Tayside and Central Scotland

Oil history play opens at city port

Crude Image copyright Eoin Carey
Image caption Crude focuses on the lives of offshore workers and their families

A new play exploring the history of oil and its role in society has opened in a warehouse in the Port of Dundee.

Crude is being staged by the Grid Iron Theatre Company, which specialises in productions outside a traditional theatre setting.

The play will run for two weeks in the 4,725 sq m (50,859 sq ft) Shed 36, which was previously used by shipping and oil companies.

Crude focuses on the lives of offshore workers and their families.

The company hope the industrial setting will help the audience experience what life is like for those who bring the oil ashore from the North Sea.

Image copyright Eoin Carey
Image caption Shed 36 was previously used by oil and shipping companies

The audience will be taken by bus from Dundee city centre to the port to see the play.

Writer and director Ben Harrison said: "The deeper I have gone into the research, the more I have discovered how profoundly modern life is entwined with the story of oil.

"Not just the stuff we put in our cars and aeroplanes, but also our plastics, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, clothing, food.

"There is very little that surrounds us and makes us comfortable that is not connected with petrochemicals."

Image copyright Eoin Carey

The production features a cast of seven, including Band of Brothers and Silent Witness actor Phil McKee.

Producer Jude Doherty said the remote location brought its own challenges.

She said: "We had to work very closely with the people at the port to make sure we had our own electricity.

"We had to bring everything that you see with us.

"It does add to the logistical planning and financial planning of a production like this but the team we work with, many of them have been working with us for 15, 16, 17 years, so we embrace the challenge."

David Webster, port manager at Forth Ports said: "We are thrilled to support Grid Iron with free warehouse space for their exciting production of Crude.

"The subject matter of the performance has an appropriate link for the port as we are very active in the North Sea oil and gas sector."

The play will run until 23 October.

Image copyright eoin carey

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