LOOKING BACK: Actor Peter MacQueen will bring Old Herbaceous to life at the Scarth Hall
LOOKING BACK: Actor Peter MacQueen will bring Old Herbaceous to life at the Scarth Hall

FANS of Gardener’s World and Downtown Abbey are in for a theatrical treat as the fictional head gardener of a country house looks back on his life at Staindrop’s Scarth Hall on June 25, at 7.30pm.
Set in his ramshackle greenhouse in the grounds of a country house, gardener Herbert Pinnegar will share memories, gardening tips and an unexpected love story with his audience in his one-man play, Old Herbaceous.
The performance, which is part of the Rural Highlights Touring Scheme, finds Pinnegar pottering about the seeds and cuttings at the back of his greenhouse.
Now in his twilight years, he is looking back over his life and reflecting on an English rural society that no longer exists.
Portrayed by veteran actor and writer Peter MacQueen, Pinnegar recounts his journey from orphan to the legendary head gardener ‘Old Herbaceous’ and tells of his relationship with the lady of the house, Mrs Charteris.
Between potting plants and drinking tea, he shares his life and gardening wisdom in a charming, humorous and touching portrayal of a single-minded man with a passion for plants.
Kate Lynch, director at Highlights, said she was thrilled to be bringing professional theatre back into community venues across the region.
She said: “Our aim is to bring the very best of the UK’s creative talent to the doorsteps of those living in rural communities.
“We are so delighted to be able to bring Peter MacQueen and his heart-warming play Old Herbaceous to audiences who may not ordinarily get the opportunity to experience it.”
Described by The Guardian as Downton Abbey with gardening tips, Old Herbaceous is based on a novel by Richard Arkell and adapted by TV scriptwriter Alfred Shaughnessy, who previously worked on Upstairs Downstairs.
People should only book tickets for a household or support bubble (up to a maximum of six).
Bookings can be made online at www.ticketsource. co.uk or by contacting Scarth Hall on 07881 248478 or scarthhall@gmail.com