Judging from this well-made play from Karen Simpson Productions, life was very hard for those trying to keep small farms going back in the 1970s. In Twelve Miles from Nowhere James and his teenage children Michael and Emily have their backs against the wall as their dilapidated farm is under pressure from the bank, their model is outmoded, and parts of the land are beginning to be sold off to cover debts. Life is especially harsh and tough for 15-year-old Emily (a bravura performance from Aisleigh Cordery) a dreamy girl destined to become the housekeeper as her Mum has decamped. Domestic drudgery and constant scrapping with her 17-year-old brother Michael make up her life and her only friend is Paul — her pet pig. The play begins with her clumsy attempt to drown herself, which heralds the arrival of an almost Pinteresque character called Craig, who saves her. Using this rescue as a means to insinuate himself into the farmstead, this itinerant worker (chillingly realised by Gary Hanks) plots to take over the place.

Further exemplary performances from Barry Hall and Danny Childs, as James and Michael, complete a tight-knit and powerful cast who deliver throughout the piece — and a powerful piece of work it is too, full of suspense and moving at times. Somewhat unusually, the script was written by a team of five writers. Equally well thought-out and constructed are the design by Helen Stewart and the lighting from Mark Dymock.

I caught up with Twelve Miles From Nowhere at Cassington Village Hall, but the production continues its tour, appearing at the Pegasus Theatre on November 9.