Set in the first half of the eighteenth century, The Straw Chair by Sue Glover tells the story of seventeen-year-old Isabel and her minister husband's arrival on the remote island of Hirta, also known as Saint Kilda. Their encounter with the island's inhabitants, and especially the disturbing Rachel of Grange, changes their lives forever.
A real historical figure, Rachel of Grange was involved in a bitter divorce; her actions led to her erstwhile husband being successfully tried for treason. He, in turn, had her kidnapped and incarcerated on various remote Scottish islands. The Straw Chair is set during one such incarceration, on Hirta.
The Straw Chair was described by Scotland on Sunday as 'A beguiling combination of things, starting with the incredible story of Lady Grange, banished by her husband to the remoteness of St Kilda. Hung around this framework is an evocation, as light and sharp as spindrift, of the strange life on the island.'
The Straw Chair was first produced in Edinburgh, in 1988, in a co-production by the Traverse Theatre and Focus Theatre.