MESH was founded in 2016 by writer-director Sally Woodcock on a mission to stage conflict-related dramas in intimate spaces.
MESH is an acronym of Woodcock’s four grandparents – Margery, Ethilinda, Stanley and Herbert – each of whom bore the mental and physical scars associated with both world wars. Adhering to the highest standards of professional theatre, whilst remaining proudly low tech, MESH's critically-acclaimed, site-specific productions have been described as "not so much must-see shows as must-have experiences" (The Stage).
R C Sherriff's WW1 masterpiece Journey's End was our début production in Ypres, Belgium, at the epicentre of the battlefields, in 2017: a century after Sherriff himself was wounded there on the first day of Passchendaele. This historic event - the play's first ever production on the Western Front - took place in Ypres Kruitmagazijn (Gunpowder Store), an iconic 200-year-old bunker which survived three successive wars in this embattled region.
This 5-star show returned to Flanders in 2018 to mark the WW1 Armistice and again, by popular demand, in November 2019 to Skindle's Ballroom, former WW1 officers club outside Ypres, adjacent to the historic Talbot House "Everyman's Club".
Rachel Wagstaff's The Soldier, about the poet Rupert Brooke and his eponymous war sonnet, opened in December 2018 to an invited audience in The Rupert Brooke Room at The Orchard in Grantchester, Cambridge, bringing the WW1 Centenary to a close. Brooke was a lodger at the Orchard in 1910, before moving next door to The Old Vicarage, Grantchester (title of his other much-loved poem).
In 2019 The Soldier toured the UK & Belgium to places relating to Brooke and the play, including Salisbury Playhouse, home of the Neo-Pagan group of artists who held their meetings on Salisbury Plain; the magnificent Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College Greenwich where Brooke joined the Royal Naval Division which took him to the Gallipoli campaign in 1915 en route to his grave in the Aegean at the tragically young age of 27 years. It also showed at St George's Memorial Church in Ypres (truly that "corner of a foreign field that is forever England"); The Macready Theatre at Brooke's alma mater Rugby School; Kings College Cambridge where he spent his idyllic student days and the Great War Huts in Hawstead, Suffolk.
Spine tingling... Lays bare the madness and savagery of the Great War.