Following the sold-out success of its 2019 tour, John McGrath’s legendary The Cheviot, The Stag, and the Black Black Oil returns for a new Scottish tour in 2020.
One of the country’s most iconic and influential plays, The Cheviot, The Stag, and the Black Black Oil was first staged by the 7:84 Theatre Company in the 1970s, becoming a cornerstone of contemporary Scottish theatre.
Successfully restaged by director Joe Douglas in 2015, the show was produced by the National Theatre of Scotland in 2019, visiting art centres and rural communities across Scotland before the play’s English premiere at Newcastle’s Live Theatre.
The 2020 tour will open in Glasgow with a two-week engagement at the city’s famous Pavilion Theatre. It marks the first time that a National Theatre of Scotland production has visited the historic venue, one of the oldest theatre buildings in the city.
The production will then embark on the first leg of a rural tour, visiting venues in Achiltibuie, Rogart, St Andrews, Musselburgh, Peebles, and Dumfries, as well as returning to Dundee Rep Theatre, where director Joe Douglas’s revived production broke box office records in 2015. It will then tour across the Highlands and Islands, including visits to Lochawe, Uist, Tarbert, Caithness, Tain, Findhorn, Drumnadrochit, Strontian, Ballachulish, and Gartmore.
Cast members from the successful 2019 revival Stephen Bangs, Jo Freer, Christina Gordon, and Billy Mack are reunited and joined by Cameron Barnes and Charlie West for the 2020 tour. Returning cast member Calum MacDonald will also perform as part of the ensemble for the first half of the tour, from 30 April to 29 May, before Sally Swanson joins for tour dates from 01 to 20 June.
“a quintessentially Scottish piece of theatre”- The Guardian
“arguably the single most important show in the history of Scottish theatre”- The Scotsman
More than forty-five years on from its original tour, John McGrath’s pivotal political play has lost none of its vitality and relevance. A multi-talented ensemble cast of actor/musicians chart a rousing and rollicking course through Scotland’s history, expertly weaving, songs, poems, scenes and sketches into a piece of theatre with the feel of a freewheeling Highland ceilidh.
From the ruthless croft clearances of the 18th century to the fashionable Victorian game hunts, and the scars left by the ‘70s North Sea oil boom right up to the political upheaval of the current day, The Cheviot, The Stag, and the Black, Black Oil presents the stories and experiences of Scotland’s land, sea, and the people that work on them across the centuries.
The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil is the most famous production of the 7:84 company, set up by John McGrath alongside his wife Elizabeth MacLennan and her brother David in 1971.
Avowedly socialist in its outlook, its aim was to take popular, political theatre to the working classes and they performed in alternative venues throughout Scotland, England and Wales. The title of the company derived from a 1966 statistic that 7% of the population of Great Britain owned 84 % of the wealth.