The Drovers and the Laird: Premiered today on Dunans Bridge for an Octogenarian Laird of Dunans Castle @TWTC

It was bound to happen at some point: the two companies working so successfully side-by-side at Dunans would eventually get together and create a theatrical piece for our Lairds and Ladies.

Well, today marked the first performance of a specially commissioned play ‘The Drovers and the Laird’ by the The Walking Theatre Company, written by my lovely/their very own in-house play-wright, Sadie Dixon-Spain, and performed by Rebecca Bloom, Janis Marshall-Reilly and John Love.

The play begins in 1715 and tells the tale of the arrival at ‘Dounens’ of the first Fletcher. Rob Roy MacGregor makes an appearance as does the lovely Anne McNabb, however more than these snippets I will not reveal because next year we’re going to put on several performances of the play for our Lairds and Ladies.

Rebecca Bloom (front left) and Sadie Dixon-Spain (front right) with other members of The Walking Theatre Company a couple of years ago!

When you ask? Well the dates are not confirmed, but we think four or five weekends through the summer, and each will be available to our Lairds and Ladies well in advance to enable travel plans.

We’re also developing “command performances” for very special Lairds and Ladies – more on the website soon.

You may also be wondering why the picture of woodland at the top? Well, the party asked not to have photos taken on the day, so our only option was a long distance shot of the opening scene – on the bridge, in the sunshine. I can attest that there was lots of laughter, but the performers and audience are not really visible at all. Oh well. Next time we’ll get Jean Donaldson of Powan to take some crackers!

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Puffballs, Bats and Statements of Requirement: Building Momentum at Dunans this August

IMG_1697While the last couple of weeks have included a well-earned break, we have also been working hard on the next stage of the Dunans project. In fact, if truth be told, the whole thing is rather taking off!!

The image shows what look like puffball mushrooms on the main lawn at Dunans, but are in fact essential placemarkers for the laser survey AOC carried out on Thursday. The results of which we’ll post as soon as possible.

The same day, well, evening we had the first of our ecological surveys, with 6 bat spotters onsite until 11 pm, recording all the bats that spin about our belfry!

And this Friday, myself, Robin (our architect) and Sadie went through statement of requirements for castle and ScottishLaird office. These are essential pre-requisites before the designing of space begins – a design which will use the laser survey as its basis.

Tam and Meg gallop out of the cover of a forthcoming book

allowayrapgraphic… artwork for the cover of Alloway Rap. Notice the signal black, white and orange – no where have I seen that before? The TWTC logo possibly?

The font is ‘Cracked’ by the way and it was drawn in illustrator.