Tartan Tales returns…with James Mackenzie!
Our Tartan Tales concert was a hit with audiences in 2017, so we’ve brought it back and refreshed it for the roaring 20s! This hour-long showstopper is full of Scottish storytelling, family fun and legendary musicians, and best of all, there ain’t no Beast from the East stoppin’ us this time! For those of you who remember or were affected by the cancellation of our Dundee concert in 2018, we’re super excited that it will finally arrive at the Caird Hall NEXT Saturday 29 February and then Aberdeen’s Music Hall, on Sunday 1 March!
One of our best picks is the mystical story of Misterstourworm and the Kelpie’s Gift (words by Stuart Paterson and music by Savourna Stevenson). It follows a boy’s magical quest to defeat a terrible sea monster, which is a great fit as 2020 is Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters. These performances are also special because Savourna is joining us on stage armed with her harp – it’s not often you get to see a composer performing their own music live (she’s one talented lady). To top it off, this legendary tale will come to life with the help of our star special guest, CBeebies’ James Mackenzie, as narrator (definitely one for the Molly and Mack or Raven fans out there)! To hear a past performance (narrated by Billy Boyd) and get a feel for what’s coming, click here.
The countdown is on, so to celebrate, we’ve just caught up with James and Savourna to get to know them a little better – first up, you can check out our wee interview with James and on Monday, it’s Savourna’s turn!
INTERVIEW WITH JAMES MACKENZIE (illustration by Martin McKenna)
What do you love most about stories/narrating?
“I love how you’re able to bring a story to life, and off the page. The way a live audience reacts when you’re telling the story is very special – especially when helped by a whole load of very talented musicians!!”
What’s your favourite thing about Misterstourworm?
“When Coran and the Kelpie become as one and gallop across the water and dive to the bottom of the sea. It’s so exciting, and I love that they bonded because Coran did the right thing and set the Kelpie free.”
What’s the biggest challenge in bringing Misterstourworm to life?
“The biggest challenge is not to get too carried away with the story because you’ve got an orchestra behind you, and you find yourself out of time and synch with the music and words!”
What’s it like working with us?
“It’s brilliant working with CCC, it’s always such fun and everyone is super nice. I’m always made to feel very welcome, and that helps to calm my nerves!!”
Have you ever learned an instrument?
“I learned to play the trumpet at high school and played in wind bands and orchestras till I left school. But I was never good enough to join a professional orchestra!”
If you were stuck on a desert Island (or a sandy Scottish beach in the Outer Hebrides), what would you want to listen to?
“I’d love to listen to a singer called Paul Simon. I love his music.”
Tell us your favourite thing about living in Scotland (and the best places you’ve visited)?
“I love the landscape and the scenery, and the fact the weather is always changing. You can get five seasons in one day! Especially if you’re climbing a hill. One of the best places I’ve visited is Fingal’s Cave on the Island of Staffa. It’s magical, you could imagine that Misterstourworm might live there.”
Do you believe in Nessie?
“Of course!!! Nessie is a real live monster that lives in Loch Ness, she’s just very very shy, so doesn’t like to be seen very often. I bet she’d give Misterstourworm a run for his money!!!”
How did you get into acting?
“My Dad is an actor, so I grew up around it. However, I always wanted to be a digger driver! I first got into acting through Youth Theatre. I was lucky enough to progress from that to professional theatre at the age of 15, then at 20 I went to drama school to study acting, and I’m still doing it now, MANY years later!”
If you could give one piece of advice to young actors, what would it be?
“Don’t expect to become rich and famous! Only pursue a career in acting if it’s something you love and are passionate about. Success or money are an added bonus, but you’ve got to love it! Oh, and don’t take NO for an answer. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again! It’s the best job ever!!”
Thanks so much James, we can’t wait to work with you again! Stay tuned for Savourna’s answers, coming soon 🙂