Islets of Silence – using theatre to talk about cancer

Wednesday 24 May, 2023, 1.30 p.m. – 3. p.m.

The Mitchell Library North Street Glasgow G3 7DN

By TramDirect with Macmillan@Glasgow Libraries


The play was written and directed by Isobel Barrett after losing her husband to Pancreatic Cancer through misdiagnosis. Her husband died after only 3 weeks.

Her main aim in writing the play is to highlight the symptoms of this silent killer. The play focuses on an ordinary family of mother, father and a teenage son and daughter. Their life is turned around by the diagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer.

The play was funded by Pancreatic Cancer Action Scotland and Culture and Business Fund Scotland. The production toured to various venues. However, with the outcome of Covid the company did not reach its expected large audience. As such the company wishes to visit organisations with a short video excerpt from the play with a question and answer at the end with the Writer and Director and from some actors involved in the play.

The company is keen to highlight the symptoms of this disease and to extend a welcome to budding playwrights who may be interested in the skills needed in a new piece of drama writing.

Duration Approximately 1 hour


Welcome and introduction Isobel Barrett Writer and Director

Film clips

Open discussion: Questions and Answers with Writer, Director, Actors


Scene 1 Meet the Gourley family

Scene 2 Intimate Moments with Brian and Lorna

Scene 3 Coping with the Diagnosis

Scene 4 Personal Thoughts

Scene 5 Poem “Dance of Death” written by Isobel Barrett

Scene 6 Facts and Hope

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Under the Fig Tree

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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