Citadel arts rediscover Leith’s hidden treasure

Mark Kydd, Sharon Erskine, Torya Winters and Nicky McCabe.'Citadel Arts Group
Mark Kydd, Sharon Erskine, Torya Winters and Nicky McCabe.'Citadel Arts Group
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FOR generations of Leithers it was at the heart of the community. Whether it was just a visit to accident and emergency with a cut or bump or an over-night stay - or longer with something more serious - the doors of Leith Hospital were always open . . .

Until 1987 when the hospital closed. But its place in the heart of locals remains strong; so much so that Citadel Arts Group have chosen it as the focus of their Leith Festival production next week. Entitled Leith’s Hidden Treasure, the play by Laure C Paterson is a tribute to Leith Hospital.

When feisty young Janey Halliwell, played by Nicky McCabe, breaks her arm, a stay in Leith Hospital changes her life, and the lives of the staff she meets there. Meanwhile, Janey’s family face the risks and insecurity of life in late 1950s Leith with humour and resilience. Industries are closing and the Kirkgate is under threat but Janey is determined to make it as a dancer.

Inspired by many living memories of Leith and its hospital, Leith’s Hidden Treasure is a warm-hearted tribute to this much-missed institution and the community it once served.

Leith Festival board member Karen Toscani says, “It brings a bit of the past back to us going towards the future because people of different ages will see what Leith Hospital was.”

The cast, which consists of local actors Sharon Erskine, Mark Kydd, Nicky McCabe, Caroline McKellar and Torya Winters, will be joined by pupils from St Mary’s Primary School, Leith.

Leith’s Hidden Treasure, The Granary, The Shore, June 14-16, various times, £7,