A PLAY about life and land written with the help of people from Hatherleigh and Dolton could go on tour after great local success.

Earlier this year five writers came to north Devon to explore what the rural environment means to its people.

They got to know old farming families, incomers and returnees from the Hatherleigh and Dolton areas.

They encountered rural life in mugs of tea at farmhouse kitchen tables, on windswept hills, under rusting barn roofs and taking lifts on a farmer's quad bike.

These encounters and conversations fed the writing of The Common, a performance work of five dialogues about life and land. 

Two performers —Charlotte Melia and Martin Hyder — play ten characters examining their relationships with each other and the landscape which connects them with life itself. 

After two sell-out successes at Hatherleigh Community Centre and Dolton Village Hall, Beaford Arts is hoping to take the show on a national tour.

Lucy Deasy, general manager of Beaford Arts, said: 'Our objective as the cultural partner of the North Devon Nature Improvement Area (NIA) was to create a piece about the value of the land.

'Our mission was to engage with two local communities, work within them, engage them and produce a show that would resonate with the varied audience within those communities.'

Feedback from those who saw the shows in Dolton and Hatherleigh, where The Common was researched, developed and performed, certainly seems to indicate success, with plenty of positive comments on social media.

Producer Fin Irwin worked with theatre company China Plate to create the show.

He said: 'It has been a pleasure to work on a project that has had such a high and diverse level of engagement.

'From the environmentalists to the local farmer and the pub landlord, everyone has had a story to tell and has been keen to tell it.

'The positive response from the participants and audience alike was overwhelming and proved that this project will create a lasting legacy in the memories of those who saw it.'

The rural issues explored in The Common are relevant to communities nationwide and Beaford Arts hopes to roll the show out to the other eleven Nature Improvement Areas around the country.

'Our future goal is to tour the play to other NIAs, Westminster and maybe beyond,' Lucy Deasy said.