THE controversial life of the Blockley legend Joanna Southcott is to be recounted in a reading of a new short play.

Written by Blockley Heritage Society president, Jeremy Bourne, Joanna Southcott: Heroine or Heretic? marks the 200th anniversary of her death.

And demand for tickets has been so great that an extra performance has been arranged.

The play is being performed in collaboration with Blockley Amateur Dramatic Company in the Blockley Heritage Centre on Sunday, May 25 and Monday, May 26th with doors opening at 7pm.

Joanna Southcott was a prophetess who believed that she was bearing the next Messiah.

She became quite famous and controversial in her time, campaigning for women’s rights and racial justice, and was known to King George IV and Charles Dickens, among others.

She is believed to have spent the later years of her life living at Rock Cottage, in Blockley, and married the property’s owner John Smith shortly before her death in 1814.

The Monday performance has already sold out, but tickets are still available from Blockley Village Shop for the additional Sunday performance and cost £5.

The reading features a cast of about 20 Blockley folk playing about 30 parts and the story will be narrated by David Quin - until recently the interim minister at Blockley Parish Church .