Media release: (There Are) No Strangers Here video drama premiere


HOW would a Scottish household react if it was forced to accommodate climate refugees?

This is the storyline of a new u3a drama whose video premiere screening is on Tuesday 29 November at 10am.

The one act play’ (There Are) No Strangers Here’ was filmed during September performances in the Netherbow Theatre at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh.

Co-writers include local playwrights, Hilary Speirs and Richard Peoples, formerly chair of Edinburgh u3a.

Free Eventbrite tickets are available to watch u3a’s ruby anniversary production and afterwards enjoy a Q&A discussion of the play’s themes:

Before the play is showcased, event host Richard Peoples will discuss the play’s content with Dr Melanie Lovatt.  She is a senior lecturer in Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology at the University of Stirling.

Richard explained: “I took part in Dr Lovatt’s ‘Reimagining the Future in Older Age’ project last year and it gave me the initial idea. I took it to the Citadel Arts writers group who have produced shows for and about older people. So we explored the storyline of what happens when two refugees are billeted with a retired couple in a small Scottish town. 

“We found it interesting to look at the mind sets many of us have and how these are exposed during a crisis. The play challenges how we choose to respond to a humanitarian catastrophe. The characters have to wrestle with different customs and philosophies. When nothing will ever be the same again, they ask themselves if they can truly find new purpose and new friendships.”

After the screening, Syrian-born actor, Firas Ibrahim, who appears in the play, will talk about refugee experiences, followed by questions and discussion.

Richard remarked: “u3a intends to use this play as a learning tool to stimulate discussion about positive futures for older people.”


Notes for editors:

  1. Richard Peoples has run playwriting courses and workshops, both with a writers’ group in Cambridge and Edinburgh u3a. The video premiere of the play takes place on Tuesday 29 November, from 10am -12.30pm. Free tickets for the screening for available for current and potential u3a members at
  1. To interview Richard Peoples, contact PR Advisor Allana Parker, M: 07483 820027, E:
  1. The play ‘(There Are) No Strangers Here’ was directed by Edinburgh-based actor, director and writer Mark Kydd, with original music composed and performed by Laure Paterson. Richard People’s co-writers at Edinburgh’s Citadel Arts include Hilary Speirs, Laure Paterson and Susan Chaney.
  1. The ‘Reimagining The Future In Older Age’ project, run by Stirling University, is led by Dr Melanie Lovatt. It was the impetus for the ‘(There Are) No Strangers Here.’ play.
  1. During the pandemic, Richard Peoples led a ‘Write That Play!’ online group on a newly created digital platform, u3a: Online Across Scotland (OAS). This novel national network enabled members to work on ideas for ten new plays. Live excerpts were later performed by professional actors online.
  1. The u3a: Online Across Scotland (OAS) network suits those who cannot attend local u3a events in person because of health or travel issues, or where no local u3a or a specific interest group exists. Visit: for details or view u3a member case studies at:
  1. Scotland now has 52 community u3as which form part of an UK-wide and international educational movement. Local volunteers lead these self-help learning co-operatives for semi or fully retired people, and those who are unable to work.  The u3a motto is ‘Learn, laugh, live’. There are nearly 10,000 u3a members across Scotland and around 388,000 in the UK.MEDIA RELEASE issued by u3a: Online Across Scotland. You too can share your stories (aka press or media releases), on this site. Email here for more information.

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Contact: Ann Keating
Phone: 07757976936