The Kist - Musical memories from contemporary and traditional Scotland. @ New Town Theatre

"How do you keep your feet on the ground when you know that you were born to fly?"

Article by Antony Sammeroff | 07 Aug 2011
  • The Kist - Musical memories from contemporary and traditional Scotland. @ New Town Theatre

I'm not overly patriotic, but from the moment The Kist opens with Fiona Kennedy’s gloriously melodious solo in Gaelic I'm captivated. Joined by the entire cast in prolific harmony, passion deepens.

Tonight’s theme is to "Unpack the Kist that is Scotland." A kist (for those approaching the play as uneducated in Scotts as I am) literally means a chest, but as languages are wont to their own subtleties, the term has its own broader ambiguity which is itself explored. The Scottish packed their most precious belongings (and with them their memories of home) in kists when they migrated during the highland clearances.

Between the unraveling of ancient Scottish traditions and talk of seeds which Scots planted in other cultures, the influence of which is still felt today, flawless voices give measure to songs of Scottish origin, old and new. The band abound us with gorgeous guitar arpeggios, heart strings of the traditional fiddle and the mellow, moving tones of Celtic flute.

Body language flowing from the cast gives a strong imprint of the fun-loving banter of our Scotts heritage, James Muldoon is particularly demonstrative. Even on opening night the show exudes polish.

We die a thousand deaths and are reborn to the moving accents of Claire Hastings, a recent Scottish Music graduate of the RSAMD. Special guest, Marcus Hummon (Grammy Award winning country star) demonstrates technical excellence on the guitar while demonstrating the influence of “Celtic” music on American vernacular styles.

4-21 August @ New Town Theatre 2011