Tobacco Road

The setting of the play is in Georgia, thirty miles from Augusta. It is a famished desolate land once given over to the profitable raising of tobacco, then turned into small cotton plantations, which have been so intensively and stupidly cultivated as to exhaust the soil. Poverty, want, squalor, degneracy pitiful helplessness and grotesque, tragic lusts have stamped a lost, outpaced people with the mark of an inevitable end. Unequipped to face a changing economic programme, bound up in traditions, ties and prejudices, they unknowingly face extinction.

It is a passing scene in America, contemporary and fast fading, hurling the lie at nature’s mercy and challenging a God who reputedly looks after his own. Grim humour pervades all, stalking side by side with tragedy on the last short mile which leads to complete, eventual elimination. The pride and hope of a once aggressive group, pioneers in a great new world, thus meets ironic conclusion. The world moves on, unmindful of their ghost.
Erskine Caldwell

Cast & Crew


Ada Lester
Captain Tim
Dude Lester
Ellie May
George Payne
Grandma Lester
Henry Peabody
Jeeter Lester
Lov Bensey
Sister Bessie Rice




If you have a photograph or picture that illustrates this production, please sign in to upload it, or add it to Flickr and tag it with .

Play description

Based on the novel by Erskine Caldwell


  1. On 9th June 2015 at 10:20 a.m., hickettypicketty noted:

    Review – TO BAN OR NOT TO BAN? by Lionel Hale

    This startling bit of starkness is shown at a private club: the Lord Chamberlain, when last heard of, had given no final verdict on whether it should be let loose on the public.

    It deals with the poor wife of Georgia – with tumbledown farms and morals of equal topsy-turpitude. It is an array of half-witted sons, daughters with hare-lips and crazy women preachers, all wrapped up in an intensely cloying atmosphere of lust, dust and decay.

    This is brilliantly put together on the stage by Mr Robert Henderson and there are some excellent – that is to say, totally loathsome – performances.

    It is up to the Lord Chamberlain to decide whether this is really the sort of Georgia our innocent public ought to be marching through.

If you have an interesting observation or anecdote about this production that you think others may be interested in, please sign in in order to record it here.