A pure magical musical love letter to Scotland certainly set the heart on fire with some real toe tapping tunes from one of the country’s most iconic folk bands.
Jukebox musical The Stamping Ground is a new production commissioned by Eden Court Highlands and Raw Materials and is a tribute to the tub-thumping music from 1970’s favourite Runrig.
Writer Morna Young chose the band for its “incredible tapestry of themes explored within their music” and it works so well with her touching story of love, life and land.
The story tells the simple tale of Annie (Jenny Hulse) and Euan (Ali Watt) who head back home to rural Glenbeg, after a year of living in the big city. Their aim is to re connect with a simpler life and help their teenage daughter Fiona (Caitlin Forbes) recover from being bullied at school.
But as they begin to realise that a change of scenery will not solve all their problems, the couple turn to the challenge of helping the locals save the heartbeat of their community, the pub, from being turned into holiday homes.
A twist in the tale see Fiona become friends with nomad Summer (Naomi Stirrat) who has a dark secret connecting her to Euan.
With a tartan backdrop and songs by Runrig fitting in so comfortably, the musical is a gritty and powerful production.
Brothers Calum and Rory Macdonald of Runrig worked with the stage team over the musical score and were delighted by the strong Gaelic input and the way the songs were adapted so thoughtfully to the play.
The versatile cast are outstanding and turn their hands from acting to singing to joining the musical trio of John Kielty on keyboard, guitarist Jon MacKenzie and Stuart Semple on drums and the energy on stage is infectious.
The songs are sung with raw emotion and Ali Watt as Euan has a particularly lovely voice, as has Barrie Hunter who plays crofter Donnie.
The excellent female cast are boosted with impressive performances from Annie Grace as Euan’s mother Mary and her best friend boozy Maggie (Juliet Cadzow).
Robert Grose, Brian James O’Sulivan and Robin Campbell play the smaller roles in this wonderful production directed by Luke Kernaghan and running at The King’s Theatre in Glasgow until 17th June, before it moves to Perth from 21st to 24th June.
For ticket availability to The Stamping Ground, please visit: www.atgtickets.com.
Rebecca Hay is an experienced travel writer and member of The British Guild of Travel Writers. Follow her adventures with her family on Twitter and Instagram @emojiadventurer and on Facebook via EmojiAdventurers2.
Photographs by Tommy Ga Ken Wan