“Ghost of Summer” is a play written by Val Temlett adapted from a book “Fruits in Season” by Anthony Thorne. It is a story of enchantment and of a special place, and of its influence on the lives of those involved.
At the opening of the play, we meet the four young children, Catherine, Glen, William and Dorcie Dyneley who in the 1940s live in a large old country house in East Anglia, Runeham Hall, together with their governess and their troubled alcoholic mother, Lady Dyneley. The action then moves forward to the 1960s and Catherine, the eldest child has inherited the place which has been abandoned for twenty years. She has decided to reopen it for one brief summer fortnight in order that she and her siblings can inhabit the house again. She feels herself drawn back to the place almost as if by psychic guidance. To her, it has a personality and perhaps a plan of its own.
(With acknowledgements to Penguin Books for this synopsis of their book Penguin no. 654 Fruit in Season from which Valarie Temlett, with due permission, adapted the story for the stage.)
Memories, Letters and Publicity
This production of Val’s strikes a particularly poignant note in those who knew her, Fred and their home well: the similarity between Runeham Hall and their own beloved Grange is very close, and her fears of the house falling empty and standing unloved did indeed come to pass. There was an exquisite anguish felt as one wandered the empty theatre and the other rooms in the building after her death. The silence was palpable, the loneliness almost unbearable, the helpless sense of loss profound.