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Far, Far From Ypres - Touring Scotland with final performance at The Usher Hall, Edinburgh on Armistice Day, November 11th

Far, Far From Ypres is a two-hour multimedia performance presenting the First World War from a Scottish point of view through songs from the trenches and music halls, as well as more recent songs inspired by the conflict, along with poetry and prose readings. To commemorate the lead-up to the centenary of Armistice day in November 2018, this production will tour Scotland, staged in 10 venues closely associated with Scottish regiments and therefore at the heart of recruitment during the First World War.

The tour starts on 5th August in Selkirk and is being presented in partnership with Legion Scotland and Poppy Scotland. It has been backed by the Scottish Government through Creative Scotland and the tour is a major element of the WW100 Scotland programme as it marks the centenary of the ending of WW1.

The original stories behind this concert date back nearly a century now, but a later starting-point came in 2008 when Greentrax Recordings released the double CD, Far, Far From Ypres, a collection of soldiers’ marching and trench songs, music-hall favourites and home-front anthems from 1914-18, alongside subsequent songwriters’ reflections on the conflict, curated and produced by Ian McCalman. The stage show started life at a Greentrax 25th Anniversary Concert where various of the Greentrax special projects were featured. Among these was an excerpt from the Far, Far From Ypres CD, with the songs being performed live accompanied by background graphics. The potential for an extended show was recognised; Ian McCalman set about writing a script and the show was premiered at Celtic Connections. The show has since played in front of well over 10,000 people, including further sell out concerts on the main stage of the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and concerts throughout Scotland including Edinburgh Queens Hall, Perth Concert Hall, Greenock, Inverness and Irvine, plus a moving and memorable visit to Martignas, near Bordeaux in France, where the cast took part in a week-long series of events leading up to a performance of the Ypres show.

Narrated by BBC Radio Scotland presenter Iain Anderson, the show includes some of the leading lights in the folk scene. Those joining him on this tour will include Barbara Dickson, Siobhan Miller, Dick Gaughan, Ian McCalman, Mairi MacInnes, Gary West, Stephen Quigg, Ian Bruce, Sangsters, Alan Prior, Carole Prior, Ragged Glory, Soopna, Tom Ward, Stevie Palmer, Donald Hay, Brian Miller and Dennis Wilson, with projection and graphics by Pete Heywood. The performance at The Usher Hall, Edinburgh, on 11th November, is likely to be the final performance of the show as there are currently no plans for any further performances.

THE TOUR - Sunday 5 August - Victoria Halls, Selkirk; Thursday 9 August - His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen; Wednesday 29 August - Corran Halls, Oban; Friday 31 August - Aros Centre, Portree, Skye; Saturday 1 September - MacPhail Centre, Ullapool; Sunday 7 October - Whitehall Theatre, Dundee; Sunday 14 October - Albert Halls, Stirling; Sunday 21 October - Eden Court Theatre, Inverness; Sunday 28 October - Theatre Royal, Dumfries; Sunday 11 November - Usher Hall, Edinburgh.