Beanfield, a play written by Bristol born author Shaun McCarthy, tells an often-forgotten story of an event that occurred twenty-five years ago in the south west of England. On 1 June 1985, a convoy of several hundred new-age travellers was attacked by riot police as they made their way to Stonehenge for the 14th annual Stonehenge free festival. Vehicles were destroyed, dogs put down and many people were seriously wounded as police pursued those attempting to escape across the Beanfield.
Told through the playing out of a love story between Steamer, a veteran of the convoy, and Annie, the well-to-do daughter of a newspaper editor, Beanfield presents an epic story with a lightness of touch.
Shaun McCarthy is a professional playwright and author, who’s recent works include Collider and No Blind Faith (both for the Ustinov Studio, Theatre Royal Bath) and Safe (Hen and Chickens, Islington, winner of Grit Productions new writing award). As well as numerous plays for stage he was lyricist on the award-winning Bollywood musical 14 Songs, 2 Weddings and a Funeral (Tamasha Theatre). Plays and serials for radio include The Aran Isles and Fireworks (both for BBC R4).
The Bike Shed Theatre Company was formed in 2007 under the name of Particular Theatre Company, their first production, The Bald Primadonna touring the south west in April and May of that year. In February 2010, Particular opened the new Bike Shed Theatre, a 50 seat theatre dedicated to producing new writing and programming quality and innovative work. The company is led by David Lockwood, Fin Irwin and Deborah Bucella and brings together some of the most talented and creative young artists in the south west.
Beanfield is also being performed at Devon’s Beautiful Days and Aeon Festivals on the 22 and 29 August.