It’s all hands off deck for mutiny

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THE Royal Navy on strike? Unheard of, surely? After all, that would be mutiny. Wouldn’t it?

Yet that’s just what happened on September 15 and 16, 1931 when, for 48 hours, around 1000 sailors of the British Atlantic Fleet based on ships at Invergordon took part in one of the few military strikes in British history.

The actions of those two days have since become known as The Invergordon Mutiny.

Singing Far Into The Night, a new play from Mull Theatre, revisits those two days at Musselburgh’s Brunton Theatre tomorrow.

It is Glasgow 1931, Connal MacNab, able seaman and naval boxing champion, comes home on leave to find Glasgow in the grip of political and industrial strife.

Job losses, pay cuts and fear of poverty have brought angry protests to the streets, and there are fears that the army will be brought in to maintain order.

At the centre of the turmoil, Connal’s brother, Finlay, and anarchist actress Erica Thule publish a revolutionary newspaper. All three get swept up by events and emotions, the consequences of which are unimaginable and profound on a personal and international level.

With British authority shaken by the uprising of the Atlantic Fleet at Invergordon, Finlay, Erica and Connal are thrown into events leading to and beyond the mutiny, as the world changes beyond recognition.

From the volatile streets of Glasgow, to Invergordon, Stalinist USSR and present-day Scotland, through riot, asylum, prison and gulag, individuals are pitted against questions of service and loyalty to tradition in this new script by Hamish MacDonald.

Based on real lives and events, MacDonald draws on family history to bring life to a story of courage, identity, separation and loss. Performed by Harry Ward, Helen McAlpine, Barrie Hunter and Greg Powrie, discover what can happen when the high hand of authority is ultimately disobeyed.

Singing Far Into the Night, Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh, tomorrow, 7.30pm, £11.25, 0131-665 2240

LIAM RUDDEN