KTR Productions in association with Gúna Nua

In Skagway

Karen Ardiff

Directed by: Russell Bolam

Fame fades. The gold in the hills runs out.

For years, Francis Harmon traded off her reputation as a star actress in the prospering American cities. Now she and her companion May have washed up in a cabin on the Alaskan frontier, while May’s daughter prospects for gold.

The gold rush is almost exhausted. May makes a desperate gamble to reclaim Francis’s fame, and their fortune. When Francis is struck down by illness, they each must choose between facing the threat of their future and the lure of their dreams of the past.

In Skagway, a tale of the desires and loyalties of women in an American wilderness, is a compelling and lyrical first play by Irish writer Karen Ardiff.

Winner of the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild Best New Play Award and the Stewart Parker/BBC radio drama award. Shortlisted for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.

Director Russell Bolam returns to the Arcola after his critically acclaimed production of The Road to Mecca in 2010.

Press for In Skagway:

“Director Russell Bolam unfolds the play’s tale of survival with poetic intensity”

“‘In Skagway’ is full of great things, including Natasha Starkey’s sparky performance as a tough, sardonic prostitute”

“Ball’s hard-nosed coquettishness as a younger Frankie in flashback is matched by the quiet resilience of Alexander’s birdlike May.”


“There’s a dream-like quality to Russell Bolam’s production as the world of these women drifts in and out of focus.”

The Stage

“Her play poetically imbues the desires that have led four women on such a journey of self-improvement.”

“Angelina Ball mesmerises us with Frankie’s alternating states of faded beauty and lost fame”

What’s Peen Seen

“The women, and their desperate struggles for freedom, are movingly portrayed with clarity and truth”

“Natasha Piper’s beautifully simple design immediately evokes the hardships and meagre comforts of the American wilderness.”


“The all-female cast…draw out stunning performances from one another”

Middle Peg Review

“This compelling production is set in a place and time far removed from modern-day experience”

“These four strong female roles are performed with sensitivity and verve”

Islington Gazette

“Geraldine Alexander is excellent as May, the doddery domestic with a threatening shadow. By turns frightful and hilarious, it is May who performs an act so unusually perverse that it draws literal gasps from the audience.”

The Upcoming

Monday – Saturday at 8.00pm – £17 (£12 concessions)

Opening performances (6 – 12 February) – all tickets £12

Saturday matinees at 3.00pm – £14 (£12 concessions)

Pay What You Can Tuesdays

Recommended for ages 12+

Director Russell Bolam will be conducting a post-show talk on Monday, 17 February.