Flora Thompson, author of "Lark Rise to Candleford," lived in Grayshott, Hampshire, from 1898 to 1901. The play brings to life this period of her life, her 'Sinister Street' years. Based on her book 'Heatherley,' the sequel to 'Lark Rise to Candleford' which she refused to publish.
Performed in three locations in East Hampshire and Surrey
during September 1998
commemorating the centenary of her arrival in Grayshott.
See production photos from
a performance in 2006
Click here to see details of play and sample scene
See also Flora's Peverel
Walter Chapman (43)
Emily Chapman (36)
Annie Symonds (20)
Flora Timms (22)
Charles Foreshaw - an old 62
Sir Frederick Pollock (54)
Marion - 18-21
Bob Pikesley - an old 40
Isobel ('Izzy') - 17-20
Winifred Storr (13)
Grace ('Gee') Leuchars (14)
Arthur Conan Doyle (40)
Ernest Chapman (41)
Richard Brownlow - 22
Mavis Brownlow - 20
Mrs Parkhurst - an old 45
Mrs Davidson - say 50
William Sillick, reporter (21)
Two Telegram Boys
Man in the Pub
John Thompson - non-speaking
Flora as a Bride - non-speaking
Scene 1 - Inside the Chapman's accommodation at Grayshott Post Office, 1899
Scene 2 - In Grayshott Post Office, next morning
Scene 3 - At the site of the proposed Refreshment House, Grayshott
Scene 4 - In Grayshott Post Office, some weeks later
Scene 5 - On Ludshott Common, later that day
Scene 6 - A Sunday afternoon in Crossways Road, Grayshott
Scene 7 - In Grayshott Post Office, a few days later
Scene 8 - Inside the Chapman's accommodation at Grayshott Post Office, that night
Scene 9 - In Grayshott Post Office, a few days later
Scene 10 - In Crossways Road, Grayshott, soon after
Scene 11 - In Mr Foreshaw's House, next Sunday afternoon
Scene 12 - In Crossways Road, Grayshott, a Sunday afternoon some weeks later
Scene 13 - The opening of the Fox & Pelican, Grayshott
Scene 14 - In Grayshott Post Office, a few days later
**** INTERVAL ****
Scene 15 - In Grayshott Post Office, 1901
Scene 16 - In the Chapman's accommodation at Grayshott Post Office
Scene 17 - At Flora's lodgings with Mrs Parkhurst
Scene 18 - Sir Frederick Pollock meets with Conan Doyle
Scene 19 - In Grayshott Post Office soon after
Scene 20 - On Ludshott Common soon after
Scene 21 - In Crossways Road, Grayshott
Scene 22 - Mrs Parkhurst's house, some weeks later
Scene 23 - In Grayshott Post Office, some time later
Scene 24 - In Crossways Road, immediately after
Scene 25 - In Grayshott Post Office, at the same time
Scene 26 - In Crossways Road, Grayshott, some time later
Scene 27 - By the new Hindhead Telegraph Office
Scene 28 - Mrs Parkhurst's house, some days later
Scene 29 - In Grayshott Post Office, a few days later
Scene 30 - Farewells in Grayshott
Scene 31 - Inside the Chapman's accommodation at Grayshott Post Office
Scene 32 - Epilogue and Flora's Wedding
The play runs for approximately 2 hours
Annie and Isobel are out walking in the village
Annie What a glorious day, Izzy. Let's take a walk up to the turnpike and back.
Isobel And watch all those terrible women cycling past wearing their ghastly bloomers. What fun!
Annie Remember that one we saw last week, wearing a man's felt hat with a big long feather sticking up at the side?
Isobel Heavens yes! My mother would rather see me dead in my coffin than out dressed like that. Common, she calls it. Almost as bad as being one of those 'New Women'.
Annie The ones shouting 'Votes for Women!'
Isobel She says they're 'A lot of coarse great ugly things who can't get themselves husbands'.
Annie You should hear my father on about them. 'Give 'em votes?' he says, 'If I had my way I'd give 'em a good slap on the bottom and make 'em stay at home where they belong'.
Isobel I can't imagine people like that living here in the village though, can you Annie? Think of our friends-our little 'garden of girls'-there's none of them like that.
Annie There's a big, wide world outside Grayshott though, Izzy.
Isobel Now you're being clever. Remember our motto: 'Be good, sweet maid, and let who will be clever.'
Annie That's from Charles Kingsley.
Isobel And that's being clever again. Men don't like clever girls-you'll end up being an old maid if you're not careful, then you'll be sorry.
Annie I'm not being clever-I just enjoy reading, Izzy. Don't you? Don't you love Christina Rossetti for instance? She's my favourite. 'When I am dead my dearest, Sing no sad songs for me . . . '
Isobel Oh, let's leave that dreary rot to the kids. Thank the gods and little fishes our schooldays are over!
Annie And we're out of the clutches of "Podgy" Ward.
Isobel And those dreadful inspections by Miss I'Anson. Do you remember her clipping Willie Harris round the ear that day?
Annie After saying it would hurt her more than it hurt him!
Isobel Throw the exercise books away! We're fin de seekle now.
Annie We're what?
Isobel Fin de seekle. It means 'end of the century'.
Annie Is that how you pronounce it?
Isobel I think so. Look, let's not start being clever again.
Annie Sorry. It's just that you make it sound like a bit of fish. I was imagining this poor 'seekle' swimming around in the local lakes.
Isobel Annie, stop being a tease! When were you last down by the lakes anyway? You've not been out walking with 'stalking Flora' have you?
Annie That's rotten of you, Izzy. She's a good friend of mine. We get on very well.
Isobel Always out on her own, talking to old men. I think that's weird, don't you?
Annie She knows a lot about the countryside.
Isobel Who wants to know about that? You can't marry the countryside can you? She should settle down and have a family. How old is she?
Annie Over twenty-one.
Isobel That's ancient!-and with no man in prospect yet.
Annie Well, I'm not going to be a gossip Izzy-I think it's her business, don't you?
Isobel No need to snap, dear Annie. I'm just glad that I have my Eric and you have your Arthur-at least we shan't get left on the shelf. Look, there's Martha and Fanny ahead -shall we catch them up and hear what gossip they've got?
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