Drama to be staged as part of cricket festival

Cricket Festival Day 1.'Ground pics.'113326y. Pic Kevin Allen.'17/08/11.
Cricket Festival Day 1.'Ground pics.'113326y. Pic Kevin Allen.'17/08/11.

An innovative new drama about one of the most remarkable days in the history of cricket on the eve of World War Two is to be performed as part of this year’s Scarborough Cricket Festival.

“The Last Match” tells the story of Yorkshire’s final day of cricket in the 1939 season which carried on despite the German invasion of Poland which triggered the outbreak of war two days later.

The half-hour mini-drama, which will be performed on Thursday August 14 in a marquee on Scarborough Cricket Ground, recalls the moment when the world was on the cusp of peace and war.

It will feature the dramatic final performance by one of Yorkshire and England’s greatest cricketers, Hedley Verity, but it’s also a story of people hanging on to peace and facing up to war.

Written by author and former BBC executive, Colin Philpott and film director and digital artist, Kit Monkman “The Last Match” evokes the surreal atmosphere of the day of the match set in a moment when war and peace were brutally juxtaposed and explores differing attitudes to conflict, suffering, duty and sacrifice.

Mr Philpott said: “I have always been fascinated by the idea of a cricket match being played literally under the shadow of war with children being evacuated and troops mobilised. We are delighted to have the chance to bring art and sport together by producing this drama at a cricket ground”.

Starring in “The Last Match” are Nick Lawson, whose credits include Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Hothouse, the Judas Kiss, Danny’s Deal and “I’m Alan Partridge” and Daniel Abelson, whose credits include Macbeth, the Government Inspector, Coronation Street and EastEnders.

“The Last Match” will be performed three times on the afternoon and evening of Thursday August 14 – during the middle of the Scarborough Cricket Festival on the eve of Yorkshire’s County Championship game with Sussex who were their opponents in the game in 1939 on which the drama is based.

The drama is a pilot for a longer production which, it is hoped, will tour the country next year.

The pilot is being supported by Arts Council England, by Yorkshire County Cricket Club and by Scarborough Cricket Club. Go to www.thelastmatch.com to find out more.