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12 May 20226:00 pm – 7:30 pm

The Storm Watchers: Celebrating George Mackay Brown’s Centenary

Andrew Stewart Cinema

Join Gerda Stevenson and Alan Riach for an evening of poetry and film celebrating the centenary of George Mackay Brown.

The play The Storm Watchers was originally written by George Mackay Brown as a short piece to be part of a pageant in the late Sixites in Stromness. The work was later performed in its own right with some additions. A powerful and poetic piece, the drama presents the lives, anxieties, regrets, fears and memories of women as they they deal with the waiting and the aftermath of a storm with all their men at sea.

Filmed in lockdown in Orkney this project has involved technology, remote rehearsal, mobile phone cameras and much more besides. In this year of Mackay Brown’s 100th birthday, it brings to life one of his early but also most powerful pieces of theatre.

The evening will feature an introduction from the film’s director Gerda Stevenson, readings of Mackay Brown’s work by Alan Riach, as well as an audience Q&A, hosted by Dr Sarah Neely.

The Storm Watchers is screened with the kind permission of St Magnus International Festival, who commissioned the film.

Praise for The Storm Watchers

“An astonishingly powerful short film, full of haunting performances, and visual imagery that captures the spirit of place in Brown’s poetry with extraordinary vividness.”

– Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman

“A beautiful short film – the camera angles are really impressive, filmed with such economy – close-ups of the women in their homes, beautiful footage of the starry night, the rocks, and the wild sea. It’s brilliant.”

Samira Ahmed, ‘Front Row’, BBC Radio 4