Song of the Goat Theatre's Success at Fringe Festival
small, Song of the Goat Theatre's Success at Fringe Festival, Return to the Voice; photo by M.Bral/Song of the Goat Theatre, return_4.jpg
Return to the Voice from Song of the Goat Theatre premiered on August 6 at Scotland’s Fringe. Well known at the festival, the artists received several awards for their Songs of Lear back in 2012.
song of the goat theatre
The Song of the Goat Theatre’s new show penetrates Scottish history, Gaelic music and sounds. The crew visited the Isle of Skye, the Western Isles, Aberdeen, Inverness, and Fort William in search of old note scripts and traditional musicians, local inhabitants and Gaelic culture specialists who would explain the ancient culture to them.
It is for the first time in 70 years that Gaelic culture has been presented to such an extent in Scotland. For the last decades it has been mainly present only in the memories of Scotland’s oldest people. In a time so significant for Scots, just weeks before the Scottish independence referendum, the Polish artists will perform songs with lyrics in Gaelic and English, using quotations from Scottish writers.
As usual, the task is very risky. Similarly, as with the performance of Macbeth which we took to the United Kingdom and showed at the Royal Shakespeare Company. It’s equally risky, grotesque and absurd, so why do we do it? Because my impression is that we are a cast, which treats other cultures with respect, openness and warm-heartedness. (…) We think of the culture as our fertilizer, which enriches us as people, as a nation, as a community, as the citizens of the world, says the director Grzegorz Bral.
Return to the Voice has already received positive reviews. The performance’s artistic distinctness has been recognised in the review by A Young Theatre, a platform edited and published by under 26-year-olds who have a passion for theatre and performance.
With utter unity and precision the singers begin and end each phrase. Full chords stop abruptly and in the vast space it takes time for the echo to resound and then die. The choir’s uniformity is aided by their expressive gestures, which ensure that – even if we cannot understand the Gaelic language – the audience can glean some kind of sense from their songs.
The performance is drama for the ears instead of the eyes.
This is music that seems to vibrate from the very stones that surround it, music that feels as ancient as the stained glass windows through which the evening light wanly trickles. It’s the sound of Scotland, triple distilled and filtered through Song of the Goat’s own distinct style, writes Exeunt Magazine about the show.
The group’s ability to integrate movement and song has been recognised by many after the first shows at the festival. Fest Mag review compared the experience of watching Song of the Goat’s performance to the narrative of a Medieval painting:
No matter how long you spend looking at the performers you can’t figure out exactly what is being exchanged between them. But you can feel it, with the same mystery contained in those sacred stained-glass images above.
Return of the Voice will be on show until August 25 at St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh.
Find out more about the Song of the Goat Theatre company.
For further information about Fringe enter the festival's website.
source: Fest Mag, Exeunt Mag, A Younger Theatre, culture.pl; edited by kd 19/08/2014