Media Release: National Theatre of Scotland’s passionate re-imagining of classic Fife miner’s drama


National Theatre of Scotland in association with ON at Fife presents

In Time o’ Strife

Adapted, designed and directed by Graham McLaren,
based on the 1926 play by Joe Corrie

At Pathhead Hall, Kirkcaldy from 2nd to 12th October 2013,
with a press performance on 3rd October at 7.30pm

The full cast is:  Hannah Donaldson, Tom McGovern, Vicki Manderson, Ewan Stewart, Paul Tinto, Anita Vettesse, Owen Whitelaw


INTENSELY physical and loud, driven by explosive choreography and a live four-piece band, the National Theatre of Scotland’s In Time o’ Strife is a powerful re-imagining of Joe Corrie’s rarely performed classic play, exposing the lives of a Fife mining family staring hunger and defeat in the face during the General Strike of 1926.

Produced in association with ON at Fife, In Time o’ Strife is playing at Pathhead Hall, Kirkcaldy in October 2013 and tickets are now on sale from ON at Fife box office.

In addition to Corrie’s original script, the show will interweave fragments of his other plays, poems and songs. Director Graham McLaren, whose productions for National Theatre of Scotland include Men Should Weep and A Christmas Carol, has adapted this classic of the Scottish canon with a contemporary audience in mind.

Working alongside choreographer Imogen Knight, this new production embeds a powerful movement aesthetic and a live band comprising members of leading Scottish bands Strike the Colours and Zoey van Goey, performing new songs by MJ McCarthy (composer and sound designer).

The creative team also includes Lizzie Powell (lighting designer) and Rebecca Hamilton (design associate).

Corrie was a miner from the Fife coalfields and wrote the play while on strike in 1926, to raise funds for the soup kitchens feeding his fellow miners and their starving families.

When the play was first performed by Corrie’s hastily assembled local amateur group, the Fife Miner Players, it was an outstanding success, touring to theatres all over Scotland and England, playing to audiences of between 800 and 1,000 per night and going on to win international acclaim.

Over the years, Corrie has been described as “the greatest Scottish poet since Burns”, by T.S. Eliot, with his works having being compared variously to Emile Zola, Sean O’Casey and Federico Garcia Lorca in their respective local traditions.

Despite this, In Time o’ Strife and Corrie himself were shunned by the Scottish theatre elite of the day and the play has seldom been performed professionally; 7:84’s was the last production, at the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow in 1982.

Graham McLaren, associate director, National Theatre of Scotland, said:

In Time o’ Strife was way ahead of its time. It’s a great shame that Corrie was never encouraged, never accepted by the mainstream – much like Ena Lamont Stewart [Men Should Weep].

“Because here was a great playwright with an original voice, writing about things that no one had any idea about.

“The play depicts the brutal social consequences of poverty, but it’s also a love story – one with a cruel dilemma at its heart – and we’ll also be drawing on Corrie’s less well-known poetry and songs. People will see Joe Corrie in a whole new light.”

Frank Chinn, service manager, ON at Fife, said:

“I am delighted that ON at Fife is continuing its relationship with National Theatre of Scotland and bringing ‘home’ to Fife this updated interpretation our Joe Corrie’s masterpiece In Time O’ Strife.

“We are proud to play our part in staging this important Scottish work and look forward to welcoming audiences to Pathhead Hall for what I hope will be a sell-out run of the show.”


An age guide of 12 + is suggested for this production.

Venue:  Pathhead Hall, Commercial St. (corner of Broad Wynd), Kirkcaldy, Fife, KY1 2QF
Dates and Times: Wednesday 2nd – Saturday 12th October at 7.30pm                                  Matinees: Saturday 5th, Wednesday 9th, Saturday 12th October at 2.30pm
Ticket prices: Preview (2nd October) and matinees: all tickets £9                                                   All other performances: £14 (£11 concessions)
Box office:  01592 583302 online booking:
Accessible performances:  Friday 11th October – BSL
Luminate post-show event:  after 2.30pm show on 9th October

For further information contact:

Adam McDougall, press officer
Tel: +44 (0)141 227 9231/ +44 (0)7738 153157

Emma Schad, press manager
Tel: +44 (0)141 227 9016 / +44 (0)7930 308018

You can follow the National Theatre of Scotland’s press office on Twitter @NTS_press

Join the conversation: #TimeOStrife

Cast and creative team biographies

Graham McLaren – director and designer

Graham is a Glasgow-based theatre artist who has been making theatre for almost two decades. In that time he has created work ranging from totally improvised and devised work to classical texts. He has made shows in London’s West End, ancient Greek amphitheatres, National Theatres and festivals across the world.

In 1994, he established the internationally acclaimed Theatre Babel, where he remained artistic director until 2008. In 2005, Graham was invited to join Perth Theatre, Scotland, as artistic and co-creative director; he remained with Perth Theatre until January 2008. The following year he began creating work for the Toronto based theatre company Necessary Angel as associate artist.

Graham is currently an associate director of the National Theatre of Scotland, where his previously shows include A Doll’s House, A Christmas Carol and Men Should Weep.

Hannah Donaldson – Jenny

Hannah’s previous work with the National Theatre of Scotland includes The Guid Sisters, and Truant. Other recent highlights include Breaker (Sodid Svid Theatre Company), Age of Arousal (Lyceum, Edinburgh) and Sunset Song (HMT, Aberdeen). Film and TV work includes Case Histories, Rab C. Nesbitt, Storyville and Rebus.

Tom McGovern – Tam

Tom’s recent theatre credits include: A Satire of the Three Estates (Linlithgow Palace), Macbeth (Guildford Shakespeare Company), The Cone Gatherers (HMT, Aberdeen) and Volpone (Theatre Babel). Film and TV work includes: Not Another Happy Ending, The Acid Test, Taggart, and Scottish Killers.

Vicki Manderson – Kate

Vicki’s previous work for the National Theatre of Scotland includes Beautiful Burnout (with Frantic Assembly), Knives in Hens, Home: Inverness and, as associate movement director, Black Watch. Other recent highlights include Dr Dee (ENO / MIF), Two Gentlemen of Verona (Royal & Derngate, Northampton) and One Up One Down (Barrowland Ballet). As movement director, Vicki’s credits include The Drowning Pond (YMT) and The Silence of the Sea (Donmar) and, as movement associate, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (National Theatre, West End).

Ewan Stewart - Jock       

Ewan has worked previously with the National Theatre of Scotland on Beautiful Burnout and Dunsinane. Other theatre credits include Oh Go My Man, At the Table, Almost Nothing, Sacred Heart, Trade and Bluebird (Royal Court, London), Green Field (Traverse, Edinburgh). Television work includes River City, Walter’s War, Taggart, Rebus, Only Fools and Horses, Time of your Life, The Somme, Malice Aforethought, Dirty War and POW.  Film work includes Valhalla Rising, Eliminate Archie Cookson, One Last Chance, Conspiracy, Rob Roy, Titanic, Kafka, Stella Does Tricks, The Big Brass Ring and The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover.

Paul Tinto – Bob

Paul has worked previously with the National Theatre of Scotland on Black Watch. Other recent theatre credits include Chariots of Fire (Hampstead Theatre, West End), Release (Pleasance, Edinburgh), Jamie the Saxt (Borderline Theatre Co.) and The Odyssey (National Theatre). Television work includes Taggart and First Light.

Anita Vettesse – Jean

Anita’s previous work with the National Theatre of Scotland includes The Wolves in the Walls, The Elgin Macbeth and Men Should Weep. Other theatre credits include Fleeto and Wee Andy (Tumult in the Clouds). Film and TV work includes Fields of Blood, River City, Waterloo Road and The Bill.

Owen Whitelaw – Wull Baxter

Owen has worked previously with the National Theatre of Scotland on Knives in Hens, Peter Pan, Our Teacher’s a Troll, Cockroach, 365 and Rupture. Other recent theatre highlights include The Life of Stuff (Theatre 503), Wonderland (Vanishing Point), King Lear (Citizens, Glasgow) and Romeo and Juliet (Òran Mór, Glasgow). Film credits include Dying Light, Score, 7/11 in Repeat and What Would Ridley Do?.


  • Since its launch in February 2006, the National Theatre of Scotland has been involved in creating 190 productions in 168 different locations. With no building of its own, the company takes theatre all over Scotland and beyond, working with existing and new venues and companies to create and tour theatre of the highest quality. It takes place in the great buildings of Scotland, but also in site-specific locations, airports and tower blocks, community halls and drill halls, ferries and forests. The company has performed to over 830,000 people across four continents. The company is funded by the Scottish Government.
  • ON at Fife is the Theatre and Arts section of Fife Cultural Trust, Fife’s largest independent arts organisation, promoting arts, culture and entertainment across the region.  They currently operate four theatres, as well as staging a diverse range of events around Fife. They create brand new work with some of Scotland’s best contemporary theatre companies, artists and performers, as well as providing a crucial role in supporting local arts organisations and groups. On 1st October 2012, ON at Fife became part of the new Fife Cultural Trust, which manages more than 65 venues, including Libraries, Museums, Galleries and the Fife Council Archives Service. ON at Fife’s theatres are Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy; Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline; Lochgelly Centre, Lochgelly and Rothes Halls, Glenrothes.
  • The Fife Council Strategic Events Investment Programme provides financial support for the delivery of strategic events in Fife, which have the capacity to generate significant economic impacts and raise the profile of Fife on the national and international stage.

Image:  Fife colliery workers, 1926 – copyright Fife Council Archive.

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Contact: Adam McDougall
Phone: 0141 227 9231