Cast Announced for The View from Castle Rock

Cast Announced for The View from Castle Rock

Today, along with theatre company Stellar Quines, we announced the cast of the world premiere of The View from Castle Rock, an adaption of Nobel Prize winner Alice Munro’s moving and enigmatic short stories.     

The production is presented in collaboration with Stellar Quines, an award-winning theatre company which celebrates the energy, experience and perspective of women. Acclaimed director Marilyn Imrie and playwright Linda McLean will create, in this word-for-word adaptation from Alice Munro’s text, a vibrant drama about the nineteenth century Scottish migrant experience.    

Actors Simon Donaldson, Brian James O’Sullivan, Lewis Howden, Sally Reid and Nicola Jo Cully are the full cast for the Edinburgh performances and subsequent tour to the Scottish Borders.

Marilyn Imrie, Director, said “Linda McLean and I have aimed to create an ensemble who will work together in a short space of time to bring this true story from Scotland nearly two hundred years ago to vivid life. We knew this company of actors would bring all their particular vocal, musical and storytelling skills and deft ability to capture and portray character to this Book Festival production, and do justice to the words of one of our greatest living writers.  Every one of the five members of this ensemble are known and admired for the significant variety of great work they’ve done in theatre in Scotland and internationally.   

“They are also well known names in television, radio, film and music. Two of the ensemble, Brian O’Sullivan and Sally Reid, have just completed an international tour of The National Theatre of Scotland’s acclaimed James Plays, and Lewis Howden stars in the BBC TV series Shetland. Simon Donaldson stars in Radio 4’s Fair Intellectual Club and Nicola Jo Cully has toured all over Scotland recently as the star of the acclaimed, much loved and magical Too Many Penguins.   

“We are all currently rehearsing in a hot church hall, being seasick, heart sick and homesick, and, with the musical support of Edinburgh’s inspiring Castle Chorus and our sound designer Pippa Murphy, learning to sing the greatest of the majestic old Scottish metrical psalms which echoed over the Ettrick Hills in 1818.”    

Nick Barley, Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, said “Alice Munro’s magisterial short stories in The View from Castle Rock are a powerful reminder that human migration is nothing new – especially to Scottish people whose ancestors took the decision to voyage across the world in the hope of a better life. For this stunning stage adaptation, Stellar Quines has selected a stellar cast to portray Munro’s own Scottish ancestors in this unforgettable Book Festival co-production.”   

The View from Castle Rock is supported by the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund and is also part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Following daily performances during the Book Festival at artSpace@StMarks in Castle Terrace, The View from Castle Rock will tour to the Borders including the Ettrick Valley, home of Munro’s ancestors who were related to James Hogg.  The tour will take in Peebles, Hawick, Ettrickbridge and Galashiels from 31 August to 3 September as part of Booked!, Edinburgh International Book Festival on the road, and the Borders Live Touring scheme.   

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “Alice Munro’s work has been admired and celebrated by readers across the globe since she first put pen to paper in the 1950s. The View from Castle Rock, which tells the story of James Laidlaw and his family, is a powerful and moving depiction of life in Scotland during the 19th century and a subsequent journey and settlement in Canada. I’m confident audiences will engage with Linda McLean’s theatrical adaptation presented by Stellar Quines.   

“The Edinburgh International Book Festival is a highlight in the Edinburgh Festivals’ calendar. The Scottish Government is proud to support the festival via the Expo Fund and has provided £85,000 this year to bring this innovative piece of work to life, which continues to raise Scotland’s cultural profile on the international stage.”  

The View from Castle Rock will be performed daily from Thursday 11 August (11 and 12 August Previews) to Monday 29 August (times vary) at artSpace@StMarks, 7 Castle Terrace, Edinburgh (Fringe Venue 125). Tickets can be booked through the Edinburgh Festival Fringe at, or through the Edinburgh International Book Festival Box Office,  Full price £15.00, Concessions £12.00, Previews £10.00. Tickets for the tour in the Scottish Borders vary in price.

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