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'Aert Fast' - a new play by Jacqueline Clark

Published: 08 August 2012

The THING Project is pleased to announce the performance of 'Aert-Fast' a new play by Shetland playwright Jacqueline Clark, commissioned by Shetland Amenity Trust and inspired by historical accounts of events at a Shetland thing meeting.

A new play called “Aert-Fast”, written by local playwright Jacqueline Clark, will be performed in August as part of the EU Northern Periphery Programme funded THING Project. The play, commissioned by project partner Shetland Amenity Trust, is being presented in association with Shetland Arts.

“Aert-Fast” tells a fictional 16th century story about a young woman called Osla who has recently inherited land following the death of her father, but must fight to keep the land from an uncle - who believes he has a stronger claim to it than she. She must also obtain agreement that a rent and tax which Lawrence Bruce demands is unjust, and the men at Tingaholm are her last hope. She faces the dilemma of not trusting her uncle to speak on her behalf and having to place her trust in a young man whom claims to love her but is in the employment of Lawrence Bruce. Osla’s story and the way in which the final judgement is reached is one which promises to provide a unique insight into the society at the time of the last judgements on Tingaholm.

Jacqui took inspiration for the story from historical events, with some named characters of the time included, although their representation within the play is purely fictional. She explained “It was clear when undertaking research that there were key figures who were involved during this important transitionary period in Shetland’s history and it felt wrong to not acknowledge their presence and influence within my fictional tale.”

The production is directed by John Haswell, Drama Development Officer with Shetland Arts.Haswell believes the piece has a deep relevance to a modern audience. “All too often we still hear of places in the world where women play a very subservient role in a patriarchal society. Here in Shetland we are also facing political choices that will determine the seat of government and power in the future. It is fascinating to explore the contemporary relevance of history through the medium of theatre.”

“Aert-Fast” is an outside promenade performance, which will begin at the Tingwall Kirkyard car park. Performances on Friday 24th and Saturday 25th of August will both begin at 7pm prompt. There will also be a matinee performance on Saturday 25th of August at 2pm. Audience numbers are limited to 50 per performance so booking in advance is advised. Tickets are available from Shetland Box Office and are priced at £8 full price and £6 for concessions. The performance will be approximately one hour in length and the audience is advised to wear warm comfortable clothing.

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