New Gaelic dramas take to the stage

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A WEEK of new Gaelic drama kicks off next Friday (April 19th) as Pròiseact nan Ealan’s ‘Seall Seo’ programme takes to the stage and a new generation of Gaelic actors spread their wings.

Marisa MacDonald, Head of Production at Pròiseact nan Ealan said: “Community drama was an excellent training ground for many young actors, and with its demise, over the last number of years; we have lost an important element of our social interaction.

“Seall Seo is creating a framework for young people to express themselves dramatically while supporting their performances with professional singers and musicians.”

The Gaelic arts agency therefore is delighted to announce the first performance dates for ‘Seall Seo’ – together with an array of ‘Stars’ who will be supporting these evenings of community based entertainment.

Shawbost School is the venue of the first performance with Christine Primrose, Donald Angus Matheson and young local band Farram supporting the performance.

‘Calum agus Barabal’ is a new drama written with the pupils of the school by Chrisella Ross. It’s a lovely piece that takes audiences on a journey from 1940 to the present day and is set between Shawbost and Italy.

Directed by well know Gaelic actress Mairi Morrison, from Bragar, and stage managed by Morag Smith, Stornoway, it has all the promise of fulfilling a fantastic evening.

The following week, Monday, April 22nd, the Nicolson Institute will take to the An Lanntair stage with their show-case concert, prepared for their planned trip to Ireland at the end of the month.

Present-day drama ‘Birthday’ has been written by Calum MacKinnon and Seonag Monk and directed by Mairi Morrison, with the musical elements directed by Anna Murray and Tracy Gordon.

And this showcase will be supported by Norrie ‘Tago’ MacIver and a host of talented singers and musicians from the school.

Friday, April 26th, then sees ‘Bleigeartan Bhreascleit’ take to the stage at Breascleit School. This drama, based on an idea from the pupils, has been written by Chrisella Ross and is again directed by Mairi Morrison with Morag Smith directing the stage. The ‘star’ supporting this performance is none other than Breascleit’s own Alex ‘Korky’ MacDonald, very popular winner of the traditional medal at last year’s Royal National Mod in Dunoon.

Supported by CNES and Bòrd na Gàidhlig these first three productions aim to heighten the performance skills of the pupils involved at all levels; as Marisa continued: “We are delighted to have secured the services of some of the greatest talents to have left our shores to support our young with these productions.

“Pròiseact nan Ealan are also working with a further three schools and information regarding these performances will be released as soon as they are ready for debut.”

She added: “I know only too well the importance of ‘treading the boards’, it is without doubt the best training that anyone can get and what better place to start than in your own community.”