Mary Webb is best-known today as the novelist whose work was satirised by Cold Comfort Farm. But one of her earliest books, Gone to Earth (1917), has an innocence and a wildness - like its heroine - that can be truly affecting. In dramatising the story of 17-year-old Hazel, the innocent and free-spirited country lass who is loved both by the wicked squire and the altruistic minister, Helen Edmundson has incorporated folk-dance, song and dialect into the rural Shropshire setting. It is a style well-suited to Shared Experience, the theatre company who so triumphantly staged Edmundson's adaptations of Anna Karenina and The Mill on the Floss. Gone to Earth premieres in w/c 22 March in Brighton before touring the south of England including a season at the Lyric, Hammersmith.
"'Exemplary adaptation... succeeds beyond expectation' The Times on Anna Karenina"
Helen Edmundson's breakthrough play, in 1992, was her award-winning adaptation of Anna Karenina for Shared Experience, for whom she also adapted The Mill on the Floss. Both productions were twice revived and extensively toured. Her adaptation of War and Peace was staged at the National Theatre in 1996. Her 1993 play, The Clearing, was revived by Shared Experience in Spring 2002. Her latest, Mother Teresa is Dead, was staged by the Royal Court in June the same year.