November 2016 – Edith in the Dark

The Cast of 'Edith in the Dark'

This play and was performed in Morganstown Village Hall from 24th to 26th November 2016.

A fairly recent work by author/playwright Philip Meeks, ‘Edith in the Dark’ was commissioned by Harrogate Theatre, who presented its first stage performance in 2013.

This fictional story is based on the ‘other side’ of the character and work of children’s writer Edith Nesbit, author of ‘The Railway Children’ and numerous other lesser-known titles for young people. She also wrote poems and books for adults, often of the ghost story/minor horror genre, and it is this aspect of her work which forms the basis of the play.

The scene is set in Edith’s attic writing room of the large house she shares with her then husband, Hubert Bland, shortly before Christmas 1909. She has invited a young male admirer of her work, just to see where most of her creative work is done, while a party organised by her husband –  which she prefers to escape – goes on downstairs. A discussion takes place on the nature of the author’s work, but this soon reveals a side to Edith which her  male guest – really a ‘gatecrasher’ – finds surprising and slightly unnerving.

Some time into the conversation, they are joined by Edith’s housekeeper and companion who, prompted by consumption of some of her own notorious punch, encourages Edith to grant the young man’s request for a reading of the author’s work, by reading some items from her adult ghost/horror story writings. Several thought-provoking tales of the kind are read, with each play character reading in the voices of characters in the stories.

These readings take place against the background of an unknown young woman who, having taken unwell after arriving at the party, was saved from collapse by  Edith’s young male guest, and who is now resting in an adjacent  room. She herself is never seen, but as the tension mounts, both her identity – and that of the young male guest – become clear, resulting in a quite unexpected ending.13-j-i 14-i-p 19-j-i21-p


Edith Nesbit        – Julia Hallinan

Guasto               – Ian Ogden

Biddy Thricefold – Pauline Watson

Directed by Ian Ogden

Assisted by Gill Evans.