CHARLEY Miles is a 25-year-old debutant playwright from the North Yorkshire country village of High Kilburn and Blackthorn is her first play, presented under the Furnace Festival avenue for new theatre at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

On the evidence of Blackthorn, she is the most exciting and original voice to emerge from the Broad Acres since The Flanagan Collective's Alexander Wright and you can only wish that her lyrical, turbulent 90-minute tale of first love is given another run after this week's three-day premiere.

Thomas Hardy's Tess Of The D'Urbervilles and Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights are the heavyweights of depicting rural life and in no way would your reviewer wish to burden Charley Miles with comparisons, but so many plays write of the urban experience instead, when rural existence demands more than the soap double act of Emmerdale and The Archers.

Prompted by her own bumpy experiences of growing up in High Kilburn, heading off to university and returning home, Miles writes of Him (Harry Egan) and Her (Charlotte Bate), the first two children to be born in a farming village in 20 years, a bond from childhood games to troubled adulthood that holds them like blackthorn's grip on soil.

Jacqui Honess-Martin's direction is as exhilarating as the Egan and Bate's remarkable performances in which they run to the point of exhaustion, like their relationship.

What stands out, aside from Miles's facility for dialogue of passion, soul and wit is her ability to match the changes in Him and Her to the changes in the village, where you can no longer name who lives in which house; the pub has been painted fashionable grey and bistro-fied and the dairy herds are drying up; the rural idyll now fallow.

Blackthorn, Barber Studio, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds, tonight at 7.30pm; tomorrow, 2pm and 7.30pm. Box office: 0113 213 7700 or at