‘Doorways to Drumorty’ is tribute to Aberdeenshire writer Lorna Moon

Born and raised in Strichen, Aberdeenshire, Lorna Moon was an author, poet and leading Hollywood screenwriter.

Wednesday, 6th March 2019, 2:48 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th March 2019, 2:52 pm
Doorways to Drumorty  inspired by Strichen writer Lorna Moon  is touring throughout Scotland, with several dates in Aberdeenshire.
Doorways to Drumorty  inspired by Strichen writer Lorna Moon  is touring throughout Scotland, with several dates in Aberdeenshire.

For years, she was its highest paid female scriptwriter writing screen plays for movies featuring the biggest film stars of the era – Norma Shearer, Gloria Swanson, Lon Chaney Jr, Lionel Barrymore, Douglas Fairbanks Jr and Greta Garbo.

Yet her book of short stories ‘Doorways in Drumorty’ was banned from the local Strichen library for 50 years because the town’s inhabitants were horrified at recognising themselves in the book’s characters!

First staged in 2010, this new production of Mike Gibb’s hugely successful play ‘Doorways in Drumorty’ – based on a book of Moon’s collected short stories – will tour across Scotland, beginning next month, supported by North East Arts Touring and Aberdeenshire Council.

This updated version is produced by Awkward Stranger in association with Hame Productions, and directed by Andy Corelli.

Speaking about this latest tour, Mike Gibb said: “The question I get asked most about my stage work is ‘when are you doing Doorways in Drumorty again?’ and I am therefore delighted that Andy Corelli has put together this amazing tour.”

Set in a 1920s gossipy, rural Aberdeenshire community, ‘Doorways in Drumorty’ follows the story of Jessie McLean who seemed destined to become a spinster when at 16 the young man she fell in love with left town never to return, leaving her alone and unfulfilled. Thiry five years later, a girl in a similar, though more extreme version of her own circumstances, helps her discover an inner courage which she uses to foil the myopia of those around her.

Set alongside Jessie’s tale, are six vignettes depicting the experiences of other characters in the town.

Playwright Mike Gibb has been writing for the theatre since the late 90s and has produced a stream of Scottish-themed musicals and plays including the internationally acclaimed Outlander the Musical.

The play will be staged at Mearns Academy, Laurencekirk, on April 18; Aberdeen Arts Centre on April 19; Aboyne Theatre on April 20; Acorn Centre, Inverurie, on April 24; Glenlivet Public Hall on April 25; New Deer Public Hall on April 26; and Alvah Parish Hall, Banff, on April 27.

For full details of tour dates, venues and tickets, visit facebook.com/AwkwardStranger/events