New play’s true tale

New play’s true tale

A play by agricultural story editor of The Archers Graham Harvey and AJ Kroon, former producer of The Archers, brings to the stage the true tale of an unlikely Cotswold hero, a West Country Land Army girl in an enduring romance.

No Finer Life is set in the Oxfordshire countryside and moves between the Second World War and the present day. The central character is Elizabeth, a land girl brought up in Bath, who sets off in search of a best-selling author in the darkest days of war.

Her story reflects issues that are as topical and relevant now as they were in the 1940s – love of the countryside, the need to protect it and questions of national identity.

Young Elizabeth‘s hero was George Henderson, a writer who inspired soldiers returning from the war to take up farming. His book, The Farming Ladder, published in 1944, persuaded Elizabeth and many others that small farms could be highly productive.

Now in her 90s, she and her family still run the same farm. Graham takes part in an after-show conversation at all venues.

The show features live music composed and performed by Alastair Collingwood, who has written scores for many television programmes and theatre shows.

No Finer Life, staged by Dogwood Productions, is touring the West Country and is at the Athenaeum Centre at Warminster on March 31, with actress, puppeteer, writer and Edinburgh Fringe veteran Roberta Bellekom playing the central role of Elizabeth.

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