One-man play explores class, love and the gardening life on Bedford stage

Old Herbaceous features renowned actor Giles Shenton
Old Herbaceous features renowned actor Giles Shenton

An entrancing one-man play described as “Downton Abbey with gardening tips” comes to Bedford this week.

Old Herbaceous arrives at The Place Theatre in Bradgate Road on Froday January 19.

It tells the humorous love story of a single-minded yet gentle man with a passion for plants. Highly acclaimed performances at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Royal Horticultural Society Arts Festival have meant that a recording for BBC Radio 4 is now planned

As Old Herbaceous, renowned actor Giles Shenton truly lives the part of the legendary head gardener Herbert Pinnegar, inviting tjhe audience to feel included in a private chat from a bygone, comforting age.

He first read the script in his 20s but has had to wait thirty years until being old enough to perform the part.

Giles said: “There is no greater challenge for an actor than a full length one-man play. There is nowhere to hide and no-one to help. If you fail to engage the audience right from the start, you’ve failed completely.”

The play is written by Alfred Shaughnessy, script editor and chief writer on Upstairs, Downstairs.

Tickets cost £12. Call 01234 354321 or visit to book.