And Then Come The Nightjars

By Bea Roberts

Set against the backdrop of the 2001 foot-and-mouth crisis and brought to life amidst the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, ‘And Then Come The Nightjars’ is a gutwrenching but heart-warming story that explores themes of loss, the enduring bonds of friendship, and, above all, a heartfelt celebration of rural life and local heritage.

Originally set in Devon and initially produced in 2015, Wonder Fools embarked on a remarkable journey, collaborating with Crossmichael Drama Club to relocate the play in the heart of Dumfries and Galloway, a community deeply affected by the epidemic. The production was performed at the Fullarton Theatre in Castle Douglas in February 2022.

We also partnered with two emerging researchers to curate a digital archive, brimming with insightful and hard hitting interviews from local farmers, vets, and residents about the reality of epidemic’s devastating impact on their community.


Audience members in a rural venue midway through emerging from the pandemic




Young apprentices


Digital Archive

“I’ve had such an amazing experience and the environment was so welcoming that I truly felt like I belonged. I’ve never felt so accepted in a professional space before. After lockdown I lost my passion for things. This apprenticeship boosted me up and helped me find a love for the creative arts again.”

Charlie, Directing Apprentice

Living Archive

Created in 2021 to commemorate Dumfries and Galloway’s experience as one of the hardest hit areas of the Foot and Mouth epidemic in 2001, the Living History of Dumfries and Galloway archive features recordings of interviews, as well as photographs and other submissions from an open call to the people of Dumfries and Galloway.


Watch audience members talking about their experience of watching And Then Come The Nightjars at The Fullarton Theatre in February 2022.

Bea Roberts

Jack Nurse 

Set and Costume Designer
Jenny Booth

Lighting Designer
Benny Goodman


Movement Director
Emma Jayne Park

Outreach Lead
Robbie Gordon

Engagement Coordinator
Gemma Zidel-Watt

Neil Hardy & Tommy Thompson

Charlie Dorans (directing), Holly Chapman (design), Alishia Armstong (lighting design), Rachel Schnapp (movement directing), Emma Forsyth (stage management), Erin Findlay (composition)

Lighting Designer
Benny Goodman

Stage Manager
Babette Wickham-Riddick

Steph Connell

Marketing Manager
Serden Salih

This project was supported by Creative Scotland, Holywood Trust, Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage, Galloway Glens Landscape Partnership Scheme and the Together Again Fund from D&G Unlimited