stories that span 600 years of a deep connection with the land

Hefted is something of a departure for multi story.

For the first time in twenty years we are touring a play not written by us! And with more than two performers.

the play

Beaford commissioned David Lane to find a new way to talk about our lives, our land and our future. Hefted is the result: a narrative that sweeps across 600 years, starting in 1475 with a supernatural birth and moving through nine different landscapes to an imagined 2075 in which stories from the past are retold to help heal the present. Some of the stories are fantastical, others dramatise real events but all explore the notion of being ‘hefted’ or ‘leared’ – the deep connection we have with the land.

‘We’re clay, don’t ever say you ain’t got no responsibility to the land. You’re the earth itself.’

Having produced a community version of the play with a twenty-strong cast, multi story were commissioned to develop, with David, a ‘studio’ version for a four-strong professional company. We played, rehearsed, sang and re-imagined our way to what we have now: a wryly funny play, emotionally absorbing, interspersed with songs and a spectacular soundscape that brings big questions about our relationship with the land tumbling onto the stage with passion, humour and a huge heart. We have played this version in village venues across Devon and the response has been phenomenal. We’re ready now to take the production further afield.

“Excellent evening. Nine stories collectively mesmerising that tell a story about land that is universal.” Honiton audience comment

“A powerful, intense and gripping production that transformed our village hall into a window onto the landscape.” Membury audience comment

the company

For this adventure we are joined by two younger Devon-based actors, Laura James and Ben Stretton, who share our passion for Close Encounters of the Village Hall Kind and bring their take on what ‘hefted’ means in their own lives.

the setting

For Hefted, the audience is placed on two sides of the playing area. People watch each other watching the play. They are both witnessing the event and part of the event.

“I was so engrossed in the action that I nearly leapt up and joined in - and I’ve never been on stage in my life!” Membury audience comment

“You could almost smell it - of course you couldn’t, but you could, if you know what I mean”. Honiton audience comment

age recommendation: 14+

find more in the blog
video for promoters
brochure for promoters
technical details
  • get-in four hours
  • performance two hours - including interval
  • get-out 60 minutes
  • performance area preferable minimum 9m x 4m x 3m height - the production is presented in traverse with the audience on two sides of the action;
  • lighting we provide our own lighting rig - on stands - and sound system, and need access to four 13 amp sockets to power them. Lights & sound are self-operated from on stage
  • ancillary work we're more than happy to lead post-show discussions and we offer a menu of complementary workshops

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