(Hampstead Theatre • December 2021 – February 5, 2022)

1903, Somerset. Rooted in the land where she has lived her entire life, Louie Hooper’s mind overflows with its songs – more than 300 of them passed down from her mother. Cecil Sharp, a composer visiting from London, fears England’s folk songs will be lost forever and sets out on a mission to transcribe each and every one. He believes Louie’s music should speak not just for this place but for the whole of England.

Inspired by a true story, Nell Leyshon’s Folk is a beautiful new play with songs.

The cast features Ben Allen (Measure for Measure, Donmar), Sasha Frost (The Lightning Child, Shakespeare’s Globe), Mariam Haque (Behind the Beautiful Forevers, National Theatre) and Simon Robson (The Schumann Plan, Hampstead Theatre).

Folk is a T.S. Eliot Foundation commission.

★★★★ Leyshon’s poetic way with words, the subtle modulations of Roxana Silbert’s scenically humble production and the superb, lived-in detail of the four actors hold us in thrall. This wonderful play deserves to endure.’ The Telegraph
★★★★ ‘A lyrical, complex celebration of Cecil Sharp’ The Times
★★★★ ‘Every actor shines in this beautifully brooding tale of song and sisterhood, paced to perfection by Roxana Silbert.’ The Guardian
★★★★ A beautiful, beguiling play that captures the transcendent and transformative power of music. Financial Times
★★★★ ‘Setting the bar for new writing impressively high with this beauty. Breathtaking writing, flawless staging. Folk deserves to be around for a very long time.’ WhatsOnStage
★★★★ ‘Edgily enchanting and beautifully played by all, this is an exquisite gem’ Daily Express

Drama on Radio 3

Drama on Radio 3

I am trying to remember the young woman that I was before I had children. I am trying to see who I am now… I am a writer and I have a splinter of ice in my heart and in my eye.' Nell Leyshon performs her own true story of how her reinvention of herself after children is halted by illness. It is a story of the body, medicine, statistics and the NHS; a story of motherhood and being a woman; a story of writing and of speaking with our own authentic voices. Three letters was written and performed by Nell Leyshon and directed in Edinburgh by Susan Roberts Broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Listen again on iPlayer here ...

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