From the Calton to Catalonia


Theatre.  To book this show contact Jim Lister at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 0141 418 0562

A rehearsed reading directed by Martin McCardie

From The Calton To Catalonia follows the lives of families in Glasgow and Spain in 1937, and their involvement and experiences of the Spanish Civil War. Approximately one third of all British volunteers who went to fight the fascists in Spain came from Glasgow, joining volunteers from all over Europe and around the world. They left families, wives and children behind to struggle and survive in solidarity against fascism. In Spain millions of men, women and children suffered and died in this cruellest of wars. 

The story follows the lives of three men, JAMIE, EDDIE and BILLY, Glaswegian volunteers in the International Brigade in Spain. Jamie has been brought up on films and joined the cause to fight evil and to escape from poverty. Eddie, a more cynical pragmatist, nonetheless joined to fight for humanity. Billy is a staunch communist and is fighting for his political ideals. We also gain insights into the lives of the people closest to them: their wives and children, their fellow prisoners and their families; the women in Glasgow trying to survive, while supporting the cause.    

First performed in 1990 as part of Glasgow’s Mayfest  From The Calton To Catalonia is a play about family, sacrifice and loss, and idealism, in this struggle between fascism and freedom, capitalist interests and justice for ordinary men and women.

Written by the Maley brothers, Willy and John, as a homage to their father James, his comrades and the brave people of Catalonia who fought against Franco’s fascists; in 1937 James Maley left with several hundred Scots from Glasgow to join the International Brigades, leaving behind a family and community in the Calton one of Glasgow’s poorest communities devastated by the depression years.

Willy Maley is Professor of Renaissance Studies at the University of Glasgow, Fellow of the English Association (FEA), and founder, with Philip Hobsbaum, of Glasgow's Creative Writing programme. He is a prolific author on subjects including early modern English literature from Spenser to Milton and on modern Scottish and Irish writing.

The rehearsed reading can be followed by an audience Q&A with the cast and director, and one of the writers.

The performance includes a section of Spanish Civil War songs performed by Arthur Johnstone , Fraser Speirs and Stephen Wright



Written by:

Willy & John Maley

Directed by:

Martin McCardie


Ensemble: Martin McCardie, Davie MacKay, Bruce Morton, Maureen Carr, Frank Gallagher, Erin McCardie, Matthew Gallagher, Clare Gray

Musicians: Arthur Johnstone, Fraser Speirs, Stephen Wright

Running time:

120 mins, two acts, one interval

Available dates:

Spring and Autumn 2016