Thursday, June 21, 2007

Alan Plater in Orkney

Former Guild President, Alan Plater, has become a regular visitor to Orkney in recent years, reports Alfred Hickling in The Guardian. His latest community play from the St Magnus festival is Tales From The Golden Slipper, with music by Peter Maxwell Davies, based on the life of notorious Orcadian, Willie Farquhar
"This place lives and breathes stories," says Plater. "Anyone who wants a part, I write one for them. You only have to shake a copy of the Orcadian [the weekly local newspaper] and ideas for plays fall out." Even so, Plater takes issue with the paper's account of Farquhar's appearance before local magistrates, which described him as Orkney's Al Capone. "I think he was actually closer to being Orkney's Sir John Falstaff," he says. "He was more of an old-fashioned lord of misrule than a hardened criminal. And people really adored him - he was, as Shakespeare's fat knight says, 'not only witty in myself, but the cause of wit in other men'."

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