One hot summer’s day a man walks, uninvited, down the path at the side
of a house and into the large garden at the back. Alarmed at first by
his presence, the owners slowly discover why he has come to their
So begins Peapod Production’s staging of Alistair Rutherford’s short
play “The Garden”. The simple outdoor staging of this production is
highly effective, particularly in the intimate setting of South Leith
Parish Church’s Secret Garden. The four actors utilise the whole
space, ranging around and among the audience, contributing to a sense
that we are also interlopers on this family gathering.
The tension builds gradually as the family awaits the arrival of their
errant son. Right up until the appearance of this much-anticipated
character, the pacing is excellent as simmering tensions rise to the
surface and the stranger’s story unfolds. Once the final character
arrives, the pace changes, and unfortunately the ending feels a bit
rushed. It would have been nice to see the slow-burning, tense mood
maintained a little longer and a more satisfying denouement.
Overall though, this is an enjoyable little piece of theatre and
Peapod Productions acquit themselves very well.
15th – 19th June, 1930 (2030) @ The Secret Garden, South Leith Parish Church. More information and tickets on the Leith Festival website.