Stuart McGugan and Hildegard Neil star in The Holly and the Ivy at Buxton Opera House

The Holly and the Ivy to be presented at Buxton Opera House
The Holly and the Ivy to be presented at Buxton Opera House

A star-studded period drama which has been hailed by top critics is heading for Derbyshire.

The Holly and the Ivy will be staged by Middle Ground Theatre Company at Buxton Opera House next week.

Performers include Stuart McGugan (It Ain’t Half Hot Mum, Tutti Frutti, Hamish Macbeth), Tom Roberts (Emmerdale, 2point4 Children), Dean Smith (Waterloo Road) and Hildegard Neil (Antony & Cleopatra).

Wynyard Brown’s festive drama is set in a Norfolk vicarage on Christmas Eve 1947, where the vicar’s family gather for the festive season.

Peace and goodwill radiates from the elderly vicar, cared for by his young daughter. But with the arrival of two irritable aunts and an errant daughter the emotional veneer is skilfully peeled away.

As skeletons tumble from closets and stones are turned over, family members are forced to confront their regrets and secret anxieties. Even the loveable vicar is not immune to the stresses and strains of a normal family life.

The production has been honoured as Theatre Critic’s Choice by The Times and The Guardian.

Middle Ground Theatre Company have beentouring plays for 26 years. In 2010, the company’s productions of Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune and Columbo: Prescription Murder brought Hollywood stars Kelly McGillis and Dirk Benedict to UK theatres for the first time.

The Holly and the Ivy is at Buxton Opera House from Monday, November 24, to Wednesday, November 26.