Open Air Theatre - Elsie Piddock Skips in her Sleep

If you were asked to name the writer of the song, Morning has Broken, you’d probably say Cat Stevens. But although he popularised the song with his 1970s hit, the original lyricist was a small, shy, quiet spinster called Eleanor Farjeon, better known as the prolific author of numerous adult novels, poetry and children’s stories. Despite her timidity, Farjeon moved in high literary circles. She was great friends with DH Lawrence and passionately attached to the poet, Edward Thomas. Noel Coward reportedly thought her ‘wonderfully witty and gay’.

Elsie Piddock Skips in her Sleep was penned by Farjeon whilst she was living in a cottage in Sussex, and is the source for a new open-air play by Paddock Productions. Set in and around the real-life Sussex landscape, Elsie Piddock tells the story of a girl who has such a talent for skipping that the fairies summon her to nearby Mount Caburn and award her a magical rope. Generations later, a developer buys the land and threatens to build factories on the mountain. All the villagers come out to skip there one last time, but Elsie Piddock appears, aged 109, with her magic rope and saves the land forever by skipping the developer into a hole in the ground. We all know about developers in Lewes today: it is easy to see the resonances of the story in modern life. This weekend the company performs on the site of Mount Caburn before bringing it downhill to the Gun Garden. ER

Honey I shrunk Yorick’s head
Mt Caburn, Glynde
Lewes Castle Gun Garden Sunday
When? 3pm
How Much? Mt. Caburn Free. Lewes Gun Garden £6/5
Booking through Lewes Travel or on door

Paddock Productions
(w) Website

Mt Caburn promoters
(w) Website