At 8pm on Tuesday10th May 2022 Islay High School’s main hall buzzed with anticipation. The room was darkened, the chairs set out around a dimly lit set. Gradually the chattering faded as the star of the show, sole performer Solène Weinachter, sat in one of the chairs, slowly clasped and unclasped her hand, the performance had begun!
This was our first live event in over two years, and we were, it is fair to say, a little anxious – would anyone come? But people did come, 55 of them in fact, including, we were delighted to see, a number of High School pupils some of whom had attended a very successful workshop earlier in the day given by the Scottish Dance Theatre supported by Islay Arts Association.
The performance was a very modern take on the Greek classic about a young girl resisting oppression. Presented as a dance /drama with many timeless and topical echos, it is mounted in the round in a specially designed set with soundscapes and lighting to emphasise the story.
Solène’s performance has previously been described as captivating, and so it was on Tuesday evening. The in the round stage set meant that the audience were all very close to the peformance and this just added to the experience; we could sense the power, the exertion and the raw emotion. There were moments of lighter relief when we all joined in (from our seats!) a march, a Mexican wave and applause.
The performance was followed by a question and answer session with Solène and Joan Clevillé, the Artistic Director, for those who wished to stay.
Event organised by Islay Arts Association with kind cooperation of Islay High School and support of Mactaggart Third Fund.
Other events currently being planned
A David Hayman play is called “Time’s Plague”, moving on the life story of the same central character (Bob Cunningham) as the two previous plays. We are waiting for a date, but October is likely.
The Lagavulin Islay Jazz Festival (a fully fledged live event this year) is due September 16th-18th, more details will be given as soon as they are available.
We have feelers out for some Traditional musicians as soon as they are available.
Scottish Opera as part of their Centenary tour provisionally booked for March next year (2023).
(Islay Arts Assoc has a policy of trying, wherever possible, to provide workshop type events for schools whenever we have visiting performers. Where it is applicable we also have free entry to events for school age children)