On the 1st June 1985, a convoy of several hundred new-age travellers was attacked by riot police as they made their way to Stonehenge for the 14th annual Stonehenge free festival. Vehicles were destroyed, dogs put down and many people were seriously wounded as police pursued those attempting to escape across the Beanfield.

Produced to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the Battle of the Beanfield, Shaun McCarthy‘s beautiful play looks at the human cost of the tragedy, both at the time and for us now. Seen through the lens of a love story between Steamer, a veteran of the convoy, and Annie, the well-to-do daughter of a newspaper editor, and taking in an array of characters from policemen to English Heritage committee members, ‘Beanfield’ tells an epic story with a deft lightness of touch.

Stills from Beanfield at the Bike Shed Theatre, Exeter
Photography by Alice Deuchar