Kieran Hurley's Rantin explores Scottish identity through '21st-century ceilidh play'

Drawing on Scottish folk traditions and current events to make part-gig, part-theatre

After a successful stint at The Arches' Behaviour Festival last year, Kieran Hurley's Rantin' embarks on an extensive Scottish tour, thanks to the National Theatre of Scotland. Like Hurley's past successes, Hitch and Beats, music is at the core of Rantin', but this time it's the traditional kind.

'I've always been interested in the sense of shared communal experience that theatre can sometimes achieve with its audience, and was interested in playing more with how music might relate to this,' says Hurley. 'This got me thinking about ceilidh-theatre, in particular the influential work of 7:84 in the 1970s, and I began to ask what a 21st-century ceilidh play might look like.'

Developed in conjunction with theatre makers Julia Taudevin and Liam Hurley, and musicians Gav Prentice and Drew Wright (Wounded Knee), the show draws on Scottish folk traditions and current events to create a cosy part-gig, part-theatre atmosphere. And although it doesn't touch directly on the independence referendum, it certainly takes a timely look at identity. 'In the show, Scotland and "Scottishness" mean something quite different to every character you meet. It attempts the blatantly impossible task of sketching a portrait of a nation; it is inevitably fragmented and incomplete, and that's part of the point.'

The Arches, Glasgow, Fri 24 & Sat 25 Jan; Summerhall, Edinburgh, Thu 6 Feb

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