A new Jennie Lee play is to be staged in the politician’s Scottish birthplace for her 120th birthday anniversary.

The play will premiere in Jennie Lee’s hometown of Lochgelly in November this year. It will coincide with what would have been Jennie’s 120th birthday on November 3. She was the youngest MP for North Lanark in 1929 at just 24 years old.

She was also the first Minister for the Arts and founded the Open University.

In the run up to the production of Jennie Lee: Tomorrow is a New Day, a programme of creative writing groups will run for local residents supported by The Open University in Scotland. These will encourage everyone to explore their creative potential.

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Knights Theatre artistic director and Jennie Lee: Tomorrow is a New Day playwright, Matthew Knights, said: “I founded Knights Theatre with the aim of using social history to engage communities in Scotland with social issues.

"Jennie Lee was a passionate fighter for social justice who grew up in the working-class mining communities of Lochgelly and Cowdenbeath in Fife. This was where she formed her core ideas and beliefs that shaped her outlook on life.

Central Fife Times: Matthew Knights is the playwright behind the new play.Matthew Knights is the playwright behind the new play. (Image: Knights Theatre)

"I wanted to explore her story in the place where she grew up alongside the communities who live there today. The play is set in an abandoned 'Jennie Lee Museum' in which the museum mannequins come to life to tell her story, posing questions about how we interpret the past and what it means to us today.”

The play has been in development since 2019, and there are also plans to launch a fundraiser for a Jennie Lee mural in Lochgelly in advance of the play.

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“The play features both a younger and an older version of Jennie who encounter each other and explore how she changes through her life and fights to remain true to her ideals," continued Matthew. "This is an entertaining play which aims to appeal to older generations who may remember Jennie and new generations who may be inspired by her story for the first time.”

Heather Stuart, OnFife chief executive, said: “Jennie Lee was one of our own - and a personal hero of mine - and we are incredibly proud to be so closely associated with her formative years.

"As an organisation all about making learning and culture available to all, we're thrilled this play will premiere in our theatre in her hometown and will show just how much of a trailblazer she was.”

The play will run from November 3 to November 13. It will be performed in Lochgelly Centre and Carnegie Hall in Dunfermline.