Cold Comfort Farm

by Paul Doust - adapted from the novel by Stella Gibbons

Cold Comfort Farm had 4 performances over 6 years ago (between the 18th of July 2012 and the 21st of July 2012) at The Riverhouse Barn

167th Production

This adaptation of the well-loved Stella Gibbons’ classic rural novel, set in the 1930s, is written with its tongue firmly in its cheek, giving wonderful opportunities for hilarious comedic acting.

Plot Summary The heroine, Flora Poste, is young, sophisticated and determined. She visits Aunt Ada Doom’s isolated farm in the fictional village of Howling, Sussex, where she transforms the lives of her unruly relatives, the Starkadders. As peace and harmony replace discord and violence we see the beautiful but wild Elfine made over as suitable wife material for the local gentry; Amos, the fire and brimstone preacher, released from his farming duties to set out on a nationwide crusade; brooding Seth transformed into a Hollywood sex symbol and cousin Judith miraculously cured of her neuroses. Most important of all we see the family released from the tyranny of Aunt Ada (who was never the same after seeing ‘something narsty in the woodshed’) and Ada herself launched into a new and glamorous existence. There is plenty of scope for characterisation and the Sussex family and farm hands can adopt a West Country accent. Charles and the Hawk-Monitors are the upper crust and Mr Neck has an American accent.

Characters There is a central group of 15 named characters. However, the number can be reduced to 10 with doubling if required. There is also a group of Chorus who perform a variety of roles such as guests at the ball and wedding, additional family for the Counting and the Quivering Brethren!

A complete set of photographs from the show, by Alan Bostock can be viewed from the link at http://www.showbiz.uk.net/rdg/coldcomfortfarm/gallery.htm

Application pdf

Download flyer

Click here to download a copy of the flyer for this production.

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FLORA POSTE - Kiran Millwood Hargrave

The heroine 20/35. She is recently orphaned. A level-headed woman who applies modern common sense to the Starkadder family and helps them all adapt to the 20th century.

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JUDITH STARKADDER - Jean Warner

Flora’s cousin, wife of Amos. Middle aged, she has an unhealthy passion for her youngest son, Seth. Prophesises disaster for the family.

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ELFINE STARKADDER - Jill Coles

Judith’s daughter 18/25. An intellectual, outdoor, fun-loving girl. Beautiful but wild, she is besotted with the local squire, Richard Hawk-Monitor.

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AUNT ADA DOOM - Anne Nunn

The matriarch, Judith’s mother. A reclusive, miserly widow, owner of the farm. She constantly complains of having seen ‘something narsty in the woodshed’, when she was a girl.

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RENNET - Emma Thompson

Described as “poor daft Rennet”. Wild and mute, has a ‘thing’ for Mark Dolour (who we never see). Finds her voice at the end of the play.

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MRS HAWK-MONITOR - Frankie Godliman

Small character part. Richard’s upper-class mother and owner of Hautcouture Hall. Can also be in the Chorus.

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AMOS STARKADDER/SNELLER - Paul Foster

Amos is Judith’s husband; fire and brimstone preacher at the church of The Quivering Brethren (“Ye’re all damned!”). Sneller is the Butler at the Hawk-Monitor's home - Hautcouture Hall

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REUBEN STARKADDER - Tony Frier

Amos and Judith’s eldest son and heir, jealous of anyone who stands between him and the farm.

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SETH STARKADDER - Jamie Frier

The younger son. Handsome, over-sexed and has a passion for the movies. Enjoys ‘mollocking’!

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URK STARKADDER - Tom Hudson

Related way back, a young bachelor. Rough farmhand, not very literate, who wants to marry Elfine.

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ADAM LAMBSBREATH - Roy Selfe

The old family retainer – farm hand. Obsessed with Elfine and – Graceless, Aimless, Feckless and Pointless, his cows.

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CHARLES AND VARIOUS CHARACTERS - Nick Lund

Flora’s love interest who is studying to become a parson and who she eventually ends up with. A spiffing chap with lovely teeth. On at beginning and end of play, so can also be in Chorus.

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RICHARD HAWK-MONITOR AND VARIOUS CHARACTERS - Troy Chessman

Elfine’s intended, small part. Can be in Chorus.

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MR NECK AND VARIOUS CHARACTERS - Ian Thomas

Hollywood film Producer. Can also be in Chorus.

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VARIOUS CHARACTERS - Gillian Smithies

The Chorus perform a variety of roles such as guests at the ball and wedding, additional family for The Counting and the Quivering Brethren!

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VARIOUS CHARACTERS - Pauline Walters

The Chorus perform a variety of roles such as guests at the ball and wedding, additional family for The Counting and the Quivering Brethren!

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VARIOUS CHARACTERS - Sarah Mullins

The Chorus perform a variety of roles such as guests at the ball and wedding, additional family for The Counting and the Quivering Brethren!

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BRIDESMAID DANDELION AND VARIOUS CHARACTERS - Amy Hewson

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Director - Faith Powell

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Stage Manager/Properties - Liz Thomas

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Assistant Stage Manager - Clare Pinnock

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Set Design and Construction - John Godliman

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Continuity/Wardrobe - Jill Payne

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Sound Design and Operation - Ian Santry

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Lighting - Nigel Greenaway

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Wardrobe - Judith Dolley

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Wardrobe - Anna Foster

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Lighting Assistant - Carolyn Menteith

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Properties/Flyer and Programme Design - Anne Nunn

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Sound Design - Mark Humble

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Publicity - Gillian Smithies

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Publicity - Frankie Godliman

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Photography - Alan Bostock (www.photoeyes.biz)

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Front of House Manager - Nicola Anderson