Caledonian dreaming : the performance of a different Scotland in Keiran Hurley's Rantin

Reid, Trish (2014) Caledonian dreaming : the performance of a different Scotland in Keiran Hurley's Rantin. In: Annual TaPRA Conference; 3-5 Sep 2014, Egham, U.K.. (Unpublished)


The establishment of a devolved Scottish parliament in 1999 altered Scotland’s understanding of and relationship to government; brought decision-making closer; and encouraged a more immediate sense of civic responsibility and empowerment on the part of the Scottish people. Devolution had a number of unforeseen consequences, certainly from the perspective of the New Labour administration that set it in motion with the referendum of 1997. Not least of these has been the transformation of the SNP from a minority party largely peopled by volunteers, to a mainstream force in the governance of Scotland. Consequently – in the run up to the independence referendum in September 2014 – the questions posed by Stuart Hall in ‘Who Needs Identity?’ seem extraordinarily live in contemporary Scotland. This paper will explore the ways in which Hall’s writing can inform our understanding of Keiran Hurley’s recent state-of-the-nation ceilidh play Rantin (2013). Rantin depicts a Scotland denuded of some of its most cherished myths, of the protective clothing that all nationalist movements love to wear. Just as bravely, however, Rantin is not ashamed of that nakedness. Hurley’s vision is as hopeful as it is satirical and unflinching, as full of possibilities as it is empty of fantasy. It evidences a shift in how young theatre makers understand and participate in the dynamic processes of Scottish national identity.

Actions (Repository Editors)

Item Control Page Item Control Page