A fortnight of folklore-inspired drama was enjoyed by participants at this year’s Gaelic Drama Summer School which took place in Portree between the 3rd and 15th of July.
The residential school, supported by Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Creative Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Highland Council, is aimed at fluent Gaelic speakers aged 13-18 years.
A talented team of Gaelic-speaking tutors led the 14 participants, directed by David Walker who is well known for his acting work on stage and in BBC Alba’s Gaelic drama series Bannan.
Specialist workshops in creative writing and puppetry were delivered by Catriona Lexy Campbell from Theatre Galore and Glasgow-based puppeteer Gavin Glover from Potato Room Productions.
Fèisean nan Gàidheal’s Drama Officer Angus Macleod, who co-ordinates the project, commented:
“Folklore and superstition were this year’s inspiration for the School’s performance, which was devised and scripted during the fortnight. Both participants and tutors worked hard to produce a showcase of their work entitled ‘Tradition’. This was performed in Plockton as part of Fèis Alba’s Family Ceilidh on Thursday 13th July and again at a well-attended performance the following evening at Kilmuir Hall in the north of Skye.
These public performances comprised a reinterpretation of the famous Seal Wife legend, a dramatisation of Anne Frater’s Gaelic poem Ar Cànan ‘s ar Clò (Our Tongue and our Tweed) and a Gaelic translation of a soliloquy from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
Angus continued: “Giving young Gaelic speakers the platform to develop their confidence in using the language in a drama context is the main motivation behind the School. It’s very encouraging to see young Gaelic speakers from throughout the country showing their commitment and enthusiasm for the School with several returning for the second or third year.”
In addition to the stage performances, award-winning filmmaker Dòl Eoin MacKinnon helped participants to film and edit a short piece based on an original ghost story. This will be submitted to FilmG, MG Alba’s Gaelic short film competition which this year is based on the theme of ‘Truth’.
The Gaelic Drama Summer School will return to Portree next year and will take place between the 2rd and 14th of July. More information about the School and an online application form are available on the Fèisean nan Gàidheal website at www.feisean.org/ssd