Tam O’Shanter – The Folk Drama
An inclusive & fun afternoon exploring Robert Burns’ seminal poem in performance at the Scottish Storytelling Centre
Burns Night is a time to not only enjoy hearing the Bard’s poems and songs, but to try performing yourself, and Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland have that covered as part of BurnsFest at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, in collaboration with Scotland’s Winter Festivals.
Tam O’Shanter is an old Scottish legend which Robert Burns turned into his popular narrative poem. It follows Tam, a man who never heeds the advice of his wife Kate and stays out all hours drinking, who one night chances on witches, gathered to dance to the devil’s bagpipes and he must flee for his life!
Donald Smith’s reworking of the poem for use in the folk drama sees the focus being placed on Tam’s faithful horse, with the title Tam’s Mare Meg. There are other animal characters – Tam’s dog Luath and sheep Mailie, and plenty of room for moosies and burdies too, and of course, the crucial role of the witches will need to be filled by those who can give a good screech! With folk drama costumes and props, there’s plenty for all ages to get involved with, plus singing and dancing.
So, come along with family and friends on Saturday 27 January at 11.30am to discover the true spirit of Robert Burns and celebrate inclusive folk traditions by creating & performing a play in a day!
Speaking about the afternoon, Smith says: ‘Everybody thinks they know about Burns, but we don’t really. He’s a much richer, broader topic and exploring Burns’ themes through folk drama will showcase the genius of Scotland’s Bard, as well as inform participants in the subtleties of this classic folk tale: by being in it sometimes we can understand it better.
“Thou sat as lang as thou had siller;
That every nag was ca’d a shoe on,
The Smith and thee gat roarin’ fou on;
That at the Lord’s house, ev’n on Sunday,
Thou drank wi’ Kirkton Jean till Monday.”
Last year’s event ~
Play in a Day: Tam’s Mare Meg
Sat 27 Jan | 11.30am (4hrs) | £5
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