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Letters to Aberlour draws upon the letters that “old boys” from the Aberlour Orphanage wrote to Aberlour Orphanage in Moray during the First World War.

The letters show that the soldiers writing back to the Orphanage considered themselves members of a single extended family, a sentiment which was reciprocated by the Orphanage staff.  However, unlike a conventional family which might have perhaps three or four members involved in the war, the Aberlour family shared the experiences of its hundreds of family members.  In the letters the Aberlour soldiers express their concerns not only for their fellow “old boys” serving in the war but also for what is happening “at home” in Aberlour.  They write about the war but they also write of their longing to return to Aberlour. Taken together the letters provide a powerful narrative of the First World War which is both poignant and moving.  As this narrative is drawn from so many individual stories it also provides, without artificial contrivance, an account of the war from its first days through to the occupation of the Ruhr.

The Orphanage war memorial in Aberlour provides a striking testament to the relationship between the “old boys” and the Orphanage.  Unlike so many war memorials erected by institutions, the Aberlour Orphanage identifies each of its lost old boys by name.  The 62 deaths that are recorded are the deaths of members of the Aberlour family.  The play explores how, for the old boys of Aberlour, each death was the death of a brother.

Letters to Aberlour premiered in Coldingham in February 2014 and has toured throughout Scotland. It will be performed for the duration of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2015 as part of the Just Festival.








‘One of the most profound evocations of a community coming to terms with the horrors of those years … a masterpiece’ (Northern Scot).


...A timely reminder of the horrors of war. To say the play was moving was an understatement...”

Catherine Brotherston, Berwickshire News


For more information or if you would like to book this production for your venue, please email abletters@gmail.com or telephone 07967 139471.


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