putting on its biennial festival of young Dartmoor people's playwriting, Dartfest.

Five plays will be performed twice over two evenings in Moretonhampstead Parish Hall. The plays are all inspired by Dartmoor's environment, and tackle subjects such as passion, disability, grief, divided loyalties, ethnic conflict, bullying, haunting and superstition in a direct and eye-opening fashion, leavening the dark subject matter with humour and tenderness.

Dance artists Rohanna Eade and Charlotte Spencer, musician David Faulkner of Wren Music, stage designer Olivia Young, costume designer Fiona Avis and stage manager Philippa Glanvill have given professional support alongside MED Theatre's core team.

With their mentoring, 12 young people have written and directed the plays, as well as providing their own music, dance and floor canvas creations, to enrich the performance in which they act.

In Forever by Teresa Hellyer, a girl depends on the advice of a friend from her Dartmoor childhood — but is this situation sustainable? The White Bird by Rachel Caverhill deals with superstition and destiny, and is a re-telling of an old myth — as is Divided by Willa Faulkner and Laura Stewart-Watson, in which a Roman and a Celt long for each other across an impassable river.

Orphan by Beth Horsey and Oli Strath kicks off with a wicked practical joke in a children's home and reaches a terrifying climax on the tors.

A bleak bog landscape dominates The Marsh by Alex Mortimer, as a woman tries desperately to keep her daughter out of the hands of the authorities.

Dartfest 2012 forms the culmination of MED Theatre's year-long Catchment programme, supported by Arts Council England and the National Lottery.

Performances take place tomorrow and Saturday.

Curtain up at 7.30pm. To book, call 01647 441356 or email info@medtheatre.co.uk

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