Doncaster Charity Receives Funding from Arts Council England

The Sand House Charity has been awarded £23,000 by Arts Council England, to bring a fascinating local story to life this June.

SAND HOUSE tells an extraordinary and untold Yorkshire story. Over 150 years ago, a Doncaster quarry-owner carved a house out of sandstone. It was a local phenomenon, with its own cloister of sculptures. By the 1980s, after years of neglect, it had all been covered over. But, in the meantime, scores of Doncaster children had dared to explore the catacombs - and lived to tell the tale! SAND HOUSE is a play about buried treasure.

Set in Doncaster, this extraordinary tale has been brought to life by award-winning playright Peter Spafford. A fascinating, positive & inspiring story rooted in local history, from Doncaster’s Victorian heyday.

Henry Senior, an eccentric businessman, carves a house from sandstone, digs underground tunnels and decorates them with wondrous statues. Why did he do it? And how did The Sand House come to be buried deep beneath the streets of Doncaster? Two teenagers stumble into the catacombs to find out. Their lives are changed forever.

Seeing his family history on stage is a dream come true for Doncaster-born Richard Bell. Known locally as The Sand House Man, Richard is a great-great-grandson of Henry Senior, and the author of two books about the forgotten landmark. Richard is the spearhead of The Sand House Charity, and previously instigated 'The Elephant in the Room', which centred on a full size replica of the elephant sculpture exhibited at The Point (home of Doncaster Community Arts) for three months in 2012.

The SAND HOUSE play is a collaborative production following eleven years of creative groundwork within Balby in Doncaster. This project allows the artists to bring an exceptionally high quality piece of theatre to audiences they have developed, ensuring that the stories of the older generation, such as Derek Porter (who died in 2017) are preserved.

Derek, who played in The Sand House ‘tunnels’ as a young boy, was interviewed for the Sand House documentary film in 2012 during which he said, “You could not imagine the sights in there. I don’t think anybody who has ever been in the Sand House can ever forget those sand carvings”.

The Sand House Charity wishes to acknowledge the generous support of public funding from the Lottery via Arts Council England.

SAND HOUSE is at Cast in Doncaster from Friday 8 to Sunday 10 June, at various times.

Tickets are £10.50 and £9 under 26. Recommended for all ages.

For more information and to book visit www.castindoncaster.co.uk or call the Box Office on 01302 303959.

For more information on the Sand House click HERE.