Outlying Islands by David Greig

Thursday 1 November 2018

London Fringe - Shows

Following their five-time Offie award nominated production of Steven Berkoff's East, the award-winning Atticist return to the King's Head Theatre with a revival of Scottish playwright David Greig's Outlying Islands.
Outlying Islands at the King's Head Theatre

Image courtesy Atticist

The first version of Outlying Islands was aired as a radio play broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in 2002 and shortly after, in the same year, a stage production premiered at the Traverse Theatre during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Here the show won a Fringe First and Herald Angel, before transferring to an Olivier-nominated run at the Royal Court in September 2002, the last London showing of the play before its upcoming revival in 2019.

Following their five-time Offie award nominated production of Steven Berkoff's East, the award-winning Atticist return to the King's Head Theatre with a powerful revival of Scottish playwright David Greig's play.

Directed by Jessica Lazar, Outlying Islands demonstrates the lyricism and humanity that has made David Greig one of the UK's leading dramatists.

The play gets its first London revival since the Royal Court in 2002 at Islington's King's Head Theatre from 9 January to 2 February.

Outlying Islands is inspired by real events, including Robert Atkinson and John Ainslie's 1935 search for the Leach's Fork-Tailed Petrel, as recorded in Atkinson's Island Going.

The play also reflects on the the British government's decision to bomb an Island off the west coast of Scotland with anthrax during World War II, in order to test the efficacy of chemical weapons.

Gruinard Island was closed for 50 years and only 'decontaminated' in 1990.

Director Jessica Lazar said ...

"David Greig has created a play that is strange, beautiful and very funny.

It brims over with power, hope and grief.

In the anarchic magical realism of Outlying Islands, tensions between self and society, and between reason and belief, play out to heightened and extraordinary effect.

I am looking forward to bringing it to the King's Head Theatre."


1939, Scotland.

Two young ornithologists arrive on a remote island.

They've been tasked by the Ministry to conduct a study of the bird population.

With only the island's authoritarian leaseholder and his niece for company, they find themselves drawn to the wildness of the island, igniting growing tensions and repressed passions.

Blurring the line between fantasy and reality, Greig's poetic, funny, and politically charged play explores a society on the edge of immense change.


Rose Wardlaw

Ken Drury

Jack McMillan

Tom Machell


Author: David Greig
Director: Jessica Lazar
Designer: Anna Lewis
Lighting: David Doyle
Sound: Christopher Preece
Movement: Jennifer Fletcher
Production: Atticist in association with the King's Head Theatre


King's Head Theatre
115 Upper Street
N1 1QN


From: Wednesday 9 January 2019

Closed: Saturday 2 February 2019


Standard: £10- £25

Concessions: £5 access tickets for job seekers and £10 access tickets for under 30s


Show website
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