THE inspiring Pròiseact nan Ealan production of ‘Sequamur’ has successfully completed an international summer tour with a highly-poignant visit to Ypres, Belgium.
After a critically-acclaimed run at the Edinburgh Festival, as well as two nights in Belfast, the play was performed to a full audience – with Gaelic-to-Dutch simultaneous translation – in the Ypres Cultural Centre on Friday night.
The play, written by DS Murray, is based on the story of William Gibson who was headmaster at the Nicolson in the early 20th century, and who (like so many others) encouraged the boys he was teaching to go off to war.
In addition to the performances, six senior pupils from the Nicolson Institute in Stornoway took a leading part in the Last Post ceremony which takes place daily at the famous Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres.
The six scholars, Katie MacInnes, Koren Pickering, Katie Finlayson, Alex John Morrison, Lauren Matheson and Catrìona Bain, sang Psalm 72 in Gaelic to a crowd of hundreds, before Alex John and ‘Sequamur’ actor, David Walker, officially laid a wreath from the school, in memory of former pupils and Highlanders who had died during the Great War.
Written on the wreath were words from the poem, ‘An Eala Bhan’, by Dòmhnall Ruadh Choruna, who fought in the nearby trenches:
“Gur duilich leam mar tha mi,
‘s mo chridhe ‘n sàs aig bròn”
Erica Morrison, creative director at Pròiseact nan Ealan, who staged the tour, said: “This play has taken tragic events which happened in our Gaelic community and held them up for all to see.
“The warmth of feeling towards this production, within Scotland and beyond, demonstrates the importance of drama in telling and preserving the cultural experiences of the Gaels.
“There is a huge interest in Gaelic culture and heritage amongst international audiences and we are delighted that there have been a number of enquiries from other countries, notably Canada and France, seeking to host this production.
“Sequamur resonates as this is a story which transcends language – these experiences were felt in communities across Europe.”
Nicolson Institute pupils Gaelic Psalm singing at the Menin Gate (Last Post ceremony)
David Walker and Alex John Morrison laying a wreath for the 148 Nicolson Institute school pupils who lost their lives in WW1
For further information:
0141 220 6040
Notes to editors:
The project was supported by:
Bord na Gaidhlig
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
Highlands and Islands Enterprise
Royal Bank of Scotland
Produced and staged by Pròiseact nan Ealan
Writer: Donald S Murray
Director: Iain Macrae
Actors: Daibhidh Walker, Angus Peter Campbell, Iain Beggs, Sean Macleod and Donna Morrison.
Music: Angus Nicholson and Andrew Yearly
About Pròiseact nan Ealan
Pròiseact nan Ealan (PNE), The Gaelic Arts Agency, was established in 1996 as a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity. PNE is the lead strategic body in Gaelic Arts; it has a dual role as a Gaelic arts production company and networking infrastructure body and has a strong track record in delivering successful, high-quality, and award-winning arts projects. PNE is working nationally and internationally across diverse art forms on projects that have multiple funders and are at varying stages of development.
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