Sylvia is set for Traverse

Sylvia Dow - playwright
Sylvia Dow - playwright

A story of Kinneil miners is the subject of a new play by Sylvia Dow, which will be presented in August at the Fringe during the Edinburgh Festival.

Sylvia, who hails from Edinburgh but has lived in Blackness for 40 years, is working on the finishing touches of the play “Blinded by the Light”.

She was one of 50 playwrights who were chosen last year as the ‘‘Traverse 50’’ to mark 50 years of Traverse Theatre and, from these 50 writers, Sylvia was one of five commissioned to write plays to be produced for breakfast 
performances in August.

The story has two strands - one based on the sit-in protest by Bo’ness miners in 1982, with the second strand about a future in which everyone has to live underground because it is not possible to breath the air above.

Sylvia’s father-in-law was a miner and she was able to draw on family knowledge for her writing. She also interviewed several miners who took part in the protest.

The protest proved fruitless with the mine closing on Boxing Day that year. Sylvia had asked the miners what they had discussed with each other during their time 2000 feet below ground. One had had a birthday, they sang songs and they argued about whether it was a good idea to be there in the first place!

Sylvia is working with director Emma Callander on the project and is looking forward to the two performances involving five actors on stage at the Traverse on August 13 and 20.

As the name Breakfast Performance suggests, the show will begin early and the cost of entrance includes breakfast.