by Anita Sullivan

First performed in May 1996 at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh then The Wynd Theatre, Melrose, Bowhill Little Theatre, Selkirk and The Arches in November 1996.

Clearance takes place on the lawn in front of Lord A’s country house which has been repossessed following newspaper rumours concerning his proflicacy.  Amidst the chaos of the cleared furniture a woman and a boy appear to be telling stories to pass the time.  It soon becomes apparent, however, that their stories award them a strange power, an ability to change shape, cause physical harm and alter the course of events.  The Queens arrives, unaware that the Lord’s biannual dinner has been cancelled.  She is confused and displaced, saddened by damaging reports about her family in the tabloid press.  She gradually realises the power of the place and the stories and grows comfortable with the unusual surroundings.

The woman is anxious to take the boy into the city so that he can adjust to a normal twentieth century existence but he sees only the horror and violence in her thoughts.  The woman is angry at the world and accuses the Queen of complacency, demanding to know why such a powerful family does nothing to cure any of society’s ills.  the Queen suggests the woman takes her place and gather the information they would need to tell the story which could change the world.

Clearance encapsulates the lush atmospheric landscape of the Scottish Borders, with a haunting score inspired by traditional ballads.

What The Press Said:

Cast & Crew:


MAY 1996

Boy:  Geoffrey Lee
Woman:  Claire Cochrane
Queen:  Hilary Strong
Bodyguard:  James Dickson
Henry, Guard:  Ian Hanmore
Joe, Journalist:  David Hunter

Live Music:  Cora Bissett, Amy Duncan and Sean Kennedy (Swelling Meg)


Boy:  Geoffrey Lee
Woman:  Claire Cochrane
Queen:  Bobbie Robertson
Bodyguard:  Doug Russell

Live Music:  Sean Kennedy, Cora Bissett and Donald Gillan


MAY 1996

Director:  Catriona Murray
Producer:  Judith Doherty
Designer:  Mirella Weingarten
Costumes:  Karen Funnell-Bailey
Recorded Music:  Stephen Maslin
Stage Manager:  Seonaid Marshall
Deputy Stage Manager:  Tricia Maclean
Assistant Stage Manager:  Dan Sansome
Technician:  Paul McCabe
Production Assistants:  Carolyn Mathers and Emily Abbott
Photographs:  Andy Secchi


Director:  Ben Harrison
Producer:  Judith Doherty
Set Design:  Mirella Weingarten
Costume Design:  Bridget Webster
Lighting Designer:  Carmen Wright
Stage Manager:  Dan Sansome
Deputy Stage Manager:  Tricia MacLean
Assistant Stage Manager:  Nik Januirek
Technical Director:  Bill Coghill
Recorded Music:  Stephen Maslin
Production Assistant:  Lucy Cockcroft
Press and Publicity:  Isabel Davies
Photographs:  Andy Secchi and Sean Hudson
Print Design:  Emma Quinn