The Shaftesbury Tales

14 July 2024 @ 00:00 -

Join us in ‘The Pilgrims Inn’ as our merry company rests for the evening on their journey to Edwards shrine in Shaftesbury

The Shaftesbury Tales


14 July 2024    


Price: £10 / £6 under 18s


Lady St Mary Church
Church Street, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 4ND

Event Type

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Interactive family theatre show; age guide 4+

It’s Dorset in the Dark Ages.
Join us in ‘The Pilgrims Inn’ as our merry company rests for the evening on their journey to Edwards shrine in Shaftesbury, entertaining each other – and everyone else – with Tales of murder and miracles, music and mayhem.

Inspired by Chaucer, and the terrible fate of teenage King Edward the Martyr in Corfe, Treehouse Theatre takes a mischievous peek into life 1000 years ago. ‘The Shaftesbury Tales’ is walking from Corfe to Shaftesbury , village to village, stopping to perform hilarious and interactive family shows along the way.

The Shaftesbury Tales have arisen from the collective creativity of the people of Dorset!
Woven through the central Tale of Edward the Martyr, are Tales written by local people and entered in our short story writing competition held this spring. What happened when? Who saw what? Who lived to tell the Tale…and who didn’t?! All of the winning stories can be read in the booklet-programme which accompanies the show (also called ‘The Shaftesbury Tales’, of course!). Some of the stories have been adapted for this performance by Treehouse Theatre and local theatre groups.

Every show is different, with its own unique cast and Tales.
This show will feature a Tale performed by Double Act Theatre Group.
If you’d like to perform in the show too, please come along to our FREE afternoon workshop at Wareham Library – just select a ‘workshop + performance’ ticket. Suitable for all ages; no unaccompanied children

Age guide 4+
FREE workshop @ Wareham Library: 1pm – 2pm
Doors open at Wareham Church – 3.30pm
Show starts – 4pm
Running time – approx 75 minutes (no interval)

Supported by public funding from Arts Council England and Dorset Council.
With thanks to Artsreach, The Shaftesbury Fringe Festival, and Doppelganger Productions.

The Workshop
Join us at Wareham Library for a fun drama workshop suitable for all. We’ll learn performance skills and have fun with drama games, as we turn a short story into a simple performance piece incorporating mime, music and drama. If you choose to, you will be able to perform in this Tale as part of The Shaftesbury Tales in the afternoon show. There’s time for a break between the workshop and the performance to have a rest and refreshments, and get into costume of course! Thank you to Wareham Library for hosting this workshop!

The Venue
Wareham Church is where Edward the Martyr was initially buried, hastily, secretly. Months later, when his body was exhumed and found to have not rotted, he was declared a Saint. The exact place of his burial in the churchyard here isn’t known. We’re very grateful to The Priory Church of Lady St Mary for hosting this performance in such an important location in Edwards Story!

The performance will be held inside the church itself. There is no reserved seating, so come early to pick your spot.
We have a low front row, made up of small childrens seats and floor cushions, and we encourage our younger audience members (with or without their adults) to sit at the front where they will be able to see well.

All performances contain embedded sign language throughout the parts performed by Treehouse Theatre. We have widget signs for non-verbal audience response, and a tactile bag for visually impaired audience members to better connect with the action. If you would like to reserve a space suitable for a wheelchair, or for any other questions about accessibility, please email

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