A HISTORICAL drama of the Westmorland kind puts the life and times of a legendary ‘lady’ in the spotlight.

Kendal Community Theatre stage Lady Anne Clifford – a woman cast out at Kendal Town Hall from Wednesday, July 31 until Saturday, August 3.

Written by Kendal playwright Caroline Moir, the much awaited play is the result of months of meticulous research in libraries and archives across the north west.

Lady Anne’s colourful life came to Caroline’s attention just at the time when she was looking for a subject to dramatise and one that had Cumbrian significance.

Last year, artistic director Chris Taylor had brought the group together to perform A Passion for Kendal on Good Friday around the highways and byways of Kendal. It was a hailed a great success and so thrilled were all involved, that Chris and the team decided to put on another.

Caroline said the subject “jumped out” during one of her visits to Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Kendal, which is home to Lady Anne’s awesome tryptich painting.

She said she became fascinated not just by the detailed family portrait of the Clifford family but also by Lady Anne’s struggle with the English legal system and even King James himself, which together conspired against her.

The play features 24 characters.

Lady Anne appears as a teenager (played by Lowenna Watkins), a grown woman (Cathy Betoin) and in her later years (Sheelagh O’Brien).

Other roles include Richard Sutton as King James, Matthew Armstrong as Lady’s Anne’s first husband Richard Sackville and the productions sumptuous costumes have been designed by Kate Reid.

Lady Anne was born on January 30, 1590 and baptised at Skipton Church.

When her father died she succeeded to the title of Baroness Clifford aged 15 but her father had willed his earldom and estates to his brother Francis Clifford, 4th Earl of Cumberland.

Although, she did finally win her struggle, she fought a long and complex legal battle to obtain the family estates instead of the £15,000 willed to her.

She also had three sons who all died and two daughters only one of which survived.

Selected scenes from the play have already been performed at Abbot Hall, and will be repeated on Sunday, July 21, first, at Kirkby Stephen Parish Church (2pm) and later (7.30pm) at Appleby Public Hall.

Tickets are available from Kendal’s Brewery Arts Centre on 01539-725133.