Barn Theatre Club presents

City of Tomorrow

City of Tomorrow

By Glyn Maxwell
Directed by Glyn Maxwell
22nd – 30th April 2022 at 8:00pm in the Main Theatre
Matinee on April 30th at 2:30pm

100 years of England – comic, tragic, farcical and thrilling – seen through the history of the Garden City.

Glyn Maxwell is the best dramatic poet now writing in English.

Daily Telegraph

In 1918 three idealistic Londoners – town planner Edward, his sceptical wife Julia, and architect George – find a bluebell meadow in the countryside and plan their Garden City of Tomorrow. Caught in a summer deluge they take shelter in a farmhouse, where the farmer Johnson becomes suspicious of their intentions, and Molly, a farmhand, listens to the moonlit dreams of the young idealist George.

A century later Linnet, an alienated schoolgirl, sick of the world of boys, writes a blog about Linnetville, the City of Girls Only, while at the Centenary celebrations in 2020, Adam, a teenage poet on the posh side of town, has a crush on Gemma, a sarcastic school-leaver from the wrong side of the tracks. Smitten, he takes her on an awkward tour of the Garden City’s sites, each one leading to a story from the past life of their town.

We see the early days of the Garden City Players, putting on Shakespeare in abandoned farm buildings; we see the first bookshop, and how the founders’ utopian dreams collided with practical reality. Threaded between these settings are the verbatim recollections of actual Garden Citizens: their joys and disappointments, sorrows and delights. We follow the town through the innocent days of dances and societies, through the black-shirts, the Blitz and the hand held out to refugees, to the rapid expansion of the town, the fading of community under the onslaught of the Market and the power of the web. Then come the darker shadows of modern England: division and delusion, the tabloids, trolling…

All the way to 2020, where Adam nervously follows Gemma to a derelict hall by the railway. There they encounter the terrified Linnet, whose radical ideas have led to her needing protection from a hate-filled mob. This oddball trio prepares for the worst, till an early memory of the Garden City suggests an improbable path to survival…

The City of Tomorrow is a poetic and impressionistic drama that explores a hundred years of Garden City history as a series of answers to the question the whole world is asking: How will we live together?

Part of the Barn’s 2021-2022 Season.

CAST & CREATIVE TEAM

Directed by
Glyn Maxwell

MEDIA & REVIEWS​

Glyn Maxwell is the best dramatic poet now writing in English.

Daily Telegraph

Brilliant… a superlative writer.

The Scotsman on The Lifeblood

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