A powerful love story, set in a small Irish farming community against the epic backdrop of Oliver Cromwell’s ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Ireland, The Clearing has tremendous modern resonance and explores our sense of national identity and humanity.

First produced by the Bush Theatre, London, in 1993 The Clearing won the John Whiting Award and the Time Out Theatre Award. Stellar Quines was awarded funding by the Scottish Arts Council and Barclays Bank Stage Partners to remount its successful 1998 production, taking it to a wider audience. In 1999 The Clearing toured Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Liverpool – the first time Stellar Quines toured outside Scotland.


This is a hugely impressive ensemble production of an important play which should be seen at all costs. (The Scotsman )
Edmundson’s writing is passionate, poetic and muscular… she is doing for 17th century Anglo-Irish history what Arthur Miller did for 17th century New England history in The Crucible: creating an idiom which resurrects the past but brings its conflicts within touching distance of the present. The result is gripping, the story is powerfully told. (Sunday Times )

Production Tour Dates


  • 19 – 22 March, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
  • 26 March, Dumfries Academy
  • 28 March, Outdoor performance, Kirroughtree Visitor Centre, Palnure, Newton Stewart
  • 6 April, Eden Court Theatre, Inverness
  • 7 April, Lochcarron Village Hall
  • 8 April, Plockton Village Hall
  • 9 April, Dunvegan Community Hall, Dunvegan, Isle of Skye
  • 10 April, Talla Duisdeil, Isle of Skye
  • 11 April, Poolewe Village Hall
  • 13 April, Ullapool Village Hall
  • 14 April, Invergordon Arts Centre
  • 15 April, Lyth Arts Centre, Lyth, nr Wick
  • 17 April, MacRobert Arts Centre, Stirling
  • 18 April, Paisley Arts Centre
  • 21 – 22 April, Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh
  • 24 – 25 April, Aberdeen Arts Centre


  • 16 – 25 September, Tron Theatre, Glasgow
  • 28 September – 2 October, Dundee Rep
  • 8 – 23 October, Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh
  • 2 – 6 October, Everyman Theatre, Liverpool

The Clearing (1998/9)

Set in 1652, The Clearing is set against the implementation of England's most vicious design to solve its "Irish Question" by the eradication of the entire Irish Nation.

Creative Team

  • Writer : Helen Edmundson
  • Director : Muriel Romanes
  • Designer : Jan Bee Brown
  • Design Assistant : Nicki Bruce
  • Producer : Morag Ballantyne
  • Lighting Designer : Ace McCarron
  • Musical Director: Kern Falconer
  • Dialect Coach : Jo Cameron Brown


  • George Drennan
  • Kern Falconer
  • Janette Foggo
  • Bernard Horsfall
  • Hugh Lee
  • Veronica Leer
  • Helen Lomax
  • Rory Murray
  • Rory Casey
  • Jack McGowan
  • Gareth Thomas


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Images © Warren Sanders