Heaven's Paradise

1-Act Drama (2M, 2F) Running itme: Approx 60 minutes (can be shortened to 50 mins for festivals)


After a failed business venture, Ann and Michael Hampton decide to take a recuperative break on Lundy Island. While there, Ann becomes totally fascinated by the history of the Victorian owners of the island - the Heaven family; leading to consequences that neither of them could foretell...

The play begins with a meeting between Michael and Howard, who we assume to be a psychologist. Michael tells Howard about his wife’s problems and how he suggested taking a break on Lundy. As he talks he re-enacts what happened during their stay starting with their arrival on Lundy at Millcombe House Hotel. They are met by Mrs Winter – who appears to be both Receptionist and Waitress. And, in reception, Ann notices a Victorian photograph. It is of the Heaven family, including the Reverend Hudson Heaven (who built the church on Lundy) and his sister Amelia Ann.

The Victorian photograph that Anne discovers

Ann is determined to visit the place where the photograph was taken and they do so next morning. They also visit the old disused lighthouse and discover a churchyard next to it; in which are the graves of the Heaven family. Later on they are caught suddenly in thick fog. To Michael such sudden thick fog is unusual. Ann, although finding it scaring, accepts it as common. Imperceptibly at first, Ann's character changes and it becomes apparent that her knowledge of the island and the Heaven family is far greater than would be expected.

St Helena's church, Lundy

The next morning Ann is woken by church bells, which Michael doesn't hear. A visit to the church confirms that the bells could not possibly have rung. Ann is still convinced and the two enter the church where Ann becomes increasingly pensive. She asks to be left on her own for a while and Michael later finds her at the churchyard, crying over Amelia Ann Heaven's grave.

 He comforts her and they take a walk together which results in them looking for the 'Devil's Limekiln' - a huge natural funnel of rock leading down to the sea. The play seemingly ends with the finding of the Limekiln and Ann finding Amelia – but there is a coda: Michael returns to the meeting with Howard as he explains what happened to Ann, and then, unexpectedly, ‘Mrs Winter’ appears and leads Michael off.


Howard: Smartly dressed man, pedantic – 30s to 50s

Michael: Ann's husband, in his late-thirties. Caring and helpful, but is inclined to be tactless at times and not particularly perceptive.

Ann: In her mid-thirties. Energetic with a good sense of humour, but this has been suppressed by the recent failure of her business.

Mrs Winter: In her fifties. Slightly mysterious, keen to please, but not over effusive.

 Heaven’s Paradise was first performed by Fluellen Theatre Company at the Grand Theatre, Swansea on March 25 2017 with the following cast: Michael: Rob Stradling, Howard: Christopher Hale, Ann: Alison Lenihan, Mrs Winter: Claire Novelli. The play was directed by Peter Richards

This article was updated on 18 December 2017