Celebrated children's writer Hans Christian Andersen arrives, unannounced, for a stay at Gad's Hill Place in the Kent marshes - home to Charles Dickens and his large, charismatic family.
To the lonely and eccentric guest, the members of Dickens' household seem to live a life of unreachable bliss. But with his broken English, Andersen doesn't at first see the storms brewing within the family: undeclared passions, a son about to go to India, and a growing strangeness at the heart of Dickens' marriage.
Andersen's English is a haunting new play, rich in characters and touched with a wistful humour.
Sebastian Barry's novel The Secret Scripture won the 2008 Costa prize, and he has been twice nominated for the Booker prize. His plays include the international hit The Steward of Christendom, Our Lady of Sligo and Hinterland.