Book Festival performs Alice Munro

David Chadderton

Edinburgh International Book Festival will stage an adaptation of Alice Munro's The View from Castle Rock, about the experiences of Munro’s Scottish ancestors who sailed from Leith Docks in 1818 in the hope of a better life in Canada, in collaboration with theatre company Stellar Quines at this year's Edinburgh Fringe.

Created by director Marilyn Imrie and playwright Linda McLean with designer Claire Halleran, composer Pippa Murphy and a cast that includes Simon Donaldson and Brian O’Sullivan, this will be a word-for-word adaptation from Alice Munro’s text.

Following a run during the Book Festival at artSpace@StMarks in Castle Terrace, The View from Castle Rock will tour to the Borders including the Ettrick Valley, home of Munro’s ancestors, visiting Peebles, Hawick, Ettrickbridge and Galashiels from 31 August to 3 September.

Nick Barley, Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, said, "Alice Munro is celebrated across the globe as the greatest living short story writer. She is also fascinated by her heritage and her family’s voyage from Scotland to Canada in the early 19th century.

"Today, at a time when the refugee crisis is such a topical issue right across Europe, I am proud that the Book Festival and Stellar Quines will bring Munro’s story dramatically to life as the centrepiece of a thoughtful, far-reaching discussion about human migration."

Director Imrie said, "the deprivations and sorrows encountered by Munro’s migrant family are sadly familiar, two hundred years on. Playwright Linda McLean brings to the production her experience of a form of dramatic storytelling currently inspiring exciting new theatre in Canada, the US and Europe: word for word dramatisation—every word spoken is from the text as Munro wrote it. And the performances are staged in a 19th century church with a fine view of Castle Rock."

The View from Castle Rock will be performed daily from Thursday 11 August (11 and 12 August Previews) to Monday 29 August (times vary) at artSpace@StMarks, 7 Castle Terrace, Edinburgh (Fringe Venue 125).