13 Sunken Years

The story of three generations of women dealing with loss in their lives one way or another but finding strength from each other and from the landscape that surrounds them.

… into the depth, let the current grab your hair and your arms and spread them wide and – that’s when you start to soar. Riding the rapids with the current. I know all the rocks, the hazards, the eddies, I’m the queen of the white water, the bravest of the brave, the most daring of daredevils, the freest of free spirits…

Set in a remote Finnish town, 13 Sunken Years is the story of three generations of women who are dealing in one way or another, with loss in their lives, whilst finding strength from each other, and from the landscape that surrounds them.

The European Premiere of Finnish playwright Paula Salminen’s haunting and poignant play has been translated and edited for this production by Eva Buchwald and is presented in association with the Finnish National Theatre. It is the first co-production between two of Scotland’s leading theatre companies who champion the work of women in theatre, work with people with learning disabilities and who encourage accessibility in their work both on and off the stage.

13 Sunken Years is directed by Maria Oller, set and costume design is by Jan Bee Brown, lighting design by Simon Wilkinson and composer/sound design by Susan Appleby.

The talented Scottish cast includes; Anne Lacey, Louise Ludgate, Billy Mack, Nicola Tuxworth, Stephan Tait and Ben Winger.

The production which won Best Play in Finland in 2012 will play at Assembly Rooms Fringe, Monday 11 – Sunday 24 August before touring to the Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock, Paisley Arts Centre and Heart of Hawick, post festival.

This production has been chosen as part of Made in Scotland 2014, a curated showcase of Scottish performance on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, supported through the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund. It is a partnership between the Festival Fringe Society, the Federation of Scottish Theatre (FST), the Scottish Music Centre and Creative Scotland.  www.madeinscotlandshowcase.com


[AFG_gallery id='19']
Images © Douglas Jones


Stellar Quines & Lung Ha’s Theatre Companies in association with the Finnish National Theatre.

Creative Team

  • Writer: ["Paula Salminen", "Paula Salminen"]

    Paula Salminen, born 1977, is a Finnish playwright and dramaturg who graduated from the Finnish Theatre Academy in 2003 and has since worked as a freelance writer for theatre, radio and television. Although Salminen, who began writing plays at the age of nine, has worked on numerous projects, 13 Sunken Years was her first full-length, non-adaptation work to be performed at a professional theatre. It premiered at the Finnish National Theatre in March 2012. Salminen is currently working on three new plays, as well as editing and writing a book on dramaturgy and co-founding a new collective for children’s theatre.

  • Translator: ["Eva Buchwald", "Eva Buchwald"]

    Eva studied at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies at the University of London. She is a dramaturg at the Finnish National Theatre where her role includes developing new Finnish writing and seeking international work for the programme. Eva also adapts work for the stage, most recently Dostoevsky’s Idiot (2010) and the Finnish novel Over Dark Waters by Peter Franzen (2012). Eva has also translated over a dozen Finnish plays into English. Many of these, such as Juha Jokela’s Fundamenlist, Sirkku Peltola’s Finnhorse and Sofi Oksanen’s Purge and have enjoyed readings or productions in the UK and USA. Her translation of Sirkku Peltola’s Happy to Stand opened at ACT (graduate programme) in San Francisco in October 2012. She has recently completed the translation of Paavo Westerberg’s They Don’t Live Here Anymore and is currently working on a stage adaptation of Ian McEwan’s Saturday for the Finnish National Theatre.

  • Director: ["Maria Oller", "Maria Oller"]
    Maria Oller

    Maria has been Lung Ha’s Theatre Company’s Artistic Director since 2009. She was born in Finland and trained at Ecole Philippe Gaulier in Paris and London and at the drama Academy in Helsinki. Since then Maria has been working as an actress and director in theatre, film and TV in Scandinavia and the UK. Maria’s most recent productions for Lung Ha’s Theatre Company are The Hold by Adrian Osmond (in collaboration with National Museums of Scotland), Un Petite Moliere by Morna Pearson, Antigone by Adrian Osmond ( in collaboration with National Youth Orchestras of Scotland), Huxley’s Lab by Ben Harrison (in collaboration with Grid Iron Theatre Company), Checkhov Shorts by Carol Rocamora. Maria is also a member of the Hearts&Minds Clowndoctor and Elderflower team.

  • Associate Director: ["Molly Innes", "Molly Innes"]
    Molly Innes

    Molly is a regular on the Scottish stage and has most recently appeared in Stellar Quines’ production Dare to Care at the Traverse and on tour. She has also recently appeared in the Royal Lyceum Theatre and National Theatre of Scotland co-productions of The Guid Sisters and 27. She also played Virginia Madden in Stellar Quines/ Royal Lyceum Theatre Company production of Age of Arousal and was part of the Royal Lyceum Company for Takin’ Over the Asylum, The Marriage of Figaro, Faust Parts 1 & 2 and their Fringe production A Wondrous Flitting. Molly has also regularly worked with the Traverse Theatre and the National Theatre of Scotland. Her film credits include the award winning Ratcatcher, and Afterlife. Television credits include Holby City, Taggart and Rebus. Molly is also a writer and was chosen as one of the Traverse Fifty and her play Mother Ease will be performed as one of the Traverse Breakfast Plays at Fringe 2014.

  • Artistic Director: ["Muriel Romanes", "Muriel Romanes"]
    Muriel Romanes

    Muriel has over thirty years of experience in theatre both as an actor and director. She was Associate Director of the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh and is one of the co-founders of Stellar Quines theatre company, where she has been Artistic Director since 1996. Her many directorial credits include The Clearing by Helen Edmondson, The Reel of The Hanged Man by Jeanne-Mance Delisle, Sweet Fanny Adams in Eden by Judith Adams, the critically acclaimed The Memory of Water by Shelagh Stephenson and the world premier of Three Thousand Troubled Threads by Chiew Siah Tei. In February 2007 Muriel co-directed The Unconquered by Torben Betts, which was presented in Scotland and New York. She then went on to direct Judith Adam’s theatrical adaptation of Muriel Spark’s The Girls of Slender Means which played at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2009. Muriel won the Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland Best Director award for Stellar Quines’ production Age of Arousal by Canadian playwright Linda Griffiths, which was a co-production with the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh. In 2012 Muriel directed The List, a one woman play starring Maureen Beattie, at the Edinburgh Fringe and won a Fringe First and a Herald Angel and the Critics Award for Theatre in Scotland for Best Production. It was then restaged at the Fringe in 2013 and was a sell out success for a second year. Muriel and Maria initiated conversations about a co-production of 13 Sunken Years with the writer and the Finnish National Theatre and they co-directed Rehearsal Room 19 – a live streamed rehearsed reading of 13 Sunken Years performed in Heart of Hawick.

  • Designer: ["Jan Bee Brown", "Jan Bee Brown"]
    Jan Bee Brown

    an Bee Brown works in theatre, film and exhibition design. Passionate about new writing Jan spent 25 years working in theatre as a designer before undertaking an MA in fine art in 2004 to develop her own practice. Jan has a portfolio career as a post feminist, collaborative artist; crossing boundaries in the arts using film and museum archives as a visual storyteller through fine art textile installation, education, curation, and exhibition design. Theatre designs: 2013 The Idiot at the Wall for Stoirm`Og, Highland and Islands tour. Time of My Life and premier of Arrivals and Departures for Alan Ayckbourn, Stephen Joseph Theatre summer season and tour, currently at 59E59 New York. 2012 Premier of Scarborough Cinderella and The Importance of Being Earnest, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Soul Man premier of Chris Monk’s adaptation of Rigoletto for Stephen Joseph Theatre, Geordie Sinatra Live Theatre Newcastle and Stephen Joseph Theatre. 2011 Nutcracker Prince, Blithe Spirit, Marlene, Dear Uncle, Carmen, Stephen Joseph Theatre. 2009 Moonlight and Magnolias, How the Other Half Loves, Pirates of Penzance, Stephen Joseph Theatre. 2008 Premier of Jack Lear, Stephen Joseph Theatre, World. 2007 Relatively Speaking, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Summer Season and tour. 2006 Perfect Pie, Stellar Quines Theatre Company, Tron and Scottish tour. 2000 The Clearing, Stellar Quines Theatre Company, Traverse and tour. For more information on Jan Bee Brown’s theatre design and solo exhibitions or to contact her visit www.janbeebrown.co.uk

  • Lighting Designer: Simon Wilkinson
  • Composer: Susan Applebe


  • ["Nicola Tuxworth (daughter)"]
    Nicola Tuxworth (daughter)

    Nicola has been a company member with Lung Ha’s since 2007. Productions with Lung Ha’s include: Can We Live With You? (Edinburgh and Glasgow 2008); Il Panico di Pantalone (Scottish tour and Paris 2009);Dangerously, Yours… (Edinburgh and Glasgow, 2009)Huxley’s Lab, a coproduction with Grid Iron Theatre Company, (CATS Award for Best Ensemble Production 2009-2010) (Edinburgh 2010); Chekhov Shorts (Scottish Tour 2010); Around the World in 80 Days (Glasgow and Edinburgh 2011); Medea’s Children(Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Unga Klara, Stockholm 2011); Antigone, a co-production with National Youth Orchestras of Scotland Futures (Edinburgh and Glasgow 2012); Un Petit Moliere (Edinburgh 2013); The Hold, a collaboration with National Museums Scotland (National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh 2014)

  • ["Louise Ludgate (mother)"]
    Louise Ludgate (mother)

    Theatre credits include: Sex and Drugs (Traverse Theatre), Sex and God (Magnetic North), Slice (Gilded Balloon), Dig (Paines Plough), The House of Bernarda Alba, Project Macbeth, Realism, Home (National Theatre of Scotland), Balgay Hill (Dundee Rep Theatre),Home Hindrance (Vanishing Point). Television credits include: River City, Freedom (BBC Scotland), Kissing Tickling & Being Bored, No Man’s Land, Spooks (BBC Television), Taggart, High Times (SMG)

    Louise has worked extensively on radio for BBC Scotland and BBC 3. She has a film out in 2014 – Swung, and has also been part of the cast for the video film for David Leddy’s City of the Blind which is part of the Made in Scotland Showcase 2014 and Traverse Fringe programme.

  • ["Anne Lacey (gran)"]

    Anne trained in Scotland, France and Italy.

    Theatre: Glasgow Citizens, Traverse, The Old Vic, Dundee Rep, Communicado, Perth Theatre, National Theatre, The Tron, Print Room, Oxford Stage and most recently for National Theatre of Scotland in Dear Scotland at the Portrait Gallery playing Mary Queen of Scots and Jimmy Reid.

    Television: All 3 series of Hamish Macbeth [Esme], Holby City, Stacey Stone, Monarch of the Glen, Tinsel Town, Sweet Nothings, Knowing the Score, Deacon Brodie and Rab C. Nesbitt. Film: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, This Year’s Love, My Life So Far and Strictly Sinatra. Shorts: Nan, Fishy, The Bedfords, Wyuld.

    Radio: Uncle Varick, The Beach at Falesa, Quartet, Sullom Voe, The Cherry Blossom Whiskey Company, Blown Away, From Fact to Fiction, Blown Awayand Murder Under Trust.

  • ["Billy Mack (canal lock keeper)"]

    Billy trained at the RSAMD, graduating in 1995. He was awarded Best Actor in The Stage Awards 2011 for his role as Akaky McKaky in The Overcoat, which makes him the only performer in the history of the awards to win it twice (he also won in 2009 for his role in The Sound of My Voice).

    Television and film credits include: Rab C Nesbitt (Comedy Unit/BBC); Bob Servant Independent (BBC); Garrow’s Law (Shed Productions/BBC); Scottish Killers (STV); The 39 Steps, Hope Springs, Dear Green Place, Empty, Legit,  Still Game, Monarch of the Glen (all for BBC); Taggart: Pinnacle, The Royal,  Taggart: Sins & Sinners (all for ITV); Orphaned, and Toll (Independent Films).

    Theatre credits include: White Gold (Iron Oxide); The Adventures of Robin Hood (Visible Fictions); Blithe Spirit (Perth Theatre); Divided (Oran Mor); Preen Back Yer Lugs! (Ace Productions); Some Other Mother (AJ Taudevin/Glasgow Tron); Skewered Snails (Iron Oxide/London Southbank); The Hunted (Visible Fictions); Continuous Growth and The Overcoat (Ace Productions); A Clockwork Orange, Othello, Ghosts, The Sound of My Voice (winner of ‘Best Actor’ in The Stage Awards 2009, nominated for CATS Awards 2009), Peter Pan, Hamlet, Wee Fairy Tales, No Mean City, Arturo Ui and The Twits (all Glasgow Citizens’); Cargo (Iron Oxide); The Book of Love, Short Spin and Wheesht! (Glasgow OranMor); The Winter’s Tale, Mince and Cabaret (Dundee Rep); and Look Back in Anger, Virginia Woolf and Romeo and Juliet (Stray Theatre).

  • ["Ben Winger (local boy)"]
    Ben Winger (local boy)

    Ben trained at Queen Margaret University. He is an actor, director and sometime collaborator and has worked with theatre companies throughout Scotland.

    Previous productions include;  Calum’s Road(NTS/Communicado) The Cone Gatherers (APA), Juicy Fruits (Oran Mor/Paines Plough), Gideon and the Wooden Toppers (The Martians), Pinocchio (The Arches), Decky does a bronco (Grid Iron), Huxley’s Lab (Grid Iron/Lung Ha’s), Moby Dick(Spymonkey), Macbeth and The Taming of the Shrew (Bard in the Botanics),The Butler Did it!? The Musical (Handsome Chin).

  • ["Stephan Tait (local boy)"]
    Stephan Tait (local boy)

    Stephan has been a company member with Lung Ha’s since 2007. Productions with Lung Ha’s include: Can We Live With You? (Edinburgh and Glasgow 2008); Il Panico di Pantalone (Scottish tour and Paris 2009);Dangerously, Yours… (Edinburgh and Glasgow, 2009)Huxley’s Lab, a coproduction with Grid Iron Theatre Company,(CATS Award for Best Ensemble Production 2009-2010) (Edinburgh 2010); Chekhov Shorts (Scottish Tour 2010); Around the World in 80 Days (Glasgow and Edinburgh 2011); Medea’s Children(Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Unga Klara, Stockholm 2011); Antigone, a co-production with National Youth Orchestras of Scotland Futures (Edinburgh and Glasgow 2012); Un Petit Moliere (Edinburgh 2013); The Hold, a collaboration with National Museums Scotland (National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh 2014).

    Stephan is also a hospital radio volunteer/DJ at Radio Lollipop in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh (RHSC), a football coach for the Mayfield Primary girls football team along with his care manager Colin Rose and Scott Smith who is one of his carers . Stephan is a LCIL Champion which is part of the Lothian Centre for Inclusive Living and was set up to campaign and give disabled people a voice over issues that matter to them. Stephan is also a DJ every 8 weeks in the Cavendish nightclub as part of a club night for people with disabilities in Edinburgh.

Production Tour Dates

  • 11-24 Aug 2014: Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh
  • 26 Aug 2014: Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock
  • 27 Aug 2014: Paisley Arts Centre, Paisley
  • 29 Aug 2014: Heart of Hawick, Hawick