DRAMATIC groups Redlynch Players and Fordingbridge Players have joined forces for Ron Perry’s latest production - Return to Thrush Green.

Following on from the success of his original adaptation of Miss Read’s book series, Thrush Green, in 2017, Ron wanted the fictitious village in 1950s Cotswolds to return to the stage, to catch up with characters a few years later and move the tale on.

Miss Read, otherwise known as Dora Saint, has been an author in Ron’s life since his school days, when her novel Village School was part of his English Literature exam.

“I became inspired to adapt the Thrush Green series because like many people I always thought I would write something one day,” he said.

“That day dawned and I was casting round in my mind for material and thought of Thrush Green - why not bring it to the stage? After all, I do know a little something about village life.”

As well as adapting Miss Read’s work, people and conversations are the inspiration behind Ron’s writing, while using his own experience as a native of the New Forest village, Lover.

He added: “Living in a village, I instantly identify with and relate to these imaginary villagers and their lives and stories.

“Although [the characters are] based on imaginary people, they are totally authentic. It seems to me that these vibrant, funny, moving, sad, lovable people and their everyday stories should see the light of day on the stage and not be shut away in books.”

The idea to collaborate with Fordingbridge Players came as the drama groups regularly attended the other’s productions, and Ron wanted to stage the production in Fordingbridge.

“Rehearsing as one large group of like-minded people has resulted in much camaraderie and great fun,” Ron added.

Return to Thrush Green will be at St Mary’s Church, Fordingbridge, from November 20 to 23.

Following the performance on the opening night, the audience is invited to a special talk with the cast and crew, Ron, and Jill Saint, Miss Read’s daughter.

Tickets will be available from October 28, for more information and to book visit redlynchplayers.co.uk or fordingbridgeplayers.org.uk