Drama is up in the air

Firebrand Theatre Company’s return to the Stewartry with its spring production, White Rose by Peter Arnott.

Lesley Harcourt, the former Taggart regular, will be joined in the cast by Robert Jack (Jacko in the award-winning BBC comedy Gary: Tank Commander) and Alison O’Donnell, soon to be seen as Douglas Henshall’s co-star in the new BBC 1 drama Shetland.

White Rose opens at the Lochside Theatre, Castle Douglas, on Sunday, March 3, at 7.30pm.

Firebrand’s latest production tells the remarkable story of legendary Russian Second World War fighter pilot Lily Litvak, the first woman ever to shoot down an enemy aircraft. The play centres on her romantic relationship with her male Squadron Leader Alexei (Robert Jack) and her friendship with her female mechanic Ina (Alison O’Donnell) against the background of the carnage of the Battle of Stalingrad.

Lesley is delighted to be taking on the role of Lily Litvak, whom she describes as a “marvellously strong-willed and talented young woman who managed to succeed in a male-dominated environment, while continuing to dye her hair blonde, decorate her cockpit with flowers and to have a delicate white rose painted on her plane’s fuselage every time she shot down a German aircraft”.

Unseen since its premiere at the Traverse Theatre in 1985, White Rose originally featured Oscar-nominated actress Tilda Swinton and Rebus star Ken Stott, and attracted great critical acclaim for its humorous but always unflinching depiction of men and women at war in the air, on the ground and in the bedroom.