Rehearsals are well under way, lines are being learned, costumes are being made and tickets for Dorchester ‘s record-breaking seventh community play are now on sale.

Spinning the Moon is being staged for 11 nights between April 6 and April 18 at Thomas Hardye School theatre in Coborg Road, though there will be no performances on Good Friday or Easter Sunday.

fight sceneIt will be a promenade performance within the theatre space so audience tickets are standing only though there is some provision for people with accessibility and health issues.

Written by professional playwright Stephanie Dale, the two-hour play set in the turbulent years immediately after The Wars of the Roses, when society was changing and people were facing an uncertain future.

Like Shakespeare’s history plays, it focuses on a specific period and blends reality with fiction, comedy with drama. Much of the action takes place in and around the audience, with rousing songs, stunning costumes and visual effects, and quick-fire dialogue recreating Dorset life in the first days of the Tudor dynasty.

The play features the wealthy, quarrelsome Trenchard family of Wolfeton House near Dorchester, their servants, nearby villagers, monks from Abbotsbury, a group of ‘cunning’ or wise women and the Spanish queen Joanna the Mad, who is shipwrecked nearby with her family and entourage.

Events ebb and flow as the Trenchards act on the ill-given advice of a monk and their community starts to fracture. Can a peaceful resolution be found?

The play is being staged by Dorchester Community Plays Association, and board member Mike Beesley said: “The last play we staged was Drummer Hodge in 2014 and tickets completely sold put for nine of the 1 performances, leaving a lot of people disappointed.

“We would definitely advise people to get their tickets sooner rather than later to avoid missing out.”

Performances are at 7.30pm and ticket prices are £16 plus concessions and family tickets plus extra concessions on Monday 6, Tuesday 7, Monday 13 and Tuesday 14 April ONLY. They are available from Dorchester Arts Centre in the Corn Exchange, High West Street, Dorchester. Call 01305 266926 or visit

If you have specific accessibility requirements (such as mobility, audio or visual needs), please contact the arts centre in advance.

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