From Auchmithie to New York with love

'Pirates and Mermaids' takes the audience from Auchmithie to New York in a good old fashioned love story.
'Pirates and Mermaids' takes the audience from Auchmithie to New York in a good old fashioned love story.

A love story played out between Auchmithie and New York will be performed at Dundee Rep Theatre’s Bonar Hall next week.

It will run on Wednesday, April 9 and Thursday, April 10 at 7.30 p.m.

‘Pirates and Mermaids’ by Poorboy Theatre is a good old fashioned love story. This take on love, life and the meaning of home is an ambitious and universal story told on a very human scale.

This time last year Sandy Thomson, artistic director of Poorboy Theatre, was sitting on the sea wall of Arbroath harbour eating fish and chips and using her smartphone to talk to actor and writer Jeremiah Reynolds in New York.

The pair had worked together since Reynolds’ graduation from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now Royal Conservatoire Scotland).

‘Pirates and Mermaids’ is a play set in Auchmithie in Angus and New York City, a transatlantic love story created via email, and Skype.

It follows the experiences of Eilidh Mclean, born and brought up in Auchmithie and her childhood best friend Cameron Mackay whose Scottish mum and American father move their family back to American as Cameron grows up.

‘Pirates and Mermaids’ interweaves this present day story with the Scottish folktale of The Selkie, their bedtime story when they were children.

It’s a funny, touching and honest story about deciding where you belong and who you belong with.

The welcome and unwelcome advice of Cameron and Eilidh’s American and Dundonian grandparents join letters, phone messages, film, music and emails from across different times and countries to create a sharply observed, funny and big hearted inter-generational family drama that examines the meaning of national identity and what you’re meant to do if the phrase ‘home is where the heart is’ happens to be true but your heart’s all over the place.

‘Pirates and Mermaids’ is an uplifting and surprising show looking at loyalty, family and national identity that will challenge our assumptions about our nearest and dearest and questions the judgments we all make on those we consider simply as passersby.

Dundee Rep Theatre is also preparing to host its Children’s Festival from April 4 to 11.

Included in this year’s programme is ‘Aliens Love Underpants’ from April 4 to 6. Delightfully brought to life on stage for the first time, this is a fresh and funny production that will delight the whole family.

‘Celeste’s Circus’ on Tuesday, April 8 allows the young audience to follow Celeste under the big top as her cast of endearing animals emerge one by one. It will feel like you’ve come right out of your seat and right into the circus ring.

‘Gingerbread Man’ on Wednesday, April 9 is a popular story with younger audiences. Imagine a world made entirely of biscuits; trees, houses and stars in the sky. Into this beautiful world comes a gingerbread man creating havoc wherever he goes.

‘Kidnapped’ on April 10 is an adventure tale for all the family. It tells the story of Davie Balfour as he survives shipwreck and murder to dramatically escape to the Highlands of Scotland.

‘Innocence’ on April 11 is a unique playroom performance. It invites babies to seven year olds to explore the world of William Blake’s imagination. It brings children on to the Rep stage alongside Scottish Dance Theatre’s captivating dancers as together they go on a magical theatrical journey full of song, dance and play.