Far from Ypres, in Selkirk venue

Far, Far from Ypres kicks off its Scottish tour in Selkirk's Victoria Halls.
Far, Far from Ypres kicks off its Scottish tour in Selkirk's Victoria Halls.

Selkirk’s Victoria Halls is the first venue on the itinerary for a Scotland-wide tour of a multimedia performance of stories, songs and poetry about the country’s war effort during the First World War – and your stories are needed.

Far, Far From Ypres, devised, written and produced by Ian McCalman and narrated by BBC Radio Scotland presenter Iain Anderson, comes to Selkirk on Sunday, August 5, before heading north to Aberdeen, Oban, Portree and further afield.

Barbara Dickson

Barbara Dickson

A previous performance in the Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh was finished by a standing ovation that “raised the roof for several minutes after the show had finished”, according to Broadway Baby. That review continued: “It was a stirring end to a night commemorating a terrible tragedy, one that lef the entire audience moved and sombre, but strangely elated.”

The show tells the story of the Scottish war effort through the eyes of a fictional soldier, Jimmy MacDonald.

Full of enthusiasm, Jimmy joins up as soon as he can and is sent to the Flanders trenches, where he endures four long years of hell, sleeping in filth, dodging bullets and experiencing sorrow and guilt over the loss of his comrades.

Performers such as Barbara Dickson, Siobhan Miller, Dick Gaughan and Stephen Quigg are due to join the tour, although the cast list is liable to change from venue to venue.

For Selkirk’s event, Borderers are being asked to relay their own stories – no more than 200 words – of the time – for instance, what their great grandparents did, were they underage when they signed up, or did great granny work in a munitions factory?

A selection of the stories will appear in the programme on the night.

Send your stories by email to ScottishCommemorationsPanel@gov.scot or post to Ann Wells, WWI Team, Culture and Historic Environment Division, Area 2G South, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh, EH6 6QQ.

Tickets, priced £15, for the show are available from Scott’s Selkirk.