The Forgotten Orchard

P3-6 in schools/ages 6+ and families at theatres , festivals  & community venues.

September – November 2024

“Informative but entertaining…it succeeds by putting its story and characters first…a superb piece of storytelling.”

★★★★ Thom Dibdin, The Scotsman (read full review here)


“Oh Clydeside apple, ma bitter sweet neighbour,
Your skins fair bulgin’ wi zest and flavour,
The mair I munch, the mair I savour
Right doon tae yer pips”

A show dedicated to apples, a food with a truly fascinating history, as seen through the eyes of Katy and her Grandad.

Whenever Katy eats an apple, she’s instantly reminded of her Grandad, an extraordinary man who grew 24 varieties of apple from an old piece of wasteland (the 24th tree being extra special). In remembering her childhood and apple loving Grandad, Katy realises what she needs to do to continue the orchard’s legacy.

The Forgotten Orchard is a heart-warming story of kinship, local food and legacy that re-welcomes to our plate the characterful Scottish apples of our heritage; Tam Montgomery, Scotch Dumpling, The Bloody Ploughman (and all its gore) and the local Glaswegian apple Clydeside.

Featuring storytelling, music and Scot’s ballads, the production brings to life Scotland’s rich orchard heritage and celebrates diversity, home grown food and the joy of harvest.


Swipe or scroll across for more images. Click to enlarge.

Tour Dates

Touring 20th September – 30th November 2024

Darvel Town Hall: 21st September, 11.30am & 2.30pm
Findhorn Bay Arts: 23rd September, schools performances
Strathearn Arts: 25th September, schools performances
This performance is supported by The Touring Network
The Barn Arts: 28th September, 11am & 2pm
Dundee V&A Festival of the Future: 12th October, 11.30 & 2.30
The Byre Theatre: 17th October, 11.30am
Netherlee Pavillion, East Ren: 18th October, 11.30am & 2.30pm
Beacon Arts Centre: 19th October, 11am & 2pm

The show will also deliver 20 dates across Glasgow primary schools, plus a few dates are currently available for schools and other venues across Scotland.

Please contact to book.

“It made me think about where I get my apples from and if I’ve ever tasted a Scottish apple”

Zoe, age 11

“I loved the names of the apples and the stories behind them.”

Pupil, St Vincent’s

“It made me think why? Why do we use all the petrol to bring apples to Scotland when we can plant our own?”

P6 pupil, Hyndland Primary

“…a delicious morsel of story-telling to whet the appetite for learning about where your food comes from, and a treat for anyone working on the Eco Schools ‘Food & the Environment’ topic”

Eve Keepax, Eco Schools Scotland

“A lovely show and I learnt a lot. I am considering working a patch of our garden with my toddler and now am truly inspired. Great to see a performance with a proper balance of learning and entertaining.”

Alison Reeves, Creative Director of Whale Arts

Filled with comedy. THE BEST!”

Pupils, St Angela’s

“Adults & pupils all thoroughly enjoyed this show, it was a perfect mix of acting, singing, humour and delivering the key messages in a fun way. My class are still talking about this.”

N Morrison, Kelvindale PS

“An excellent performance – the children (and teachers) loved every minute.”

Jemma Harrison, P5 Teacher Balornock Primary

“This was an excellent show. The children and adults were completely captivated by it. The standard of acting, music and relevance was fantastic. This was an exceptional way of communicating the importance of apples in our lives but more importantly it was about passion and love for nature and our relationship with it. Thank you for coming to our school, we were all very impressed and grateful.”

Simon Cundy, Langbank PS

Director/Co-Devisor: Emily Reid
Co-Devisor/Katy: Caroline Mathison
Grandad: Allan Dunn (prev Rodney Matthew & Stewart Ennis, Co-Devisor)
Designer: Claire Halleran
Dramaturg: Katrina Caldwell
Graphic Designer: Kate George Design
Sound Design: Alan Penman

With thanks to the following people for their help and support during the research & development of the show: – Eve Keepax, Food & Environment Policy Officer at Eco Schools Scotland, Jane Gray at Lets Live Local, Margaret Miller at Gartmore Primary School, Andrew Lear the Appletreeman, Common Ground, Joe Cormack, Hannah Read for use of her song ‘Half Decade’.

P3-6 in schools/ages 6+ and families at theatres , festivals  & community venues.

1 hour performance + 10-20 minutes Q & A and heritage apple tasting.

Schools receive:

  • A Classroom Activity Pack, containing pre and post-show activities that deepen children’s connection to the show themes and link with the curriculum. Activities include storytelling, literacy and growing activities which explore the shows’ themes.
  • A National Apple Day Starter Pack, courtesy of Gartmore Primary School in Stirling.
  • A Home-Grown Food Poster (one per class).

As part of our autumn 2024 tour, schools in Glasgow will also receive Orchard CPD Training & 5 Heritage Scottish Apple Trees to start a school orchard. Read more about starting a school orchard here.

This funny, playful and moving piece of theatre inspires its young audience about the history and importance of Scotland’s orchards and the characterful apples grown in them, encouraging a connection with the natural world and the food we eat.

The production explores themes of food diversity, food miles, the benefits of home-grown food and nurturing relationships with our elders. Children’s curiosity for planting and growing food will be sparked and learning motivated in Science, Social Studies and Health and Wellbeing, both in the classroom and in outdoor learning. The theatre piece, classroom pack and associated growing and orchard planting activities also relate well to the Eco Schools topics of Food & the Environment, Biodiversity and School Grounds and will compliment Learning for Sustainability.

Number of performances to date: 233
Audience members reached to date:
School orchards planted to date:
Community Orchards planted to date:
Scottish heritage apple trees planted to date:

Glasgow Schools Tour 2012
March 1st – March 31st 2012

Edinburgh International Science Festival 2012
April 2012, Edinburgh Botanic Gardens

Glasgow Schools, Theatres and Festivals Tour Autumn 2012
September – November 2012

Glasgow Schools, Theatres and Festivals Tour Autumn 2013
September – November 2013

Glasgow Schools, Theatres and Festivals Tour Autumn 2014
September – November 2014

Renfrewshire Schools, Theatres and Festivals Tour Autumn 2016
September – November 2016

The Forgotten Orchard has performed in venues and festivals including: National Apple Day at Edinburgh Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh International Science Festival, Edinburgh Eco Schools Celebration Napier University, Family Learning Week 2012, East Ayrshire Harvest Festival, Go Fruit and Nuts Callendar House, Townhead Orchard Planting Day, 2014 National Orchard Gathering Dunblane, The Isle of Eigg Community Hall, Whale Arts Centre, Eastwood Park Theatre, The Catstrand, Harbour Arts Centre, Dean Castle Country Park and Paisley Arts Centre.


The Forgotten Orchard was created with support from the Scottish Governments Climate Challenge Fund

Scottish Government logo (Saltire)
Climate Challenge Fund logo