INSPIRATION: Anne Chamberlain brings her play Eglantyne to The Witham on Sunday, May 5
INSPIRATION: Anne Chamberlain brings her play Eglantyne to The Witham on Sunday, May 5

THE story of the extraordinary life of social reformer and co-founder of Save the Children Eglantyne Jebb will be told in Barnard Castle this weekend.

The one-woman show is particularly timely as the organisation celebrates its centenary this year.

Written and performed by New Zealand actress Anne Chamberlain, Eglantyne tells the important story of an incredible woman who changed the lives of so many around the world but has been largely overlooked by history.

In May 1919, challenging the British government’s lack of response to the devastating famine in post-war Europe, Eglantyne Jebb and her sister Dorothy Buxton founded Save the Children.

From her Shropshire childhood, she went on to Oxford University, Bloomsbury parties, heartbreak, suffrage rallies, spiritualism, the Balkans and arrest in Trafalgar Square.

She drafted the Rights of the Child which evolved into the United Nations Convention.

She was a visionary, a passionate social reformer, human rights pioneer and one of the most influential, yet least known women of the 20th Century.

The show includes quotes from Eglantyne Jebb’s letters, articles, speeches and diary entries, including extracts of her love letters to Margaret Keynes.

The show will be performed at The Witham on Sunday, May 5, at 7.30pm.

Sarah Gent, marketing officer, said: “It shines a spotlight on Eglantyne’s incredible life, her achievements and her remarkable legacy.

“It’s great to be bringing the story of this inspirational woman to Barnard Castle.

“The Witham’s founders created this place to support people in need and so it feels important to be hosting this theatrical performance telling the story of Eglantyne Jebb here.”

The play was first performed by Ms Chamberlain in her native New Zealand in 2014 and has since toured extensively, especially in venues across the UK.

It comes to The Witham as part of the current Highlights Rural Touring Scheme programme.

Tickets are £10 and £8 for students and U16s. Call the box office on 01833 631107 for details.