The Chalk Garden
By Enid Bagnold
Directed by Murray Stephens
Tuesday 13th to Saturday 17th November at 7.45pm in the studio
Tickets: adults £12, children/students £10
A troubled teenage girl lives with her eccentric grandmother, Mrs. St. Maugham, in a big house in Sussex, with a Chalk Garden. When a new governess is hired, partly to keep Laurel’s mother from taking her back, the brittle calm of the household is shaken. Miss Madrigal has no past, and no references; but when Mrs. St Maugham’s old friend the Judge comes to lunch, secrets are revealed and illusions destroyed.
Enid Bagnold’s 1955 play deals with issues that are as relevant now as they were in the 50’s, renewing and rebuilding lives, and above all the need for love, and the need to move on.
It was first performed on Broadway, in 1955. It opened in London in 1956 with Edith Evans and Peggy Ashcroft, and was the most successful play that year, eclipsing both “Look Back in Anger” and “The Deep Blue Sea”. It won numerous awards in Britain and on Broadway, including rave reviews from Kenneth Tynan. It has been revived regularly. There was a run at the Donmar Theatre in 2008, with Margaret Tyzack (her last play) Penelope Wilton and Felicity Jones in her breakthrough role, and it is running at Chichester this year with Penelope Keith. It was also filmed in 1964 starring Edith
Evans, Deborah Carr, Hayley Mills and John Mills.