Play About Artist Joan Eardley Set For Gallery Tour

A new play from Pennine based Heroica Theatre Company, Joan Eardley: A Private View, will premiere on May 5 at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art's Modern 2 gallery before setting off on a tour of art galleries and arts centres in Scotland and England during May and June 2017 just before the exhibition Joan Eardley: A Sense of Place closes in Edinburgh.

Sketching the story of the life and works of the English painter Joan Eardley who lived in Scotland, the tour offers, where possible, interactive promenade performances around the gallery spaces. Several of the venues will have works by Eardley on display during the performance.

The play’s author, Anna Carlisle whose last play The Chelsea Belladonna on the life of botanical artist Elizabeth Blackwell successfully toured Scottish gardens in the summer of 2012, says, “Joan Eardley is generally recognized as one of the pre-eminent women artists of the 20th century, yet most people have not heard or seen her work outside of Scotland. We should all, across the entirety of Britain, begin to see Joan Eardley as the world class painter, whom we tragically lost at the height of her powers. This play will resurrect a key figure of the British art world and place a new 'portrait' in the 'national gallery' of Britain's greatest twentieth-century painters.”

Rehearsals for Joan Eardley: A Private View will begin in April with Edinburgh-based Marilyn Imrie directing the production that stars Alexandra Mathie in taking the eponymous role of Eardley who worked and painted in Glasgow and in the small fishing village of Catterline on the east coast.

Mathie has just returned from a season in Amadeus at the National Theatre in London, and will be joined in the production by actors John Kielty and Ashley Smith.

Says Mathie: “Joan Eardley was an extraordinary painter who died just as her works were beginning to achieve national prominence and recognition. As an artist, she remains largely unsung, especially in England. We are excited that, Joan Eardley: A Private View will go a long way towards changing that.”

Full dates, locations and booking information can be found at: