Heretic's Tale, The

The Heretic's Tale

Gilmourhill, Glasgow, 8 Oct, then touring


Extreme intoxication, wild sexual orgies, incest, cannibalism - I know, you’re thinking of those students who took over the flat next door a couple of weeks back. But these kinds of activities, or at least, accusations of them, have been doing the rounds for centuries. Way back in the 18th century they were levelled at a religious cult from Ayrshire led by one Elspeth Buchan, called, in that literal minded 18th century way, The Buchanites. This particular sect seemed to show a particular genius for alienating the church authorities, and the 80-strong group suffered the consequences. Groups who predict, as this one did, the imminent Armageddon are liable to piss anyone off, I suppose ?" no doubt a few minutes with the American ‘left behind’ group of today would provoke the response ‘Armageddon outta here’ in any sane person.

All the same there was a fair bit of suffering in store for Elspeth’s cult, as documented in this new piece by Highland theatre company Dogstar. Matthew Zajac’s outfit, directed in this outing by Stephen Docherty, bring Hamish MacDonald’s history play to life with live music from the likes of Annie Grace, one of Scotland’s leading actor/musicians. Promising a fascinating insight into history and the cult mentality, this looks a good night out.

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