Play about life of a Moray Saint to be performed in Keith

Play commemorating martyrdom of Moray Saint this month.
Play commemorating martyrdom of Moray Saint in Keith this month

A PLAY CELEBRATING the life of Scotland’s national Saint, St John Ogilvie, is to be performed near the Moray town in which he grew up.

A cast and crew of 22 will head for St Thomas’s RC Church in Keith’s Chapel Street for the performance on Saturday, July 18.

The special performance is part of the 400th anniversary celebrations marking the martyrdom of St John Ogilivie, a Jesuit priest who was executed in Glasgow for refusing to denounce Catholicism and accept that James VI of Scotland had supreme authority in all matters spiritual as well as civil.

A National Pilgrimage Day is to be held this Saturday (July 4) at Kynoch Park from 12noon when over 30 stalls have been booked providing food and shelter.

‘The Martyrdom of St John Ogilvie’ is a play written and directed by Stephen Callaghan, director of the Archdiocese of Glasgow Arts Project.  Stephen said: “This is the second showing of the Ogilvie story having previously had its Premier at Glasgow University during Lentfest 2012.

“Marking the 400th anniversary of Ogilvie’s death this year, we have taken it out of Glasgow and, by popular demand, into other areas of Scotland.”

The play achieved great praise when it appeared at several locations earlier in the year, most notably in the Scottish Youth Theatre in Glasgow and in the St Ninian Institute in Dundee.

In 1976 Ogilvie was canonised following the miracle of Glasgow dock worker John Fagan, who was inexplicably cured of stomach cancer. The Catholic Church put it all down to the intervention of John Ogilvie.

Stephen added: “Although there is some poetic licence, the play attempts to give a snapshot of this period in Scottish history and an insight into the lives of its people. It is appropriate for us to conclude the tour in Ogilvie’s birthplace.”

Tickets for the July 18 performance priced at £10 are available from Fr Domenico on 07932 648041 (email and at the National Pilgrimage Day on Saturday.