Lark Rise to Southampton
Based on the first book of Flora Thompson’s trilogy of semi-autobiographical novels, this heart warming play was first performed at London’s National Theatre in 1978 and was nominated for two Olivier awards.
The superb company of thirteen actors and two musicians includes Jonathan Ansell (the chart-topping lead singer from X Factor sensation G4 who has just completed a hugely successful national tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Whistle Down The Wind); Sara Crowe (Calendar Girls and Bedroom Farce in the west end and film credits including Four Weddings and a Funeral); Eric Richard (Sgt. Bob Cryer in The Bill); Becci Gemmell (Land Girls) and Christopher Beeny (Last of the Summer Wine, Upstairs, Downstairs.) Music is by folk icon Ashley Hutchings, founder of Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span and The Albion Band. He created the music for the original National Theatre production, and he returns to supervise the music for this new revival with a band that includes his son Blair Dunlop, an up and coming young performer who appeared as the young Willy Wonka in Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory alongside Johnny Depp.
Seen through the eyes of young Laura Timms, the play follows a day in the life and relationships of the farm workers, craftsmen and gentry of the fictional hamlet of Lark Rise at the end of the nineteenth century. It is the first day of harvest, and the villagers celebrate with the simple pleasures of music, song and dance, creating a moving and evocative picture of a forgotten England.