Alan Plater's Orkney Trilogy


Picture: Murdo Macleod, Guardian

Greenvoe 2000

George Mackay Brown's first novel (1972) is a portrait of life in the imaginary island community of Hellya, whose very existence appears about to be obliterated by Operation Black Star. 

Alan's adaptation began as a screenplay but eventually was premiered at the Festival on 17 June 2000 with original music by John Gray.

Download the script here.

An audio CD of the play featuring members of the original cast is available from St Magnus Players. Pictures are by members of the cast.

Barriers 2002

Barriers is based around the story of the Italian Chapel. In 1942 550 Italian prisoners of war were sent from North Africa to Orkney to help build the Churchill Barriers. Thanks to an enlightened senior British officer, Major Buckland, they were given two Nissen huts to convert into a chapel. The resulting building is one of Scotland's most unusual and beautiful religious buildings.

Around these facts, Alan wove a touching love story which premiered at the 2002 Festival. The play featured original music by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. Pictures by Leslie Burgher

Download the script here.

Tales from the Golden Slipper 2007

For a large part of the 20th century, Stromness was a 'dry' town. From the 1940's to the 1960's Willie Farquhar served alcohol and pies of dubious provenance at his unlicensed premises just over the parish boundary in Stenness, just by the Brig O Waithe.

When the authorities finally intervened in the 1960's, Willie was described  as the 'Al Capone' of Orkney and the Golden Slipper passed into Orkney legend. Alan drew on local sources and reminiscences, as well as his own imagination, to recreate the trial and all the fun of evenings of music and storytelling at the Golden Slipper. Pictures by Leslie Burgher

Download the script here.

Alan Plater at rehearsal for Tales from the Golden Slipper

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