Last night, Wednesday 26th of June 2013, The Walking Theatre Company and the joined forces in the capital city of Edinburgh, to debut ‘Selkirk’s New Nation’ on Scottish soil!
The cast of 25 strong Canadian Youth were joined by TWTC’s very own Sadie Dixon-Spain and Colin Little, performing to a wonderful audience in Committee Room One of The Scottish Parliament.
The unforgettable night began with a pre-performance reception, where guests were able to mingle with the cast, and get to know our young performers. To perform at Holyrood with the support of Scottish MSP’s is an extraordinary boost to the project, and our event was very kindly supported by Mr. Mike MacKenzie MSP, who gave a wonderful encouraging speech prior to the performance! We were also thrilled to have the musical talents of Mairi Campbell throughout the night, and the stunning backdrop to our performance provided by Graeme Murdoch, who kindly provided a photography exhibit uniting Canada and Scotland in pictures.
Selkirk’s New Nation went off with a bang, as we were transported back in time to 1811, as the booming voice of Miles MacDonnall (Colin Little) filled the room to tell us of Lord Selkirk’s plans for the New World, and the endless opportunities that await the young men with the right skills across the Ocean!
Our youth cast were extremely professional in their delivery, weaving in and out the audience with grace and confidence, interacting with those who had travelled to Edinburgh to see them perform.
Our very first Canadian Walking Youth Theatre post-performance!
While Selkirk’s New Nation was written by TWTC’s Artistic Director and in-house playwright, Sadie Dixon-Spain, it was shaped by the Powerview School pupils own heritage and cultural references.
The play explores the impact of Lord Selkirk’s ‘Scots’ Settlers upon Canada, its First Nations and particularly the Métis whose status has only recently been affirmed by the Canadian Government through its recognition of the 1870 land treaty.
In May 2013, Sadie travelled to Manitoba along with TWTC’s own , to work with the pupils, rehearse and perform the play to the community of Pine Falls-Powerview, with plans and hopes for the students to return to Scotland, and perform their work to Scottish audiences.
And last night, this dream came true! Our youth team adorned their 1800s-style costumes, and became stars!
The applause that followed the performance rang through Holyrood, and the smiles on our acting team lit up the whole room! To make the night even more special, we were thrilled that Lord Selkirk and his son travelled from London to make the event, and followed the performance with an inspirational speech, which will stay with the Youth Team forever.
Our cross-national partnership has brought Scotland and Canada closer together, allowing people on both sides of the Atlantic to reconnect with and rediscover their heritage, new friendships have been created, and memories made that will last forever.
Both The Walking Theatre Company and the Canadian Walking Youth Theatre will be performing Selkirk’s New Nation on the Western Isle of Lismore on Sunday, 30th of June 2013, a ‘walking’ theatre production, beginning outside the Lismore Gaelic Heritage Centre at 14:30hrs.
We would be thrilled if you would join us on our adventure to the past!
Our Youth Team listening to Lord Selkirk, as he congratulated them on such a wonderful performance!
For more information on the project, or for our upcoming performance on Lismore, contact Alana at TWTC HQ by emailing email@example.com, or calling 01369 820 115.