The Original Theatre Company present the new Ali Milles thriller, The Croft, based on a true story and starring Gwen Taylor. The Croft will begin its UK tour at Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham on 22 January 2020.

The Croft is set in the remote Scottish Highlands village of Coillie Ghille, where we encounter three women from different eras whose lives are intertwined by the croft's dark history. In the 1880’s, we have Enid, the last person left in the village - she's resilient, a survivor, who takes in the Laird's pregnant daughter, Eilene. In 2005, Ruth occupies the croft, which she and her husband Tom bought as a holiday home and where Ruth has her affair with local man, David. In the present day, Laura returns with her friend Suzanne to her parent's croft after her mother Ruth's death. They discover the terrifying truth that lurks within the croft. In this bold and haunting play, the present interweaves with the past, as these women search for love in the midst of great danger. As we watch their stories intertwine and ancient tales surface, can the present heal the past?

Gwen Taylor will play Enid and is best known for playing the title role in the ITV sitcom Barbara, as well as Anne Foster in Coronation Street, Peggy Armstrong in Heartbeat, Rita Simcock in A Bit of A Do, for which she was nominated for a BAFTA TV Best Actress Award, and Amy in Duty Free. Her film appearances include Another Mother’s Son, The Lady in the Van and Monty Python's Life of Brian. Gwen is currently touring the UK in The Lady Vanishes. Her other theatre credits include The Importance of Being Earnest and Night Must Fall (both for Original Theatre), Allelujah! (Bridge Theatre), The Slaves of Solitude (Hampstead Theatre), Driving Miss Daisy (Dublin’s Gaiety Theatre / UK Tour), Calendar Girls (UK tour), the title role in the national tour of Shirley Valentine, Top Girls (Royal Court and New York) and Gertrude in Sir Peter Hall’s production of Hamlet (London’s Gielgud Theatre and national tour).

Caroline Harker will play the roles of Suzanne / Ruth. She is best known for her role as Celia in BBC’s Middlemarch, as well as WPC Hazel Wallace in ITV’s A Touch of Frost. Her other notable television credits include Coronation Street, Doctors and Holby City. Caroline’s film credits include Lady Godiva: Back in the Saddle and The Madness of King George. She most recently starred in Relatively Speaking, Breaking Code and Handbagged (Salisbury Playhouse). Her other theatre credits include The Sweet Science of Bruising (Southwark Playhouse), The Chalk Garden (Chichester Festival Theatre) and Pride and Prejudice (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre).

Lucy Doyle will play the roles of Laura / Eilene. She recently graduated from RADA and made her professional debut this year at Theatre Royal Bath in Vienna 1934 - Munich 1938 alongside Vanessa Redgrave and Paul Hilton.

Further casting to be announced.

The Croft is directed by the award-winning director Philip Franks, with design by Adrian Linford, lighting by Chris Davey and sound by Max Pappenheim.

This production is produced by The Original Theatre Company (The Habit of Art, The Night Watch, Birdsong).

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Twitter: @OriginalTheatre #TheCroft

Age Guidance 12+

2020 UK Tour Schedule

22 – 25 January Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham 01242 572573

27 January – 1 February Derby Theatre 01332 59 39 39 On sale soon

4 – 8 February Perth Theatre 01738 621031 On sale soon

11 – 15 February Darlington Hippodrome 01325 405405

24 – 29 February Palace Theatre, Southend 01702 351135

11 – 14 March Cambridge Arts Theatre 01223 503333 On sale soon

16 – 21 March Ashcroft Playhouse, Fairfield Halls, Croydon 0203 292 0002

24 – 28 March Theatr Clwyd, Mold 01352 344101

31 March – 4 April Richmond Theatre 0844 871 7651

6 - 11 April Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne 0132 341 2000 On sale soon

15 – 18 April Belgrade Theatre, Coventry 024 7655 3055

Further dates to be added.