Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Dark Earth and The Light Sky, play programme
Something that regularly frustrates me is the fact I will never have time to get through all the books, articles, web links, plays and films that I’ve noted down at various times on whatever media has come to hand. Even if I had one comprehensive list stored in one memorable location, the list would always grow a hundred times faster than it would ever decrease.

Take one of my current reads for example: ‘The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot’, Robert Macfarlane. I’m half way through and there is already an impossible number of authors to look into, poets to read, artists to explore and places to visit!

One of the more significant references in this book is the poet Edward Thomas. I’d just made a note to find out more about him when I heard an interview on the radio with Sir Richard Eyre. He was talking about a play based on Edward Thomas that he (Sir Richard Eyre) was directing . Yet another scribble on another notepad was made, along with a determined promise to actually follow up this scribbled notelet and not to let it simply vanish in the ether like so many others before!

It was the weekend before Christmas, CB and I were back in London to have Christmas at my folks. It was the best opportunity we had, and we decided to catch the matinee performance of The Dark Earth and the Light Sky at the Almeida Theatre in Angel. I admit that a play about Edward Thomas, a poet who loved to walk but suffered from severe depression, had a troubled marriage and died in the trenches of World War One isn’t the most ‘Christmassy’ thing we could’ve done, but we made up for it with a festive pint of Rosey Nosey (Batemans brewery) in a pub full of Christmas jumper wearers afterwards!

While it isn’t the most light-hearted of plays, it’s not as heavy as you might expect either. There’s plenty of humour and I was totally fascinated and gripped by all the characters and their stories throughout. It’s a really strong, emotive and intriguing performance from the small cast and I came away with a new list of authors and poets!

Put simply, it’s a 9 out of 10 for me and an absolute must see for anyone into the countryside and walking!