BRIAN Viner and his family swapped Crouch End for a dream of rural living in a remote corner of Herefordshire, chronicling their experiences in a series of quirky columns in The Independent, which then became a bestsellling book.

Now the award-winning Shropshire-based Pentabus Theatre are bringing this culture- clash comedy to the stage as part of their 35th anniversary season. The premiere at Theatre Severn tonight (Thursday) is already sold out but the show tours around village halls and small theatres in Herefordshire before transferring to London in May.

Exchanging the rush hour traffic on the North Circular for a rambling grange may be the fantasy of many city dwellers, but few can imagine the challenges of living miles from your nearest neighbours (and cappuccino- serving cafes).

Tales of the Country charts the Viner family’s journey to some kind of local acceptance over the first year of their lives as born-again country dwellers.

Pentabus’ adaptation, directed by artistic director Orla O’Loughlin, creates the worlds of both North London and Docklow Grange through skilled physical comedy from the versatile cast of five. They play not only Brian and Jane Viner and their three children, but their friends, locals and other colourful characters.

Tales of the Country is at Brilley Village Hall (01544 327227) on Thursday, April 15, Garway Village Hall (01600 750391) on Tuesday, April 27, and Fairfield School, Peterchurch (01432 340555) on Wednesday, April 28. It moves on to the Conquest Theatre, Bromyard (01885 488575) on Friday, April 30, Almeley Village Hall (01544 327195) on Saturday, May 1, All Stretton Village Hall (01694 722337) on Thursday, May 6, Ledbury Market Theatre (01531 636147) on Friday, May 7, and the Borough Theatre, Abergavenny (01873 850805) on Saturday, May 8.