The Train to Muckle Skerry

A Dram of Drummhicit, now playing at the La Jolla (CA) Playhouse is a quirky comedy set in the tiny town of Muckle Skerry, on an imaginary island off the coast of Scotland. A main character is Muckle Skerry’s resident fisherman, Angus MacLeod, and the play’s title is a reference to the island’s foul tasting single malt whisky. I decided to take Amtrak to La Jolla, with a stop at Fisherman’s Restaurant and Bar, in San Clemente. After a few drams of Scotland’s finest, a hearty chowder, and enduring the looming gaze of the fisherman portrait in the dining room, I hopped the next train to La Jolla.

At its heart, the play is about the local folk, and their belief in Celtic mythology, thwarting the efforts of a deep pocket developer in building a fancy golf course on the island. The storyline is in the same vein as the one played out in Bill Forsyth’s brilliant 1983 movie “Local Hero”, in which Big Oil loses out to the charm and customs of an area on the other side of Scotland.

For a play whose title is that of a single malt Scotch whisky, I was disappointed there were no single malts available at the theatre’s bar. The beer, however, was good, and the train back to Orange County had single malt in the bar car. Slainte!

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