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St Just hosts launch for search for Cornwall's forgotten plens

By cmjohnw  |  Posted: March 13, 2014

  • St Just hosts launch for search for Cornwall's forgotten plens

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HAVE you got a medieval Cornish amphitheatre in your back garden?

Plen an Gwari, a new project uncovering and celebrating the ‘lost’ theatrical rounds of Cornwall has been launched at St Just Plen-an-Gwarry.

A huge map of the Duchy was staked out across the ancient monument and then members of the public were invited to place hula-hoops in each of the locations where Plen-an-Gwari are believed to have existed.

Project director, Will Coleman, of Golden Tree Productions, said: “Many people know about the two famous amphitheatres that still exist – the Piran Round and the one here at St Just, but, Rod Lyon, former Grand Bard of the Cornish Gorsedd has found Plen-an-Gwari clues at more than 30 places from St Mabyn to St Buryan.

“Now, thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund we are going to work with schools, colleges and local communities to uncover and celebrate as many of these sites as possible.

“Through this project, we hope we can lift the lid on the extraordinary treasure trove of the Cornish medieval theatre tradition and help many more people engage with this unique aspect of our heritage.”

The launch event featured a ‘scratch’ performance of exerpts from several medieval Cornish texts by theatre students from Falmouth University, including the opening of the ‘Ordinalia’, believed to be the earliest play script in Britain

A brand new Plen-an-Gwari app was also trialled by those with smart phones which, when fully-developed will help people discover more at each location.

In addition, a Cornish cream tea was served in the Plen Project’s brand new backstage eco-building, the Knut, where the public were treated to a showing of their documentary film about the history of the St Just plen.

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