Photos above taken by Daniel Lacasta Fitzsimmons at Pettycur Bay.

One of our most ambitious projects to date, Vision Mechanics’ production, Drift, has been performed at beach locations across Scotland and Norway. Drift is inspired by the true story of Betty Mouat, a crofter from Shetland, who spent eight days drifting alone in the North Sea. Artistic Director, Symon Macintyre uses soundscape and installations to recreate the feelings of being adrift, alone at sea.

The true story of Shetlander, Betty Mouat

In January 1886 Miss Mouat, aged 61, was the only passenger on the coastal cutter Columbine which left Grutness, bound for Lerwick.  She had with her a large bundle of knitting to sell. Shortly after setting sail the captain and two crew were lost overboard, leaving the Columbine crewless and drifting.  Lifeboats were launched but Miss Mouat was presumed lost at sea. On the eighth day the Columbine grounded on Lepsoy in Norway; to everyone’s amazement Miss Mouat had survived.  She returned to Shetland to live in her croft for another 30 years, a folk hero celebrated in her local community.

Drift is produced and directed by Symon Macintyre

Script & Libretto: Judith Adams

Music Composition: Eddie McGuire

Sound Design: Nik Paget-Tomlinson & Niroshini Thambar

Vocals: Gerda Stevenson

Drift is a co-production with Nordland Visual Theatre, Stamsund, Norway.


We have been overwhelmed by the really positive and heartfelt response to the show so far. Here is a small sample of comments from audience members:

“Drift is superb 🙂 dont miss out on a chance to experience it. Today’s haar gave a perfect backdrop for an emotional feast of sound, sight, touch & imagination.”  Chas (Nairn)

A wonderful theatrical experience on Nairn beach…Director, Symon Macintyre  has orchestrated the work of artists and musicians to deliver an emotional, immersive experience which cleverly explores new dimensions of Betty’s solitude. The songs and tunes on the production’s mp3 player were beautifully performed and the visual art was varied and imaginative.”  Elizabeth (Nairn)

“Thoroughly enjoyed this production. The walk in, the outdoor environment and set participation all added to living the story along with Betty. Drift is a journey.” Stacia (Pettycur Bay)

“I went today. It’s brilliant. Loved the atmosphere it creates and how it pulls you in – completely. I didn’t know though that you could turn the mobiles in the captains booth. So I want to go again. Go if you can. Everyone should know about Betty Mouat.”  Alison (Pettycur Bay)

Review Links

Drift, Pettycur Bay Burntisland, Review | Edinburgh Guide ***** by Irene Brown

The Scotsman review of Drift, Burntisland **** by Joyce McMillan

Drift has been made possible through the generous support of Creative Scotland

Nairn performances are supported by Davidson (Nairn) Charitable Trust