Hilaire Belloc bought King's Land (in Shipley, Sussex), 5 acres and a working windmill for £1000 in 1907 and it was his home for the rest of his life. Belloc loved Sussex as few other writers have loved her: he lived there for most of his 83 years, he tramped the length and breadth of the county, slept under her hedgerows, drank in her inns, sailed her coast and her rivers and wrote several incomparable books about her. "He does not die that can bequeath Some influence to the land he knows, Or dares, persistent, interwreath Love permanent with the wild hedgerows; He does not die, but still remains Substantiate with his darling plains."

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Tuesday 29 August 2017

The Four Men on Tour - “A fascinating piece of entertainment... a hymn of praise to Sussex and its countryside” - The Argus, Brighton ★★★★

A kaleidoscopic and unique insight into Sussex at the turn of the Century... 

Follow Sussex’s greatest writer, Hilaire Belloc’s adventures and encounters as he takes a spur of the moment journey on foot across the breadth of Edwardian Sussex, from east to west, with three extraordinary companions at the mystical time of Halloween. On their four day odyssey, they travel 92 miles and drink 300 pints of beer! They quarrel, laugh and sing as they tell each other tall tales, recount the legends of the Downs, speak of their first loves and meet some remarkable characters along the way!

Ann Feloy’s sparkling adaptation of Hilaire Belloc’s ‘The Four Men’ celebrates a world in part gone but the sights and sounds are still there; the past is forever present to anyone who opens their eyes and ears, and wishes to feel a part of Sussex and the countryside once again. 

Belloc, who grew up in Slindon and lived at Shipley from 1907 until his death in 1953, said of the book: “I put my whole heart into writing it and yet no one reads it now”. Conn Artists Theatre Company’s production of ‘The Four Men’ brings this book to life for a whole new generation to enjoy. 

First produced at the Brighton Fringe, this revised stage adaptation, with live music and a cast of five actors, is a cross between ‘Larkrise to Candleford’ and ‘Three Men in a Boat’ and includes traditional folk songs alongside famous pieces of classical music by Sussex-inspired composers, Vaughan Williams and Edward Elgar.

Featuring five actors and live music. 

Tour schedule links:

Thurs 5th - Fri 6th Oct: Connaught Theatre, Worthing - https://worthingtheatres.co.uk/the-four-men/

Sat 7th Oct: Memorial Hall, South Downs Centre, Midhurst - http://www.bookmeonit.co.uk/fourmen/


Wed 11th Oct: White Rock Theatre, Hastings - https://whiterocktheatre.org.uk/Online/default.asp?doWork::WScontent::loadArticle=Load&BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::article_id=A238B57F-40EB-46D4-828A-A697F2B5F23B

Thurs 12th Oct: South Holland Centre, Spalding - http://www.southhollandcentre.co.uk/whats-on/view/the-four-men

Fri 13th Oct: The Phoenix Theatre & Arts Centre 

Tue 17th Oct: Belloc Theatre, The Oratory School Reading (private performance)

Thurs 19th Oct: The Spring Arts & Heritage Centre - http://thespring.co.uk/whats-on/theatre/the-four-men/

Sat 21st Oct: Under Ground Theatre, Eastbourne - http://undergroundtheatre.co.uk/events/the-four-men-with-hilaire-belloc/

Thur 26th Oct: The Capitol, Horsham - https://www.thecapitolhorsham.com/whats-on/drama/the-four-men/

Fri 27th Oct: Fisher Theatre, Bungay 

Hilaire Belloc Adapted by: Ann Feloy

Directed by: Nick Young 
Produced by: Ross Muir 
Designed by: Laura Kimber
Lighting Design by: Matthew Pike 
Graphic Design by: Richard Snaith 

Myself: Ross Muir 
Grizzlebeard: David Stephens 
Sailor: Lee Payne 
Poet: Jake Snowdon 
Actor 5: Karim Bedda

Total running time: 2 hours 
A five man play in two acts. 
Act one is 50 minutes, Act two is 50 minutes. There will be an interval of 20 minutes.
Suitable for all ages 12+ 

Readers of this post may also be interested in the current exhibition, at the Worthing Museum and Art Gallery, Inspired by the Downs

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