Magnetic North in Residence


In January 2023 Edinburgh based theatre company Magnetic North became the first theatre residents in the Fruitmarket Warehouse. They premiered new production We Will Hear the Angels on 27.01.23 and 28.01.23, and returned in March to restage their critically acclaimed adaptation of Walden from 29.03.23 to 01.04.23, alongside a response by the artist Harvey Dimond.


We Will Hear the Angels

Inspired by Hitchcock’s Rear Window and the last scene of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, this new play used music, text and movement to explore the state of melancholy and the strange power of sad music to uplift us. Conceived as a piece that is both a live performance and a digital film, it was co-directed by Nicholas Bone and film-maker Marisa Zanotti. Taking its title from a line in Chekhov’s play Uncle Vanya, We Will Hear the Angels interwove snapshots of five lives inspired by characters from works by Chekhov and Katherine Mansfield and the street musician Moondog. The performance featured an eclectic mix of music from Hank Williams to Johann Sebastian Bach performed live by a cast of five performers; Apphia Campbell, Daniel Padden, Greg Sinclair, Mia Scott and Nicholas Bone.

Download the Performance Guide and Credits



Walden is adapted from Henry David Thoreau’s book of the same name, an account of his ‘experiment in simple living’ in the Massachusetts woods in the 1840s. On 4th July 1845, shortly before his 27th birthday, Henry David Thoreau began to live in a hut he had built in Walden Woods, on the outskirts of Concord, Massachusetts. For the next two years and two months he attempted to live entirely by his own resources.

Magnetic North’s Walden was originally made in collaboration with environmental arts practice Sans façon. It premiered in 2008 as a site-responsive performance at Stills in Edinburgh, and toured widely around the UK in 2009-10. Benches made from American pine, were built for the Scottish tour. At Fruitmarket Walden was performed by Shakara Rose Carter.

Download the Performance Guide and Credits


In response to the new staging and the story and themes of Walden, artist Harvey Dimond created new work so many keen and subtle masters in the Warehouse space.

The work explored the subject of black ecologies in relation to Walden. The audio work for the exhibition was produced in collaboration with the Johannesburg-based artist and writer Lisa Asivile Mpoposhe, who provided voice and translation in isiXhosa. It follows a river from its mountain source to its final destination in the ocean, both South Africa and Massachussets. Photographic textile works were produced in the Outeniqua Mountains in the Western Cape region of South Africa. Printed large-scale on taffeta, they reference the ways in which Thoreau writes about water in Walden, as well as how water was used as a method of colonisation and control by British and Dutch settlers.


Images: Jassy Earl and Neil Hanna


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