Gaelic to Take Centre-Stage in St Giles' for Top Fringe Event

Article excerpt

SCOTLAND'S ancient language is to take centre-stage during this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe in one of the city's most historic buildings.St Giles' Cathedral, a place of worship for around 900 years in the Old Town, will be playing host to a new theatrical production showcasing centuries of Gaelic tradition.Some of the language's leading singers and musicians will be joining forces with a leading Polish theatre company for a show which will feature performances of centuries-old music and song, as well as new pieces inspired by the nation's Gaelic heritage.The production will also provide a unique European perspective on Scottish national identity just weeks ahead of the independence referendum in a venue which has played a key role in the religious and political evolution of the country.St Giles', which sits in the heart of the Royal Mile, dates back to the early 12th century. It was set on fire during the sacking of Edinburgh by English troops in 1385, was the church where John Knox gave his famous sermons which sparked the Reformation in the 16th century and the scene of a riot in 1637 when a local street- seller, Jenny Geddes, threw a stool at the dean in protest at the imposition of a new prayer book by Charles I to bring Scotland into line with the Church of England.Return to the Voice, which will be a centrepiece of the festival programme run by Summerhall arts centre this summer, is believed to be one of the biggest celebrations of Gaelic to be staged in the 67-year history of the Fringe. …