A new stage production is coming to Watford that follows from a family of three travelling to the Amazon Rainforest in March last year.

Now they are taking their experience, and eco message, to the Pump House Theatre.

Sharon Gaffney, 53, and her two children Connor, 21, and Evie, 19, spent time their living with the indigenous people, learning about the life they lead and how this has been forced to change.

Watford Observer:

“It was amazing,” Sharon tells me. “It totally changed my life. The play has developed since then because we weren’t sure what the experience would be and what their plight was – everyone knows about deforestation, which is devastating, but we discovered that the process is currently speeding up and it is quite alarming.”

The trip came about because Sharon had worked with Phil Williams. He worked on wildlife programmes as a producer and director before working with Planet Eco, who assist schools in sending students out to the Amazon rainforest on educational trips.

He invited Sharon to go, to which she replied: “I cannot go and live there with the indigenous people without taking my family.”

The three filmed a lot of their time there, the footage will feature in the new production.

They were skilled to do so due to the fact Conner is currently studying digital film at the University of Brighton and Evie is studying the creative arts and the University of Farnham. Sharon tells me their pair “still can’t believe they went”.

Watford Observer:

“We only had electricity for two hours a day, from generators, but you can live with nothing. It just meant we went to bed early because it was pitch black.

“We filmed it from the perspective of the people who live there, not ours,” Sharon explains.

“If we say it people think they’ve heard it all before. When you hear it from them you understand how it is changing their life so quickly.

“Until recently they didn’t even have a word for cancer or for pollution. Now they can’t even drink from the rivers.

“I asked them how they feel about us ruining their home and one said, ‘it is not our home it is your home. We are so pleased you have come to see your home’. They truly are the guardians of the forest.”

This is when Sharon knew she really had to do something powerful.

She returned to Watford and went straight to the artistic director of the Pump House Theatre, who fully supported the idea.

Phil was tasked with writing the script, because his experience and expertise has given him “very strong ideas”, but Sharon didn’t feel like this would be enough.

“I said to them it’s not going to work if it is just us telling the story, that we needed to get somebody from the Amazon Rainforest here, and they looked at me as if I was absolutely bonkers…”

Sharon didn’t confirm whether her wild plan to secure sponsorship and bring somebody to Watford all the way from the Amazon Rainforest.

She invites anyone interested in environmentalism, theatre or travel to come along and find out...

The show:

A group of students find themselves transported to the Rainforest, to find they are running for their lives as soon as they arrive.

With footage from real indigenous Indians of the Amazonian Rainforest ( especially filmed for this production) we share what happens to the people living with the oil exploration and the illegal logging on an everyday basis.

On screen they interact with the students giving a real insight into how they live. Threatened with their lives will this group of teenagers do the right thing or will they succumb to the illegal loggers and oilmen’s demands?

With a real twist at the end it is difficult to guess what direction they will take.

This is the story of Rainforest Dreams.

Pump House Theatre, Local Board Road, Lower Watford High Street, Watford, UK WD17 2JP, March 22 to 24. Details: 01923 241362