Passion for the Planet: Mole Valley 2023

By Tony Earnshaw

An immersive, promenade performance for adults and children about ecological sustainability and care, full of silliness, music, song, dance and puppetry.

Community and schools involvement from August and September 2023, with public performances in Mole Valley in October.

Where and when

Passion for the Planet ran from Sat 21 October to Sat 28 October 2023 at the Friends Meeting House in Dorking.

Online programme

Rather than using up precious trees and printing out loads of paper copies, we put our show programme for Passion for the Planet online.

About the show

Passion for the Planet is a promenade performance for adults and children of all ages. This 2023 production took our hugely successful 2021 Gateshead project, then recreated and localised it especially for the Mole Valley community.

The show explores the crucial themes of ecological sustainability and care – care for the Earth and all its guests, care for self, care for others.

The show is an immersive theatrical journey combining music, song, dance, mask, puppetry, storytelling and multi-media installations.

Our aim? To deliver a deeper understanding of the issues alongside audience enjoyment via truly accessible local theatre.

Reviews from the 2023 production:

“I loved seeing the young children responding in wonder to everything, and yet there was something for all of us…”

“These kids are not going to forget to look after the planet now!”

“We were all truly blown away by the amazing acting and the message given. So enjoyable….”

“Our grandchildren loved it and went to bed saying save the planet! I was moved with laughter and tears…”

“It was good to be reminded that when pursuing such a worthy cause we can have laughter and joy…”



Passion for the Planet poster

Production images

(Click to enlarge)

Photos by Damn Cheek.

Community involvement

Passion for the Planet began with ‘making days’ open to the local community in Mole Valley from August 2023.

Alongside that, we ran creative workshops in collaboration with local community groups. These were followed by school visits from September.

We worked with local primary and secondary schools and support organisations to:

  • develop the performance themes
  • create scenery, costume, masks, puppetry and installations for the production
  • run a film competition
  • offer work placement positions

By developing projects with a strong emphasis on community involvement, we encourage people to reach outside their existing context and explore diverse approaches to life. Further, we create a network of interpersonal relationships, inter-organisational connections, social cohesion and teamwork.

We also always aim to deliver transforming benefit, during the duration of our projects and as a lasting legacy thereafter.

Find out more about working with us as a community partner


Damn Cheek always strives for identifiable and quantifiable legacy.

To achieve this, we apply our rigorous evaluation process – developed with Manchester University – to all our projects.

These evaluations consistently show that individuals, organisations and communities involved with these projects have increased their understanding, skills, self-belief and relationships.

We have every confidence that our Mole Valley production of Passion for the Planet will deliver the same practical, educational and developmental benefits.

Legacy book

We’re also thrilled to share this Legacy Book of poems by children and local writers, created as part of the production.

The poems in the book are the work of children in 5 local primary schools and also local writers, mainly drawn from Mole Valley writing groups – Mole Valley Poets, the Narnia Group, Phoenix Writers, and leaves to a tree (Mole Valley’s Haiku group).

You can download the book in 2 versions (with single or double pages), depending on how you’d prefer to view or print it.


Legacy book cover


Legacy book cover


The Passion for the Planet team is headed by Artistic Director Darren Cheek and includes Helen Potter (Musical Director and Performer), Chris de Wilde (Designer), Tony Earnshaw (Writer) and Karen Spicer (Performer).

John Allen

Trainee Assistant Stage Manager

John Allen

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Mahsa Hammat Bahary

Associate Artist

Mahsa Hammat Bahary

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Pippa Banks

Trainee Assistant Director

Pippa Banks

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Darren Cheek

Director and Performer

Darren Cheek

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Chris de Wilde


Chris de Wilde

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Tony Earnshaw


Tony Earnshaw

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Willie Elliott

Associate Director and Audio Describer

Willie Elliott

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Helen Potter

Musical Director and Performer

Helen Potter

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Alison Pottinger

BSL Interpreter

Alison Pottinger

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Karen Spicer


Karen Spicer

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Vicky Tearle

Education Consultant and Facilitator

Vicky Tearle

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Stephen Thompson

Company Stage Manager

Stephen Thompson

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This project was part-funded by Mole Valley District Council, using money provided by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund*.

We are also delighted to be supported in presenting Passion for the Planet to the Mole Valley community by our generous sponsors Dorking Quaker Meeting, West Weald Area Quaker Meeting, the Sylvia Waddilove Foundation and Circular Dorking. Without their generous help and support, this production would not have been possible.

Levelling Up
Quakers logo
Circular Dorking
* The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills.