549: Scots of the Spanish Civil War: 'We learn from history that we do not learn from history'
- Gareth Vile
- 6 June 2019
Exploration of Scotland's role in pivotal conflict embarks on national tour
After a successful debut in 2018, 549 – Wonder Fools' study of the Scottish men who fought for the International Brigade during the Spanish Civil War – heads out for a comprehensive tour of the country. The company's desire to reveal a hidden story grounds the show in the recollections of the relatives of those who fought and brings a local perspective to one of the 20th century's most important conflicts, when the rising tide of fascism faced off against international resistance.
'We want people to explore the history and heritage of their communities,' explain Jack Nurse and Robbie Gordon, the company's founders. 'We begin the show by stating "We learn from history that we do not learn from history", a quote by Georg Wilhelm Freidrich Hegel, and this is something we hope 549 will spark a conversation around.'
Having recorded conversations with the relatives of the men who went to war, the production focuses on the story of four individuals from Prestonpans. Inspired by heroism and willingness of these men to risk their lives for their beliefs, the company see the story as too important to be lost. 'We wanted to play a part in ensuring that the Scottish involvement in the Spanish Civil War wasn't confined to a chapter in a history book,' say Nurse and Gordon, 'but shared and championed to as wide an audience as possible.'
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Thu 6–Sat 8 Jun; St Luke's, Glasgow, Tue 11 Jun; Platform, Easterhouse, Wed 12 Jun; and touring.