Rehearsals begin for new stage production of classic novel

The ensemble cast and creative team for Aberdeen Performing Arts’ (APA) innovative new production of Robin Jenkins’ classic novel, The Cone Gatherers, began four-weeks of rehearsals in the city last week.

The new play – the third in the company’s trilogy of Scottish classics following the critically-acclaimed Sunset Song (2008) and The Silver Darlings (2009) – opens at His Majesty’s Theatre on Friday, September 14 for a nine-day run before touring to Glasgow’s Theatre Royal (September 25 to 29), Eden Court in Inverness (October 2 to 6), Dundee Rep (October 16 to 20), King’s Theatre in Edinburgh (October 23 to 27) and Perth Theatre (October 30 to November 10).

APA head of productions Alan Campbell said: “We’re delighted to be able to start work on staging this great new production, with a superb script from Peter Arnott, an ingenious set by Hayden Griffin and a hugely talented Scottish cast.

“We are very proud to be able to take this stage adaptation of a much-loved Scottish novel to new audiences all over Scotland.”

The Cone Gatherers cast includes some familiar faces who have appeared regularly at His Majesty’s Theatre like Tom McGovern, Helen Mackay, Rodney Matthew and Maxine Hamilton, as well as some new faces like John Kielty, Ben Winger, Jennifer Black and Helen Logan.

Adapted by renowned playwright Peter Arnott, Jenkins’ novel tells the story of two brothers sent to a Scottish estate during World War ll to collect cones with which to reseed the forests felled for the war effort and deals with momentous themes - the struggle between good and evil, war, class and social justice.

The story is given theatrical depth, with choreographed movement by Aberdeen’s own dance authority Karen Berry, visually-stunning staging by internationally-acclaimed designer Hayden Griffin and music by Scotland’s up-and-coming composer and actor John Kielty.

The Cone Gatherers will premier at His Majesty’s Theatre in Aberdeen from Friday, September 14 to Saturday, September 22.;

Tickets are available online at, by phone at 01224 641122 and at Aberdeen Box Office at the Music Hall and His Majesty’s Theatre.