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In a field on the outskirts of Cranborne village, there is a hill, and it has a door….

One of Dorset’s best kept secrets, the Earthouse is a 200-seat theatre – lit by lamplight and fire-light. Here audiences sit on wooden benches, under an earth roof, held up by 21 huge oak tree trunks… they come to listen to stories. The Ancient Technology Centre works with the Crick Crack Club to bring some of the finest contemporary performance storytellers to this fabulous off-beat venue – turning it into a cinema of the imagination. It goes without saying that we’re closed right now, but we’ll be back as soon as we can!

 ‘I was spellbound – I don’t use the word lightly’ THE TIMES

‘the art of storytelling is in the surest, safest hands here’ REMOTE GOAT



18 JUL & 26 JUL 2020 


with artist Sophie Herzheimer

Blown away by Beowulf?

Regularly lost in the fairytale forest?

Got a touch of the Baba Yaga’s?

Locked down in a tower 500 miles from the nearest bazaar?

Never been the same since you met the Bull Horned King of the Demons?

This is your chance to share a moment where you turn up in the story.

 Join artist and favourite Crick Crack Club collaborator, Sophie Herxheimer, for a one-to-one story session. You spill the beans to Sophie about the tales that have got under your skin; your favourite encounters with characters and different worlds; your craziest Earthouse storytelling moments, or why you come to our shows. She will listen and draw a poetic synthesis of what you tell her – transforming your words and imaginings into a glorious ink and brush drawing, before your very eyes!

Together we’ll create a gallery, drawn from many voices, of what story does to us. And we’ll post a copy of your story drawing to you for you to treasure for ever after.  This has never been done via Zoom before… what could possibly go wrong!?

LOCATION: On-line via Zoom
DATES: Sat 18th July & Sun 26th July 2020 BOOK NOW
TIMES: Slots available throughout both days - slots are limited, so book now! 
SUITABLE FOR: Adult audiences who have been to Crick Crack storytelling events at Cranborne Earthouse
WHAT YOU NEED: Access to Zoom.



5 SEP  7.30pm

MIDIR & ETAIN – the love of one thousand years  BOOK NOW

performance storytelling by Ben Haggarty, music by Sianed Jones

10th century science fiction, meets Irish epic, meets fantasy, meets horror strip, meets passion play…

Epic storyteller, Ben Haggarty, and wild musician Sianed Jones, tell the extraordinary story of two deities whose cursed pursuit of love spans a thousand years – surviving complex love triangles; impossible quests; multiple monstrous reincarnations, and the partitioning of the world into the land of the mortals and a dark Otherworld.

Ben Haggarty’s intensely physical performance is perfectly matched by Sianed Jones’ brooding soundscapes that occasionally burst into song. Together they cast a spell of archaic magic; balancing the surreal and the comedic with an atmosphere of epic power conjured by the gods, both jealous and generous.

This unbridled fantasy is based on a startling work of 10th Century Irish literature salvaged from a Cheltenham convent, and when you hear it, you’ll wonder just what the nuns were doing with it…

‘This is real storytelling’ THE GUARDIAN HAY FESTIVAL

TICKETS: £11 adult, £6 child (14+) (booking fees apply)
LOCATION: The Ancient Technology Centre, Damerham Road, Cranborne, Dorset, BH21 5RP
Wrap up warm; bring a torch, a cushion & wear sensible shoes...


10 OCT  7.30pm


performance storytelling by Clare Murphy & Hugh Lupton

Prepare yourselves for a double-bill of performance storytelling, as Hugh Lupton & Clare Murphy explore the borders we create and the ones we imagine, on land, in the mind and beyond our earthly realm.

uni-squUniVerse, by Clare Muireann Murphy

A mathematician finds a gift from a god.

Blacksmiths beat out the music of the spheres. 

And why are there turtles everywhere?

Where does myth meet science? Is it only in the middle of the night when we half wake and half sleep? In this eternal place of wonder and insight, time stretches and a fissure opens that builds a dream bridge between many worlds…

Performance storyteller Clare Murphy dances into this liminal space; merging myth, deities, science and a hefty amount of turtle, in a playful exploration of the beginnings of the universe.

‘Murphy’s charm and wit illuminated the darkest corners of her tales’ OXFORD CULTURE REVIEW


On Common Ground, by Hugh Lupton

The landscape holds the memory of everyone who has ever trodden it… all we have to do is listen.

Master wordsmith Hugh Lupton puts his ear to the ground to tell the story of Mad poet John Clare – tormented by romance laid barren by class, and the loss of freedom to walk ancient pathways as, with the enclosure acts of the 1800s, land was seized, divided and fenced.

Poetic, political and seditious this performance explores the porous boundariesbetween language and place, love and lunacy, home and exile.


‘Master storyeller’ THE GUARDIAN

TICKETS: £11 adult, £6 child (12+) (booking fees apply)
LOCATION: The Ancient Technology Centre, Damerham Road, Cranborne, Dorset, BH21 5RP
Wrap up warm; bring a torch, a cushion & wear sensible shoes...







    • Wrap up warm, bring a cushion & wear sensible shoes! A torch might also come in handy!
    • There is no bar on site, and we don’t (usually) have a license to sell you alcohol but you can bring your own and well supply hot spiced apple juice in the interval.
    • We open the site at 6pm and the doors of the Earthouse at 7pm. In summer, please feel free to come from 6pm and sit in the sun you can even bring a picnic (just dont munch food while the show is on).
    • If the show is listed as sold out then it really is sold out.
    • We have toilets!
    • Wheelchair users can drive closer to the venue, but please let us know in advance if you’ll need to do this. You can call the ATC on 01725 517 618.
    • Shows are unsuitable for under 12s (unless otherwise stated). Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult, and may not be left to roam outside the venue while the show is on.
    • We sometimes have (official) photographers discreetly taking pictures at these events if you don’t want to be in these pictures, then please let a member of staff know.
    • The ATC is a no smoking site.
    • No dogs are allowed on site we have some ancient breeds of sheep who live here, and they wouldn’t appreciate the company!
    • The Ancient Technology Centre is located behind Cranborne Middle School. Turn off Damerham Road into Cranborne Middle School. Parking is in the school car-park. Walk up the road from the car-park to the Ancient Technology Centre, and follow the lane and then the twinkly lights and the candle lanterns (and all the other people!) to the doors of the Earthouse.
    • The 2020 storytelling event dates at the Earthouse are: 4th April, 9th May, 13th June, 11th July (day-long event), 5th Sep, 10th Oct, 7th Nov, 5th Dec (carols).


  • General ticket queries & waiting lists: The Crick Crack Club 07791 157 437 or
  • Queries about tickets already booked by phone: East Dorset Heritage Trust 01202 888 992
  • Queries about tickets already booked on-line: