The Clearing

A powerful tale of loss, longing and unspoken regrets, Forest Forge Theatre Company’s excellent touring play winds the clock back nearly 50 years to examine the dying days of the last of the Romany gypsy communities in the New Forest.

Written by Dan Allum, himself a Romany, it tells the true story of how the travellers desperately fought to keep their traditional way of life as the local authority prepared to drive the wagons from their compound at Shave Green and move them into houses.

Set during the bitterly cold winter of 1962/63, it focuses on Moses (Tim Treslove),a taciturn gypsy fire-brand and his raven-haired, romantic, wild-child daughter, Theodosia (Amy Davidson). 

They prepare to do battle  with the locals but one resident - well-meaning forestry man, Will Bannister (Paul Huntley Thomas ) has always been the gypsies friend. Unfortunately his wife Clara (Kerry Steed) is a local counclllor and supports the eviction plans.

When she discovers that Will has been quite a lot more than a friend to Theodosia trouble looms. The performances are superb, there’s a wonderfully evocative set and David Haworth’s direction is spot on.

A Clearing plays Lighthouse again tonight (Wednesday March 25) and continues touring until April 4.

Jeremy Miles

© Jeremy Miles 2022