The Hound of the Baskervilles and the Last Wolf on Dartmoor

MED Theatre has received a new grant from Heritage Lottery Fund Young Roots for an exciting 18 month project, ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles and the Last Wolf on Dartmoor’. Facilitated by MED Theatre’s creative practitioners, the project will enable young people to learn more about Dartmoor’s local history and ecology through the eyes of a long lost animal, the wolf, last sighted on Dartmoor in 1780, and the legends it provoked.

Dartmoor’s young people will have the opportunity to take part in a series of creative projects, including the creation of a radio play, a stage play, part of a community play and a short film, all inspired by wolves, their role in Dartmoor’s past and the myths behind the Victorian dectective story The Hound of the Baskervilles. Research will begin this summer with field trips to Dartmeet and Castle Drogo, the locations of the last two wolf sightings, plus a visit further afield to the UK Wolf Conservation Trust in Berkshire. Trips to Buckfastleigh and Hound Tor will give the participants the chance to experience locations important for the creation of The Hound of the Baskervilles. A variety of arts workshops will also accompany the project, with opportunities for young people to learn new skills in physical theatre, radio, film, music, dance, sculpture and puppetry.

Though they are now extinct, wolves and wild dogs still live on in Dartmoor’s mythology, forming the inspiration Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’. Working alongside heritage professionals (including cultural environmentalist and historian Dr Tom Greeves), participants of ‘The Last Wolf’project will gain a deeper insight into Dartmoor’s forgotten wildlife and its impact on our wider cultural heritage.

 

History and performance today on Dartmoor

Dartmoor's history has featured in a number of contemporary plays and songs. MED Theatre has used history extensively in its community play tradition on Dartmoor, from The Paint Man (1991), which was based on the life of John Elford of Sheepstor in the 17th century, to Snow (2009) which looked at oral and documentary recollections of the winter of 1962-3, and Hinterland (2010) which dramatised the life of Thomas Tyrwhitt, the creator of Princetown.  Seth Lakeman's Kitty Jay released in 2004 and Childe the Hunter released in 2006 are examples of songs that use Dartmoor's history.

For the history of theatre and performance on Dartmoor, click here

   

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