INDEPENDENCE: The Pure, the Dead and the Brilliant

During my time at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last month I narrowly missed the opportunity to catch Alan Bissett’s The Pure, the Dead and the Brilliant, a romp through the possible views and actions of Scotland’s mythical creatures during the campaigning process of the Independence Referendum. Thanks to nationalcollective, The Pure, the Dead and the Brilliant is now available on YouTube, the show captured with three cameras displaying the entire stage from various angles.

It’s Hogmanay and the mythical fairies of Scotland are celebrating in style. Their conversation quickly swerves towards the Scottish referendum. Black Donald, the Demon amongst the group (played by Martin McCormick with a satisfying flair of the panto baddie), explains that a yes vote would lead to a county in which the fairy folks could not survive. As a result the other creatures begin frantically campaigning against Scottish Independence (“Vote naw or the SNP’ll eat yer dug!” Elaine C Smith’s Banshee shrieks to the audience). But should we ever trust the Demon figure in our lives? It’s incredibly panto and it’s incredibly funny. The forceful script is complimented by a simplistic set of woodland inspired furniture.

Bissett’s referendum views are far from subtle; his message is clearly present throughout the mystical tale. Beyond the sharp one-liners lie powerful words regarding the future of our Scotland and the final moments certainly leave food for thought.

As the hours draw by on this fateful day for Scotland, The Pure, the Dead and the Brilliant is an amusing piece of theatre that entertains, educates and may even be powerful enough to sway a voters opinion…


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