The Valentine Letters – a new play by Steve Darlow and directed by Jo Emery

Until Sat Nov 11th
  20:00 to 22:00
  The Maltings Theatre, Victoria Street, St Albans, UK


Press release

New play ‘The Valentine Letters’ premiers at The Maltings Theatre, St Albans


‘The Valentine Letters’, by Steve Darlow and Frances Zagni, premiers at the Maltings Theatre, St Albans, on Thursday 9th November and runs until Saturday 11th November. The play, produced and directed by Jo Emery, is based upon the Second World War letters between Prisoner of War John Valentine and his wife Ursula.


These letters, compiled and edited by John and Ursula’s daughter, Frances, provide a unique and unprecedented insight in to how two people struggled to find solace, keep their hopes and love alive despite the anxieties of John’s dangerous operational life and his three years behind barbed wire, and how John’s health deteriorated, returning a different man to the one Ursula first knew and fell in love with. The play covers the themes of separation, isolation, coping, and change, with humorous and heartwarming moments interspersed throughout. A remarkable account of the effect of the Second World War on the lives of a young married couple and their generation.


Writer Steve Darlow. ‘John and Ursula’s letters, almost 600, are a remarkable personal insight into the effects of war and wartime conditions. It is particularly poignant that we can present this play over the Remembrance weekend. We must never forget the sacrifice made in terms of lives lost, and the lasting damage, mental and physical, to those who took part.’ 


Director Jo Emery. ‘It’s a real privilege to be able to work on this moving and touching piece of new writing with three talented actors, Tom Hilton in the role of John, Katie Hamilton in the role of Ursula, and Charlotte Drummond-Dunn in the role of Frances. It’s sure to appeal to many people on this Remembrance weekend.’


The Valentine Letters plays from Thursday 9th to Saturday 11th November, at 8pm and with a Saturday matinée on the 11th at 2.30pm. The Maltings Theatre, St Albans, AL1 3HL

Box Office: Tickets £17 (no concessions)

Running time: 1 hour 20 mins (with a 15 minute interval).


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