Hefted - The Journey Begins

A new community cast from across the generations in Swimbridge, music and sound created live on stage by the performers, the magic of 600 years of North Devon myth and history in nine scenes, and the openness, talent and experience of the region’s own Multistory Theatre at the helm – we’re off!

‘Today was the first creative planning meeting for this December’s premiere of Hefted, and from the outset we could feel the room brimming with theatrical possibilities. Audiences are going to see a play intimately connected to this joint professional and community cast. It’s going to be thrilling to watch as they feed their own personal experiences of this incredible region into the characters of the story.  

We chatted excitedly about the talented child actors in Swimbridge who were raring to get their teeth into the script and were delighted to find that even in early auditions, the local cast were finding humour and depth of meaning in the writing. We realised quickly how much we wanted the community cast to explore and delve into the ensemble of Hefted, uncovering their own unique characters to help frame the whole production. 

So much is still undecided at this stage, and that’s incredibly exciting. We have a newly-minted script that’s rehearsal ready but want to explore staging ideas with this completely new company of professional and community performers. There’s space in the script for movement, song and sound, and as they’ve never worked together before, we want to see where they take things – and to build a fantastic collective of artists along the way. 

We want to understand what fits best with how they see the play. There’s a huge thrill and risk in that, looking on as the writer and knowing that you can now share the ownership and be surprised, delighted and challenged. 

At the heart of this project was an idea for a script that could be interpreted in different ways by different theatre companies, but where the stories would always speak to a North Devon audience about the magic and dynamism of the landscape in which they live. 

This Swimbridge production will be completely unique to this new company, but will be the first, we hope, of many different versions of Hefted in years to come. 

On Sunday evening we all come together for the very first read-through – always a special moment in the journey of a new production. I can’t wait to see what unfolds from there…’

David Lane, writer of Hefted

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