We have won the Land
We Have Won the Land is a bi-lingual play about land ownership and communities. Designed to celebrate, promote and inform on the significance of community land ownership in Scotland today.
We Have Won the land uses physical comedy, evocative writing, storytelling, shadow and light puppetry, film projection and specially commissioned music and songs to deliver the story of community land buy out on the imaginary West Coast Island of Murg.
Four actors skilfully play numerous characters, depicting a colourful collection of people whose inspiration came from encounters and interviews with the real community activists working in many of our Scottish crofting communities. Historical and archive research and interviews with historians and Scottish politicians also informed the development of the work. The play tackles community issues head on, the challenges that the core characters face as they manage the local buy out committee, adapt to change, deal with succession, source funding for their buy out, deal with land legislation, deliver sustainable development, community growth and management of community land assets and a splash of the Thousand Huts Campaign for good measure!
Environmental Commitment: We have Won the Land engages with green production methods and carbon monitoring while touring, an LED lighting rig is used and recycled and natural elements were used for the set and costumes.
Gaelic: There is some use of Gaelic in the play, only one scene uses it fully but this is at a point when we know what the actor is saying by reading the situation. Otherwise, Gaelic words and sayings are woven in through the scenes in a manner where they are easy to interpret. It is significant that the language is not intrusive but there as the background in the psyche of the people much as the regional dialects enable us to place the diversity of characters as incomers or indigenous folk in the play.
Highlands and Islands audience comments:
“One of the best things I've seen in a while - captured the conflict between traditional communities and 'sustainable' development. Left me with so much to ponder. Lovely live soundtrack.”
"Thought it was an excellent play - you have taken a rather dry subject and made it into a fun and informative story - and that coming from a community land geek! Storm scene & highland cow particularly fab! X Plockton"
“Excellent production. Told a great & inspiring story of community landownership. Entertaining & very fun - the storm was brilliant. Finlay the Cow needs to give evidence to the Land Reform review. Thank you for a great night.”
“Wonderful that so few actors could play so many parts so convincingly. Good to link the issues here in Scotland to the wider world of Agribusiness - I hope Finlay's work in Ethiopia goes well.”
"I was impressed at how the performance captured the nuances of the modern Highland community life, some typical characters that often exist & common issues that communities & individuals are often faced with".
“Absolutely loved it! Acting brilliant - actors very versatile & believable. I have learnt a great deal about land ownership, legislation and Scottish history. I have also had a giggle. Very very well written. Observation of characters spot on!”
“The play was amazing. The space between the comedy and the seriousness in the play was beautifully done. The village people were hilarious, I felt like I had met these people before. I loved how it felt like this play was made for the concern about ownership and development”
" No stone left unturned with a few sly digs!, Amazing how many characters and ideas were conveyed by such a small cast in such a small space. It was comprehensive and I was pleased to hear the gentle humour of the Highlands."
"An amazing combination of political dynamism, a taught script and an aesthetic & humorous delight. Particularly liked the stag, sheep & cow excerpts."
"An effective portayal of what's happened/what happens! Loved the wind scene! Very good, thank you."
"This is a great way to introduce a political concept as entertainment. Power to the winners of the land!"
" As a fellow shed dweller who reads lots of books & watches lots of DVDs, I would like to say this is the funniest thing I have seen in ages, well done, brilliant" Knoydart
"The show brought to light aspects of important issues that I was only dimly aware of - in a very moving and involving way and fun."
"Fantastic, well researched and enjoyable. Liked the different aspects of the community life, full of characters you are sure you've met before esp in the Highlands."
" Extremely relevant. Especially when you have been involved and recognise the people, places, attitudes, results, logic models etc"
"When communities own or aspire to own the land on which they live and work, there is a release of energy and ambition which leads to long term reinvigoration of that community". Community Land Scotland
Devised by the Company and scripted by Toria Banks (London)
Directed by: Muriel Ann Macleod (Isle of Lewis)
Scottish Performers include: David Walker (Uist), Ruth Tapp (Ayrshire), Cameron Mowat (Aberdeen), Hazel Darwin Edwards.(Edinburgh) and Hector MacInnes (Composer/musician, Skye).
New Music: Music and songs commissioned from Hector MacInnes
Set Design: Philippa Thomas ( Bristol)
Lighting design: from Ali Ross, and stage management from Pete Sheridan