Anne Downie

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Based on the novel by Betsy Whyte

A play about travelling people that in these days of mistrust, provides an insight into the values and culture of a vanishing way of life.

A cast of 37 characters. Can be played by 5 actors.

‘It can be no easy thing to find yourself, as travelling folk in Scotland long have, simultaneously the repository of conventional people’s romanticism and the focus of their dark fears. It takes a real dramatist like Anne Downie, with her rich, enchanting and moving new play The Yellow on the Broom to give full expression to both aspects.

The lyrical lilt, the variety and vividness of character and scene make for memorable theatre.’ The Scotsman


‘Janet is so resolutely upbeat, so adept at finding the bright side, that any of life’s disappointments become material for her sharp wit. Her jokes are of the if-you-don’t-laugh-you’ll-cry variety and the play imperceptibly shifts tone, from hilarious observations to a darker exposition. Although Janet berates herself for “being maudling” Downie’s play never lapses into sentimental pathos. Subtly emotive, this is a beautifully observed piece, played with great warmth and assurance by the writer.” The Guardian
Cast: 1 female


‘A piercing and funny look at how families control. Anne Downie’s play rapidly transcends its own tight focus, exposing us to wider issues and the abject hypocrisy of which we can all be guilty.

Moving tender, tragic. Be prepared to laugh, weep and squirm!’ The Stage

Cast of 21 characters. Can be staged with 6 females and 2 males


Adapted from the novel by Jessie Kesson

Anne Downie’s effective, faithful and ultimately heart-rending adaptation of Jessie Kesson’s novel, a classic of Scottish literature … changes the perception that Scottish theatre is about urban, usually Glasgow working class life and evokes a world just a s vibrant and ruthless, where hardhip and tragedy lie unmawkishly beside beauty and undauntable humanity.’ The Guardian

Cast of 32. Can be played by 6 women and 2 men


A Gothic tale of witchcraft.

A play with 35 characters. Can be played with a cast of 10 actors and 2 musicians


‘One of the play’s great strengths is that it offers a fairly serious critique of the bingo phenomenon without discounting the reasons why people with little money and less choice about how to spend their leisure, play the game – the escapism, the cosy atmosphere, the human contact, the combination of mild excitement with an absolute freedom from the stress of decision-making. All the characters are in a sense “Waiting on One” – waiting for the one number, the one stroke of fate, the job, the loving touch, the new grandchild; the bingo game is seen as a metaphor for their habit of powerlessness. Intriguing and effective theatre, pulling together the elements of character, dialogue, storyline and human observation that are essential to a reassessment of an important area of working-class experience.’ The Guardian 1988

‘Anne Downie catches precisely the robust wit of downtrodden women – a dignity and spirit that her play celebrates.’ The Independent 1988

‘Main protagonist, Jinty, has the drive of an Empire builder, the wit of Dorothy Parker and the opportunities of a part-time cleaner.’ The Herald 2000

Cast: 6 males, 3 females


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