Monday, 8 December 2014

The Home Straits

To be honest, I haven't had much of a feel for 2014 as a Homecoming year. I am not really sure what it means, apart from perhaps a way of selling Scotland as a tourist location. There have been a few events that I am sure were under the Homecoming rubric (maybe that one by Sven Werner at the train stations), but has not been a success, in the world of Vile (although I do live in Scotland, so it might not have been aimed at me.

However, the Home Strait events are being presented by Eleven , which does sound like a sect of the illuminati - and until they get a better website, will be about as secretive.

A programme of events exploring ideas of home, borders, exile and return for the finale of Homecoming Scotland 2014.
Return to the Voice by Song of the Goat Theatre performance Tramway Glasgow, Monday 15 December 2014,

Home for Christmas: an evening with Carol Ann Duffy, John Sampson and Little Machine
Edinburgh, Wednesday 3 December, Festival Theatre Studio.

'There's no place like...' : two evenings of poetry and music presented with Rally & Broad
With original commissions from Don Paterson, Martin MacInnes, Stewart Home, Rupert Thomson, Jenny Lindsay and Rachel McCrum.
Stirling, Thursday 11 December, The Tolbooth
St Andrews, Sunday 14 December, The Byre

The Home Straits is a curated programme of work which looks at journeys home, investigates ideas about home, and the comforts and constrictions of home. 

Rupert Thomson of Eleven comments on the programme:

'Artists often make some of their best work when required to rise to
the challenge of political circumstances. These finale events for Event Scotland's Year of Homecoming are, above all, a celebration. But they are also a chance to reflect on what has been a historic year for Scotland. And we feel that the artistic and literary perception of 'home' is a relevant angle from which to consider the political context of the year, whether explicitly or as a more general meditation on what 'home' can mean.

We are particularly excited and honoured to be working with such a visionary and committed group of artists, and we look forward to welcoming audiences to share in these experiences with us.’

Commissioned by Eleven and Summerhall for this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Song of the Goat’s Return to the Voice at St Giles Cathedral was acclaimed by both audiences and critics, with 5 star reviews in The Herald and The Scotsman. Return to the Voice is a product of considered research into ancient Gaelic and other traditional Scottish musical forms, re-imagined by internationally acclaimed theatre-makers Song of the Goat. 

A thrilling and emotional large-cast theatrical performance, Return to the Voice represents a European take on Scottish identity/identities. This will be the only performance in the UK as Song of the Goat revive the piece at the incredible Tramway in Glasgow before its Polish premiere.

Carol Ann Duffy, the first female and first Scottish Poet Laureate, will present a new Christmas-themed performance, in collaboration with her regular musician John Sampson and the band Little Machine, who have set some of her poems to music including 6 as Christmas Carols. Home for Christmas will feature Carol Ann Duffy and John Sampson in the first half, with Carol Ann reading a selection of her poems including The Christmas Truce and other poems around the Great War followed by Little Machine after the interval, with Carol Ann again reading some of her poems.

'There's no place like...': two evenings of poetry and music presented with Rally & Broad
With original commissions from Don Paterson, Martin MacInnes, Stewart Home, Rupert Thomson, Jenny Lindsay and Rachel McCrum.

[HOME]: 'a place where something normally lives or is located. One's place of residence. Familiar or congenial setting. A house. Domicile or habitat. Headquarters. The place, when you go there, they have to take you in.'

At the end of the year of Homecoming, a group of poets, writers, musicians and dancers explore notions of home. Where is it? Where has it been? And how do you get there?

Rally & Broad is a partnership of poets, performers and promoters Rachel McCrum and Jenny Lindsay who run popular and surprising monthly spoken word cabaret events in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Don Paterson is an award-winning Scottish poet, writer and musician. Martin MacInnes is a writer from Inverness who recently won the international Manchester Writing Competition. Stewart Home is an English writer who has written about and worked in Scotland.

There will also be a series of pop-up performances or 'interventions' in significant locations around Scotland. While the live performances may well be seen by no-one, or by a small crowd of confused onlookers, they will be documented and shared online. Potential locations include Harthill Services, the Forth Road Bridge visitor centre and the chip shop in Anstruther – all places which are a border between places, or in some way constitute the ‘edge’ of home, or of Scotland, or which represent significant points on a journey ‘home’.

The Home Straits programme will be intriguing, surprising and intrinsically Scottish, as well as inviting some deeper questions of what 'home' means.

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