District News, January 8 2021

Messages can be sent from a selection of Scotland’s great names including Bonnie Prince Charlie.
Messages can be sent from a selection of Scotland’s great names including Bonnie Prince Charlie.

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COWAL:

A creative blast from Scotland’s past

An Argyll-based theatre company which regularly visits Kintyre’s schools is sending cheer across the globe with innovative video messages from Scotland’s past.

The Walking Theatre Company (TWTC) is a social enterprise based in Glendaruel, on the Cowal peninsula, producing outdoor theatre across Scotland and beyond.

With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, TWTC’s full diary of performances was emptied, leaving its core company of professional actors and creative practitioners without employment for the foreseeable future.

Like many creative companies, the pandemic forced TWTC to take its work online, exploring opportunities to connect with audiences during such uncertain times. Searching for innovative ways to reconnect with audiences at home and abroad TWTC’s creative director Sadie Dixon-Spain created the ‘Clanagram’, creating paid employment for actors, and producing virtual keepsakes for audiences.

Clanagrams are personalised video greetings, sending friends and family near and far love and good cheer, as TWTC’s team of professional actors bring to life a selection of Scotland’s great names.

An ideal gift for those with Scottish heritage, Scots in exile, or simply lovers of all things Scottish – it is a unique message from a Scottish hero, sent to them directly to celebrate a special occasion, or simply just to make them smile.

Visit www.clanagram.com to become a member of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s army and receive a message from the Young Pretender himself, a recitation of poetry by the national bard, or a tale from Scotland’s most famous outlaw, Rob Roy.

The arts have suffered immensely due to the Covid-19 pandemic, while tight restrictions continue to press pause on the live events industry. With the creation of digital performances and offerings such as Clanagrams, TWTC aims to continue finding innovative ways of performing, bringing theatre back to audiences, and offering creative professionals employment once again.

WEST KINTYRE:

Wild Westport

Nothing blows away the cobwebs like a walk along Westport Beach on Kintyre’s west coast.

The beach, the longest in mainland Argyll, is one of the jewels in Kintyre’s crown and usually draws surfers and tourists from near and far all year round.

At the moment, however, under the strict new lockdown measures which limit travel, it is much quieter than usual and is frequented mainly by walkers, runners and dog-walkers living nearby.

This photograph, taken by Mid Argyll-based amateur photographer Aileen Gillies in December, shows not only the beach’s rugged coastline but also its wild beauty.

This photograph, taken by Mid Argyll-based amateur photographer Aileen Gillies in December, shows not only the beach's rugged coastline but also its wild beauty.
This photograph, taken by Mid Argyll-based amateur photographer Aileen Gillies in December, shows not only the beach’s rugged coastline but also its wild beauty.