Opened 12 Jun 2014
WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
Based on the book by Betsy Whyte. Berry picking, neep pulling, basket making: Scotland's travelling folk stayed close to the land, following the changing seasons from place to place, sleeping beneath the stars, selling the wares they made. But by the mid-1930s, this centuries-old culture - and an entire way of life - was under threat . . . For young Bessie Townsley, travelling the roads of Perthshire and Angus with her family and friends is education enough. But the law says otherwise and the family has to winter in Brechin each year so that Bessie can attend her compulsory 100 days of school. And from her fellow students, Bessie soon learns that the travelling life she loves can prompt very different reactions in others. Yet Bessie turns out to be an excellent student and, encouraged by a sympathetic teacher, becomes a candidate for a high school scholarship. But if Bessie is to fulfil her potential, the Townsleys may have to abandon life on the road for good. For her parents, it's a sacrifice worth making. Others, however, will do anything to stop a "dirty tinker" from succeeding . . . Warm-hearted, funny and passionate, Anne Downie's superb adaptation of Betsy Whyte's classic tale of travelling life uses music and traditional song to take audiences on an enthralling journey along the rural roads of pre-war Scotland and recreate a now vanished world.