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Briseadh na Cloiche / The Breaking of the Stone Debut

14 March 2017


The première of a new Gaelic short film, Briseadh na Cloiche (The Breaking of the Stone), will take place at this month’s Glasgow Short Film Festival.

Filmed at Webster’s Theatre in Glasgow, where the play was performed as part of last year’s West End Festival, the production features Iain Macrae and Mairi Morrison, with music by Alex Neilson. It will be shown, with English subtitles, at the CCA Cinema in Glasgow on 17 March.

The Breaking of the Stone (Briseadh na Cloiche) is widely regarded as one of writer John Murray’s finest short stories and holds a central position in contemporary Gaelic literature. Adapted for stage and screen by actor Iain Macrae and directed and filmed by Duncan MacDonald, the production follows the progression of a post-war romance to its harrowing conclusion.

The dynamic blend of drama, dance and mime is heightened by a thrilling interactive percussion performance by Neilson.

The theatre and film project was commissioned by Gaelic arts organisation Ceòl’s Craic and funded by MG ALBA and Creative Scotland.

Project director Ishbel Murray said: “John Murray’s story is widely recognized as a seminal piece of contemporary Gaelic literature and we knew we could present the stage play successfully, but we also felt it had tremendous potential as a piece of filmed theatre.

“So, our aim here was to produce an original Gaelic film for a dedicated arts audience and to begin to address the absence of art house films featuring Gaelic language. The support of MG ALBA and Creative Scotland made this possible.”

Drama is viewed as a key element in the resurgence of Gaelic and is strongly supported by those who see it as an art form that puts the language at its forefront. Briseadh na Cloiche brings the best of Gaelic literature, drama and cinema together in one small but effective package.

Creative Scotland & Bòrd na Gàidhlig Gaelic Arts & Culture Officer, Brian Ó hEadhra added: “It is excellent to see this contemporary Gaelic work progress from the West End Festival to this year’s Glasgow Short Film Festival and ultimately to BBC ALBA in the future. This powerful work demonstrates that Gaelic drama is growing and reaching out to audiences via stage and screen. This is one of a number of Gaelic drama initiatives currently coming through and we look forward to seeing more quality productions over the coming years.”

BBC ALBA Channel Editor Margaret Cameron said: “Briseadh na Cloiche adds to the diversity of Gaelic drama available and I’m delighted it will have a small screen life on BBC ALBA in the future. I wish the film every success at the Glasgow Short Film Festival and welcome its inclusion in the GSFF programme.”

Briseadh na Cloiche (20 mins) will be screened, with English subtitles, on 17 March at 9pm in the CCA Cinema, Glasgow. It will be preceded by Away with the Land (13 mins), a lyrical documentary by Joya Berrow on the life of Harris crofter Donald John Macinnes, and followed by a Q&A session with Iain Macrae, Mairi Morrison and Duncan MacDonald, hosted by Gaelic broadcaster Derek MacKay. Guests are invited for a complementary drink at 8pm.

Briseadh na Cloiche will be broadcast on BBC ALBA later in the year.