High Weald

up_in_smokeThe Company have staged their fifth, and final, site-specific theatre trail within the Weald Forest Ridge Landscape Partnership Scheme. "Up In Smoke" was performed eight times over the Christmas / New Year period to an audience totalling over 300 people.

Unlike their previous plays in the Scheme - where the audiences walked around local countryside sites, such as Broadwater Warren and Buchan County Park, watching the play unfold - Up In Smoke took place on a moving steam train on the Spa Valley Railway. As the audience travelled through the High Weald between Tunbridge Wells and Groombridge, the play unfolded around them.

Set at the end of 1918, the play explored social issues around soldiers returning, from the battle fronts of the First World War, into a changing society of limited employment, inherent class structures and the emerging votes for women movement. Two of the play's 8 characters were based on real people: Tunbridge Wells resident Amelia Scott, who campaigned for women's suffrage; and Thomas Coster, the larger than life owner of the High Rocks Hotel, who is thought to have woven some of the Rocks' legends to entice visitors to the Rocks and his hostelry!

As with The Company's previous plays, tickets sold out before the performances and glowing feedback was given by audience members.