New play tells a tale of ghostly goings-on

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A new ghostly tale comes to the Mill Studio as Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Youth Theatre: Act One present The Ghosts of Tyneham from Wednesday to Saturday, March 20 to 23.

In 1943, the villagers of Tyneham in south Dorset were told they must leave their homes “in order to give our troops the fullest opportunity to perfect their training.”

They never returned and their ancient community became a ghost village.

The Ghosts of Tyneham is a new devised play telling the story of an unexplained tragedy that strikes on the day before the exodus.

Many years after the war, a new tragedy threatens to strike at a group of students visiting Tyneham.

Another girl is missing and the ghosts of the villagers unite to try and save her and reveal the truth behind mystery of the missing bridesmaid.

Youth theatre leader Lucy Betts and former Act One member Matt Gavan have worked with the group to develop the story from an idea by head of youth theatre, Adam Forde.

Adam explains: “I first came across the village of Tyneham a few years ago on a weekend in Dorset and the story fascinated me.

“I wondered what might have happened to all the villagers who had to find a new home and whether, in their hearts, they ever truly left Tyneham.

“It is a very remote, exposed and slightly spooky part of the world and it’s not too difficult to imagine all sorts of legends emerging from the area and its history.

“The story of the villagers having to leave is dramatic enough but it has been really exciting for all concerned to develop the added dimensions of the missing bridesmaid and the modern twist.”

Act One’s recent credits include the two-play epic His Dark Materials, The Canterbury Tales, also staged in two full-length plays, Good Times which was specially written for Act One, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Cold Comfort Farm, Under Milk Wood, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Ghetto.

Tickets on 01483 440000 or www.yvonne-arnaud.co.uk.