The Country Comes to the London Stage

News   The Country Comes to the London Stage "The Archers," the radio series best known for its catchy signature tune, and which has chronicled the ups and downs of country folk for two generations, is to come to London on Aug. 5, with a one-off appearance at the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park.

"The Archers," the radio series best known for its catchy signature tune, and which has chronicled the ups and downs of country folk for two generations, is to come to London on Aug. 5, with a one-off appearance at the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park.

The show, Come Rain or Shine, is a celebration of the British countryside. The performance comes at a time when there appears to be little to celebrate - what with farming in crisis and the Foot and Mouth epidemic having seen millions of animals, many of them entirely healthy, slaughtered in a culling policy that has failed to stamp out the disease.

The announcement comes at the same time as a survey that shows radio to have edged ahead of television in terms of audience numbers for the first time since 1953, when the Coronation gave the infant television a huge boost.

Although television is by definition visual, theatre has more in common with radio drama (both require an effort of imagination) than with television, and it is no co-incidence that the pioneer of the BBCs radio drama, of which "The Archers" is the longest-running example, was Val Gielgud, the brother of the stage star Sir John.

For more information contact the Open Air Theatre, call 020 7494 5375. —by Paul Webb Theatrenow