If you developed an addiction to site-specific theatre during this year's Brighton Festival, turn your attentions to nearby Steyning. For the next two weekends, the picturesque village is both the setting and the inspiration for GluckSteyne, a piece of promenade theatre which aims to bring local history to life through the resurrection of some of its most famous residents.

As playwright and performer Suzi Hopkins comments, "I'd never have thought sleepy Steyning could have been home to such incredible, exuberant and disreputable people."

Last year, Sussex-based theatre group The Company staged a magical drama in Buchan Country Park based on its Victorian owner, Mr Saillard, where the audience was guided between scenes by an historical walker. Much of Saillard's fortune had been made selling playing cards, so at one point audience members were invited to join the cast in a game of outdoor bridge. His wife had been a dancer, so in another clearing they encountered a woman dancing to an old 78 Gramophone. At one point the guide showed them a photograph of Salliard standing by the lake.

As they walked on, there he was, standing in front of them just like in the picture.

It was such a success The Company, whose patrons include Raymond Briggs and the sculptor Hamish Black, have been asked to stage another run this summer, and create a Part Two for 2008. Meanwhile, Steyning Festival has commissioned this drama of just over an hour, which unfolds as your stroll round the village progresses.

At its centre is the dynamic figure of Gluck. Born Hannah Gluckenstein and heir to the Lyons coffee house empire, this British artist defied her class and time by living as a lesbian, dressing as a man and insisting on being known solely as Gluck.

In 1944, she moved into Chantry House, Steyning, to pursue a relationship with its owner, the pioneering reporter Edith Shackleton Heald. The beautiful Georgian building is now lived in by Gluck's former doctor, and the performance will includes scenes in the studio Gluck built for herself there, as well as the huge rolling gardens and the nearby churchyard.

"When you read about Gluck in biographies, she comes across as quite harsh and cantankerous," says Hopkins, who, in addition to writing GluckSteyne, will also be playing the artist. "But when I talked to her old doctor and her old PA I realized she was also incredibly kind and loving. I'm wearing a beautiful Thirties men's suit and trilby hat - although by the end of her life I'm told she was buying her shirts from M&S, which seems a bit of a comedown."

Elsewhere in GluckSteyne you'll encounter the eccentric poet Victor Neuburg, who lived in Steyning shortly after the First World War. The man who discovered Dylan Thomas, he was also the lover and disciple of occultist Aleister Crowley, who he called his "sweet wizard".

"He was a bright young thing," says Stephen Israel, who plays Neuburg, "but after his relationship with Crowley he was diminished. Crowley even tried to come after him in Steyning. He set up his own printing press there and produced these beautifully bound poetic books, but he never made any money. He'd just give them away."

On June 3 and June 10, The Company are also presenting two programmes of rehearsed readings, featuring works by Sussex playwrights. Each short play will be performed at a different venue. For further information, visit www.steyningfestival.co.uk or call 01903 812062.

Starts 11.15am, tickets cost £12.50. Call 01903 812062 or visit www.steyningfestival.co.uk