Magnetic North to Restage Intimate Adaptation of Thoreau’s Iconic Novel Walden

As part of their Spring residency at Fruitmarket, theatre company Magnetic North are restaging a version of their seminal production of Walden. The story is based on Henry David Thoreau who walked into the woods near his hometown of Concord, Massachusetts on 4th July 1845 and decided to stay. He found a spot next to a lake called Walden Pond, built a hut and for the next two years attempted to live entirely by his own resources.  

The critically acclaimed production, that was first performed at Stills Gallery in 2008 before touring extensively across the UK, returns to be staged in Fruitmarket’s warehouse space. The intimate solo performance is staged in the round with the audience sitting on custom built American Pine bench seating and will be performed by Shakara Rose Carter. 

Alongside the performance, artist Harvey Dimond will create a response installation, so many keen and subtle masters, that explores the subject of black ecologies in relation to Walden.

Director Nick Bone said “When I first visited Fruitmarket’s Warehouse space, I immediately thought how fabulous it would be to stage Walden here.Walden, Thoreau’s account of his ‘experiment in simple living’, is one of the most extraordinary and unclassifiable books ever written. This adaptation reflects the book’s defining characteristics – a mixture of homely conversation and sharp observations of the human character, together with its charm, quality of meditative reflection, and central notion of self-sufficiency – in an event that is part performance art, part philosophy class and part biography but wholly vivid, invigorating and theatrical. 

As new research about Thoreau’s time in the woods and his connections with the anti-slavery movement has come to light since we last staged the production, there was an opportunity to invite an artist to create a new response to the piece. Artist Harvey Dimond’s new commission so many keen and subtle masters will draw connections between elements of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden with the book Black Walden written by Elise Lemire which shares the stories of a little-known community of formerly enslaved residents in Concord, Massachusetts who took up home in Walden Woods decades before Henry David Thoreau arrived.”

Performance dates are:

Wednesday 29th March – Friday 31st March at 7pm

Saturday 1st April, 3pm and 7pm


Fruitmarket, 45 Market Street, Edinburgh EH1 1DF

Tickets are available at 

Irene Brown

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