Gaelic Pantomime’s Giant National Tour

A fifteen-day national tour of a new Gaelic language pantomime Seocan agus am Bogsa-ciùil (Seocan and the Accordion) started last week with a performance at Acharacle Primary.

Between November 26th and December 14th, 29 performances are scheduled for children from over 40 Gaelic medium schools.  A public performance will take place on Thursday 13th December at The Ironworks, Inverness at 7pm.

The play features the acting and musical talents of Iain Beggs, Megan MacLellan and Katie Hammond.  The play was written and directed by Angus Macleod, Drama Officer with Fèisean nan Gàidheal. “The story follows the adventure of young Seocan, who in his efforts to earn some money for Christmas, encounters a helpful Highland genie called Fergie and the legendary but not-so-giant giant Murdanaidh Mòr.  The play features the actors’ musical talent with accordion and Gaelic song of the traditional, festive and silly varieties.  The three actors bring lots of infectious fun and energy to their roles and plenty of opportunity for audience interaction, making this an engaging and enjoyable experience for children and adults alike.”

The production and tour are delivered through Fèisgoil, Fèisean nan Gàidheal’s arts in education service, which is managed by Eilidh Mackenzie.  “Each year we endeavour to give as many schools as possible the opportunity to see the pantomime.  This year it was great to get the opportunity to visit schools in Acharacle and Mallaig and Salen Primary in Mull.  The second week of the tour includes four days in the Western Isles, beginning in Barra on the 3rd of December and culminating in two performances for schools at Stornoway Town Hall on the morning of Thursday 6thDecember.”

The team is grateful for the support provided by Kirsten Brown (set design and production) and Laura Cowie (costumes). Musical direction was provided by Eilidh Mackenzie.

Seocan is played by Megan MacLellan from Mallaig, who is well-known as a presenter on BBC Alba.  Iain Beggs, from Barra, plays two roles, Seocan’s grandmother and a genie called Fergie.  Iain is best known for his appearances in the drama series Bannan and the Gaelic sketch show Func.  Mùrdanaidh Mòr is played by Katie Hammond, who hails from Coatbridge.  In September Katie participated in Fèisean nan Gàidheal’s Dràma air Chuairt project, performing in a Gaelic play which toured the Highlands as part of the Blas festival programme.

This is the eleventh successive year that Fèisean nan Gàidheal has produced and toured a Gaelic language pantomime thanks to funding from Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Creative Scotland and HIE.

Brian Ó hEadhra, Gaelic Arts & Culture Adviser with Bòrd na Gàidhlig said: “The National Gaelic Language Plan 2018-23 prioritises the using, learning and promotion of Gaelic and Fèisean nan Gàidheal’s new panto is a great example of putting this into action.  It is great to see school pupils across Scotland – in islands, rural areas, towns and cities – getting the opportunity to see Gaelic drama in their own communities.”

For more information about the tour, contact Fèisgoil Manager Eilidh Mackenzie at eilidh@feisean.org or Drama Officer Angus Macleod at angus@feisean.org or on 01463 225559.

Creative Scotland The Scottish Government Highlands and Islands Enterprise Bòrd na Gaidhlig Highland Council Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Argyll & Bute Council