The Bevvy Sisters return to Stornoway - and invite islanders to a singing workshop as part of the Broad Ways season

Launched yesterday (Monday, March 6th) by Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, An Lanntair's Broad Ways season, celebrating International Women's Day,  is in full swing this week.

The chance to her BAFTA-winning actor, writer, director and singer-songwriter Gerda Stevenson arrives on Thursday (March 9th)  in Story Makars.

Recognisable from her theatre work both as actor – Gerda has appeared in many great pieces of theatre, such as the sequel to John Byrne's iconic Slab Boys trilogy 'Nova Scotia' – and as writer/director, with her play 'Federer Versus Murray' receiving enormous acclaim at Edinburgh International Festival before touring to New York.

Her film credits include Mel Gibson's 'Braveheart'; and Gerda will be a familiar voice to radio listeners as she is regularly invited to read short stories and adaptations, performing in particular several Robert Burns poems and songs for the BBC.

Nominated as one of the Saltire Society's Outstanding Women of Scotland in 2014, Gerda's most recently published poetry book, 'If This Were Real' was described by The Sunday Herald as 'the best of the new in contemporary Scottish poetry – not to be missed'.

At An Lanntair this week Gerda will presents a selection of her poetry honouring overlooked women from Scottish history and culture – including pioneering Orcadian film-maker Margaret Tait.

Passing away in 1999, film-making talent Margaret had a prolific career making mostly short films based in the cobbled streets of Edinburgh, or on the windswept crofts of her native Orkney, as well as illustrated film-poems and reminders of her time studying in Rome.

And Gerda and Margaret worked together on feature 'Blue Black Permanent', for which Gerda won a Scottish BAFTA for her role.

Three of Margaret's short films will be shown alongside Gerda's readings – each of them a very different and intimate portrait of a woman – with live accompaniment from Australian musician Jess Ipkendanz.

The Broad Ways season continues on Friday (March 10th) with the opportunity for islanders to stretch their vocal chords and sing with the ever popular Bevvy Sisters – who include Lewis born talent Heather Macleod.

Co-founder of The Bevvy Sisters, Health cut her teeth playing in the 1990s Aberdeen blues-jam scene whilst at art school, before moving to Edinburgh to involve herself in the birth of The Bongo Club.

She also toured with Eliza Cathy's band for a number of years, racking up appearances on Glastonbury's main stage and the Conan O'Brien show in New York amongst others.

More than just talented musicians however, The Bevvy Sisters are all-round performers whose wit, warmth and story-telling make a night in their company one to remember.

Their radiantly triple-layered voices and artfully wide-ranging repertoire of vintage, contemporary and original songs stand out from the crowd in both style and substance that has won the Sisters a uniquely distinctive place in audiences' hearts since they joined forces in 2006.

Mixing equal measure of sweetness and sass, grit and glamour, heartbreak and hilarity – all cut with a dash of potent Scottish spirit – The Bevvy Sisters present pure vocal magic, distilled to the power of three.

Performing on Friday evening, The Bevvy Sisters will host a fun singing workshop in the afternoon, giving islanders the chance to ask them about their craft, and then put together an old spiritual song.

Relive the 1908s with classic film Desperately Seeking Susan at the Broad Way season's Party at the Pictures

And on Saturday (March 11th) it's time to get your girlfriends together for a fun night out as the Broad Ways season's Party at the Pictures presents the classic 80's film Desperately Seeking Susan.

Released in 1985, on one hand the film delivers a stylish comedy starring the one and only Madonna, but on the other a serious contemplation on ideas about identity, self-worth and a woman's place in the world.

For Party and the Pictures, An Lanntair's usual auditorium format is swapped for comfy chairs and sofas, and drinks are served throughout the event. Then, as the film end it's time to take to the dance floor with a live DJ set showcasing some of the very best music by some of the very best women, including (naturally) Madonna, Blondie, Aretha Franklin, Donna Simmer, Grimes, Beyonce, Dolly Parton and so many more.

For further information, or to book tickets for any of the Broad Ways season events, please visit