Woman Walking (2022)
I know you’re there. You’ve been there all this time. Watching.
Muriel Romanes and Sylvia Dow present a performed reading of Dow’s latest work Woman Walking based on the life of Nan Shepherd and her love of the Cairngorms.
Woman Walking imagines several interactions over a period between Cath (Pauline Lockhart) a modern woman carrying the guilt and trauma over the death of her mother and Nan (Alexandra Mathie), long since deceased and brought back by Cath to help her find resolution through her dialogue with Nan and through the Cairngorms themselves in all their rough beauty, light and weather. The play has both humour and pathos and brings themes of grief, resolution and the healing power of nature.
Alexandra Mathie - Nan
Alexandra Mathie has worked and toured extensively in theatres throughout Britain for many years; most frequently for Stellar Quines and the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Scotland, for The Royal Exchange in Manchester and for Alan Ayckbourn in Scarborough and New York. From May to July, Ayckbourn’s latest play The Girl Next Door was her first live theatre work with audience present since the pandemic hit. A lifesaver throughout the last 18months has been work in audio drama and programmes for independent and BBC radio recorded from her own home studio. Alexandra’s company, Heroica Theatre Company, co-founded with writer, Angie Cairns, embraced Zoom as an opportunity to continue running their Maverick Monologues series. Uncovering stories of ‘maverick women with unsung’ lives, written and delivered in the first person by the public who champion them, it encourages writing and verbal communication and has seen heroic women’s stories shared with a global audience.
Pauline Lockhart - Cath
Pauline has worked extensively with some of the UK’s leading theatre companies including:
National Theatre Scotland, Grid Iron, Hampstead Theatre, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Improbable Theatre, Royal Lyceum Edinburgh, Stellar Quines Theatre Co, Suspect Culture, The Tron Theatre, Thickskin, Communicado Theatre, The Traverse Theatre and Manchester Royal Exchange, (with whom she was awarded The TMA Award for Best Supporting Actress and The Manchester Evening News Best Supporting Actress Award for her role in, An Experiment with an Airpump.)
Just before the pandemic she co-wrote and directed Strange Tales, an adaptation of traditional Chinese ghost stories – a co-production between Grid Iron Theatre Co, The Traverse Theatre, The Royal Shakespeare Theatre Co and the Confucius Institute.
Pauline is also co – founder of Wildfire Theatre who have just completed a successful Digital New Writing project.
Writer - Sylvia Dow
After a long working life in a variety of roles in the arts, Sylvia embarked on a career as a playwright. Her first play A Beginning, a Middle, and an End toured the UK in 2012 with Greyscale Company, and Where is Otto premiered at the Visibility Festival, Turkey, in the same year. She has had short work performed in Scotland, London and Mexico and is a member of playwriting collectives Village Pub Theatre and Thrawn Craws, her work often featuring in their readings events. She was dramaturg /writer on Rendition (Tragic Carpet). Full-length plays include Blinded by the Light (Traverse) It’s Only Words (Oran Mor) Threads (Stellar Quines) and STUFF (SYLVIAN Productions).
Director - Muriel Romanes
Muriel has had a long and distinguished career as actor and director, which has earned her an outstanding reputation as a force in Scottish theatre. She was Associate Director at the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh where she directed several acclaimed productions including The Deep Blue Sea, Listening Heaven, Lavender Blue, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, If Only and Anna Karenina.
She co-founded and was Artistic Director of Stellar Quines Theatre Company. Notable productions include the award winning The Unconquered by Torben Betts (2007), Judith Adams’ adaptation of Muriel Sparks’ The Girls of Slender Means (2009) and Age of Arousal by Linda Griffiths, which won a CATS Best Director Award (2011). The List by Jennifer Tremblay (2012) won a Scotsman Fringe First, a Herald Angel and the CATS Award for Best Production. The Carousel and The Deliverance, the remaining two plays in Tremblay’s trilogy also won Scotsman Fringe Firsts in 2014 and 2015 respectively, making history as the first trilogy of plays to have received this award. Threads was the first collaboration between Romanes and Dow for Stellar Quines and in 2018 they collaborated again under SYLVIAN Productions with STUFF.
In 2016 Muriel moved on from Stellar Quines to pursue other theatre projects and in June 2016 she was awarded a CATS Award for exceptional contribution to Scottish Theatre and was also awarded an MBE for services to theatre.
Sound / Music - Philip Pinsky
Philip Pinsky is a composer and sound designer. Before starting in theatre, he was a founder member of electro-acoustic group Finitribe, releasing five albums and performing around the world. Since 2000 he has provided over 100 scores for theatre companies throughout the UK, as well as site- specific work. This includes 5 years as Associate Artist at the Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh. International work includes several large scale shows for the Juste Pour Rire festival in Montreal and the quirkier end of the TV and art- scene in Tokyo. Winner of CATS 2005 (Best Music and Sound).
Previous work includes Pressure (National tour/West End), SHIFT (NTS), Kiss of The Spider Woman (Menier Chocolate Factory), Dr Stirlingshire’s Discovery (Grid Iron/Lung Ha), Half Life (Ustinov, Bath), Lawrence After Arabia (Hampstead), The Jennifer Tremblay Trilogy (Stellar Quines).
Future work includes an interactive art installation for COP26 at National Museum of Scotland.
Company Stage Manager - Suzie McGowan
Providing support services to the Performing Arts has been the driving force behind Suzie McGowan’s journey so far. With a love of theatre that started in amateur dramatics, she studied Media and Performing Arts. This paved the way for a varied career in the live entertainment industry where she has enjoyed giving the necessary support to many international touring artists- from the stage to song and even supper. Suzie is delighted with this opportunity to return to her roots in theatre and to be working with this company on this production.
As a piece of stage poetry, it has some exquisitely memorable and lyrical moments"