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Summer 2024

'The Shaftesbury Tales'

Touring on foot from Corfe to Shaftesbury in July 2024


Inspired by Chaucer, the costumed cast of ‘The Shaftesbury Tales’ will walk St Edwards Way

from Corfe to Shaftesbury, village to village, stopping to perform along the way.

A fantastic local story from Saxon times, the murder of teenage King Edward the Martyr at Corfe,

and the subsequent adventures of his dead body and the people around him,

are seen through the eyes of local people, in a series of memorable, hilarious and interactive family shows.


This is a community project, and there's lots to join in with!

Write the Tales with us, help turn them into performances pieces, jump up on stage alongside us,

be entertained, explore our history, and walk with us along St Edwards Way.

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How to get involved!

Write a Tale

This is a tale-telling competition, as was Chaucers ‘The Canterbury Tales’.

During the Spring, a storytelling competition will everyone of any age living in Dorset to have their pieces included in the touring work.

Cash prizes and plenty of glory: The winning Tales will be collected together and published

as a booklet-programme: 'The Shaftesbury Tales', with some adapted into performance pieces for the touring show.

Look out for our creative writing workshops aimed at sharing writing skills and inspiration to empower new writers to enter the competition. The workshops and competition are free and open to all ages and abilities; children must be accompanied.


FREE WORKSHOPS: Places limited - must be booked - Email us to reserve your place

THURSDAY 8TH FEB; 7.30PM - Shaftesbury Arts Centre, Ages 14+

SATURDAY 2ND MARCH; 10am - Wareham Library

SATURDAY 2ND MARCH; 2.30pm - Sturminster Newton Library


Adapt a story for performance

During early summer, local theatre groups will choose a winning entries from the story-telling competition, and take on the challenge to adapt it into a Tale for performing, with support from our professional team.

Each of the theatre groups will perform their Tale as part of the main production on a different day!

All the theatre groups we're working with are well established and offer wonderful local performance opportunities - so if you'd like to get involved in local theatre, now is a great time to throw yourself in! 


Not in a theatre group but still want to perform with us?

There will be drama workshops open to all where you can learn performance skills, make new friends, and help us put together a Tale which you can then perform in that evenings show.

The workshops are free and open to all ages and abilities; children must be accompanied.


Watch a show!

We'll be performing along the way, as we walk from Corfe to Shaftesbury.

Each performance of ‘The Shaftesbury Tales’ is unique. A combination of Tales performed by our professional cast, local theatre groups, people who have joined that days workshop; Tales from the Dark Ages which have echoed down the centuries,

centred around the mysterious (and slightly bloodthirsty) Tale of Edward the Martyr. 

Interactive, funny, musical and irreverent, with audience participation, every performance will be a unique, shared, community experience. ‘The Shaftesbury Tales’ will be performed at key locations throughout the Walk, starting in Corfe Church and concluding at Shaftesbury Fringe Festival. Performances are suitable for all, age guide 4+.



Walk with us

Performance days will alternate with Pilgrimage days. Everyone is invited to walk with us, following the pilgrimage route of St Edwards Way (costumes provided!), for an hour, a day, a week. Pilgrimage is walking with intention; this nature- and story-based experience will immerse walkers in the Dorset landscape and its folklore, and feel its history come to life. 


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The Yak Pack Theatre Project, which took theatre to remote parts of the Indian Himalayas in 2018 and 2022, on foot, with our props and costumes carried by donkeys, was the inspiration for The Shaftesbury Tales.

Arriving in rural communities on foot was a wonderful way to connect with people, especially children, and enabled us bring immersive live theatre to places which wouldn't normally experience it. Now its Dorsets turn!

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