Togail Nàisean/Building a Nation (2017)
Photos by Seán Purser. Poster image by kind permission of Paul Climie
Performance video by Clyde Jones.
Review by Lorna Irvine Here
An Lanntair Stornoway Thursday 5th October 9pm
Carinish Village Hall North Uist Saturday 7th October 9pm
St Peter's Hall, South Uist, Monday 9th October 9pm
Sabhal Mor Ostaig, Skye Wednesday 11th October 9pm
Websters Theatre, Glasgow Friday 13th October 9pm
Websters Theatre, Glasgow Saturday 14th October 9pm
Mull Theatre Mull Tuesday 24th October 9pm
Scottish Storytelling Centre Edinburgh Thursday 9th November 9pm
To book tickets please visit
The National Theatre of Scotland
Written and performed by Martin O'Connor
Sound Design by Nichola Scrutton
Gaelic Artists Rona Dhòmhnallach and Gillebride MacIlleMhaoil
Production Manager Mick Andrew
Produced by Glasgow Life.
Supported by National Theatre of Scotland.
Presented in English, Scots and Gaelic.
O’ Connor is a masterful performer and writer, making his stories feel as warm and intimate as a friend down the pub; yet simultaneously theatrically rich and politically minded (Lorna Irvine)
Building a Nation is a spoken word and sound performance by poet and Gaelic learner Martin O’Connor. Steeped in the industrial voice of his own Glaswegian Scots, he explores the personal relationship with voice, accent and dialect and unearths the words we lose when we leave the land for the city, the words we lose when a place is swept by deindustrialization, and the words we lose when we are disconnected from our cultural identity.
The piece challenges perceptions of the Scottish cringe and the voice as class indicator and asks if Gaelic accents carry the same bias or marginalisation. Does coming from Uist, Lewis, Mull or Skye have the same provocation as coming from Pollok or Bearsden? And what does the Glaswegian Gael sound like?
Tha bàrd a dh’ionnsaich a’ Ghàidhlig, Martin O’Connor, a’ cur Togail Nàisean air àrd-ùrlar le cainnt is fuaim. Tha dualchas Albais gnìomhachais Ghlaschu gu domhainn ann fhèin, is tha e a’ rannsachadh a dhàimh phearsanta ris a’ ghuth, ri blas is ri dualchainnt, is a’ rùrach airson nam faclan a chailleas sinn nuair a thèid sinn on fhearann chun a’ bhaile mhòir, na faclan a chailleas sinn nuair a sguabar gnìomhachas air falbh à àite, is na faclan a chailleas sinn nuair a thèid air sgaradh o ar n ionannachd chultarach fhèin.
Bheir an obair seo an aghaidh air seallaidhean a thaobh cringe na h-Alba is a thaobh a’ ghuth mar chomharra air inbhe, agus faighnichidh i a bheil an aon chlaonadh is an aon iomallachadh ann a thaobh dhualchainntean Gàidhlig. A bheil an aon bhuaidh aig a bhith à Uibhist, Leòdhas, Muile no às an Eilean Sgitheanach ’s a th’ aig a bhith à Pollok no Bearsden? Agus dè am blas a th’ aig Gàidheil Ghlaschu?