Sequamur Takes Audiences from Theatre to Battlefield in Poignant New Production
issued by Proiseact nan Ealan - the Gaelic Arts Agency
While World War One brought much social change across the whole of the UK, there was one man in the Western Isles who hoped that it would bring about positive change. Pròiseact nan Ealan’s WW1 theatre production written by DS Murray opens in Glasgow before setting off on a national tour, explores the tragically flawed theory of William J. Gibson, the headmaster of the Nicolson Institute in Stornoway between 1894 and 1925.
Sequamur (Latin for 'let us follow') will take audiences from the comforts of the theatre auditorium right into the battlefields across Europe and Africa in the footsteps of the young men who died fighting, inspired by their teacher.
With Iain Macrae directing and featuring Daibhidh Walker, Angus Peter Campbell, Iain Beggs, Sean Macleod and Donna Morrison the mixture of established actors with new talent makes this an exceptional example of contemporary Gaelic theatre.
Writer DS Murray explains how the process has evolved since an earlier performance in Stornoway last year. “I’m delighted that ‘Sequamur’ has become a full-length play. It’s allowed me to expand on thoughts and ideas that I had to ignore and overlook in the earlier version, particularly about how we recall and commemorate the dead.”
At each performance, which is in Gaelic with simultaneous translation available in English through headphones, there will be a roll of honour for local fallen soldiers. A poignant reminder of the sacrifice by many in the communities the show is touring to.
Across Scotland pupils are also invited to attend the performances as well as a workshop in advance.
Councillor Hamish Fraser, Chair of The Highland Council’s Gaelic Implementation Group said: “I am delighted that “Sequamur” is touring in Skye and Inverness. The tour includes matinees for secondary school pupils in these areas offering them the opportunity to see a fantastic production which combines language and drama with the social history surrounding WWI.” He added, “Donald S Murray the playwright of “Sequamur” will also be delivering Creative Writing workshops in schools in Skye and Inverness. The workshops will relate to the production, and I feel this is very important as the writing workshops will give the young people an understanding of the play and its development within a context during that important and specific time in our history.”
Murray agrees that the process is hugely important to the development of new writing. “Sequamur also gave me the chance to learn how to write and construct dramatic work from talented people like Iain Finlay Macleod and, latterly, Peter Arnott. Both men paid me the enormous compliment of never telling me what to write or do, but provided me instead with a few hints and pointers. I’m also delighted to work again with Erica Morrison and Pròiseact Nan Ealan who showed so much commitment and belief in the project from its beginning.”