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Mary Rose

Mary Rose

When the young Mary Rose climbs an apple tree and announces her plans to marry, the news is greeted by her doting parents first with unbridled joy - then, strangely, with furrowed brows. Read more …

For Mr and Mrs Morland now feel duty-bound to tell Simon, their jovial future son-in-law, about a mysterious incident in their daughter’s past about which they have never spoken...not even to Mary Rose herself.

When she was a young girl, Mary Rose and her parents holidayed on a tiny island in the Outer Hebrides. And, one day, Mary Rose disappeared. Without trace.

Until three weeks later, that is, when she suddenly reappeared, wholly unaware that any time had passed. Since then, Mary Rose has appeared unaffected by this extraordinary incident – except, perhaps, for certain moments when her mind has seemed to somewhere else.

Four years after her marriage, Mary Rose returns to the same island with her husband and their young son. And something unthinkable happens. Again... 

J.M. Barrie’s eerie supernatural drama of youth, love and loss, written in the aftermath of the Great War, was first staged in 1920 – and a young Alfred Hitchcock was one of the many who fell under its spell.

The critical consensus

For all the unavoidable clunkiness of some of the play's period politesse, as lives are turned upside down several times over by events nobody could predict or understand, a palpable sense of poignancy points up a pain that haunts those left behind forever.

****(*)Neil Cooper, Coffee-Table Notes, 20/06/2017

Richard Baron’s production gives every strand of this strange period piece its full human weight.

****(*)Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman, 20/06/2017e

Baron and his ensemble do much to enliven proceedings, balancing the overall tone of melancholy and ambiguity with moments of light relief.

***(*)(*)Allan Radcliffe, 20/06/2017

Neither the design nor the uniformly fine actors (including Sara Clark Downie as an impressively uncomprehending Mary Rose) can overcome the inherent dreariness of Barrie’s theatrical form.

Mark Brown, Scottish Stage, 25/06/2017

Where and when?

Pitlochry Festival Theatre, Pitlochry from Thursday June 1, 2017, until Wednesday October 11, 2017. More info:

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