The Last Straw



Cast    6 - 3F   3M

Setting    Kitchen of a cluttered farmhouse


Harvest time in the Breadbasket of England and a politicised Amy returns from Uni to save the family farm. But events soon pile up against her: inclement weather, a market crash, and the dark shadow of family history repeating itself. Will the family motto ‘pulling together’ still hold strong? Will the joy of the wide open fields buoy them up? Or will conflicting ideologies tear them apart?

As torrential rain flattens the wheat and the daily bread that we all take for granted is threatened, father Keith has to admit that he's taken his ‘gambling’ on Futures, the farmer's stock exchange, one step too far. While Amy's boyfriend Sudarshan, who has come to help, is distracted by the contrasting drought that is devastating his India.

Enter Zack the investment farmer whom Keith is contracted to. Zack is the bringer of bad news and, despite Amy gloriously giving him as good as he gives - the future of the farm now hangs in the balance.

Drawn from interviews with 14 farmers in my home locality of Suffolk and developed with dramaturgical support by Rob Drummer - I want to remind us how much we depend on our farmers for our survival and, in the 21st century, what enormous challenges they are up against.


What people have said

  • Simon Godwin

    You have a good ear for dialogue and I like your vivid, strong context. Good luck with finding the right home for your excellent play

  • Ian Rickson

    I really responded to its passion and unique flavour.

  • Royal Court

    We felt this was a thoughtful play which explores a range of pertinent socio-economic and cultural problems.

  • Theatre 503

    Our readers found much to praise in the writing. This is clearly a well-researched play, and the pressures faced by British farmers are well conveyed. Your characters are certainly engaging and the Suffolk dialogue comes across really well.

  • Plymouth Theatres

    You combine the difficulties of running a successful farm with the complexities of global markets and sustainability in an engaging and believable way.

  • Stephanie Cole

    What struck me most is – it would make a terrific film!