Citadel Arts Group Brings the Ghosts of North Leith to Leith Festival

Leith-based theatre company Citadel’s Arts Group makes its 12th foray into Leith Festival this year with an exploration of the atmospheric North Leith Burial Ground.

Curious about what lies beneath Coburg Street, they found a number of interesting characters interred in this small cemetery leading to seven members of Citadel’s group of older writers to choose to research the story behind these people’s graves.

These are people whose achievements and eccentricities will be dramatized in a play, The Ghosts of North Leith, where music, humour and poetry are used in the drama to raise awareness of this part of Leith history.

From Lady Anne Mackintosh who took part in the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745; poet, writer and radical newspaper man David NicolI who died aged 23; 12-year-old Matilda Molesworth who features in the real-life story of the Trinity poltergeist; Nellie Gladstone who was involved in the abolitionist movement to three prematurely deceased children, these forgotten folk of Leith will be given voice again by Citadel’s writers.

The play, that includes all these stories and more, will be given a trial performed reading in North Leith Parish Church on Thursday 15th June. Citadel Arts Group seeks feedback from this first audience at Leith Festival with a view to staging a full performance of the play later in the year in the same venue.

North Leith Parish Church in Madeira Street welcomes Citadel Arts Group’s interest in the burial ground, and the church building which was to have been the keystone of Leith’s ‘New Town.’

Tim Bell said  “I welcome the play as a chance for local and Edinburgh people to see this beautiful Georgian Church before it is released from the Church of Scotland estate in 2024,”

Venue: North Leith Parish Church, 51 Madeira Street EH6 4AU
Date: June 15th @7pm

Writers: Carolyn and Brian Lincoln, Jim Brown, John Lamb, Hilary Spiers, Elaine Campbell and Rhona McAdam.

Cast: Mark Kydd, Deborah Whyte, Chelsea Grace, Gregor Davidson, Dale McQueen.

Director: Liz Hare   Sound: Stewart Emm

Tickets: £5 from   07770 623 924

Associated event: Hilary Spiers will lead a free guided tour of North Leith Burial Ground in Coburg Street on Monday June 12th at 2pm. Places are limited and booking available  from Liz Hare via above contact information.

Irene Brown

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