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The Callanish Stoned

12th March 2006

Photograph of The Callanish Stoned

Lewis novelist and poet Kevin MacNeil, internationally acclaimed for his writing, has joined forces with the local professional theatre company theatreHEBRIDES to produce an original new play, The Callanish Stoned.

"I had a great deal of fun writing The Callanish Stoned," said Kevin MacNeil, whose recent novel The Stornoway Way was hailed as a classic of contemporary Scottish literature. "There's a great deal of comedy in it and the soundtrack is amazing. My ambition was to write a play that gets young people of all ages laughing. Some of the humour will appeal to younger adults but much of it is verbally-based and sophisticated enough to appeal to all ages. I basically wrote the kind of play that I myself would have loved to go and see!"

The Callanish Stoned is based around one night's shenanigans during Summer Solstice at the Callanish Stones. An unremittingly witty play, it focuses on a group of three friends and the insights they gain about life and each other as they attempt to travel to the Callanish Stones for the Summer Solstice. Their journey is far from straightforward as they encounter a variety of eccentric local and visiting characters.

The Callanish Stoned is themed around issues of relationships, belonging, evolving traditions, influence and identity. The play utilizes English, Gaelic and Stornoway slang to powerful effect. It uses humour to touch on (but never trivialize) serious issues. Its final premise demonstrates that people can only thrive if they tolerate and attempt to understand one another. The Callanish Stoned gives unique insight into Western Isles youth culture and touches on issues of drinking, drug use and peergroup pressure.

Complimenting the performance is some inspiring new music from acclaimed local musician Willie Campbell, which will be played live on electric guitar at each performance. Other elements include film/multimedia pieces from Lewis-originated filmmaker Neil McConnell, and contemporary stage design from Richard Groundsell.

Callanish Stoned can be seen at 8.00pm on Tuesday 21st March at the Mill Theatre; Thurso. Tickets cost 7.00 & 5.00 conc. And bookings can be made by calling Thurso 896956.


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