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Bilingual Community Drama

English tutor Mary Morrison and Gaelic tutor Archie Campbell put on scriptwriting hats recently in a remarkable collaboration that saw cross-community involvement in the staging of a traditional tale – Gille an Fheadain Duibh (The Lad with the Black Chanter).

The story was chosen from the Thugam agus Bhuam collection, as told by Pàdruig Moireasdan, with his own grandson (also Pàdruig) taking the central role – as well as adding to the musical accompaniment.

Here’s the programme.

Originally a Gaelic tale, the full stagescript was written bilingually, giving the option of English or Gaelic for each character – with an English “subtitling” system in place for any members of the audience who might struggle with the Gaelic sections. Could this be a model for replication elsewhere? The local group would be pleased to offer advice and encouragement to others who wish to try it out.

Mary talks here in English about how the project came about, and the high degree of community involvement (of both young and old) in all aspects of the production – dramatic, musical, and artistic.

Archie talks here in Gaelic about the challenge of writing for speech, and discusses how participating in this kind of project can be helpful for learners.

Categories: Audio, Community, UGC

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