Hear a friendship develop among the barrels and creels of Shetland and Yarmouth in this new play adapted for radio, performed by Islesburgh Drama Group.

A Life of Wir Choosin | Premieres tonight at 7pm

This recorded radio play will air online on Friday 23 April at 7pm.

The work will be premiered across our YouTube, Facebook and Instagram TV channels, and available to view online until Monday 31 May.

A Life of Wir Choosin tells the story of the friendship between Emily, a young Lady from Yarmouth and Chrissy, a Gutter Lass from Shetland. The play is set in the 1900s and the opening scenes document Emily and Chrissy's first meetings in Yarmouth. As their friendship and trust grows, they plan Emily's escape from her unhappy life and the drama of the play moves with the fishing season from Yarmouth to Shetland.

Sadly Emily's husband (Lord Carlisle) finds her and she is faced with returning to her old life. The gutter lasses cannot believe that she would have traded her life as lady of the manor for their life following and gutting the herring. But Emily knows that despite their hard life, they own and earn their life. They laugh together, bond together and care about one another.

A Life of Wir Choosin is a play about women's emancipation at the turn of the century and shows how different life was for the Shetland Gutter Lasses from the life behind doors of a Suffolk Mansion. The 30 minute audio is accompanied by traditional music and archive photographs of the period by kind permission of Shetland Museums and Archives. (Jennie Atkinson)

Cast List

  • Emily - Stephenie Pagulayan
  • Chrissy - Morag Mouat
  • Lizzy - Mandy Phillips
  • Betty - Zoe Galbraith
  • Esme - Joyce Williamson
  • Leely - Amber Thomson
  • Jasper - Fraser Wood
  • Constable - Stanley Manson
  • Willie - David Smith
  • Paul - Martin Summers
  • Martin - Karl Ward
  • Writer - Lesley Leslie
  • Producer/Director - Jennie Atkinson

Islesburgh Drama Group was established in 1950, with the active group comprising nearly 90 members who share an interest in amateur dramatics. Over the years, they have entertained Shetland audiences with a wide variety of plays, musicals, and their ever-popular biennial pantomime.

During lockdown the group have learnt new ways of presenting drama and developed our skills. They now look forward to putting that into practice by creating new pieces of work that we hope the community will enjoy.

To the community, Islesburgh Drama Group offers the chance to enjoy a wide variety of performances from their enterprising producers who are always up for a challenge! To the individual, there's a chance to become part of a friendly group of people and share in drama productions.