Bringing Shrapnel story to life on stage

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In April An Lanntair in Stornoway will host Shrapnel, Catriona Lexy Campbell’s stage adaptation of her late father Tormod Campbell’s work.

Tormod, from Ness, wrote exclusively in Gaelic and is often said to be one of the finest novelists to use the language.

The stage adaptation also uses the Gaelic language however with subtitles throughout it should be accessible to all.

The play is set in Edinburgh’s deepest darkest underbelly, it is the story of a man on the run for a crime he did not commit.

It follows the enigmatic narrator’s every step through the back streets of Edinburgh, as he meets an array of extraordinary misfits, while on the run from the psychotic Detective Shrapnel, who is never far behind.

Through the use of animation and video, along with the live music and a haunting soundscape designed by award winning sound designer Matt Padden, this production has been created by Theatre Gu Leor, Tron Theatre and An Lanntair.

The cast of Shrapnel includes, Iain Macrae, who has appeared on BBC Alba’s Bannan, River City and the National Theatre of Scotland’s productions of Whisky Galore and Calum’s Road.

Mairi Morrison, whose recent credits include Katie Morag, Bannan and the National Theatre of Scotland’s production of Dunsinane.

Artair Donald has recently appeared in Amazon Prime’s award winning series Outlander and was also an original cast member of Machair.

Iain Beggs is a regular on Bannan and also appeared in the award winning WW1 theatre piece Sequamur.

Catriona Lexy Campbell who adapted Shrapnel has appeared in Bannan and also starred in White Stag’s production of “MacBheatha”.

Callum Macdonald a former presenter of BBC Alba’s De-a-nis has also made appearances in Whisky Galore and The Cheviot, The Stag and the Black,Black Oil.

Describing the new production Creative Scotland said: “Linguistically Shrapnel is a real treat, playing with Gaelic, English and Scots but made totally accessible for all audiences due to subtitling.”

Throughout the week of the showing of Shrapnel a series of workshops will be held to celebrate the works of Tormod Campbell.

Different workshops will be run for primary schools, inspired by Tormod’s brilliant range of children’s books, secondary schools inspired by his novel Hostel and also for those who have an interest in writing and the performing arts.

The week will then culminate with an evening of song and rehearsed readings celebrating the work of the many writers from Lewis, read by the cast of Shrapnel finally followed by the performance of Shrapnel itself.

Shrapnel will be performed at An Lanntair on April 1st and 2nd from 8pm.

The play will also be staged at Ullapool’s Macphail Centre on March 22nd, in North Uist at Carinish Village Hall on March 26th and in Barra’s Sgoil Bhàgh a’ Chaisteil on March 28th. Tickets for the Stornoway performances can be purchased from An Lanntair’s website at: website

Pictured is a scene from the production.