A powerful and poignant show marking a century since the beginning of WWI featuring over 20 of Scotland's leading folk artists.
Originally conceived by writer Ian McCalman as a celebration of World War One songs, poems and stories from a Scottish perspective for an album released by Greentrax Records, Far, Far From Ypres has now become a poignant and moving live show that played to a standing ovation at Celtic Connections in 2012 and made a powerful return to the festival earlier this year, commemorating a century since the outbreak of “the war to end all wars”.
An all-star cast of over 20 leading folk artists including Dick Gaughan, Barbara Dickson, Siobhan Miller, Sangsters, Stephen Quigg, Ian Bruce and Sineag MacIntyre remain on stage throughout the show, singing the “trench”, “marching” and Music Hall songs of the time. From that chorus, groups and soloists come to the middle of the stage and perform songs, both contemporary and traditional, about the Great War. The narrator, Radio Scotland’s Iain Anderson, brilliantly links the songs with stories about the hero of the show, Jimmy MacDonald, who was born in “any village in Scotland”. It tells of Jimmy’s recruitment and training then follows his journey to the Somme and back to Scotland. It would not be a Scottish tragedy without laughter, so there are also stories of humour and joy that take this production well away from the path of unremitting gloom.
“Powerful solos, robust melody and beautiful harmony, told stories of excitement and hope, suffering and endurance, humour and escapism, fear and disillusionment, in the words of those involved in the horrors of the Western Front.” STV