Flora's Peverel cover

Flora's Peverel – 2007
When Flora Thompson "won the fight to write" in Liphook 1916–1928

Photos of the shows Cast Scenes Review – see also 1997 performance

Details of tour venues for Flora's Peverel, July 2007

8pm, Friday 6th July 2007
Phoenix Arts Centre, Bordon — (01420) 472664

2.30pm, Saturday 7th July 2007
Haslemere Museum, 78 High Street, Haslemere, Surrey GU27 2LA — (01428) 642112

2.30pm, Sunday 8th July 2007
Rural Life Centre, Old Kiln Museum, Reeds Road, Tilford, Farnham, Surrey GU10 2DL — (01252) 795571

8pm, Monday 9th July 2007
Petersfield Library — (01730) 263451

8pm, Friday 13th July 2007
Millennium Hall, 2 Ontario Way, Liphook, Hampshire GU30 7LD — (01428) 723889

8pm, Saturday 14th July 2007
Headley Village Hall, Arford Road, Headley, Bordon, Hampshire GU35 8LJ — (01428) 712892

This Production

The casting of this play brings together a number of talents from across the local area.
Over the years, since we started touring productions in 1993, our community plays have aimed to forge links between local actors and dramatic societies, as well as to satisfy a need for the presentation of local history in an enjoyable and accessible form.
Some of our members in this production are working together for the first time, others have 'been here before'. May the links we have forged grow ever stronger!

Except for the first and last two scenes, the action of the play takes place in various locations in and around Liphook between the years 1916 and 1928.

The performance is continuous, and lasts about 2 hours with one interval of 15 minutes

Cast, in order of appearance

Flora Thompson – Mel White
Postman at Bournemouth – John McGregor
'Louie' Woods – Georgia Keen
Sgt John Mumford – Charlie O'Reardon
John Thompson – Rod Sharp
'Joe' Leggett (at 8 years old) – Alex Clark
Bill Tidy – Jo Smith
Maggie Tidy – Pru Harrold
Harry Envis – John McGregor
Dr Ronald Campbell Macfie – Peter Glinn
Bessie Vale – Emily Downs
Mrs Vale – Wendy Downs
Gypsy woman – Mary Coyte
Mrs Parkhurst – Mavis Standing
Elsie Parkhurst – Emily Downs
Diana Thompson – Isobel Glinn
Eileen Leggett – Sarah Wellen
Capt. Byfield – Peter Glinn
Sam, the shepherd – David Irwin
Mrs Leggett – Kay McGregor
Peter Thompson (at 8 years) – Katherine Wellen
Chairman of cable company – John McGregor


Act I - 1916 – 18
Prelude: Flanders, April 1916
Scene 1: Flora's garden in Bournemouth, April 1916
Scene 2: Canadian army camp, near Liphook, September 1916
Scene 3: Liphook Post Office, later that morning
Scene 4: Lynchmere Common
Scene 5: Flora's room, Liphook Post Office
Scene 6: On the road from Forest Mere
Scene 7: The Postmaster's house, soon after
Scene 8: On the Road with Maggie Tidy
Scene 9: Liphook Post Office, summer 1917
Scene 10: On Bramshott Common, later that day
Scene 11: Liphook Post Office, soon after
Scene 12: On the Road with Bill & Maggie Tidy
Scene 13: Flora's room, Liphook Post Office, early 1918
Scene 14: A street in Liphook, at the same time
Scene 15: Flora's room, Liphook Post Office, at the same time
Scene 16: Split scene - Flora and Louie

Act2 - 1926 – 28
Scene 17: An open space near Liphook, summer 1926
Scene 18: Liphook Post Office, a few days later
Scene 19: In the garden of the Postmaster's house, a few weeks later
Scene 20: Liphook Post Office, at the same time
Scene 21: On Weavers Down soon after
Scene 22: The Leggett's farm, Griggs Green, a few weeks later
Scene 23: 'Woolmer Gate', Griggs Green, soon after
Scene 24: Liphook Post Office, early morning a few weeks later
Scene 25: Weavers Down, early spring 1927
Scene 26: The Telephone Exchange, Liphook Post Office
Scene 27: 'Woolmer Gate', Griggs Green, soon after
Scene 28: Lynchmere Common
Scene 29: The Leggett's farm, Griggs Green, a few weeks later
Scene 30: Hewshott House, Liphook, summer 1927
Scene 31: 'Woolmer Gate', Griggs Green, some time later
Scene 32: 'Woolmer Gate', Griggs Green, autumn 1928
Scene 33: Dartmouth, Devon, April 1937
Scene 34: Brixham, Devon, May 1947


Flora Thompson's Lark Rise to Candleford, describing her idyllic childhood in Oxfordshire, is well known among readers of books on rural life, but her writing about the districts where she lived much of her adult life, which she called Heatherley and Peverel (Grayshott and Liphook), are less well known.

It was the second of these that formed the basis for John Owen Smith's play Flora's Peverel, which opened at the Phoenix as part of the Bordon and Whitehill Arts Festival, prior to a tour.

It would be wrong to call it a dramatisation, for there is little action. Rather it is a succession of cinema-like scenes, more than 30 of them, portraying the life of the Liphook Postmistress, her family and friends, in the years during and after the First World War, with a wealth of local characters, including a tinker, a gypsy and a shepherd.

In the first part we saw Flora mourning the loss of her brother in action, coping with the demands of her family and harbouring a desire to become a writer.
This she finally achieves in the second, publishing poems and articles on the region's natural history. But only after leaving her beloved Griggs Green for Devonshire does she have the time to commit all her thoughts to paper.

Flora was sympathetically portrayed by Mel White, gaining self-assurance throughout after seeming tied by the constraints imposed by her fastidious and straight-laced husband, played by Rod Sharp.

The whole cast, which included a large number of talented young, and some very young, actors, showed great commitment to their parts and two long acts positively sped past.

John Owen Smith himself directed and saw to it that each scene moved seamlessly into the next, at the same time giving a rip-roaring performance as Bill Tidy, the tinker, ably abetted by the wonderful Pru Harrold as his long-suffering wife.

An unusual, but strangely involving play.

Tom Muckley, Bordon & Petersfield Post

Headley Theatre Club home page