The beginning of any new community play can be tentative and full of uncertainties. At the forefront of our creative minds are questions about what cast we might end up with, what audiences we most want to attract and how we can make this new play fresh and exciting. Fortunately, with MED Theatre’s latest play, SALMON, our lead writer and Artistic Director Mark Beeson was armed with plenty of research and ideas that enabled him to recruit four young writers and collaboratively produce a play fit for any stage. Our stages of choice though are the meadow area at Fingle Bridge and Hearn Field in Haccombe-with-Combe – two beautiful riverside venues that will immerse our audiences into the river world that the play inhabits.
SALMON is only one element of the four-year River Teign Restoration Project but is one that we hope will draw new visitors to the River Teign, engaging them with the issues that face the river (both those caused by humans and otherwise) and encouraging them to enjoy the riverside environment as an asset of the Devon countryside. Our cast of ten young people and ten adults is now assembled and rehearsals have begun, set to take place over the summer in the lead up to public performances on September 4th and 5th.
Meanwhile, bubbling away under the surface are MED Theatre’s other contributions to the project, our education outreach workshops and a poetry and creative writing competition – both of which will be launched in September. The MED Theatre team will tour schools and youth settings near to the River Teign, offering participants some insight into the river life that exists in close proximity to their own lives on land. Participants will be encouraged to submit poems about ‘Our River’ to the competition, which will also be open to adults who would like to enter their own creative responses to the river. With so much to be inspired by, we look forward to receiving entries and finding out how the river affects people from all walks of life.
Helen Gilbert – MED Theatre’s Education Officer and co-director of SALMON