South Somerset District Council Arts Development is supporting the work of local playwright Chris Fogg to bring his play Tree House to local communities.
The play is based in part on a true story in the village where Chris lives on the border of West Dorset and South Somerset and tells of the fortunes of three people – Robbie, Jane and Alan – whom we first encounter as children playing in a tree house on the edge of a village. Later Robbie joins the Army and goes to Afghanistan, where a spontaneous act of kindness leads to a sudden and unexpected tragedy.
Some years later fate conspires to bring all three back to the waste ground, back to the tree house, where old scores are settled in a final act of reckoning.
The context for the story is a common one up and down the country – young people increasingly unable to live in the communities where they grew up because of rising house prices. SSDC sees the production as a catalyst to stimulate thought and discussion about the need for affordable housing in rural areas.
Councillor Sylvia Seal, Portfolio Holder for Leisure & Culture, says: “This production brings the topic of rural housing into the heart of communities where it most counts – villages and small towns where local young people find it difficult – if not impossible – to get started on the housing ladder. Chris Fogg has truly produced a play for today and I am pleased that we can help bring the subject matter into public debate.”
A small grant from SSDC ’s arts development budget has helped to lever funding from the Arts Council England to develop the project and bring the play to South Somerset as part of its tour.
Tree House is suitable for ages 11+ and will be performed at Martock Parish Hall on Thursday 24 November at 7 pm. Tickets are free on the door or in advance from The Information Centre at The Market House and Little Wings Pet Shop, Stapleton Road, Martock.