Past Productions

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Click on the posters to view details of each production

 The UK Premiere of

The Battle in the Hills / The Storm Watchers
by George Mackay Brown

Netherbow Theatre (Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh) 6 – 7 October 2006

“…a magnificent study of the dynamics of war…an unforgettable hymn to marriage in all its forms…glistening with promise…driven by some powerful singing.”

“…it’s a rare treat to witness this double bill of one-act miniatures by Sean Kane’s Theatre Enigma…Victoria Balnaves’s vocal settings of Mackay Brown’s words becomes even more lyrical, its incantatory chorale swelling to become a heartbreaking lament…theatrical nuggets…a pair of iridescent and beautiful unsung curios.”
Neil Cooper THE HERALD

To mark the 85th anniversary of George Mackay Brown’s birth and the 10th anniversary of his death, Theatre Enigma present the professional premieres of The Battle in the Hills and The Storm Watchers, lyrical plays for women’s voices.

The Battle in the Hills. Six women come together on the day of the battle to a green place on the safe side of the hill.
“Harder to be a woman, and wait, than to be out there among the flashings and the thunders.”

The Storm Watchers. A long shore. Darkness, a shut oyster. Seven women standing. Waiting.
“Sleep on, your fathers late tonight, he’s out beyond where the mermaids are, and the whales, and the drowned ships.”


Anna / Kirsty – Romana Abercromby
Gunnhild / Kittag – Helen Belbin
Ingerd / Ruth – Anne Lannan
Ragna / Merrag – Clunie Mackenzie
Thora / Seeny – Julia Taudevin
Solveig / Marget – Imogen Toner
Anna – Caroline McKellar

Director – Sean Kane
Assitant Director – Keith Hutcheon
Original Songs composed by Victoria Balnaves
Lighting Designer – Andrew Wilson
Stage Design – Sean Kane / Iain Munro
Production Manager – Iain Munro
Assistant Stage Manager – Nigel Jarvis

Scottish Premiere

Four Nights in Knaresborough
by Paul Webb

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
30th September – 2 October 2004

Pick of the Week


“An intense drama full of dark humour…Malcolm Hamilton was completely inspired as Brito – edgy and dangerous one moment, comical the next. The sight of him beating a defenceless loaf of bread to death with an axe was worth the ticket price alone…Four Nights in Knaresborough is likely to become a minor classic.”

“…Paul Webb’s scabrously funny piece of imagined history mines a rich vein of allegorical outrageousness and pratfalling buffoonery…Sean Kane’s production for Theatre Enigma makes rich pickings of Webb’s meaty language, which is gloriously and at times hilariously contemporary.”
THE HERALD Neil Cooper

“…violent, sexy and extremely funny in parts and Enigma’s production features excellently energetic and thoroughly enjoyable performances…confident directorial debut for actor Sean Kane. The audience absolutely loved it. Good stuff.”

The greatest crime since the crucifixion and… probably the worst career move in history!

Locked together ‘Big Brother’ style for 365 days four knights find themselves in solitary confinement. What went on between them? We can only begin to imagine.

It’s the winter of 1170, and four knights approach Archbishop Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral. What should have been a simple royal arrest turns into a brutal killing – and one of the greatest historical crimes is committed. They now become the most wanted men in Christendom. Forced into a deadly waiting game, the four criminals take refuge inside Knaresborough castle with only the enigmatic Catherine to stand between them and an outraged world desperate to see them dead. As the boredom, the fear and the sexual tension take their toll, they gradually come to realise the full consequences of their crime.

Four Nights in Knaresborough by Paul Webb, while cultured, funny and frantic is also moving and brutal. Blending historical fact with modern language, this darkly comic drama lifts the lid on one of the most mysterious events in British history and incorporates the best ingredients of both a ‘Blackadder’ episode and a Tarantino movie – sexual energy, sleep deprivation, personal trauma, constipation and a nasty toothache!!!


Brito – Malcolm Hamilton
Fritz – Keith Hutcheon
Catherine – Lesley Cook
Traci – James Sutherland
Morville – Kevin MacIsaac
Becket / Wigmore / Visitor – Adam Tompkins
Boy – Philip Moynihan

Director / Designer – Sean Kane
Lighting Designer – Alan Little
Production Manager – Sabina Smith
Fight Adviser – Carter Ferguson

Theatre Enigma in association with Rowan Tree Theatre Company present a double bill of Scottish plays

Nancy Sleekit by by Donald Campbell
The Herd of Standlan by John Buchan

Netherbow Theatre (Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh) & Scottish Borders Tour – Sept / Oct 2008
Edinburgh Festival Fringe (Diverse Attractions) Aug 2009

“a powerful lilting strength and a depth of social resonance that makes it a delight to hear; and a fine celebration of the work of a company that modestly enriches the Scottish scene, with every show it creates”

“…a terrific double-bill of two short plays of lesser known works by prominent Scottish authors…written and performed in Scots tongue by two energetic and gifted actors… very witty piece played to perfection with a lot of conviction and gusto by young actress Zoe Hunter who confidently conveys all of Sleekit’s steely charm…Colin Moncrieff is excellent in the part as he subtlety conveys the simple humanity that comes with grappling with your own moral conundrums and personal demons…I came out feeling enriched, entertained and proud of my heritage. I’ll admit it took a few minutes to initially adjust to the unfamiliarity of the old Scots tongue but this is quickly swept aside by convincing performances and two cracking good yarns.”


”the great strength of both productions is their strong story lines and the high standards of production, from direction, sets, costumes,and acting that one has come to expect from this company…”

Nancy Sleekit
by Donald Campbell
Directed by Sean Kane

This play won a Fringe First several years ago and was recently revived in this touring production in 2008. Widowed Nancy, played by Zoe Hunter, stands by her husband’s coffin in mourning clothes: but how genuine is her grief? And how did her husband – and his predecessors – meet their end? Nancy Sleekit is no woman to meddle with. She regales us, in rich and expressive Scots, with tales of her three husbands, their manifold failings and their untimely ends. Along the way we get wonderful Hogarthian cameos of the low life of Auld Reekie, acerbic asides that would wither a stone, and a feisty proto-feminism. Theatre Enigma’s production of this superbly dark comic piece will intrigue and entertain as you follow the exploits of this very merry widow.

The Herd of Standlan by John Buchan
Directed by A C Wilson

Ranked as one of the finest in the Scots tongue, this early short story by John Buchan appeared in Rowan Tree’s early repertoire and now finds a new interpretation under the direction of A C Wilson, who recently directed The Viewing Room at the Arts Theatre London. Tweeddale shepherd Gideon Scott, played by Colin Moncrieff, risks his own life to save a young laird, and through the night suffers from the visitations of ghostly figures from his own past. In the end, has his effort been worth while? Buchan, master of suspense, has created a brilliant text for performance in this piece.

Scottish Premiere

by Jonathan Webb

Netherbow Theatre (Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh)
13-16 Nov 2002 / 27 Feb-1 March 2003

Critics Choice


“…Theatre Enigma return to the Netherbow with their simple but powerful staging of this much praised 1986 play by former squaddie Jonathan Lewis…Keith Hutcheon’s intense production draws a memorable ensemble performance…fine cast of Scottish based actors without a single weak link…”
THE SCOTSMAN Joyce McMillan ∗∗∗∗

“Vivid portrait of life behind what most liberals would consider enemy lines…dynamic production…its electric.”
THE HERALD Neil Cooper ∗∗∗∗

“The laughter is infectious and the actors’ energy addictive…burns with fierce humanity.”

“…confidence and class…impressive production…powerful and promising.”
THE SCOTSMAN Joyce McMillan ∗∗∗∗

“…real humour and atmosphere that almost draws the audience up to the edge of the stage…gritty, tough and very funny play. Highly recommended.”

1984. Five young soldiers, among them veterans of the troubles in Northern Ireland and the Hyde Park bombing who are killing nothing but time in a Military hospital with TV, games, pornography and cynical humour as their only means of mental escape. Tensions arise however when a young officer is billeted with them………and then the fighting really starts.

Fired by the author’s anger at the Army’s neglect of its wounded heroes ‘Our Boys’ is explosively funny, perceptive and surprisingly tender.

It won the Best Fringe Play Award from The Writers’ Guild for its author Jonathan Lewis.


Trooper Joe Morgan – Sean Kane
Ranger Keith Malone – Keith Thomas
Potential Officer Oliver Menzies – Tim Barrow
Rifleman Ian Cribbins – James A Tennant
Gunner Michael Speedy – Jim Webster
Fusilier David Parry – Malcolm Hamilton

In 2003 the part of Michael Speedy was played by Jordan Young

Director – Keith Hutcheon
Designer / Music Arrangment – Sean Kane
Lighting Designer – Calder Sibbald
Production Manager – Fiona Fraser
Stage Manager – Amy Elder

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