Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Wed 11 - Sat 14 Apr, then touring
Given the amount you’ll be reading over the next few weeks on the issue of the future of the union, I’m loathe to add to your burden. But 7:84 are determined to approach this issue from angles that you won’t expect. True to their general commitment to current issues, they’ve managed, in fairly short order, to commission four writers from different countries to each produce a 20-minute play on the subject of the dividing of nations.
All four pieces will be presented in a single evening, each creating a story set at significant turning points in their various countries’ histories. There are contributions from Nicola McCartney on Ireland in 1921, Haresh Sharma on India/Pakistan in 1947, Selma Dimitrijevic on Yugoslavia/Croatia in 1991, and finally Linda McLean on Scotland in 2007. But the stories are as much metaphor as historical commentary, looking at ideas of families and relationships in the context of these huge events.
Director Lorenzo Mele is looking to downplay the element of political rumination, allowing these matters to emerge as part of various personal stories. ‘We wanted to do something that looks at this moment in Scottish history. We didn’t want to do a documentary on the history of the union - we knew that the newspapers would provide plenty of facts, figures and history,’ he says. ‘Three of them take a very metaphorical line, where personal lives of individuals, families and so on become ways of unlocking these big global events. People don’t go to the theatre for history lessons - they go for emotion, stimulation and surprise. So you don’t have to know the history of Ireland, India, Croatia or even Scotland to enjoy these pieces.’