top of page

HEADLINERS at DunsPlayFest 2024

Let us run you through the WHOLE NINE days of DunsPlayFest 2024 so you can decide what takes your fancy.


Friday 26 April - The Opening Party


Have a glass of wine or fizz on us and see what is happening in the week ahead. An opportunity to meet some of our artists involved; listen to some music and soak in the wonderful atmosphere...whilst planning what you want to see!

Come, gather, chat, and listen

Songs from the shows by Circe Millar and friends

And Instrumental Moments from Cameron Mabon's talented Musicians

Places are limited so reserve your ticket now


8.30pm The Shadow Apprentice

A poetic, visual tribute to Hugo Burge; entrepreneur, champion of sustainable creativity and former laird of Marchmont House. Written and narrated by Jonathan Findlay as a eulogy to Hugo from his devoted dog Finn, this short film may well bring a tear to your eye.


Saturday 27 April

HEADLINER: Hot Trod Theatre brings us - El Duglas


Every year, in the Andalucian town of Teba, an event is held in honour of the heroic deeds of Sir James Douglas, often known as ‘The Black Douglas’, who fought and died there in the Battle of Teba in 1330. He was on his way to the Holy Land with the embalmed heart of his friend, Robert the Bruce. Sir James was Bruce’s ablest lieutenant and the most professional soldier of his day, whose menacing resourcefulness and outright genius undoubtedly led to victory in the Scottish Wars of Independence. Who better to tell his story than the Bruce himself?


27 April - What else is on?

12-2pm: Forum- Made In The Borders

2pm & 3pm: Storytelling - Katy Swift and Kate Cohen

4pm: Plays- Borderlands - The Fatal Misjudgement

5pm: Music- Arcadian Meadows - James Wyness

5:45pm: Play-  Miss Lyndsay’s Secret - Maria McDonell

7pm: Music- The Doc

7.30pm: HEADLINER - Play: El Duglas - Hot Trod Theatre

8.30pm: Music- James Wyness

9pm: Opera- DDAOS Cabaret


Sunday 28 April

HEADLINER: Fields (Extract) - Merav Israel and Claire Pençak


Fields (Extract) is new work made for these times of world environmental crisis.


The episodic narrative, offers snapshots of lives lived out amidst stony ground where duration expands to take in the enduring labour of ages past, present, and perhaps yet to come. Layered with detail and played out to an intermittent sound score of live and recorded sound, images emerge of agricultural labouring, the toil of turning stony ground and defending territories. And finally at the end of the day, the scraping of boots and a laying down to rest on pillows of stone.


Fields (Extract) is performed by dance makers Merav Israel and Claire Pençak who have been dancing together for 15 + years and share a practice around scored performance.


The sound score is by Nik Paget-Tomlinson with Jem Le Lievre.


28 April - What else is on

12pm: Writers’ Workshop: Kevin Purvis

12-4pm: Family Outdoor Activity Day at Duns Castle FREE

2pm: Music- The Green Fingered Dons 

3pm: Music- Two from the Fridge - Tom and Craig Anderson

4pm: Dance- L J Dance

4.45pm: Open Mic   (email to book your slot!)

5.15pm: Multi Media- Down The Rabbit Hole - Safer by Sound

6.15pm: Play- Can I Be A Butterfly - Clare's Many Threads        

7pm: Music- Suzi Swing and Al James

7.30pm: HEADLINER - Dance: Fields (Extract)

8.45pm: Music-  Musical Dance Stories - Rory McLeod


Monday 29 April

HEADLINER: The Rejects - Shark Bait Theatre


A new play about competition, being a slave to capitalism, and the inconvenient human instinct to crumble at rejection.

Five strangers, who mistakenly think they’re well adjusted, go for a pint after being interviewed for the same lousy job. As the night progresses, the beers and response-emails roll in and one by one the group are rejected. Each discovers that they may not be able to handle rejection quite as well as they originally thought. We see their ability to put on a brave face around their competition diminish with each round of beers. Follow these five strangers on a journey of bonding over the shared trauma of rejection. 


5 star reviews at Edinburgh Fedtival!

And The Derek Award for Best Comedy!


29 April - What else is on?

12-2pm: Workshop- Meet the Playwrights

2.15pm: Film- To see ourselves

4.15pm: Workshop- Play in An Hour 

6.00pm: Poetry- Lucrative Tunes-Sina Lina    

6:30pm: Play- Mind Full - Borders Youth Theatre

6.45pm: Poetry- Japan - Hermione and Flora

7:15pm: HEADLINER - Play: The Rejects - Shark Bait

8.30pm: Music- Bob Strachan sings 

9.00pm: Play- Brokenly Beautiful - Karen Anderson


Tuesday 30 April

HEADLINER: Wilson at Play - Borders Pub Theatre


Borders Pub Theatre are back with six exhilarating ten minute plays. 

Wilson at Play is a show of short plays inspired by Wilson's Tales of the Borders, the 19th century publishing phenomenon. The new dramas are written by Robert Sproul-Cran, Anita John, Clare Watson, John McEwen, Campbell Hutcheson, and Emily Larner. Borders Pub Theatre started in 2019 and this is the collective's fourth appearance at DunsPlayFest.


30 April - What else is on?

12:00pm: Writers’ Workshop: Character and Comedy

2.30pm: Talk- Magical Highs - Loraine Burgon

5:30pm: Music- Hosted by Rolling Hills

6.30pm: Music- Zimbro

7.30pm: HEADLINER - Plays: Wilson at Play - Borders Pub Theatre

8.45pm: Open Mic (email to book your slot!)

9:15pm: Improv: Damp Knight Comedy


Wednesday 1 May

HEADLINER: The Monk of St Anthony - Duns Players


A Wilson's Tale  - Adapted by Robert Sproul Cran

A riotous romp of mistaken identity and comeuppance, as a pub landlord in a borrowed habit is hounded through the streets of Edinburgh, both by Catholics kidnapping him for religious duties and a Protestant mob baying for his blood. How will he get back to the Ship Inn? And how will the real monk get home without any trousers?


1 May - What else is on?

12-2pm: Workshop: Andrew Deuchar 

1pm: Music: Berwickshire High School 

2.30pm: Plays: Berwickshire High School

4:30pm: Readings: People and Places - Word Weavers

5.30pm: Music: Scottish Blend

6pm: Play: Babe Alien - Mon Espoir

7:00pm: Music: Scottish Blend

7.30pm: HEADLINER - Play: The Monk of St Anthony - Duns Players

8.30pm: Music: Kings Fall

9.00pm: Poem: Moscow Station - Dougal Lee


Thursday 2 May

HEADLINER: Hysterical - The Koi Collective


Catherine was burned. Mercy was left. Augustine was used. Celia was unsatisfied. Anne was quiet.

In a small hall, five clinically “mad” women meet to perform a play for a seemingly “sane” audience. But is it a play? Or is it a warning? Worse still- is it an intervention? 

Hysterical is a free fall through a categorically inaccurate history of mad women. They  just need to make sure they remember their lines and don’t tear each other’s hair out, and we’ll all be fine. Based on real women in real times, this host of hysterical harpies kick, scream, and waltz their way into the modern day. But has much changed? Or are the structures that held them back still in place?


2 May - What else is on?

12pm: Writers' workshop: In Your Own Words - Tom Murray

2.30pm: Film: Light In The Lens - Jane Houston Green

3.30pm: Film: Steeplechase - Jonathan Findlay

5pm: Play: Sammy Blew Up A Toilet - The Crunch Collective

6:15pm: Radio Plays: Ear Candy - Borders Youth Theatre

7pm: Music: The Doc

7.30pm: HEADLINER -  Play: Hysterical - The Koi Collective

8.45pm: Open Mic (email to book your slot!)

9:30pm: Plays: Borderlands - '66' and Uncertain Borders 


Friday 3 May HEADLINER: Room of One’s Own - Firebrand


Adapted from the writings of Virginia Woolf. Building upon the success of its production of Nassim Soliemanpour’s White Rabbit Red Rabbit at DunsPlayFest in 2023, acclaimed Scottish Borders-based Firebrand Theatre Company is delighted to return to the Festival in 2024, this time with its own new theatrical adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s famous feminist essay, A Room of One’s Own. As profoundly thought-provoking as White Rabbit, but this time directed by the award-winning Richard Baron, this ambitious one woman show will once again feature the versatile Ellie Zeegen and engagingly reveal why Woolf’s brilliant and richly entertaining 1929 polemic has become one of the most significant feminist manifestos of this present time, and any time.       


3 May - What else is on?

12pm: Workshop: The Actor's Studio - Clare Prenton

2pm: Music: Singing for Wellbeing - Katie Forbes

4pm: Film: A Bear Named Wojtek

5pm: Cabaret: Insufferably Love - Stuffed

5.30pm: Play: Why Doesn’t Anything Ever Happen in Duns

6.30pm: Music: Anne Gair Music

7.15pm: HEADLINER -  Play: A Room of One’s Own - Firebrand

8:15pm: Music: Antic Hay

9:00pm: Play: The Honourable Gentleman - Tideline Runners


Saturday 4 May

HEADLINER: The Closing Concert!


We begin our evening at the end of another DunsPlayFest by celebrating New Talent with The Hugo Award For Emerging Talent supported by Marchmont Farms.

Then, please, put on your dancing shoes, 

and join in our evening...

starting with a Ceilidh: The Small Hall Band

Followed by music with: Fire in the middle, Urangmatangtang & Butter


4 May - What else is on?

12-2pm: Workshop: Performing Arts in Transformative Practice

2pm: Play: The Red Lion by Jamie Mein

3pm: Music: Kelso By-Pass  

4pm: Play: Andy’s Man Club - Clare Prenton and Craig Adams

5.45pm: Poetry and Music: Contrappunistica

7.30pm: Closing Concert: Get Your Dancing Shoes On! 


DON'T FORGET to see take a look at our Workshop Programme by clicking below!

24 views0 comments


bottom of page