Penned in the Margins: Fair Field

Commissioned by Ledbury Poetry Festival and Shoreditch Town Hall
The Ditch £48 (Early Bird Discount)

Purchase an early bird ticket for all five performances across the entire weekend for just £48 (saving £14.50).

Offer ends on Thursday 18 May, when tickets for individual performances will go on sale. 


Written almost 650 years ago by local poet William Langland, Piers Plowman enters the mind of a wanderer, Will, as he falls asleep in the Malvern Hills, dreams of a “fair field full of folk” and embarks on a quest to find Truth.

Fair Field re-imagines Piers Plowman for the twenty-first century through a series of site-responsive performances taking place in the atmospheric basement of Shoreditch Town Hall and evoking the sounds and sights of medieval London. Enter the psychedelic dreamscape of Piers Plowman and explore a world of inequality, political corruption and spiritual crisis that is uncannily like our own.

New commissions from artists including Breach Theatre, Annette Brook, Tom Chivers, Steve Ely, Nick Field, Francesca Millican-Slater, The Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments and Ross Sutherland. Co-directed by Russell Bender and Tom Chivers.

Conceived and produced by Penned in the Margins. Commissioned by Ledbury Poetry Festival and Shoreditch Town Hall. Supported by Arts Council England, Jerwood Charitable Foundation and King’s College London.

Explore the world of Piers Plowman at

Fair Field: Will's Vision
Friday 7 July, 7.30pm - 8.30pm

Ac on a May mornyng on Malverne hulles
Me biful for to slepe, for werynesse of-walked.

Follow in the footsteps of medieval poet William Langland in Fair Field's unmissable opening. The dreamer, Will, walks into the Malvern Hills and begins an extraordinary journey through an unreal landscape. Langland's “fair field full of folk” comes to life as a bustling vision of England, where the modern mingles with the medieval. Immerse yourself in a riot of colour, sound and speech as Will discovers a society in spiritual free-fall and embarks on a quest to find Truth.

Fair Field: The Marriage of Lady Mede
Friday 7 July, 9pm - 10pm

A womman as hit were wonderly yclothed...
On alle here fyve fyngeres ful richeliche yringed.

You are invited to the wedding of the year! With the country beset by economic crisis, join socialite and millionaire heiress Lady Mede as she ties the knot with False. But behind the glamour lurks Conscience and a surprise revelation that threatens to spoil the party...

In this modern adaptation of one of the key scenes in Piers Plowman, playwright Annette Brook explores the use and abuse of money – from cash for questions to pay-day loans – and asks: Can money ever be good?


Fair Field: The Confession of the Seven Sins
Saturday 8 July, 5pm - 6pm

Thenne awakede Wrathe, with two whyte eyes
And with a nivilynge nose, nippynge his lippes.

Got something to confess? Follow the dreamer, Will, into the crumbling basement of Shoreditch Town Hall and discover an anarchic, medieval self-help group. The seven sins will all be there – from Gluttony, high on icing sugar, to Lechery, teller of the dirtiest tales.

Map your own route through the basement in this immersive, provocative and comic experience of the dark side of human nature, written and curated by Francesca Millican-Slater with Nick Field.

Fair Field: The Ploughing of the Half-Acre
Saturday 8 July, 7.30pm - 8.30pm

Be seynt Petur of Rome!
Ich have an half-aker to erye by the heye way.

Will's quest to find Truth has stalled, until a chance meeting with Piers the Plowman puts him on the right track. But can Piers recruit enough workers to plough his half-acre of land before Hunger strikes?

Return to the soil in this dream-within-a-dream about labour, food and hunger. Breach Theatre combine a dramatic retelling from Piers Plowman with original film tracing the journey of modern food from field to fork.

Fair Field: The Tower of Truth
Saturday 8 July, 9pm - 10pm

Wollewaerd and watschoed wente Y forth aftur
As a recheles renk...

Destitute and seeking redemption, Will finds shelter in an empty basement. Will he ever find Truth or the answers he seeks? The outside world threatens to break in and he falls again into a dream, with the angry shouts of protestors combining with nightmarish visions of the underworld.

Discover the Truth in this powerful crescendo of Will's journey, modelled on the ancient Christian tradition of the Easter Vigil.

Running time: 60mins

Produced by Penned in the Margins. Commissioned by Ledbury Poetry Festival and Shoreditch Town Hall. Supported with public funding by Arts Council England. Development supported by Jerwood Charitable Foundation and King's College London.

The Ditch £48 (Early Bird Discount)
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