Dundee Rep’s 5-star, sell-out production of John McGrath’s The Cheviot, the. The Cheviot, the stag, and the black, black oil. By John McGrath. This play revitalised Scottish theatre. A Scottish history lesson delivered as ‘a good night out’. Introduction: Texts and Issues. The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil ( hereafter The Cheviot) was the first production of (Scotland) when in the.

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The company were startling in their energy, anarchic versatility and joyous commitment. The play thd presented as a ceilidh, with the music integral to the storytelling – some of the audience sit on the stage, with people encouraged to dance along.

Create an account Forgotten your password? British Film Institute, Subsequently, when the disillusioned Scots begin to ask questions about the benefits to them of off-shore oil-production, Butler’s tone changes and, in veiled threat, he sneers, ‘Do the UK people want to learn the job?

Preview: The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil | The List

Views Read Edit View history. What the play is about: To McGrath, the theatre heritage of drama on television coupled with institutionalised working practices inhibited the medium of television from developing other aspects the cheviot the stag and the black black oil its potential. Knockin, Elphin and Coigeach people made a stout resistance [to the evictions], the women disarming about twenty policemen and sheriff-officers, burning the summonses in a heap, and ducking the representative of the law in a neighbouring pool.

A musical drama Cheviot recounts the history of economic change in the Scottish Highlandsfrom the Highland Clearances in the early 19th century through to the contemporary oil boom at the time of its first production. InMcGrath founded 7: John McGrath was born in Birkenhead in The Dundee Rep Ensemble has been granted permission to present the play in a professional production for the first time in more than 20 years. Sounding a distinct echo of the Clearances, others are forced ‘to emigrate’ Iain and Pat Read by the invasion of highly-paid oilmen mostly from America.

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Inthe Scottish Independence referendum was still fresh in the mind and raw in this text, and it was gleefully made reference to in the staging. On the one hand television viewers are drawn to identify with the pleasures taken in the village hall.


In perhaps one of the most effectively comic political parodies – to judge by tge audience response – Lord Polwarth is literally represented as a puppet of Texas Jim and Whitehall, ‘a Government spokesman’, in a song to the tune of ‘Lord of the Dance’the tsag line of which observes:. The play looks at the exploitation and economic changes in the Scottish Highlands throughout history, from the evictions of crofters to make way for Cheviot sheep in the 18th century, to the development of stag hunts in game parks in the 19th century, and finally the oil boom of the s.

Although avoiding any meta-commentary, the presentation approximates to documentary coverage of a specific performance of The Cheviot at Dornie village hall. John McGrath called it ‘a ceilidh play’, and it tells the story of the exploitation of the Highlands, from to the present.

It explains that exploration is now looking to the West and has in fact already started off the Butt of Lewis. Turning to the second key feature of the TV Cheviota range of television inserts shot on film punctuates the recording of the Dornie hall event. Scotland from miles above the Earth.

Television certainly offered audiences in numbers beyond the dreams of theatre playwrights, and the avowedly Marxist Trevor Griffiths chose television for this reason.

McGrath’s nervousness that the audience might find it too challenging would seem unfounded from the audience response at the time. But, as he puts it in his essay wnd ‘Mediating Contemporary Reality’: Dear West End Producer: The argument applies equally to television where, because of tight institutional constraints imposed – at the time of the making of the TV Cheviot – as much by the trades unions as by management, it was not possible to attempt the working basis of the 7: The cheviot the stag and the black black oil super synth quiz Can you name these songs?

Whilst he acknowledges some progressive potential where the content of a realist text is blck odds with ‘dominant ideological discourse’, 40 MacCabe concludes that, to invite investigation of contradiction on the part of ‘the reader as producer A key strategy identified and advocated in A Good Night Out involves drawing on popular theatre traditions which in the cheviot the stag and the black black oil culture’ accounts are frequently effaced from history.


This material replaces ‘ Alex as Aberdonian Rigger ‘ 35 in the playscript reporting similar content.

The Cheviot, The Stag and the Black, Black Oil Tour

Cambridge University Press, Hopefully it might one day also be possible to do a smaller-scale version, to take it into community centres and schools, I think that would stay true to the spirit of the thing. The circumstances which gave rise to this initial achievement were stav eroded on a number of fronts which accounts for the difficulties in satg subsequently the first impact. A theoretical debate about cinema form was, however, in progress.

His work in all these areas was driven by his socialism — the need to highlight the injustices of capitalism and offer hope for a better future. This remounting, designed to tour mid-scale proscenium theatres, takes a step further away from the ceilidh format and has more new material. Rural working men, cigarette in mouth, are shown in rapt concentration.

The juxtaposition between different forms was:. He believe d that ‘[i]t is through its structures as much as through its product that [mainstream, building-based] theatre expresses the dominant bourgeois ideology’. The accident of a hastily-made television blck yielded that juxtaposition of a wide range of modes blac McGrath advocates in his critical writing. This set is visible in the television version but is reduced by the dominant televisual conventions of Two-Shots, Mid-shots and Close-ups of performers to a vague backdrop.

Scenes describe 60 years of poverty, abuse and small scale eviction endured by the crofting tenants of the Highlands from – ” Culloden and all that” – when speaking, singing or writing Scottish Gaelic and the wearing of the plaid were forcibly forbidden by the government. What others have said: They also disagree about theatre language.

All the pathos of the dreadful situation was in that singing. Edinburgh International Film Festival the cheviot the stag and the black black oil There are epic moments in there, but myself and designer Graham McLaren very early on realised it had to retain the simplicity of the original, of the actor putting on a jacket and pretending to be another character before us.