Lung Ha Theatre Company and Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh
By Linda McLean
Directed by Maria Oller
“You said small spaces encourage large thoughts… and then you locked the door.”
1969. Annis, a young autistic woman, is sent by her stepmother to live as a patient at Castle Lennox, where the rules of the outside world do not apply. Desperate to escape, she very quickly lands herself in trouble and makes an enemy of the nurse in charge. Feeling lost and alone, she is befriended by fellow residents who show her another Castle Lennox, a world of colour and song, one that is a welcome relief from the monotonous regime of pills and porridge. But Annis can’t help wanting to be free.
Linda McLean (Glory on Earth at The Lyceum)’s play with songs (by MJ McCarthy) about the strength, wit and resilience of those who were sent to institutions for people with learning disabilities during a regime of segregation from the 1930s to the 1990s. This inspiring tale, based on a real institution, is brought to the stage in collaboration with the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh.
Supported by Margaret Duffy, Peter Williamson, Alan Wilkins Memorial, Enzo Londei Trust and Baillie Gifford.
Performances were held on 30th, 31st March and 1st April 2023. All performances of Castle Lennox were BSL-interpreted. The performance was captioned on Saturday, 1 April at 7.30pm.
What people said about the show…
If great theatre is often about creating space for voices that have for too long gone unheard, then the Lyceum Theatre and Lung Ha Theatre Company’s brief and glorious show Castle Lennox note-0fulfils that purpose to perfection. – Joyce McMillan – The Scotsman *****
The treatment and institutionalisation of Annis is wonderfully portrayed by Emma McCaffrey, and backed up by an excellent ensemble of Lung Ha performers. Gavin Yule, as Annis’s potential love interest William, Emma Clark and Nicola Tuxworth are particularly noteworthy – Hugh Simpson – AllEdinburgh Theatre ****
The production was nominated for Two Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland:
Outstanding Performances – Emma McCaffery Best Ensemble – Lung Ha
The production won Best Ensemble for Castle Lennox at the CATs awards held at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh. Thom Dibdin of AllEdinburgh Theatre said:
“Castle Lennox, saw possibly the most brilliantly diverse cast on any stage this year bring a complex play about a truly shameful element of Scotland’s social history to light. Lung Ha always create work which impresses but this production, which we have had to wait so many years to see, took their unique method of using an all-professional cast of people with and without learning disabilities to a new level with a production that was frequently funny as well as utterly heartbreaking.”
Browse the Castle Lennox programme below or download it by clicking on “Download”:
“When Linda McLean brought the idea of Castle Lennox to me, I just knew that this is right story to be told, performed and sung by Lung Ha Theatre Company. To work together on a co-production with the Lyceum Theatre is an exciting and long wished for collaboration. Ever since we had to stop the rehearsals of Castle Lennox in 2020 due to lockdown, we have been waiting patiently for this moment – to be able to bring the story to you. Hurray! It’s coming!”Maria Oller, lung ha theatre company artistic director