The Un-Naturalists Summer Tour

A unique and interactive family-friendly history tour travelled across the borough over the summer of 2023. The Un-Naturalists street theatre tour, performed by Markmark Productions, showcased the borough's history in a new way. This project was initially researched and developed over Spring 2023 via South Yorkshire Shared Prosperity funding.

Over the course of 2 months, The Un-Naturalists production visited the high streets of Barnsley's Principal Towns - Cudworth, Wombwell, Penistone, Royston, Goldthorpe and Hoyland - with a special additional performance at Elsecar Heritage Centre.

"The focus of this phase of the project was to share the historical stories during performances in the main shopping areas and also to collect stories and memories from members of the general public in those towns. 

Markmark is used to performing for quite large crowds especially when doing static shows at festivals and other events. However, this project has been very different and we have learned a lot about adapting and engaging with different types and sizes of audience.  We had some really good engaging performances with small groups and individuals.  Also, the modular nature of the show made it easier to engage with people who were working in the towns and we have had a lot of positive feedback from shops and other businesses on the streets." Feedback from Markmark Productions

Cllr Robert Frost, Cabinet Spokesperson for Regeneration and Culture, said: “Barnsley’s fascinating history can be experienced in many different ways and in lots of different settings. This fun tour will not only have people giggling, but will also offer a wonderful insight into the town's past. People from right across the borough can take part and will be enjoyed no matter what their age. The tours are part of a wider project that takes cultural experiences out to our towns offering interesting and engaging experiences.”


Watch a short film below covering the Spring and Summer tours across the Principal Towns and Elsecar:

Filmed and edited by John Coombes