Runrig’s music and songs inspire new Scottish musical on the island

The Stamping Ground will premiere at the Eden Court Theater in Inverness in July.

A host of the band’s best-known anthems will feature in the score for a performance set in a remote island community, which premieres in the Highlands next year.

The group’s songwriters, Brothers Calum and Rory MacDonald, have given their blessing to The Stamping Ground, which is created by playwright Morna Young and writer and songwriter John Kielty.

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The musical is co-produced by Eden Court and Glasgow-based theater company Raw Materials.

Runrig bowed out in 2018 with two farewell concerts in Stirling, 45 years after the band formed on the Isle of Skye. Photo: Matt Liengie

Plans for the musical The Stamping Ground, which shares its name with Runrig’s 2001 album and title track, were announced more than three years after the band pulled out with two sold-out farewell concerts at the City Park of Stirling.

The shows were staged 45 years after the formation of Runrig, who would dramatically raise the profile of the Gaelic language, on the Isle of Skye.

The Stamping Ground will tell the story of a couple who, back in their community, find it filled with more tourists than residents and fears grow about their future.

The musical, which arts agency Creative Scotland is backing with funding of £ 292,000, will launch at Eden Court in Inverness in July ahead of a nationwide tour in 2023.

Runrig pictured before a marquee concert in Portree, Isle of Skye, in 2001.

Young said, “The Stamping Ground is a story of love, life and land, inspired by Runrig’s incredible tapestry of themes explored in their music.

“I’ve always been a huge fan of the band, drawn to the gorgeous melodies and poetic lyrics, but writing The Stamping Ground has allowed me to delve even deeper into the rich and expressive ideas described throughout their incredible career. recording.

“Runrig has something to say about the world and I wanted to stay true to ideas of people, place and identity, while asking questions about the future of the Highlands.

“There is a creative curiosity in Runrig’s work and I wanted to approach the story in that same spirit.

Morna Young has written the new musical The Stamping Ground which will feature the music and songs of Runrig.

“It is a family story and a whole piece, exploring ideas of identity and belonging.

“I think every Highlander who left home has a similar story inside, and I wanted to capture the feeling of coming home once another life has been lived.

“At the center of it all is the land – the spirituality, the mythology, the politics of the place – and I wanted to draw inspiration from Runrig’s designs of tall skies, sweeping seas and a mountain-dominated landscape.

“Most of all, I wanted to capture the joy I experience listening to their music: the breadth and depth of an ever-changing story.”

Rory Macdonald, Calum Macdonald, Malcolm Jones and Donnie Munro in one of the earliest incarnations of Runrig.

Susannah Armitage, Senior Producer at Eden Court, said: “The Stamping Ground is a story of home and community, rooted in the contemporary Highland experience and is underpinned by the beautiful, evocative and beloved songs of Runrig, which provide the Rhythmic and lyrical backbone to the musical.

Raw Material Founders Margaret-Anne O’Donnell and Gillian Garrity said, “It is a privilege to work with the rich creative heritage of writers Calum and Rory MacDonald and to enable some of our finest performing artists to create a large-scale work with a story and a musical. production which we are sure will delight and entertain audiences across Scotland.

Tickets for Runrig’s last live performances in Stirling City Park in 2018 sold out minutes after they went on sale. Photo: John Devlin
Runrig in action during their farewell shows at Stirling’s City Park in 2018. Photo: John Devlin

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