Striking play in Bedford explores a real-life modern mystery

Max Dickins in The Man on the Moor
Max Dickins in The Man on the Moor

Following his successful run of The Man on the Moor at last year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Max Dickins brings this one-man play to Bedford next week.

On December 12 2015, the body of an elderly-looking man was discovered beside a path on Saddleworth Moor in the Peak District. He was lying on his back, arms placed across his chest like a mummy, facing perfectly straight downhill. He was carrying no form of identification: no phone, no wallet, no cards, no driving licence, and no keys.

In his pockets was £130 in cash and three train tickets: Ealing Broadway to London Euston, and a return ticket from Euston to Manchester.

The police checked the body against the National Criminal Intelligence and Missing Persons databases. Neither provided a match. And despite a nationwide media campaign, no one came forward with any information about the identity of the man. He seemed to have no name, no home, no family, and no friends; apart from his body, there was no evidence that this man ever existed at all.

In The Man On The Moor, Dickins explores the story from the perspective of those searching for missing loved ones. He portrays a man looking for his own missing father, mirroring the real-life case of the son of Hugh Toner, who had vanished from a hospital in Northern Ireland in 1994. In January 2016 Toner’s son approached the police believing that the description of the man on the moor matched that of his father. DNA evidence eventually ruled out a link.

In February this year, the man on the moor was finally identified as David Lytton. But the central mystery of why he did it remains unsolved.

The play comes to The Place on Friday May 25, starting at 7.30pm. Visit www.theplacebedford.org.uk to book.