Some friends and I headed out to the Auto & General Theatre on the Square in Sandton to see “Christine and the Kilts” on Friday evening, 20 September, 2018.
The Cape Town based performer, Christine Weir, also known for “Not the Midnight Mass”, a Scot herself, has assembled a cast of musicians for this outstanding production.
Beautifully researched, Christine herself tells most of the Gaelic tales, but she saves one for her son, Matthew Weir on base and vocals, to tell us himself. Other musicians are Rayelle Goodman on violin, Duncan Robinson on acoustic guitar and Skumbuzo Qamata on percussion, and finally, Leon Oosthuizen on what is billed as a “traditional Celtic accordion” and which provoked much discussion on the way home where a Google Search proved once again, that Christine Weir knows her stuff.
This is toe tapping and hand clapping stuff and the audience is ever eager to participate, not least when a bottle or two of whisky is up for grabs.
There will be some Celtic songs, Irish and Scots, ancient and modern, like the opening song, the words of which are by no other than Robbie Burns himself, or “Over the Sea to Skye” which are familiar to everyone and some written by Christine Weir in response to various moments of revelation in her own Celtic studies, such as the Glencoe Massacre, evocatively narrated in background and beautifully sung by Christine Weir, telling out the story of how dozens of MacDonalds were slaughtered in the beds (yeah, the Scots have no great reason to love the English either).
One doesn’t need to feel intimidated by the Celtic mystique as it is all explained along the way (ok, as much as can be in one evening show). It is very accessible and quite delightful. The whole show is friendly and intimate, almost like a family gathering. Audience members are encouraged to wear their own kilts or tartan bits, and to sing along, and also to enjoy a “wee dram” with the cast after the show. It is only on for one more week, so don’t delay in getting tickets and taking your Celtic friends along.