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
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) BOX OFFICE: BOOK ON-LINE 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
UNIVERSE & ON COMMON GROUND – a double-bill BOOK NOW
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.
UniVerse, 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) BOX OFFICE: BOOK ON-LINE LOCATION: The Ancient Technology Centre, Damerham Road, Cranborne, Dorset, BH21 5RP Wrap up warm; bring a torch, a cushion & wear sensible shoes...
7 NOV 7.30pm SHOW TBC - ON SALE SOON
5 DEC THE EARTHOUSE CAROL CONCERT! - ON SALE SOON
GOOD THINGS TO KNOW
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Queries about tickets already booked by phone: East Dorset Heritage Trust 01202 888 992
- Queries about tickets already booked on-line: www.ticketsource.co.uk