The Marches is a collaboration between The Rural Media Company, BBC Radio 4/Radio Drama and the communities of Ewyas Harold and Kington to create a highly innovative project that combines the mediums of radio, film and the web with community participation.
The project gave each community the opportunity to create two original 43-minute radio plays and two accompanying films, for BBC Radio 4, BBC On-Line and the Red Button. The plays and films capture the sounds and images of contemporary rural life, together with the voices, lives, stories and histories of this rural border region of England and Wales.
Rural Media undertook the research and community development to help create the radio plays, working alongside BBC Radio Drama Producer/Director Sasha Yevtushenko and award winning Writer Sebastian Baczkiewicz, who had the task of turning the research into two 43 minute dramas.
In January, BBC Radio Drama came to Herefordshire and recorded the two radio plays in Kington (Man in A Wheelbarrow) and Ewyas Harold (Fearless Librarian Saves The Day) with a cast of professional and non-professional actors.
The two films that will accompany the plays were shot in June. Adrian and Rachel Lambert directed the Ewyas Harold film. Taking the idea of the village hall fete, the film required 120ft of trestle tables and the creation of 20 carefully composed visual re-interpretations of the radio drama, complete with turf, gravel, a freshly caught salmon and mass community participation on the last day of filming!
John Humphrey’s directed the Kington film, lovingly crafting a beautiful visual exploration of Kington and the locations, places and events in the play. The famous festival Wheelbarrow Race features in the Kington play as do many other stories, ideas and themes gathered from across the market town.
The nature of the idea, and the plays themselves, obviously influenced our approach. Making these films is quite unlike anything we have undertaken before, and has presented us with the opportunity to explore some different approaches.
“Over the past few years we have created a number of very successful community film projects but were intrigued to see if we could develop similar work in radio”, explains Rural Media Producer Adrian Lambert. “The BBC were extremely interested and the idea then grew to encompass films of the plays as well, so we now have a multi-faceted production that really is quite unique. The stories and sounds of Herefordshire and these two beautiful border communities will be heard and seen by millions of people across the globe, it’s very exciting.”
The two plays can be found on the BBC Radio 4 website here . If you would like a co
For further information or a copy of The Marches DVD/CD, which contains the two plays on CD, the two films, the 'Making of the Marches' documentary, photo galleries and accompanying 40 page book please contact Adrian Lambert on 01432 344039 or email@example.com