National Theatre of Scotland serves a dram of Whisky Galore

whisky galore

It’s guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser and short enough not to break into drinking time. Compton MacKenzie’s much loved comedy, Whisky Galore, is set to tour Scotland this spring.

The National Theatre of Scotland, Robhanis and A Play, A Pie and A Pint are presenting a new Gaelic version adapted for the stage by NTOS associate artist (Gaelic) Iain Finlay Macleod.

Directed by Guy Hollands the play stars MJ Deans, Julie Hale, Roseanne Lynch, Calum Macdonald, Iain Macrae.

Whisky Galore/Uisge-Beatha Gu Leòr is based on the true story of the S.S Politician and its wrecking on the Hebridean island of Eriskay, the play.

World War II and the islands of Great Todday and Little Todday are suffering from a serious drought – a distinct lack of whisky. It casts a long shadow over the islands and means that Sergeant Odd cannot marry his sweetheart Peggy. For as everyone knows, a rèiteach (wedding party) cannot happen without a dram.

The only person happy with the situation is the local jobsworth, Captain Waggett, ever on the lookout for any loose talk on the islands.

Things change dramatically for the better when the S.S Cabinet Minister runs aground off the island with 50 thousand cases of whisky in its hold.

The canny islanders quickly decide to claim this bounty, rather than have it be carried to the bottom of the sea – or even worse, back to the mainland.

Captain Waggett vows to put an end to these shenanigans by calling in customs officials and a hilarious race against time ensues. Can the islanders hide the whisky in time? Will Sergeant Odd get to marry his beloved? Will anyone on Todday ever be sober again?

Iain Finlay MacLeod’s 50-minute adaptation is set on the present day island of Todday. His modern re-telling of the comedy features a cast of colourful characters, heart warming stories and, naturally, whisky galore.

Adult audience members will be offered a dram of whisky courtesy of, Praban na Linne – “The Gaelic Whiskies”, based on the Isle of Skye as part of the evening’s or lunchtime’s entertainment.

There is a programme of Whisky Galore related events at a variety of venues, running alongside the tour. That includes screenings of the 1949 classic film Whisky Galore at Glasgow Film Theatre, Filmhouse, Edinburgh and Eden Court Cinema, Inverness, followed at each cinema with a post film discussion.

In Glasgow and Edinburgh, these will be led by artistic director Laurie Sansom with journalist Hannah McGill. Roger Hutchinson, author of Polly, The True Story Behind Whisky Galore will be taking part in post-show discussions in Skye, Eriskay and Glasgow.

Whisky Galore/Uisge-Beatha Gu Leòr will be performed almost entirely in Gaelic, with English surtitles for non Gaelic -speaking audiences. The production also marks the launch of a new Gaelic theatre company, Robhanis.

2015 Tour

April 10, Sunart Centre, Strontian
April 13-18, A Play, a Pie and a Pint at Òran Mór, Glasgow
April 20, St Columba’s, Edinburgh
April 22, Corran Hall, Oban
April 24, Castlebay Community Hall, Barra
April 25, Eriskay Community Hall
April 27, Carinish Village Hall
April 29, Leverburgh Village Hall
April 30, An Lanntair, Stornoway
May 2, Ullapool Village Hall
May 5, Uig Village Hall
May 6, Sabhal Mor Ostaig, Isle of Skye
May 8, Plockton Village Hall
May 9, Strathpeffer Pavilion
May 11, McLean Room, Eden Court, Inverness
May 13, Aberdeen Arts Centre
May 15, Strathearn Arts Space, Crieff.

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