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History, Tradition, Heritage As related to the subjects of piping, drumming and pipe bands.

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Old 05-19-2017, 04:53 PM   #1
will103
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Default 7:84 Theatre company

Ok folks, going back into my childhood here and looking for help identifying a play done by the 7:84 theatre company and aired on the BBC back in the 1980s/90s. It was a history of the Gaelic people told with music and song, covering the period from the Lordship of the isles to the Clearances. I would love to track it down. Any ideas?

Ta will103
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Old 05-20-2017, 03:19 AM   #2
Heatherbelle
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Default Re: 7:84 Theatre company

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Originally Posted by will103 View Post
Ok folks, going back into my childhood here and looking for help identifying a play done by the 7:84 theatre company and aired on the BBC back in the 1980s/90s. It was a history of the Gaelic people told with music and song, covering the period from the Lordship of the isles to the Clearances. I would love to track it down. Any ideas?

Ta will103
Was it https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ch...lack_Black_Oil ?????
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Old 05-20-2017, 03:57 AM   #3
Adam Sanderson
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Default Re: 7:84 Theatre company

You've really got me thinking here! I used to go and see 7:84 performances whenever I could, they were a huge part of my teenage years.

The Cheviot, The Stag and the Black, Black Oil is their most famous work, and deals with clearances in Scotland from post Culloden to the USA "compulsory purchases" of the early 70's. (My Mother's side of the family were evicted from the land they had farmed since Victorian times when it was sold from under them to the USA in 1972).

Random Happenings In The Hebrides was another 7:84 play that featured Gaelic song, etc, and again dealt with evictions by the British and US governments in the Scottish Highlands and Isles.

Little Red Hen was mid 70's and dealt with similar themes, but I don't recall much Gaelic in it, and the songs were mainly from the Clydeside area. Same goes for "Blood Red Roses" and "Men Should Weep", although the first part is set in the Gaelic Highlands.

There was another, whose name escapes me, about the Highlands being cleared, including slavery to the "Buckskins" in America. I remember an actual handbill in the foyer advertising "Scottish babies for sale - crib included - sixpence". This dealt with the indignities suffered by Highlanders and Islanders from the Jacobite era to the clearances on Uist and the Gareloch when the US missiles arrived in the 60's and 70's. Can't remember the name, but lots of Gaelic song, including port a beul.

Mairi Mhor, the Woman from Skye is set too late for the time you refer to, it's 1800's.

One 7:84 play I saw at the Tramway covered Scottish history from the Picts to the present day. Can't remember the title, but can remember the dialogue. Guess it's a bit like playing a tune well on the chanter, but although you remember the tune, the name escapes you.
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Old 05-20-2017, 07:58 AM   #4
K Sanger
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Default Re: 7:84 Theatre company

Possibly 'There is a happy land', 1986, which was pretty much all Gaelic Song and music.?

Keith
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Old 05-21-2017, 02:07 AM   #5
will103
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Default Re: 7:84 Theatre company

Folks thanks for your replies.

Adam, I grew up in the very North Highlands and unfortunately I did not get the chance to see 7:84 live, but, seeing them on TV was fantastic. You were very lucky.

Keith, yes it was 'There is a happy Land'. I wonder if I could buy a copy somewhere? I did have it recorded on VHS video but that is now long gone.

Thanks will103
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Old 05-22-2017, 05:01 AM   #6
Adam Sanderson
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Default Re: 7:84 Theatre company

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Originally Posted by will103 View Post
Folks thanks for your replies.

Adam, I grew up in the very North Highlands and unfortunately I did not get the chance to see 7:84 live, but, seeing them on TV was fantastic. You were very lucky.

Keith, yes it was 'There is a happy Land'. I wonder if I could buy a copy somewhere? I did have it recorded on VHS video but that is now long gone.

Thanks will103
Glad we have a consensus! After checking, the full title is "There is a Happy Land, the story of the Gael in Scotland". Premiered in 1987, shown on Channel 4 in 1988. It was filmed in Acharacle. Written by John McGrath, music by Ossian. It had 3 parts; Glory of the Gael/Acts of Union/Pushed to the Edge

It is unavailable, in fact after asking about it, several people have remarked that they would happily pay for a DVD. The Schools of Scottish Studies says that an archive VHS copy exists in Edinburgh University, but they won't part with it for reproduction.
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Old 05-23-2017, 12:38 PM   #7
will103
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Default Re: 7:84 Theatre company

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Originally Posted by Adam Sanderson View Post
Glad we have a consensus! After checking, the full title is "There is a Happy Land, the story of the Gael in Scotland". Premiered in 1987, shown on Channel 4 in 1988. It was filmed in Acharacle. Written by John McGrath, music by Ossian. It had 3 parts; Glory of the Gael/Acts of Union/Pushed to the Edge

It is unavailable, in fact after asking about it, several people have remarked that they would happily pay for a DVD. The Schools of Scottish Studies says that an archive VHS copy exists in Edinburgh University, but they won't part with it for reproduction.
Hi Adam, I have asked my father to look through old VHS cassette tapes to see if he can find it. Fingers crossed. Ta Will103
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