Soil and Soul

Wed 30 Oct

This event will consist of a theatre performance followed by a post-show discussion with Alan Bissett, Alastair McIntosh and the show’s director and cast.

Alastair McIntosh’s acclaimed book Soil and Soul is a vivid, inspirational account of how his Lewis upbringing shaped his life’s work as a prominent environmental activist. Now, leading Scottish playwright Alan Bissett is adapting Soil and Soul for the stage in a production by Lewis-based arts organisation sruth-mara.

To launch this year’s Faclan Fringe, Dolina MacLennan, John Stahl, Elspeth Turner, Daibhidh Walker and Mairi Campbell will perform an exclusive ‘work in progress’ version of the show, directed by Laura Cameron-Lewis, following a week of rehearsals in Uig and Stornoway. Please join us afterwards for a lively discussion with Alastair, Alan and the whole creative team – your feedback will be a vital part of the development process.

Meet the cast

Brought up on Lewis, Dolina MacLennan famously became one of Edinburgh’s first pub folk singers, performed Gaelic songs in a Scottish Ballet production, and forged friendships with the likes of Hamish Henderson, Norman McCaig, Sorley MacLean and Hugh MacDiarmid. She starred in ground-breaking 7:84 Scotland production, The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil, and has had a distinguished career in Gaelic broadcasting.

John Stahl is a veteran TV and theatre actor best known for his roles in Game of Thrones and the long-running TV series High Road. Other notable roles include Inspector Reed in the 1995 television series Resort to Murder, and Danny Boyle’s 2011 Royal National Theatre production of Frankenstein, in which he appeared alongside Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller.

Elspeth Turner is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. An actor and a writer, she has worked with various theatre companies in the UK and North America, including National Theatre of Scotland, Magnetic North, and Eastern Angles. She can be seen in the forthcoming feature film, Riptide. Her new play, Savage Nation, is currently in development.

Daibhidh Walker has been acting for over 20 years, in TV, radio and theatre, and is originally from South Uist. Some of his recent credits include Bannan, Outlander, Da la sa Damhair, and Rough Magik, and he has also worked on Gaelic versions of Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s dream. His voice can be heard on various Gaelic cartoons.

Mairi Campbell has received six national music awards including Instrumentalist of the Year (2017), Tutor of the Year (2016) and Scots Singer of The Year (2008) at Na Trad Awards. Her voice has been heard worldwide thanks to her version of Auld Lang Syne, with David Francis as the Cast being used in the pivotal New Year’s Eve scene of the blockbuster movie Sex and the City. Mairi’s portfolio encompasses concerts, music theatre productions and education work.

Laura Cameron-Lewis (Director) trained at Dartington College of Arts and is a former artistic director of Fringe First award-winning company Highway Diner, creating shows for the Arches and the Traverse among other venues. She worked as Assistant Director on the Royal Lyceum Theatre’s 2016 production of The Iliad, and has worked as a director with Shona Reppe, Camille O’Sullivan and Jenna Watt.

Soil and Soul is supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland.

Faclan Fringe is part-financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community Outer Hebrides LEADER 2014-2020 programme.