The Declaration of Arbroath is without doubt the most inspirational document in Scottish History. It continues to radiate universal ideas about freedom and constitutionalism shared in countries worldwide which revere democracy. It is as profound as it is unique, appearing, with the blessing of Robert Bruce, during the Scottish Wars of Independence. 2020 celebrates the 700th anniversary of this remarkable text which has been called the Scottish Declaration of Independence but which is surely much more.
Many Americans for example believe their Declaration of Independence was based upon that of Arbroath. Both the US and Canada now annually commemorate ‘Tartan Day’ on 6 April, the date of the document. How was it possible that such sophisticated, valued and universal ideas, as for example, the sovereignty of the people, were confidently articulated so early in such an allegedly remote and apparently insignificant little country as Scotland?
Ted Cowan has lectured on the Declaration in New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the United
States. He was involved in supporting the establishment of Tartan Day in the US and Canada. He is the author of For Freedom Alone, a fourth edition of which will appear in 2020 published by Birlinn.
Doors, tea & cake from 7pm.
Queen of France at 16 and widowed at 18, Mary Stuart defies pressure to remarry. Instead, she returns to her native Scotland to reclaim her rightful throne. However, Scotland and England fall under the rule of the compelling Elizabeth I. Each young Queen regards her cousin with fear and fascination.
An event delivered by Lagwyne Events team in Carsphairn, supported by GCAT.
Join award winning soloists Sophie Rocks & Sam Rodwell for an afternoon of classical harp and guitar music. A rarely found collaboration, the duo will be performing original works and their own arrangements - promising the audience something completely new!
The duo came together with a joint vision to deliver high quality performances of music they love. Blending their unique musical styles and experiences, Sam and Sophie thrive on their love of music and their desire to present diverse programmes to be enjoyed by audiences of all ages.
The poet Angus Macmillan will lead a walk, followed by a writing workshop, that encourages a poetic exploration of the significances of the old Pack Road passing through the abandoned settlement and invites imaginative responses to the wider, wilder landscape that encircles Polmaddy. This creative process will be supported by the photographic input of John Smith whose poetic interpretations of the landscape also offer the opportunity for people who are not able to manage the walk to still participate in this event (please contact Jane McBeth c/o CatStrand or for further details). Full details of the walk, itinerary, facilities and what to bring are available on enquiring/ booking.
A Wee Book House + event produced and promoted by Crossmichael residents.
One of Scotland’s foremost singers, Siobhan Miller is an exceptional talent, renowned for her unique vocal style paired with her evocative song-writing. Miller creates music with detail and rich melodies that combine the sounds of indie and alternative music with sounds from her roots in folk music. Growing up in a musical family, she was immersed in traditional song and learned from many of Scotland’s finest source singers in her early years as a performer. Miller won the 2018 BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Best Traditional Track, whilst also nominated for Folk Singer of the Year, and is the only ever three-time winner of Scots Singer of the Year at the BBC Alba Scots Trad Music Awards. Her three solo albums have received widespread critical acclaim, whilst her hotly anticipated fourth release is due in spring 2019. Mercury (2018) is Miller’s first album of entirely original material, and was recorded in Glasgow with many of her frequent collaborators, including producer Euan Burton. It also features songs co-written with Lau’s Kris Drever and Admiral Fallow frontman Louis Abbott. Flight of Time (2015) and Strata (2017), were both nominated for Album of the Year at the Scots Trad Awards, highlighting her extensive range through traditional, contemporary and self-penned material, as well as her “delicate, nourishing vocals and lyrically rich compositions” (The List).
She releases her fourth album in spring 2020 - following three critically acclaimed solo releases- touring with Innes White (guitar/mandolin), Charlie Stuart (fiddle) and Euan Burton (double bass).
Newcastle University's unique folk and traditional music degree - the first of it's kind in England - forms a new collaboration with CatStrand. We are offering final year students an opportunity to perform professionally and showcase the freshest sounds coming from the next generation of musicians. Janice Burns & Jon Doran were selected from a group of submissions from this years degree programme to participate in our Spring programme. Janice Burns and Jon Doran Janice Burns & Jon Doran are a folk duo based in the North-East of England who formed in 2017 after discovering their shared love for traditional song. A connection with vibrant repertoire captures feelings of familiarity, unveiling a clear respect for tradition whilst remaining relevant. Their compelling storytelling comes alive through tight vocal harmonies and thoughtful interplay between mandolin and bazouki.
Newcastle University Showcase: Janice Burns and Jon Doran
Saturday 28th March | 7.30pm | £10/£4 u25
Confluence member Fiona Morrison, from Wigtown, will lead a workshop and round table inspired by conversations that began at last years Confluence the World: Visions & Stories festival which was held at the Musee de la Femme in Marrakech.
To celebrate International Women's Day join us for an evening of discussion and performance from both local and emerging female acts, storyteller Anne Errington will compliment the discussions with tales from near and far. Left field experimental pop/ art singer, pianist and synth player Luki and ritualistic hymnal performer Pefkin will round off the evening.
Pefkin gained recognition as one half of the remarkable duo Electroscope, mixing psychedelic pop, lo fi, drones and folk. As the well known woman behind Boa Melody Bat she also became well known as a distributor of underground music. Glasgow based pianist, singer and synth player Luki has been featured as one to watch on BBC music introducing.
Luki’s. witchy soprano, elegant piano and synth create a sense of time and place out of joint, as if Delia Derbyshire and Brian Eno set up shop in an Edwardian parlour.
Hannah Croft & Fiona Pearce, stars of BBC Radio 4’s ‘The Croft & Pearce Show’ and ‘Sketchorama’, winners of the Mervyn Stutter Spirit of the Fringe Award and WhatsOnLondon Comedy Award nominees bring their huge sketch talents back to the Theatre Touring circuit. This talented duo and BBC ‘Next Big Thing’ Act have sold out theatres in London, New York, and around the UK with their “head-flingingly funny” sketches (Broadway Baby ★★★★★). Having taken 2017/2018 off to produce their most labour-intensive work to date (their first babies, born a week apart), Croft & Pearce return with a hugely successful brand new sketch-based tale, featuring some of their star characters, such as June and Jean, alongside an exciting cocktail of brand new creations. Hannah and Fiona met at school, followed each other to Oxford University, then both trained for three years at drama school (Hannah at the Guildhall and Fiona at Central). Their BBC Radio 4 ‘Sketchorama’ episode resulted in a nomination for Best Scripted Comedy at the BBC Audio Drama Awards 2015. This led to their first solo sketch show for BBC Radio 4, ‘The Croft & Pearce Show’. In addition to their own live shows and Radio 4 series, they have written for Tracey Breaks The News (BBC1), Numtums (CBeebies), Bitz & Bob (Cbeebies pilot) and The Mash Report (BBC2). Hannah currently lives in Italy and Fiona in Reading. They write via Skype.
CatStrand Youth Players present their entries for the Scottish Community Drama Association's Stewartry District Festival.
Selfie by Bradley Hayward
It’s senior year and problems are mounting for a group of high school students as they prepare for the future. As they document their year, one click at a time, they come to realise life is not about what other people see – it’s about the pictures they have of themselves.
Henna Night by Amy Rosenthal
Judith leaves her ex-boyfriend a desperate message on his answerphone saying that she is not coping with their break-up. She has brought some razor blades and some henna to either slash her wrists or dye her hair. However, it is his new partner, Ros, who hears the message and rushes to Judith's bedsit.
Ernies Incredible Illucinations by Alan Ayckburn
This is a bright comedy by the famous English comic playwright about the extraordinary powers of Ernie Fraser, a dreamer with a difference. Ernie has a vivid imagination; and his thoughts have the disconcerting habit of turning into reality.…
Yorkston Thorne Khan
Saturday 21st March | 7.30pm | £15/£4 u25
Yorkston Thorne Khan are touring the UK in support of their third album, Navarasa: Nine Emotions, tackling Robert Burns and Sufi poetry via Dick Gaughan and Amīr Khusrow Dehlavī, traditional Scottish songs, ragas and their own spidery compositions.
Yorkston Thorne Khan are songwriter James Yorkston (guitar, nyckelharpa, voice), jazz musician Jon Thorne (double bass, voice) and 8th generation sarangi player and vocalist Suhail Yusuf Khan. Meeting by chance backstage in 2015 and playing together ever since, Yorkston Thorne Khan’s musical explorations are well-informed by their rich musical heritage but never reverential, preferring to run with an energy and fun that pushes them to new ground, Rolling Stone calling their Neuk Wight Delhi All-Stars album “a game changing masterpiece”.
YTK have toured substantially around Europe and India, and as both the jazz and the Indian classical music worlds are renowned for their improvisation, it’s no surprise Yorkston Thorne Khan continue to tease the set structures of their material throughout, leaving every performance fresh and inspired.
Feast of Fools
Saturday 28th March | 2.00pm | £8/£4 u25
55 mins, recommended for ages 6+
Welcome to the dinner table of Storyteller Daniel Serridge a place where the stories are served and tales are tasted. Feast of Fools is a participatory storytelling performance that occurs in-the-round at a dinner table of the imagination. Daniel takes you on a culinary journey through two possible menus, one disgusting or one delicious, telling stories that will whet your appetite, leave you bloated and cleanse your palate. Audiences are asked to sit around the table and participate in a world of stories in a variety of different ways. The performance is designed to create the feeling of a family meal, where all awkwardness is displaced by laughter, silliness and a generous helping of interaction. Daniel hosts the meal, making sure that the performance is fun, energetic and moves along swiftly. There are toasts, riddles and tongue twisters to provide entertainment between courses. This is a family performance ideal for children six years of age and above.
'Silly, scrumptious and sure to satisfy' The List
Winner of the Royal Philharmonic Society's 'Young Artist Award', internationally acclaimed concert pianist Clare Hammond comes to Catstrand with a programme that showcases the best the piano has to offer. With the quiet beauty of Mendelssohn’s Songs Without Words, vitality of Beethoven’s third sonata, eerie calm of Sally Beamish’s Voices in Silence, and joyful exuberance of Gershwin, this promises to be an exhilarating and inspiring afternoon.
Mendelssohn Songs Without Words, Op. 67 (15’)
Beethoven Sonata No. 3 in C major, Op. 2 No. 3 (27’)
Schumann Humoreske, Op. 20 (26’)
Sally Beamish Voices in Silence (2004, 10’)
Earl Wild / Gershwin 3 Virtuoso Etudes after Gershwin, Nos. 7, 4 and 6 (9’)
i. ’Fascinatin’ Rhythm’ ii. ’Embraceable You’ iii.’I Got Rhythm’