Wednesday, 22 July 2020 02:43

Scratchworks Theatre's new podcasts recount stories from rural communities Featured

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SCRATCHWORKS Theatre, supported by Arts Council England, has created a new podcast called Stories from the Sticks featuring tales from rural communities.

Scratchworks has toured theatre shows to isolated communities across the South West for many years and the theatre-makers say they have met many wonderful characters along the way.

The series was created and written by Laura Doble, Alice Higginson-Clarke and Siân Keen of Scratchworks Theatre. Music for the series was created by Jack Dean. The series was edited by Andrew Armfield.

City-dwellers themselves, Laura, Siân and Alice have always appreciated being welcomed into remote villages to hear stories of love, history, local myth and community spirit.

Laura Doble, of Scratchworks Theatre, said: "We’ve heard some amazing tales from people in villages across Wiltshire. "Lockdown has turned everything upside down - we can’t perform in these communities right now - so instead we’re providing a platform to share their stories with the wider world."

The latest episode - Episode 3 released on July 17 - features two Malmesbury residents: theatre-maker and radio host Sidney and local historian Tony.

Ms Doble added: "Malmesbury is a place that seems to have more stories than a Brothers Grimm fairy tale book.

"From flying monks to escaped pigs, some of the tales recounted by the guests almost seem unbelievable, but historian Tony assures us with plenty of evidence that they’re perfectly true."

The episode also takes a dip into 17th century witch trials as Scratchworks Theatre learns more about the forgotten Witches of Malmesbury.

The interviews are interwoven with a soundtrack by Jack Dean, music by award-winning folk singer Rosie Hood and a song from Scratchworks’ latest show Hags: A Magical Extravaganza. Scratchworks’ signature storytelling style gives a distinctly theatrical feel to the podcast.

The company are also keen to receive creative responses from listeners.

Ms Doble added: "We’re hoping these podcasts will inspire others to get creative too. People can send in responses in any format - drawings, photos, music, short films - and we’ll share them on the Scratchworks website.”

Stories from the Sticks can be downloaded from most podcast platforms including Apple, Spotify, Deezer, Pocket Casts, Stitcher and A Cast. A subtitled version is provided on Youtube.

For links, go to Creative responses to the podcast should be sent to

Read this article on the Gazette and Herald here...

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