The Sand House Play

Why a Sand House Play?

The team behind the ongoing promotion of Doncaster’s lost Victorian marvel, as a heritage and educational resource, believes that there are lots more people out there who would really enjoy finding out all about the Sand House and who would be amazed by it. In spite of the books, numerous newspaper articles, illustrated talks, radio interviews, exhibitions, television coverage and our online presence, we have only reached a fraction of our potential audience. A play provides a way of reaching new people – and probably a different demographic – as well as telling the story in a way that will be more accessible for many.

The Creative Team

Work on The Sand House play is a collaboration between The Sand House Charity, playwright Peter Spafford, director Olwen May and producer Helen Goodman (of Khora Productions). They are being supported by members of the team who have delivered previous Sand House projects.

Progress so far

An application was made to Arts Council England (ACE) in autumn 2015, for funding to carry out early development work on the Sand House play. All involved were delighted to receive news, just before Christmas 2015, that the application had been successful. As a result, the creative team undertook several development workshops in early 2016. Once the ideas began to clarify, an event was held at Cast in Doncaster on 27 February 2016, to present those ideas to an invited audience of interested parties. After receiving excellent feedback at this ‘sharing event’, the team concluded the outline development phase by reporting back to ACE.

ACE are extremely interested in the proposed Sand House play. Indeed, the very fact that they awarded development funding shows their level of interest, as this is not a common arrangement. Further very positive discussions took place with ACE in late-September 2016. Following on from those discussions, a full application to ACE was submitted in January 2017, for funding the writing, rehearsal and performance of the play. Unfortunately, that particular application was declined, due to certain relative weaknesses in the financial case, when compared with other applications.

After several months of effort and a root and branch overhaul of our proposals, a new Grants for the Arts funding application to Arts Council England has been completed. It was submitted on 10 November 2017. A decision is expected around late January or early February.

While the highlight of the project will be the play itself, other activities and events are being planned, too, e.g. drama workshops, school visits, an exhibition and documentary film, etc.. They will run in parallel with the play and greatly enhance the benefits arising from the project as a whole.

If you would like to offer financial or in-kind support to The Sand House play, we would be extremely grateful if you would contact us, please.

We wish to acknowledge the support provided to this project by Cast, Doncaster’s wonderful performance venue, which opened in 2013.

More information

We shall post updates on this page, as well as on Facebook and Twitter, as and when we have something of significance to report.