‘An Epic Fishy Tale’ on the beach at Devil’s Point

Making costumes, rehearsing lines, weaving fish…the community of Stonehouse is creating an unforgettable theatrical experience at Devil’s Point this month.

‘An Epic Fishy Tale’ is a play about a little fish that goes on an extraordinary journey of discovery from moor to shore and will highlight the rich biodiversity around the beach at Devil’s Point.

Baby seahorses nestle in the seagrass and the coastline provides a crèche for baby sharks …these are two of the surprising features of this little-known gem of a beach.

It is the first of many exciting projects to benefit from Vital Sparks funding and 120 children from three Stonehouse primary schools are involved, working with Stiltskin Creative Arts and Theatre Company to create a magical performance on the beach at Devil’s Point on Thursday 17 July at 2pm.

Plymouth School of Creative Arts, Head David Strudwick said: “It is a wonderful opportunity for the school to work closely with the community of Stonehouse and develop a piece of theatre with real meaning.”
Other schools taking part are St Peter’s Church of England School, High Street Primary and St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Devonport.

Deputy leader Councillor Peter Smith is encouraging more people to apply for a Vital Sparks bursary. He said: “The idea for this exceptional piece of community arts came straight from the heart of Stonehouse and gives its young people a unique opportunity to shine. Every community can be creative with a little support.”

The idea to celebrate the beach at Devil’s Point was dreamt up by a group of local families who didn’t feel confident using the peninsula’s beaches, perceiving them as dirty and unsafe – but were excited to hear the hidden delights that Devil’s Point has to offer and how they could make safe and exciting creative activities happen in this amazing location.

This is not simply a school project, anyone can come along and enjoy this innovative outside production. The performance will launch a summer beach festival for local families with Blue Sound’s Beach Ranger-led activities including snorkelling, fishing and rock pool safaris every Monday from 11am to 3pm starting 28 July running through the Summer.

The beach activities have been funded through the Council’s Stepping Stones to Nature and Neighbourhood Regeneration Teams.

The current round of Vital Sparks funding closes on August 31. To find out how you can apply for a bursary to do something creative in your area visit www.plymouth.gov.uk/vitalsparks

Vital Sparks is a Plymouth Culture Board project led by Plymouth City Council that aims to ignite passion, imagination and a sense of can-do for groups who want to put on an event, a show, an exhibition, or create a mural or sculpture – anything that encourages people to work together and get creative. At the heart of the project is its funding scheme.

Bursaries are available from £500 to £5000 to community, youth and residents groups… in fact anyone who wants to make a creative difference in their neighbourhood. Vital Sparks is funded by Arts Council England.