The Scotsman 3 November 2023

You can tell a lot about the life of a place from its graveyard. That, at any rate, is the premise of The Ghosts Of North Leith, a compendium of short plays inspired by the gravestones of the old North Leith Burial Ground in Coburg Street. Written by seven playwrights for Citadel Arts Group, it mixes fact and speculation to dramatise the stories of some of the people who have passed through the port.

“It’s a snapshot of late-18th/early-19th century Leith and, by extension, Edinburgh,” says director Liz Hare.

Members of Citadel’s playwrights’ workshop explored the graveyard in search of clues to interesting stories. Why, for example, does one headstone list the names of three young brothers, described as “three cherubs,” but leave no mention of their parents? All playwright Elaine Campbell had to go on were the names and dates of the three Millar children: Peter (one), John (three) and Archibald (16 months). [READ MORE]

By Mark Fisher

MARK FISHER is a freelance theatre critic and feature writer based in Edinburgh and has written about theatre in Scotland since the late-1980s. He is a theatre critic for The Guardian, a former editor of The List magazine and a frequent contributor to the Scotsman and other publications. He is the co-editor of the play anthology Made in Scotland (1995), and the author of The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide (2012) and How to Write About Theatre (2015) – all Bloomsbury Methuen Drama. He is also the editor of The XTC Bumper Book of Fun for Boys and Girls and What Do You Call That Noise? An XTC Discovery Book (both Mark Fisher Ltd).