30 October 2001
Gripping drama arises from farm crisis
By Adrienne Francis
A NEW drama set against the backdrop of the foot-and-mouth crisis has been hailed by critics as a first rate local family play.
The play Red Skies Over the Severn by Lance Woodman was reviewed in the Daily Telegraph on Tuesday (30 October).
The paper says it is a compelling piece, rooted in local community and blessed with a mix of high passion and sly humour.
The storyline follows the Shepard family, who have worked on the same small Worcestershire farm for more than two centuries.
The family has not made a profit for three years, foot-and-mouth is closing in, and the family is trapped and isolated on their farm.
Jack, the bad tempered recently widowed head of the family, is haunted by the ghost of a small boy.
Relations between Jack, his weak son Robert and Roberts pushy wife Angela are deteriorating disastrously.
The paper says the play is not a return to Cold Comfort Farm.
It is saved by the mystery of a schoolboy ghost and the introduction of a delightfully nerdish vegetarian student from Sheffield, who has come to help with the farm.
Actor Robin Simpson gives a wry and self-depreciating performance in the role of Jack, reports the paper.
After 12 hours on the farm he complains he has, been held up at gunpoint, half drowned in shit and threatened with a bacon sandwich.
Red Skies Over the Severn will be performed at the Swan Theatre, Worcester until 10 November.
- Artists paint picture of farming plight, FWi, 7 July 2000
- Arts project to record farm crisis, FWi, 23 March 2001
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