Hello aw, howp ye's daein weil.
I stairtit readin David Lindsay's "Thrie Estatis" the ithir day, certaint ane tae be recommendit tae aw fowk (that's not fashed by sweiry wurds an laich humour!).
It got me thinkin about weil kent Scots plays - or raither the want o thaim furth o linguistic an theatrical circles. Nou, as Joe McPublic wi no muckle intress in the theatre generally, I can think o jist a hantle o Scots plays - "The Thrie Estatis" itsel, Douglas Young's owerset o Aristophanes' "The Puddocks", twa-thrie by Robert McLellan, an (frae whan I wis a bairn) "The Puddock an the Princess" - ainlie the hinmaist o whilk I hae actually seen preformit. The lave I ken o acuase o ma intress in Scots. As I say, I'm no a bodie that gangs tae the theatre as a maitter o course, but neither is the muckle feck o fowk in Scotland, an monie o thaim dinna hae the samen kind o intress in Scots, e'en tho they micht weil speak it better nor I dae - sae I jalouse that maist Scottish fowk (Scots speakers an ithirs) isna awaur o the Scots theatrical tradeitions, or at oniegates dinna see thaimsels as haein a pairt o thae tradeitions.
Nou, this isna tae say that there's no braw plays bein wrocht in Scots aw the nou ( I hae nae dout ava that they is), but a blin cheil coud see sumthing's no richt that a kintra wi the rich leitrary tradeitions o Scotland, an wi the rich leiterary tradeitions o the Scots leid, suld be wantin a weil kent, weil respecktit naitional theatre tradeition in Scots. Sae whit's gaed wrang?
Weil, lat's stairt at the stairt. We ken that in the meiddle ages Scots haed a lively vernacular theatrical tradeition: passion plays wis ordinar in Europe as a haill, an they wis playit in Scotland for hunners o year (in fack this haes been resurrectit, gin ye'll pairdon the pun, in Edinburgh's modren Easter Play in Princes St Gairdens, in Inglis o course), "Robyn Hude" plays an saunts plays wis pairt o the auld festivities alang wi ballants, jugglers an gettin bloutered.
Sadly, the ainlie fou play that survives frae thon time is "The Thrie Estatis" - the lave o the tradeition is atestit ainly in fragments an references. Whan ye see the shinin ensamples o the makar tradeition in Dunbar, Henryson, Douglas an co. ye canna hulp but wuss that mair o the plays haed survivit an aw. The tradeition dee'd at the Reformation. Forbye wantin tae dae awa wi the actors thaimsels that wis notour for bousin, lechery an general un-Presbyterian cairry on, monie o the Reformers saw the plays as a corruptin influence on the minds o the fowk that gaed tae see thaim. This attitude didna dee quickly, an by the time we won tae the Enlichtenment, vernacular tradeitions wis nae guid onie mair. Genteel, polite, Inglis wad be the order o the day; an whan leukin back they gaed for Shakespeare, Ben Jonson an nae David Lindsay in sicht (no helpit by his bawdiness, I dout).
The Kirk still haed an influence, an e'en tae the time o Allan Ramsay wis haudin back the development o a Scottish theatre in onie leid. In the lang time between the Reformation an the rise o the Scots Renaissance o the 1920s, the Scots theatrical tradeition haed been sae lang deid that is haed tynt its links wi the common fowk, the non-literati, the fowk that haed keipt ballants, fowk poetry, idioms an the Scots leid itsel as leivin thrivin entities. As a result the modren Scots theatre disnae hae the samen links wi Joe McPublic that it needs tae be pairt o Scotland's naitional leiteratur, an popular cultural life.
Sae whit's be tae be duin? Efter aw, fowk wull say the exack samen things anent Scots prose, yit here I am sceivin awa in it. An, syne the problems is the samen, the answer micht weil be the samen an aw: meanin that the twa things maist needit is cultural relevance an strang, fou hairtit support frae the public bodies that exist tae gie a heize tae things that's culturally relevant an important tae Scotland. Wantin thir twa things, I dinna see hou Scots theatre (an prose, for thon maitter) can win forrit. Nou, I ken fowk ar fechtin for thir things - the SLC itsel bein a guid ensample, an as I said abuin, ye can hae nae douts that fowk is warkin on the leiteratur end o things - they aye is in Scots, efter aw. I'm no a bodie that kens muckle anent the politics an the warkins o bodies sic as the SAC, sae I canna threip tae hae ma finger on the pulse. Aw I can say is that I am pairt o the pulse, an sae is ilka man, wumman an wean in Scotland.
Sae, cultural relevance an strang central support.
Thon's aw for nou - it's weil on the nicht an I hae the kirk the morn. Lat me ken whit ye think about this wi comments ablo, coud be an intressin collogue.
Cheerio for nou an God bless ye aw,
Sang o the Week - Folque's Norrowegian versrion o "The Twa Corbies". Tak a butcher's here - http://youtube.com/watch?v=Z_1MP-7pX40 Michael sent me the link a while syne, sae thanks tae him. I'm thinkin about hou tae mak a fowk metal arrangement o this...
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