Outlying Islands (play)

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Outlying Islands
Written byDavid Greig
Date premiered2002
Place premieredEdinburgh, Scotland
Original languageEnglish
GenreDrama play
SettingRemote island of Scotland in 1939

Outlying Islands is a 2002 drama play written by Scottish playwright David Greig. While all the events and characters in the play are works of fiction, it was inspired by Robert Atkinson's book Island Going.[1]


Set on a remote Scottish island in the summer of 1939, two ornithologists – young, impulsive and English Robert and the more-conservative-yet naive Scottish John – are sent to catalogue the bird colonies on the island. Together with the stern lease-holder of the island, Mr Kirk, and his young niece Ellen, they are the only inhabitants for the summer.

The play ruthlessly uncovers the motivations of its characters, resulting in a painful triangle between John, Robert and Ellen. It is about nature versus technology, old versus new, with the threat of the coming world war looming over it all.

Production History[edit]

The play was first published and performed in 2002 and won a Fringe First award and a Herald Angel award after its premiere at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh, Scotland, during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. It was revived at the Traverse in October 2014.

The play was performed by Sugarglass Theatre at the Connelly Theatre in New York in 2016 and later revived at the Samuel Beckett Theatre in Dublin in August 2017.[2]

The play was revived in January 2019 by Atticist at the King's Head Theatre in London.[3]

Casting History[edit]

Character Original Cast, 2002[1] New York Cast, 2016[2] Dublin Cast, 2017[4] London Revival Cast, 2019[5]
Robert Laurence Mitchell Jefferson White Leonard Buckley Tom Machell
John Sam Heughan Peter Corboy Peter Corboy Jack McMillan
Kirk Robert Carr Leon Ingulsrud Karl O’Neill Ken Drury
Ellen Lesley Hart Maeve O'Mahony Maeve O'Mahony Rose Wardlaw
Captain Robert Carr Leon Ingulsrud Karl O’Neill Ken Drury

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Greig, David. (2010). Selected plays, 1999-2009. London: Faber. p. 125. ISBN 978-0-571-23415-8. OCLC 669248183.
  2. ^ a b "Outlying Islands". Sugarglass Theatre. Retrieved 2019-12-31.
  3. ^ "Atticist to Bring Outlying Islands to King's Head Theatre". theatreweekly.com. Retrieved 2018-11-22.
  4. ^ "Review: Outlying Islands at the Samuel Beckett Theatre, Dublin". Exeunt Magazine. Retrieved 2019-12-31.
  5. ^ "Atticist | OUTLYING ISLANDS". atticist. Retrieved 2019-12-31.

External links[edit]