The play is notionally set in Pre-Christian Scotland but no attempt has been made to achieve total historical accuracy. It focusses on a community in, or near a forest and near to 'The Dark Water'. The first scene happens many years before the rest of the play. After the first scene the community is stricken with a plague and ignorance abounds.
The play was originally written as a reaction to intolerance, ignorance and reactionary attitudes surrounding AIDs. It is a tragedy that with Covid 19 it is still relevant.
It was also inspired by 'The Clootie Well' on The Black Isle and the legends that surround this (and other, similar) mystical places.
It was performed by Shetland Youth Theatre as part of a double bill at the old North Star Cinema (now demolished) in 1995.
Performed by Open Door Drama
Written and Directed by John Haswell
Assistant Director Izzy Swanson
Chorus - Torana Bland, Alfie Boyes, Michael Boyes, Kirsten Cook, Nicola Finch, Nicola Fleck, Doug Forrest, Margaret Forrest, Carol Jamieson, Jenny Klimes, Matthew Lawrence, Caroline Williamson Leask, Lesley Leslie, Jenny McDonald, Milky Milkinson, Debra Nicolson, Ciara North, Craig Odie, Hilary Smith, Iain Souter, Izzy Swanson, Marsali Taylor, Ann Thomson, , Ted Watson, Hannah Whiley, Molly William
Audio - Bob Lowes
Artwork - Laura Hughes
Wardrobe - Izzy Swanson
Tech, film and studio recording - Shetland Arts
With thanks to Gaada Artist Studios. Walls Community Hall, Lerwick Methodist Church
I dedicate this production to Harvey Holton (1949 – 2000), a Scots poet (and great friend) for his advice and help when the script was first created. His work on poetics (especially on the spoken tradition of indigenous North American people) was both inspiring and crucial to the text. We all know that we live in an inter-connected world but culturally this is not new. Way before the internet there were similar mythologies and mirrored cultural beliefs. There was also great ignorance. One wonders how far we have progressed.
Miss you Harvey.
Image credit: Laura Hughes