Return of the goat

May 12 2014 | By More

First performance commission for Summerhall

SongOfTheGoatLogoBy Thom Dibdin

The Summerhall arts complex has announced its first major performance commission. Song of the Goat will return for this year’s fringe with Return to the Voice, performed off-site in St Giles’ Cathedral.

The production is the culmination of the multi award-winning Polish company’s two year anthropological theatre project, which it describes as its “Scottish Project”.

The company where a runaway hit during the 2012 fringe, when their Songs of Lear project – “King Lear in pill form” according to critic Matt Trueman – came top of The List magazine’s top rated shows.

Return to the Voice is a celebratory exploration of Gaelic forms and traditions, which fixes an external eye on Scottish identity according to Rupert Thomson of commissioning partnership: Eleven/Capital Arts and Summerhall.

He said: “Song of the Goat have been working with ancient Gaelic music, a fundamental element of Scottish identity, and are reworking it into a performance concerned with identity in the widest sense. This is not a political piece, but an ‘outside eye’ on Scotland, its people and traditions. These perceptions are then interpreted and re-presented by a leading international artistic team.”

Song of the Goat’s artistic director Grzegorz Bral, musician Maciej Rychly and actresses Katarzyna Timingeriu and Emma Bonnici did their preliminary research for the show in Scotland. The examined archives of traditional Scottish songs and met both musicians and representatives of organisations cultivating Scottish music.

Bral, said: “We have been inspired by the wide range of ancient Scottish music, including laments for death and love, working songs, storytelling songs, psalms, wedding songs, and songs of exile. We have also been fascinated by the connectedness of the musical forms we have uncovered, with Celts, druids, gnostics, vikings, and many other influences.

“Our experience of Scottish music has been as a palimpsest. When you scratch one level it immediately reveals the next level. You take this one out and it shows yet another, and another.”

Speaking of the relevance of the commission to Summerhall, Rupert Thomson added: “This is our first full-scale performance commission, and it articulates a variety of our values: internationalism, and what can be learned from deep and ancient cultures; art that informs itself from a variety of forms and sources; and the importance of relating these to a contemporary setting.”

Return to the Voice will be premiered in St Giles’, with 13 performances over the fringe. The production will include accompanying performances of traditional Gaelic music, performed by leading contemporary Gaelic artists.

Further information on Song of the Goat Theatre from their website:

Return to the Voice
by Song of the Goat Theatre
St Giles’ Cathedral, High St, EH1 1RE
Wed 6 – Mon 25 August 2014, various times.
Tickets from the Fringe Box Office from May 13:
On general sale via Summerhall from 5 June:


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.