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Save The Children co-founder’s life story is brought to the stage

Anne Chamberlain at Eglantyne.
Anne Chamberlain at Eglantyne.

An inspiring new production about social reformer and human rights pioneer Eglantyne Jebb will be performed at Buxton Festival Fringe.

The one-woman play focuses on the woman who co-founded Save the Children after challenging the British Government’s lack of response to the devastating famine in post-war Europe in 1919.

From her Shropshire childhood, Eglantyne went on to Oxford University, Cambridge social work, Bloomsbury parties, heartbreaks, suffrage rallies, spiritualism, the Balkans, arrest in Trafalgar Square, and pioneering children’s rights.

In 1923, Eglantyne drafted the Rights of the Child which evolved into the current United Nations Convention.

Anne Chamberlain, who wrote and performs Eglantyne, said: “I felt compelled to share Eglantyne’s inspiring story by creating a piece of theatre. Eglantyne was brave, visionary and unconventional. Sadly, many of Eglantyne’s humanitarian concerns are extremely relevant today - thinking of the devastation of Syria, the refugee crisis, famines. As well as Eglantyne’s heroic moments, the play explores her struggles, disappointments, vulnerabilities and heartbreaks which draws her closer to our lives, our frailties and our humanity. Eglantyne is one of the most influential women of the 20th century, yet one of the least known.”

Eglantyne is directed by KC Kelly and will be performed at The Old Clubhouse, Buxton on July 4 and 11 at 5.30pm and on July 12 and 18 at 2.30pm.

Eglantyne has toured in New Zealand, Australia and the UK, in theatres, festivals and other spaces including Eglantyne’s Shropshire childhood home, London’s Anne works in theatre, film and television in the Uk, New Zealand and Australia.

She was producer, performer and co-writer of the children’s musical Witch Mother and for the cabaret comedy group The Flannelettes. Other notable acting roles include Viola in Twelfth Night, Adrianna in The Comedy of Errors, Jill in Equus and Vicki in Lone Gone Lonesome Cowgirls. Her other work has included voice artist for Deutsche Welle TV and manager of the New Zealand Festival’s Writers Week.

Tickets for Eglantyne in Buxton cost £7-£10. Go to www.underthefringe.com.