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Background to The Gardening Times

The Gardening Times co-authored by the artist and author Dr. Angela Summerfield and her sister, the playwright Caroline Summerfield, takes a whimsical look at gardening and is inspired by their experience of creating a garden over the last five years at their North Gloucestershire home. It is written very much with the hospital listener in mind, creating each week a narrated walk through their garden as work progresses. The twenty broadcasted episodes are dramatisations of the first twenty issues of The Gardening Times, launched by the Summerfield sisters, to friends and family on Thursday 26th March 2020. It was created  in direct response to COVID-19, with the aim of lifting everyone’s spirits during these challenging times. Now adapted for radio broadcast with full sound effects and music produced in conjunction with the
Natura Contemporary Theatre Company and the Reactor Factory Limited for patients and NHS staff in our Birmingham hospitals and audiences beyond, ‘We hope that you derive as much pleasure from listening to them as we have from writing them.’

The Actor

Ellie Darvill

Born and brought up in Liverpool, England, with grand parents of both Irish and Welsh heritage, Ellie was surrounded by a rich tapestry of voices all through her childhood. Little wonder that she has become an award winning voice over and radio actor –  gaining the coveted  Norman Beaton Award for BBC Radio Drama in 2017.  She has appeared in many a Radio 4 afternoon play and has recorded for the Archers and The World Service. Ellie is also a regular contributor to Big Finish and their very diverse productions of audio dramas of Dr Who and Torchwood.

The Authors

Dr. Angela Summerfield

Angela is a contemporary landscape painter and writer with a particular interest in trees and, of course, gardening!  Her paintings are in private UK and international collections. In 2014 she relocated, with her sister, Caroline, from London to the rural surroundings of North Gloucestershire. She is currently working on several art exhibitions and publications, which celebrate our shared connections with Nature.

Caroline Summerfield

Caroline is the artistic director and resident playwright of the Natura Contemporary Theatre Company.  Her plays include The Manuscript and Myself and Other Parts, Finborough Theatre London, A Berlin Christmas for the Gatehouse Theatre Highgate London, The Tree Charter Tapestry and Jane Austen and the Cheltonians,  Everyman Theatre Cheltenham and Four Characters Have Fun?,  Birmingham REP. Her plays have been long and shortlisted for national competitions, including the Bruntwood and she was a finalist for the Terence Rattigan Prize. Her West End debut play was Chasing Ibsen and her play Jane Austen and the Cheltonians resumes its UK tour in 2021.