Though This Be Madness

June 25 @ 7:30 pm 9:00 pm

Award-winning writer and performer Skye Loneragan brings her fragmented portrayal of motherhood, sisterhood and experience of loved ones debilitating mental illness.

“Once upon a time… I don’t have time.”

A recovering, love-struck, sleep-deprived new mum attempts to…finish a sentence. Unable to reach her sister Ophelia, who wrestles with a cataract on what Shakespeare calls the ‘mind’s eye’, she stitches together a fractured fiction told through poetry and performance. (53 words)

Written & Performed by Skye Loneragan. Music by Mairi Campbell & Dave Gray. Lyrics by Skye Loneragan. Directorial support: Kath Burlinson & Stewart Ennis, Choreographic support: Emma Jayne Park. Interpreted in BSL by Yvonne Waddell.

Supported by Creative Scotland & SMHAF

100 High Street
Dumfries, Dumfries & Galloway DG1 2BJ United Kingdom
01387 252435
View Venue Website
Musings News

Skye Loneragan’s Though This Be Madness

As Skye Loneragan makes her return to The Stove on Saturday 25th June 2022 with her solo performance, Though This Be Madness, Skye tells us all about the play and how it came to fruition, following her own journey in new parenthood alongside the challenges of coping with mental illness within her family.

“I am looking forward to returning to Dumfries & Galloway this week. I remember performing Though This Be Madness in its early days, before it was Covid-cancelled, at The Stove. An audience member emailed me in the days after the show, about L.O.I.P (Loved Ones In Pain) which I talk about in the show, words I cherish as they remind me why we have a response sanctuary at the end of the show, and put soft toys on the seats:

“There were so many points of traction and heart-opening in your performance, more than I can sum up here… So much discourse focuses on the person experiencing the crisis, and of course they should be at the centre, but for those of us holding and caring and witnessing and having our hearts just about ripped out of us in the process, it doesn’t often feel like there’s space for that… My heart was moved tonight in a way I didn’t quite expect… Thank you for making this kind of pain and process visible, I really appreciate it, and want you to know how important this work is.”

Someone else shared with me their own resonances after the performance, and helped me find my where I’d parked the hire car. They allowed me to record their spoken word:

Basically it was about my life… the insight in that show was amazing… for somebody who has seen both sides, as a worker and as a patient, I think that was the most honest, actually complimentary almost, portrayal of mental health I’ve ever seen. I don’t know Skye’s background, I don’t know if she has actually been locked up with her rights removed, but if she hasn’t, respect to her because I don’t know anybody who could write something like that who hasn’t actually seen it from the inside.

I share these words with you (with permission) because so many people are juggling so much. Staying afloat, letting alone seeing a theatre show, can be a huge task which can take a lot of energy, never mind the energy it takes to look after yourself and allow your own creative quest to take flight. 

I know this but would still love to see you in my ‘lounge room’, (the play is set in the Land of Lounge Room), at Heart of Hawick or The Catstrand, New Galloway or The Stove, Dumfries.

What can you expect from Though This Be Madness

I had started writing Though This Be Madness before I had a baby, initially toying with ‘diagnosing’ Shakespeare’s female leads. Once I had my sought-after wee one, I had to try and write it in snatches of baby sleep and found I literally could not… finish a sentence.

The show begins with, “she’s down, but she doesn’t sleep lying down, so we may not have long”. A new mature-age mum, I spent hours trying to get my baby to snooze by walking her in the harness or bouncing her on the Pilates ball… I was so on the ball.

My own sleep never made it past a two-hour stretch, for years. I don’t know how people do it, stay functional despite sleep-deprivation. I managed to script tiny segments: ‘Grasp’, “fish-hook’, ‘Ophelia’, ‘The Bits You Don’t Get Back’, ‘Activated Macadamias’….and each of these has a little nut of truth in it and a curly question about how we nurture our collective sanity.

Post-natal, I was also trying to make sense of the debilitating mental health crises of close family members and those I love dearly. So, the play became a fractured fiction and an honest attempt to reach you with a tale that isn’t about parenting at all, but is scuppered by that very context:

“Once upon a Time…  I Don’t Have Time…”

I also remember feeling terrified of leaving the house in case she’d cry. Would we make it? So I knew I wanted to make an adult show for parents or carers with babes-in-arms. The story will follow the same route but if your baby cries that’s ok, if you need to come or go, feed them – that’s fine too. I will take a pause if that’s what is needed, and one audience member told me this was needed:  

“I really appreciated having something cultural to go to…aimed at us parents but accommodating our babies….it’s depressingly rare”

The show has dug itself deeper for me during the pandemic, through the cancellations, the home-not-schooling, the caring for loved ones  – it became a digital version, Though This Be (online) Madness!.

Though This Be Madness is a 72-min piece without an interval. At the end we host a 15-min ‘post-show sanctuary’… a space to allow your response to the show to surface… and find some form of expression before heading home.

Not all stories wrap themselves around a beginning, a middle and an end. New motherhood doesn’t afford the time for that kind of structure. Though This Be Madness is an inventive and darkly humorous story of many sisters that delves into the combined challenges of new parenting alongside loved ones struggling with psychosis and depression.

In this fractured fiction told through poetry and performance, with a musical score co-created by Mairi Campbell, we meet a recovering mum bouncing on a Pilates ball in The Land of the Lounge Room. Determined to soothe her baby and ‘stay on the ball’, she tries finish her sentence and tell us how she is unable to reach her sister Ophelia, who wrestles with a cataract on what Shakespeare calls the ‘mind’s eye’.”

Though This Be Madness takes place at The Stove on Saturday 25th June at 7.30pm. Tickets are £5 and can be booked by clicking here.

The Joy of Spines

June 13 @ 7:00 pm 9:00 pm

Right in the heart of Edinburgh are 120 miles of underground shelves that store the National Library of Scotland’s collection of approximately 30 million things.

Graeme Hawley, Head of General Collections at the Library, tells the story of this extraordinary collection in this slideshow comprised almost entirely of book spines.

Amusing, thought-provoking, uplifting, and unexpectedly moving, this show has been seen by over 2,000 people at book festivals, comedy clubs, and the Edinburgh Fringe, and has now found its way to Dumfries.

100 High Street
Dumfries, DG1 2BJ United Kingdom
01387 252435
View Venue Website

Art & Us

Presented by Fox and Hound Theatre

April 16 @ 12:00 pm 5:00 pm

Fox and Hound Theatre present Art & Us a Short Play & Gallery Viewing.

A glimpse into Dada and Merz through the lives of artists Hanna Hoch and Kurt Schwitters. When realism meets abstract and time is inconstant, try to follow two pivotal leaders in their evolution of modern art.

Directed by Calum Beaton and featuring Kirsty Miller and Codge Crawford.

Available to view at 12 noon, 2pm and 4pm, you will see a 35 minute play (captioned) after which you will be invited into the set to view pieces of art created in Workshops with artist Diana Hamilton. Q&A available.

100 High Street
Dumfries, Dumfries & Galloway DG1 2BJ United Kingdom
01387 252435
View Venue Website

Brave New Words 2022

January 28 @ 6:00 pm 10:00 pm

Brave New Words is the Stove’s monthly open mic night for writers, artists, musicians and songwriters to share words spoken or sung to an audience in the heart of the town centre.

Brave New Words encourages anyone, no matter who they are, to share their words with the public. We seek to provide a platform for the people of Dumfries to share their voice, provoke, inspire, experiment and break stigma.

For more information follow us on Facebook via

100 High Street
Dumfries, DG1 2BJ United Kingdom
01387 252435
View Venue Website

Brave New Words: The 6th Birthday

September 24, 2021 @ 7:00 pm 9:00 pm

SW Scotland’s biggest open mic night returns for its 6th Birthday Celebrations. Open to words spoken, sung, shot, signed and silenced.

They grow up so fast, don’t they?

It seems like just yesterday Brave New Words came screaming into the world. If she were a human person with all the human person things that human person’s have, she’d be learning her first swear word, sketching rainbows and strategising the demise of the patriarchy (that’s what kids do these days, yes?)

But like any young punk, she needs a little help along the way.

That’s why this month’s special birthday theme ‘is Life Lessons’. We don’t want her to make the same mistakes as you did growing up. Yes, you, the one with the ‘mystery stain’ and box of Country Manor to ‘help you unwind after a long week’ (it’s Tuesday night Linda, shape up!).

So ladles, gentlemen and every beautiful being in-between, we implore you to come and share your wisdom! So whether it’s a poem, a film, song or story, come along. We’re particularly interested in hearing some true stories, so if you don’t fancy yourself a poet or a songwriter, why not come along a share a tale? (Like the time you flashed a policeman on the way to Sanquhar, EH LINDA?!)

As always dear friends, be brave.

We can’t wait to see you.


Sign up to perform on the night.