The show must go on - digitally
A new Gaelic pantomime film raised the virtual curtains last week to an online audience from Gaelic medium schools throughout the country.
Such was the success it will now be streamed to the public on Thursday, December 17 at 7pm.
Ròs Bhàn agus na Seachd Sìthichean (Ròs Bhàn and the Seven Fairies), was written and directed by Angus Macleod, Fèisean nan Gàidheal’s drama officer.
Angus commented: “We knew early on in the year that the three-week tour we usually schedule for our pantomime wouldn’t be possible and looked at ways we could offer an online alternative. Although the majority of the scenes were filmed as live, the film format gave me the luxury of including many more characters than would usually be feasible.
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“It also provided the opportunity to film a couple of scenes separately, one of which includes a cameo appearance by Mànran musician and singer, Ewen Henderson, as a Joe Wicks-inspired Jòn Joe Mac na Siobhaige.”
The cast, which features some actors who previously participated in Fèisean nan Gàidheal’s Gaelic Drama Summer School as teenagers, initially rehearsed via Zoom before meeting up for socially distanced rehearsals and filming in Inverness.
Josie Campbell plays the lead role of Ròs Bhàn. Aileas Macleod, from Skye, plays the part of the evil Queen Coronìnag and gets to air her singing voice in a most dastardly way during the performance. Bekah Macleod, also from Skye, plays the parts of all seven fairies and keeps control of Coisty the parrot.
Angus, who also makes a guest appearance as Ròs Bhàn’s elderly grandmother, added: “Performing a pantomime to camera without an audience, whilst adhering to social distancing measures, was a new experience for us all but that didn’t hinder the actors’ performances. It was also great to have such an excellent new facility and talented film crew at Limelight’s studio in Inverness which enabled us to produce the film to such a high standard.”
This is the 12th year Fèisean nan Gàidheal has produced a Gaelic panto through its arts in education service, Fèisgoil, with funding from Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Creative Scotland and HIE.
Eilidh Mackenzie, Fèisgoil’s manager, commented: “At this time of year, a team of actors is usually preparing to tour primary schools and although the opportunity to follow the usual path was not there this year we felt it was important to try and offer a little fun, cheer and Christmas spirit to schools online.”
For more information about the panto, contact Fèisgoil Manager, Eilidh Mackenzie at [email protected]
To view the panto on Facebook, please visit www.facebook.com/feisean/live on December 17 at 7pm.