Documental was founded after Cally Hayes, a mental health nurse, met Lucy Bell, a secondary school teacher. Both were writers and mothers involved in their communities in the Far South West. They wanted to make plays which reflected the complexity of lived experience.
In the first few years we toured SCORE, PULLING OUT, LAMINATED and CRACKING to venues across the country including the Southbank Centre and Battersea Arts Centre. Documental was selected to represent Devon in The Guardian/BAC’s A Nation’s Theatre Festival.
Lucy drew on previous experience in documentary television to develop an approach to verbatim-inspired theatre. Alongside mainstream-audience-facing work, we have partnered with a range of academic, health and community organisations to tell stories about British institutions and the people who experience them.
In 2019 Cally said goodbye to pursue new projects. Lucy partnered with producer Naomi Turner and we have built up the Documental team.
However divisive or heart-breaking the content, we want our output to reach a wide spectrum of people, entertain and engage them. Before the pandemic we made our first work-in-progress small cast musical and since then we have produced ten full length radio plays and a factual podcast series, working with a unique and brilliant bunch of writers and participants.