Returning Fire

by Stephen Jeffreys

This new play has been specially written to celebrate the return of Halley’s Comet in November 1985.

It is the story of Sonia, a Russian peasant-girl, born as the earth moved through the comet’s tail during its last visit in 1910, who grows up to an astronomy in the 1950s. It is an examination of the conflict between reason and unreason, freedom and tyranny and science and superstition in all our lives. Written in the form of short, inter-connected monologues, it uses the comet as a symbol: for Sonia’s mother it is something to be feared, for Sonia herself it is a scientific phenomenon, to be rationalized and lectured about. With minimal changes of costume Cecily Hobbs plays all the parts, appearing as Sonia’s mother, as Sonia, and even as Halley’s comet itself.


Creative Team


Pip Broughton