A new Gaelic language pantomime will be visiting Lewis and Harris schools this week as part of a fifteen-day national tour. 'Anna Bheag a’ Chòta Dheirg', a re-imagining of the Little Red Riding Hood fairy-tale, features Calum MacDonald, MJ Deans and Ellen MacDonald. It is the tenth successive year that Fèisean nan Gàidheal has produced and toured a Gaelic language pantomime for children in Gaelic-medium education.
The pantomime, supported by Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Creative Scotland and HIE, was written and directed by Fèisean nan Gàidheal’s Drama Officer Angus Macleod.
Angus said: “The play updates the traditional Little Red Riding Hood story and gives it a martial arts twist. The three experienced actors bring lots of fun and energy to their roles and the audience interaction will make this an engaging and enjoyable experience for children and adults alike.”
“Anna Bheag and her mother, the original Little Red Riding Hood, have taken up karate to defend themselves against attack from wolves in the enchanted forest. The team is grateful for the expert guidance of karate black belt, Dolina Ross, of Inverness-based Karate Alba. During rehearsals she taught the actors some exciting karate moves which feature in the play.”
All three actors in 'Anna Bheag a’ Chòta Dheirg' have appeared in previous Gaelic pantomimes produced by Fèisean nan Gàidheal.
The wolf is played by Calum MacDonald, well-known as a presenter on BBC Alba’s _Dè a-nis?. MJ Deans, who has recently finished touring 'Rocket Post' with the National Theatre of Scotland, plays the mother and great-grandmother. Anna Bheag is played by Ellen MacDonald, a singer with Dàimh and Sian. She is also well-known for her role as Kirsty in BBC Alba’s 'Bannan'.
The pantomime will be at shown at Sir E. Scott School, Tarbert, for both Tarbert and Levberburgh pupils and at Lochs School, with Pairc pupils, on Wednesday 6th December. On Thursday 7th December the tour reaches Stornoway Town Hall with two performances with many island schools attending.