‘In Spring of last year, wearing inappropriate footwear and driving a dinky wee car that is quite frankly not cut out for these muddy roads, Perth Theatre Artistic director Lu Kemp and playwright Kieran Hurley set off around rural Perthshire to speak with people who live in this land, about rural life.’
Sitting down to eat your fry up on a sleepy Sunday morning, it’s easy to not think twice about where it all comes from. With food being so easily accessible in our modern society, thanks to the numerous booming supermarkets, selling its ever-replenishing stock, we often overlook the hard-working farmers who prevail to supply our ever increasing demand to simply eat and drink.
‘A Six Inch of Topsoil and the Fact it Rains’ is a singularly unique piece of theatre, conveying the lives of people who work and live in the rural lands of Perthshire. Written by playwright Kieran Hurley and directed by Lu Kemp, together they have created an insightful and highly enjoyable theatrical experience through interviews carried out with the rural locals.
Preformed at Birnum Arts Theatre not a mere 20 minutes from Perth we were treated to seeing the countryside at its best, with Perth offering a large variety of local eateries we were spoilt for choice.
Performed by Melody Grove and Aly Macrea, the show had a welcoming and comfortable feel from the very beginning. Feeling as though you were visiting a friend for coffee, you were invited into a comfortable appearing farmhouse kitchen with a weather-beaten welsh dresser, stags antlers proudly sitting atop, adorning playful, clear fairy lights. Grove and Macrea burst into authentic folk song which the audience more often than not couldn’t help but join in with.
Grove and Macrea portrayed the variety of interviewees from the proud and jovial local Laird to the elderly couple who had been farming all their days. Their portrayal of the characters was both insightful and passionate allowing the audience to become fully immersed into each specific character’s background and experiences. Relaying the differences in farming from past decades and what it means for its future. Changes in legislation, public demand, adverse weather conditions all contributing factors to the livelihoods of the farmers.
The play opens our eyes to the fact that everything on our plates comes from somewhere, and makes us consider whether we actually value the real worth of what is grown right on our own doorstep.
With lively numbers throughout from Grove and Macreas many musical talents, it was impossible to not tap your toes, sing along and overall have a thoroughly enjoyable time.
By Erin Tindal