Gie’s Peace

Aug 20 2018 | By More

★★★☆☆     Peaceful zeal

Scottish Storytelling Centre (Venue 30): Fri 17-Sun 19, Fri 24-Sat 25 Aug 2018
Review by Hugh Simpson

Gie’s Peace, Morna Burdon’s political song and spoken word performance, has an intimate feel but a core of steel.

As a follow-up to last year’s Bonnie Fechters, this once again deals with courageous women – in this case, specifically those who have spoken out, campaigned and acted against war.

Poster for Morna Burdon's Gie's Peace at the Storytelling CentreMuch of the time, this performance in the Storytelling Centre Library has the feeling of a consciousness-raising public meeting. The audience certainly seems to be steeped in the material already and the atmosphere is decidedly supportive.

While it might be interesting (in these days of echo-chamber politics where conflicting views never seem to be tolerated, let alone discussed) to have a bit of grit in the oyster, the tone is never self-congratulatory. Indeed, there is something wistful about the whole thing, in the face of a world that still seems intent on characterising those who aren’t in favour of wholesale slaughter as the cranks.

Burdon’s chosen material is a good blend of the familiar and more obscure. Some of the songs – Buffy Sainte-Marie’s Universal Soldier, a couple from Pete Seeger – have certainly fallen from fashion a little, but is good to be reminded of how relevant they sadly remain.

warmth and inclusivity

The singing is clear but never overbearing, as if gentle persuasion rather than stridency is the way to go. The stories and introductions between the songs are pitched about right in terms of length and use of personal anecdotes.

There are occasions where the low-key, personal nature of the performance threatens to tip over into simply being unrehearsed, and the ever-present lectern and ring binder do give it the air of a lesson at times. But warmth and inclusivity always win out in the end.

Running time 1 hour (no interval)
Scottish Storytelling Centre (Venue 30), 43-45 High St, EH1 1SR
Friday 17 – Sunday 19, Friday 24 – Saturday 25 August 2018 at 1.00 pm
Daily (not Wed 8, Tue 14, Tue 21) at 4.25 pm.
Book tickets on the Fringe website:

Morna Burdon website:
Facebook: @morna.burdon


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