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The Cheviot, The Stag, and The Black, Black Oil comes to Live Theatre for only English dates on brand new tour

Presented by National Theatre of Scotland, in association with Dundee Rep Theatre and Live Theatre

Written by John McGrath
Directed by Joe Douglas
Designed by Graham McLaren
Musical Direction by Aly Macrae 
Sound Designed by MJ McCarthy 
Lighting Designed by Kate Bonney

Cast includes: Stephen Bangs, Jo Freer, Christina Gordon, Calum Macdonald and Billy Mack.
Based on the original production by Dundee Rep Theatre

“It’s a story that has a beginning, a middle, but, as yet, no end…”

One of Scottish theatre’s most iconic and influential productions returns to the stage in 2019, in a special revival from the National Theatre of Scotland which comes to Live Theatre, Newcastle in June 2019 following a tour of Scotland to Dundee, Inverness, Lerwick, Ullapool, Dornie, Skye, Aberdeen, Perth and Stirling.

First staged by the 7:84 company in the 1970s, John McGrath’s The Cheviot, The Stag, and the Black, Black Oil has become a cornerstone of contemporary Scottish theatre. Successfully restaged by director Joe Douglas in 2015, now Artistic Director of Live Theatre, the show broke box office records at Dundee Rep Theatre before touring Scotland to critical and audience acclaim.

Echoing the play’s original tour in the 1970s, this 2019 revival will see it visiting art centres and community spaces in Dundee and across rural Scotland, before a 2-week run at Newcastle’s Live Theatre, where Joe Douglas is now Artistic Director.  

Forty-five years on from its original tour John McGrath’s pivotal political play has lost none of its vitality and relevance, expertly weaving, songs, poems, scenes and sketches into 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 people 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.

This show sees the National Theatre of Scotland collaborate with Newcastle’s Live Theatre for the first time since the immensely successful co-production Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, which toured to the theatre following its debut in 2015, and went on to enjoy significant success across the world, most recently touring to London’s West End and winning an Olivier Award for Best New Comedy in 2017.

Touring to Ardler Centre, Dundee (16 May); Eden Court, Inverness (19-20 May); Mareel, Lerwick (23 May); Macphail Centre, Ullapool (28 May); Dornie Village Hall (29 May); Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Skye (31 May); Minginish Community Hall, Skye (01 June) ACT, Aberdeen (04 June); Perth Theatre (05 June); Macrobert, Stirling (06 June); Charlestone Centre, Dundee (07 June); Live Theatre, Newcastle (11 to 22 June).

After an extensive tour of Scotland, The Cheviot, the Stag, and the Black, Black Oil comes to Live Theatre, for its only English dates from Tuesday 11 to Saturday 22 June 2019.

To be the first to find out about tickets make sure you are on Live Theatre’s postal or email list by calling (0191) 232 1232 or sign up online.

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  • Arts Council England
  • Community Foundation
  • European Regional Development Fund


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