Alexander's tales – 5th to 7th August 2011

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The Lismore Youth Theatre with the Walking Theatre Company gave us another highly entertaining and informative play, a tribute to one of Lismore's most famous sons, the folklorist Alexander Carmichael. The idea came from The Museum's events organiser Jennifer Baker, the historical expertise from Robert Hay and David White, and the play was written and directed by Sadie Dixon-Spain of Argyll's innovative Walking Theatre Company. Apart from Sadie and Liam Calgie of the Walking Theatre the cast were all from the island and showed no sign of being outshone by their professional fellow actors. Ruben Campbell-Paine played the excise man Alexander who was constantly wanting not just to travel about the islands but to record all he could of the lives of islanders. With him were Lorraine King as his mother, and Josie McMeddes, Tess McMeddes and Sophie King all of whom played multiple parts. It was eleven year old Sophie's first outing with the company and she very convincingly played a girl, a boy and finally a girl again. The music was provided by Stephen Green and Mairi Campbell and Anne Livingstone directed the dance sequence, an Orcadian Strip the Widow, a play on the dance name, and danced by the company and the audience. Although islanders have always known about Alexander Carmichael, these days he is also of interest to the wider academic Gaelic world because of his great work Carmina Gadelica. For more information read about him here.

The weather played a part as August has been a wash out at times. However the first evening was fine while the two other performances were rained upon but well attended despite this. A well patronised fish and chip supper was available in the cafe after the first performance, wine and cheese on the second and after the final performance the cafe was mobbed for the cafe cream teas.

Text and photographs provided by Pauline Dowling on 14th August 2011

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The original poster


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