The story of a house by Elswyth Thane.
Queen Elizabeth the First never slept there, but the noble mansion near Worcester owed its existence to her. It was built by Anthony Brand out of passionate loyalty to the Queen, and it was defended with the same stout quality by the generations of Brands who came after him. Their devotion to Queen's Folly never faltered.
Despite the heroic characters of flesh and blood, the great house is the real heroine of a story bridging three and a half centuries of English history. Wars and civil commotion have their place in its telling but, for ever under the spell of its royal patroness, Queen's Folly continues to stand enfolded by the love of the men who live and die there. (The attitude of their womenfolk is not always so wholehearted.) The dangers and dramas that are the price of its preservation form part of the Brand tradition, and they are the theme of the play.
The grey Cotswold stones, saved from fire and sword through the years, are at last confronted with a more insidious enemy - the twin-spectres of decay and the Inland Revenue. But the first Elizabeth, of whom the latest Brand is a liegeman as faithful as his forebears, still has her part to play. With the help of her imperishable spell the present-day master of Queen's Folly faces his problem. (Barney Keelan)
(Second performance: Thursday at 7.0 p.m.)