Sunday, October 23, 2016


According to the Citizens Theatre website "The highly acclaimed production tells the history and the tragedy of Scotland, performed as a Highland ceilidh. Song, humour and drama are intermixed creating a unique theatrical event that remains as vital and relevant today as it was when 7:84 Scotland first presented it, over 40 years ago.
This extraordinary play looks at the exploitation and economic changes in the Scottish Highlands throughout history. Ruthless evictions of 18th-century Highland crofters in favour of the more economically-viable Cheviot sheep give way to the development of stag hunts in game parks in the 19th century, while the 20th century brings the exploitation of resources during the North Sea oil boom of the 1970s."

The play was first performed to an audience that was the baby boomers of the generation of the late 50s parents who , according to the Historian Tom Devine formed "the high noon of conservative unionism" of the 1957 general election when the Tories were the party of choice for a Scottish electorate believing in Britain , The Establishment and adopting a patriotic servile attitude to their "betters". This does make the dialogue and commentary of the play appear to be a little "spelled-out" and unnecessarily preachy to todays audience that responds more to subtle , implicit messages.

This review from The Herald gives a timely appraisal of what is still a very powerful and forceful piece of theatre rightly regarded as one of the most important plays in Scottish Theatre History

"In a show that, with its frequent audience engagement, puts collective action at its heart, it makes plain perhaps more than ever before that the common people have to claim the power back. In terms of updates, there is a brief Donald Trump pastiche, but really there is little need. In a week where oil is back on the agenda, while a headline on a BBC website spoke of the Highland Clearances as "progress", such a piece of serious fun is a necessary pleasure"
 You can see the play in this brilliant broadcast by BBC Alba

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